As far as I know, my job description as a parent does not say anything about serving as a punching bag for my kids. I know I don’t always make the best decisions and by no means am I a model parent, but I do know when to draw the line and stop my kids from acting inappropriately. However, some parents seem to be way too easy on their kids and allow them to just walk all over them. Just over the past weekend, I came face to face with some of the most horrendous behavior I’ve seen in a long, long time. And you all know that I not only live with twins, but I also now live with a furry-fied version of the son of Satan. So, I most certainly know about bad behavior! However, I am absolutely and completely appalled by the way some parents allow their own kids to treat them. Whatever happened to living by the phrase, “I brought you into this world, and I can take you right out of it”? Sadly, it seems that many of today’s parents just let their kids wear the pants and run the whole mother truckin’ show.
The first shocking display of misconduct occurred at the soccer fields. A little six year old boy ran over during a break to ask his mom if she’d brought his water bottle, and when she told him that she’d forgotten to bring it, this little punk had the audacity to actually kick his poor mother repeatedly in the shins. I was in shock and think I may have even silently yelled out, “WTF?!” I could not believe that a kid could have that big of an ego to think that his very own creator deserved a beat down for not bringing a friggin’ water bottle?! Get your own stinkin’ bottle, you little bastard! I’m pretty sure the woman was mortified to be treated like this in front of all the other judgmental parents out there, but she really didn’t even address the issue at all. She just kind of brushed over it and moved on with her conversation. I’m telling you right now that I would’ve marched my son’s little smart ass straight to the car and then all the way home.
The second disturbing incident occurred at a local neighborhood bar and grill. This one particularly obnoxious dad was out to dinner with his sons, completely ignoring them in lieu of his cell phone. At the end of their meal, one of the sons was trying to get Distant Dad’s attention so that they could leave and catch a movie. Now, granted, the dad was totally clueless, continuously talking business REALLY LOUDLY on his cell phone, but this did not in any way warrant the kind of eruption that soon followed. The son started to get more and more fired up when all of his efforts were continuously brushed off, so he grew louder and louder in his cries for Dad. The pleading soon turned into hitting, which then turned into fist pummeling. Before I knew it, the kid was literally punching the crap out of his dad’s back while screaming for him to get off the phone. It was such a loud and violent outburst that all eyes in the restaurant immediately turned to this table in horror. The worst part was that the kid was probably about ten or eleven years old and way too old to be throwing a temper tantrum. And just like the episode at the soccer field, the dad never even attempted to discipline his bratty-ass kid. They simply paid their bill and left for the movie. Again, my kid would most certainly not be rewarded with a movie after pulling a Mike Tyson on me like that.
I just really don’t get this parental lack of interest in teaching our kids how to behave both at home and especially in public. Are parents just too thinly stretched these days to be actively involved in the disciplining of their offspring? If they are, then we are in serious trouble as a society. Sure, everybody’s tired and stressed and busy as can be, but family should always be the first priority. Good behavior isn’t something you can pick up for your kids at the mall, and it’s not something they can attain by popping a pill. It is the job of the parent to get off his/her ass and teach it to the kid. And not only is it the parent’s responsibility to teach it, but it is also up to the parent to demonstrate good behavior himself. There are already enough adult yahoos in this world as it is. Do we really need our youth to grow up to become a-holes as well?