Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No Respect

Is is just me, or has parents disciplining their kids and teaching them to respect adults fallen by the wayside anymore?

Maybe I'm blowing this out of proportion, but something has really been bothering me lately. Since my kids are home for summer, they've been spending a lot of time playing with other kids on our street, mostly all girls. A couple of times they have had problems with a few of the kids. There's one girl, about 9 (I'll call her "M") who I particularly don't like. She's been mean to Bethany multiple times, calling her names, criticizing her, and yelling at her.

A few weekends ago, M had the nerve to come down to my house, get rude with with my daughter, and then push my son (who's only 5) because he accidentally bumped into her on his tricycle. After I told I wasn't going to allow any pushing, she left.

A few days later, she came back over our house, rang the doorbell, and when Bethany answered the door, asked if Bethany could bring our wagon out (we have an old plastic wagon the kids like to pull each other around in). When Bethany told her (not rudely) that she wasn't going out right now, M, stuck her tongue out at Bethany, and slammed my door! She came back about 15 minutes later, and I answered the door, and told her Bethany wasn't coming out right now, and that I'd appreciate it if she wouldn't come by my house being rude to my kid, and slamming my door.

The kids and I left a little while later to walk to the corner store, and while we were gone, M came over with her mother, and asked my husband what was going on. My husband told her Bethany's had problems with M, and she just stood there, and looked at her mom like my husband was lying. He told M's mom she should go to talk to some of the other parents in the neighborhood, because other parents have told us M is also nasty to their kids.

Now, today my kids were playing outside in my backyard with some girls from the neighborhood, and Bethany asked if they could on our screened porch. I told them OK, but to keep the noise down, because the inside door to the porch is right across the hall from our bedroom, where my husband was sleeping after having worked all night and then gone to school. Bethany told the girls she was playing with (about 8 total) that they all couldn't be on the porch at the same time, because her dad was sleeping. Apparently some of them (including M) got mad at her, told her to shut up, and ganged up on her, yelling at her and Dominic, calling them names, and being outright nasty.

I heard Bethany sobbing, came to see what was going on, and found Dominic trying to defend her, and the girls still screaming at Bethany. I told them to go home, and that they're not allowed to come by my house, being mean and rude to my kids, and the kids started arguing with me, and one of the girls tried to tell me that Bethany was calling them "bitches".

Now, I'm not one of those parents who thinks my kids walk on water and never do any wrong, but my daughter does not swear. I have never heard her utter a single swear word, ever. The only swear word my kids have ever heard come out of my mouth in front of them is "damn", and whenever Bethany has heard me say it, she tells me I shouldn't use words like that. Now, I'm supposed to believe she called those girls bitches??? Oh, and then to make matters worse, Bethany told me when she told the girls not to all go on the porch at one time, and they started the fight with her, she said she was going to have me come out there, and a few of the girls told her so what, they don't have to listen to me!

Don't have to listen to me?! An adult? On MY property? Now mind you, these girls range in age from about 4 to 10 at the oldest, and are already that disrespectful of adults?! I'm sorry, I'm just really bothered by this. It makes me wonder what kind of mentality their parents have, if the kids are that ill-mannered. I don't care who Bethany and Dominic play with, as long as the kids are polite and behave themselves. But, I can't help but wonder if I did the right thing by intervening when those kids were picking on Bethany and Dominic, or if I should have let them work it out on their own?

What do you think?

In any case, I'm proud of my little Dominic for standing up for his sister. Even though they squabble a lot, I know they still love each other. Both of my kids take Singulair tablets daily for their allergies and asthma, both pediatric versions, but Bethany's pills are 6mg, for ages 6-12, and Dominic's are 5mg for ages 2-5. Well, when we were getting ready for bed, I was tired and distracted and accidentally gave Dominic one of Bethany's pills. I didn't realize it until I was throwing away Bethany's empty pill package, and she noticed (she remembered she had one pill left after taking her pill that evening). She was so worried about Dominic she couldn't fall asleep until I called the poison control hotline, and they said he would be fine. They said a kid would have to take a dozen of the pills at once before having any adverse effects. That make me feel pretty proud that Bethany was that concerned for her little brother.

Oh well. I've got to get going to bed. Enough griping for one night (er, early morning)!


Bezzie said...

Um yeah, yikes. I think the saddest part is M's mom pretty much incredulous that her daughter could be, well to use the term floating around--a bitch!

Sorka said...

I think.. you just keep doing what you are doing!!

And man.. again wish we were a smidge closer! Our kids could play together!!

Deneen said...

You are right-period. I stopped subbing the older kids because of "lack of respect". Girls, especially, are so much worse than boys in elementary school/middle school-things have changed.

Christina said...

I know what you mean. Pi hangs out with a girl at her dad's that isn't exactly a great influence. Its scary how much kids think they're above discipline now.

Vicki said...

Sounds like you had one of those moments when those ads for cheap land in the Alaskan Bush sounds really tempting. We've had our share of obnoxious neighbor kids who think they're above any parental authority..I've lost count of the times I've heard variations of "My mom said I can stay til dark' or "My dad said we could play wherever we want." Excuse me? This is MY property and my kids..MY rules~ Hang in there, it sounds like you're raising great kids!

naida said...

It's a shame, some kids are being raised like they live in a barn I guess.
You were right to intervene, or else it could have gotten really out of hand.
Just keep on doing what you are doing, youve got some good kiddies :)

My son has been harassed this past school year by a female in his class, she even physically assaulted him at one point. When I came to the school and complained to the principle, she just kind of shrugged it off. I'm taking my kids out of that school and putting them into another school next year. It seems like everyone is just 'okay' about the way these children are acting.

Carmell said...

ain't nothing wrong with how you handled it. i haven't had to deal with bad kids yet. i've had to deal with "why" can't my kids come over. because i'm the mama over here and i said so! don't question me! what i really wanna say is because i don't like you and your grandfather is kind of creepy! but i don't. hang in there. you're doing good.

Laurah said...

Sounds like a bad situation, but you handled it well!

naida said...

just popping in to say 'hello' enjoy your weekend :o)

Deanna said...

I'm with you all the way on this one. There are times when you need to let kids work it out for themselves, but there are time you have to be in it, too. I have had similar problems and thought the same thing about how other kids are taught (or not).