Why Are There So Many Passive Parents?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Why Are There So Many Passive Parents?
8
Thu, 02-16-2012 - 5:42pm

I should really not leave my house, because when I do, I get annoyed by the people I encounter. As you may know, I've got two rugrats and a shopping addiction, so I spend a lot of time in children's clothing stores. The other day I was in such a store. I was moving as quickly as possible and trying not to interact with anyone.

That being said, I couldn't help but notice little Enid. Enid was an adorable, four-ish-year-old who was shopping with her mother. But as cute as Enid was, it could not hide the fact that she was the spawn of the Devil. She was single-handedly destroying the store while Mommy browsed casually (on the flipping phone, of course!). Every now and again Mommy would say, "Enid? Sweetie? Where are you?" Enid would stand on a table used display shorts and say sweetly, "I'm right here, Mommy." Mommy would reply, "Oh, OK. Be careful up there, Enid. You don't want to get hurt. Maybe you should get down? Thank you so much, sweetie pie."

OK, where do I begin with all the problems I have with this conversation? Let me start by explaining how it would go if my kid was standing on the table display in the middle of store: "Are you insane? Get down this instant. What is wrong with you? LEGOs/Puppy (he's stuffed, not real, relax PETA people)/whatever the favorite toy is these days are off limits for a week. You know better than that." I'm not going to go so far as to say my kid would NEVER behave that way, because I'm a realist and my kids can do some crazy stuff.

But seriously, what is the deal with asking our children to behave? "Maybe you should get down?" What the hell is wrong with you lady? She's four. There's no room for negotiating here. I'm all for giving my kids choices to make them feel like they're in control of something, blah, blah, blah, but this is not the time. "Maybe" should be reserved for times like: "Do you want to wear a dress today or MAYBE a skirt?"

I'm around kids and their parents a lot. So I get to see this crap a lot. It's ridiculous. When I go to a park I hear, "Elbert, are you ready to go?"

"NO!"

Mom looks whipped, "Elbert, please? Mommy is tired and we need to get your sister down for a nap."

"NO!" Elbert continues running around like a madman, throwing mulch and screeching like a hyena.

"OK, how about five more minutes?"

"NO!"

Mom is at a loss. "Ten more minutes?"

"Is that more than five?"

Mom looks around to see if anyone else has seen how precocious Elbert is, "Yes, pumpkin it sure is."

"Hmmph." And the monster runs off victorious.

The worst is when it has to do with you. You know, when Elbert attacks your kid at the park.

"Oh my, he's never done that before." Come on dad, you and I both know that's not true. "Elbert, let's not hit our new friends, OK?"

"NO!"

Dad is at a loss here. Time to divert Elbert. "How about some ice cream?"

"YES!"

"OK, pal! Let's go. Say good bye to your new friend."

Are you kidding me? Your kid just attacked my kid with a stick and now he gets ice cream? Wow, can I be your kid? Even my bleeding kid looks like he's weighing the pros and cons of joining Elbert's family. Sure, I get the snot beat out of me, but then we get ice cream ...

I'm all for questioning kids actions: Why did you do that? What were you thinking? That sort of thing. But, these little people are always looking for an out. Why would you ever ask: "What should we have for dinner?" (McDonald's) "Do you want to do your homework?" (No way.) "Why don't you go take a bath?" (Because I hate getting wet.)

The second your kid hears your voice go up, he knows there's wiggle room and why wouldn't he try?

I don't know if it's guilt or fatigue that makes these parents behave this way, but either way, it just annoys the hell out of me. There are so many different parenting strategies out there and I don't know which one this falls into, but people, put down the damn parenting books and use common sense!

Your kid SHOULD NOT be standing on a store display.

You SHOULD NOT be asking your child to stop assaulting other children on the playground.

It's not going to wreck Elbert's delicate psyche if you tell him to knock it off and stop acting like a monkey instead of a human being. He can still grow up to be a contributing member of society even if you think you might have crushed his little spirit.

In fact, I would argue, Elbert will be a BETTER member of society if he learns now to walk on a floor and respect people's personal space. Plus, if you don't stop this little monster when he's four, imagine what Elbert will be like when he's 15? Probably a lot like Tommy Jordan's kid.

www.thehuffingtonpost.com

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2009
Fri, 02-17-2012 - 12:54pm

AMEN!!!!




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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Fri, 02-17-2012 - 6:17pm
I remember when my sister was getting married, kiddo was 5. We were at her reheasal and during that time let's just say Nathaniel had a thing for boobs and for doing things that irritated me. We were standing in the back of the church waiting to walk down the isle when he reached up and pinched my boob. I hauled off and wacked him. Yep, he knew I was not happy with what he had done. He was pretty descreet when he pinched me so no one knew why I had just popped him. Everyone looked at my like I was a terrible mother. I told them nope, he knew what he did and he knew he deserved what he got. He never did it again.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
Sat, 02-18-2012 - 9:36am

here's my thing its not enst the parents. I was SHOCKED to here 2 kids cursing in school yard before school inches from the teacher on playanound duty and he says NOTHING!!! Really they were 4th graders that language SHOULD NOT be tolerated AT ALL and if stand by and do NOTHING how will the learn. Oh wait how do we expect them to learn when I hear parents foul mouths on playground as well. Yes I have a potty mouth at time. When I dropped the gallon of milk and it exploded on the floor I did let an oh sh__. When the woman paying NO amosntion almost plowed into us yes DH slipped too but we don't use it in our everyday talk but some of things I hear parents say I'm like no wonder those do boys dropped 3 f bombs and used the b word...

I'm a yeller. I got an ADHD kid. Soimthing as simply as walking down the street can be a nightmare. The day he totally ignored the green light and started walking cross the street and I screamed LLLLIIIIIAAAAMMM then proceed to lecture on ony attention and I am getting looks of rath by people passing. HELLO my sid was almost hit by a car because HE was clueless yah I am going to try to yell some sense in him. I'm constantly shooting pay attention as we walk as he walks into people. I need a caution sign for his back ADHD kid

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-08-2004
Sun, 02-19-2012 - 9:15am
teachers ignoring curse words really P me off! Nathaniel told me on Friday morning that "I" at school (kids name) called Mrs. R an F'ing Sh** Head Bi*ch. I was speechless, these are 5th graders!!!! I did not even know some of those words at that age. He said he tried to tell the teacher but she didn't want to hear. Granted she probably hears it all the time and is tired of it but something needs to be done about these children and their sewer mouths.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
Sun, 02-19-2012 - 12:59pm
Liam's class did a thanksgiving show. The kindergarten watched during the parents showing. The tech teacher was helping getting them settled and I was shocked to hear her say what sounded to me like shut up. Was sitting with my hard of hearing dad so he didn't hear and no one around us was paying attention but it clearly was not shhhh and I was shocked even more so if it was in fact that the teacher with her didn't seem to react
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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Mon, 02-20-2012 - 11:00am
We have a little friend of my son's who interacts with her mom just like this, only the mom is a helicopter on top of everything. She babies every tiny boo-boo, so that the girl carries on much longer than needed. They are now a homeschooling family because the girl thought the kinder teacher was mean and didn't want to go to school. Mom asks her to do her school work, which if she doesn't want to do, it doesn't get done. The child goes to bed when she wants to - sounds like at 2 am sometimes.

I try not to be judgmental. I home school, but I decide when my little ones will do their school work, not them. My kids go to bed between 8 and 9 so I can have time alone with their dad. (I don't care how old they are - they can read in their rooms. I need time with dad!) I am not a night person at all. But the reality is, the kids are "part" of the family, they are not the "reason for" family and no, what they say does not go. I honestly think that this mom is not doing her daughters any favors. That all said, I have known some kids with high functioning autism, and quiet honestly, they behave the same way - but, the parents had other kids so I can say that the parenting is not the issue - it is the kid with autism. This girl, I am not sure yet if she has issues or if it is the mom. I am suspecting it is the mom because she does "ask".

The sad thing is, we live fairly close, and she wants her daughter to play with my son, but my son ends up with attitude after playing with her. I would rather not have constant play dates. I hate to think what she will be like when she is a teenager.....
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2003
Mon, 02-20-2012 - 12:42pm

Liam has ADHD and I have suspected Aspergers in the past but I have not sought out an actual diagnosis because at this time it would change anything other then add yet another label to him. School gives him services so I don't need it for them and my insurance is self insured so even with a mandate in my state to cover autism treatments it would still be denied by my insurance so at this point he is getting services so why bother. I never use the ADHD as an excuse and I NEVER would an autism. Now that said if I had a kid with severe autism its a different story, but I have a friend whose DH is aspergers. She wasn't open when we first met him but when she did open up it explained a lot and yes we give him more slack BUT as far as everyday run of the mill life no he doesn't get or ask for a pass just because he has aspergers. Now he is a techie and well they do tend to be their own breed so while socially in my work environment he would have more issues he doesn't have many at work. He found a field and position that suits him but that was on him not anyone else.

Liam has social issues, I worry more from a social then acemdemic side but I can't expect classmates to tend to him, he needs to learn to get through life himself. We do have modifications to work load because of his learning issues but he is still expected to keep pace and follow classroom rules and so on. I do keep a closer eye because I know he doesn't get all the social queques and so on but I would never make excuses for him like that. Like I said we don't have an actual diagnosis but if a kid is functioning enough to be interacting with other kids they need to be taught rules especially an autistic kid. If they can't pick up a social queque that doesn't mean they can't be taught to some extent and there is a whole behavior modification trend for both ADHD and autistic kids and so on. Liam has impulses he can't control, yes we medicate but we also are trying to teach him other ways to meet those impulses. If we didn't tell him x was wrong simply because we know his brain isn't wired to know that, how will he ever know.

Again not saying this fits all autistic kids, it is a HUGE scale and clearly the lower functioning kids its a different ball game but for a highly functioning kid who can be mainstreamed in a class you need to at least try to teach them the things that they don't pick up on like other kids. Maybe its a lost cause and your kid will NEVER pick something up but if you don't even try how are you helping them become self sufficant adults???

Sorry this is a hot botton for me, I hate parents who make excuses for their kids. Everyone has something to overcome. Some people have more then others but letting your kids walk all over you is not the answer. We have sleep issues with the ADHD and we deal with it. He may have problems getting to sleep but that doesn't mean he can stay up all night. he has a bed time some nights he is able to get to sleep others are a struggle but we work through it not give up. Same with homework its like at some point everyone needs to learn life aint all a ball of fun :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Wed, 02-22-2012 - 9:12pm
The young man (now) that we know with high functioning autism is the one I am referring to with the meltdowns and tantrums. It was worst when he was in school, around lots of people and situations that he could not leave or have control over. For his mother, it has been a learning process for her to find his triggers and then scheduling the day around that. But when his needs are ignored, then he could have a melt down. Maturity has certainly helped, as has self distancing from his father who would do things that cause the meltdowns despite the mom saying that it wasn't wise. Triggers in the past for him was too much sugar, too little protein, not having enough to eat (and he couldn't tell that he was hungry, he just felt angry.) Being around too many people for too long, being around people who sing. People talking down to him.

I think that this young man is at a different spot on the spectrum than your son. He started kinder before his diagnosis. Kinder was a nightmare for him and his parents and his teachers. The services that the school gave were not helping, and eventually after a lot of problems in 1st grade, his mother decided to home school him. Due to the school calling her every day to get him in kinder she had already lost all of her scholarships for college, and couldn't hold a job anyhow with the school calling all of the time.

Since beginning homeschooling, he has improved immensely. (He is also 12 now, which also helps.) He has figured out how to remove himself when he needs to. He has learned about diet and how it effects him. He has learned that he doesn't want to stay with his dad who ignores his needs and feeds him foods that make him feel bad. He can tell his mom when he has had enough socializing and she will take him home. He has learned that he gets along better with some groups of people than others. (The seniors at the knitting group at the library, the geek teens and young adults who hang around his brothers.) He has learned that he is not the center of the universe, and he does need to make time for his mom to do things she needs to do.

The mom doesn't make excuses, but she is aware of his needs. Her goal is to have a son who can take care of himself and have a job someday. But along the way she had to buck the school who just thought he was "bad" or not trying. He does have some learning issues, but they are working at his speed so that he is not sitting and rocking during the online math lessons. When he was in school, mainstreamed, the stimulation was too overwhelming - he couldn't handle it, and wasn't allowed to leave.

Now, my son's little girl friend, I am pretty sure that she just rules the roost. She is manipulative, and the more I see her and her mom interact, the more I see that life in that family revolves around keeping the girl happy and every need met at all times. I don't think that they have ever had a babysitter watch her. When I mentioned that I was doing a weekend thing with my daughter, the mom said that her little jewel wouldn't let her do something like that and that staying home with Dad would be "weird." (Which I found to be a very strange comment - my husband has done everything with the kids from diapers to baths. Staying a couple of days with just him is just fine with all of them!)