Sunday, August 10, 2008

Kids Gone Wild

One of the things I frequently wonder about parents is this: why do people have children and then not teach them how to behave? By "behave", I am not talking about subjective things that people may disagree on like whether a child should address an adult by "Mr." or "Mrs." or by their first name. I am talking about obvious things that should be common standards of behavior for every civilized person.

For example, today hubby and I were out running errands and we decided to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. Thinking back, this was probably a mistake since having a meal at The Cheesecake Factory tends to be akin to going to a three-ring circus, but nevertheless...

We sat down and began perusing the menu when a young family was seated next to us - a mother, father and a little girl, probably two years old. With the exception of about 5-10 minutes, the ENTIRE hour they were there the little girl STOOD on the chair. Not once did either of her parents instruct her to SIT down. They just let her stand as they went about eating their dinner. She was standing and looking over the divider at other people, climbing on the chair and being a general annoyance. For the 5-10 minutes that she actually sat, she did so with her feet on the table. When her feet were not on the table, she was kicking her mother in the boobs. Not once was the little girl instructed in anyway to behave any differently than she was behaving. She was never told to sit. She was never told to take her feet off the table. She was never even told to stop kicking her mother's boobs.

So this got me thinking: at what age will this girl learn that when eating dinner, she should sit at the table - not stand, that her feet go on the floor and not on the table and not on her tablemates' breasts? And the bigger question is - who will teach her these things (since it clearly will not be her parents)? Will it be her teachers once she enters school who will be saddled with the responsibility? Or the minister at church? Or perfect strangers in restaurants who have less restraint than hubby and me? Or will she just grow up to be like a chimpanzee...jumping and climbing, eating with her hands, smearing shit all over the place, screeching and having sex while swinging off trees?

On a womens' discussion board I frequent, one of the women posted a thread entitled, "I don't normally do this, but..." It read:

Today I was in the grocery store and I was walking by the bakery dept. and there was a mother with 4 children standing there and they were staring at the doughnuts and the mom kept asking the kids what kind they wanted. The kids started opening the little bin doors and taste testing the doughnuts - a little glob of frosting here, a little pinch of doughnut there. The mom said NOTHING about the fact these kids were playing with all this food. She just kept asking them what kind they wanted. Finally she grabbed a few doughnuts and started to leave. I said, "Lady, you might want to also buy the doughnuts your kids were playing with because nobody's going to want them after your kids have been playing with them." She, of course, told me to mind my own business in a not-so-friendly way. I told her I would be happy to mind my own business if she would mind her own children.

Now, I don't want to sound like an old curmudgeon - I'm really not that old - but IN MY DAY parents actually raised their children and taught them right from wrong and instructed their children in manners and proper behavior. You would never see a kid sticking his fingers into doughnuts in a case, or standing on his chair at a restaurant table and if you did see such a thing, it would only be for a brief moment because the parent would immediately jump in and correct the kid.

Americans in our current age are just so uncooth and unmannerly. There is no civility anymore. Children are ill-behaved and ill-mannered because they learn from their ill-mannered parents who just don't give a shit. They don't care who their kids are bothering, offending, annoying and contaminating. Through their lack of action, they teach their kids not to care about or have consideration for others. Our society has turned into a kindergarchy where kids rule the world while dim-witted, slack-jawed grown-ups tune out.

The scary thing about all this is that these ill-mannered, uncaring chimpanzees are going to one day run society when we're elderly and vulnerable. Better keep a cyanide pill tucked away someplace handy.


CFVixen said...

I soooo agree with your post. It's getting ridiculous.

Over the last three weekends, DH and I have attended two weddings. At BOTH weddings, kids were involved. And at BOTH weddings, kids (IMHO) ruined the ceremony. In the first one, which was a Catholic ceremony, one child started SCREAMING during the vows. You literally could not hear anything the couple or the priest uttered as this kid was screaming. The priest actually turned around and looked into the congregation to see who had the brat. For that split second, the kid shut up. Then he started again. I later found out that it wasn't even the kid's parents who had custody of the kid that day. It was a grandparent who was babysitting for her kid! So the parent was on vacation somewhere, and grandma had the kid....and was completely fine with the inappropriate screaming. My BIL and SIL were sitting nearby, and they said that the grandmother was turning all around and smiling at everyone. She was so proud of her grandkid. Nice.

In the second wedding, the little ring bearer was having a hell of a time keeping still. He had a toy truck up front where all of the bridal party was standing and kept running the truck back and forth and loudly making "vrooom vrooom" sounds. People weren't paying any attention to the bride and groom....they were too busy watching this kid make a scene. And the kid's parents were in the front seat....grabbing distance of the kid. They could have easily sat the kid beside them instead of letting him create this ruckus. However, they were too self-centered and loved the attention their little darling was getting.

I really think we need to get back to "kids should be seen and not heard."

Childfreeeee said...

Great comment, cfvixen. Don't you love when people with kids look around smiling at everyone as if to say "look how CUUUUUUTE he is!" Like everyone cares. Everyone is expected to notice kids and comment on their cuteness. Well, I got news for you. They're not always cute! And most certainly the ones at those weddings you described should have been quickly escorted out of the service.

CFVixen said...

I think "kindergarcy" is the best word to describe this behavior:

Stepher said...

When we travel outside of the US - THAT'S when we notice the VAST DIFFERENCE in how children are reared and their resulting behavior.

Are today's parents lazy? Oblivious? Relying on others to teach their children well? IDK, but it is beyond frustrating.

I'll bet that my boot-camp trained dog Dario does a better job of behaving in public than most of today's spoiled cuntmuppets.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm new to your blog and I have to say when I look around today, I do see little chimps in the making! It's funny in some ways but just horribly frightening in other ways.

I used to teach a human anatomy and physiology lab during grad school and these kids were anywhere from sophomores to seniors, and let me tell you, that sometimes I had to restrain myself from taking my shoe and throwing it at some of them. These were college students and they would treat us grad students like we were dirt on their shoe! Now, I didn't expect anyone to worship me simply because I was their TA, but don't text or fall asleep when I'm lecturing! (And I know for a fact I was a good teacher, because plenty of students, other TA's and even my supervisor said so!) I'd get emails that literally read: hi whens the assignmnt do? [spelling errors are intentional] No greeting, no signature, bad grammar and atrocious spelling!

*Sigh* I went off on a bit of a tangent, but coming back to the point: if kids aren't taught manners as children then I shudder to think what we'll get when they "grow up."

Me said...


Corrinne said...

I say the "When I was a kid..." cliche all the time and I am only 22! My fiance agrees with me, he is 27. If I had stood on a chair (in public or now) or touched food in the grocery store, I knew my ass was grass lol I even got critiqued if I held my silverware incorrectly or said a word wrong and that is how it SHOULD be. My future nephew (in laws, gotta love 'em) is so badly behaved, he is my ultimate birth control. But, I can't be too mad at him, it is his mothers and grandmothers fault. That family is a mess.

Corrinne said...

Oh and a side comment about weddings, I am sure I will raise a huge controversy over declaring my wedding "adults only". My in laws are going to freak out and I don't care. They brought their monster to a family friends FUNERAL. It was humiliating. He was talking and jumping around... leave the damn kid at home if he can't behave.

Queen Bee said...

AS I read this post that is EXACTLY what I was thinking: I DO NOT want any kids at my wedding! This is probably going to cause a huge ordeal because my dad is remarried and has TEN step-grandchildren, who I'm sure my step-mom will want to be there. So not happening.