Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Bad Behavior - Setting an Example for Our Kids
Now that the holidays are behind us, it seems like a wonderful time to reflect on the behaviors of the holiday season. Well, not the season itself, but the people who participated!
We had the joy of attending the holiday performance at Pine Ridge Elementary School in which our kindergartener as well as our second grader participated. As any good mother would say, it was incredibly cute and I see some natural talent shining from both of our children! (That part is a little far-fetched.) Cassidy enjoyed the singing part but was, obviously, painfully so, bored during other parts of the performance. Oh well, it’s her first play of many to come and I think she worked through it. Blake on the other hand, seemed to enjoy himself. I saw him rocking out in the back row with his best friend and he happily sang every song. There were some incredibly cute kids and the music teacher put so much effort into the program. It was much appreciated. But let's talk about what was NOT appreciated. At all by many parents in the audience........
Now let’s talk about the absolutely outrageous behavior of the parents who attended! It was one of the ugliest displays of self-centered behavior I have EVER seen. What kind of an example do you think you are setting? Here are a few bullet Big Bad Behavior Call Outs to some of the actions we saw from adults.
· The woman right in front of us who kept standing up to wave at her child, every 10 seconds!
· The people who crowded to the front of the room and blocked the view for the seated people for 20 minutes while taking pictures of their child.
· The people who actually got to the event 45 minutes early to reserve entire rows of seats for their attendees. Yup, they even told an elderly couple of grandparents they would have to stand during the 1.5 hour performance because they had friends coming.
Seriously, the extremely poor behavior exhibited by 50% of the attendees was atrocious. So it makes me ask, how are they teaching their kids to act? Are they raising their children in the same self-centered vein that they just performed in? They sent a clear message to other parents, grandparents and family members that THEIR child was the one who mattered, not anybody else’s.
Perhaps their actions were not intentional. I find that less than comforting. That tells me that they go through life without even being conscious of how their actions affect anybody else. Great. Is this really what the next generation needs to see? Is this really what we need to confer to the future leaders of our country, our communities and our municipalities?
If your answer is no, then think about this. How conscious are you about how you are living? Not just at the end of the day, but during the day? Were you one of those parents who blocked everybody else so you could celebrate your child’s moment on stage? What were you thinking?
Here is a Zen test for all of us, the next time you are in a group of people, notice the people around you. Is there somebody who might need that seat more than you? Is there somebody who could obviously use a hand? Did you bother to say “Excuse me” when you grabbed the last sale item? It’s called having manners. Please take the time to teach your child some of the basics and be sure that you review them yourself. It just might make the difference between your child knowing how to behave and actually behaving!