The young mother working in the upholstery store in the trendy area of La Brea Avenue in Los Angeles asked about children in my household.

“Huh?”

“Well,” she explained, “ You might want to consider a darker color and a very sturdy fabric.”

“Huh?”

Was she suggesting kids in the house meant jumping on the couch I was re-doing and mistreating it with some other unimaginable behaviors?

“Yes,” she answered emphatically and went on to share the conversations she heard from parent customers.

The following tutorial ensued: people she knows call her strict because she doesn’t allow her 3-year-old to do whatever she wants; she is told to stop letting her child cry and to quickly give the 3-year old whatever will stop the tears.

“Huh?”

My mouth, by then, was hanging open, and difficulty ensued when I attempted to verbally respond. But the young mother continued anyway, and told me of the mom she knew who would fix a meal for her youngster but when the child demanded something different,the mom would, if necessary, get in her car and drive to the store to purchase and then prepare the food items necessary to satisfy the kid.

Well!

The young mother suggested texting me a photo of the yardage I was considering for my front -room couch.

I assured her that even though I was an elder, I knew about texting and as I left the store I gave her a long great-grandmotherly gaze and said, “ Stick to your style of parenting, and congratulations for knowing who’s the boss.”

I don’t know enough about the children who are crossing our borders. And I know even less when it comes to the real issues behind the unrest in the Middle East. Well, I’ve got a hankering that we, the public, ain’t getting, as usual, the full story, so I’m not going to put my foot in my mouth on national and international issues as they relate to parents and their children.

Now whether Justin Ross Haris, the dad with the questionable persona actually cooked his baby boy , Cooper, in the hot car on purpose, I’m not ready to comment on until all the evidence is laid out in the courtroom.

In the meantime, I do know a heck of a lot about the subject of kids crying and parents giving in. And I know more than a lot when it comes to parents being in charge and not letting their kids rule the roost. And I know even more when it comes to the evils that accompany parents abdicating responsibility.
When I got to the Rocking Chair Store down the street at 3rd and La Brea, the topic of kids came up again as the store owner just happened to mention the mom whose kids ran through the store testing how the chairs glided or rocked.

“Mom didn’t make ‘em behave?” I foolishly asked.

“Not these days,” he said with wonderment.

“Parents are afraid to take charge.” he said with a look and a voice tone denoting disappointment.

I checked my cell phone for the fabric color that was sent from the upholstery shop so I could match up with the fabric for my new rocking chair.

I’m not, as yet, sure my colors are matching but I am sure that there are some members of our society out there who recognize that today’s parents have gone wild and that they are raising children who are just as untamed.

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Walt Haddock

    YOU GOT IT RIGHT, SHIRLEE. PARENTS NEED TO BE BOSS OF THE HOME, NOT THE KIDS. AND IN THE STORES AND PARKS, AS WELL.

  2. L Monteros

    Didn’t just start with today’s parents. I think it’s always been around, this indulging kids, but probably only for the very well off. Anyway, as a person who came of age in the sixties, I can opine that this permissiveness really took hold then. Children were free spirits, so they should be allowed to do whatever they wanted. And age-appropriate behavior was considered, which is a good concept fundamentally when used as benchmarks, but has been used to allow kids to wreak havoc because standing on the table or pulling a playmate’s hair or screaming at Mom and Dad was age appropriate.

    My answer is kids who are allowed to do whatever they want are not really free spirits, they are terrified because they are not old enough to set their own boundaries but they need them to be there (parents!), and just because a behavior is age appropriate does not mean you shouldn’t help the child to move to the next level of behavior, to teach them what is expected as they grow.

    Kids don’t stop asking for indulgences unless they are no longer indulged. It becomes a contest, and as I always said, “I will win, so you might as well stop now.”

  3. Jean Troy

    I agree that today parents are afraid of being parents. My niece comes to my home with my nephew and sets down she forgets that she is a mom while her intelligent curious son runs through the house pushing buttons turning on equipment and other things that a four year old with no supervision does. I get up and I walk with him I explain once why things should not be pushed or started and I give consequences if the act is repeated. I”ve only had to do “time out” once after that my Nephew knows what is acceptable and what is not acceptable at my home. My Niece is amazed at how well behaved he is at my home when he won’t listen to her. I told Her I’m amazed that she has done nothing to increase her parenting skills, maybe if the Phone went away and she paid her son some attention she too, could get results that would make both their lives easier.

  4. -Nate

    ” as I always said, “I will win, so you might as well stop now.”

    THIS .

    It’s such a simple concept and I’m always amazed at how few ‘ parents ‘ grasp it then go on to complain constantly about how badly their Children act .

    My Son knew from the jump that every action had it’s consequences good or bad anbd that he was expected to learn by making mistakes but to never be rude or mean at the same time he learned to never start a fight but to always finish one .

    Oddly v, this allowed this single Parent Child to raise up in The Ghetto (1- 1/2 block from the Summit St. shooting Sat.) always being at the top of his class and maintaining a 4.0 GPA , doesn’t like drugs , doesn’t have tattoos , is respectful of everyone until they actively discourage him , has a stable marriage , a good career , on and on and……

    It really isn’t difficult as Children , like Students , will always rise to the level of expectation .

    I’m no better and certainly less educated than those PIA ‘ helicopter ‘ parents who’s wild children make them selves unwelcome every where they go .

    If I did it , so can anyone .

    Turn OFF the TV and cell ‘phone .

    -Nate

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