Friday, March 1, 2013

Theme Thursday: Other People's Kids (and their parents)

Sooner or later we all go through it. Our children venture out into the world and they, and we, have to deal with other children.  Moreover we have to deal with other parents.

Except for a close friend whose daughter was the same age as our eldest, and occasional get togethers with cousins, our children didn't interact with other children much when they were small.  The cost of preschool being prohibitive, and ill suited to shift workers anyway, they didn't attend school until kindergarten.  About the same age they started Scouting, and the Boy began baseball, and the Girl dance, who we suddenly found ourselves interacting with lots of parents and kids.

There are parent/child combos where both are wonderful. There are great parents with bad kids, and wonderful kids with frightening parents. Then there are the ones you want to change school systems to avoid.

I frankly don't have the horror stories that some people do about these interactions,  but there were nonetheless some very strange moments.  Over the years I have encountered several juvenile and parental types that really annoyed me.

Hovercraft mamas.  They always seem to be moms, don't they?  They think their child will starve on an overnight camping trip.  One time a mom I heard about brought Wendy's out to her kid at camp because he didn't like what dinner was.  They call 3 or 4 times while their child is at your house for a 3 hour visit. 

Expert parents.  My husband and I have always volunteered where we could at our kids activities.  But we have always been glad to let the coach, teacher, or scout leader be the one in charge.  I think its important that kids learn to respect authority figures, even when they don't agree with them.  We have always told them that they should do what their instructor tells them to do (as far as their activity is concerned). Its very jarring at sporting events to see parents call children over to the sidelines to give them corrections. Its even more jarring to hear the kid say "but coach said" only to hear the parent say "Never mind the coach, this is what you should do .I know what's best for you."

Spy kids. You know the type. Every quirky aspect of your house is being reported back once the visit is over.  Sometimes the kid is spying on her own, and sometimes she is going to be pumped by a parent.  When your kids are in elementary school this is especially scary because we all know there are 4 or 5 moms who run everything, and you want to stay off their radar. 

Kids gone wild.  Over the years I have had the misfortune of dealing with children who's parents don't believe in restraint. Or discipline. Or manners. Or (when smaller) playpens and baby gates.  Or saying "No". These privledged darlings  inform your child of the injustice being done them that they do not have all the major gaming platforms available at home.  They are astounding to discover that your child is not permitted to run loose at the mall at the age of 10.They talk back to their parents, not jokingly like kids will do, but insultingly and disrespectfully.   They are fascinated by parents who insist that once a child has made a commitment that involves the outlay of cash by the parents they are expected to meet that commitment.  In short they are spoiled brats and one has to work to limit the contagion as much as possible. If your child must spend time with such kids, you try to minimize the damage afterward: "You know that's just not how we do things in our family,"

I like most kids, really. I wouldn't have spent all these years working with Scouts if I didn't. But some times they drive you crazy especially in conjunction with parents. But eventually the kids mature. Hopefully the good sense you instilled in your child kicks in.

In general its best to learn to roll with the punches and deal with all these personalities, both the kids and their parents. Learning to deal with people with different standards and conduct is a part of life.  Its best to learn this early because one day your child will be in high school. And they will start dating.

What is it about Thursday's? I love my Theme Thursday blog hop where bloggers all write to a suggested topic.  But somehow Thursday seems to be the day that I have trouble finding inspiration, cohesion, or a conclusion. So here we are, Theme Thursday on Friday, yet again.  Still, click on the link and go check out all the wonderful posts on this topic by more punctual writers  And we will try to do better next week.


  1. No, no, no. My son will not be dating, ever. When I die, he can get married. And I've already chosen his wife.

    1. Our son's dating experiences were pretty tame, he's off to college soon, but his sister will be starting high school. and as her dad likes to say,"Guns dont kill people, dads of pretty girls do".