A lot has happened in our world recently that makes it sort of inappropriate to write something cynical and filled with hate, so I considered not writing this. Then I realized it's not filled with hate and vitriol. It's just filled with cynicism, anger and sincerity. So I hope it's OK.
This all started when I was at one of those indoor bouncy places with my 4-year-old son. I suppose it actually all started the first time that I ever saw my son playing with any other kid, if I'm going to be totally honest. But this specific thought came when I was at that bouncy place.
A kid pushed my kid over and cut in front of him in line.
You totally know what I'm talking about, right? Either your kid has been waiting in line patiently and some other kid has pushed him or your kid is the kid that pushed the other damn kid. Right now you're sitting there, thinking to yourself, "I know which kid is my kid."
Now I'm not a helicopter parent, I swear. I just think you and your kid are assholes and I don't want to subject my kid to having to deal with you.
Again, as I said, they're really not the assholes in life. You are.
And it's you. It's not your kid, it's you. If you would get off your phone and open your eyes, you might see that your kid isn't being watched and he's walking all over my kid. So I suppose, your kid's not an asshole. You are.
Perhaps I'm wrong. Perhaps I'm a helicopter parent. Perhaps my kid needs to start learning how to deal with assholes. But he's only four. He's really a nice kid. And he has trouble understanding why kids are so mean and it pains me to watch him step aside and let the asshole kids continue to act in asshole-y ways while he sits there and waits his turn. And when my kid, who learns manners from his parents and at school, looks over to me and says, "What do I do?" I really don't know how to answer that because I can't bring myself to discipline someone else's douchebag of a little kid.
I feel that when he's six, he can start dealing with these kids on his own. But until that time, can't you just teach your kids to tone down the asshole behavior? Again, as I said, they're really not the assholes in life. You are.
I'm not naive. I know the world is filled with assholes and my son is going to have to deal with the world of assholes soon enough. But can't we all just agree? Can't we just all sign a social contract and get off our devices and pay enough attention to what's going on to at least be semi-aware that your kid continually pushes other kids out of the way and cuts in line?
Seriously, I know you're all thinking, "this is how we were raised as kids and kids need to be kids and we need to let them be kids." Here's the thing, I actually sort of agree. That's why I'm writing this. I don't want to be an over-protective parent. I don't want to explain to my kid that he's doing the right thing and all the other kids kind of suck. Instead, what I want is for your kid to not suck so much.
Stop being an asshole. Stop making your kid an asshole. Life will be better that way.
And in case you're thinking "Hey, this guy who's writing this article is a total asshole." I would like to agree with you.
I just don't want to make my kid one.