Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Where are your children?

Let me preface this blog entry. This does not apply to all parents and children- however... if you see shades of you and your children in this blog, I take no responsibility for that!

Ok, maybe I am old fashioned. It could possibly be me... I doubt it. It could be I am pissed off because parents now-a-days give no discipline to these crazy ass kids running around. The subject of children have been on my mind lately and it was not until I had a concrete example that I wanted to comment. Examples came to me on Friday, Sunday and Monday. All of these examples leaves me asking: do you know where your children are? Do you know what they are doing? Are they acting like they have sense? What kind of upbringing have you instilled in them? Where are your children???

Friday I came home from work, let the dogs out and fed them- separately because I have two fatties that like to eat everyone's food, but that is neither here nor there. While I was in the midst of feeding the dogs and let them out again (so there is less of a possiblity of having to spend Friday night mopping the floor) there came a screech from outside like a small child caught in an oversized blender. For those of you who don't know, I purchased a corner house on the south side of Chicago. Often, to my dismay, the neighborhood kids think it is fun and exciting to hang out on my front lawn, crash through my bushes and push each other into my house. They think it is funny until I get fed up and become the crazy neighborhood lady and start correcting their bad behavior from my perch in the living room. I have done it on MANY occasions and am not afraid to do it again. Friday was different. School started from Chicago Public Schools last Tuesday, so the neighborhood gets quiet earlier- which I like, so Friday, I just let the noise happen. A couple times I sat on my perch and opened the blinds and was amazed at what I saw: kids sitting in the middle of the street, talking on their cell phones; kids hitting each other with sticks; kids with no jackets on- even though it was 55 degrees out; kids pulling each other into the street and children dancing in the street as cars approached. Now, all of you who actually know me, know that I am not against having a good time, BUT...
WTF, where were their parents????

When growing up in Columbus (Ohio- which is not even close to what goes down on the southside of Chicago) my sister and I had to be on the porch when the street lights came on. Please, I don't want to even talk about what happened if my parents actually looked on the porch and we weren't there. Yet, at 10:30 on a Friday, I looked out my windown at the screaming kids and I knew they didnt belong to my neighbors. They stayed out until 11:30.

Sunday, there was more of the same- they called it a night at an early 9:45, but the noise factor was the same. So I just started to think that I live down the block from some bad ass kids, with even worse parents. Monday showed me that it was not just my neighborhood.

I ride the train downtown (could you imagine me and my sassy mouth stuck in rush hour twice a day? Yeah, me either). Generally I am surrounded by businessmen and women. Monday, however, was different. There were kids on our train (school is back in session). They were horrid. There was crying from the small ones (along with pleading from the parents- begging them to behave). There were curse words coming from the big ones... ok, I have the mouth of a dirty sailor, but even I will hold off until I am not surrounded by old ladies and people I don't know. Seriously, where are your children? For the parents of the small ones: all I can say is my parents never pled with me to behave. They told me to behave and they said it once. There was no way M&A were taking back talk, temper tantrums or any other ridiculous behavior. Noone wanted to be a part of that. My parents had simple rules, one of which was you will NOT embarrass the family while in public. Even my sister, who KNOWS that she is a drama queen would not have tantrums outside the house. There is NO WAY that is going to fly. Hell, I am 30 and I still wouldn't do it.

For the parents of the big ones: you need to get your children under control. Yes, I do know that you cannot control your kids 24 hours a day, but the amount of disrespect that these kids were showing leads me to believe that it is not occasional; instead it is habit. Friends or not, relaxed environment or not, your kids should not run the house. You are the parent.

I am very opinionated (as if you could not tell from my daily posts) and I think that the character of a person starts at home. Parents are responsible for training a child to be productive members of society. Every once in a while a child will stray- I get that, but just letting your kids run amuk is nuts. I look around and I am scared. Not about one of them hurting me for correcting their bad asses out my front window, instead I am afraid of what the future will bring. What will happen when all these self absorbed people enter the workforce? College? Parenthood? There should be time for correcting you child. There should be time for making sure they help out their fellow man. There should be time to make sure that they give back to their community. You have to teach them discipline. Why? Because, as my friends and I are starting to find out, life is not always fair. It is not always a party and you don't always get your way. Sometimes you have to work twice as hard to get half as much... sometimes you have to give yourself a pep talk to get out of bed and go to work, sometimes you want to shout- and you may be justified, but you just CAN'T. What are your kids going to do during those times? Throw a tantrum? In order for us to have a productive society, we have to have productive children... and in order to have that we need involved parents, who teach their children right from wrong, charity, humility, grace and to love their neighbor. So again, I ask, where are your children?


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