It’s The Parents’ Job To Keep Their Caterwauling Brats From Disturbing People In Public

So, this week-end, a friend of mine rolled into Myrtle Beach and I was supposed to show her the town. It was a tough choice: Did I take her to see Cats, Les Misérables, or the Opera? Just kidding. This is Myrtle Beach. She’s lucky we didn’t end up visiting a bunch of golf courses and t-shirt shops.

Anywho, we end up at the aquarium and there’s this kid there. He’s soooooooo annoying. He’s like 12 years old, he’s running around everywhere, yelling, “Oh my God, it’s a SHARK!” “Look at that FISH!” He jumps inbetween us and actually says, “Pardon Moi.” He does this more than once. In other words, he combined two of my least favorite things into one package: Annoying children and French. Believe it or not, the bratty kid was actually there with his father — or at least, I assume it was his father. The guy looked like Milton the “I believe you have my stapler” guy from Office Space. When his father sees him behaving like that and lets it go, what are you going do? Tell him, “Could you put a leash and a muzzle on your ugly brat so that we don’t have to listen to him?” In my experience, there’s no one more sensitive about their children’s behavior being criticized than parents who can’t control their kids.

The next day, we were short for time and decided to head into the Ripley’s Museum, which incidentally, has a lot of cool stuff in it — well, if you’re into shrunken heads and stuffed 6 legged calves. As we’re about to go in, there’s another loud, yammering kid right in front of us. This one is about 4 years old. Honestly, my instinctual reaction was to punt him into traffic like a football.

Then we get inside the museum and there is yet ANOTHER kid behaving badly. In all fairness, this one I could forgive. The Ripley’s Museum has some things in it that are deliberately supposed to be scary. To an adult, they’re not that frightening, but to a 5 year old, they can look pretty freaky. This kid was obviously scared out of his mind, yelling, crying and LOUD. His father was there, working with him diligently, trying to calm him down. Exasperating, but that kid gets a pass.

Still, it’s very important to note something. It is one of your duties as a parent to keep your child under control when he’s around other people. Granted, kids being kids, they’re going to make a little noise and misbehave now and then. People understand that. However, no one wants to be around a stupid, squawking, stinky brat that’s running wild in public. The only thing worse than that is looking over to see a parent standing mutely in the background while his kid acts like a Howler Monkey on Meth.

“But, but, but, but….John! I want to be my child’s FRIEND! My child has A.D.D! My parents were tough on me and I don’t want to be that way with my children! I don’t believe in spanking my child! Who are you to tell me how to raise my kids” ….yada, yada, yada, don’t care, don’t care, don’t care. If you can’t keep your little monster from going wild, stay home!

“Who do you think you are? You don’t even have kids! I deserve to go out and people just need to deal with it!”

You know what? I did day care in college. I dealt with 25 kids at a time who ranged in ages from 4-5 to 11-12. I also worked with teenaged juvenile delinquents. I don’t want to tell you that they all behaved perfectly in public every time. They certainly didn’t. But, they did behave well about 98% of the time and if somebody started causing a problem, I handled the situation — and I wasn’t their mommy or daddy. If you can’t do that well, then you need better interpersonal skills and you should start working on it immediately so that you don’t ruin your kids. If you don’t care about that, then how about showing some common courtesy for your fellow human beings that don’t want to be unwillingly exposed to the irritating little holy terror that you’ve created by being such an inadequate parent.

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