This week's vote had to do with the things other parents do that absolutely drives you nuts (aside from blogging). If we are being honest, I am probably guilty of everything on the list at some point in any given week, but that doesn't mean I can't pretend I don't and shake my head in disapproval when I see other parents doing it.
The winner by a small margin goes to the parents who believe their children are future Nobel Prize winners, professional athletes, or the future leader of the Free World. In their defense, I hope we all look at our children and see how wonderul they are and believe they are the most amazing kids ever created.
However, to those parents who use it as a symbol of their own worth: stop it.
First, the chances that your child is an actual genius is less than 2%. That's right, before you enroll them in Mensa, consider that their IQ must be above 175 (though, I am not entirely sure what that means). Put it this way, if they are 3 or under, and they can read their favorite book back to you, hold off on calling Harvard, they have a great memory. If they can write the book for you...and translate it into Portuguese...you may have some bragging rights on the playground.
More important than their brains, however, is their happiness. Do they enjoy their day? Are they interested by life and the world around them? Are they curious? If so, then that is what you should be shouting from the rooftops. And if you feel the need to talk endlessly about your little one's latest accomplishments, know that that is normal too. Our children are an enormous part of our lives, and we share our lives with loved ones. Just resist the urge to talk only about them, or engage in a competition of sorts with another parent. Share your stories, listen to the stories of others, and encourage your own child's interests without pressure.
And for those of you who think I am somehow clouded by the belief my children are the most fantastic people ever-- I actually do....and hopefully you believe yours are too.
The rest of the voting remained close with second place a tie between the yelling parents and chidlren who'd make Pigpen proud. As for the yelling parents, we all lose our cool and, more often than not, regret losing control when caught in a moment. Though I prefer screaming in a pillow, I have caught myself more than raising my voice when pushed to the limit (e.g. after no naps, feeling exhausted, smelling something strange, hearing "no" for the thousandth time, and then being confronted with the happy task of getting them dressed....a combined recipe for mommy losing her cool). But I just have little tolerance for consistently negative moms who yell, talk about their kids in a derogatory way to other parents while their kids stand by and listen, or the ones that believe they somehow had nothing to do with their child's nerve-racking antics.
And I always wonder, if they are that cruel to their kids in public, imagine what they're like at home.
As for the Pigpens...this is a tough call. I subscribe to the DB perspective of summer, when the quality of a little kid's day as everything to do with how much dirt they've managed to collect. Or, if they really had a good time with the spaghetti dinner, who cares if they need to be hosed down? But, there are the ones who never seem bathed, brushed, or put together and that isn't great. There is a time for everything....for being a kid, and for being a little person who understands the importance of putting your best self out there.
Finally, my vote came in third with parents who don't follow through. If you say you are going to do something ...do it. Kids need a clear understanding of good and appropriate behavior and that leaves no room for mixed messages. Even if it would be a lot easier to give them the lollipop every time they ask, they certainly shouldn't get one after they painted the neighbor's dog. Or, what I like to call: Parenting 101.
Last was overage pacifier use, followed by parents in denial. The former usually has something to do with parental laziness, a comittment to staying sane, or just an indifference to what society thinks is apporopriate. The latter is something probably reserved for the therpist's couch as opposed to this blog, but is also something we're all guilty of at different points (and if not now...bet on the high school years).
So that is it! Thanks for voting and be sure to check out the latest vote.
3 years ago