What is Happening to Parents Today?

I work two jobs in retail, and I love being in malls. One of my jobs is at a retail video game store, so naturally I see a lot of children in my day. And I don't know if it is just that I am getting older, or that I have a natural aversion to anyone under the age of 7 (unless they are adorable and/or somehow related to me) but kids are driving me insane! I feel like my dad saying things like "kids these days get away with murder" but honestly. I wasn't allowed to do half the shit these little snot nosers get away with.

I was raised to respect my parents. My parents weren't control freaks, abusive, or even mean. My parents taught me fairly and explained right from wrong. I was a pretty well behaved kid for the most part, especially when out in public. It wasn't that I feared my parents either. I just knew that I wouldn't get extra dessert or be able to play Mario when we got home if I misbehaved. But it feels to me like the majority of children these days have absolutely no consequences for their negative actions. Which in the psychology biz is called reinforcing negative behaviours. If you do not provide consequences for bad behaviour (and I mean beyond saying "don't do that"), then your kid will have no motivation to act like a civilized human instead of the little monstrous assholes brats I see daily. Take away the beloved Xbox controller, or iPod, or cellphone. And really, your 7 year olds have absolutely no need for a cell phone. I'm 24 and sometimes I question my need for one. Maybe your kids will grow up to be somewhat functioning members of society and thank you for setting rules.

I constantly will see kids get set free within the mall – which is obviously so smart. No child could ever figure out how to push open a door and leave, and surely no predator would ever think to pick up your kid from a mall, right? And of course your precious little Johnny or Sally would never do anything that could get themselves into trouble once your back is turned. They would never, I dunno, ride a shopping cart down a wheelchair ramp and hit a man in a wheelchair. Not your kid.

As a mall employee, I feel that not only can I put the job that I actually work at on a resume, but I should also be able to claim my expert babysitting service, that I give away for free. I supervise your kids while they are playing videogames on a system that is meant to be a sample for potential customers, not your kids who are already stealing from the store by making me pay attention to them and not to customers. Yeah, that's right. By you using a store employee as a babysitter for your kid, you are STEALING from the store where your kid is hanging out. Because every minute that I am not doing my job because I have to watch your child, I am being paid for a job that I am not doing. And that is something known as time-theft. It wouldn't be so bothersome to watch your kids if you were actually shopping in my store or even had an intention of buying something from the store, but you are usually off getting your hair done, or shopping for a cell phone. You just couldn't be bothered to have your kid near you while you are shopping, so you cast them off so we are responsible for them. Now I'm not a parent, but my logic just screams that this is bad parenting. Correct me if I am wrong.

My first instinct is to always look at the kid. But really, we are a product of the environment we are raised in. (for those of you who can't tell, I sit more on the nurture side of the everlasting Nature vs. Nurture debate). Now I know, all kids test boundaries and want to see what they can get away with in life. But if their parents and other adults around them don't set these boundaries, or don't enforce them very well, we get these little brats that make me want to punch a hole in a wall.

Wake up parents! When you let your kid get away with back talking to you, the people who they are supposed to show the most respect to, you are simply teaching them that they can do it to everyone. After all, if your kid doesn't have to respect the people who are responsible for their life, their safety, their food, their shelter, etc., then who do they have to respect? WHY would they have to respect someone else?

Trust me when I tell you that setting boundaries will in no way make your kid hate you. They may say that they hate you and throw themselves to the floor in protest when you try to enforce your rules with them, but in the long run we all know that parents do the things they do because they love us. My parents had rules and gave consequences when I did bad things. And today I am happy to say that my parents are some of my best friends. And I don't want that to sound as cheesy as it does, but it is true. Who else will love you unconditionally, even when you write "Fuck You" on the side of their house in chalk?

**Note: This took me over 4 hours to write. Mainly because I had to repeatedly edit my swearing rants out of it, because I get really heated on this topic. And I'll write the story of writing on the side of the house as soon as this is up and posted.


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