Thursday, 25 October 2007

Kids - who'd have 'em?

Mamiko and I were walking back from the supermarket earlier and ended up trailing along behind a woman with her two kids. As we walked, the girl, around nine or ten years old, suddenly and without warning turned on the woman with a rolled up magazine and yelled at the top of her lungs "I'll KILL you! I'll BATTER you! I HATE you!" before hitting her repeatedly on the shoulders and then moving to strangle her. Her older brother, who'd been traipsing behind and was clearly used to this sort of thing, immediately sprang forward and hauled his little sister off. The mother, needless to say, did nothing.

When did it become acceptable for kids to get away with that sort of thing without getting a clip round the ear, and how could society in general have let it come to this situation?

I often wonder these sorts of things. How a good intention (that children shouldn't be physically abused) could result in something fundamentally wrong (children no longer respect their parents). Time for Supernanny, methinks.


Amanda said...

Thats why the Supernanny is so popular. I hope I don't end up being like that mom you walked behind....

Andrew Fry said...

I have seen parents helpless to manage their 2, 3 or 4 year old throwing a tantrum. Almost every parent experiences one awful public outburst. I've been there myself at one time with each of my four. However, at the age you are talking about and with the sense that it was common place, that behaviour is unacceptable.

It's like the Oompa Loompa's sang in the first (and some might say better) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. "Who do you blame? The Mother and the Father."

Bilbo said...

Agnes and I are often amazed at what parents let their children get away with. My mom and dad were wonderful parents, but they kept us in line and taught us the importance of good behavior and manners...I spent a lot of time not sitting down after getting my backside spanked. Parents just aren't what they used to be.

noisms said...

Amanda: Thankfully the number of bad parents is a minority! I'm sure you'll be a great mum. Just remember - don't force Aaron to take tap dancing lessons, and you'll be fine. ;)

Andrew: Well, exactly. Blaming the mother and father is made even more of in the book. There are some great lines in it about throwing bad mothers and fathers in the rubbish heap along with their kids.

Bilbo: I was only ever spanked about four or five times, I think - mostly because I was such a little angel *ahem*. But each time I was taught an important lesson - that if I did something very bad, there would be bad consequences for me, too. Kids these days don't seem to have any awareness of consequences, and that's the most damaging thing about the 'no smacking' brigade's ideas.