Dear Crappy Parents:
Please, for the good of humanity, start disciplining your child.
Recently I enrolled my two-year old, Milo, in parent and tot gymnastics. This is a ritual I have done for all three of my children, but I was nervous with Milo as he is a “spirited” child (aka super, duper difficult).
Milo was a colicky baby that simply transitioned into a whinny, screaming toddler. I was that mother at the grocery store. The one with the messy hair and that I’m-about-to-cry look on my face as I chased my toddler down the cereal aisle. I would calmly walk him back to his time-out spot, off to the side of an aisle and often end up leaving the store without the groceries anyways, a screaming toddler in tow.
I vowed never to judge anyones parenting ever again. Some children are simply more difficult to parent than others and the very strong-willed little spawns can wear down even the most experienced parents. But just because your child is difficult and parenting is hard, it doesn’t mean you give up trying.
Today I broke my vow. I judged you, you crappy, crappy parents. Today at gymnastics you sat back and watched as your children ran around like a scene from “lord of the flies” while the instructor begged and pleaded for them to sit down on the mat. You shrugged and said “boys, what are you going to do?” as they jumped in front of other children in line and repeated climbed on equipment the instructor said was “off limits”.
I cringed as your children ran under the trampoline as other children jumped on top, despite the fact that poor “Miss Jenny” said how dangerous it was, about a thousand times. Eventually, the trampoline was taken away from everyone, right before my son’s turn (after he waited patiently in line).
I understand that toddlers are tough to control, but your complete lack of effort isn’t just ruining your kid, it is ruining other kids too. A few of us parents struggled to keep our children sitting quietly and listening, while your children ran and played like wild animals. Trying to enforce respect and rules in my child is so much harder when you allow your children to be so rude and disrespectful. A two-year has a hard time understanding why he can’t climb the utility ladder like all the other unruly little beasts.
By the end of the class, only two of us parents remained strong. Three out-of-control children at the start of the class had spread to an entire group of twenty little heathens, as exhausted parents gave up and joined your “I-don’t-give a f#$&” party. The instructor, with tears in her eyes, dismissed the class early.
You are the reason it now takes teachers three times longer to teach in classrooms because children won’t listen or do what they are told. Your lack of effort has created disrespectful little monsters and unfortunately, those monsters are contagious.
Parenting is tough. Giving a time-out or reprimanding our adorable little minions is hard. Making your child sit on a mat and listen will take effort, it will require consistency and it will put you out. Sitting and chatting with the other crappy parents like it’s a coffee shop while your children run wild is the easy way out, but you’re just kicking that can down the road my friend. You’re adorable three-year old will soon be six, then sixteen. I shudder at the thought of your tyrant at sixteen if you do not make some boundaries and rules fast. I also shudder at the thought of my child having to go to school and be influenced by your child in the next few years.
For the sake of us all, stand up to your child, or stop procreating.
Milo’s not-so-crappy Mom