Sunday, December 19, 2010

Parents: MIA

Two recent events have left me wondering where all the grownups went?

A recent class action lawsuit was filed by a mom claiming that McDonald's was encouraging her children to eat lousy food "by luring them in with toys in the Happy Meal".

I don't mean to enter into the whole sodium- laden, fat- saturated, artery-clogging debate that is fast food in our country.
Been there, ate that, licked my fingers afterward to get all the salt...and I think the toys are darling.

IF however, you're of a different mind and don't want your children to start down that path, what happened to saying NO?
What happened to telling your kids you don't want them to eat there and driving on by?
And, if there's not another restaurant in a 25 mile area, and your children are seeing stars from impending starvation, how about ordering them the carrots, apple slices and milk to go along with a plain hamburger?
Or just buy them a yogurt.
You DO have choices.

How is it McDonald's fault that you have no spine?
How 'bout actually being in charge and being a parent.

Likewise, our ER was clogged this week with 15 kids who had been maced at their school during what amounted to a food fight.

Again, leaving beside the issue of whether resorting to chemical restraint was really necessary by the Security folks with boots on the ground, I can tell you that if the adult behavior in our ER was anything like what Security at the school dealt with, then the kids are lucky the nunchucks didn't come out.
Instead of the parents reading their kids the riot act, using this as 'a teachable moment' and a lesson in guilt by association and the stupidity of getting caught up in mob rule, the parents wasted no time in congregating together in the hallway, leaving all their kids unsupervised, shifting the blame and bitching about how the school didn't notify them soon enough!

Hello, someone must have called you; you're here in the ER within 15 minutes of your kids being brought in... and if you'd stay off your damn cell phones long enough to actually talk to the doctors, you'd know that not one of the darlings has anything close to potentially life threatening injuries.

But our society, being what it is, rewards this Lord of the Flies scenario with TV cameras, 15 seconds of fame and new scrubs to wear home.
Why?, you ask.
Because they couldn't possibly wear the same clothes home in case, God forbid, they have a molecule of irritant remaining on them.

How 'bout you go home and get a change of clothes for them?
How 'bout you make them wear their clothes home and if their skin gets irritated, maybe the discomfort will drive the lesson home and, maybe next time, they won't act the fool.

Obviously, tough love is NOT in the current parenting lexicon.
It's a shame it's not.

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