Stop the ride I want to get off...

Thursday, August 11, 2005

kids deserve respect too...

Today has been a long and tiring day for us all. I got the kids up at 7am, as we had to leave for Washington by 9am.

The kids were great on the flight, brilliant at lunch in a very posh restaurant and suffered walking around Washington We visited some of the museums, enjoyed the Aerospace one. Although it was so hot I enjoyed anything with air conditioning and seats. Claimed a wheelchair at the aerospace. My stamina failed me.

Throughout all this Amy and George barely complained, the odd I'm tired, I'm hungry but for them barely anything. I think I whinged more. I was so proud of them, they were brilliant on the flight home, despite us having two crying kids in front of us. George spent most of the flight trying to keep the baby smiling.

We drive home and Michael bribes them to be quiet.. then we get in and it's bedtime, only they are wound up from the day, it's midnight they are over tired so they fight it. As all good kids do, the adults are all sat around winding down and they can't quite figure out why they can't do this. Well those of us in the know know that it just isn't going to happen if they stay in the thick of things.

So I persevere, off to bed, jamas, teeth, now.. 5... 4... 3.... 2... 1... And of course we get all the usual tests, he's talking, she hit me.... parents out there will know. Throughout all this my Atlantan friend is issuing low grade digs and jibes about their behaviour. This has been going on the whole trip whenever he is around them. The final straw is when I point out that it is midnight, these kids have been on the go since 7am and that they are over tired. He declares, what are all the adults... Uh excuse me... you're 36 they are 8 and 10. Then he starts muttering about the kids he knows are bad kids... I'm about ready to throw the iron lampstand at him so I had to walk away.

But it reminded me that I wanted to blog about this. What is going on in the world? My kids are very well behaved, I have had compliments from numerous complete strangers, yeah they have days when they are ratty. But what is it with people who have no kids... they either think you should be beating your child with a stick, or they are frowning at you for smacking them. You can't win. The poor kids can't win either.

Where I live we now have Anti Social Behaviour Orders... these are crappy little laws that allow single folks and such to pick on kids legally. Teenagers in our area are not allowed to congregate near the local shops in groups of more than two after 6pm. No-one has built a youth centre, or arranged any other places for them to meet. So we just assume that all the teenagers in our area who want to meet in groups, and let's be honest, that is normal teen behaviour to hang out with your mates... No-one has paid for a youth worker to come talk to the kids and explain how they could appear less scary to those not used to them. No instead our taxes are being spent on ASBO's being dropped on kids who just want to meet up with friends...

When I was a teenager I used to get so fed up with being polite and holding open doors for older people... Not because I disliked or didn't want to do it, but because they rarely said thank you. When anyone holds a door for me I say thank you, whatever age they are.

I'm ranting here, it's time we stuck up for our youth. I did just that today, I stuck up for my kids. Their behaviour was exemplary today, they did not deserve the jibes that were being given. They were not completely out of ear shot. My kids deserved praise today and I made sure they got it. Now when you see a kid doing something stupid or bad by all means say something, that is what community is about. But then don't forget when you see a kid doing something good please tell them that you saw them and how good it made you feel. Maybe we can get our kids back, because if we don't praise them we will lose them...

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