Thursday, July 15, 2010

Do Tattoos Make You a Better Mom?

(Sorry, this turned into a rant) eek

Parker had an appointment with the orthopedic pediatric surgeon for his arm yesterday. Of course he is 6' and 16 and thinks he too "big" for these places that are filled with little kids running around. So he was grouchy and into his phone.
 I started watching this family that came in. It was the mom, grandma, three kids. Mom was busy filling out paper work while grandma looked at a magazine. The two girls, about middle school age and one in elementary settled down in front of the TV to watch the movie that was playing. The older girl was very much into the younger one, taking care of her, giving her attention.  That left the little guy, probably about 3 to run around like a wild man even with a broken arm! In the few seconds I observed him he ran across a row of chairs (luckily the place had kind of emptied out), ran circles around the waiting room, kicked several chairs, jumped on a chair to see out the window and of course leaving his imprints...dove under a table, rolled over the floor, ran by his sister and pinched her...ran by his mom and kicked her and when she yelled at him  (with out looking up mind you) he dove under the row of chairs, and mauled a plant. The only person talking or parenting him was the older girl who yelled at him now and then.

Inside I was thinking he's just like Jack when he riled up and wants attention and wants to play. 
 Look at this child...make eye at him....Pay attention to him....someone...anyone??
 As I watch the mom, noting their clothing, ages and trying to make guess about them (yeah I was bored), I noticed a huge Tattoo on her leg with her kids names on it. I kind of snickered. That old feeling of frustration with OPP (other peoples parenting) came back. I shouldn't be judging. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not.
  But I just wanted to say to this mom...look at your boy...look at him..give him 5 seconds. He is craving your attention....any ones attention.  He needs attention damit.  See him running around? That's not appropriate. He is old enough to be sitting calmly. 
Teach him. Give  him the skills to do this or at the very least interact with him between pages. 

The only attention he got was negative. Do you know what kind of student this will be?
The kind that misbehaves because that is the only kind of attention he gets. The kind that may not be successful because he's needy.
I work with the two extreme type of students. The honor students whose parents are involved and care about their kids and the ones who parents are disconnected and hardly fit to be parents themselves or just don't have the skills.
The ones whose parents are connected have it much easier. It has nothing to do with money or socioeconomics. Well, a little it does.  But, I had plenty of kids with problems this year whose parents had money and plenty of honor kids who were poor but had parents who care. But it's really not about money, it's about parenting or lack of it.

I guess that's it. I'm putting my expectations on other people. Maybe because I value humans and I know what it's like to be ignored and lonely. I know that kids just want to be acknowledged. Validated. Loved. Paid attention to. They want to be parented! 

Putting a tattoo on your leg doesn't make you a better mom. Sorry.
I think a better tattoo would be on her writst that said..Pay attention to your beautiful kids! :)


Genie @ Diet of 51 said...

Here's one: "Does spending tons of time making beautiful scrapbooks about your kids, but not spending time with them make you a better mom?"

Don't get me started on this! I'm an OPP judge, too, although I don't have the teacher perspective that you do. I'm sure there are times that it's hard to hold your tongue for fear that the truth will come flying out.

Melva said...

That is so true Genie..and then teachers and society is left with cleaning up the mess. I had some eye-opening situations teaching in a special program for unsuccessful kids. We actually had three sets of parents move away from our school boundary to attend another school because we called EVERYDAY their kid didn't come. They got sick of it.This whole experience made me want to help these kids's not's how they were raised.