Bring back the village

Let me start by saying this: I am not perfect…my children are not perfect.

But I need to get something off of my chest…and when have I ever hesitated with speaking my mind?

My three kiddos and I were at the pool recently when my son (of course) was begging to go and get a snack. So we walked over where it took all of my patience to keep all three “corralled” in line.

That’s when I heard it. “F@*! this s*@t you nasty h$@!” And the words were flowing out of this mouth like a river…fast and furious.  When I looked over, I saw a kid…probably about Gia’s age of 9…he was the one.  He was the one with absolute garbage coming out of his mouth while a couple of his buddies stood there and laughed.

Now if you’ve been to a community pool at any point in your life, then you know the line to the concession stand is always the hot spot. It’s packed with little kids holding their dollar bills so tight and excited to order that grape push-pop.

I looked around and saw a few other parents…we all made eye-contact and shook our heads.  I kept looking for this kid’s mom…dad…grandparent…sitter…any adult in the vicinity to put an end to his vile behavior.

Crickets. There was no one.

“Mom! Do you hear him???”

My kids were staring.  I didn’t know whether they were shocked or if the wheels in their heads were going “hmm…I guess we can talk like that!!”

I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Excuse me…can you watch your mouth? There are so many little kids around here and they don’t need to hear words like that. I don’t think your parents would like you speaking like that either.”

He laughed. And I heard him tell his friends, “whatever old lady. shut up.”

Not sure what part bothered me the most…the “whatever” or the “old lady.”  All I know is that I took many deep breaths…counted to 10 slowly…did whatever I could to find my “zen.”

I wasn’t shocked by the fact the kid was talking like that…come on, I don’t live my life with rose-colored glasses on.  Kids try new words…push boundaries…we have all been there and done that. We’ve all wanted to “look cool” in front of our friends.  But I was a little taken back to his reaction.  I immediately thought back to when I was growing up. I have acted up PLENTY OF TIMES when I was called out by a neighbor, a family friend and even a stranger at the pool.  I remember my face getting red instantaneously and a wave of embarrassment crashed over me.  I also remember my parents finding out…and let’s just say, they were “less than pleased” with my behavior.

But I suppose times have changed.

I’m not here to parent other children.  I’m not here to tell parents how to raise or discipline their children.  I know I don’t like getting unsolicited parenting advice.  Parenting is hard…there are many days I have ZERO clue what I’m doing.

But…when another child’s words or actions affect my own kids…or kids around me…I will react and step in.

It’s not about living in a world of rainbows and unicorns.  But it would be nice to get back to a place where manners mattered…respecting others was a top priority… mouthing off to an adult was an absolute no-no…and neighbors and strangers would step in if necessary to call out bad behavior.

Let me make this clear: if one of my children is being disrespectful in any way…or to put it bluntly, being an inappropriate little brat…you have my permission and BLESSING to call them out and correct them immediately.

We need to bring back the village.

 

 

 

 

 

 

23 thoughts on “Bring back the village

  1. I totally agree Amanda!! It seems manners and respect are a lost art these days. My hot button is listening to kids at a restaurant. There is no please or thank you. It’s “Get me” or ” I wanna” I know it’s bad when my grown children are pointing out the lack of manners in the younger generation.

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    1. I agree Amanda. I’m glad you stepped up and said something about his language. I would have probably responded when being called “an old lady”! I would have confronted him and his friends, asked him his name, talked to the people to announce it over the loudspeaker about it. If he wanted to show off, hand him a loud speaker. It shows take a village, I know. We have 9 ranging from 36 to 9! And 7 grandchildren!

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  2. 25 years ago going to the Dells you would see Tshirts F this F that. Once at a major scout meeting I saw a boys parent sporting a shirt saying my car is junk but your wife is my other ride! Like you I could not believe it, Iowa State University cannot even stop norml from using the ISU logo. People now consider this type of behavior normal, one reason I sent my kid to Columbus. I suggest removing your child away or contacting pool management. People whos’ kids talk that way will feel fully entitled to act that way and will confront YOU. It could turn into a physical confrontation. My kids never had friends that talked like that in front of me or they where OUT of my house. If your kids go to public school they will run into kids like that so you will still have to deal with it. The supreme court says people have the absolute right to be as crude as they want, but I agree with YOU!

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  3. Thank you Amanda! I am happy you reprimended (and kindly so) the kid. It needs to be done more often! Thanks for being the “old lady…ha!) that said something. Kids (or adults) should not get away with that kind of behavior! It is disrepectful! Many respectful parents wouldn’t mind if their child was corrected for this behavior. I’d have done the same thing!

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  4. I work in a title I school where this behavior and language happens more often than I’d like. There, they receive swift and appropriate consequences. Much like our world, these people, children and adults that act like this, are less than 5% of the population, but it sure is disappointing when they do. Less than 5% of our population that demands 100% of our attention on them. Kudos to you for speaking up. I think more of us need to do that to instill values, morals, and societal norms back into our world. Unfortunately some people don’t speak up out of fear of retaliation. Only a few brave souls actually say something. Well done.

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  5. You are awesome Amanda and don’t forget it! I witnessed this in our hometown Junior High School at least there weren’t little ones around! I just couldn’t believe kid’s talked this way in a school! Ugh! No respect anymore!

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  6. Get your add off my Facebook page. I have asked you once. I will not again. I’m reporting you.

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    1. What are you referring to? If you are seeing this blog, then you either clicked on it or liked my FB page. You can unfollow both. You have asked me nothing in the past. Have a great day!

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  7. Great job! If there are not pool rules regarding appropriate / inappropriate language, there should be. If people got kicked out for the day for such an offense, maybe the offender would take it seriously ( maybe).

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    1. I can picture someone suing the city or whatever municipality is in charge for not being able to express their freedom of speech. That is just how messed up todays world is.

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  8. I am so very glad you stepped in. You moral compass is appreciated by so many! And I bet you had a talk with your kids about the impression that kind of behavior had on them and all the people around that boy. As a former teacher and parent, it is almost automatic for me to respond and I still have “the look” that usually gets a more positive result. ;0) We had an experience with our two young kids, an unknown teenage boy and mustard packets at 6 Flags. The result? the wall got cleaned and my family got an apology from him. I saw that as a win-win.

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  9. Great and timely response to the foul mouthed kid at a public pool. His comeback was evidence you didn’t shame him enough. I would have told him I would be getting in touch with one of his parents about his disrespectful and inappropriate public behavior, breaking the code of pool conduct and speaking about a person that way when they were not around. I don’t think fast on my feet, but now would step up to him and ask if he was addressing his friends with him in that way, or if he would say that to the person he was dissing if she was present. Then continue on with the explanations as you did or those I might have, including the threat to speak with his parent. He doesn’t have to know that you will eventually find out who to call or where he lives. Call over the pool manager to get some backup support, and have him ejected from the pool.

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  10. I am an in home childcare provider. One day the neighbor boys age 11-12 leaned out their window and started yelling to the 10 year old girl that was here in my care “He wants you honey hole” and pointed to his friend. Oh my word….What were those boys thinking? I ended up yelling at them and told them they were completely disrespectful to her and me. I told them if they did it again in my presence, I would take them to their parents and have them tell their parents what they did. That was the end of it.

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  11. Good for you, Amanda. Well said. And you know what, these kids that talk like that probably get it from home. I’m doing a slow burn and I wasn’t even involved.

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  12. Yes, you definitely did the right thing. I probably would have said something back at him after the rude remark to you.

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  13. It’s a good thing this situation didn’t happen to me because I would have gone even farther and yes, “parent” him, someone has to, and I would have spoken to him in a stern and loud enough voice so that everyone could hear me “disciplining” him and telling him how his language, attitude and disrespect was not acceptable in my eyes or anyone else’s and specially in God’s eyes who sees it all!! I’ve already had to deal with a similar situation here at Rolling Hills Water Park, a water park near my home, and that’s exactly how I handled it. The child even apologized afterwards. I think it’s time we act like that “village” you speak of and take some responsibility. I think, and this is my opinion and philosophy: Kids need to hear what’s right and what’s wrong, even if it doesn’t come from their parents, especially in that kind of public setting.

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  14. It is so unfortunate that children that age even know those words but we all know they hear it at home or from older kids. What a brat to be so disrespectful. Again he has probably heard it at home. Maybe if the pool staff wouldn’t tolerate it, made the offender leave it would stop. Thank you for not just standing there listening to it but saying something.

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  15. I am glad that you did the right thing in the presence of your children but I have always had a problem with “It takes a village”. We need parents who are committed to their spouse and their children rather than a country that believes that the government, school, and community should be responsible.

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  16. “Whatever Old Lady!” And “shut up”!!!!! If my child EVER said something like that!
    It’s good you said something even though the child’s response was horrific. You set an example to everyone else in that line that that language was not appropriate.

    How do you think you might have handled this situation if the child’s parents had been there? I’m often torn in situations like that because I hate it when other people discipline my children when I’m standing right there. Thanks.

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  17. Hey girl hey! So sad to see you leave kwwl, you will be missed. Can you believe that lady Lillian Robbins WOW. Let me tell you I grew up off of Williston Ave. in Waterloo and I moved out of town for many reasons but I’m sad to say the Waterloo I grew up in is so long gone. This thing that happened to you does not suprise me one bit. In the small town I now live in, people are respectful, kind, and genuinely want to say Hi, how are you’s. My husband read an article on MSN Money that said Waterloo is one of the most crime filled cities in the country. I feel so helpless when I see others being mistreated, it seems like the ones who do anything about it get punished. Maybe you and fam can be role models going forward. Much love, A.

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