Posted by: webbhouston | September 3, 2009

Children should be seen and not heard

I have always had issues with this saying. It was beaten into my brain when I was younger as I was forced to sit at adult meetings and dinner. I could not move and had to sit on my hands.

My mother chastized a young mother once because she did not tie her child’s hands together when she started getting into everything because apparently tying kid’s hands together is an acceptable way to not have to baby proof.

This is the mentality that is behind this man slapping a little girl in a walmart.  Why is is acceptable for a grown man to not be able to control his actions when he gets angry, but not acceptable for a child to do the same? A child.  Let me repeat this, because it bears repeating.. a two year old toddler. A child who should not be expected to pee in a potty, wipe their own butt, or even sleep through the night… yet somehow we expect them as a society to be quiet and not cry.

While there is a huge outcry against this man for what he did, the ideas and feelings behind his actions are quite apparent on a daily basis.  If you have children I am sure that you know what I am talking about.

Being in a restaurant and having people stare and shake their heads if your child doesnt like standing in line to order, or if you are sitting down having people look at you in disgust because your child doesnt sit still and is asking you when the food is coming.  Why do we expect a child to like standing in line? Why do we expect a child to be able to sit still for an hour while the adults talk and eat?  I confess that I do my best to not put ourselves in a situation where I knew that unrealistic expectations will be placed on our children… but occasionally I have to. Like when we were on a 3 and a half hour flight to Los Angeles with my two kids who were really just wanting to walk around the airplane… but couldnt. I felt the eyes of those around me burning into my skin while I tried to explain my two year old that she could not race with the kid in the seat across from hers.

I am not one of those parents who allows their kid to scream and interrupt people’s dinners. I actually would prefer to remove myself if I know my child is not going to act appropriately because I respect other people’s time and lifestyles.  But I know that a bit of fussing is expected from a child if they are in a situation that they do not want to be in. As adult I can accept this and know that it is necessary, after all we cannot just stop having children all together.

In my eyes children should be seen, heard, and listened to. Children should be respected as being their own little individuals and their needs should be met. They should not be forced to fit into what a flawed society has told us that children are supposed to fit into. They are not supposed to be quiet. Children should ask “Why” and “Where”. That is how they learn, this is how they interact. I refuse to stifle my child because some people think that my child should act as a miniature adult. That is not the way that it works.

I have already seen the conversation on the websites where this article was posted and they disgust me. They talk about how permissive parenting has made it so that people are tired of hearing children. They talk about how kids are just spoiled nowdays. I was hoping that this would serve to point out the unrealistic expectations of society on children, yet it seems to be doing the opposite.

Where has this world come to? It truly seems like we hate our children. This explains why people are so happy to give up on breastfeeding, let infants cry it out, and treat our children like they are social paraiahs.

How did we get this far off track?

*ETA*

This is exactly the kind of comment I am talking about.

While I do not advocate what the man did – I’m glad it has sparked debate. What everyone is forgetting is WHERE WAS THE MOTHER?
He said: “If you don’t shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you.” Mom did nothing! Didn’t report the man, making me think this happens to her all the time and she ignores it. Didn’t remove the kid from a potentially dangerous situation. Didn’t ensure the wacko didn’t get near her kid.
MOMENTS later and ‘A couple aisles over’, he made “good” on his word – getting in four slaps…
Where was MOM? How did he get close enough, how did he have time to slap her 4 times?
When I was a kid going to the store was a privilege, if we misbehaved we left IMMEDIATELY! I know that’s inconvenient for today’s modern parents but it works and it works fast!

This kind of stuff makes me sick. First we blame the mother then we say the kid was obviously not raised properly.

WTF is wrong with people?

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Responses

  1. It never ceases to amaze me how many people are anti-child in our society (though most won’t admit it). People will say “oh I don’t hate kids” (because nobody wants to admit they don’t like children) but they hate everything about normal, childhood behavior, expecting kids to instead be miniature adults.

    I have seen disgusting remarks re: children on airplanes, even going so far as to say children shouldn’t be allowed to fly. Uh….right…

    Children are small, and powerless in our society. We think we protect them and treat them well because we have things like Child Protective Services (which, sadly doesn’t always act in the best interest of each child), and because we give our children so much. But until we learn to *RESPECT* children we will not truly be a child-friendly society. We demand their respect and obedience but don’t return the same. What are they, pets?

  2. You missed my point!
    My question was:
    How and why, after being threatened by this man, did she allow him, minutes later and aisles over, to get close enough to her child to grab her and slap her 4 or 5 times? FOUR or FIVE TIMES minutes later!
    The child was 2, was she shopping on her own?

    Today’s parents seem to have abdicated responsibility, it is a parents’ job to raise a child. Ignoring a tantrum in a public place is condoning it.

    Any first year child psychology student will tell you: If the child throws a tantrum in public, carry him out of the public and take him to a place where you can have some privacy.
    The man was clearly wrong but parents need to take responsibility for their kids.

  3. How do you know the tantrum wasw ignored? Have you ever tried to get a child to be quiet in public when they dont want to be? You obviously dont have children, you know apart from being a fucking idiot.

    • to webbhouston,
      ‘How do you know the tantrum wasw (sic) ignored’
      Because the mother continued shopping and moved far enough away from her child to allow this man, who was obviously a threat, to ‘grab her up’ minutes later and slap her 4 or 5 times.

      The mother did not report this man to security or police; she just went blithely on her way ignoring the poor child!

      Watch the video of his arraignment – he is obviously unstable – yet the mother did nothing!

      ‘Have you ever tried to get a child to be quiet in public when they dont want to be? ‘
      Yes, I have 4 children and my world stopped revolving around me and my needs with the arrival of my first child.

      I ALWAYS removed my children from over stimulating situations when the need arose. Either by going out to the parking lot or to a restroom.
      It really doesn’t take long and if you do it CONSISTENTLY children learn very quickly.
      You are not doing your child any favors by allowing an overload of sensory input when they are upset.

      In order to respond to your last sentence I am going to have to ask that you put it in a comprehensible form.

  4. If we reported everyone to security that was annoying to us, there would be a whole lot of reporting involved. You still do not know (and cannot prove) that the tantrum was ignored.

    Just because your world stops revolving around you when you have kids doesnt mean that there are not times when you really need to be somewhere in which the kids will be uncomfortable. Your privilege is showing here quite a bit. If this is a single mother who needs to buy groceries for her and her child what is she to do? Starve? Let her children starve?

    You blaming the mother for what this idiot did is really just OKing what this man did. It is NOT ok to hit a child it does not matter if the child was crying or not.

  5. Excuse me but which part of : “I do not advocate what the man did” are you having a comprehension problem with?

    There is NEVER a good excuse for physically assaulting a child – be it the mother, father, nanny, gramps, day care, etc.

    Also, there is a difference, in my mind, between a comment I might find annoying and a twitchy old man approaching me and telling me to my face “If you don’t shut that baby up, I will shut her up for you”

    But again, I have found recently, and much to my dismay that certain types of parents receive such comments regularly and have become inured to random threats of violence from strangers.

    I am not blaming the mother for hitting the child – she didn’t do it! I am ASKING where was the natural MOTHER LIONESS instinct when a twitchy old coger threatened her precious baby!

    My children come first – if they are stressed in a situation I leave! No one is going to STARVE if I miss one trip to the grocer’s!

  6. Oh BTW as to your derogatory comment:
    ‘Your privilege is showing here quite a bit.’

    Says the woman with the privilege of being able to retain a Nanny!

    LOL!!!

    I raise my 4 children all by myself and take no shortcuts!

  7. I understand that it is a priv. that I can have a nanny but it is something that I must do because I have to work, having a nanny is cheaper for me than having them in daycare. 🙂 Having a nanny is not a shortcut because it is something that I have to have. My children cannot stay home alone. Again, you are showing how you have no care about what others have to do to survive. Your privilege, again is showing.

    I love how you would prefer to discuss my private life than address the fact that you do not know why the mother did what she did.

    Reactions like yours, where the victim/victim’s family is blamed are really what is wrong with society nowdays. I could see someone like you, who is attacking this poor woman doing the same thing.

    This was not OK. The mother is not to blame as I am sure she was in shock and did not know how to react to a stranger coming up to her (this is not something that happens often) and if you cannot understand that we have nothing more to discuss.


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