Throughout the course of the last week of school, I've noted some rather disturbing displays of parenting gone awry. I'll cut right to the chase: some parents are making things more difficult for their children. Now I know for a fact that I'm really not one to be talking about other parents being bad examples, but this goes a little bit beyond the standard curse word slippage or disinterested parenting that does on occasion occur. No, what I've observed from a handful of parents amongst the many is more atrocious than these.
Several children have been spotted sporting what I might consider to be rather loud hair-dos. These dos entail mohawks and/or odd coloring. Keep in mind that this is in the lower elementary school grades (kindergarten through third grade). My first reaction is to observe the child; most are just innocent little kids behaving as such. What strikes me as strange is why the *parents* opt to send their children to school in this fashion. It's a different idea which might be fun to try out in the summer, but in school it's simply loud and defiant. The county school rules for appropriate dress clearly state: "Any extreme in hair or appearance that may disrupt the normal operation of school will not be acceptable." While I fully believe in people expressing themselves as they desire regarding their appearance, it just does not seem plausible to me that children this young could actually concoct in their little minds a means of this sort to test the limits of the school. No, clearly this is the parents' doing. Clearly the parents take issue with the school, the rules, or authority in general. My point is this: parents shouldn't wage their battles vicariously through their children. Life is hard enough; these kids truly do not need the added stress of being a banner for their parent's sense of style or refusal to comply with basic rules.
Also observed recently with annoyance was the parents themselves. Why exactly is it that fathers are dropping off their children at school while dressed as *gangstas*. Seriously, folks! Put all your black, baggy, chain-laden clothing with sideways hats away. Again, it's fine to express yourself, but do you really need to make such a strong statement while dropping off your kindergartener at 7:30AM? What sort of message do these people think their children need to hear, and what sort of message exactly is it that they are choosing to convey. Kids need to hear and feel (I know this is a huge generalization, but bear with me) that they are loved and protected and cared for. They do not need to be focused or dwelling upon their parent's persona as they embark upon their day of learning. Really, for these parents, it appears to be *all about them*. It's not about what's best for their kids; it's about what makes them feel good.
And speaking of feeling good, one mother today was observed having just dropped off her child at school who appeared to be on cocaine. I'm not a drug user or a cop, so I can't be certain of it (it's possible this could be the result of diet pills or some other type of upper), but the woman was notably keyed up and almost spastic looking as she walked back to the parking lot. I for one know how hard it is to get out of bed early in the morning having had very limited sleep, but is it really necessary to begin the usage of drugs so early in the morning? Couldn't we just stick with coffee for the sake of our kids? Again, it's clear that it's not about the kids; it's all about the parents - the world revolves around them.
I should make clear that these observations were made in just a few of the parents with the rest of the parents behaving in a more accepted fashion, but the fact that I'm even observing these things is repulsive. I know that many parents weren't necessarily planning on becoming parents, and I respect and appreciate the decisions they've made to endeavor in the child rearing process. But what I want to draw attention to is that at some point, it'd be good for these children if their parents could focus a little more upon them and less upon themselves.