Tiger Mom vs. French Mom vs. American Mom...when did we become adversaries?
Now there's another book out saying how moms in France do it better than American moms. First the Tiger Mom was better. Now the French Mom. I think I missed something...aren't we all supposed to support each other instead of knocking each other down?
Then you go to the responses to articles about these books and parenting theories. They all talk about how kids these days are all spoiled, disprespectful, ill behaved. Parents are lazy, enabling, and ignorant. Of course, every person commenting raised their kids to be perfect, even though all other kids are total brats. They all talk about kids running around in restaurants, screaming and making a commotion disturbing other diners while the parents chat on oblivious. They talk about kids not having basic manners. All except their own, of course..they were raised to be perfect, never needed taken out of a restaurant, and in all other ways popped out of the womb perfectly behaved and composed mini-adults.
Congratulations to the parents of those perfect children who never did anything wrong in their lifetime. You've either managed to drown their imperfections and your stress in an alcoholic state of denial, or you've managed to reach that state of denial the all natural way. Very pc of you. My kids, however, are also perfect. They're just perfectly normal, not Stepford children.
I have to say, this is not my daily experience. At birthday parties with 20 kids, maybe 1-2 are a problem, if that. The others don't act crazy, are polite. My friends' kids are all disciplined and taught manners. We get together frequently and let the kids play, and rarely have a night where the kids have issues. Sure, the toddlers may need a mediator from time to time, but otherwise it's pretty good. We eat out and I'm not surrounded by screaming children running through the restaurant knocking into servers. I've witnessed these events at times, but it's not common. We have kids. We eat out. There are other families where we eat. I see parents correcting kids who begin to get restless, reinforcing manners. In our daycare there are many kids from various cultures, but I don't see one family doing better at raising their kids than another. I don't notice a difference in the kids from these cultures. Generally speaking they are all good kids. They're learning, they act out, get corrected. They need reminded sometimes about table manners. Nothing shocking, major, or undisciplined. Sure, there's one or two you pray decline the birthday party invitation, but that's a small percentage of the classroom.
When did it become more acceptable to criticize and tear down parents and kids today, than to compliment them? If a group of 20 kids yields 1-2 rambuctous, undisciplined kids, why is that ALL people talk about to use as an example of "kids today"? What, the other 18-19 weren't news worthy enough for you?
Parenting today is not easy. Rewarding as hell, but not easy. Most families have 2 parents working outside the home, trying to rush home to get quality family time, maintain the house, their relationship, and raise healthy, happy, well behaved and adjusted children. Why do we not support each other? Why do we only criticize?
The parents I see at our daycare, social outings, activities all seem to be doing a pretty good job. There are some spoiled kids in our circle, sure. But the rest say please, thank you, or excuse me. If they forget, I hear parents reminding them. When out in public I don't often see a kid melting down, running amok. When I do, I more often than not see a parent quickly stepping in to nip the behavior quickly. And that doesn't mean that's the normal for that kid, either. You may just be seeing one bad day. My oldest is my errand buddy. Even as a baby he was great to run errands with, and he is now 5 and still loves to go with me. He makes grocery shopping so much less of a chore. He's great. Last month in Target, he turned into his own evil twin. It was very out of character, and I had to find a deserted corner of the store for an immediate time out, got him under control, then checked out and left without finishing our shopping. That was one outing out of hundreds. Literally. How many people judged me that day as a lazy parent?
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, I beg you, lift up your fellow parents. Take the time to notice the kids being good. They don't stand out and demand your attention, but they are out there. There are more of them than the others, you just need to look. Tell parents when you notice their kid behaving, being polite. Smile at the table next to you with two young kids trying to hold still and be good, even though their little bodies want to be in a constant state of motion. And STOP looking to other cultures and telling everyone that they get it perfect, and we get it wrong. We don't. I've travelled for work to other countries. You know what I see? Children. Normal, healthy children. They don't seem better behaved. And the kids here aren't brats.
Let's make it more acceptable to be positive. Wouldnt' that be refreshing?