19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lisa Wields Words
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 14:39:39

    I often find myself interacting with the children at coffee shops and things, while their parents chat. Of course, I admit to having my moments of shushing my daughter so I can talk, but it doesn’t usually last the whole meal. More often, I think, I ask her to wait a moment and then I turn to her and say, what did you want. I get frustrated as well when the kids simply want a hug or a little acknowledgement and only get harsh words.


    • bornstoryteller
      Dec 01, 2011 @ 21:11:53

      I did wave to the kids when I passed to go to the men’s room. The little one stared and smiled. The mom tried to shush the older one from interacting with other people. yup…I was very frustrated.


  2. Arlee Bird
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 15:44:39

    I began thinking of the Harry Chapin song “Cat’s in the Cradle”.

    You are so right about this. Our kids are like an investment where we make deposits to enrich their future wisdom and their ability to have a good relationship they will have with their own kids, with other people, and with us when they have reached adulthood.

    Too bad the parents that need this advice the most may never receive it and if they do won’t heed it.

    A Faraway View


  3. zencherry
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 16:29:35

    I once babysat a child on a pretty regular basis there for a bit whose mother said to: “Sit him in front of the tv and he’ll sit there all day.” I almost cried.

    I did not know that today was World Aids Day. May we find a cure and soon.


  4. Edward Lebowitz
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 20:49:18

    They’re suffering from grandparent deficiency.


  5. Melinda
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 21:27:25

    I agree Stuart. I have seen this time and again, too. Oh, there have been times I needed to take my child somewhere that should have been “adults only” and had to keep him quiet (quiet books, legos– no electronic devices!) but most of the time, if the child is there, they should be part of things. Thanks for the post!


  6. Roy A. Ackerman, PhD, EA@Cerebrations.biz
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 21:40:19

    Right on, Stuart!
    I, too, cannot claim to have been the perfect parent- but I knew that I could — AND WOULD- make a difference in their lives. They knew I was busy from 10 AM to 5 PM, five days a week- they had me the rest of the time (and then I went back to work when they went to sleep). Oh- they had no ‘bedtime’, so they got to choose how long that time would be. (They also had hell to pay if they failed to wake up and be ready on time the next day..)
    Why do we have drivers licenses- and no training for parents? Why do we need to take a course in raising children once we decide to divorce and not when we wish to get married?
    Who sets these standards? (Oh, I know, the’pro-family’ party- the one that cheats on spouses, sexually harasses, but can tell us what to do…)


  7. rachelala
    Dec 01, 2011 @ 22:32:27

    Bravo! This is a favorite topic of mine. It is amazing what even 1 minute of focused parental attention can do to keep a child not only happy, but also well behaved. It saddens me that rather than nurture a child’s basic need for a secure and happy attachment, parents resort to the use of electronic devices, punitive discipline techniques and in some cases psychiatric medications and “therapies”. These things are expensive, mind-numbing, potentionally hazardous to long-term mental and physical health, and ultimately counterproductive.

    All anyone really has to do with their children is guide them, play with them, and teach them – this strategy is cheap, rewarding AND effective. It also does not require as much time, or is as much of a “chore”, as some overworked, stressed out parents seem to believe.

    Anyway, I enjoyed reading your well-written and thoughtful post and thanks for sharing!

    Rachel 🙂


  8. MuMuGB
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 08:03:44

    As parents, I suppose that we are all doing what we can. I try to read with my daughters every night. In French and in English. I sincerely hope that it will be worth all the efforts…That said, from time to time, I wonder!


    • bornstoryteller
      Dec 03, 2011 @ 08:08:08

      Muriel, we can only do our best, but we need to at least try. Those parents most likely love their kids big time, but…this was epic failure on their part, at this time and place. I just felt the need to express my sadness at their ignoring their children during that time.


  9. jill marie
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 21:53:03

    I really agree with you. I don’t have kids, but I’ve been Nanny to aa few and have more than a few nieces and nephews to have at least the part time experience, and yes, I understand it’s not the same thing. But watching any kid saying mommy over and over drives me nuts, and I hope one day I have the guts to just walk up to the mother and look her in the eyes and say mommy ????.
    And Stu maybe the mother in your adult friends group, when you are talking to her daughter, and she interupts, you could say, Gee, I was having such a nice conversation with your daughter, would you mind if we continue? Like you said so well,, if the kids are there then include them.


  10. Sheila Arnold
    Dec 04, 2011 @ 20:25:10

    Stuart, well written and it needs to be said and written again and again. I also am a TEaching Artist (SToryteller and Historic Character Interpreter), and I love performing for kids. However, my heart is to do Evening Programs with Parents. The come for the hook of storytelling, but I get to use the time to encourage communication. It is awesome to see parents come to the “lightbulb” moment that their kids really want to hear from them and be with them, not just in “things” and doing “something.”

    Keep saying this again and again and setting the example. Thanks.


    • bornstoryteller
      Dec 04, 2011 @ 23:08:41

      Sheila…thank you. Yes, we need to really speak to the parents, to just let them know what they are missing. We all could have used this when our kids were little, but what I have seen just astounds me. Keep doing what YOU are doing. pass the word around.


  11. Trudy Lundby
    Dec 09, 2011 @ 20:03:41

    I like this web site very much so much wonderful information.


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