Friday, April 27, 2012
6 Signs You're a Bad Parent
I believe in reconnaissance prior to making big buys (especially if I don’t have the money at the time) and while doing Ipad legwork today, ran into the results of bad parenting pretty much everywhere I went. In case you are wondering if you are, in fact, a bad parent, I suggest you print this post, laminate it and keep it handy for reference.
1) If your teenaged daughter is driving the wrong way (as in completely blowing by the “One Way Do Not Enter” sign) in a driveway, nearly hits me head on and then FLIPS ME OFF because I honk my horn and do not get out of her (wrong) way, YOU are a bad parent. You were supposed to teach her how to read, how to follow BIG white arrows painted on the floor of a parking structure and how to take responsibility for her actions and errors. You were also supposed to teach her that it is a VERY bad idea to flip off strangers because you never know when you’re dealing with someone who will come back after you. Ask the guy from my high school class who ended up with a length of pipe through his jaw after he flipped off a motorcyclist. The guy throwing the pipe was never caught.
2) If your mother, who is 70 lbs. overweight and has arthritic knees is in charge of your energetic toddler in a busy mall or near traffic so you can “run errands” or “just pop in here for a minute”, YOU are a bad parent. I have made at least two diving grabs of small children about to run in front of oncoming cars (being driven by people who were too busy texting (yes), listening to EXTREMELY loud music or driving and talking on a handheld phone – also the result of bad parenting - to notice). Grandma or Nonna does not have the ability to keep up with the child. I have also stood guard over little kids who wandered away from their supervising adults (usually, Grandma) You don’t want to worry about your kids while you’re shopping? GET A SITTER. Leave them at home with Nonna. They’ll all have a great time conspiring against you.
3) If your child is having a public meltdown, YOU are a bad parent. Why? Clearly, your child is overstimulated and overtired and you should be hauling said child HOME (they can go hang with Nonna). You’re probably one of those obnoxious douchebags who talks a good game about how your world revolves around the little prince or princess and about all the lengths you go to and how much money you spend to provide the very best, not to mention the sacrifices you’ve made. Remaining in a public place after your kid starts screaming means you are putting yourself and what you want ahead of the kid, thereby contradicting your smug superiority. You are also inflicting your lousy parenting on complete strangers. In the middle of dinner or a movie? Tough. You probably shouldn’t have brought Junior in the first place. New rule: If the kids starts screaming, you have 30 seconds to stop it or leave the public space. Remain and every person around you is permitted, encouraged and required to take your picture and upload it to Facebook identifying you as a bad, selfish parent (bonus points if they get your name). This is a high tech pillory and your ass deserves to be in it.
4) If your daughter is publicly sucking face with her significant other in a noisy manner or one that blocks foot traffic through a crowded space or if she is permitting the significant other to paw her in public, YOU are a bad parent. You have not taught her that there is a time and a place for everything, that while love is a wonderful thing, excessive displays of it are considered a public nuisance and an indicator of low self-respect. You may as well start checking Youtube for the sex tape. Since that’s proven an effective means to launch a reality show empire aimed at gullible teen-aged girls, well, monkey see, monkey do. And start figuring out whether you want to be called “Grandma” or “Nonna.” Fast.
5) If your teenaged son thinks it acceptable to suck face with his significant other in a noisy (or juicy) way or in a manner that blocks foot traffic through a crowded space or if he is pawing his significant other in public, YOU are a bad parent. You have not taught him there is a time and a place for everything, and that while love is a wonderful thing, excessive displays of it are considered a public nuisance and an indicator of low respect for the significant other (who should know better and think better of herself. Or himself). Sit Junior down and explain boundaries, respect (for self and others) and what it means to be a MAN (not a man). Of course, if he’s behaving in this way, you probably don’t know, either. Decide whether you want to be called “Grandma” or “Nonna.”
6) If your upper middle-class daughter, who carries a designer handbag and has (we’ll be conservative) $300 worth of jewelry on her ears and fingers, perhaps $1,000 worth of clothing on her back, shoplifts a $1.25 bag of sweet potato chips from Starbucks (Yup, saw this happen) without any indication of guilt or shame (and actually acts a little proud of herself), YOU are a bad parent. “Thou shalt not steal” is one of the Big Ten and it used to be that kids didn’t shoplift because A) Mom and Dad said it was wrong and B) they were terrified of the fate that awaited them if they got caught. And the cops were the least of their worries. Start studying up on Lindsay Lohan. You’ll need to know the procedures.
These are just the samples I’ve encountered this week. I have no doubt there will be others. And I leave you with the following thought: