“Spare the Rod” = Your Kid Is A JERK When An Adult
When I was a kid, no matter where I was geographically–in school, traveling, in church, in another person’s home (a family member’s or a friend’s), in a store–my mother always warned me of two things: “Behave yourself in this house, outside this house, because how you act represents me. And always have on clean underwear. Because if you don’t know how to act in public (out in the street was the more common term), when you get back home, I’m gonna drop those clean underwear and beat that butt!”
I never really understood the need to aways wear clean underwear part–like First Responders rescuing my broken body from a wreck or whichever were going to concern themselves about my frilly, purple paisley Wednesday-labeled undies–but I got the behave yourself in public because your actions reflect me part. She meant that she didn’t want to give the world a jerk child, that the world was oversaturated with jerk kids, and if I’d become one, this meant she didn’t do her job properly.
Jump cut to this past weekend. Marcy’s Diner owner Darla Neugebauer posted to her Facebook page her actions after repeatedly asking the parents to take the child outside when she wouldn’t stop crying. From her side of events, after asking them to handle their issue with pancakes they’d ordered for her out of her reach–which was why the kid was upset in the first place–Neugebauer banged her hands on the counter and scolded the child herself . . . much to the parents shock, horror, dismay, and hurt feeeeeeelings, I’m sure.
Neugebauer says, “Life’s full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them. I chose to yell at a kid, it made her shut-up, which made me happy, it made my staff happy, it made the 75 other people dining here happy, and they left, they may never come back, other people may not come in. Their loss really.”
And I agree with her 1,000%! Why? Again, having been raised old-school, kids just don’t, should not, and cannot go around in public disrupting other peoples’ lives because they’re kids. This reflects on the parents raising of that child to be a proper, mannerly, civil, sensible, logical, and–dare I say it?–unspoiled person others would like to be around. And the bottom line: it’s her business, her rules. Same with one’s home or classroom or car. The parents don’t have to eat there, but that aside: Why should the business owner be admonished for an act the parents should’ve done themselves to prevent this embarrassment in the first place? In the second place, why didn’t the parents get up and leave after she’d asked them politely to do so? And in the third place, why should Neugebauer, her staff and other patrons tolerate that noise when the parents were in control to stop that from the onset?
Answer: Because they simply thought it was cute for their kid to act like a jerk in public (sadly, some parents honestly believe this is cute to do; I’ve seen it. I’m sure you have too. And that kid isn’t the only one needing a smack upside the head for it). Sure, the kid might not have known better, but the parents absolutely do. And I’ve worked enough in public via the retail and restaurant industries–and been out and around it more times than I’d like to admit–I’ve more than once told a kid to knock off their tantrum throwing, crying fits, or just plain acting out because their parents spared that rod; adults back in my day did the same thing to me! The parents gave me dirty looks for my interfering, but I’d tell them, hey, look, do your job so I don’t have to tolerate that noise nobody else wants to hear in here; if your kid darted in the street after a ball or a lost dollar and a bus was ready to mow them down, wouldn’t you want me to save his or her life?
No difference here.
But I tell you what: When I was that jerk kid, and I got back home with my Mama after throwing an epic fit in a grocery or department store, those clean underwear she always told me to have on? Weren’t much a comfort on my stinging red tush after an epic spanking took care of my throwing a fit in public for a little while.
And my kids tried that tantrum-throwing nonsense in the stores with me when they were little. That rod was handed down from my Mama to her daughter’s kids when we got back home and they learned hoe to behave in public, whether I was with them or not. She’s smiling from Heaven knowing she doesn’t have jerk grandkids to worry about, because her daughter didn’t spare the rod with them any more than she spared it with me.
As for my kids’ undies . . . I did give them enough good sense for them to figure out if those undergarments of theirs are standing on their own, it’s time for a shower and new / fresh ones.
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