« All for Tiki related goods chime in with an "Aye!" | Main | Meanwhile, in the background... »

September 21, 2004

Of parenting...

When we were still debating having a baby I once pointed out that if the people on Jerry Springer were managing to succeed in raising children how badly could we screw it up? I'm not saying closed the deal but it certainly drove home the point.

Neither of us are experts on this stuff. We're certainly still getting the hang of things. We're also more than willing to learn from more experienced hands. It's not like either of us is consciously making a decision to raise Jack badly. ("That, son, is a hornet nest. Go over and swat it with this tennis racket while I wait inside.") Both Fabulous Babe and I, as like most new parents, are just trying to get things right.

It's that previously mentioned desire to do right by Jack that pains me when I see bad parenting. When I say that I don't mean a difference of parental opinions on when you should feed your child or which diaper brand is the one to use. I mean the sort of things that make you feel like someone has taken fingernails down a chalkboard. The sort of things you simply know are wrong.

Classic example: Out and about the other day I see a mom "disciplining" a 2 year old by loudly shouting, from a couple of feet away, "You know better!" This was followed by a hard yank of the childs arm to whip it around for emphasis. (The kids head snapped back so hard it was difficult to watch.) When everyone within ear shot turned to see what was going on the mom, realizing she was being watched, made a fast retreat from the situation while avoiding eye contact, muttering under her breath to the child how it still didn't know better.

Maybe it's me. It certainly may be that I am understimating the average 2 year old's abilities to stay within operating instructions. It may be that with time passing I discover that Jack, at age 2, will be capable of handling a number of a number of things, among them: walking beside me, staying on the front porch, running a nuclear reactor, leading other 2 year olds in construction projects, etc. It may also be that I'm old fashioned in thinking that parents should try to supervise their children.


Perhaps you can tell how much it bothered me.

Here's the deal folks. If you see me, as a parent, do something really stupid you have the Special Project granted right to stop me. All you have to do is say, "Jim I think your parenting skills are lacking sound judgement because of ________." At the very least I'll pause and weigh your words which should buy Jack enough time to get away.

Oh. One more thing. If you ever see me yelling in a red faced rage at my 2 year old son that he "knows better" please just shoot me. It will save me the time of dying of embarassment later.

Posted by Jim at September 21, 2004 09:14 PM