Earlier today I was reading a friend's list of all the things she doesn't like. Yep, she actually keeps a list and adds to it when she finds something new. Interesting, I thought. A few years ago, during a bout of frustration, I had told a colleague I was going to write a book called "Ten Stupid Things Parents Do to Mess Up Their Children's Lives" (and of course, here I give credit to Dr. Laura Schlesinger for the similarity in title to her book "Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Mess Up Their Lives".)
I don't know that I could narrow that list to ten. But I thought I'd start one today, because my mood is a little cranky, plus I figure maybe somebody might see themselves and say, "Ooh...not good...might need to change that!" God knows I do that every day.
So here it is--a list of things that annoy me about parents when they are with their children:
1. Parents who feel the need to demean their child in front of others. Guess what? It's not your KID who comes off looking stupid.
2. Parents who spank, swat, slap, or otherwise hit their children, especially in Walmart, because it's so insanely stereotypical, especially when it's preceded with the exclamation, "Don't hit!".
3. Parents who take their kids out all day and expect them to behave without following a schedule and with nothing to do. Personally, I get insanely irritated when people throw random stops at places in my day, and I'm 41 years old.
4. Any parent who takes their kid out during one of the following: naptime, mealtime, bedtime. Really. Watch your clocks, people.
5. Parents who indulge their child to get the kid to shut up. Congratulations in teaching junior that screeching equals good stuff.
6. Parents who praise their children for EVERYTHING. Does junior really need to think he's a genius for walking, putting on his shoes, sitting in a chair, refraining from screaming, or eating his lunch? Don't get me wrong, everybody likes a little praise from time to time, but if this is the majority of your conversation with your child, you might want to think of some other things to talk about.
7. Parents who let their kids run rampant in restaurants, malls, stores, Disneyworld, hotels, or pretty much any public area. Children should be supervised appropriately at ALL times until you can trust them to behave appropriately without you there. And if they don't I'll be happy to tell you.
8. Parents who do armchair parenting. Yelling, praising, or giving advice as you sit on your butt while you watch reruns of "Friends" is NOT parenting.
9. Parents who blame the dog/cat/guinea pig for scratching junior after he just spent the last ten minutes torturing said animal. Listen up, people--teach your kids the appropriate way to interact with animals. I have one dog and I'd no sooner get rid of her than I would one of my kids. In my opinion, if you're not that dedicated to your pet you probably shouldn't have one.
10. Parents who believe any random parenting advice written by any old nut. Look, no matter how much some person on blogger says your kid should watch Baby Einstein, your kid is still going to be as intelligent as s/he was before. No matter how early you try to teach your child the alphabet or numbers, s/he is still going to need good social skills in kindergarten.
11. Parents who think I qualify as the "any old nut" referred to in number ten.
Got your own pet peeves? Add them below in the comments section. Thanks for reading!