Yesterday we went to spend time at a play barn as it was the last day of the holidays. The place was packed with children, toys and socks separated from their owners in the ball pit. Pre-teen and Middle Son went to play in the climbing area that is just for older children as it has slides, swings and monkey bars, Little Man came with us into the under 3's area that has age appropriate toys. We sat at a table and chairs in the same area and followed Little Man round as he played and joined in with him. Nothing unusual I thought.....
A child fell over and as they fell their crisps came out of their packet and spilled on the floor and they burst into tears. They called for their Mother who was sat about 10 - 15 feet away chatting and drinking coffee with some other ladies with her back to the area. The crying continued and I was about to get up to see if she was ok when another lady did the same. This lady then called out to the childs Mother (by name so they must have known each other) and the Mother jumped up in fake surprise that her 'Daaahhhhling' was crying and why had she not called her?
Please!! The child was crying at a level that could have been heard from twice the distance! As I looked around the play barn I would say over 70% of the parents were sat chatting and not interacting with their children at all. Little Man was knocked over and snatched toys from on many occasions during the day without the child involved even saying sorry or worse still its parent even realising it had done anything to another child.
Have we all become parents that parent from our bottoms? Is it easier to ignore what are children are doing then that way we won't have to ACTUALLY do something about it and PARENT THEM!!!
I am far from the perfect parent (if such a thing exists) and do not spend every waking moment occupying my children and organising their every playing second. I feel they need to be able to entertain themselves and interact with their peers as well as with me - I may be wrong and am happy to accept that. I do however watch my child when they play in unfamiliar surroundings or somewhere there are unknown children and YES I even get up to do that!
I am very sure I am not the only one but sadly the majority yesterday seemed to have subscribed to 'Bottom Parenting - A Guide.....' which in short includes making sure:
You can looked surprised when someone points out your child is crying, hitting, spitting or anything else even though you saw, heard or ignored it.
You cannot recognise your own childs voice/cry/wail and then again looked surprised when you have to finally accept it is your child and deal with it!
Ignore child and hope someone else deals with any problems...
Pretend its not your child....
Or you could just get up!