Tuesday, April 10, 2007


There is nothing worse than bad parents.

On a flight to Florida recently I had the opportunity to watch numerous parents interact with their children. Although I did see a few good parents who talked intelligently and respectfully to their kids. Most did not speak to their children at all and as a result had very little ability to guide or control the kids.

The couple sitting next to me had an 18 month old child who was able to say only about 10 words. He was a cute kid and was having great time pushing buttons. After the plane had taken off, the child began to scream. The mother immediately grabbed the child, looked him in the eye, and in a forceful whisper said, "LISTEN TO ME, LISTEN TO ME" The child stopped screaming and looked at his mother. In a stern whisper the mother demanded, "There will be no screaming on this flight. There are many people on this plane and it is not nice to scream. There will be NO screaming on this flight." Although the child couldn’t even speak, the mother spoke to him as if he was able to carry on normal conversation. She then asked her child, "Do you understand?" Holding him tightly she repeated, "Do you understand?" The child said in a high tone, "uuhhh." Which was clearly a "yes". The kid did not scream or cry for the rest of the flight!

Unfortunately most of the other parents on the flight simply did not talk to their children. When a child began to cry most parents would pick up the baby and shake it up and down. Sometimes these parents would repeatedly rub the child’s forehead and face. I am not sure what value shaking or rubbing has other than to distract the child so that it will forget what it was crying about. In the seats in front of me, I had to watch fat sweating parents pass their child back and forth, shaking and rubbing him over and over; the child cried for over an hour without the parents ever making an attempt to talk to the kid about what was bothering him or to help him solve his problems.

There were three kids about 8-12 years old sitting behind me, and they just kept fighting. As the fights escalated the parents would yell, "shut up" or "stop it", but they never asked the kids what they were fighting about or why they were fighting. Nor did they intervene to settle the escalating problems. Finally I couldn’t take it. I turned around and asked , "Are you guys gonna fight the whole trip?" They were terrified and could not look me in the eye. I really wanted an answer, so I just stared at them and asked again. Still none of them answered or looked up. I went back to my paper and the kids didn’t make a peep for the rest of the flight. If they were fighting about something real they would have answered, but the fighting was probably just some game which they quickly stopped playing after they saw it was bothering others.

- wcool.com

The author of this post should be amazed that the idiot parent who was the cause of this didn't suddenly become outraged and start berating him or her. It isn't the bad behavior that is so shocking, as much as the outrageous defense of bad behavior by people who honestly believe if they act angry enough, people will allow them to act this way.


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