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View Full Version : Now at last I know I'm a good parent....



Mandy-Jane
08-05-2008, 09:37 AM
I've often had doubts about it. But today when I went to pick my daughter up from pre-school, I was strapping her into her carseat when I heard this unbelievable yelling coming from the direction of the pre-school.

One of the fathers was picking up his daughter and she was - as spirited 4 year olds do - running ahead of him. Now I know it's frustrating and worrying when they do that, but this was a part of the street that just contains a pre-school and a corner shop. No houses with driveways that cars could back out of and knock a kid over. Anyway, this father was yelling and swearing at his daughter, calling her names, the whole thing. He also had a younger child by the hand who was obviously having difficulty keeping up, so the father was dragging this little one along the path, swearing at him too.

It was awful! I got into my seat and my little daughter said to me "That's not very nice what he's saying, is it?"

Well I'm so glad (a) that although I've lost my temper with mine, I've certainly never done that; and (b) that she knows that that's bad behaviour and the wrong thing to do.

Now I feel like the best mother ever.

Jersey Chick
08-05-2008, 10:02 AM
Well, I'll sure as hell sleep better tonight - you'd best prepare to share that Best Mother Ever award - or else... I can honestly say I've never done called them names or sworn at them (at other people within their earshot? Yes. At them? Nope.) :D

regdog
08-05-2008, 04:31 PM
Good for you and your little girl. :e2cheer::e2cheer:

And when that stupid father is brought into school in another couple of years because his daughter has let loose with an obscenity laced barage at one of her classmates, you just know he'll sit there and say "I don't know where she got that from."

soleary
08-05-2008, 04:54 PM
Good for you. I humbly suggest that if you want to be Person of the Year, confront the man either through the school or directly or through his wife. Verbal abuse shouldn't be tolerated, especially between adult and child. Just because there are no visible scars from this type of child abuse doesn't mean they're not there. Good luck.

Mandy-Jane
08-05-2008, 05:00 PM
Unfortunately his wife is no better. I've seen her in action too. She's loud, obnoxious and just awful.

When I was on parent duty once, I found out that this little kid can't even speak properly for her age. Now I know why - all she hears is yelling.

soleary
08-05-2008, 05:04 PM
That's heartbreaking. You might consider calling the school or tipping Child Protective Services. I firmly believe that it takes all of us to protect children.

qwerty
08-05-2008, 05:25 PM
Hey, come on, Mandy, you didn't need that incident to tell you you were a good parent! You know you'd never treat your kids that way, but it hurts to see it happen to any child, doesn't it?

Is there any way you can discreetly draw attention to what is going to be an on-going problem?

Pagey's_Girl
08-05-2008, 05:49 PM
In my experience, the people who wonder whether or not they're good parents in fact are.

I'm with Qwerty and Soleary. Is there any way you can discreetly tip off someone with some authority as to what's going on? Verbal abuse is bad enough, but it can so easily cross over into physical.

SherryTex
08-05-2008, 06:04 PM
Not always, but sometimes, just an acknowledgement to parents that parenting is difficult and talking to the parents --about how sometimes it's so difficult when they are little and don't listen, can do a world of good.

Suggest the following...1) start with knowing the names of the parents, asking if she needs help --to get her little ones to the car --numbers are a hard thing on people --I'm always asking for help because I know, I cannot do it alone every time. Or to watch the little one in the car wile she gets her son. 2) If the behavior reflects a consistent pattern, and talking about how we have to be examples and how difficult that is at times doesn't clue her in --and I'm suggesting start with the mom, then voice concerns to the teacher/principal/provided you know them well enough to know they will be professional/discreet. Sometimes, all it takes is a bit of a reminder. Sometimes, regrettably, it takes more.

I say this as one who has in her life, gone to a parent to talk about such things and uncovered an unhealthy situation which required social services to make things bettter, but which is beautiful today because of it.

Good luck.

Shadow_Ferret
08-05-2008, 06:21 PM
I think you're judging someone on not knowing all the circumstances. Who knows what kind of day at work that man had. He might have been at his wit's end with other problems and stresses of the day and his daughter running just triggered it.

I can totally empathize with him and I hesitate to judge him as a parent because of this one episode.

Now if you tell me he does that every day, then I'll rethink my position. (Although you did mention his wife is a beast. Maybe the man is stressed from that!)

soleary
08-05-2008, 06:24 PM
Any man who, even for a nanosecond, decides its okay to scream profanities at his 4 year old is a loser and a coward and a poor excuse for a father. I don't give a rat's butt in a snow storm what kind of day he was having. Maybe he should hit her, too, because the guys at the office stressed him out? Any form of abuse is intolerable, and one time is one time too many.

JLCwrites
08-05-2008, 06:30 PM
Yelling on its own isn't a reason to criticize a parent, but cussing at a child and calling them names shows a complete lack of parenting skills. They are teaching their children how to behave, and in turn become more frustrated because their children are acting just like them.

Shadow_Ferret
08-05-2008, 07:29 PM
Guess I suck as a parent then.

Nice to see how judgemental everyone here is.

TerzaRima
08-05-2008, 10:20 PM
You might consider calling the school or tipping Child Protective Services.

IME, Child Protective Services doesn't do much about verbal or emotional abuse--they've got their hands full trying to case manage and protect kids who are hungry, sexually exploited, or are getting the tar beaten out of them.

Nobody here was ever cussed out or called names by their parents? Was everybody here raised by the Huxtables or something?

Siddow
08-05-2008, 11:06 PM
Guess I suck as a parent then.

Nice to see how judgemental everyone here is.

Aw, ferret, maybe my little tale of woe will make you feel better. I have a bit of a potty mouth, and although I do try to watch it, some things sneak out at inopportune moments.

My daughter said something one day that shocked me, and later we met up with the hubby for dinner. I was trying to tell him, quietly, without using the exact words, what she'd said. Little precious 5-yr-old corrects me, loudly, in a restaurant, "No, Daddy, what I said was, 'What the HELL is that noise?'"

Hm...no idea where she got that from. :)

Hillary
08-05-2008, 11:12 PM
Guess I suck as a parent then.

Nice to see how judgmental everyone here is.

Sorry, but I'm happy as hell to pass judgment on abusers. Name-calling and swearing at a 4-year old who was merely being a 4-year-old is beyond pathetic and is damaging to children, including the young ones who are still forming attachment bonds/behaviors with their caregivers.

Yelling happens - we're all guilty of it at one point or another.

But verbally abusing a pre-schooler is inexcusable. Period.

Hillary
08-05-2008, 11:20 PM
IME, Child Protective Services doesn't do much about verbal or emotional abuse--they've got their hands full trying to case manage and protect kids who are hungry, sexually exploited, or are getting the tar beaten out of them.

Ditto.


Nobody here was ever cussed out or called names by their parents? Was everybody here raised by the Huxtables or something?

I was yelled at, sure. Plenty, when I did something wrong. And I heard my parents let slip swears when they were pissed, of course. Even copied a few of them. And I'm very, very guilty of raising my voice to kids as a live-in nanny. I've even been on the phone with friends and accidentally let slip a less-than-clean word or two, much to the wide-eyed-surprise of the kids who would immediately pipe up with, "Hillary! You said DAMN! That's a BAD WORD!"

I wasn't ever hit or cursed AT though. And I've never hit or cursed at a child. I don't have my own, so maybe I'll magically become a bitch when I do, but I spent three years as a mother's helper and six years as a live-in nanny. And no, I absolutely never swore at a child or called one derogatory names. Jesus, of course not.

I don't particularly care if that's not the norm. Just as I don't care that they still use corporal punishment in public schools in some states in the US. To me, it's wrong. No two ways about it. "Everyone else" does it? Sorry, that's not going to be me.

I was raised in a family that thinks it's utterly pathetic if a grown adult cannot handle their own child without resorting to cruelty and aggression and verbal abuse.

CaroGirl
08-05-2008, 11:25 PM
After I witness something like that I feel like a better parent.

That feeling typically lasts until the next time I accidentally slam the car door on a small hand, or blow my stack because I've had to ask them 10 time EACH to brush their teeth and PUT THEIR G-D PYJAMAS ON!!

Then I feel about average all over again.

Shadow_Ferret
08-05-2008, 11:57 PM
I was raised in a family that thinks it's utterly pathetic if a grown adult cannot handle their own child without resorting to cruelty and aggression and verbal abuse.
And the only person here on this board who witnessed what happened was Mandy-Jane.

Therefore I don't know the truth of the matter, only her version of it.

I prefer to reserve judgement on the man until I witness his behavior myself. Mandy's idea of verbal abuse and my idea of verbal abuse might to two very divergent things. I'm not saying she didn't witness what she says she did, I'm just saying my view of it might not have been as heinous as hers.

And my own definition of cruelty, aggression, and verbal abuse and yours might be wildly divergent also.

TerzaRima
08-06-2008, 12:35 AM
The guy doesn't sound like Father of the Year, for sure. But I'm reminded of the time that a voicemail left by Alec Baldwin on his young daughter's cell phone was publicized and everyone was all "Zounds! The man is a child abuser who should lose all parental rights!" and, well, I don't know.

IIRC Baldwin sounded like a hotheaded, rather self absorbed asshole to his kid and if that constitutes child abuse, then about half of American children should be moved into foster care immediately. There's a lot of real estate between narcissistic, unmindful parenting and abuse.

KTC
08-06-2008, 12:41 AM
Any man person who, even for a nanosecond, decides its okay to scream profanities at his their 4 year old is a loser and a coward and a poor excuse for a father parent. I don't give a rat's butt in a snow storm what kind of day he was they were having. Maybe he they should hit her, too, because the guys at the office stressed him out? Any form of abuse is intolerable, and one time is one time too many.


Maybe you should change the above to include mothers and women. There...I did it for you. I know you were referring to this guy, but when you began 'any...' I just wanted to speak up. I've seen both sexes wailing on their children. It ain't pretty, no matter who does it. Anybody can have them...not everybody can be nice to them.

KTC
08-06-2008, 12:42 AM
I think you're judging someone on not knowing all the circumstances. Who knows what kind of day at work that man had. He might have been at his wit's end with other problems and stresses of the day and his daughter running just triggered it.

I can totally empathize with him and I hesitate to judge him as a parent because of this one episode.

Now if you tell me he does that every day, then I'll rethink my position. (Although you did mention his wife is a beast. Maybe the man is stressed from that!)


And I will agree with the others...there is no excuse for talking to your children like that. None. If you had a bad day, you do not take it out on your children.

Shadow_Ferret
08-06-2008, 12:54 AM
And I will agree with the others...there is no excuse for talking to your children like that. None. If you had a bad day, you do not take it out on your children.
As I said, I wasn't there so I don't know the situation.

There was a woman who lived next door to us and all you heard day and night was her screeching at her child, who I think was somewhere between 7 and 10. Most horrid woman I've ever met. THAT is abuse.

In this situation, I don't know if it was a one-time event, or an on-going pattern of behavior. I can forgive the one-time event. I've known people who were that stressed, lost job, behind on bills, totally stressed and all it takes is one simple act and they explode. As I said, I can empathize if that is the case here. We all reach a breaking point and even our most loved possessions can suffer in that one brief emotional blast.

So where you say there is no excuse, I say that sometimes mental stress causes things to happen that we have no control over.

Hillary
08-06-2008, 01:48 AM
And the only person here on this board who witnessed what happened was Mandy-Jane.

Therefore I don't know the truth of the matter, only her version of it.

I prefer to reserve judgement on the man until I witness his behavior myself. Mandy's idea of verbal abuse and my idea of verbal abuse might to two very divergent things. I'm not saying she didn't witness what she says she did, I'm just saying my view of it might not have been as heinous as hers.

And my own definition of cruelty, aggression, and verbal abuse and yours might be wildly divergent also.

I'm taking her at her word that he cursed at her and called her names. She was horrified enough by it to post. Her daughter even recognized it as mean.

Of course I can't say exactly what happened...

In fact, I never once directed my comments at the man in question. I addressed the actions he supposedly took. And whether he took them or not doesn't change my view on people who do.

Stress makes everyone snap. I get it. I just choose to have a higher standard for people who are in charge of raising children. I'm stressed and I'm going to snap? When I'm around kids, I don't make excuses, I learn to deal with it. I learn to separate myself, mentally or physically, from a situation for long enough that I can be calmer and more rational. I'm the adult and I'd better act like it. If I can't, I believe I have no business caring for kids.

KTC
08-06-2008, 02:42 AM
I agree. It's not nice being on the receiving end of that hostility. There is no excuse. 0. Nada. Zilch.

Devil Ledbetter
08-06-2008, 02:46 AM
Someone else's poor parental behavior only makes one's parenting skills "good" by comparison.

We're all better parents than Britney Spears: even the guy swearing at his errant 4-year-old.

KTC
08-06-2008, 02:47 AM
Someone else's poor parental behavior only makes one's parenting skills "good" by comparison.

We're all better parents than Britney Spears: even the guy swearing at his errant 4-year-old.

point.

Mandy-Jane
08-06-2008, 02:56 AM
Just want to say I wasn't looking for pats on the back about my own parenting abilities in writing this. (But thanks for them!) I just meant that when I get very angry at my own kids, I feel bad about it. But I know that I would never ever do anything like this.

Those who mentioned maybe having a quiet word to the parents - well, nice advice. I guess I could try it but I have to honestly say, these people scare me! I could tell the pre-school staff but I don't know how much authority they have to take action in situations like these.

Shadow Ferret - I understand what you're saying about being judgemental. And there are things I didn't write in my original post because I didn't want to appear as such. But I'll say them now. This wasn't just a bad day. These people are unclean, messy, physically dirty and when I walk past them, they smell very strongly of a mixture of body odour and alcohol. The wife is hugely overweight - they are obviously unhealthy. In my opinion, they're feral. Now that's a judgement, but I'll stand by it.

Mandy-Jane
08-06-2008, 08:17 AM
Update: I just went to pick my daughter up again today and was parked behind these same parents. The mother went in to pick up the daughter. The dad was still in the car. Another dad walked past and stopped to talk. As I was walking past I heard the dad in question say "yeah so I've got an appointment with the meth nurse."

So maybe that explains some behaviour; maybe not. Not being judgemental; just letting you all know.......

Siddow
08-06-2008, 08:29 AM
Update: I just went to pick my daughter up again today and was parked behind these same parents. The mother went in to pick up the daughter. The dad was still in the car. Another dad walked past and stopped to talk. As I was walking past I heard the dad in question say "yeah so I've got an appointment with the meth nurse."

So maybe that explains some behaviour; maybe not. Not being judgemental; just letting you all know.......

This is pre-school, right? You do realize that you've got your own young child in an environment ALL DAY LONG where she is exposed to someone who not only (I assume) has methamphetamine chemicals on her clothing, but is also brought up in a home where the parent(s) use meth?

Is this where you deliberately place your child during the day?

And then come here, patting yourself on the back, for not being 'loosers' like the other child's parent?

I'm just trying to get it clear, just exactly what it is that you're proud of.

Mandy-Jane
08-06-2008, 08:46 AM
Well an attitude like that I can do without. What the hell makes you so self-righteous? For your information, that is the only pre-school in the area. Secondly, she is not there ALL DAY; she is there for half the day. Thirdly, until this afternoon, I had no idea that there was any such situation existing.

Never did I say that the other parents were losers (or loosers! - what?) and never did I suggest that I am a better parent than they are (although I'll say quite proudly that I am!)

And if you're insinuating that I am a loser or a bad parent, then I really think you need to apologise. How dare you.

And if you knew my daughter you'd know exactly what I'm proud of.

Cassiopeia
08-06-2008, 09:03 AM
*clears her throat*

Well, after reading the thread, I guess I have something to say. I agree that swearing and dragging a child along the way is completely wrong. There is no excuse as KTC stated.

I'd also like to state for the record that I'm really glad my life is not up for public comment. Though I do not behave in this manner or dress or live the life Mandy-Jane has described, I'm quite sure people could find horrors about my life. No, I take that back, I am not quite sure, I know for a fact they could.

I do however, do the best I can.

And perhaps in that light, that we all do the best we can, ( I firmly believe that even a meth addict is doing the best they can because they are addicted to a drug that keeps them from doing any better) I think Sherry Tex has the most helpful of posts.

Mandy, I would in your shoes, in light of what you described be bringing this to the attention of the school authorities and social services. Siddow, did how ever make a valid point, I'd get my kid out of that school. I know you are a good mom and you will do the right thing for your child.

Siddow
08-06-2008, 09:03 AM
I'm not insinuating anything. You're the one who came in with the breaking news that the father was a meth addict and
These people are unclean, messy, physically dirty and when I walk past them, they smell very strongly of a mixture of body odour and alcohol. The wife is hugely overweight - they are obviously unhealthy. In my opinion, they're feral. Now that's a judgement, but I'll stand by it.

Did you just learn all of this today?

I haven't judged you. I only asked some questions.

I'm proud of my kids, too, but I don't have to put other people down to show how great they are. And I don't brag that my kids recognize a-holes, because I figure pointing out good behavior versus bad is part of my job as a parent. Jumping up and down because I'm not as big of an a-hole as the next kind of makes ME an a-hole in itself, doesn't it?

JennaGlatzer
08-06-2008, 09:27 AM
What a weirdly ugly turn... I'm going to lock this until SK or OFG takes a peek in.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
08-06-2008, 03:21 PM
I took more than a peek and I'm opening this juuuuust long enough to echo Jenna's opinion on the quick, ugly turn this took. What happened to 'respect your fellow writer' here? Don't answer that; it was rhetorical... and since I'm locking this again as soon as I finish, you won't be able to anyway.

But do think about it, please.

Thank you.