Hanging out in the lineup at Superstore is a great place to people watch in a big city. I get to see what sort of strange-looking alien vegetables old grannies from exotic countries are buying. Sometimes I ask them what they are making with said vegetable….” my son’s favourite, bitter melon soup!” I would perhaps be lead to believe this woman is a good mother, as she is making her sons favourite dish.
The next aisle over I watch as a small girl climbs out of the large shopping cart and begins to “ help” her mom by passing her everything in the cart including the large hefty family sized bag of frozen fruit from down below. The mom patiently lets her do this and I know she is the good parent who knows that the child is helping to give her something to do besides sit and feel helpless as a parent is busy doing “chores”. The child (I could tell) felt proud, while the mom just had to stand and smile at her as she did all the work. Although I know it would have been faster if she did it herself. I could see another child the same age fussing around with a chocolate cookie mashed into his face to keep him occupied but this apparently didn’t stop his whining. This mother was shushing and then yelling at her child who was obviously bored and full of energy… which could have been disappated through a bit of grocery handling I thought.
These two cases are obvious good parent versus bad.
Now, at a Sunday morning 90 minute yoga class the other day I was astonished to see a little girl, maybe four years old sitting alone in the waiting room. I noticed that for the first bit she sat staring at her little electronic device but later, she began to impatiently knock on the window—at who I realized were her mom and dad doing yoga together. Now—who am I to judge?
Another evening I came across a tearful young girl who lost her brother after her mom left him outside on a snow bank to teach him a lesson. They drove away and when they returned, the nine-year old was gone. The last I saw was a police cruiser searching him out. ( he was found, and is fine now.)
I am sure there are many people who will choose one side to the other. But if something did happen to your child, after you had your adult tantrum… because I assume that is what it was, then wouldn’t you be dreadfully sorry years later, posting pictures of your lost child on billboards and Facebook pages? This is a big city. Children are in need of people who put their best interests forward.
I was thinking of this as I devoured a great book that gives a clear example of bad parenting at work. Read Cea Sunrise Persons two memoirs, North of Normal and Nearly Normal. You will see how a mother who truly loves her daughter really fails her by not protecting her from the world.
click link for Cea Persons webpage.