Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Dear Parents who idly stand by while your children behave as brats:

You annoy me.

I know kids will be kids. And while you can't necessarily stop your child from being a brat, you can interfere at the moment of offence and create a learning atmosphere. Here's an example. If you see your child throwing rocks, approach the child.

Parent: "Johnny, please don't throw rocks. You could hurt somebody by doing that."

See, isn't that simple? You've created a learning moment. Now, I know this may sound like a challenge (especially to the mother sitting under the park shelter so interested in her own conversation with her friends that she isn't so much as occasionally turning her head toward her child throwing rocks), BUT, it can be done.

And, when your child displays early warning signs of a delinquent vandal, please address the child and the situation. For example, if your child rips the streamers off of another child’s bike. Please don’t look at the afflicted child and say, “Ah, you look sad.” I would recommend a sincere apology. If you’d like to go the extra mile I recommend actually offering to pay for the damage/replacement of the bike streamers. Finally, I recommend some form of discipline for the delinquent child. A forced apology from the delinquent to the afflicted child is just not enough to teach the lesson.

Please, Idle Parent, take interest in raising your child. Because, I don’t want my tax dollars paying for your brats meals while in juvenile detention.


Name: Rebekah
Home: Kansas, United States
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