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Daveparts still Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:17 AM
Original message
Raising Baby Bubba
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 10:25 AM by Daveparts still
Raising Baby Bubba
By David Glenn Cox


There is a video making the rounds on the Internet of a woman dragging her child on a leash through a Verizon store. There was scads of outrage and the mother was charged with a felony. Well, Dr. Obvious says that child abuse emanates from poor parenting skills.

When my wife was pregnant with our first child, another couple dropped by to congratulate us. As we chatted the husband said, Enjoy those house plants while you can!

Why is that?" I asked.

Oh, the baby will tear those things to pieces. You wont have one left, he answered.

Later my wife and I discussed his statement. We were confused and perplexed by it because neither one of us had been allowed to tear things up in our homes. This was just our introduction to the new parenting.

Recently, I went to a Buffet restaurant and upon entering my ears were greeted by a small child, let us call him Eggbert. Eggbert was sprawled out on the floor throwing a tantrum while his mother and another woman and child continued undisturbed with their meal. Eggbert then got up and began climbing in and out of the booth where they sat, still screaming, shrieking while the mother did nothing more than cover up to protect her plate. Then, aww, it was so cute, you should have been there. Little Eggbert ran from the booth and grabbed a chair and began to drag it through the crowded restaurant which was full of people walking with plates of food.

The mother, quick to spot the danger, got up and grabbed Eggbert, for apparently she feared one of those careless adults would stumble over the chair and drop hot meatloaf on little Eggberts head. That had to be her reasoning because she was immune to the eyes that were burning into her. Eggbert did what you would expect Eggbert to do; he screamed at the top of his lungs. Eggbert didnt get his way and Eggbert didnt like that.

I knew of a single mother with a little boy named Shay. The mother's schedule required her to work odd hours and she was fortunate to have two sets of grandparents volunteering to baby sit. The problem was that, for Shay, at age five he had three sets of rules to live by. He very quickly learned to use it against his elderly keepers. Momma said I could. Nanna lets me do that. Granny says thats wrong! It was a mess. The mother, grateful for free daycare, was afraid to ask for more favors in the way of uniform rules. The grandparents were in a competition with each other as to who could spoil the child more.

Shay was the loser as the mother would get home after a long shift and try to raise a child fed on chocolate milk and pop tarts all day. A child whose answer to every request was, Nana says I dont have to!

In my entire childhood I was never spanked more than four or five times, and I remember them. In some cases I even remember why I was spanked at age five or six, but even if I dont remember the exact charges against me, I remember the fundamental law. Rule number one: we are your parents, we are in charge and you will do as you are told or else. Because of rule one and its enforcement my mother was able to direct us by remote control. As we would reach for the biggest piece of cake at Aunt Dorothys, suddenly our eyes would meet and through some form of ESP she would send me a message, Dont you dare go for the biggest piece of cake!

She would have these informative little chats with us before we went into the store. Dont touch anything. Do you understand? Keep your hands to yourself and do not touch anything. Do you understand? Because these ground rules were set ahead of time, all my mother needed to say to me in the store if I became unruly was, Do you remember what I told you in the car? Do I need to take you into the bathroom?

These little minds are a fertile playground. Children run wild with imagination, but whether they are raised by me or by wolves like Romulus and Remus, there is still rule one. We are your parents, we are in charge and you will do as you are told or else.

Once, in California, my wife and I were staying at a hotel with a Marie Callenders Restaurant across the street. We had seen the frozen products in the grocery store and decided to give the genuine article a try. We were seated and given menus. Across the restaurant was another family with a seven- or eight-year-old boy that we will call Little Adolf. Little Adolf started by telling the waiter, I sure hope this food is good 'cause my mom's cooking sucks! They all laughed at Little Adolfs humor, but after their order was taken Little Adolf was bored and began to get up and prowl around the room.

His adventure began by going to the waitress station and pouring out the glasses of ice water. Then he began punching the touch screen the waitress uses to figure your check on. A waitress gently cajoled Little Adolf with a "No, no." But Adolf was bored and tired of waiting for his food.

So he went over to the salad bar, which he didnt order, and began to make himself a salad. Unfortunately Adolf wasnt tall enough to reach most of the toppings and he grabbed a chair and pulled it over to the bar. Like the climax scene in a Buster Keaton silent comedy, Little Adolf juggled his over-topped salad while balancing on top of the overstuffed chair with the expected calamity.

He went over the back of the chair the salad went up in the air and came down on everything. The salad plate shattered into a million pieces. The parents ran to Adolf asking, Are you all right? Thats why you should stay with us, so you dont get hurt.

The manager apologized and Adolf was not charged for his over-tossed salad. The waitress and the busboys cleaned the floor and the chair and restocked the salad bar. I asked my wife, I wonder how many long talks theyve had with public school teachers who just dont understand their Little Adolf? Teachers intent on stifling his little creative spirit.

Of course napkins were play things and forks and knives were to be used as he pleased. Adolf had no more a sense of table manners than he had knowledge of an inside voice. I felt genuinely sorry for Adolf because the world is going to grind him down to a nub. "No" is the most common word that we hear in life, so it is best to get used to hearing it early on. My heart went out to Adolfs family because of all the suffering and embarrassment they would endure at the hands of this little tyrant. Instead of teaching him to operate in the world, they were trying to protect him from it and dooming him to failure in it. In fact, they would have been better parents if they had chained him up under the porch, because as it was they were doing him no good. For years after I could hold up a Marie Callender frozen entree in the grocery store and my wife would knowingly smile.

I am not a mathematician but I do so wonder what the formula would be. How many Johnny, donts are equal to one swat on the butt? Not to beat your child, but to explain to your child in the language that they will understand, we are your parents, we are in charge and you will do as you are told or else. Children are smart, they can spot an idle threat a mile off, and so you get, Johnny, dont. Dont, Johnny. Dont make me have to tell you again. If you do that one more time Ill Little Johnny is smarter than you; he knows you wont do squat. If you do hell throw a tantrum and storm off to his room; thatll teach you! Oh, I hope we didnt hurt his feelings.

Baby Bubba came into my life when he was about thirteen. He was quiet and relatively well-mannered, except that you could never say no to Baby Bubba. A group of us went to Six Flags and after about three hours Baby Bubba decided that he had a tummy ache and wanted to go home. So we cancelled our entertainment, not to mention our money, to take Baby Bubba home. Bubba quickly felt better once in the car, so much better in fact that he wanted to stop for ice cream on the way home. I refused. I explained to Baby Bubba that ice cream is hard on your stomach, and since he had been ill we'd better not.

The car became as frosty as soft serve with his mother saying, All he wanted was some ice cream. Later, when we were alone, I explained, No, he wanted more than ice cream. He made three adults blow sixty dollars each because of his tummy ache that developed because he was bored, and then he wants to be rewarded with ice cream. When youre good you get ice cream; if youre sick you go to bed." But Baby Bubba did not adjust well to being told no.

A few years later we were finishing my brother-in-law's basement. Ive worked around construction most of my life and built garages and added on to houses. My father-in-law had fifty years of experience in the building trades. Baby Bubba had two semesters in masonry trade school. He disappeared early in the project and his mother asked me later, What did they say to Baby Bubba? He said he was being picked on when he was only trying to help. You see, grown men not making a high school sophomore the general foreman on the job was picking on him.

Baby Bubba was very intelligent and could have done well in school. When you asked if his homework was done the answer was always, Yes. But at school conferences there were zeroes for homework assignments missed. Baby Bubba would explain that away as the teacher lost it or forgot to change it when he turned it in late. Anything and everything was the answer, except that Bubba didn't do it.

Finally a senior in high school, Baby Bubba needed to pass English or he would not graduate with his class. And do you what that low down teacher did? He failed him by two lousy points. His mother was irate after already purchasing his cap and gown, so she went to the school to straighten them out. There had to be a mistake, to keep a kid from graduating for two lousy points.

But when his mother met with the teacher he showed her the list of incomplete assignments. Also the missed tests that the teacher had offered to allow Baby Bubba to make up. There were offers of extra credit assignments that went by the wayside. So on the day of the final exam Baby Bubba failed by two points and the teacher felt no further obligation to try and assist him any further.

I tried until my strength gave out; I was seen as hard and unfair on Baby Bubba. So what if he forgets to flush the toilet or wash his hands? So what if he doesnt use a napkin or eats with his hands? Through it all the message was never received. I wasnt picking on Bubba; I was trying to help him. Someday he is going to be invited to some girl's house for supper and her parents are going to be shocked and appalled, not so much at Baby Bubbas performance but by the performance of Baby Bubbas parents.
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alarimer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. I see this all the time.
The overinflated sense of entitlement among a lot of people in this country continues to amaze me. We are raising these kids to expect everything handed to them on a silver platter.

I have to deal with interns in my job in the summer time. Usually these are college students, maybe 20-24 years old. The older ones, the grad students, are usually pretty good. They have had a lot of that stuff trained out of them. You have to be a self-starter to finish a MS in science. But it is the undergrads that drive me nuts. The two this summer have been the worst we've seen in a long time, in terms of work ethic. I would expect that if someone tells you to be a work at 8 am, you should show up at 8 am. But we have one that comes in pretty much when he feels like, usually around 9. Normally this is not a big deal. Most of us are not the best of examples either. But when we are going in the field, we need to leave early-ish in order to get back at a decent hour. I left one of them behind at least once this summer. He also missed another opportunity because he "slept late". He is also borderline insolent, not really very respectful at all.

It is more than just not being on time, though. I take them down to work on repairing some gear and they are really no help at all. They mostly chat amongst themselves and even text-message WHILE AT WORK. To me this is completely unacceptable behavior. But I have said nothing. Maybe I should have but, quite frankly, I resent having to babysit these interns. I can't wait until they leave. And if anybody asks, I will not be recommending them for permanent positions with my organization.

Now I have no idea if this is a generational thing or if the intern pool was so small this year that we had to take what we could get. Well some of the things they have done would not have been obvious in the interview or application process.

But it is not just college students that I see with these issues. Adults seem to think they are entitled to everything. I have a friend who is a librarian and he sees it all the time, more than I do actually.
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Daveparts still Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Baby Bubba
Asked for the day off at his part time job and the manager said no, the schedule is all ready set.
So after being told no, Bubba did not go to work on the appointed day. Do you know that manager had the nerve to fire Baby Bubba. Fired him from his job just for not showing up! I think there must have been a personal motivation The manager just didn't realize how important is was for baby Bubba to have his personal time.
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Frustratedlady Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. As a great-grandmother, I see a big change.
I think too many parents want to be "friends" with their children. They are supposed to be parents, not friends. It is a special responsibility and one that should be taken seriously. They should be guiding them to be accepted and valued as citizens when they become adults. Spoiling children only makes it worse, as society will then have to finish raising them.

That is shifting the responsibility to the child and to his/her peers in the future. That is unfair.
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BanzaiBonnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Grandmother of five here
Edited on Sat Aug-08-09 11:39 AM by BanzaiBonnie
With my four daughters, when they were behaving in an unacceptable manner I would tell them that some behavior was rude, crude or socially unacceptable. They would then be insructed on the correct behavior.


Now there is only one rule at grandma's house. * Always be as kind as you can


Their parents have already taken care of the other stuff. When they are in my care, there are occasional tiffs or hurt feelings. I only have to threaten to make two brothers hug and tell one another "I love you". :-) :rofl: Straightens 'em right out.
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ejpoeta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:06 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. here is what i think is part of the problem....
people don't know what to do. There are so many books and everyone telling people how to be parents... and then you have kids who know that all they have to do is go to the teacher or whoever and say my mom hit me (even if she didn't) and the kids don't realize what they are doing... or don't care. I am not saying parents should spank their kids... or that they do... but kids have this idea that they can get their parents in trouble.

I will admit I have had a lot of problems with my children's behavior. Emily was always difficult. She had temper tantrums every time we left the house it seemed. It was a learning process to get her to a place where she would usually behave. She would throw herself on the floor in the store and have a fit. I would pick her up and carry her out of the store. But that is not always possible. She would scream and throw a fit in the cart and I would ignore it..... because she is trying to get a reaction.

It has been a learning curve... especially when you were spanked as a child and are trying NOT to do that. I have found that incentives and taking things away seems to have the best impact. Like at the store, if they are good then there is a chance they may get a treat, though it is not guaranteed... but if they misbehave then there is no chance. I will not reward bad behavior.

It's still a learning curve. Each child is different and responds to different things. But it's easier to get them while they are young enough that you can pick them up and carry them out if you need to. Sometimes you have to let them have their fit and ignore them... even if people stare.

Oh, and emily LOVES to tell me she hates me and such when i am 'mean' and have to restrain her. Haven't had to do it in awhile though. She has ADHD and we have really struggled when she has her meltdowns. SHe calls me names and spits at me. I try to remain calm and my motto is... someone has to be mean, it might as well be me... and if you hate me then I know i must be doing something right. My job is not to be a friend to my child. I am the parent and she is the child and i will remind her of that when needed.
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. Just Try to Be a Responsible Parent
You'll have the law on you. It happened to me. Cost $11,000+ in lawyer's fees and lost wages. For trying to keep a mentally disabled child from hurting herself.

Just try. There are so many busybodies with no children of their own, eager to criticize and punish you. Paid from your taxes. Granted immunity by the state from lawsuits for their malpractice and overreaching of authority.
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RandySF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:28 AM
Response to Original message
4. I know the feeling
We live downtown where there is a lot of traffic and I am very strict that we and our three-year old behaves while we are out walking. My wife, on the other hand, would bitch and moan that I was too strict. However, one day last year I was at work and the two of them were out together when he decided to cut across the street by himself. Thank God there was no traffic but it shook her up so badly she finally listened to what I had to say. Now she understand that I am not being mean when I am looking out for his safety first and foremost.
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Daveparts still Donating Member (614 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
8. One Time
I was about five and my mother let me play in the drive way with only one rule.
"Don't go near the street." Maybe it was just curiosity maybe or I saw something
in the road. I stood on the curb and paused to consider the action I was about to under take.

Just as I lifted my left foot as I leaned over to get my body moving forward something Grabbed me.
I my first thought was that it was God. The sky had cracked open and God has grabbed me. It all had a dream like quality to it. But I began to hear a voice, "What did I tell you! Why were you going into the street!"

We went all the way from outside until we reached her Singer sewing machine before my feet ever touched the ground. It was as if aliens had taken over my mothers body, instead of sweet and kind she was red faced and raging. Yet I remember her anger upsetting even more than the spanking. I certainly didn't want another spanking I never wanted to make her angry like that again.

I was a kid and I loved these people and wanted to seek their approval. Is that it?
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The Velveteen Ocelot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:59 AM
Response to Reply #8
15. The only spanking I distinctly remember
occurred after I was found playing on the railroad tracks behind our house. I was about five. had been warned NEVER to go near the tracks, but of course I did. I remember how furious my dad was, and I did get my bottom smacked.

I never went near the tracks again. Years later I understood why he was so angry.
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BanzaiBonnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:32 AM
Response to Original message
5. Rules and boundaries
Children need them to feel secure. There is nothing that makes a child actually feel worse than to manipulate the adults around him.


Have you ever watched The Nanny? We love the show. It about teaching the parents how to change the behaviors they have inculcated in the child who is now out of control.
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marions ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
13. yes The Nanny is a good show
It's like "The Dog Whisperer" for humans. What the Nanny does is modify the parents behavior and get them to act like pack leader. The kids respond well to learning boundaries.

If anyone here has a problem child, take a cue from "The Nanny." It's really very simple. Parents decide where the boundaries are, and then they must enforce those boundaries.

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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 09:25 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. Children who are not disciplined by their parents have more nightmares
This is a statistical fact, and we saw it first hand with our neighbors' kids.
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sasquatch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 12:36 PM
Response to Original message
9. I will say this about my stupid fundy brother, he does give guidance to his children
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DemReadingDU Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-08-09 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
10. There were 8 of us, and we all had to pay attention

There were certain rules, and we didn't dare go against them. Can you imagine the chaos that would result if 8 kids could each do whatever they wanted.

My two children were born in the mid-70s. I tried to instill in them the same respect for parents and teachers that my parents had in us. But then something changed with kids born in the mid to late 80's and after. Seems like the children became the center of the family, and whatever the children wanted they received. The kids could stay up late, sleep in, no chores to do, so much backtalking. How could parents let their kids treat them like this?

As my mom would say...these kids are gonna have a rude awakening when the economy collapses.
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BobTheSubgenius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 01:55 AM
Response to Original message
11. I remember my childhood, and even into early adulthood,
virtually everyone I knew was "well drug up." Really. It was shocking to me to behold rude or disrespectful behaviour from kids, especially to their parents.

I just about had a stroke when I was at the house of a kid I went to school with - a very affluent family who indulged the most outrageous whims of their sons, up to and including being "truckers", and buying them a Kenworth tractor....or their desire to be "bush pilots", paying for pilots' licenses and a DC-3....no kidding! Anyway, his mother walked into the rec room where we were.....uhhhh....carrying on. Drinkin' and druggin', and this was the late 60's, so it was hardly the norm. I guess we were about 16.

First of all, I had assumed no parents were home, because kids didn't normally do this with parents around. At least, not in my experience. In any case, I was expecting his mother to explode.....but quite the opposite. He backed her out of the room as he went OFF on her....."What are you doing here? This is MY part of the house.....etc." I'm pretty sure he even called her names. That was the point at which I thought I was going to stroke out.

A half hour later, he walks to the bottom of the stairs and hollers "MOM! I'm going out. Gimme $20!" This in the days when a GENEROUS allowance was $5, and damned few got that. From upstairs, a $20 wafted down to good ol' Doug.

I really wonder whatever became of Doug and his brother.
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Are_grits_groceries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 07:16 AM
Response to Original message
12. I taught school in the DC suburbs for 8 years.
A lot of people there think they are waaaay important.

Their kids didn't understand the word "no." They also thought if they asked enough times, I would change the answer. I never did, and finally they learned that I meant what I said.

At the beginning of one year, I caught one kid showing his paper to another during a test. I gave both of them a zero for cheating. The next day the mother of the kid who was showing his paper came charging into the school telling anyone and everyone what her kid did wasn't cheating. She demanded I give a retest. I told the principal no. He had plenty of time to bring up his grade, and I didn't think he was Al Capone. He made a mistake.

Well, this went on for days. The principal or guidance counselor would talk to me about the situation. They were trying to nudge me to give a retest because of the mother. The counselor told me that it was done all the time at the middle school they came from.

I finally had enough. I told the principal that if I didn't stop hearing about this incident, I would resign at the end of the day. I showed her a copy of the resignation I had written out.

It stopped. I would have resigned. Nothing was worth giving up on my principles like that. Somebody learned something.
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GTurck Donating Member (569 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:27 AM
Response to Original message
16. My baby brother....
died within 2 weeks of our father, alone with only a dog in the house and not found for several days, with whom he lived for 12 years after our mother died. He was our Baby Bubba. Never held a job, complained he couldn't sleep, drank and used drugs, was violent with our parents as they aged. Our mother had also interfered in his graduation from High School in the mid-60's for grades too low to qualify; but she insisted and they caved. Allowed him every excuse he could think up from the time he was born he never learned to rely on himself or learn his place in the world. She felt guilty because our father had not wanted another child - nor truthfully did she. He knew it too and used it.
He never really had a life. Never worked. Never had a sustaining relationship with a woman. That is what Baby Bubba can look forward to.
This is not normal behavior. Teen-agers are notoriously difficult but they do really need to learn that though loved they are not the center of the universe or God's gift to humanity; unless they earn it through hard work over a lifetime.
Sorry for your problems.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-09-09 10:48 AM
Response to Original message
17. Unfortunately I am seeing this right now with ny grand kids. They has different rules
with mom than with dad. Mom wants to be their friend. When they are at my house, we are trying to instill social graces and table manners. It's hard work but I think there is still time they are 6 and under.
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