Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Raise Your Own D@mn Kids.

No need to lie here, despite having made two children of my own, I generally find other peoples' kids[1] to be obnoxious and annoying. Since I do have two kids of my own now, I find myself in more and more environments frequented by obnoxious and annoying kids. It is what it is.

Of course, this isn't a politically correct statement, and ESPN writer LZ Granderson's recent story on is drawing a lot of attention (2,600+ comments). Since I'm still sorta digging myself out of a hole here on the Day Job, I'm gonna throw an excerpt of the commentary here, and ask ya'll to go read the rest over at, then come back and comment. Got it?
If you're the kind of parent who allows your 5-year-old to run rampant in public places like restaurants, I have what could be some rather disturbing news for you.

I do not love your child.

The rest of the country does not love your child either.

And the reason why we're staring at you every other bite is not because we're acknowledging some sort of mutual understanding that kids will be kids but rather we want to kill you for letting your brat ruin our dinner.

Or our plane ride.

Or trip to the grocery store.

Or the other adult-oriented establishments you've unilaterally decided will serve as an extension of your toddler's playpen because you lack the fortitude to properly discipline them, in public and at home.

And we know you don't discipline them at home because you don't possess "the look." If you had "the look," you wouldn't need to say "sit down" a thousand times.

If you had "the look," you wouldn't need to say much of anything at all. But this nonverbal cue needs to be introduced early and reinforced diligently with consequences for transgressions, just like potty training. And whenever a kid throws a temper tantrum in the middle of the shopping mall it's just as bad as his soiling his pants to spite his parents, and it stinks just as much.

This is the part of child-rearing people don't like to discuss, because socially, it's not OK to dislike kids. The ugly truth is it's the spineless parents who parade their undisciplined children around like royalty that make people dislike kids.

Parents who expect complete strangers to just deal with it are not doing anyone, including their children, any favors. They are actually making things worse. Not only are their children allowed to interrupt social events and settings when they are young, but they often grow into disruptive forces in the classrooms later. And nobody likes them for that.
Peep the rest here.

Question: Does "new age parenting" encourage kids to be self-centered brats? If you're a parent, where do you strike the balance between allowing your child the freedom to explore the world around them, and having them respect the rights and boundaries of others?

[1] Well, other than mine and those related to me.

* Yeah, I know, that photo at the top makes no sense. But maaaaaan is it funny.

h/t: Vanilla Latte

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