Friday, October 06, 2006

I'm feeling decidedly Grinch-ish today. I'm sitting at my job, and it is Freaky Friday. Meaning all the freaky kids are here this afternoon, making my last few hours of work for the week drag by with agonizing slowness as I listen to the shrieking and arguing and attempt unsuccessfully to stop the running, the mess making, the puppet abuse and the keyboard smashing.

And the noise! All the noise, noise, noise, noise!!!

I guess I was raised differently, and therefore raised my son differently. I was raised in a quiet household in a family that got along most of the time, with no hystrionics or shouting matches. And so I raised my son under the same idea. He was sweet tempered, not prone to having hissy fits. He wasn't too aggressive, preferring to get along rather than be a bully or a brat. He knew that screaming got him nowhere fast. He knew that mom had a limit, and he rarely pushed me to it.

And I knew that it was MY responsibility to watch him, handle him, discipline him if necessary.

It amazes me on a daily basis to observe the parents and children who frequent this place. Even though there are signs clearly stating that no child under nine can be in the department without parental supervision, parents will put their kids in the play area and walk away like it's daycare or something. We use the PA system regularly to match up crying children and clueless parents.

And then there are the parents who become blind, deaf and dumb where their child's behavior is concerned. The kids are jumping around like gazelles, running like herds of elephants, ripping pages out of books, smashing their little fists on keyboards, fighting, while mom or dad is blithely socializing or staring at the internet or--believe it--napping. Totally oblivious to the little drama playing out in front of their eyes. I wonder, am dying to say 'Why the f*** did you bring them here if you're not paying any attention to them?' but out of the need for a little job security and health insurance I keep my mouth clamped shut. And thank the powers that be that the little monsters aren't mine, or I'd be in jail for killing them all.

Another parent-child beef of mine is how there is apparently no sense of "on time" when it comes to scheduled programs/events. This morning we had a registration-only program that started at 10:00 sharp. Parents were breezing in at 10:05, no concern whatsoever that the program had already started. My co-worker kept them out of the program until the first part was finished (good for her!) which meant they missed a good 20 minutes. But hey, should those of us who are on time be inconvenienced by rude latecomers? I say no. Unfortunately there is not a "rule" in place about this, and everyone is too nice, too afraid of getting a black mark on their service record to really stand up and demand a standard be followed. And so we're taken advantage of over and over.


spy scribbler said...

Dealing with parents and children is the hardest job in the whole world. In the end, teachers and librarians are just stomped on all over the place. Everything is about giving a child what he/she wants, and those people and those rules that were once respected are not only disrespected, but the parents gripe about them being there in the first place! And lordy ... excuses! EVERYONE is the exception to some rule.

Okay, there are a some good parents out there, but ... I heard a child tell her parent to shut up the other day. Since she was seven, I expected to promptly hear some crying. Nope.

But I should say, that I know some great parents. I'm pretty lucky in my studio, but still.

spy scribbler said...

LOLOL ... I was thinking of you yesterday, when a student showed up TWENTY minutes late to a group, and felt compelled to STOP the entire class and talk to them! With no apologies for being late, or disrupting the class. Man!