As I was signing on to the computer this morning, one of Yahoo's(R) leading news stories, was titled 'The no-kids allowed movement is spreading'. I was curious. A conversation from a couple of years ago came to mind. A friend in her thirties had gotten married, and was telling about their honeymoon. They had chosen a 'kid-free' resort to go to. Was this news feature about those type of places? I went to the article to find out.
The article (written by Piper Weiss) started out with, "What's the matter with kids today? Doesn't anybody want them around?"
Mentally I answered, 'the problem with kids today, is that most parents aren't interested in earning their "mean parent awards" '. And of course, as my brain does, examples came to mind.
The time a couple of months ago, when we were trying to leave a local restaurant, but we had stopped due to a mom up ahead having troubles trying to get the promised candy out of the candy machine. We saw no problem in waiting. But the group behind us did. To the point that they started pressuring our backs. And then two, about twelve year old girls, started trying to squeeze around and out in front of us, and my vertigo was NOT doing good, and they were coming at me from all angles.... but then their mother pushed her way to the front defending them (they had said "excuse me" - twice even!) and telling us we couldn't speak to her children ... Yes, I WAS wearing my neck brace when all of this went down.
The time several months back, when Brain and I had stopped for dinner (and to give my vertigo a break from traveling) at a branch of a chain of restaurants we like. There was a dad at a table, with his son, who at least size wise, appeared to be around 5 or 6 years old. But for the amount of noise coming from that table, you expected to see a large size family sitting there, not a single child! And the things that child was getting away with saying to his dad. Oh. My. Word.
An elderly couple and their obviously special needs adult son, sat at a table between us and the dad with his young son. Numerous times, the young son would say something which made Brian and I cringe, and then the adult son of the other couple would declare, "That's not right. That's just not right!" While shaking his head and wearing a most distraught expression on his face. His poor parents would try to soothe him, and he'd settle down some, shooting questioning looks at the other table, until the young son would do something bad again and the scenario would repeat itself.
After a bit, the young son and his dad left, amidst much howling, and dragging, and quite the scene. And we were saddened by the mess the two had left behind. Goodness. The wait staff even had to move the chairs under the tables behind and in front of them to sweep all of the mess up off of the floor.
Or the time last week that Amie took me to a mission store, trying to get myself some shorts to fit the size I have expanded to. I "of course" (o;-p) went over to the kids clothing section first. There, we had troubles navigating around two young girls, maybe four and five years old? They were having great fun showing each other items off of racks. Off the kids racks. The nearby women's racks. And then sticking items back in where the next item caught their eye. They wandered off after a bit and we were relieved. Only to have them almost plow me over a minute later, as they rounded a corner on a bike the store had for sale. And on it continued.
We had left the store with relief. Only to groan inside when after a bit, they too entered the next store - which was several miles away. And one of the daughters was all excited to see us again - she recognized my neck brace. Where were their parents - well... never mind.
But back to the article.
It seems resorts are not the only ones whom are either entirely banning young children, or at the least, making designated "no children" hours. The article also listed airlines, grocery stores, movie theaters, and restaurants, etc.. In-fact, there is a web site you can go to, to find participating places at. It's name? LeaveThemBehind.
The article asks, "When did kids become the equivalent of second-hand smoke? Blame a wave of childless adults with money to spend. ..."
Personally, I truly believe that that is only part of the answer. ALL adults like to go out to eat, or see a movie, or spend the night away, with out having to hear and quietly put up with somebody else's children's tantrums. If you left your own kids to home, your trying to escape for goodness sake!
Now, for the record - I am referring to children whom makes scenes, etc. and their parents do little, to nothing, about it. I know all to well, that you start out saying "MY child will NEVER behave like THAT!" only to have your child seem to try their best to do just exactly what you proclaimed they wouldn't. (insert head smack here 8-/). And from what I've gathered, it's a-l-w-a-y-s worked that away. To the frustration (and sometimes horror) of many generations of parents. And it probably always will.
The big point is (and it's a extraordinarily HUGE point!), what is you (the parents) response when they do? Do you even bother to respond? Do you back up the words which come out of your mouth? Have your children learned from experience that your serious? And that they best be too!?! OR, are those around you at the time made to suffer, due to your lack of back bone?
But to the parents whom DO take action, we feel sympathy. And comoderody. And we shoot encouraging smiles. And while we might not appreciate their child's antics - we understand, and thus are willing to 'suffer' a bit.
As you know, I love witnessing God's amazing sense of timing and displays of irony and humor in our lives. It happened again this morning. About all of this.
After browsing through my email in-box, I ventured over to Facebook(R). As I was scrolling down the page listing things friends had posted, I came across one my friend (our previous neighbor) Sara DeWaard Fazio had written/started. She had written something, which others had added to.
The irony part came in, with how what she had written had to do with things she planned on doing for their two (currently) young daughters, which would most definitely end up earning her "mean mom" awards! And while I have not got to witness her interactions with her kids (they moved out before they had them), I have read enough of the other things she has posted over time to know she's headed the right direction.
The humor of God's timing played in, with how I found the news article and Sara's posting, the exact same morning.
Sara had written - "Dear daughters, I make this solemn oath to you: I will never borrow your clothes, your boyfriends, or your belly button rings. We will not get matching tattoos for your 16th birthday (or 21st for that matter). Any underwear I buy you will come in 3 packs. You will beg me to drop you off a block from school and your lunches will have embarrassing notes from me on the napkins. So help me God. Love, Mom."
Sara's friend Jennifer V. B. wrote - "Love it. I'll add to it.. I'll never buy you or your friends beer and I'll never keep any of your secrets from your daddy."
Sara had replied, "Oh, good ones! And I will never allow you and your friends to booze it up at our house, even if everyone promises to give me their keys."
In part of Sara's friend Carrie P.'s comment, she had written, "As the mother of a son, I'll add this promise: I will never try to pick up any of your friends."
My comment had contained this suggested add on: "I promise to always give you curfews. And to enforce them. And should you choose to break them, they will in turn be moved a half hour earlier."
Sara's friend Aras M. had commented, "Love this!! To bad this is a rare post. Wish there were more mom's that think this way."
Carrie P. had added another comment, "I won't let you have 'sleepovers' with your boyfriend/girlfriend in high school (or God forbid, sooner.)."
I did ask for and was granted Sara's permission to use this material.
Children use to be considered a blessing. Challenging blessings, to be sure. But blessings never the less. And they were much smiled upon members of communities.
The article had ended with this question, "Are parents in danger of becoming second-class citizens?"
If more of them don't start finding and using their back bones, like Sara and her friends have, it's not only going to be the childless couples pushing it that away. It will end up that no-body wants to be by other peoples kids. Period. Take pride in enforcing 'the rules' to your kids. Of teaching them manners. And respect for others. And others properties. Earn those "mean parent" awards!!
The world is begging you!
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NEXT week, I 'plan' on linking this posting up to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)'
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Making A Home", hosted by Linda, at 'Linda's Lunacy' (http://lindaslunacy.blogspot.com/).