(ETA: These are Major Annoyances and Unbelievable Incidents which have happened in the past 2 years, either to me and/or good friends. The shopping center bit happened when I went to another mall to the Disney Store to get an Ariel costume for a particularly sweet girl in Youngest's class just last week...)
The Village? She's Sick and Tired of all the free babysitting you've been taking abusive advantage of by dropping your whelp off on Society.
1. The parent who drops your kids off at the mall, expecting shopkeepers and customers to babysit your children. Who, of course, meet their other friends who have also been left to their own devices by lazy parents; and who then run like a pack of wild, rabid dogs. Here's a News Flash for you; unless your kids have money in their pockets, a set goal of shopping for 'x' and need to do it privately (i.e., it's a surprise for you), they have no business spending hours and hours at the mall, jus' hangin'. Would you like it if a pack of teenagers or pre-teens hung around your place of business? NO?! Well, then how can it be okay to dump your kids on other people's place of business. This is wrong, and a poor parenting decision.
2. The parent who leaves teenage kids alone and unsupervised, or worse, babysitting younger siblings; when said parents leave for overnight or the weekend. Yes, the peckerhead parents who expect the neighbors to 'keep an eye on' their house/brood! SURE! WHAT THE HECK! We have Nothing Better to Do than to keep an eye on your house, and watch as teens pour into the house with bags of liquor. And then watch as carloads of kids appear, then explode out of the house when a fight erupts, and start puking on all the neighbor's lawns. And when the neighbors call the police? They are then considered BAD NEIGHBORS and the word spreads like wildfire when the teens are issued drinking tickets - "They weren't even bothering anybody!" "There wasn't even that much alcohol involved." "My kid wasn't even drinking!" "What jerks _____ neighbors are!" And here's the one circulating lately: "I'm telling MY kids to not open the door if the police knock! The police can't come in without a search warrant!" (Meaning, you are going to let your teens have alcohol parties in your absense? And you're going to teach them to 'beat the system? Grrreat."
3. Birthday Party drop-off - Here's a Tip for you: The invitation explicitly states who is included in the party invitation. If it is addressed to one child, that is the only child in the family who is invited. If you think it's fine to just bring a sibling, you are wrong. You need to ask permission days ahead to bring additional guests. This is especially true if your child is invited to a drop-off party; it is NOT okay to bring siblings or extra 'friends' and drop them off. And Double Bad Form if you drop off not only the invited guest, but also siblings and friends (too horrible to consider if none of them can swim), to a birthday party at a lake or pool. Do you really think anyone is going to be watching your kids/friends? Do you even care? To me, this is unforgivable, and you would not be allowed to leave the party without your children in tow. And your child would be forever crossed off a guest list for my family's social events.
4. The parent who drops kids off on a playground, and then immediately gets involved in deep conversation or in a book, and doesn't watch their little darlings immediately start bullying other kids. Those rocks they are throwing? That shoving and taunting they are doing? That merciless grabbing of equipment and hogging it? That's bullying, asshat! YES! They are dying for your attention, any attention, so they have learned to bully to get it. Get up and deal with that behavior! Know that some parents won't tolerate it, and will yell at you to force you to Pay Attention To Your Child. Yes. Terrible to have to parent, isn't it. It Isn't About YOU, all the time.
5. The parents who refuse to teach their children table manners and boundaries for dining out. We don't want your children at our table, or running around the restaurant, screaming and playing tag. We don't think it's cute. It's rude and annoying. And dangerous for the wait staff. Please know that some of us do call management over. And that if your child continues to be a problem, you will be loudly presented with our dinner check, with a demand that you pay it as you and your children were the only ones who got to enjoy the dinner.
6. The parents who bring their young children into adult-themed movies, and expect everyone around them to be tolerant of the interruptions, spilled drinks and treats, crying, fighting and hissing of people around them. Please know that some of us will stand up and YELL AT YOU. YES! We will block your view and yell at you to leave or refund our ticket prices. If that doesn't work, we will go to management and demand their intervention. If this is a G movie, we will tolerate some behavior issues. But don't push your luck. Wait until the movie comes out on DVD if you can't control your children. Because we? Are getting tired of setting limits for your kids.
7. Oh, OH! You forgot about the parents who drop their kids off at the library for all the free babysitting at the reference desk! added for Liz
And a BIG, Huge, THANK YOU to parents who do choose to do the Real Work that is good parenting; raising children to be responsible for their own behavior, polite and mannerly, conscious of others and kind. A functioning member of society. I'm also not talking about special needs kids' behavior here; these are behaviors I have witnessed from normal, run-of-the-mill kids. Most parents I know with Special Needs children moniter them so acutely those kids don't have a chance to veer off the straight and narrow. The parents are On Them, redirecting, encouraging, chiding and exiting when situations deteriorate. I know. I live this. It's not that difficult to do. Consistency is the key. If you are a parent who parents, you know what I'm talking about. And I love you for being a great parent for your children.
If you are a parent who says "Oh, he's so spirited!" "She's never done that before!" "Oh, we are using the 'You're Not The Boss Of Me' style of parenting. We don't set limits!" "Oh, he's just excited to see everybody!" "I don't think he really means to hurt anyone, he's just doesn't know his own strength!" know that we have Got Your Number. And it's a Big ZERO.