Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Lost Art of Saying No

In order to save life, limbs and sanity, I use the word "no" quite frequently. (gasp!) I don't know when there was a shift in parenting styles or what, but it seems like current parents (as a majority) are afraid to use the word "no". In turn, a world of entitled, self-absorbed, the world-revolves-around-me, assholes are being created. There I said it.

Now yeah I know I'm still in the toddler age, and no, I don't have teenagers right now, but the toddler stage is when children build the foundation that they will blossom from. Roses require good ground to grow from and careful attention to reach their full potential, they can still be pokey, but are beautiful. Weeds, well those bitches can grow anywhere.

With my current line of work, that of the unpaid, but keep little people alive persuasion, I run errands during the hours of dawn and nap time. It seems to be that the only other people that shop during these hours are the elderly and other moms with children. At times it is difficult for me to keep my mouth shut, but if people would just tell their kids "No!" my shopping would be much more pleasurable.

I recently witnessed a mom have a full blown "let's discuss this" with her 2 year old. Hey lady, hate to break it to you, 2 year olds don't reason anything. He wants to stand in the cart because you let him stand in the cart and now that you want him to sit down since he is trying to climb out, he is having a meltdown. There are these things called straps. Tell him no, sit him down, buckle him in, and move on. He can cry, it won't kill him, and I'd rather listen to him cry while picking out my grapes knowing that you were the parent for a change rather than hear you tell him, "Please sit down honey. Why are you upset? We don't scream. I'll let you stand if you just stop screaming. Do you want some candy?"

Food is what most kids worlds revolve around, but let's be honest, they use our knowledge of that in an attempt to manipulate a situation for all it's worth. (Walking down the snack/cookie aisle, mom and 3 school-age kids) "Mom can we get cookies?" Mom told them no. Bravo! Oh wait, then the nagging begins. "Mom please, we are so hungry and we don't have any cookies at home to eat!" Mom again says no, only then to cave when the youngest protests very loudly that her mother is trying to starve her. Well played children........ Sometimes it's hard to stick to your guns, but I've developed the, "Aw fuck it" mentality when worrying what other shoppers are thinking of me. I also sing to myself, and loud enough people I pass can hear it, "I can't hear you. Please cry louder. No one cares, and we love it when you scream!"

Can we speak to electronic devices? I'm probably going to ruffle a few feathers with this one. But why do they have to go everywhere? What happened to kids figuring out how to occupy their time when they are bored in the car, at a restaurant or family gathering? We have a DVD player in the car, but it only gets turned on if we are going somewhere that will take hours, yes hours. Around town? No way! And kids that are glued to an Ipad or smartphone during dinner drive me bonkers! How is a child suppose to learn proper social interactions or how to act in public if they are glued to a device? Sit down, and either talk to the table, listen or color, those are your options.

And then I see these parents, usually parents of teenagers, try to be best friends with their kids. Why? They have friends, you should already have friends, you don't need to be BFFs with your kid. My favorite thing I've heard is, "Well, I don't like confrontation, so I just don't tell her no. And we are friends, so I totally trust her." Ummmm ok? I can only imagine all the things that girl gets away with! Kids need parents to raise them and give them structure and friends (who are peers) to be social with. Hate to break it to you, parents can't be both. I don't think it is possible to be friends with your child till they are an adult, living on their own and paying all of their own bills. Until that happens, they still need you to be a hard-ass and give them boundaries.

Please don't report me to the Parent-Shaming Academy, I'm sure that all parents that fall into these traps have good intentions, but as an outsider looking in, I'm scared for what 10 years from now looks like for you and anyone that deals with your child.

So I beg you, parents of the world, tell your child no. Be the parent and set some damn limits. The world will thank you!

Kayden and Dayton showing some brotherly "love" while at Target!

1 comment:

  1. I miss those little boys so much! So glad I was introduced to your blog :) �� Ms. Amanda

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