Saturday, March 28, 2009

Stupid Should Hurt

Stupid should hurt. I even have shirts, etc that say so in my shop. It really should. So should narrow mindedness, bigoted behaviour, racism...but really, when you boil all that crap down, it comes down at its base to 'stupid' or at best, 'ignorant'.
I don't know if its only that I've become less tolerant (and I know I have) or that it really is on the rise, but I witness more and more stupidity, comments that make me want to reach over and smack the living crud out of someone. Do ppl really believe the crap they're spouting, or is it done in an effort to provoke a reaction? Sometimes I have the urge to ask, but am kinda afraid of the answer. I mean, how do you nicely ask someone, "Excuse me, but are you as stupid as that statement makes you sound?"
Nowhere does stupidity seem to raise its ugly head than in parenting issues. Now, I am not now, nor have I ever been, nor will I ever be, a perfect parent. I don't play one on tv, and I don't even pretend to be one online even. I have my opinions, as does anyone else. But there are some things that are just common sense folks.

Discipline is a fine example. If you don't discipline little Jimmy when he's little, he's going to be a brat. And he'll be a brat when he becomes teen Jimmy, at which point you'll have a kid that's bigger than you, cursing and swearing, intimidating you, your spouse and his siblings. If you're inconsistant in your discipline, its not going to work.

We're not talking The Dead Sea Scrolls here, people. Parenting, while frustrating as holy Hades at times, actually isn't rocket science.

Unless you're a homeschooler, and choose to study rockets. But I digress.

And please, before I'm left a million and three comments about how your little darling has a medical diagnosis, I realize that different children require different parenting. Did I say one size fits all? Nope. I realize that for some parents, finding the right way to discipline is way harder and requires far more creativity than for the average bear, and I salute you.

I salute you for two reasons: one, its simply harder. Two, unlike SOME parents that I've had the misfortune of meeting, you haven't used your child's diagnosis as a 'get out of parenting free card', shrugged your shoulders, and hid behind a three letter label to excuse any and all misbehaviour by your child. Unlike that mother of the kid at the community pool a year or two ago, that just about brained Baby Princess with a weighted diving ring, while she sat on her rump, calling out, "He has ODD!" rather than actually doing anything. Or the kid that ran merrily around the park, throwing sand, stealing toys, shoving kids, while Mom sat on the park bench calling out, "Sorry, he has ADHD...Honey, be nice! Be nice!" which continued until Tazzie had enough and shoved the kid back. Suddenly, there was a problem. Uh huh. Wolf told her, "Sorry, he doesn't have ADHD. He just doesn't like being shoved around."

Anyways. Where was I?

Oh yeah. Stupidity and parenting.

If you buy your kid everything they want the minute they want it, please don't wonder why they have entitlement issues, k? And for HEAVEN'S SAKE, don't be complaining about it where I can hear you. Yes, I'm referring to YOU, neighbour across the way. I just about had coffee out the nose this am when checking the mail. And since when are YOU awake before 6 pm anyways? I know you work nights, because your kid complains about being stuck in the house with nothing to do but play with all her electronic gizmos because you're asleep. Here's another tip: Spending time with your kids. Always, always, ALWAYS a good idea. Honest. It won't spoil them rotten. I know, I know. You think we're ruining our kids, cause they're homeschooled, and they'll never make it in the 'real world'. Your kid told mine that too. Yeah, she's got a real mouth on her, doesn't she? But here's the thing...your kid BEGS to come over here, constantly. Why? Cause I'm HERE, with my kids. Spending time with them. You know, like...doing stuff. Reading, arts and crafts, popping popcorn, cuddling up...*gasp!* I know! What a concept! Unfortunately, between the swearing, lying, bullying of my toddler and preschooler, and general mouthing off, your kid isn't welcome here. Not only that, but despite your not so subtle hints, I'm not interested in being your free daycare. Another tip: If your 11 year old needs boot camp, thats a big old red flag for you, right there, k?

Here's my last tip for the post, and its one that doesn't make me quite foam at the mouth and twitch as badly as the parents that seem to think that children don't require discipline, that they can be their kid's bestest buddy and everything will be just fine and dandy, but its dang close. You ready? Ok. Here goes:
You cannot make up for whatever you missed as a kid through your child. Now, I'm not talking stuff like being hungry, neglected, wearing rags to school. I'm talking about other things. Its very simple, really. Your child isn't you. Your child will not have missed out on what you did, so a closet stuffed with more outfits than they could possibly hope to wear before they out grow them does them no possible good. A playroom crammed with more toys than any child could possibly play with is overwhelming, and if anything, teaches them a sense of entitlement. Its not going to do a thing for the child you were that desperately longed to see something under the Christmas tree, year after year. Only a good counsellor can help that. And I'm not saying that with any mean spirit at all, but with kindness. You can't make up for the fact that you always wanted to play hockey but your parents were too broke, especially if your son loathes the cold and only wants to curl up with a good book.

Spend the time with your child, and learn who he/she is, rather than who you want or need them to be. Take joy in who they are.


Iva said...

Working with special needs kids, I see this a lot - and not only from parents! Others in the community are so quick to dismiss bad behavior because 'they're special'! My teacher and I look like the big bad bullies when we discipline our kids for misbehaving - we believe (rightly so)that just because you're special needs does not mean you get a free pass to act any way you want.

Domestic Goddess said...

Amen!!! I fully believe that children will meet that up or down!