Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why I Don't Like Parenting Other People's Kids

Now that I've gotten three-plus years of parenting under my belt, I've come to the realization that I am not a big fan of strangers' kids. And I am even less a fan of parenting those children when their own parents are too lazy to do so.

Case in point: My mother-in-law, daughter and I were at the playground the other day, having a lovely time. Two little boys, brothers I assumed, were there as well. Where was their parent? Out in the parking lot talking on her cell phone! Not a huge deal, I admit, as the older brother seemed to be looking after the younger. It only really started to bother me when the younger brother - probably not much older than my own child - started to need help on the swing, and his older brother was nowhere to be found.

My mother-in-law, God bless her, helped him out while I gave his mom pointed stares. "Get off the phone! Come play with your kid!" I wanted to shout at her. But of course she wouldn't have been able to hear me in the midst of what was obviously a VERY important phone call. This continued on for a bit as the little guy needed assistance with other things. His mom just kept talking, even though she looked right at us as we helped her son.

I understand the need to sit down every once in awhile, take a break from running after your kids, but I just don't understand parents that don't engage at all with their kids in situations like this. Why take your kids somewhere so that you can ignore them?

What do you think? Let me know!

1 comment:

  1. I understand your thoughts but let me throw out a few things. With all respect, you have to be a mom of multiple kids and a mom for longer than 3 years to really have a solid, thoughtful understanding of parenting. There are all sorts of phases of mothering and in the early phase, moms, especially those that are caring and introspective, tend to be a bit militant. I've helped out alot of kids at the park and its not a huge deal. I'd also venture that we cant chastise her too much without knowing what she does from day-to-day, none of us should be judged as parents based on one single day or event. We'd all be crucified in that case.