Sunday, January 31, 2010

Musings on the parenting styles of others...

There are many people out there that I simply don't agree with their parenting styles -my sister, for one. She and I just don't really see eye to eye when it comes to... hmm.. well, just about everything and her parenting style and mine are quite different.

However, in the dailiy interactions with the living, I see people that are too strict. People that say things I think are inappropriate to say around children. People that are too lazy. People that are too selfish. If there's one thing in life that is a guarantee, there are different kinds of people out there.

So flash forward to this weekend...we just had some friends come into town to stay the night. They used to live across the street and their son and my oldest were best friends. Their son, "A" has always been a bit of a handful and was a bit on the impulsive side but I always wrote it off to him just being a kid. So they moved away a couple of years ago but still come back this time of year every year for the rodeo here in Fort Worth.

Their tradition is for the first night they stay at the Embassy Suites and he lets the boys spend the day/evening swimming and playing and having fun. While they were here picking up my son, A kept acting like he was doing karate kicks on his dad's knee. Dad just laughs it off. When they were leaving to head to the hotel, I said to my son, "You better listen to Mr. ____ so that I get a good report or you will have consequences." His reply was, "Yes, ma'am." Then the other little boy said, "You know, you're not the boss of him, it's a free country." I said, "It may be a free country but until he's an adult and while he is living under my roof, it's my rules" and I smiled and bid them a good evening.

So the next morning, my son comes home to tell me that A just walked off from them (intentionally) and basically got lost in the hotel on purpose so that his dad had to come down to the front desk to get him. ??? He said that A told him he feels more like a grown up when he's doing things on his own.

Flash forward to yesterday... when they go to the rodeo... he's calling his dad stupid.... idiot.... told his dad that he's not the boss of him.... says he doesn't have to listen to him.... apparently my son said his behavior was just BAD. I think it really speaks WORLDS (not that I'm bragging) but that my son can really SEE and WITNESS this type of behavior in a peer.

They come home from the rodeo and we all go to dinner last night. A doesn't eat a THING ... literally, they bring home 85% of his dinner in a take home box but when we walk past the Smoothie Factory which we parked in front of, his dad was ACTUALLY going to BUY him a smoothie? We just LEFT A FREAKIN RESTAURANT???? Don't buy that kid a smoothie! He didn't because I said that I make smoothies at home. Which I do - but I didn't intend to. I said I'd make one in the morning depending on when we were going to breakfast.

We get back to the house and eventually he goes to change into his pajamas. He walks around the corner, changes and tosses his clothes in front of my bedroom door. I didn't notice until I was headed to my room for the night. It was then that I asked him politely, "A, can you come here for a second." He replies, "HUH?" I said, "I think you left something over here." Again, "HUH." His dad comes over and gets his clothes off the floor FOR him... ???? what lesson did his son learn. I'm sure that he was just trying to be a good guest but... seriously, let the kid learn a lesson. :(

OMG it was the MOST aggravating thing ever. His dad finally did just lay into him at one point before dinner last night but??? to even ALLOW the things that come out of that child's mouth.... to come OUT OF HIS MOUTH... with no consequences... I'm just floored.

They've invited Josh to their lakehouse for a few days this summer but seriously, I'm not sure I WANT him to go or that HE would even want to for that matter. He was really looking forward to seeing his friend and then to have him behave like this really ruined a lot of Josh's fun.

Josh actually said to me last night, "I'm glad I know that we have rules and that you're a good parent. I'd hate to act like that in public." I said, "...and can you imagine how Mr. ____ feels having to come up with apologies and excuses for that behavior?" My son said, "I thought in a couple of years, he'd grow up but he's just gotten worse. How sad." MY SON FEELS SORRY for his friend beuase he treats his dad so horribly.

Man alive I can't even begin to imagine what that child will be like as a teen.

This morning they all went to breakfast (I wasn't really hungry) and my son said that A sat at the table texting the entire time, didn't eat anything and rarely, if ever, engaged in conversation. I won't even let my children ANSWER the phone at home during mealtime... let alone sit at the table playing with toys...


Thing is, I really, truly just love this family. They've got great hearts and perhaps, it's just the whole complete distant polar opposites as far as parenting styles but seriously, I'd knock my kid out of his chair if he called me stupid or an idiot. My heart hurts for this family. And frankly, I don't KNOW what issues, if any, this boy has (like autism or anything).... so that he's literally unable to control the impulses to act out. Sigh. I have my little quips and complaints about my kids (who doesn't) but I do feel blessed that it's no where near what I witnessed this weekend because I honestly do not feel like I'd be able to maintain my sanity or not have CPS called on me. I'll pray for them...because I want them to experience peace, and respect and love and authoritative roles that he will learn to appreciate and obey.

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