I was on the bus this week when I saw a woman standing ahead of me. She had just sat down her two children, and someone complimented the children. The mother said, “Do you want ’em? Take ’em! They’re 5 and 2.” Later, she smacked the older one because he wasn’t all the way back on the bus seat. I was trying to compose a positive message to say to this woman. Unfortunately, all I could think of was something along the lines of “What kind of idiot ARE you?” Fortunately, she and her charges got off the bus before I did.
So, on this day smack dab between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, it’s in that context that I ask you:
1) Under what circumstances would you get involved, from speaking to the person to calling the police, in the actions of a parent dealing with (presumably) their children?
2) When, if ever do you give unsolicited advice to a parent? There’s a friend of mine, not a parent, who’s always giving her opinion about how relatives are raising their children, in terms of punishment, potty training and bedtime.
3) Have you ever heard this song?
Be kind to your parents
Though they don’t deserve it.
Remember that grown ups
Is a difficult stage of life
They’re apt to be nervous
And over excited
Confused by their daily storm and strife.
So keep in mind though it seems hard I know.
Parents were children long ago. Incredible!!
So treat them with patience and kind understanding.
Despite of all the foolish things they do.
Some day you might wake up and find you’re a parent too.
(Be kind to your parents Composed by: Pete Seeger, Published by: Sanga Music.)
I’d only heard the Seeger version (55 seconds!) recently. But when I was much younger, we had this red vinyl record, a 45, probably on Peter Pan Records, that my sister Leslie and I played SO much that we could, to this day, break out and sing this song.