STFU Parents: On Crushing Children’s Spirits — And Their Parents’ Spirits, Too
If you’ve ever heard the expression “crushing children’s spirits” and rolled your eyes, then today’s column is for you! (Conversely, if your response to that expression is, “Hear hear!”, then today’s column will probably piss you off.) It’s no secret that watching a child experience disappointment can be harder on the parents than on the child, because children represent all that is pure and innocent. Kids don’t know the cold realities that lay ahead; they’re just taking in the world through a neon green swizzle straw! But the fact is, kids will experience disappointment in the real world, and their parents can’t protect them forever.
Despite parents knowing this, some people still lose their shit over the most minute of problems and “injustices” on a regular basis. One such injustice is when strangers don’t acknowledge babies by waving or smiling back at them. Considering some parents would prefer a rolled-out red carpet or a parade when out running errands with their children, a simple wave or a smile is the bare minimum others should employ in passing. And when they don’t, they better watch out! There’s nothing that aggravates a mama bear more than a random person ignoring an adorable cooing baby. Where do people get off acting like that? What kind of manners must they have if they can’t stop what they’re doing to engage with a happy child? And why do they think they can get away with it?!
Some parents retaliate by acting obnoxiously and loudly telling their child to “ignore the rude lady,” but most do what they do best and take their gripes to the internet. For the woe is mom on-the-go, social media is the most effective way to vent and receive a series of virtual back pats from comrades. I can appreciate that strategy, but I still can’t help but think those moms are a bunch of whiners. One of the most important lessons parents will teach their kids is knowing when to choose their battles, so it strikes me as funny that some people choose to make “waving” a battle. Speaking as a person who both enjoys waving at babies and usually isn’t paying super close attention to her surroundings, I think it’s time parents start letting strangers and their “wave crimes” off the hook.
1. Not Nice
Saying “I’m sorry” as a figure of speech is almost as ridiculous as tweeting about a stranger who ignored a baby in the grocery store. Especially if you factor in all the parents who snap at strangers that dare to talk to kids in public. One parent’s frustration is another parent’s ideal.