Category Archives: I-Witness

Helicopter Parenting…Please Stop It!


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**Warning…I will be veering from my usual sarcastic blogging style in the form of a much needed rant!***

I was perusing the NY Post online, as I do every morning, and came across an article that made me cringe in disbelief.  Rich parents in NYC are hiring “play date consultants” to teach their children how to “play better” for private school admissions. These parents are actually paying these “consultants” $400 an hour to teach their children how to play and socialize  “correctly”!!!  The article states the following:

*Rheault’s pricey play dates involve groups of three to five 4-year-olds playing in a room. The experts closely monitor how the kids share crayons, color, follow directions in Simon Says, and hold a pencil. 

*Experts said that kids may need the play-date tutoring because their young lives have become so regimented, with classes in subjects like Mandarin and violin, that they don’t know how to play with others.

*“These children have five classes a week but they don’t know the simplest thing — how to be at ease and play spontaneously with a child,” said Wednesday Martin, who documents Manhattan motherhood in her upcoming book, “Primates of Park Avenue.”

*****Climbing On Soapbox*****

As a parent and a teacher, let me tell you a little something here…obviously this is an extreme example of “Helicopter Parenting”, but it is really no different than what I see on almost a daily basis from parents who cannot afford to spend $400 an hour on making their children “perfect”.  Quite often, I wonder if people have legitimately lost their minds when it comes to parenting.

My parents never did this when I was growing up, and unbelievably I turned out fine. (If you are in the 35-ish range, then I am sure your parents didn’t either!)  Not only did I turn out fine (alright…fine-ish), but guess what I can do?? I can actually think for myself, figure things out on my own, and function quite nicely on a daily basis without wondering what I should do every second on the day!  I understand that not everyone is going to like me, everything isn’t going to go smoothly in life, and I’m not going to get a round of applause every time I “do the right thing”, or a trophy simply for participating. I am perfectly fine with that premise, because that’s not the way society is supposed to work.

If you are a “Helicopter Parent” (and a good deal of you are, whether you chose to admit it or not), you are doing your child a great disservice in life. You may not believe it, but you truly are.  Every single time you hover over your child telling them exactly what to do and how to act in every situation, you’re making a big mistake. Every single time you do something for your child, like their homework, or their school project (by the way, teachers always know when you do that), you’re making a big mistake.  You may think you are helping, but in essence, what you are creating is a child who:

*cannot think for him or herself.

*will not even try to think for him/herself, because they have learned that is just easier to wait for someone else to tell him/her how to do things.

*will throw in the towel the second things get “too hard” because they have been taught that they will either be rescued, or someone else will come along and just do it for him/her.

Here’s a little free advice…

* Instead of telling your child how to think, perhaps you teach them how to think instead.  There is a VERY big difference between the two.

*Let them experience failure once in a while, even if it produces tears. It is those little “failures” in life that will make the difference. Those will be the lessons that make your child a stronger and better person in the long run. When your child experiences a “failure”, discuss it with him/her. You can go the “try, try again” route, or you can explain that everything is not going to go their way in life and teach them coping skills. That’s what will pay off big dividends…not you swooping in and fixing it.

*Let your child experience success on his/her own. Think about that beaming smile on a child’s face when they realize they “did it”.  It’s a great moment in a child’s life, no matter what that “it” might be. For example, riding a bike without training wheels. Think about that moment when you finally let go of the bike seat and your child unsteadily pedals away. It’s such a great, great moment for your child. They might pedal away happily, or they might fall down after a few seconds, but it’s the one thing that they are doing on their own!  Think back to when you learned. I know you all remember it…why, because it was likely your first true moment of independence. Teach your child independence in other facets of life too. As a parent, I get it that it’s tough to loosen the reins or let go. It hurts your heart a little to see that new found independence, but they need it. They will remember it. It’s essential.

and finally, and most important of all…

* Let your child be a child!!! Children are curious. Children do silly things. Children make mistakes. Those are all normal parts of childhood. Let your children experience the wonders and lessons of being a child, and let them learn from it. I look back to all of the times I played with my brother, cousins, and friends growing up and laugh. Now, if my mom was standing over me when we decided that the clothesline that descended down the three levels of our yard was perfect for gliding like a superhero (it wasn’t), or when I decided that I wanted a cast because it looked cool, so I dove off of the top of the monkey bars every single day, elbow first, for a week trying to break my arm (Unbelievably, it never worked, but it really hurt!) or went along with it when it was my turn to climb down into the sewer to get the ball we lost (Ewwww!), then none of those things would have happened…but they did…and I turned out OK..because I was being a child. None of those examples were pleasant lessons but I did learn something each time, and I still remember them.

Listen, I get it that you want the best for your child. There would be something wrong with you if you didn’t. As a parent, I want the best for my child too, and as a teacher, I want the best for every child in my class. The price that comes with it for my child and my students is teaching them how to think on their own,  learning to do things for themselves, experiencing both failure and success at their own hands, and experiencing various forms of independence. Is it always easy? I’d be lying if I said it was. However, I truly believe the positives outweigh the negatives in the end.

Think about it…what lessons are you teaching your children? I know we all have our moments of wanting to “fix things” or “do things right” for our children, and we’ve all done it at some point…but if it’s what you do ALL the time, then in the long run it’s going to be much more detrimental than it will ever be helpful….whether you’re paying $400 an hour for it or not. Society is headed in a scary direction in the future with the crop of someday-adults that are currently being raised with “Helicopter Parenting” techniques.  Sorry, but that is the absolute truth, and sometimes the truth hurts. (Another little lesson I learned growing up!)

Helicopter Parenting…Please Stop it!

*****Descending From Soapbox*****

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Expiration Dates


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I-Witness Account

Location: Local Irish Eatery on Saint Patrick’s Day

Ladies…I need to put this out there as food for thought…You need to know your expiration dates in life. You know, like when you hit certain ages your time has expired for certain things..case in point.

My family loves St. Paddy’s Day, so every year we head on over to the local Irish eatery for the festivities. It’s got a huge bar, but also serves up some good food, and it’s always a good time on 3/17.

So, this year we get there around noon and secure our table. Everything was great…the food, the drinks, the bagpipers, and the band…and then when some “ladies” started dancing, I got to thinking about “expiration dates”.

Here’s a few things I came up with:

* Pigtails…they expire around age 10. They look ridiculous after that…especially when you’re in your 40’s….no matter when you wear them…but especially in a bar.

*G-Strings…I’m not saying there’s an expiration date on the underwear you wear. I could care less..but when you’re in your 40’s, not in good shape, and we all get to watch you exploit this on the dance floor for over an hour, it’s not good.

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It’s not like it was accidently hanging out. If you wear them then you know that sometimes it happens…but she kept pulling it up over her hips out of her jeans, then acting like she forgot it was there where she raised her arms and her shirt went up…her shirt that was down to one button fastening it by the end of the “show”…then would look to see who was looking at her. Honey, that expiration date passed like 20 years ago….and you apparently watch too much reality tv and want to emulate Spring Breakers.  Trying to grind on your other 40-something year old woman posse is “entertaining”, but not in the way you think. I’m sure your kids would have been proud.

If you’re in your 40’s,  wearing pigtails, cranking up your g-string, and dancing like a stripper (well past her expiration date), don’t think the 20-something year old guy who comes over to dance with you wants a piece of your cougar action…his friends are about 10 feet away with their I-Phones out, almost pissing themselves as they take pics to put on Instagram. They’ll talk about that and show the pics all week long too….as they high five each other.

Know your expiration dates ladies…or go out with at least ONE honest friend. You’re welcome.

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Spraying Soda Panic


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I-Witness Account

Location: Walmart (Where many of my stories are likely to stem from!)

I am in Walmart WAY too often! I admit it.  It’s just too damn convenient for me, considering it’s about five minutes from my house. I see some major ” Oh Yes They Did” moments in there. It’s like a breeding ground for idiocy…case in point:

I always food shop bright and early on Sunday mornings. I like to get it out of the way, and it’s probably for the best because I have a low tolerance for large crowds of stupid people.

Here’s the scene: I’m on line with 3 women in front of me, a woman cashier, and a middle aged man checking out. (Side note: Walmart really pisses me off with their never-having-more-than-two-registers-open-early-in-the-morning thing. Jesus Christ…you have a ton of workers milling around doing nothing…get their asses on the registers! But I digress…) Anyway, the man drops a two liter bottle of Diet Coke and it explodes. The woman behind him starts screaming in that high pitched “AAAAGGGHHHH” way the rest of us normal people HATE, like she’s being murdered. Then the cashier and the other two ladies in front of me join in with the same crazy-assed “AAAAGGGHHHH”, and they don’t stop until the bottle stops fizzing…and then they all giggled. (Sigh!) They produced a sound that I don’t think I am physically capable of producing…even if you were cutting one of my toes off with a machete!  I just stood there staring at them like the complete morons that they are, with a mixture of disbelief and disgust on my face…as did the man who dropped the soda.

Ladies…seriously…this is why people think women are weak. You four are a complete disgrace to the rest of the female race that actually have an ounce of steadfastness in their blood. Screeching like banshees who are being stabbed repeatedly, over a fizzing bottle of soda?!? Really?!? When it was over, the one woman actually said “Wow…that was scary!” SCARY?!? FIZZING SODA IS SCARY?!?!?  Holy Crap!

Did I mention it was 7 am? Waaayyy too early for this ridiculousness! Did I mention that none of those screeching hens even got so much as a drop of soda on them? That’s right…none of them…although by the time it ended, I wished it did.  Can you imagine what those four are like in the event of an actual emergency?? They’d be the first ones I’d throw right into the line of fire in order to protect myself.  Believe it….and believe it that when I was able to get past my you-disgust-me face, I changed lines.  I honestly don’t know how women like that make through any day of their lives.

Way to hold it together ladies.

On behalf of the rest of the women in the world, I was embarrassed for you.

It’s a crazy world out there people….and I’m just here to report it.

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Honking En Masse


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Welcome to my very first post in my latest categorical addition to “Oh Yes They Did”…a little something I call I-Witness.  Why do I need this category?  Well, because I witness a ton of ridiculous Oh Yes They Did moments in my everyday life. I don’t know if  it’s because I’m super observant, a complete moron magnet, or a little bit of both.  Whatever the reason, it cracks me up so why not put it out there? Enjoy…

 

Boy, did I witness (and get to take part in) some awesomeness last night in the Wawa parking lot.  Some guy came out of the store and somehow set his car alarm off. Problem there is he couldn’t  shut it off. No matter how many times he hit the button on his key chain, it just kept honking away. After about 15-20 seconds of his car’s incessant honking, everyone else in the parking lot joined in, car by car. (Including me! How could I not?) It turned into a chorus of honks…and of course, not all at the same time…because what fun would that be? We all did have the same cadence though. Honk…honk…honk.  Total strangers,  looking from car to car, hitting their horns and cracking up. The guy who couldn’t get his alarm to stop wasn’t as amused as the rest of us…which made it a thousand times funnier. He finally got it to go off…but for a few moments there we were all on the same page.   I was totally in my glory surrounded by a pack of smart-asses   just like myself.  It was downright hilarious. I’m pretty sure this kind of thing only happens in Jersey….because in case you didn’t know, we’re awesome like that.

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