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Honored Advisor

WWWHHHYYYYY?????

Just walked in from Sam's and got things put away.  Sat down for a quick lunch there - they always have the highest health inspection grades posted of anyplace in town, and are dirt cheap for a hotdog, slice of pizza or salad.  The cup for the drink is a bucket, and you can refill it if you want refreshment for the drive home. 

 

While I was having my lunch, I struck up a conversation with the nicest ten-year-old boy I think I have ever met.  He actually had enough social grace to invite me to join him, as all the tables were otherwise filled.  He was waiting for his mom to finish checking out at the register near the food court. 

 

His family was new to NC, and we talked about his school, the new geography and history he'd be learning in fifth grade, etc.  His mom and little brother joined us, and we had a great chat.  I thanked both him and her for his good manners and kindness in offering me a seat.  We even got a charge out of the fact that his name and my daughter's middle name are the same, and it's a pretty unusual one, at that.   

 

This was such a total contrast to the two kids - a boy about the same age, and his sister, who appeared to be about eight - in the Walmart near home yesterday afternoon.  I bumped into the threesome several times in the course of picking up six items, and it was never a pleasant surprise to turn into an aisle and see them in it.  

 

You know the feeling.  I actually tried to miss being close to them, but got stuck with their cart in the next checkout line. 

 

This woman appeared to be sane, but I overheard her several times trying to answer the whined question, "WHHHYYYYY?" 

 

Okay, whining aside, I cannot STAND  to hear a kid question a parent's authority over and over again.  My kids could ask "Why...?" as in "Why is the sky blue?"  Not one of them was arrogant enough to ask "Why...?" as in "Why do I have to do what you just old me to do?" 

 

What was even worse was her replies...she actually tried to come up with some logic to justify her parental authority.  The reasons she was inventing were just absurd...it was about as bad as the Twinkie Defense.  

 

Whatever happened to "because I am your mother."  That was a pretty compelling reason at our house. 

 

After they finally checked out and moved along, I said to the clerk that if I had ever asked my mom "Why?" like that at their ages, I'd still be walking funny.  She laughed, and said, "Me, too!" 

 

So, I have finally figured out my Number 1 parenting pet peeve:  Listening to an adult giving bogus logic reasons to a kid, instead of just having the chutzpah to pull generational rank.  "Because I said so" ought to suffice.   

 

What is the most idiotic tapdance you have watched a parent do, with their child or children calling the tune? 

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12 Replies
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Senior Contributor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

Not exactly an answer but an opportunity to relate what I observed last Wed.   On my way home from my Mom's half way is Macomb.   I stopped at a Dollar Tree.  There were 2 "moms"  with 3 children ages   6-8.    Moms were picking out party supplies for an 8 year old's birthday party.   Kids were running wild,   talking loudly,  grabbing toys,  "can I have this?".   Mom says if you bother me one more time with a  "I want"  You'll get nothing when we leave.  I stopped once and picked up their mess  and told them I heard your mother tell you no.   I think they realized I was a mean old lady because they stayed out of my way after that.   I came very close to telling the employees I was leaving because of  the behavior.    When they checked out there was loud changing of minds over what they got.    "will this last?"   I want what terry got".   

 

Later what I wish I had the guts to do.   Tell the moms I'd buy  whatever they had picked out if they would take those children straight to the car  without any toys  and tell them what they were doing was wrong.    I figure they would have walked out without their stash and I would have been made to look like the bad guy.   I'm sure those children are absolute terrors in the neighborhood and at school.    I'm sure they have no idea how to act in public.  

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Advisor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

Ah Yes, kids today.  We just completed our second night of Vacation Bible School.  For those unfamiliar, VBS is when you bring in kids with little church background, often with shaky parenting, and try to get them to behave for 2 hours while you make them sing songs they don't know, feed them cookies and Kool-aid, and expect them to sit and behave themselves.

 

Nothing like sugar and red dye to make for a fun evening.  I had one kid last night who said he "only came for the grub".  That was a kind of scary statement as well.

 

Actually overall my kids are a good group.  I have one who, when you understand his family background and his personal challenges, you just want to hug ...when you aren't wanting to wring his neck.  Then there are the kids who surprise you, who step up to the challenge of being with kids inexperienced at what is expected in this environment and make you proud of them.

 

Tonight I did pull the grouchy old man out and put a couple of kids in their place.  One couldn't understand why I was displeased,  setting in a church pew with your hands around the neck of the little girl next to you didn't seem like anything to get excited about. They weren't in my group, but I stopped that anyway.  And then there was the big older kid who told the little younger and slighty introverted kid he was going to eat him.  And he really believed him, too!

 

I don't know why, but when I mentioned a couple years ago we should do VBS for 10 days instead of 5 people looked at me strangely.

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Honored Advisor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

You both mention grumpy/ grouchy old people. I got the distinct impression that the little sister thought that of me, too.

After the avoidance throughout the store, when I am sure I may have rolled my eyes or grimaced a teensy bit, I finally shot her a full- fledged dirty look in line. I couldn't help myself...she was whining that her brother had " breathed in my face...."

Really?!?!?

It actually isn 't their fault...their parents have reinforced this behavior, speaking to them and getting all involved every time they
have whined and tattled for a whole lifetime. I know this, both from my professional work and a college degree in education and child development, and also from being a mom of three under five, now three hitting their thirties.

It just make children like my little buddy Chandler at Sam's all that much more precious. Not that all children don't have that potential...some are just planted in crappy circumstances.
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Senior Contributor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

I am so tired of parents trying to be best friends with their children instead of parents. We have to sit at the hospital so much and most of the children are good but it only takes a few in a small confined space to really upset all the children. I also know that my sweet grandson that is so good, can be so bad on his steroids. He is like a different child, so sometimes when you see a child throwing a fit, it could be that they are on some medicine. People look at him, and we have had chemo and steroids, like what is wrong with him crying and throwing a fit. I hate that he acts like that, and he is so good, but right now they may be saving his life, so I will take the little fits. He still gets in trouble and time out but he is just harder to reason with with the steroids. 

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Senior Contributor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

Did the child understand  "the dirty look"?   I've been amazed that the number of children  who have no idea what a dirty look is.  

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Senior Contributor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

I sometimes try and comment to parents when their kids are well behaved and mannerly....I'd like to comment a lot to the others...and just say.." you look like an idiot to all of the other people in this store, when you are screaming at your kids and then giving in to them..."   But, I generally leave Besty Betterthanthou at home and don't let her speak too much!!!  Somethimes though she escapes and lets it out!!

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Honored Advisor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

Whether or not the look did it - and my kids say several of mine can speak volumes - the female child, after the " he breathed in my face" whine, looked me right in the eye and shut up immediately after we made contact visually. When she slacked up, so did at the boy. It was obvious that the whole shopping excursion was one big struggle for attention to me.

Like I said before, if kids are not well socialized, it is almost always an adult's fault. I would just have rather had a root canal, than had to spend much time with that bunch.
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Honored Advisor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

Most people with half good sense can recognize a child with health issues. As a young and inexperienced young mom, I was frustrated with my fussy infant son in a checkout line one afternoon. A nice older woman said, "honey, I do not think he's feeling well". When we got home, he did have a slight fever and ear infection, which would make anyone grouchy.

Your grandson is certainly experiencing far more of a challenge, especially if he is on steroids. Good that he has such a loving family to help him handle his situation. I would never judge a child with such a sickness.

Two big, strapping healthy ones with plenty of ability to argue their mother down is a horse of another color.

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Honored Advisor

Re: WWWHHHYYYYY?????

This Is how I do things,too. If it seems appropriate, I will compliment a family whose children are pleasant to be around. If I have to bite my tongue, to avoid saying what I am thinking, I do that, too. Looks don't lie, though. I am sure you could read my mind from a mile away yesterday.
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