Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Who Is Raising Who?

I once went to Majestic Burger in Maywood Mart for lunch. Majestic has one of the best turkey burgers in town. I place my order and sit down. Just as I'm getting ready to grab my cell and call The Mrs. to see what she's up to, "trouble" walks up.

A kid roughly around three years old with his (I'm assuming) mother and grandmother. Now, before you say, "Oooh, Q, that is so mean to call that kid 'trouble'. He's just a kid!" Well, I'm not talking about the kid. I'm talking about the mother!

Before I elaborate, let me give a disclaimer: if the next sentence offends you because it describes you, then stop reading immediately because I'm not sugar-coating a thing.

There is nothing that bothers me more than a parent who negotiates with their child. (Negotiating parents exit here)

I realize that everyone has a different way of raising their children, but if you negotiate with your child to do basic things, then I really think the probability of the child being a spoiled brat as an adult is high.

Back to the story... Mom (for the story, we'll call her Polly), holds the door for the grandmother (how about Anna for her?)and her son (Chase, which is an appropriate name for him). As the Anna walks in, Chase decides he wants to stay outside.

"Come on, Chase", says Polly.

"No!" he screams as he kicks off one of his Cookie Monster Crocs.

"If you come inside, you can have your book" she sings as she dangles it in front of him like a carrot on a stick.

So, Chase decides to take his mom up on her offer and come inside for the Sesame Street book. Polly and Anna decide they want to sit in a booth, but Chase runs to the opposite side of the restaurant and sits at a table. Polly and Anna join him.

At this point, I'm still holding the cell phone to my head and watching in astonishment even though I've yet to dial a number. This three year old is controlling two adults with the greatest of ease! This is amazing!

Polly opens the book for Chase and begins to read to him. "No, it's mine!" he screams as he snatches it from her hands.

"Chase, that's not nice" Polly says.

Then I saw something that brought the entire room to an awkward silence... "Shut up!" Chase yelled at his mom as he swung and grazed Polly across the chin.

"Chase, it's not nice to hit Mommy" Polly whispers as she changes three shades of red from embarrassment.

Ok, freeze it!

Okay, now I'm going to give the exact same scenario, but instead of Polly, Anna and Chase, it will be me, my mother and my grandmother...

"Q, that's not nice", my mom says.

"Shut up!" Q yelled at his mom as he swung and grazed his mom across the chin.

(ten seconds later)

"9-1-1, what's your emergency?" asks the operator.

Okay, maybe I went a little too far, but you see my point. My mom wouldn't have hospitalized me, but she never would've negotiated with me. She would've sternly given me consequences to my actions, that's all. Consequences that would've been acted upon as soon as we returned home.

I don't care what books you've read or what Dr. Phil has said, but lack of discipline equals an uncontrollable child. I'm not saying you have to spank the child (old schooler's preference), but there has to be some sort of consequence for disobeying.

Also, you don't reward a child for complying with your wishes because doing so will make them expect a reward every single time. It might seem fine at three years old to the average bad parent, but when that child gets older, he's not going to want to do anything without a reward. If they won't do it for you until they get a reward, then why would they do it for a teacher who's offering nothing?

Negotiating with children gives them power. Too many parents want to be their kid's friend instead of being their parent.

Do you know what you get when you give an uneducated, inexperienced person power? (How many of you thought "George W. Bush" just then?)


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