I don’t like to judge other people’s parenting skills because I think we’re all flawed and we will all, as parents, make mistakes at some point. But I saw something today that absolutely disgusted me. I took an hour at lunch to nip over to the shopping centre to pick a few things up. It was busy and full of Christmas shoppers, as you would expect. I went into a toy shop there and in saw a women dragging a little boy out of the shop (he looked no older than about 4) telling him, “You’re getting nothing for Christmas because Santa thinks you’re a little shit.”
Wtf?! That’s humiliating for a child, it’s nasty and it’s callous.
It makes me sick to hear parents speak to their children like that, when there are so many amazing would-be-parents out there who cannot have children for whatever reason.
As I said, there are few times I seek to openly judge other’s parenting skills but this wound me up. And while we’re at it, other parenting things that irritate me (I’ll make this my one off parenting judgement post lol):
- Parents who feed their kids ridiculous amounts of junk food. You will make them obese. You will make them unhealthy. And you will teach them habits that will undoubtedly haunt them for a lifetime. Yes, fast food is fine as an occasional treat. But a diet should be balanced and kids shouldn’t have junk food every single day!!
- Using the TV as a babysitter. It scares me that people do this. A friend of mine actually sees his daughter one day every 2 weeks... and I went round a few weeks ago to take my son to play with her. He just ad her sat in front of the TV while e played Playstation in the other room. I couldn’t help but give him my opinion on that. TV time should be family movies sessions or limited time that kids can enjoy their cartoons themselves. But I hate to see kids being sat in front of a TV all day. When I was in SL more, I would talk to people in there whose kids you could hear screaming in the background. They’d shout at them and tell them to “go watch TV.” It just made me want to scream, “Why don’t you get off your ass, out of a virtual world and take them outside to play?!” I can’t imagine why anyone, when they and their kids are both at home (ie no work, no school) would want to spend time sitting in front of their computer in a separate room from their child. Why not actually engage with the kids? Go have fun together!
- Stifling ambition or creativity. My son wants to be Prime Minister. There’s only one Prime Minister for the entire population of Britain so you would say, statistically, that his chances are slim. But why would I douse his dreams? He’s 6 (almost 7, I keep being reminded) so his dreams will probably change many times yet. But whatever they are, I will encourage him to go for them. I get that you have to keep children grounded and if my boy decided he wanted to be a singer at the age of 17, for example, but couldn’t hold a note, it would be time for a “reality chat,” where we talked about alternative jobs he could find in the music industry etc etc. But when they are young and the world is their oyster, I honestly believe you should encourage ambition, however unrealistic or extraordinary it might seem. I hate to hear parents tell young children that they “will never be able” to do something.
Anyway, that is all : )