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June 22, 2006


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Maybe all your latent anger comes from your desire to control something in your life....maybe thats why you are so angry when it comes to others parenting styles....maybe you are unhappy at home...maybe you feel like you are missing out on the corporate world - just maybe with all your sarcastic glares - you are just really teaching your daughter how to be a judgemental pre-menopausal basket-case....
Possibly - you are not cut out for parenthood - being soooo type A - perhaps you should work in a prison - you seem to like the control - how will you fly off the handle when your "sweet mild mannered daughter" doesn't act according to your plan one day??? I fear for her.

maybe deep down...the "boys will be boys" comment eats you up inside because you always wanted a boy - but nature gave you a girl....

Anything is possible - but your bitterness is just so obvious and such a major turn-off. Perhaps that is what will eventually lead to the demise of your nuclear bubble.

I have a few SIL's who all have a total of 17 kids. A huge family and NO manners. Their kids are destructive, whiny, cry babies and have no manners. They will open anyone's fridge and raid it and all the snacks in the pantry. They love to climb furniture and even the 4 feet window shelves we have in our basement. I agree that parents should intervene if they see what happens and teach their child manners and respect for others. They also need to discipline their kids if they do not listen and misbehave after a warning. No one is perfect and parenting is not an easy job, but it should not be difficult to step in and tell your own child how to behave. My suggestion would be to teach your kids at home so when they are out in public or visiting other people, they will behave like humans and not animals. Also, if your child is not listening to you and misbehaving after a few warnings, it's best to pick them up and head home so they understand that they can't get away with that sort of misbehaving. Follow thru on what you say to prove to your kids that you will do just as you say. My SIL's kids are horrible, needless to say we very rarely have any family gatherings or parties because their kids don' behave and leave our house with stains and also cannot go home unless they break something. It's funny because none of the parents have ever offered an apology or money to fix the things their kids break in our home, such as our binds, screen door, sliding door, dishes, cups, etc. They are blind and act like they don't see or hear any of it. I guess their kids are a perfect example of how their parents are. Sad... I have a child too and he doesn't act that way. I hope to raise him and ensure that he never acts like that...my mom raised me and my 7 siblings with manners...I'm sure you all out there can do it!

The last comment about the school classroom is SO TRUE! I taught 4th grade and the kids had no idea of how to act. I was responsible for teaching as well as raising the kids. Not to mention the parents who would ask me, What did YOU do to make my kid misbehave? WHAT?! Your kid beat up another kid!

Makes my blood boil. I am glad to be at the school I am in now, very nice kids and great parents.

The "boys will be boys" thing is one of my biggest pet peeves. It drives me INSANE! Poorly behaved children are poorly behaved children; their sex doesn't matter.

Good for you with the evil glares. I'm good at those too.

Clearly this is a hot topic with moms and definitely with me. I DESPISE parents who don't even acknowledge socially unacceptable behavior such as hitting, biting, pinching or pushing. Sure it might be age-appropriate but part of raising them is consistently attempting to teach them that certain things are not acceptable. At some point, they WILL get it.

After I read your post, I realized that the mom you hate might have been me on occasion. I have two boys, 11mth and 25 months. When they play together, I pick my battles. I cannot yell all day long. No, I am not LAZY! I tend to focus on one behavior at a time. We have mastered the no push and are working on the no throw. When in public, my 2 yr old is mostly well behaved and loves other people (actually kind of scary this stranger love). He has taken a toy from another child and before the extensive training, he has pushed. I do reprimand him, but I don't go crazy. I think some behaviors...like the toy thing/sharing (not) are developmentally appopriate. They need to know the behavior isn't appropriate, but I don't think it is necessary for a parent to go crazy and do the full out punishment scenario. Also, you need to keep in mind that perhaps the parents you think are LAZY, have a plan that you don't understand. Perhaps some of the minor behaviors you are witnessing are a big improvement for a troubled child. I have reasonable high expectations for my children's behavior, but some of the "nastiness" is dare I say, "developmentally appropriate." I agree that violence and horrible behavior is unacceptable. I also agree that the child needs to be made aware of the correct behavior, but I don't believe you can expect them to turn around and do it right.hmmmm...maybe I am lazy.

I hate to tell you this, but it only gets worse. It is a HUGE pet peeve of mine when parents won't parent their children.

Sadly it has ended a few friendships for me also, because I can not stand bratty destructive kids. My children aren't perfect, far from it, but they are polite, kind and gentle to other children (who do not share their DNA).

Yeah, kids will be kids, and this week in the fine state of Minnesota, three boys aged 6-8 let themselves into the neighbors' yard and beat their puppy to death, and the 13yo son of a daycare provider beat a 2yo girl to death in her care. Not to mention that at the playground today, I chased down 2 little boys who were throwing rocks at an injured bird. Happily, I was beaten to the punch by someone else's parents, but still, where were theirs? Keep on hawkin'. It takes a village to yell at my child.

You know, I'm glad there are other mothers out there that have the opinion of 'kids are lunatics and their parents dont give a shit'.

Children's library. Hippie mamas (there is a strange 'hippie' mentality with alot of mothers where I am, not all, but surely enough). Thinking it's okay to let their kids run around and destroy things while the parents look the other way. 'Everything's cool, chill out'

Okay, sorry. I can't chill out when your child is grabbing mine by the arm to push her out of the way, or yours is careening around the library with the book cart, coming perilously close to my child.

I have one child who is two and maybe I am a little too over-protective, maybe I, too, have such an Eagle Eye, but damn it people!

Watch your kids!! And don't tell me to chill out.

As a mom to a 2-1/2 year old boy, I can't imagine allowing behavior such as you described. I realize that boys most certainly play different than girls - but that doesn't excuse bad behavior. Or bad parenting.

One of our problems in society is that any ol' asshole can reproduce. No license is needed. No training. No background check to raise children. Hence, a whole lot of very bad parenting out there - in all social circles, I might add.

Thanks for the post!

It pisses me off how lazy some parents are, and makes me scared for how their kids will turn out someday.

The worst experience for me was at a mall playarea when a little 5yr old boy kicked my (then crawling) daughter, pulled her down, and raked his nails across her head. I had to be the one to forcibly remove this kid from my child, and then watch that he stayed away from her. His mom was nowhere to be found. She was somewhere in the mall shopping.

I'm another mama hawk. I keep an eye on Cordy at all times, and if she does something to hurt another child, I'm there in a flash to remove her from the situation and apologize. Inattentive parenting is a pet peeve of mine.

Oh yes. I don't have a lot of balls when it comes to anything else, but you put a misbehaving child and ignorant parent in my vicinity and I WILL do something. And I would expect other parents to do the same with my children should I briefly lose my mind and forget to discipline them.

I've had similar experiences with J and it makes me so angry. The good thing is that I'm so aware of it that I'll never be that mom, the one who ignores her child's negative behavior wishing it will just go away. I've seen scary things where I work though. I can distinctly remember one boy hitting another little girl with a hockey stick and the mother DID NOTHING!!

When my daughter started at her recent daycare because the care giver there didn't seem to want to intervene in toy disputes. wha' dah??

who is runnin' this zoo lady? -- well be packin' up outta there soon..

ps.. it doesn't go all one way tho' I am struggling to write up a post over a self conscious Mom with a busy, maybe troubled, little daughter she is alway after to behave behave behave... My daughter is really interested in being this little girls friend tho' they are a year apart.. the Mom is just always scolding her 3 year old to be careful with my 22 month old... its too bad, really.

I was thinking this SAME thing while at Chucky Cheese (yes, Chucky Cheese) the other day. My one year old son was practically mauled by a 7-year-old who ran him over to get on one of the kiddie rides first. Where were the parents? I have no idea. No one got up to say that was inappropriate. It was highly annoying.

Bravo! This is one reason we don't go to the playground near our house any more. Most of the kids are free to do what they want to whom they want while their moms just sit back, read, or talk on the cell phone. You would think all the nasty glares I send their way would make them realize they need to get off their asses and parent.

This is the reason to have 2 children. Playmates! No need to ever leave the house.

Other people's kids are the bane of my existence. Mostly.

Whoa. I KNEW you had big hairy balls! I am so glad you're finally admitting to it! ;)

This happened to me after becoming a Mother too. I will totally act like a Mama Bear and be a bitch. It's a good thing :)

And, I hear your pain. I cannot stand when parents will not watch their children, or take the time to "train them properly."

Big invisible hairy gonads = awesome.

(I have them too)

Kids will be kids. Sure. But that just means that parents better damn well be PARENTS!

I love this post and am standing on my wobbly desk chair clapping over hear.

Once my hubby took our son to a museum for their "guy's nite out". Seth was in a ball pit. He was 2 or 3. These other kids who were 8-9 were beaming balls at each other. One of the balls hit Seth. The dad of the other kids didn't say anything. But my hubby sure did. My hubby told the kids to stop it and they were too old to be in the pit anyway. Then the dad came up to my hubby and told Marc he shouldn't discipline kids that aren't his. My hubby has this really intimidating stare. So he told the guy, "I wouldn't have to if you would actually watch your brats yourself." Then Marc got a few inches from the guy's face and stared him down. The guy mumbled something and walked away. But I was so proud of my hubby. That's one thing I love about my hubby. He watches our kiddo closely in public and won't think twice about stepping in and standing up for our son.

It really pisses me off when we go some place and older kids are be obnoxious and running over the smaller one.

I watch my son like a hawk too. I don't want him to get hurt, nor do I want him to hurt anyone else!

That's why we all need to be armed with a stun gun.

I'm so offended! I DARE you to say something to MY kids. I will rip your balls off.

Ok. I'm just kidding. Because I'm just like you. I can't stand parents like that.

p.s. Can I see your balls at Blogher?

Whoo boy, is this ever on my mind lately. (part of upcoming post)

It is SO nice to hear my sentiments echoed here.

The hellion spawn, while a vicious pain in the whatever-anatomical-part-you-prefer, are only symptoms. Only so much you can do to temporarily relieve the "pain". But I'd love to treat the causes to a good smack upside the head.

Cripes. Medical resident widowness rearing it's ugly head.

I agree 100%. I have a laid back girl that lets kids take, hit and run her down and RARELY does another parent intervene!

This topic is going around lately! I wrote about it, and so did another mommy blogger.
I hate it. Those people suck.
Your words are put together so nicely!


Can I applaud you? I am so with you on this one. I always wonder if the same parents who say, boys will be boys or just flat out ignore their children will be the same ones saying that when their kids are going to jail as teens for being assholes. They will be the ones saying, I just don't know where I went wrong with little Jonny. He was such a great child.

I think there are a ton of people who just don't bother to parent their kids. I wonder who they thnk is supposed to do that?

I can only agree and applaud!

I seem to get in trouble with my wife for having the sentiments. My sister-in-law's sister-in-law during family gatherings plants her fat ass down, and her child runs amok. It seems that everybody OTHER than the mother is tending to the child. I have more than one said something (only to sleep on the sofa for being offensive).

What makes these so called parents think that that they do not need to reign in their little hellions?

Oh yeah, I love the "We're in public so let the village raise my child" people.

you know, as the mother of a boy with serious social challenges, a boy who spits and hits and kicks and yells odd sounds in other kid's faces, it's VERY hard to get across to other parents i'm just meeting for the first time, that his behavior is part of a SYNDROME and not a result of bad parenting. that's number one. it's not always a result of what the parent is or isn't doing and i've learned that first hand and i did NOT know it before, before when i thought much more was nuture than is nature. THAT SAID, i am ALWAYS within INCHES of my son and other kids and i am ALWAYS ready to intervene, assist, correct, facilitate, etc. etc. since it is NOT okay for my son to hurt himself or anyone else. and i am appalled to find many parents out there who are, as you say, standing around watching and doing nothing when their kids are inappropriate with my son (or any other kids!). i'm TOTALLY with you kristen. i always say something, to the child (friendly but firm and corrective!) AND to the parents (in that mix of smiling but serious get over here and do your job face and tone and something like, 'ah! mom! we need you over here to run a little interference!'). i guess i don't have to worry about nobody coming back since nobody comes over in the first place since we're not at that stage of playdates yet. maybe someday!and i certainly dont' care what they think of me! my god! i haven't the time to care!

I have encountered so many of these kids...completely devoid of manners and social skills. The parents expect the child to figure it out like it comes preprogrammed or something. Yes, the parents are usually clods themselves and is the reason why they don't see the behaviour as being unacceptable.

Amen, sister! A-f'in-men.

Rouchly? ROUGHLY. Am sick, can't type...

Can I get a standing O for Kristen, please?

(Mad Applause! People ON THEIR CHAIRS!)


Call it balls, call it whatever - it's anti-asshole parenting. It's raising your children to be decent human beings. Parents that just stand there and watch their children behave rudely and rouchly are raising assholes. It is parents like that who are responsible for the road-ragers, the door-slammers, the yellers, the war-mongers. The assholes. Who all hurled sand and hit other kids in their childhoods.

Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be assholes. Listen to Miss Kristen (she of the enormous berries) here...

I can't help but wonder if this "boys will be boys" mentality has anything to do with the fact that so many of the men I interact with on a regular basis think they're entitled to be assholes...

You may be entertained by the following on children and self defense. http://randompensees.mu.nu/archives/cat_children.php
go to May 15, 2006, Teach your Children well.
Its a good read and goes to the heart of your post here.

Having been around many small children of both genders, I have noticed that boys generally tend to be more physically aggressive in play. Generally. I've certainly met little girls who were as physically aggressive as boys, and my own son is fairly passive with other kids-- I've never seen him hit another kid, actually (though he does hit me from time to time).

But let's say, for the sake of argument, that boys do tend to be more physically aggressive. Doesn't that mean we should be MORE vigilant about correcting inappropriate behavior early on, if we want them to grow up to function in society as responsible, respectful people?

As the mother of a boy, I feel it's my responsibility to raise him to be the kind of man who would never hit a girl on the head with a hammer, thank you very much.

I think sometimes aggression is just used to get attention. Even if it's from a stranger and not a parent, even if it's not positive, it's still attention. And many kids crave it so much, bonking another child on the head is an easy way to make it happen.

Sometimes - gasp - it even gets noticed by Inattentive Parent! Bonus.

Well said - I couldn't agree more, although I guess I am still growing mine, because while I fume about it - mostly it is silently, or I say to my son , "that was not very nice, but we cannot go and take it from him/her" and look at the parent - hey so I am passive agressive.


I speak up. And I don't give a shit what the parents think of me.

And I don't freak out when my kids get their share of knocks. It happens. But I do encourage them to give as good as they get.

...you're going to get a lot of love for this post....

This is me, standing on my chair, cheering for you.


My personal favorite is when the big kids throw sand at the little boy who can't blink or move and then laugh while their parents stand around with their thumbs up their asses, leaving me to discipline strange children.

I grew a hairy set. And they are big. And watch out, cause I know how to use them!

Hear Hear! If only I could somehow serruptitiously leave this post lying around my sister-in-law's house. She's an excellent parent in nearly every way, but when it comes to correcting her kids for swiping toys and sharing in a play atmosphere, she's very lacadaisical. I got so aggravated when her sons (3 and 6) "helped" my son (2) open his birthday gifts and then rushed to be the first to play with everything. A toy or two would've been okay because obviously my son couldn't play with everything all at one time, but the two boys pretty much carted it ALL off to their own corners to gorge on the toy newness. Since SIL's family, I have to see her again and I do worry about aggravating her by correcting her children when she won't. But the more it happens, the more patience I lose and while they didn't sew my invisible balls on post-delivery, I'm slowly growing some myself. I'm trying to teach my son to share, but at the same time I want him to learn that when his cousins may snatch his toys out of his hands, that's not okay either.

I struggle with this issue a lot - how to respond to my son's aggression. Fortunately (?) most of it is directed at his baby sister and not at Other People's Kids, but I have found that any response from me tends to reinforce the behaviour: when I don't react, the pushing/shoving/etc. often dies a natural death, but any kind of reprimand from me results in a fun all-day shove-fest. But I would never just let an incident pass if we were out in a playgroup - at the very least I would apologize to the parent.

I'm so with you on this one. If the parent doesnt say anything then I say something and I guess they will just never come back and honestly I dont care.

and that's just another reason why I dont want my kids going to public school.

I'm still annoyed over the kid who grabbed two plastic eggs right out of my son's hands at an Easter Egg hunt. He's ONE. She was at least FIVE. Give me a break! (No parents were in evidence, and I told her "No, those are his. You need to give them back." She did, but without remorse.)

I'm with you. I have two sons and on more than one occasion I have had to cross the line into Other Parent's Territory and speak to their child when it becomes clear they aren't going to do the dirty work, either telling them not to hit, not to grab, pinch, kick, be rude etc.. My two definitely have their moments but I am all over them when they misbehave. Not to shame them but to teach them; it can be done! I know we can't protect them from everything and they have to take their knocks but sometimes you really just have to tell people - even kids - who is who and what is what. I applaud your Hawky mentality. :)

There is nothing that makes my blood boil more than "boys will be boys." I've witnessed my children react badly to disappointment by throwing a toy, in public, and they get different reactions from strangers. My daughter gets:

"Temper, temper!"

My son gets - you guessed it:

"Boys will be boys."

No, but they will continue to behave poorly if people like you tell them it's okay to do so just because they're male.

But the playground thing and the non-expectations of most of the parents there? Yeah, I hear you. I'll tell any kid to lay off and apologize. And if the parent is present, well then I tell them all the louder. I've had parents - whose children were behaving like beasts to Liz and all the other children - yell AT ME for reprimanding their child. But somebody has to do it.

I never use the phrase "boys will be boys" becuase I think it's a lazy excuse. But, I'm reminded almost every day that boys are so very different than girls, and boys are (generally) more likely to get physical, and they're more likely to do it in full view of adults. Girls have other ways of mistreating other kids - dirty looks, mean words, and saving the physical stuff (pushing, hitting) for when no adults are looking.

I'm amazed at what parents will let slide.

Amen sistah! Shout it from the highest rooftops!

The real issue, in this girl's humble opinion - the parents are douchebags themselves. Somehow civility and common courtesy got lost between our parents' generation and ours. You only have to drive down 1-95 sometime to know that one.

You need only look as far a public school classroom to see what happens when parents don't bother to parent and teach their children civility. It's really scary.

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