I got suckered into a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19762056/site/newsweek/?GT1=10150″reading this emNewsweek My Turn/em article /a with the provocative caption “Hands Off My Belly” on MSN today–mainly I read these articles because they pop up when I log out of my hotmail account and I am curious as to what they are about. Anyway, this article is about a woman named Carrie Friedman who is annoyed at fanatical mothers for touching her stomach and asking when she is going to have children. She states that these mothers make it questionable as to whether or not to have children because they are very poor role models for parenthood. She gives a few examples of these annoying mothers such as those who do not pursue their own passions, those who tell her she must not know happiness since she is childless, and mothers who make kids an extension of their own narcissism. However, the most alarming description she gives of annoying mothers is that they do not teach their children manners:br /br /blockquoteNow let’s talk a bit about manners, as in please teach your children some. The world has rules, and kids should learn them. And being well mannered does not infringe on their individuality and freedom.br /br /I crouched to meet the eye line of an acquaintance’s 4-year-old to greet her, and in response, she punched me in the face so hard my mouth bled. What was more baffling was the mother’s reaction: nothing to the child, but to me she said very sternly: “You really shouldn’t talk down to kids.”br /br /I also shouldn’t be punched in the face by kids whose parents don’t know how to set basic boundaries. Experiences like this don’t exactly encourage me to hurry up and get pregnant./blockquotebr /br /I was a bit baffled by this writer’s response to being punched in the face. Her take, “I’m in no hurry to get pregnant.” My take: “WTF? You let a four year old child hit you in the face and then you are dissed by the mother and all you have to say is, ‘Maybe I shouldn’t have kids?’ No, the correct response is, ‘You are a very poor role model for this child who has assaulted me with your blessing. One day you will realize what a terrible mistake you have made. Please keep your child away from me or next time I will not be so generous to you.’” br /br /I have seen too many children who are naturally unruly fail to see the consequences of their actions when they are young and their parents only realize their mistake when the child gets older and their behavior is downright dangerous. At best a child does not learn how to control their emotions and interact with others in an adaptive manner and is hard to get along with, at worse, the child’s aggression spirals out of control. Neither of these outcomes is desirable. Not only should parents set boundaries and give children consequences should they treat others in a reckless or dangerous manner but those who are the recepients of such poor behavior should set the parents straight by being firm that they expect better behavior.
July 19, 2007 - 6:30 am