by thea marie
What's on my mind....
|I witnessed two disturbing incidents involving parents and kids while I was in the dollar store yesterday that prompted this entry. They both spoke to a major cause of my increasing disallusionment with being a middle school teacher.
The first was with this man and a little boy. I first noticed the man because he seemed to be following me down the aisles, but I think it was just that we were going the same way and looking at the same things. As he finally passed me, I saw that he had a bad limp, as if one leg were shorter than the other. He crossed the main aisle, going into another calling to someone, saying that whoever it was needed to hurry up because they needed to go.
I heard this little voice scream, "What!" Then a curly haired boy about eight or nine years old turned the corner, snarling and snatching away from the man, telling him, "YOU have to wait. I don't have what I want yet."
He blew past the man and went down the aisle with the toys. He was so nasty that I wanted to tag his little ass as he passed me Then when the man just followed the boy like a whipped dog, I wanted to kick him in his ass even more.
The other incident was also while I was in the dollar store, and probably going on while I was watching the thing with the boy, but I hadn't really been paying that much attention to it at the time.
While I was walking the aisles, I kept hearing a child crying. That wasn’t so unusual, but after a while I realized that it wasn't a baby's cry, and it wasn't a tired cry. From the sound, I could tell it was an older child possibly working into a tantrum. I continued slowly wandering up and down the aisles, taking my time, but the crying and screaming just kept on and on. Being a veteran mother myself, I wasn’t bothered by it, but I did wonder why it hadn’t been stopped in all that time. Instead it seemed to be growing worse.
Finally, after I didn't see anything I wanted to purchase, I headed for the door. As I did, I could hear the screaming still going on and that it was now pretty close to me. I wondered to myself why in all that time the mother, father, or whoever the kid was with hadn't shut the noise and the antics down. I turned around and saw a lady walking with a little kid who was maybe two or three, in a shopping cart. That child wasn't saying anything, but then behind her a girl about five or six, ran up just screaming and screaming that she wanted a different toy, she didn't want that one, she wanted to go back and get the other one. The mother wasn't saying anything to her or dealing with her at all.
Now I can understand the principle behind ignoring a kid having a tantrum, but I can't understand staying in the store while she was carrying on like that, ruining the shopping experience for other people and making a spectacle of herself and the people who were with her. It was an opportune moment for that woman to teach that little girl proper behavior for the setting she in. Instead, she probably set it up for the child to think that it was okay to melt down in that manner, regardless of the setting. I didn’t stick around to see if the girl got her way or not
If I had been the adult in that situation, the one who was losing it might have gotten it good right there in the store. Damn the cameras and security. I would have dealt with mine. At the very least, we would have left the store. No way would one of my boys have shown his behind on me like that, and there is no way I would have inflicted the sight and sound of an out of control child on anyone else.
And we wonder why some teenagers are so on the wild and out of control these days. Respect, impulse control, and situational behavior have to be modeled by parents and instilled in children as consistent expectations from the beginning of their lives. Whatever has happened to effective parenting?