Today, I feel a little like Classy Rose, as in there is something bugging me.
Last month, we had a great visit to Virginia Children’s Museum. There, I noticed the different parenting styles and I wondered what mine would be if I had been blessed with children.
I like to think I would have been like my niece, interacting with my kids, playing with them, teaching them, encouraging them. I think she is an incredible mother.
The other parenting styles I saw left me wondering why there isn’t an intelligence test that people must take before they can become parents. A few of the things I saw that bothered me:
There was a little girl playing in the hospital area. I heard her calling “Mommy, mommy, look at this!” She was so excited about something, the x-rays I think. Mommy was sitting on a bench outside of the area, texting on her phone. She never looked up when the child called.
The child went over near the bench and again called “Mommy!” She was still a little excited. Mommy again never looked up.
The child moved closer and put her hand on Mommy’s leg and asked “Mommy?” Not only did Mommy never look up, but Mommy actually pulled away from the child! She never acknowledged her at all and just kept right on texting!
This child didn’t even look like she was 5 years old and already she’s being ignored by her mother. The one person she looks to for love, acceptance, validation. It appalled and angered me.
There was the father that was wrangling, I guess you would say, his two little girls. They were shy and looked uncomfortable being among all the other children. Dad was on the phone.
What I mean was, every time I saw him in the few hours we were there, he was on the phone. He would shepherd the girls from one area to the next, where they would maybe play if no other children were around, or they would just stand there and watch until Dad thought it was time for them to go to a different area.
Never once did I see him speak to his children other than to tell them where to go, yet he never stopped speaking to the person on the other end of his mobile phone. I was ready to tell him where to go by the time we left!
Then there was the parent-less bully kid. He looked older than most of the kids there. He was hanging around the tree house area every time we went over there, pushing his way where ever he wanted to go.
He ignored all of the signed posted though he was clearly old enough to be able to read them. He pushed his way to the front of whatever line he wanted to be in. He intimidated the little children.
Yet, not only did most of the other parents NOT saying anything to him if their child was involved, but his parents were no where to be found. I was not as polite as the other parents. When it came to my grand-niece and nephew, I told him to move away from them, let them play, and wait his turn.
I am not a parent. I have no right to feel these parents are doing wrong. I’ve never been in their shoes.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be judgemental where parenting is concerned, but all I see are the innocent children. Children who didn’t choose their parents. Children who deserve to be paid attention to, to be played with, to be taught, and yes, to be disciplined.