I have finally sat down from a day of days.  Trying to get O out of the house this morning to get to a car service appointment was like pulling teeth. It’s hot and muggy, so THAT doesn’t help matters. We get to the Kia dealership and for a second time, the playroom for use while you wait with your child, was filthy.  Nasty filthy.  Sorry Kia, not impressed! Anyway, O was being really good, so I figured while I was on the other side of hell’s creation, we would go to an indoor play area that he loves at the Mall.  This is where my rant begins.

As a parent, when I take my child to a play area, playground, you name it, my first priority is to watch my child.  On occasion, I have met a friend at a playground, and while we try to chat and catch up, we both have our eyes on our children. We are consistent with guiding our children in play.  You know, the basic stuff.  Wait your turn…no pushing…no grabbing.  This is the mom I want to be friends with.  You know why? Cause this Mom understands that a trip to the mall play area isn’t time off for her.  It’s not “let’s check my Facebook on my phone and tune out for a few minutes.”  Trust me, I know how much we all want some time to ourselves.  I am the first one to say it.  But this isn’t the time.

Taking your child to a group play area is an opportunity to teach your child how to interact socially with others, through play! I am not talking about helicoptering.  I’m talking about guiding when it is clear your child does not know which road to take. If I saw my son push past another child to go first down the slide, I would take him aside and explain that we don’t do that. By WE I mean, a civil kind society, does not do that! If my child just grabbed a toy from another child on the playground, I would explain, yet again, that we don’t do that! We do not just take from others.  We can ask if we may use the toy…or if we may take a turn. But we do not just take! What hope do our children have in this world without some guidance?

I have taught O to wait his turn.  I have taught him not to go down the slide until it’s all clear.  I have taught him that we don’t grab or push.  I am under NO illusion that these “rules for play” won’t need to be reiterated time and time again with him.  Of course they will. He is two.  And he is a child.  It is not any child’s fault for their behavior, lack of manners or lack of restraint.  They are children.  It is not their job to remember the things that will serve them as they grow up in this world.  It is the job of the parent to remind them (again and again) until it becomes the child’s second nature.

I was so freaking annoyed at the play area today.  Countless parents tuned out, letting their entitled children push past others.  Some Moms were hovering, but more engaged in chatting with their mommy friends.  I get it.  We are starved for connection with another adult.  Especially one going through the same trials and tribulations.  But your child has decided to continuously walk up the slide and block it while other children are waiting to go down.  He is completely disregarding other children; ones that are much younger and smaller than he is.  He is now lying on the slide completely blocking its path.  This is going on now for a bit of time.  You do realize that you can say NO to your child, right? I’m not saying you have to go all Joan Crawford on your kid, but at least a gentle reminder that we don’t do that!  Do you really think you are helping your children by not giving them guidance? Do you somehow think you are letting them find their way organically on their own? Or…are you just so unaware and ignorant that you think pushing and taking are good?  I tell you, I am still shaking my head.

I have been alarmed at the behavior of parents of all ages, races and socioeconomic backgrounds.  This epidemic of lack of respect is a wide spread problem.  This sense of entitlement being embedded into children’s minds is happening right there on the playground.  It’s plain as day to anyone tuned into it.  And parents are just sitting back, checking their phones and letting it grow like the social cancer it is.

Yes, I’m pissed.   Cause it’s right in front of me.  The problem and the solution.

Until next time, keep fighting the good fight, and remember behind every great kid is a mom who is pretty sure she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading.



Raising A Son To Revere Strong Women


This week I am barraged with stories in the news that make me reflect on how we as a society view women.  And I am taken aback.  I am perplexed.  Saddened.  Annoyed.  Worried.  You would have to live in a hole not to be aware of the Stanford freshman who was convicted of raping an unconscious woman behind a dumpster and was sentenced to only 6 months in jail followed by probation.  The crime and details of the trial were abhorrent.  Then his father wrote a letter of support to the court that was completely dismissive of his son’s behavior.  He actually says that a prison sentence is “A steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action.”  He is clearly oblivious.  It isn’t overly shocking that his son chose the abusive path he did.  I think, what are we teaching our children about respect? Equality? And where are we going wrong?

I look at the headlines regarding our presumptive democratic nominee for President, Hillary Clinton.  It’s not just a lack of respect, but actual hate that swarms around her, taking shots at her every turn.  The woman has a coat of armor thicker than any man I’ve ever seen.  If she was a man, it is a coat of armor that would be admired and revered.  But she’s a woman. So she’s a she-devil, not to be trusted, a bitch.  It’s the double standard magnified a hundred times. And both men AND women buy into it.  I ask you, What are we teaching our kids?  Are women not allowed to be strong? As a woman, don’t you want to be smart, strong, and an equal? And, if you are a man, don’t you want a partner who is strong, capable, and your equal? And if you don’t, why not? There is something wrong with the message we are accepting in our society about women and their worth. And I’m taking a stab in the dark here, but it seems to me, the message is perpetuated by those threatened by strong women.

Is it possible that many in our society,  men and women alike, are more comfortable with the traditional roles that men and women take on? The woman standing beside her man, supporting him from the sidelines.  It’s a non threatening picture, isn’t it?  Maybe the dominant female figure is just too uncomfortable for folks.  So when a woman puts on a pantsuit, speaks her mind and decides to run for president, it messes up our feng shui.  Or when a woman gets sexually assaulted on a college campus (while unconscious) there is sympathy for the rapist, because “his life will never be the one that he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve.”  In what world is that thought process ok? What about the victim? To be clear, I am talking about the woman.  What about the impact this horrific act has had on her life? There are still people who believe, however quietly, that women who have been raped, have somehow “asked” for it.  During the trial the poor girl was asked what she wore to the party that night.  The fact that the question was even posed is proof we are a long long way from gender equality.  It disgusts me.

So as a mother of a boy, what can I do to instill a sense of decency, respect and understanding in my child? How do we teach him to treat women as equals, yet educate him on the nuances of females? I’m talking about those minute, and sometimes huge, differences that, at times,  make us women seem like another species all together.   Equals, but opposites.  It seems pretty straight forward in theory.  Certainly no mother intends on raising a rapist.  So where does it go wrong?

Even at O’s young age of two, people have said in his presence, “Boys will be boys!”  That sentiment will surely grow and follow him.  It is up to us to define that for him and keep him in balance.  I see the way little boys play on the playground and how they are encouraged to be aggressive and tough.  It’s just sort of accepted.  I don’t love it.  There is a sense of entitlement drilled into children in our country these days.  There seems to be a lack of the word “NO” in many children’s everyday life.  Maybe this is where it begins.  I want it, so I should have it.  I want it, so I’ll take it.  It happens on the playground and I see, many times, it go undetected or completely dismissed.  Boys will be boys.

I don’t know what lies ahead in our country. I shudder to think of the possibilities. But this lack of acceptance and complete disregard for other people is just not ok with me. It shouldn’t be ok with anyone. What can we do? As parents we can invoke the change we want to see in our society…with our own child.  Sometimes parenting requires the word “No.”  We need to love our children enough to say “No, that’s not yours.” Or “No. You can’t do that.” My two year old already knows the phrase “That is unacceptable behavior.”  I fear many adults have forgotten it.

Mostly, we need to love our son and teach him the dignity of the body, and how to live through disappointment and confusion.  We need to teach our son how to navigate confusing feelings, and how to separate feelings from action.  We need to teach him how to communicate and listen. We need to define for him what it is to be a man, because we clearly can’t leave that to the media or public figures.  We need to impress upon him that his worth doesn’t come from what he has and takes. O’s biggest influence will be watching how his father treats his mother.  And how his mother can be a strong woman who is respected and loved by her husband for her strength and capability.  How female strength is not something to be threatened by, or something to be squelched, but rather something to seek in a life partner.

I have a feeling in the coming months leading up to the national election, the attack on the strong female figure will be unlike anything we have ever seen.  The language, I’m sure, will be base, crass and dismissive.  I highly doubt the buffoon with the bad comb over will choose a different fighting style.  I can only imagine what the fallout will be.  If you think that kind of sexism on a national platform has no bearing on the way men view women or how women view themselves, you are kidding yourself.  Somewhere in the ignorant mind of some entitled teenager, the words spewed by an entitled demagogue, will validate his delusions.  If you think it’s just about Hillary, it’s not.  It’s about all of us.

I don’t know about you, but I think I’ll be holding my breath till November.  Until next time, keep fighting the good fight and remember, behind every great kid is a mom who is certain she is screwing it up.  Thanks for reading. Xo