I know many bloggers have written about this topic already, and I have to wonder, when the hell is something going to change? If we KNOW as a society it is an issue, why the f**k is it still going on? Why are we allowing our children to act like this?
I was at the gas station last night, and on my way out, a teen was coming in the door, he paused and held the door while hollering at his friends. I thought he was holding the door for me. When I started to come out he started to come in, without looking, and proceeded to step into and on me. When I started to apologize and explain I thought he was holding the door for me he and his friend started to curse at me. “What the hell! Watch where you are walking you stupid b***h!”
Now, I was already exhausted from a long day at two of my 3 jobs, and late heading out to see my son. But I paused, and calmly, but firmly said the following “Young man, I apologize for bumping you but when you paused to yell back to your “dawg” I presumed you were one of the few with manners and were holding the door for a lady.” He started to get smart with me again, and the manager and a woman came over. I thought, Great! Now he will be asked to apologize. Nope. Instead the manager, and the woman who identified herself as his aunt, told me I had no right to discipline the teen. Say WHAT?
Needless to say, after the day I had, I was about ready to explode. Another customer who came in placed his hand on my shoulder and said, quietly, two words. “Karma. Walk away.” And he smiled at me. I took a deep breath and did just that. So thank you kind man for helping me regain my emotional control. But after I got home it really struck a chord. My own son has been taught since he was strong enough to open a door, we always hold the door for ladies, we say please and thank you, and we never EVER use a disrespectful tone with our friends AND elders. I work as a teacher and the insane amount of nasty and sarcasm that flows from my students is MINDBOGGLING. When did this become ok? When did it become acceptable to basically BULLY one another? I see teachers bullying students, I see schools with strict no bullying policies letting things slide because “kids will be kids”. And before someone accuses me of being a touchy-feely hug one another type, NO I am not. I get it the world is a tough place and I am far from wanting my son to grow up and be a wimp. BUT common respect and courtesy is not too much to ask of our children!
When did we go away from manners and from helping one another with our kids? I get it ALL the time. If I see a child doing something horribly dangerous on the playground, such as climbing on the outside of a 15 foot high slide, I SAY SOMETHING. “Hey buddy, I know that is fun for you but it would be awesome if you stop, because I am afraid my son might try it, and he is only six. Would you mind coming down?” I can count on my fingers AND toes the number of times I have, on teacher and nanny and mommy instinct, “parented” another person’s child. I also have been given more s**t than I can count for doing it. But come on! I don’t go around smacking other peoples kids, I don’t issue timeouts to kids who are not my own or are at least those of super close friends of mine. But I DO talk politely and attempt to re-direct them. And I get the attention of the parents or caregivers and alert them of the situation. Because, I was raised to believe, it takes a village.
I want it to be the 50’s again. When children are taught respect, parents have great conversations, and manners are abundant. I want the days where children played nice and the meanest thing they ever called one another is “stupid-head”. When teens would never EVER consider calling a complete stranger a name, especially not a “stupid b**ch”. And where the entire village is allowed to control the children!