parenting tips

Parents Need To Learn how to Control Your Children Because that Is not My Job

I'm tired of dealing with your poorly behaved child because you don't know about the world discipline.

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Summer has begun which means that there are so many more kids at the pool (this is important because I mostly deal with kids at my job, I'm a lifeguard). And yes, before you ask, I don't mind kids. If they're well behaved and friendly, then I can get along with them (just please don't ask him how long until I have one of my own). But when kids come in and all they do is scream and demand and refuse to listen to me, that's where I draw the line.

I never will understand parents who don't discipline their children. Do they not understand that discipline isn't hitting or spanking your child when in reality, it is just making them understand that they are not in charge and that cannot always do whatever they want? It's called learning and kids do it every day, but some parents don't want to teach their children the harder lessons in life.

I deal with a wide array of kids. Some are the sweetest angels and that's when I know that they receive some sort of discipline at home. And contrary to popular belief, it is not a bad thing to discipline your child. At some point in time, a child is going to act up and that is when you as a parent have to step in and make them understand why their behavior is unacceptable. And some of the kids are not the sweetest of angels. Just this week I had to pull a girl out of the pool and she gave me attitude after the incident happened. I was appalled because I would never speak to any person like that when I was her age and she thought it was okay to be rude to someone who had basically just saved her life.

As a lifeguard, it is my job to keep all people that come to the pool safe and these kids make it incredibly difficult when they refuse to listen to me when I tell them what they are doing is wrong because they do not understand what I'm saying. And that would be because they have never had anyway tell them no before and that is crazy to me.

Parents, please learn how to control your child, especially when you take them to a place where someone else is responsible for them. If they don't understand how to listen to adults nor do they understand the word no, then they are not going to be able to survive in any type of environment in the future. You're just setting them up to fail and that is the saddest part to me.

Not every parent is like this, and most - if about 85% - of them understand the word discipline. But for those who don't, they need to learn fast otherwise I am going to have some serious problems with all of their kids this summer and I will not be as nice to their kids as they are.

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To My Little Brother

Six things I want you to know.
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I am not your mother, but I am your big sister.

I cannot even apologize for it, I am always going to act like your second mom. I am going to keep yelling at you to (please) put down the toilet seat and to clean up the mess you made in the kitchen. It doesn't matter to me how often you say "I am not your mother," because you're my little brother and I'm always going to be the boss.

I never mean it when I tell you to grow up.

I hope that you have taken, and continue to take, full advantage of your childhood. As often as I complain about your maturity level, my wish for you is to put off growing up for as long as possible. The closer I get to real adult life, the more I miss home and all of the worries I didn't have. You shouldn't rush through the years you have left at home, you are doing just fine the way you are.

No, I didn't tell Mom.

All of our secrets will always stay secrets. I may have ratted you out to Mom about being the one to break her new vase, but I hope you know that our brother-sister bond protects all of the private things we share. Please, never forget that I'll always be here to listen to you.

I'm sorry.

I'm sorry for giving you your first bloody nose, and for laughing at you afterward. I'm sorry for every time I have blown you off for plans with a guy, or to get an extra hour of sleep. I'm sorry for yelling at you to leave me alone and for slamming the door in your face. I'm sorry for all of the times you asked me to play outside that I didn't. I'm sorry for all of my broken promises.

I forgive you.

I forgive you for all of the “little brother" insults you have used. I forgive you for using all of my paints and letting them dry out. I forgive you for embarrassing me in front of every guy I ever brought home. I even forgive you for cutting off that piece of my hair in fourth grade.

I am so proud of you.

It isn't said nearly enough, but I am so proud of you, little brother. I am envious of the passions that you have and the way that you pursue them with no fear! I am excited to see where you go in life (but don't go anywhere too quickly). Keep working hard and doing what you love, no one can fault you for following your heart. I love you so much, and I will always be your biggest supporter and fan!

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Summer = Rest?

Sometimes it feels as if we need a vacation... from our vacation.

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Ah summer: Popsicles and sun burns, mixed with fresh-squeezed lemonade that local kids are pandering to make enough money for Roman candles and Black Cats. The crack of the bat can be heard among the simmering charcoal grills and Troy-bilts humming through the ever-lasting sun. School is out and children are wild. It's a paradise.

Or is it?

But after countless sports camps and tournaments, other camps, vacations, school (?) events, traveling teams, VBS, summer seems to have been sucked fun-free.

Maybe it's Hollywood and Harper Lee's fault for giving us this utopian view of what summer should look and feel like (I'm looking at you Sandlot). But how can we really rest this summer? Because everyone needs some actual rest, even adults.

First thing is do NOT pack your summer full. Say no to some things. Coaches and Families can expect too much and it's okay to say no to them. You have to. There is no time for kids to be kids anymore.

Work can take a backseat. Vacations need to be taken. Families need to reconnect.

And for all my super-scheduled people out there, please PLEASE don't schedule out your vacation. Just enjoy it.

Another bit of advice would be to put away the technology and spend some time outside. When was the last time you tried to catch lightning bugs? Or went for a swim? Or listened to birds on your front porch?

I may sound like I have an old soul, but I really feel like we have lost this connection to the outside world. Summer is all about getting a farmer's tan and getting stung once or twice. I can guarantee you that's some of the best therapy in the world.

Maybe this sounds all over the place. Maybe this sounds like me ranting. And it probably is.

But I'm telling you that this stuff matters. Don't let summer whiz by and you arrive in August more drained that you were in May. Enjoy this time with family and friends.

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