Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Santa and Fighting off Your Kids Horrible Behavior.

Well, we had some excitement last night.  My son met Santa for the first time and it was awesome!  He was a lot braver then some of the older kids and not as bratty as any of the other kids, which was cool too.  But honestly, I am not sure how he could have possibly been all that naughty when he arrived and immediately did this.

Yep that’s right.  He fell asleep very soon after arrival.  I honestly don’t know how he possibly could have stayed asleep because it was a little chilly last night.  Then there was the problem of all the screaming kids.  We specifically decided to go last night because we wanted to avoid other children, but you know how that goes.  I know that you all know what I am talking about too.  If you are anything like me you probably can’t stand other people’s children.  Yes some of them are quite enjoyable to be around, but these children are few and far between and hard to find.  With your own child it is way different.  It doesn’t matter how bad they are acting because you still love them and want to hang out with them.  It’s those other little assholes that you can’t stand.   You know, the ones the leave you wondering what the hell the parents are doing to stop it.  I just hope that when my little man gets older he doesn’t want to have sleep overs or have friends over to our house at all.  I think that would drive me nuts.

Anyway, back to the big man in red.  This guy was so awesome.  He even gave out toys to the kids to tide them over until Christmas.  How cool is that?  Here is what he looked like. 

You can’t tell through the beard, but I am sure he was still smiling after having countless numbers of children and drunken college students sit on his lap shrieking and screaming about what they wanted for Christmas and, boy, he better bring it.  I guess Santa is a special breed of person.  I don’t think I could have done that, but then again I am not Jolly old Saint Nick either.  But, looking at the man in person it kind of makes me wonder how he can possibly stay so jolly and round.  First of all, wouldn’t the extra-long moustache make it hard for him to eat, and wouldn’t dealing with all those kids and drunken people kill his soul like working at a retail store did to mine?   Oh well, I guess that is beside the point really.  The real point is that Santa is a wonderful guy who doesn’t mind your bratty good for nothing kids.  Not that your kids are bratty and good for nothing, of course I am referring to other people’s children.  You know the people that let their kids run wild in the store and throw tantrums when they aren’t allowed to have a candy bar or whatever.  I am talking about the parents that let their kids swear and accost perfect strangers or the teenagers that smoke in the parking lot because they think it makes them look cool or older or whatever.  I am sure that you have all seen it, and I am sure that your kids would never dream of doing something like that.  Yeah right, just like we never acted that poorly when we were kids either.  Don’t worry about it as long as you do something to stop them from becoming atrocious adults, because both you and I know that it isn’t really the kid’s fault that they act like that.  It’s their parents’ fault.  But come on, there has got to be a point where the offspring have to take responsibility for themselves.  That is part of growing up too right?

I have a hard time remembering that sometimes.  There really isn’t much a parent can do once their kids reach a certain age to stem their poor behavior.  That is why I am starting with my kid now.  Sure he is only ten months old, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t be shown how to behave properly and told no once in a while.  Of course I am not strict or harsh or anything.  I did say he was only ten months old didn’t I?  I just don’t want to get into the habit of caving into all his little whims and tantrums later on when he is really capable of being a jerk.  I know these things are going to happen whether or not I start modeling proper behavior or disciplining poor behavior now, but it doesn’t hurt to start when he is young to try and mitigate the inevitable lapse of good behavior later on. 

I am aware that a lot of other parents think that it isn’t possible to teach their kids proper behavior skills at such a young age, and to them I say, “Nuts to you.”  Yeah he is an infant, but that doesn’t mean he is stupid.  He is perfectly capable of learning.  He is already learning to use the potty.  Sure he doesn’t use it every time, but he knows to show me when he needs to go.  He runs up to it and slaps it and that’s how I know to strip him down quick and sit him on his froggy potty.  It’s my fault if I don’t get there quick enough.   Of course he doesn’t hold it while he sleeps, but I don’t think he really can yet.  Anyway, the point is he is learning.  That’s the important thing.  What else can he learn to do at this age?  Probably everything I want to take the time to teach him.  We have all heard the phrase, “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” right?  Well, I think that applies to children as well.  Learning to use the toilet, like learning to be a decent person, takes time.  Sometimes, it takes a long time too.

Therefore, it is important to model proper behavior to your children or anyone’s children at a young age and to keep modeling that behavior for the rest of your life to reinforce it.  Sure, I have heard that once your kid hits the teenage years it is all done for.  They will stop looking to you as a role model and start to see you as more as an idiot, but before the teenage years children look up to their parents immensely.  So, when your little one starts swearing and calling people names in the supermarket chances are they learned it from you.  Think of it like this.  If you’re an asshole your kid will probably be an asshole too just shorter that’s all.  Here is a quick anecdote for you to think about.  Hopefully, you don’t act like this guy or at the very least try not to.

About a year ago when I was still working in a retail store, I was an electronics associate and hated it, I noticed that there was a child riding a bicycle up and down the aisles in the store.  Well, I didn’t really care that she was doing that, but I had to ask her to stop anyway because it was store policy.  It is pretty easy to understand why the store wouldn’t want you to do that, but apparently, the kid’s father didn’t.  To make a long story short the guy got pissed at me for asking her not to ride her bike in the store and threatened to “Kick (my) crippled ass!”  What do you think the little girl said then?  She yelled out, “Yeah dad.  Kick that f***ots crippled ass!”  I wonder where she learned to speak like that.  Certainly not from her mom and dad I bet.  I would be mortified if my kid ever said anything like that, but, apparently, this guy thought it was something to praise.  Great parenting dad!

I often think back to that occasion when I am out in public and want to talk down to some asshole who just did something asinine.  Remembering that event always stops me in my tracks because I don’t want to be the impetus that perpetuates that kind of behavior or thinking in a youth or adult.  I think of it as leading by example, but of course there are times when I can’t help myself.  But, overall I am pretty good because I don’t want my kid to grow up thinking it is alright to treat people like garbage and neither should you.  Unfortunately, that means that we can’t do it either no matter how much the jerks are asking for it.  I have heard that children are excellent mimics.  So why not have them mimic good behavior?  I bet you’d be amazed at how well children can behave if you expect it of them.          

1 comment:

  1. In regards to the anecdote. That was the last day I worked in that store. It serves as a decent parting memory.