Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Training for the future...or the moment...or not at all?

Ugh. We stopped in town at WalMart the other afternoon to get some puppy milk replacer to see if we can't adopt some runty pups from the litter and bring them into some better health. They are cute, no doubt about it, but just about every puppy is cute at one point.

Anyway, the store, as you would expect being a weekend afternoon in December, was just nasty. People down here are above and beyond friendly, don't get me wrong. Everyone has a smile a mile-wide, they all say hello and ask how you are doing, even if they have no clue who you are, and they all wave and will apologize or being in the way in the aisle, even if they aren't. You will never convince me it's not a Southern well-bred manners kind of thing, because folks, that sort of thing just does not happen back north. Maybe the odd person every now and again, in the smaller towns, but overall, no. The only waving you find up north is the kind you cover the kids' eyes from. Folks know what they want, they know exactly where it ought to be in the store, and nothing short of death will stop them from getting to it and getting out of the store...on top of your fallen body, if need-be.

But this weekend, it wasn't that kind of nasty here. It was the multitudes of greedy-grabbies out there. Man, they were out in force. Honestly, they were mostly children, but there were more than the normal run of adults in the mix as well. And it wasn't the toy aisles that were nasty -- it was the whole store. Sure, most the time you find the nasty rude crowd of children whinning in the toy section, but that's only for the youngest rude folk these days. It's more likely you will find whinning, bratty children in the electronics now. And this weekend, they were there...and in the hunting section...and in the clothing section. The only place I didn't see them as heavy was in the frozen food section :o(

I have to ask these parents, though, what on earth are you training for? Why are you still in the store with that attitude going on? It's not that mine don't act up in a store now and then mind you, I just don't put up with it as a rule. We have left a store more than once because of poor attitudes. I will leave groceries parked up front and point out the refrigerated stuff to the clerk as we leave. I am not bound by some sort of child-directed parent-trap to finish my necessary trip despite the fact that it will be an inconvenience for me to come back later. Plain and simple, if I stay in the store with attitudes acting up, I am training my children to keep acting up that way, and it's just not happening here. By not dealing with the attitude promptly, I am training my children that as long as they act up in a store, surrounded by others watching us, they can get away with it.

Hello...is that really what you want to train your children to do? Ten years from now you want to see a group of ill-mannered college kids pouting in the store? Twenty years from now you'll still be watching this scene as those ill-raised brats start their own families. You are training for the future, parents, not for the moment. If you have been blessed with children, you MUST be training them. You are not supposed to sit idle and watch while THEY train YOU.

No, I suspect most of those parents simply aren't doing much training at all. They stand there, deer-in-headlights look about them, as their children take full control over the events of the day. You can tell which parents are training for the moment...and which ones are not training at all. Example...sadly not some out-of-the-ordinary, isolated one either: there was a child, maybe 10 years old hard to tell for sure, throwing a fit...throwing a fit...because some game was being released and so-and-so already had it and he wanted it too, so they could pair up and play together. The dad (I'm guessing...hard to tell these days) said later, the mom said nothing, and the child kept nagging and getting angry. Getting angry. He was growling all his remarks, crossing his arms and standing his ground. We did see them over near the fruits/vegetables and he had that game in his hand.

My children would have been and have been many times, told no, period. No discussion in the store about it and that little show of defiance would have landed them in the car in quick order. I've had a couple of children try that tact in the store with me. I still have one Wild Child determined to get his way much of the time. It's not pretty. It's certainly not tolerated. And if you ever see it with my children and you see them getting what they just showed off for, shoot me. That is completely unacceptable behavior, not only in a store, but at home as well.

You can tell the parents who take their job and postition seriously. They are training for the future. They are teaching their children that they are in the place of authority, that there are guidelines and flat out carved-in-stone rules of proper behavior that simply do not end at the foot of the driveway, but extend into every other area of life daily. They are raising adults...not man-children. They are training with a goal in focus and a clearly marked direction.

And you have those parents who for whatever reason, aren't training for anything outside the moment. They have very loose rules in their lives, usually in their own, not just for their children. They allow too much authority-shifting in their daily routine, with too much freedom of direction for everyone. They are not parenting. They are living their own lives in a household of others living their own lives as well. You can spot them at the store, very much like that ill-raised child we watched for some time, pouting to get what he wanted. You see it all over, with parents allowing it because they "choose their battles" or they have to do this or that, get such and such now, or go here and there and will deal with it later at home. They reap what they sow. They are living out the life of lazy parenting and it shows.
And no one usually tells them otherwise. Everyone just watches it all unfold. I never did understand that part. I mean, used to be, you'd find a lot of "Titus 2 ladies" in the stores, in the form of Grandparents, who wasted little time letting you know that you should be tending to the training of your children when they acted up like that.
LOL...hey, we all have had those moments and you know it. Someone points out you have a rude or ill-behaving child and you throw up that wall of defense. How dare they! It's considered rude of them these days and folks who practice this style of parenting will immediately come home and hit their groups, forums and blogs to talk about how rudely they were approached in the store by some busy-body old lady. They make excuses for the behavior of their children and enlist other lazy parents to agree so they can all feel better. Please. We've all been there. We've all been that parent...and more times than one, I'll bet we've watched others and wanted to be that busy-body, too.

And those parents who are simply not training, period. They have a cart of groceries and 2 or more screaming, crying, fit-throwing children in tow. They say nothing, they offer bribes all through the store. These children are allowed to run everywhere, climb on everything and yell non-stop through the store. Mom or Dad acts as though they don't see a thing. They are living for themselves, and just happen to have children along. These are usually the product of that ill-training lifestyle manifesting itself into 30-something children, raising children of their own.

My children are not perfect. Not by a long stretch. I fail miserably at parenting every single day. But I have goals in my focus and I keep moving in that direction. I don't want to add 9 more adult children to the world who are spoiled and useless and a thorn in the lives of everyone else. Yes, my 23 year old married son wastes his free time playing iditoic video games with friends online. He works hard at his job and is responsible with his money 90% of the time, so I give him great credit there, but still...he spends every waking moment playing games. He is a married young man wasting his life in front of a computer screen playing childish games...with a group of other adult-children :o( That's a thorn in my garden. It shows my failing moments in his training in glowing color. Same as my wandering WalMart with screaming children, begging and crying for everything they see and my doing nothing to take that attitude under control.

So, there's my rant for the week or two. I am not pointing any fingers at any particular episode I've watched, and trust me, I am pointing at myself just as much, if not more, than others. Just because we trip over a few steps on the path doesn't mean we should be sitting down on the rest of the journey, you know. It's a daily work we have, being parents training for the FUTURE. If you didn't intend to take on the challenges and duty of training, you probably shouldn't have children and call yourself a parent in the first place. However, since you chose that direction (and it was a choice, don't even grab that soapbox...), it's time you step up and take on the responsibility that came along with it. Your childhood has passed and you have moved to the next level. Stop acting like everyone else has the problems, and for crying out loud, stop taking that insane "I choose my battles" excuse on everything. Start encouraging each other to press on, hard if necessary, and stop playing the high school antics. We need solid futures in this country, not spoiled adults wanting someone else to deal with their lives for them.


Blessedmom said...

Well, you hit the nail on the head. I can't stand walmart this time of year, or any time for that matter.

We too have left the store for a whining, fit throwing, have my own way child, and I can tell you it only took once for each child thus far. We walk by a toy or some other object of interest, and I often hear them making comments to one another about how neat that is, but never once do they ask me for it, they know the answer.

I often have elderly folks stop me, as we walk through the store like a classroom walking through the halls of a school, and tell me how it did their heart good to see a mom raising her children up right. It makes me feel good, to know all these hours I'm spending training and retraining my children is showing through our lives and giving us a good testimony for the Lord.

However, if they could only peek through our window, they would realize that these "perfect" looking children, straight off the screen of the sound of music (yea right,lol) can be downright heathens when not in the public eye.

Friends with children will often ask me what I do to make my kids be so good and what most parents don't realize or are just too lazy to do is be consistent each and every time. If you change your rules each time, kids will never learn.

We have actually taken to shopping at the local mom and pop store, just because I am tired of dealing with the rudeness, and the crowds, and the insanity that is the Chrtistmas season. If I do have to go to walmart, I go by myself and get in and get out. Ok, this counts as my soapbox moment for the month....Now off to do some training, my kids are literally climbing the walls or the door frames, I should say. They must think they're spiderman or something. lol.

In His Grace,

Stephanie said...

First I have to say, I chuckled so hard when I read about how people shop up "north". I am in the north as you know, and this couldn't be more true! LOL! (sort of LOL)

And I couldn't agree more with your post. I also fail every single day as a parent, but I keep on moving forward.

Leaving the store was always an option for my children, and still is, even though they are older now.

I never trained them this way on purpose, but I get all kinds of looks because they follow me like ducklings following the momma duck, youngest (12) to oldest (17). It has been that way for years. People make comments all the time, and I find it hysterical that they "line up" like that. But they behave, and that is what is important.


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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