Forget Obama, I’m Scared of the Moms at the Park

/Rant on.

Dear white middle-class mom who takes her children to the park,

I know you are overworked, tired, needing a break, and perhaps annoyed by your badly behaved children. I feel the same way at times. But your partially-socialized, partially matured little human being is not capable of acting for any length of time in an appropriate way toward other children.

Little five-year-old Ricky is throwing dirt and mulch at smaller children; he’s running over my son, who is two years old. He’s saying rude and mean things to my son, calling him a baby and telling him to get out of the way.

Meanwhile you are there with your girlfriend chatting away about whatever, oblivious (or deliberately ignoring) your son’s atrocious behavior. I stare at you to see whether you are planning to intervene, and you studiously avoid eye contact.

Wake up!

I realized today at the park that I’m not afraid of Obama being president for another four years, as bad as that will be. I’m afraid of the Missing in Action Park Moms and their bullying, bratty children. Not only have we lost good ol’ Christian virtue, we’ve even lost all semblance of manners. These are basically little pagan parents and children running around, living out Lord of the Flies on the playground.

Our country will go from bad to worse because of you and your crappy parenting. Sure, everyone can have a bad day and just need to detach from it all, but you don’t detach when your heathen child is at the park with smaller kids, pushing them around.

Park Dad

To forestall objections, I am fine with my son wrestling, getting dirty, possibly getting injured climbing up on equipment, playing chase with other kids, etc. I’m not fine with boys three to six years older than him being mean and ugly to him. Hell no.

But with our litigious culture, I only intervene when other kids really cross the line, when the safety of my children is in danger or they are being so mean that something has to be done immediately.

23 thoughts on “Forget Obama, I’m Scared of the Moms at the Park”

  1. Parents would rather have their children ‘like them’, than to be good parents who discipline and teach them proper behavior.

    What a world it is becoming.

    Come Lord Jesus, come.

  2. I’m a mom, but just call me a “Park Dad” too! I once yelled at two 8 year olds that almost hit my little daughter (she was about 2 years old at the time) in the head while she was trying to get on the slide. I had another parent ask me if they were my kids. I told them no, but if they nearly hit my kid in the head I feel like I have the right to call them out. Their parents were no where to be found!

  3. You’ll have the best of both worlds soon. With “free” contraception, there will be less and less children at parks. If that isn’t enough, expect more government regulation on the behavior or children at public parks. The best thing will be to just keep the kids at home playing video games ;-).

  4. It is a shame but the worst parents rarely struggle with infertility. This leads them to not really invest themselves in the privilege of being a parent. They often treat their blessed fertility as a curse. I also think the absent/lame fathers factor into the child’s behavior. As your children get older, you will witness more and more of this, sorry to say.

  5. It’s a struggle when these same children live right next door and consider my backyard to be theirs too. Far be it for me to not invite them over because their 8 year old mouths think it’s funny to throw out every obscenity they’ve heard from their parents or others at the ball park. And so, they sit up in the trees that line the fence and verbally taunt me and my kids with their “secret” calls. And I’ve talked to their mother about other obnoxious behavior, only to be called out for when my kids walk thru her front yard uninvited. We are now friendly acquaintances, not much else. I know I can’t shelter them forever, but I don’t want my backyard to be a place where I have to shelter their ears and eyes from the actions of the yucks next door. I guess it’s better than another backyard, but still. I can’t stand the line “boys will be boys” when it releases said parent from all responsibility for their child’s actions. I have four boys so far, and I’m doing my best to raise them to be good men. I hope. /rant off.

  6. You know what, NO!

    You do not get to rant about this on a website. It is an act of charity to “admonish a sinner”, not glare at a Mom. Yes, it sucks to correct children’s behavior in this society. You get NO support for it. But who cares, we are Catholics. Time to be a Father and a Mother to more than the child biologically carrying your DNA.

    Kids need to be taught how to care. Guess what, most older kids do NOT have little siblings or little cousins or little neighbors thanks to the sin of contraception. So do not get mad at the nameless woman in the park for not doing her job. Maybe she never had a chance to do it because there are all these missing “little 2 year olds” in the world.

    YOU DO THE JOB! You are the one with Jesus Christ inside you.

    “Mama, seems like we have a little problem with being gentle here, do you mind if I take care of this teaching moment right now?”

    Or better yet, correct gently so she doesn’t even notice “Whoops, we’ve got a little guy or girl right here. Remember little ones need you to be extra careful!” Say it like you’re talking to your son’s older siblings and not a totally stranger.

    Instructing the Ignorant– totally overlooked act of mercy into todays world!

    Signed A Fellow Catholic Mom

    1. Abigail,

      I hear what you’re saying, and I should have made it clear that I have corrected others’ children in these situations many times. That includes children of strangers, friends, family members, etc., and I try to do it in a way like you suggested that is kind and not combative or humiliating to them.

      But parents know what they should be doing, so the blame lies squarely with these moms who neglect their parental duties so they can gab with their girlfriends for two hours.

  7. This reminds me of a similar rant I read somewhere, wherein the ranter said that our society was not doomed because of the $17TTT national debt but rather it was doomed because we’re all too lazy to walk 50 feet to return our shopping carts to the proper place at teh grocery store. Or something similar to that. In other words, the small things we fail at, out of laziness or apathy, are just as much symptoms of our underlying malaise as the big things.

  8. You’re right – a lot of the reason that Obama got elected is because of the culture that makes it seem like he has all the answers for today. As Christians, we must do all we can to stand for what we believe in, and help others get to that point. So many little children – middle class or otherwise – just are not being taught these things nowadays.

  9. Oh boy do I relate! I have definitely experienced this situation at the playground, the library, you name it. And yes, I do reprimand the other children when the other mother drops the ball, because I’m not going to just sit idly by while an older child abuses my son. It is infuriating when parents don’t do their jobs.

  10. When it comes to my little girls, I have a very big mouth. If a child is acting that way towards my child without any intervention from their parent, I assume the job. If I get anything other than a “Thanks! Sorry, total lapse in parenting on my part!” from the smartphone-distracted mom, I treat her in a similar manner using a similar tone: “We DON’T HURT TODDLERS HERE.” Sheesh.

    In other words, I totally agree with you. 🙂

  11. Devin, sorry if this is slightly incidental to your post, but could you (or any of your readers) recommend any Catholic books on bringing up kids?

    1. Edward,

      Dr. Ray Guarendi’s books are often recommended. I would start out with Discipline that Lasts a Lifetime. Dr. Ray’s philosophy is the straightforward behavior-consequences traditional model. We incorporate some of his ideas but also use ones we have learned from special needs parenting, which often differ from his ideas.

    2. I really like Greg Popcak’s Parenting with Grace. I will say upfront that the book advocates attachment parenting, which has gotten a bad rep in the media, but I consider that a badge of honor. 😉 The Searses have also written many books on attachment parenting, and they are Catholic (recently returned to the Church!)

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