Monday, August 2, 2010

Disturbed by "Quality Parenting"

Friday I witnessed two separate instances of horrific parenting that have left me angry, sad, scared, thankful for where my child will grow up, and devastated that these children are being subjected to the terrible things that they are.

The first occurred Friday morning at the lab on base. I had to go get some pre-op stuff done and took Owen with me. While sitting down waiting for our number to be called, a family consisting of a father, mother, and a child, came in and sat behind us. The little girl was upset that her mother would not let her push the button that gives you your number in line. They sat down, and Owen smiled at the little girl and was saying hi to her. The Father said to his little girl, "Why are you crying, look at that little boy, he is not crying, he is laughing at you for being such a baby".

I was SHOCKED! I could not believe he would say this to his child. No, my child was NOT laughing, he was simply smiling at another child.

As the minutes went on the unbelievable actions of these parents continued. They were looking in a book of some sort, and when they came across a monkey the father said "Hey Susie, look, it is a monkey, what is your mother doing in the book"? Which in itself I guess is not TOOO bad, but then when they came across a hippo, the mother said the same thing about the father. They both sat there egging the child on in calling the opposite parent degrading animal names.

I was so shocked at their behavior that I could not even say anything. Thankfully they called me back pretty quickly so I did not have to let my child watch any more of that. Looking back now, I wish I had said something when they said Owen was laughing at their child. I should have put my own pride to the side and said somehting like "No, my child is not laughing at you honey, he would not do something so rude to hurt your feelings". Or something.

The second encounter happened last night while we were at Applebees for dinner. We went out to celebrate my birthday. We went pretty early, about 4:45pm, to beat the crowd and at a time where Owen hopefully would not scream. WELL, Owen's behavior was in no way the issue!

A family sat in the booth behind us. It consisted of a grandmother, another older woman that I am not sure her relation, and two little girls, ages 2 and 4 probably.

The children were bouncing from seat to seat, screaming, and visibly bothering the people in their neighboring tables. The "adults" did little to control the kids other than threatening to "whip their a$$". At one point the grandmother went so far as to taunt one of the little girls; saying "hit me, go ahead, hit me, I dare you". When the girl did, she put her over her lap, and proceeded to spank her at least 10 times. It almost seemed like she refused to stop until the girl began to cry. While I believe spankings definitely have their place, that place is most definitely not the middle of the dining room of Applebees.

It really went downhill from there. Both adults were cussing both at the children and in casual conversation between each other. LOUDLY, in a restaurant. At one point, the future Grandmother of the Year, took the younger of the two girls outside with her to enjoy a mid-meal cigarette. She proceeded to blow the smoke DIRECTLY in the child's face while speaking to her. At this point I thought John's head was going to explode.

The icing on the cake was after the store manager was giving his pre-shift brief. While he was in the door to the kitchen he was speaking to his employees loud enough that yes we could hear. The grandmother got VERY angry that her "pleasant" dining experience was being interrupted and said (quite loudly may I add), "DOES HE HAVE TO BE SO LOUD, WE ARE TRYING TO ENJOY OUR MEAL" (really lady, really??)

Hello pot. This is the kettle. You're black.

It took everything in me not to stand up and give these women a piece of my mind. But as a child of an abusive home, I know that all that would do is make it more difficult for the children. When my abusive mother received criticism, she projected that on me.

It makes me so sad that those children had to endure this. And if that is how the adults behave in public, I would hate to see what happens behind closed doors!


Nicole said...

Ok, your Applebees experience eerily reminds me of a disturbing family that we saw during our dinner out last weekend. I couldn't believe my eyes! You're right Amy, it is sad to see these innocent little babies treated like that. No wonder our world is what it is today!

Beth said...

So the question is, WHY don't we have the gall to tell these people about Christ? Nobody told me about Christ until I was 17. I don't think my mother, who turns 50 this year has ever heard the Gospel. Why am I not telling her? How could those women's lives be changed if they allowed Christ to send His Spirit to live in them?