I suppose an alternate title for this post could be Be Careful What You Call Them Because Kids Tend to Live Up to Labels.
I was at Knott's Berry Farm for around nine-hours the other day. I wasn't able to go on many rides so I was able to do quite a bit of people watching while I was there. Not just watching, but I unfortunately got the full hearing experience too.
Boy, did I my ears get worked over! I'm certainly not a prude - as anyone who reads what I write or knows me personally can no doubt attest. I've been known to have quite the, ahem, colorful vocabulary, but I could not believe some of the things that I heard people saying out loud at a family-friendly venue. Even worse, I was stunned by the things some people said to their own children while at a theme park for what I assume was supposed to be a day of fun for the family.
Here is the worst thing I overheard:
"You little fucker! Stop acting like a prick!"
A trashy mother talking to an insolent teenager, right? Wrong.
The child was perhaps four years old and was bawling his eyes out while Sharpie-eyebrow mother walked ahead, tossing insults over her shoulders. Sure, it appeared that he'd been teasing his little sister, but come on! Who talks to their kid that way? Even on their worst day, what parent would say those things to a little kid?
Can that boy possibly have a bright future when he's been the target of such a heinous verbal attack by his mother? Yes, I know that this was just one incident and I don't know all the details. However, I can't help but think that this poor boy has probably heard a lot worse at home and is probably berated unmercifully if she's unashamed and able to talk to her child like this in public.
I'm trying really hard to tamp down anything in this post that sounds like I'm up on my high horse because I know that I suck as a parent plenty of times too. I've got to say though that I'm appalled by the way some people choose to talk to their children. Again, I know that I've bit my son's head off plenty of times. . .but I would never consider calling him hurtful names and cursing at him. Yes, I reserve the right to reverse my opinion on the matter when the teen years come around!
I know that kids can go totally bonkers with all the sights and sounds of an amusement park. I know that they can easily get whipped into a sugar frenzy. I know that sometimes they can really get on their parents' nerves. I have a high energy kid, I get that it's exhausting and that sometimes all patience is gone.
What I don't get is how anyone can possibly justify cursing at their child while calling them a mean name. I really do not understand this at all. Frankly, I hope to never understand it lest I become too comfortable with the notion and risk becoming that which I despise.