Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Do you wear the title of 'mom' and think 'motherhood' is your badge of honor? Then this is a *MUST* read! Let's talk #DISCIPLINE

I so wish this post wasn't necessary. I walked away from my computer and dis-connected for 24 hours thinking very hard about this. I cooked stick to your ribs favorite meals, because cooking has always been a form of meditation for me. I had hoped the initial feelings that prompted me to want to write this would dis-appear but they haven't.

So that means it must be said. WARNING: This isn't your friendly, happy, butterfly post, so if you'd rather perceive me as an emotionless creature, stop here. Seriously, stop here.

I'm a liberal who is teased often for it because I lead a very conservative life. I tend to live and let live, but something happened yesterday that just bares sharing. I attended a 'childrens themed' movie film screening, and the all around lack of ethics just totally appalled and disgusted me to be frank. I spent a year writing where I was 'PR Free' and that included events too. I had read so many horror stories about blogging conferences and events, with people skipping the lines, pushing people and being un-professional, impolite and all around 'entitled' and 'obnoxious'. I didn't want to be around that kind of un-professional behavior (particularly because I'm still also in print publishing), and I didn't want to be associated with that.

It took a long time for me to admit that I was a part of this world and had to immerse myself in it to allow my brand to grow. Yesterday at the film screening, early birds were asked to wait in the lobby until 3:30 when they would be letting people up.

For the most part a line naturally formed, so I breathed a sigh of relief. Soon there were children running like it was a park, hitting other children with sweaters and running up and down stairs. Oddly enough, many 'moms' were rolling their eyes saying "I would never let MY kids act like THAT", yet their children were doing the same thing they were complaining about as they were on their smart phones paying their children no mind.

Then some self entitled bloggers were walking right up to the front of the line that had formed. Then a group of them went up the escalator with their kids despite being asked NOT to. They were sent back down, and then decided to stand in FRONT of the formed line (you would think the embarassment of being asked to NOT to go up there and then be sent back down for doing so would make them humble).

I guess it's no surprise that the more entitled the parent was, the more obnoxious the child was right?

I'm going to preface this by telling you I taught Special Ed. I taught children with Special Needs and various degrees of skill set and learning ability. I had parents and family of those students watch me in action and I was told I had the patience of a Saint. I'm NOT saying this for a pat on the back.

I also was the first and ONLY teacher who was allowed to take the 'Special Ed' class to the same places around the city that only the mainstream classes had previously enjoyed. I had managers and employees of venues tell me my classes were welcome back at ANYTIME. That my class was the most inquisitive, polite and well-behaved. Again I am NOT saying this for a pat on my back.

My dears if I can keep 30-40 children not only out of trouble and safe for almost 8 hours per day you should be able to do the same. If you are self-enttiled and obnoxious and think that by raising your children to do the same you are doing them a service you are WRONG.

The event goes on to un-fold into a nightmare of BS I feel I should NOT have been subjected to. Myself and my guest picked a row that was not roped off, did not have anything on the chairs (which would indicate they were occupied) and my guest has vision restrictions and needs to face a movie screen a certain way to ensure she would be able to see. We were asked after we had entered early enough and got seated, and after the theater got crowded for us to move off center several rows back to accomodate a child's seating preference. My guest was going to accomodate, but I didn't give her the chance to, she explained about her vision problem, and I told her she shouldn't have felt like she had to do that, I looked up and said NO! No is becoming my motto and my mantra this year. The word is more liberating than my butterfly wings are.

So first the craziness in the lobby, then this left me with a bad taste in my mouth already, but it gets better. There were two girls in front of us. The one in front of me spent the ENTIRE movie crying and yelling 'I'M SCARED' (by the way she was NOT a toddler, and this movie was NOT scary). The 'mother' and I use that term beyond loosely kept 'reasoning' with her. So we had to hear the annoying loud crying and then the 'mother's' non-stop talking as she 'reasoned' with her.

She needed to take her outside until she calmed down, or NOT bring her if she knew full well that at her age she was not capable of sitting still and being quiet. The little monster in front of my guest was using her chair as a bouncy seat and pushing back with all her might rocking the chair back with so much force within a centimeter of her knee cap. We kept asking the 'child' to stop, not only did the 'child' give us a dirty look, it gets better, the 'mother' and I again I am using this term loosely, looks at us (as if looks could kill) and tells us tersely to 'SHUT UP!' and to learn how to speak to children.

That made me break out laughing which seemed to make this so called 'mother' more angry, because you can't fight or argue with someone who is actually laughing AT you and not with you. She then tells her daughter 'Don't listen to them. Ignore them. They have no right to speak to you that way, and I apologize for them.' I told her not to apologize for me because I was not sorry, and I told her 'If you don't like people reprimanding your child, then be the parent and do it yourself so no one will have to.'

I'm sick and tired of parents who wear their title as some badge of honor while their children are acting like little animals in public. Being encouraged by her own mother to ignore us made her more defiant. She kept looking back at us defiantly and began her rocking again. This time I looked right at her mother and told her, I'm an adult and I'm stronger, the next time she rears back I will kick that chair so hard it will propel her in mid air. And I also told her I would be waiting for her outside where we could continue this lovely conversation in private and not in a theater where we are supposed to be 'working'.

Just because it was a children's screening, doesn't mean we were supposed to be acting like children. That theater at the end of that screening was the most filthy I have ever seen a theater, and I swear to God if someone writes that the theater hires ushers for a reason and that it's their job to clean it all up, I will really lose it.

People had the nerve to go 'That sound is so nasty' as they were leaving their rows to exit, when it was THEIR kids that left candy and popcorn on the floor. Two water bottles and one soda bottle rolled down the aisle during the movie hitting people in the ankle. The people behind me kept kicking the chair. I came out of that event so disgusted by the sense of entitlement that some people have and then they actually continue that poor behavior by teaching it to their children.

If you think allowing your child to mouth off at adults and act the fool is going to make them independent and successful you are sorely and sadly mistaken. When your 'precocious'/'independent' child steps into a classroom, they have to abide the teachers rules. When they go into the workforce they have to abide by their boss's rules. YOU will NOT be there to protect them. When their nasty little mouth gets them detention (and they end up seated next to a troubled kid with a switchblade), you will not be able to get them out of it. When their nasty attitudes get them fired, even if you have your own business they can come and work for, that won't take away the fact they couldn't cut it at work because they can't take direction.

A 'Mother' isn't just a woman who had an infant slide out of her birth canal. There is WAY more to it than that. Part of your job title is "teacher', 'guide', and disciplinarian. Apparently these 'women' and 'mother's don't know about "The Look". The Look is NOT an urban myth, it's not a urban legend, and it goes beyond the fodder of comedy shows where you probably heard the reference. Let me explain how to use the look and what each look means:

Look one - This means: 'I saw you engaging in that in-appropriate behavior, STOP IT NOW!' - Even if the child doesn't repeat the behavior, they know this is going to be discussed when they get home anyway.

Look two - This means 'No you didn't just do that again, STOP IT NOW! I realize even adults can forget, this is warning two' - Now this is not only going to be discussed when we get home, you will face repercussions for your actions.

Look three - This varies, with some parents you get it then and there, with others this means 'STOP NOW! Because I'm about to tear that little a$$ up!' Look three stops ALL children who have the look system incorporated into discipline to STOP in their little tracks right then and there.

Look three is NOT a question, it's an answer. If you didn't get hit on the spot, you were going face major punishment when you got home.

The Look is actually meant to eliminate the need for corporal punishment. Used properly and consistently you should actually never have to hit them to teach them how to behave. It should be prefaced by a talk that outlines how you expect to them to behave wherever it is you are taking them.

Here is an interesting perspective on discipline and The Look that I found on YouTube:

I waited for 'mouthy mom' outside the theater, but she was more desperate to get a gift bag than to be held accountable for her actions. Karma is a B. She ran into me again in the bathroom where she seemed to have nothing to say, and I told her I'd see her outside the theater. And I did. She walked away in the opposite direction so fast with those monsters of hers in tow, and yes I gave her 'The Look'. Apparently she must know what it means because she couldn't get away fast enough, since she understood it, she should use it with her child and then maybe that encounter wouldn't have been necessary.

Sorry 'mothers', but you are harming your children and doing them a dis-service in life if you don't teach them common sense, rules and discipline and how to act in public. You are also hurting yourself, because if you tell them ignoring adults is OK then eventually they will ignore you too, and you will be so sorry when they become teens at risk. But personally I don't care what they put YOU through you deserve it if you don't want to instill common sense in them, but I DON'T.

I'm not invited to screenings because of my pretty face. I'm invited because I have well over 175K in overall monthly site hits. I was a professional film critic for print, this is work for me. I'm there to do a job, and I shouldn't have to put up with crap to do my job because you are an inept parent.

There are certain toy companies that host events in the city and on the invitation make it clear that no children are allowed. And I would hear some moms rant about this when they saw each other. They would all send nasty emails. Threatening emails, well if I can't bring my kid and you won't pay for a baby sitter I won't come. And in my mind I would always think 'yeah right 'ladies' you wouldn't tell your employer that, and you can't tell the brand that either, this is WORK, be a professional.' The sad part is, it's because those kids act like animals that they are not welcome. I personally applaud those brands, and I also do so with my support. I attend every event those brands throw, because they are a breath of fresh air, I don't have to worry about things flying through the air, kids bumping into everything, knocking things down and worse.

I'm tired of hearing women use the term 'mom' and 'mother' and 'motherhood' like it's some badge of honor and they've done something noble simply by giving birth. The job isn't over when you push the kid out, RAISE them, REAR them, TEACH them, GUIDE them, then you get to put on your badge. And yes I'm expecting feedback from this post, I'm even sure the mothers of those little poorly reared children will have something to say (despite the fact I waited for them and they didn't have the nerve to do it in person), I'd tell you to be respectful, but if you weren't capable of handling your own child and teaching them to be respectful you probably will be even less capable of it, behind the security of your computer.

BTW, the movie itself was fantastic, and I will review it in a separate post. I get that child-rearing and discipline are always going to vary, but teaching your children how to behave in public and that there are expectations of proprietary and decorum in public and consequences for their action should be a given, I personally don't care how you do it, I don't care if you incorporate "The Look" or you don't quite frankly, JUST DO IT!

How did YOUR parents teach you to behave in public places? Share here! 

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FTC Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post, but it's definitely an important one!


  1. Great post! If parents have a sense of entitlement then this will transcend to the children who learn by example. Why aren't parents teaching their children to be respectful and mindful of adults? The fact that you were even asked to relocate seats to accommodate a child's seating preference or that a child went undisciplined for being disruptive is mind boggling.

    1. @lisa - When I was younger, any other adult not only had the right to reprimand you on the spot, they would then bring you to your mother, and you knew you were really in for it. And your parent would actually THANK the adult who brought the situation to their attention.

      The whole thing just kept replaying in mind and I was going to try to move along with my editorial calendar and not post this, but it kept eating away at me and I just decided to be honest!

      I'm not going to say my nieces and nephews are saints, they are children, but we make sure we nip things in the bud so they don't inconvenience other people and learn valuable life lessons. I'm actually their *toughest* Aunt, yet they still want to always be around me. Children actually appreciate it more when they are given boundaries and a clear understanding of what is expected of them!

      Thanks for commenting!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  2. My mother had The Look down. She didn't need words to let my brother and myself know that we needed to modify our behavior.

    1. @Unkown Mami - So did mine, and my grandmother and great-grandmother too, thankfully I didn't get it too often!

      Thanks for commenting!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  3. Wow point well taken.I love kids but there's nothing more infuriating than poorly behave children!Oh yes there is parents who can't parent.You don't have to hit a child to get them to act correctly if there taught to listen and act accordingly from the
    time that they can reason!! In retaurant's,movies, theather etc.Just as annoying are the parent's who allow there bad behaveiour or there whinning and pleading for them to stop, and watching there kids pay them no mind!!!!!

    1. @Big Happy Buddha - It really is infuriating! And that is exactly my point, when you start children off young and give them boundaries and expectations according to their level of reasoning and understanding, they begin to understand that their behaviors affect the world around them, and they learn to treat people the way they themselves want to be treated!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

  4. This does not surprise me. I always wonder why so many children behave horribly these days and their parents refuse to take responsibility. I spend a lot of time in public libraries and it never ceases to amaze me how loud children get in the library (Isn't is supposed to be one of the last quiet, public places). Recently a friend of mine asked a screaming child in the library to be quiet. The "father" approached my friend and threatened to beat him up. I told this "father" that my friend has the right to expect quiet in the library, then this "father" actually told me to shut up and called me a nasty name. Oh, what wonderful lessons his child must learn from that!

    1. @Tracy R. - EXACTLY! That is so outrageous you had to go through that, and I do find that even in the library children are very loud now, and librarians used to be able to tell patrons to keep the noise down. It's funny though, parents say it 'takes a village' when they want someone to go to bat for their child and help them if they are in danger, but the village ends when it comes time to teach them how to act! It's a sad state of affairs for our society as a whole if you ask me!

      Thanks for having the courage to step up and leave a comment here, it's much appreciated. If more parents have this brought to their attention, maybe they will re-address how they discipline!

      ♥ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ