Thursday, April 8, 2010
Other People's Children
Every so often I will run across someone who doesn't want to have children. I commend those people for knowing what they want and not bowing down to the social or family pressure to have children. However, I never understood when I would hear people say "I don't like children." It's one of those statements like "too much garlic" or "I don't like the beach," it just doesn't make any sense to me.
Then I had kids.
Don't get me wrong, I love and adore my children. Each new phase they go through creates challenges and push you to be a better person so you mold them into good people. I would gladly give up my own life for them.
Downside, because of your children, you are introduced to "Other People's Children."
Each set of parents have their own ideals on how to raise their children, and more often then not, those ideals will be different then yours. And the ones that have completely different rules then you are, more then likely, going to be the ones that live next door. Their ideals are not necessarily wrong or bad, they're just different then yours and sometimes make you want to bang your head against the wall.
This can range from abiding to the helmet law to when homework gets done or how far from home they are allowed to wander.
Or, like the one I deal with often, how often they can play video games.
I like video games, but I never wanted a game system in the house. I know my older son would be very happy to sit and play video games all day long. So we came up with the rule that they only have free access to video games if it's raining (or other extreme weather) otherwise they are outside, End of Discussion.
The other times they are allowed to play is at doctor visits or long car rides. We feel this is more then enough.
Other children we know are allowed to play all the time, any time. One walks around with his Nintendo DS all the time.
Yesterday neighbor child was begging my younger son to play video games with him. My son told him no, he can't play. He's not real happy about this but he knows those are the rules.
Small neighbor child then proceeds to tell me I am mean, my rules don't make any sense, and I'm not fair.
After regaining my composure from being spoken to like that from a 6 year old, I told him I did not care what he thought, our rules are our rules and if he didn't like them, he could just go home.
All children quickly vacated my front yard.
My friend told me I should have said to him "You're very lucky that I only spank rude children on Friday's" (I would never touch someone elses child, but he doesn't know that.)
I probably should have called his mom and let her know what happened, but I was pretty annoyed and not in a good frame of mind to speak with her, so I let it go.
This morning she came to me at the bus stop and apologized to me. Her older son ratted the younger one out.
These things happen. My children are allowed to do a few things another neighbor child is not. Like I said, everyone has different rules.
If you can manage to find parents that have similar parenting styles as you, hold on to them tight!!! They are more precious than gold!
Because every once in a while, you will run into children that make you understand why some species eat their young!