Pitiful Parenting

One Friday night, my husband attempted to take me out to a peaceful dinner.  We had both been having a terrible week and I was looking forward to relaxing together.  My stomach growled as we pulled into the Arby’s parking lot.


We found a cozy both near the center of the restaurant.  As we waited for our food, we began to have a discussion about our jobs.  Suddenly, a little boy screamed, “DADDY!”  I turned around to look.  Sure enough, there were two young boys ( I would say ages 6 and 8) sitting with their father.  He was apparently oblivious to his son’s shouting.  Matt smiled at me and resumed the conversation.


Once again, the boy began to yell for his “daddy” and then whine when his other brother received the attention he was so desperately seeking.  I kept turning around and giving the older boy “the look.”  I had hoped that he would nudge his brother and get him to quiet down since his dad didn’t seem to care that his child was disturbing other patrons.  Of course, the boy couldn’t care less.  They continued to hoot and holler.


What happened next absolutely enraged me.  The screamer (as I have dubbed him), yelled “Daddy, what are they going to do with that thing they’re taking out of my neck?”  Seriously?  I suppose the dad was trying to ignore his son’s inappropriate question, however, this made the boy shout it two more times.  He then followed up his performance with, “When are they taking it out?  Will I be able to see it?  How are they going to take it out?”


I almost jumped out of my seat and reprimanded the boy myself.  Who teaches their child to behave this way?  Why would you ever just sit in silence while your child screams and proceeds to discuss medical procedures in a restaurant?  If I would have acted like that when I was little, my mom would have immediately whisked me out of the restaurant, given me a spanking in the parking lot and taken me straight home where I would receive another spanking and be sent to my room.  The dad and his sons FINALLY left, laughing and smiling.


Unless a child has a mental or behavioral disorder, how he/she acts is a direct reflection of his/her parents.  And when parents allow unacceptable behavior to go unpunished, they are simply creating a monster that everyone will have to deal with.


Not long after they left, a woman came in with her daughter (she looked to be about 5 years old).  The mother placed their order and then sat down in the booth next to ours.  She quietly instructed her daughter to remain seated while she went up to get their drinks, napkins, etc.  The little girl sat quietly in her seat while peeking over the divider at us.


When the mom returned with the food, she began talking with her daughter about their summer plans.  The girl conversed with her in an “inside” voice and never shouted.  In fact, I could barely even hear her.  She was a perfect little angel and ate her food without any fuss (even though she thought the Arby’s sauce looked suspicious).


When Matt and I finished eating, I saw the mom at the condiment counter.  I complimented her daughter’s wonderful behavior and the mother’s fantastic parenting skills.  While I felt awkward for doing so, the mother seemed quite flattered.  She didn’t realize how much her daughter’s peaceful demeanor had changed the tone of our tense evening.


The parenting skills between this mother and the a fore mentioned father are like night and day.  The boys kept fighting for their father’s attention by screaming and he did nothing about it.  But, this little girl followed her mother’s instructions to the letter and still exhibited a delightful personality.  Please understand that I do not want any child to behave like a robot.  I am simply saying that parents need to take their role seriously and expect their children to behave and follow their rules.


I have also come to find that children are also the product of their environment (i.e. how they are raised).  I will be honest, not everyone is cut out to be a parent.  Such as the people in this next scenario.


On Saturday morning, one of my friends posted a harrowing story on Facebook.  She had gone to the local Shop n’ Save to complete her weekend grocery shopping.  When she got out of her car, she noticed a baby locked all alone in the vehicle next to hers.  Aside from being this being a bad idea in general, it was also very hot outside, in the upper 80’s.


Outraged, she marched straight up to the customer service desk and began to explain the situation.  Little did she know that the baby’s parents were behind her.  They began to scream at her to “mind her own f-ing business.”  Which they followed up with “We were only going to be gone a minute.”  And guess what was so important that they both had to leave their baby for?  Alcohol.  Yep, they were buying beer.


I was so proud of my friend for standing up to the so-called “parents.”  She yelled right back that one of them needed to stay in the vehicle with the baby.  She also informed them that it is too hot for the child to be locked up like that.


I shudder to think that things like this actually happen.  What would possess you to leave anything alive locked up in a hot vehicle?  Don’t even get me started on people that do this to pets!  And aren’t people worried about their child being abducted by some creep?  I never let my dogs out of my sight even when they are in our fenced in yard.  How could you just think that leaving your baby alone is a good idea? 


My fears are further confirmed by another story that appeared on a local news channel.  A woman was getting married and she wanted to include her baby in the big day.  So, she tied the baby to the train of her gown and the baby was drug behind her all the way down the aisle. 


I seriously wish that DCFS would swoop in and take these children away from these careless human beings.  And if women find themselves “unexpectedly” pregnant and feel that the baby will “cramp their style,” I pray that they will make the wise decision and place the baby up for adoption.  A friend of the family adopted her second son from such a situation.  That little boy is getting more love than he knows what to do with.  He is leading a much better life that he ever would have with his teen “parents.”


I realize that raising a human child is hard, however, it can be done.  My parents both worked full time jobs and still managed to teach me right from wrong and shower me with love and affection.  Matt’s mother even took on the role of teacher by homeschooling both him and his sister.


As a society, we need to stand together and speak up when we see parents neglecting or creating harmful situations for their children.  Remaining silent only perpetuates the endangerment that plagues too many of America’s children.


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