Friday, September 16, 2016

Kids these days...

I've been lamenting in some ways, "the rudeness of society".  I actually found this in a veterinary forum, fellow veterinarians lamenting that people are just getting ruder.  Someone historically minded pulled up several quotes from the Colonial era all the way back to Aristotle of people perceiving the younger generation as being ruder than the previous one.  That same person said that psychological studies have actually attributed this attitude to "ego" and fear of the stranger.  They found statistically significant  evidence that people are much more willing to forgive/understand rude behavior of their friends and themselves vs. that of strangers.  While all of that information is interesting, I still think our society is becoming ruder.

I attribute the "rudeness outbreak" to our addiction to technology.  I know I'm also an offender.  We are so used to having our phones on us and maximizing our time that instead of waiting in line and actually making conversation with others, we will multi-task, checking e-mails and looking on Facebook.  I'm an offender, I'm aware of this and I need to continue to remind myself to put my phone down.  We have a no phone at the dinner table policy and I think it is a good thing.  Otherwise, we probably wouldn't have as much conversation.

I experienced an awkward situation the other night when I took my son to a Chick Fil A.  He was having a good time and another little boy came running in (the place was crowded, because in case you didn't know, Chick Fil A gives kids free meals on Tuesdays between 4 and 8).  He came in and tore the toy my son was playing with out of his hands and displayed obnoxious behavior.  I looked for the parent.  Nowhere to be found.  What do you do?  Well, when it comes to my son, protective Mama Bear comes into the picture and I told him, "Hey, he was playing with that."  The kid continued to do the behavior and my own son was kind of in shock.  They don't allow this activity at daycare and he doesn't have a sibling to be a brat to him, so he hadn't experienced this before.  I tried to move my son on to a different toy and the kid kept trying to follow us.  At one point, he told me his name and started climbing on me!  I could not believe a kid would do this to a stranger.  Still no parent.  It occurred to me that the kid was being so obnoxious to get attention.  I felt kind of sad for him that he was willing to behave like this to get a stranger's attention.  I tried to console my son and told him, "That's not how we behave and I'm happy to know that you know how to share."  I ignored the kid because it wasn't my role to be his parent and I didn't want to feed into the behavior.

Another little boy was playing nearby and the "Brat" went over to him and started poking at him and getting into his personal space and instigating a situation.  The "Brat" looked at me for sympathy when the victim was fighting back.  I told him, "Give him space, I don't have sympathy for you."  He kept going.  It got to the point that the victim's Mom came in as her son was in full-fledged annoyance with the "Brat".  The mom was mad.  I quietly told her, "It's not your kid.  It's not your son's fault."  She looked at me wide-eyed and puzzled, "Really?"  "Yes," I said, "the other kid is the problem, not yours."  She looked relieved and thanked me and said, "Thanks, because I was about ready to really yell at him."  They left peacefully.

The father came in at one point and told the "Brat" he had 5 minutes left to play.  He was not an abandoned kid, but I think he was probably emotionally abandoned.  I felt sorry for him.  I told my husband when I got back, I kind of felt guilty.  I said, as a Christian, was it my responsibility to pay attention to him and let him know he had value.  He so seriously craved attention and my gut was to give him negative attention because he was such a obnoxious kid.  But I did feel sorry for him.  I did wonder where the dad was in everything going on and I automatically assumed he was probably on his cell phone.  I don't know.  I don't know the situation.  I know they say, "It takes a village to raise a child."  I feel like it's hard for the villagers to help when it really takes a parent to raise a child first, especially in this politically correct world where other parents would probably come after villagers with pitchforks if they thought their parenting was questioned.

What do you think?

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