Thursday, November 04, 2010

Entitlement and parenting

Yesterday, while waiting for the train, I notice two adorable, fashionably (expensive) dressed little girls.  They were about 5 and 8 and waiting for the train with their mother.  Now, I like to ride in the first car so that was the area I was waiting in.  The train arrives and a crowd gathers where the doors are about to open.  As they open, the little darlings literally threw themselves through the crowd, knocking me and two other women to the side, yelling "outta the way!" and ran up to the seats by the front window.  ~insert jaw drop here~

The mother, who witnessed this entire thing, said nothing to her little angels.  One woman who got pushed told the girls they weren't nice and they just (of course) rolled their eyes at her.

They then proceeded to sit in their seats with their feet on the window of the train.  Again.... Mom said not a word.

Can I get a WTF here please?  Had this been 30+ years ago, the car would be bloody from the beating my mother would have given me for such behavior.  Had this been Dylan behaving in such a manner, after apologizing personally to ever individual he pushed, his little butt would be in the back of the car.

I try to practice attachment parenting which includes gentle discipline.  However, I have discovered, like all parenting styles, there are those "fringe" elements.  Within the gentle parenting community there are parents who believe that punishment and consequences are not gentle and therefore should not be used.  Again, get I get a WTF!  How the hell do kids learn boundaries without consequences?   How can you administer consequences without punishing a child?  Now, punishment doesn't mean physical violence.  I don't believe hitting accomplishes anything but sending a wrong message to children and making them fearful.  At least, that's what it did for me.

So tell me wise internet....  What did these girls learn today.  If their mother practices this no consequence parenting style (which I'm assuming based on her reaction to her children's behavior), what message did she send them?  That it's okay to knock over adults in order to get what you want?   Charlie suggested I wish them well in prison which was great but I got the facebook message as the girls were getting off the train.


  1. There are gentle ways to firmly and clearly set consequences without beating or shaming kids into submission. Unfortunately, a lot of permissive parenting gets painted as gentle discipline, which it's not. I wrote a post about gentle discipline here, if you'd like to read more about it.

  2. This is such a great example of permissive parenting. I agree with you that these girls learned nothing from what happened. I work with struggling adolescents and young adults and wish that their parents would take a more proactive stance on parenting. I am not an advocate of harsh methods of parenting. I do however believe that a consistent and clear expectations of younger children is the best way to prevent struggling teens and young adults.