It’s becoming more and more apparent to me that parents in this country are having an issue and that issue is parenting. My social media feeds are clogged with complaints of why are parents letting their children wail in movie theaters, restaurants (like Marcy’s Diner), the mall or any other place where the shrieking wail of a child is going to disrupt someone else’s good time. I don’t understand why it’s so hard, having three of my own, to parent your child. It is rare that I ever have a problem when I go out with my kids. I don’t think it’s because they’re angels because believe me they aren’t. I think it’s because from the time they could stand up and reach for something they shouldn’t have I’ve told them no.
Knock it off.
I think my kids have heard those words more than they’ve heard yes. You know what I get in return for all those no’s, I have two 5 year olds and one 6 year old that I can take anywhere, even Toys R Us. I have never experienced the dreaded meltdowns I’ve seen in pictures online at #assholeparent. In a way, I wish I would have had at least one because I feel like I haven’t quite earned my parent merit badge without successfully having navigated out the other side of a meltdown. I’ve just never let it get that bad, when I see it coming, I shut that shit down.
I also hate when people say that they are bad parents because a child has a meltdown. I don’t think they are bad parents but there are lazy parents and that’s a big difference. Let’s get this straight, good parenting doesn’t mean that a child won’t have a meltdown. Meltdowns happen to good parents all the time, it’s the lazy parents that see the meltdown and do nothing because they don’t feel like dealing with it. More importantly, they don’t feel like dealing with their child.
So what’s to blame? In this Country, there has to be a scapegoat, so who or what do I think is to blame? Social media. It’s setting people up for failure. Your daily feed constantly showing images and videos of cute little babies in cute little outfits, gives you the illusion that parenting is fun. Before social media, you went over your friend’s house after she had kids and you saw first-hand that parenting was not cute pictures and silly videos. It was hard work, rewarding, but hard none the less. You saw that it didn’t stop no matter what you wanted to do. Now, all we see is the pretty side of parenting and it’s an illusion that wears off once that kid hits 2 and has the first full blown tantrum. From then on, its work to teach that child right from wrong and for some people, it’s an uphill battle and not one they want to climb.
You can’t change a lazy parent, they don’t want to deal with their kid any more than you want to hear the tantrum they’re throwing. The only thing you can hope for is that one day that parent will get sick and tired of the situation and try to change it. Until that time comes, you’re better off removing yourself from the situation. The lazy parent doesn’t care if they’re ruining your anniversary dinner or the movie you just paid $16 to see. All they care about are themselves and what they don’t feel like doing in that moment, which is deal with their child.