Wednesday, March 28, 2012

That Guy - Tori Amos

Know what really sucks? Parents who seem hell-bent on ensuring that their children turn out to be assholes. Oh, they may not DELIBERATELY be trying to turn their kids into raging jerks, but they do. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone screws something up, and gawd knows I beat myself up about every little thing I mess up. But it’s kids who are in close proximity to mine with parents who don’t give a good goddamn about rules and boundaries and seem more concerned with being their kids' friends instead of being their PARENTS. it’s a novel concept.

Do you know what I mean?

Parents who let their kids bring expensive toys for show-and-tell because it’s easier than bringing actual stuff to discuss. Even when the teacher asks really nicely for kids to bring discussion items that could end up being educational. Photos, books, plants, stones, something from a trip – you get the idea. Not the latest fucking Lego creation that your own child will beg for once he returns home from school. And when next Monday rolls around, your child will plead to be allowed to bring his own Lego shit for show-and-tell, because Jack* did.

Parents who let their five- and six-year-old children play violent killing video games because they “lost that battle.” THAT IS A DIRECT QUOTE. I am now 37 years old, and I don’t lose battles to my 5-year-old son. Because I am The Parent. Oh, sure. It’s not always pretty, but I stand my ground. And no, this doesn’t endear me to him 100% of the time. In fact, he might tell me that he really doesn’t like me. But at that point, I’ll take a page from my mother’s playbook and tell him that he doesn’t have to like me.

I love both my children so much I feel that my heart will just burst open sometimes. But I have a duty to them. A duty to make their lives as good as possible while teaching them to be responsible residents of this planet. If they hate me sometimes because I don't let them watch TV all day or ask them to clean their rooms, well, sucks to be me. Sure, I'll let them make as many of their own decisions as possible. But when it comes down to letting my kid watch a PG-13 movie that I am 100% sure will give him nightmares? Sorry, not going to happen. That's also me being lazy - I mean, who wants to get up in the middle of the night to deal with that? Not me.

What do you guys think? Am I too much of a hardass? How do you handle that sort of thing?

*name has been changed, of course.


diadelkendall said...

Right on the mark.

Christine said...

Right on! I'm not a parent, but I'm constantly amazed at how few boundaries kids seem to have these days. ("Kids today!") Our store is a tough one, as there's much fun stuff within reach - colorful toys that make noises, etc but for some crazy reason they're not for them! So, I get it, but when parents leave kids in the toy section to play while they go into the next room to talk to someone about dog food, we're left with kids just trashing the place and throwing things (Eeek! The ceramics!) and giving toys to dogs they don't know - lots of money lost to us from those kids, and by the time they leave, our heads are spinning and it often takes a long time for us to put the place together - so rude! The worst one was when the kid took our metal ladle-type scooper people use to scoop treats out of our glass bulk treat jars and started hammering on a jar until it smashed - glass and treats everywhere - super dangerous for a store full of dogs and kids. Not a single word from the parent to the child or to us. Nothing. They're allowed to do whatever they want out of some sort of fear of suppressing them...