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guangzhou


Jan 7, 2013, 3:38 AM
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When I smile at kids a couple of things happen.

The kids run away crying, mostly in fear I think.

Sometime the parents pull their kids away and look at me like they are about to call the cops.

With this in mind, I remind myself to be careful when smiling at kids these days. As a middle school teacher especially.


SylviaSmile


Jan 9, 2013, 2:53 PM
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Re: [guangzhou] No babies please [In reply to]
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guangzhou wrote:
In reply to:
I get that and I'm definitely not one of the people going around trying to convince people who say they don't want kids that they secretly really do. You really don't and that's fine. But at the same time, I think maybe one of the reasons it becomes an issue is that if everyone didn't have kids, our race would die out! So clearly some people need to be having kids. Those who are holding babies right now are quite literally holding the future in their hands, which isn't necessarily an argument in favor of having children, but it's at least interesting to ponder.

The dying out of our race? Actually, I could use the world population as a good argument for a few less people having kids today.

My mother has an easy time understanding that grand children from me would most likely not happen.

My mother in-law wanted my wife to be pregnant before the honeymoon was even over.

So maybe the dying out of our race is not so farfetched after all . . .


drivel


Jan 10, 2013, 7:26 PM
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Re: [granite_grrl] No babies please [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
Syd wrote:
Hope you girls don't mind a mere male's opinion, but I'm a very late starter as a father and I can assure you that my 2 yr old son is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I've climbed, canyoned, wind surfed in the surf, sailed Hobies, flown hang gliders, mountain biked etc etc but nothing compares with the utter joy of a baby. Don't miss out.

My wife and I still climb every week.

Monique Forestier is a great example of what climbing mums can do http://www.moniqueclimbs.com.au/


Start your own thread!!!

You can call it "Yes babies, please!"

Laugh

I'm just kidding, but this is a mild example of what often happen out in the real world.

Me (in a conversation about child rearing) - "I'm not going to have childern, I don't even like them all that much."
Them - "Oh, but childern are great!" Usually followed with (where Syd thankfully didn't go) "You might not like kids right now, but they're different when they're your own."

How do you think people would feel if I went around and told them how they should never have had kids because my life without them is wonderful. I'd be hung up by my toes!

ALL the stars.

Me, starting age... 11? 14? "I don't ever want kids."

Everyone ever: "you'll change your mind when you're older."


27 now. Have never wavered.


drivel


Jan 10, 2013, 7:27 PM
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Re: [wonderwoman] No babies please [In reply to]
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wonderwoman wrote:
Syd wrote:
Hope you girls don't mind a mere male's opinion, but I'm a very late starter as a father and I can assure you that my 2 yr old son is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. I've climbed, canyoned, wind surfed in the surf, sailed Hobies, flown hang gliders, mountain biked etc etc but nothing compares with the utter joy of a baby. Don't miss out.

My wife and I still climb every week.

Monique Forestier is a great example of what climbing mums can do http://www.moniqueclimbs.com.au/

Congrats to you. But don't wish babies on people who don't want babies.


'cuz that is bad for the babiez. duh.


drivel


Jan 10, 2013, 7:28 PM
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Re: [notapplicable] No babies please [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
The real bummer with the "no kids please" crowd is how much they judge and chastise those who do have kids and include them in their lives and passions.

I think people should have children if they want but I'm very much prone to getting in my childless friends faces about making a well informed decision on the matter. People need to spend a lot of time in the houses of people with multiple children. They need to try and incorporate them in to their daily and weekend routines. They need to know firsthand how dramatic the difference between the two lifestyles can be.

Why do I say that? Because too many of my friends had children without REALLY considering the implications and now regret the decision. Thats not fair to the child, the parents or the other people in their lives who have do deal with the aftermath.

In reply to:
Nothing wrong with choosing motto have your own kids, but at least temporarily cherish or offer kindness to other children. Don't help them become jaded assholes like the rest of us.

I'm with ya here. Just took my friends 5 & 7 year old kids to the climbing gym for the first time over xmas. They loved it and and I was able to tolerate it. I am way more indulgent of children than I am their adult counterparts.

glad I was GU'd on that one.


drivel


Jan 10, 2013, 7:29 PM
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Re: [Kartessa] No babies please [In reply to]
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Kartessa wrote:
The real bummer with the "no kids please" crowd is how much they judge and chastise those who do have kids and include them in their lives and passions.

My favourites are the ones who bitch about kids at the gym, the crag... Or even the 20 year old ass holes who think a public park is just for them to play on the swings while tripping on acid.

Nothing wrong with choosing motto have your own kids, but at least temporarily cherish or offer kindness to other children. Don't help them become jaded assholes like the rest of us.

the prob with that isn't the children. It's shitty parents. I will put up with infinitely more screaming and dirt throwing from a child if the parents seem to be *trying.* It's when they give zero fucks that I want to murder the little shits.


Partner macherry


Jan 10, 2013, 7:54 PM
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Re: [drivel] No babies please [In reply to]
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drivel wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
The real bummer with the "no kids please" crowd is how much they judge and chastise those who do have kids and include them in their lives and passions.

My favourites are the ones who bitch about kids at the gym, the crag... Or even the 20 year old ass holes who think a public park is just for them to play on the swings while tripping on acid.

Nothing wrong with choosing motto have your own kids, but at least temporarily cherish or offer kindness to other children. Don't help them become jaded assholes like the rest of us.

the prob with that isn't the children. It's shitty parents. I will put up with infinitely more screaming and dirt throwing from a child if the parents seem to be *trying.* It's when they give zero fucks that I want to murder the little shits.

yup


notapplicable


Jan 14, 2013, 8:19 PM
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Re: [drivel] No babies please [In reply to]
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drivel wrote:
Kartessa wrote:
The real bummer with the "no kids please" crowd is how much they judge and chastise those who do have kids and include them in their lives and passions.

My favourites are the ones who bitch about kids at the gym, the crag... Or even the 20 year old ass holes who think a public park is just for them to play on the swings while tripping on acid.

Nothing wrong with choosing motto have your own kids, but at least temporarily cherish or offer kindness to other children. Don't help them become jaded assholes like the rest of us.

the prob with that isn't the children. It's shitty parents. I will put up with infinitely more screaming and dirt throwing from a child if the parents seem to be *trying.* It's when they give zero fucks that I want to murder the little shits.

We were at First Buttress on a rainy day some months back. A couple roll up with their kid in tow. He leads a route, kid and lady flails on the start. Repeat for route two. Then the two adults straight dip out, leaving their 7-8 year old kid behind. They don't say a damn thing before doing so. They do seem to know two of the other climbers there but were not climbing together and they did not take ownership of the boy while his parents were gone. Kid proceeds to pester us for attention, plays with out gear and is generally in our shit.

They come back 10 min. later with big smiles on their faces. They either fucked or got high or both. Either way, NOT COOL BRO!!


SylviaSmile


Jan 14, 2013, 8:55 PM
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lol it takes a village . . .


notapplicable


Jan 14, 2013, 9:33 PM
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I ain't yo babies daddy


Syd


Jan 15, 2013, 11:45 AM
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Re: [notapplicable] No babies please [In reply to]
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notapplicable wrote:
... He leads a route, kid and lady flails on the start.
Reminds me of a well know climbing identity who takes his 10 yr old daughter climbing. He tries her to a tree, while he proceeds to trad self belay solo. He gets to the top, yells out to daughter to untie herself and start climbing. She gets a third of the way up and can't remove a stubborn piece of gear. She bursts out crying. All attempts at pacification fail.

A similar thing happened with a friend (now deceased, climbing accident), who attempted to climb a major multi pitch peak with his young daughter. Climbing became difficult, so he tried her in to the cliff and continued on free solo. Fortunately his demise did not take place on that trip and he returned to recover her.


chadnsc


Jan 15, 2013, 1:07 PM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
lol it takes a village . . .

Yeah but you really want ME watching your kids? Crazy


dr_feelgood


Jan 15, 2013, 6:47 PM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
lol it takes a village . . .
why is the villge then held responsible when the parents abdicate?


guangzhou


Jan 16, 2013, 7:27 PM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
lol it takes a village . . .

Just an excuse for bad parenting actually. In schools, teachers can say it takes a village because the entire school is there for the purpose of educating kids. Within a family, we can say a village because it's family.

In the general world, it's B.S. If you decide to have children, take the time to raise them properly. Keep their needs in mind and others people privacy too.

Personally, I like other people's kids. When I am in public, I have no issue letting kids or their parents know the children are not behaving appropriately.

I was attending a "Chinese Style" wedding once when kids were running around, jumping, and screaming around the various guest at the formal dinner. I looked at the parent a couple times, but they didn't get the message. Looking around at other guest, it was obvious I was not the only one annoyed. Actually, only the parents didn't seem to mind.

I finally jumped up, turn to the kids and parents and yelled "enough." parents scrambles to gather their kids and seat them at the table and kids were behave for the next hour and a half of dull speeches. (Even got some thumbs ups from other guests.

My mother in law, who is very self conscious and worries to much about what other think, was very uncomfortable.

You want a village to raise your kids into, move to a commute that supports that atmosphere.


Syd


Jan 16, 2013, 7:39 PM
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guangzhou wrote:

In the general world, it's B.S. If you decide to have children, take the time to raise them properly. Keep their needs in mind and others people privacy too.
The behaviour of ratbags with dogs is far worse than that of parents with kids. Dogs illegally off leash; in National Parks; on beaches; in our local climbing gym; and pretty much wherever there is a "Dogs Prohibited" sign, such as at our local swimming pool this morning.


carabiner96


Jan 16, 2013, 8:35 PM
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Syd wrote:
guangzhou wrote:

In the general world, it's B.S. If you decide to have children, take the time to raise them properly. Keep their needs in mind and others people privacy too.
The behaviour of ratbags with dogs is far worse than that of parents with kids. Dogs illegally off leash; in National Parks; on beaches; in our local climbing gym; and pretty much wherever there is a "Dogs Prohibited" sign, such as at our local swimming pool this morning.
Wat? Dis Iz Nat teh HOA meeting.


Toast_in_the_Machine


Jan 18, 2013, 3:02 AM
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drivel wrote:
the prob with that isn't the children. It's shitty parents. I will put up with infinitely more screaming and dirt throwing from a child if the parents seem to be *trying.* It's when they give zero fucks that I want to murder the little shits.

So I possessed a trick that we called “The Evil Death Stare” or EDS for short. The EDS consists of a look that conveys a threat of physical violence combined with outright distain. One of the great things about our monkey brain is that the human emotions are universal. A smile is a smile, a frown is a frown, and the EDS can be understood by all people, even those of a very young age.

Now the best trick with the EDS is to be able to turn it on and turn it off quickly. It became a game where I, or my wife, would shoot the EDS at a kid in front of us at Target (why always Target? I dunno, just almost always there). The kid would visibly wilt and always move to be closer to their parent. As well they should, when someone looks at a kid with a look of real malice and intent, the monkey brain makes the child go to safety. As soon as the child moved towards the parent, the EDS was lifted and my wife and I would go back to a normal conversation. We found that a well timed EDS will shut up a misbehaving child with a near perfect batting average. Meaning, it usually took only one EDS and the kid would shut up and start behaving better. The human equivalent of The Dog Whisperer’s “tschh”.

Yes, I just more than condoned threatening a child. I recommended it. But the EDS is a silent and well placed threat. One that gets children who are behaving badly in public to change their behavior.

Now, this isn’t quite a story that ends with a Grinch like “his heart grew that day” ending, but it is close.

My wife and I practice what we call “high touch parenting”. There are lots aspects of our parenting style, very few of which are accidental. One of them is that we have always treated our kids with respect. Even when they were at the “terrible twos” stage, we never yelled or threatened or spanked. We treated them with the same respect as we would have wanted to be treated, albeit one where the parent is still the responsible party and the child is still a child.

We have never punished our children, only talked with them. Sometimes at the end of a one of our parenting conversations my wife and I will turn to each other and say “do you think they got it that time” to which the other person will inevitably reply “oh yeah, this time they understood”. It takes a great deal of effort and energy to only be on the positive side. It is much easier to threaten or to put the child in a “time out”, but we fundamentally believe that the only lesson that is learned from punishment is that the parent has more power. By talking and listening to our children we demonstrate on a fundamental level the behaviors we expect them to have.

Not that I pass up too many occasions to say so, but my kids behavior is, for the most part, fantastic. People consistently praise how respectful they are, not just to strangers and adults, but to each other. There is no sibling rivalry, only support between family members. We let our kids do odd things like wander around a restaurant, but they don’t cause any disturbances. They are just curious what the rest of the place looks like, so we let them. They come back and politely “report” what they have seen.

Now, I did say we never punished. But we do occasionally point out to the children that they are getting a bit squirmy and that if a stroll doesn’t help them sit still then maybe something like push-ups or sit-ups or jumping jacks are in order. Yes, my kids do jumping jacks in Target if they aren’t listening. But this is a rare occasion, except for each night before bed when energy fills the children and some form of exercise becomes inevitable.

While I could go on about “high touch parenting”, my story is about the time when my wife didn’t. She didn’t break our guidelines in that she struck the kids, it was about the time she didn’t stop them when they acted in the way that children do, but they shouldn’t.

It was about 4 years ago, Ann had learned that her mother had an incurable but exceedingly rare disease. So rare, that only 10 people a year in the US ever have the disease. Her mom has been slowly dying ever since then. Her father had, less than 6 months before, also been given a death sentence in that he had a lung issue that would slowly rob him of his vitality. Now, mind you, both of them are still alive today, and have had the best and longest dying period. But at the time, we didn’t know if we would even have a chance to see them alive again.

It was on that day, when Ann’s heart was so burdened with concerns that, while at Target, she just ignored the kids. They were “those kids”, our great and fantastic kids who rarely put a foot wrong, were tare assing around ‘nam looking for the shit. And that is when Ann saw a well dressed man recoil with horror at our kids. Now clearly this young gentleman didn’t know the secrets of the EDS. He only knew bad behavior when he saw it. And, did he see it that day.

When Ann made it back home and collapsed into my arms, she told me how while she was there, she didn’t have the energy nor the will to stop the kids. She just couldn’t. Her heart was too heavy with concerns for her mother and she just looked at the kids in a fog. She could only sit there and quietly in her head wish that her children would behave better. She didn’t have the energy or the will to move faster out of Target only to plod hopelessly out. She would have felt ashamed, but a life sucking sadness was all she could feel.

And the Grinch aspect of this was that I was forced to acknowledge that by commission or omission other parents make this same choice. They choose at any given time not to be that parent that smiles at their kid and gets their kid to behave by showing them love. But sometimes, people have other things in their life that prevents them from making, what I feel, is the right choice. And when I see strangers, again in the Target, and their kids are acting up, I don’t know what else is happening in the parent’s life. I don’t know if they have financial issues or someone is dying or, like a coworker of mine now, has their in-laws trapped in Syria. All I see is the snapshot now: badly behaving kids. There may be a thousand things wrong with their life and some of them make it impossible to, for my convenience, make their kids shut the fuck up.

So now, I just smile. I know my kids are safe, my kids are happy, and those kids are not my kids. My life is blessed and I don’t know why those other parents are choosing at that time not to enjoy being with their children. It may not be a choice they can make at this time. And for me, that is OK. I still try to shoot an occasional EDS, but the power is weakened. Mostly I just smile. I’ve found that, while not as effective as the EDS in getting a kid to act right, a smile goes a long way. It makes me feel better about the situation, and really, that is all I can really change.


chadnsc


Jan 26, 2013, 5:14 PM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] No babies please [In reply to]
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Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:
drivel wrote:
the prob with that isn't the children. It's shitty parents. I will put up with infinitely more screaming and dirt throwing from a child if the parents seem to be *trying.* It's when they give zero fucks that I want to murder the little shits.

So I possessed a trick that we called “The Evil Death Stare” or EDS for short. The EDS consists of a look that conveys a threat of physical violence combined with outright distain. One of the great things about our monkey brain is that the human emotions are universal. A smile is a smile, a frown is a frown, and the EDS can be understood by all people, even those of a very young age.

Now the best trick with the EDS is to be able to turn it on and turn it off quickly. It became a game where I, or my wife, would shoot the EDS at a kid in front of us at Target (why always Target? I dunno, just almost always there). The kid would visibly wilt and always move to be closer to their parent. As well they should, when someone looks at a kid with a look of real malice and intent, the monkey brain makes the child go to safety. As soon as the child moved towards the parent, the EDS was lifted and my wife and I would go back to a normal conversation. We found that a well timed EDS will shut up a misbehaving child with a near perfect batting average. Meaning, it usually took only one EDS and the kid would shut up and start behaving better. The human equivalent of The Dog Whisperer’s “tschh”.

Yes, I just more than condoned threatening a child. I recommended it. But the EDS is a silent and well placed threat. One that gets children who are behaving badly in public to change their behavior.

Now, this isn’t quite a story that ends with a Grinch like “his heart grew that day” ending, but it is close.

My wife and I practice what we call “high touch parenting”. There are lots aspects of our parenting style, very few of which are accidental. One of them is that we have always treated our kids with respect. Even when they were at the “terrible twos” stage, we never yelled or threatened or spanked. We treated them with the same respect as we would have wanted to be treated, albeit one where the parent is still the responsible party and the child is still a child.

We have never punished our children, only talked with them. Sometimes at the end of a one of our parenting conversations my wife and I will turn to each other and say “do you think they got it that time” to which the other person will inevitably reply “oh yeah, this time they understood”. It takes a great deal of effort and energy to only be on the positive side. It is much easier to threaten or to put the child in a “time out”, but we fundamentally believe that the only lesson that is learned from punishment is that the parent has more power. By talking and listening to our children we demonstrate on a fundamental level the behaviors we expect them to have.

Not that I pass up too many occasions to say so, but my kids behavior is, for the most part, fantastic. People consistently praise how respectful they are, not just to strangers and adults, but to each other. There is no sibling rivalry, only support between family members. We let our kids do odd things like wander around a restaurant, but they don’t cause any disturbances. They are just curious what the rest of the place looks like, so we let them. They come back and politely “report” what they have seen.

Now, I did say we never punished. But we do occasionally point out to the children that they are getting a bit squirmy and that if a stroll doesn’t help them sit still then maybe something like push-ups or sit-ups or jumping jacks are in order. Yes, my kids do jumping jacks in Target if they aren’t listening. But this is a rare occasion, except for each night before bed when energy fills the children and some form of exercise becomes inevitable.

While I could go on about “high touch parenting”, my story is about the time when my wife didn’t. She didn’t break our guidelines in that she struck the kids, it was about the time she didn’t stop them when they acted in the way that children do, but they shouldn’t.

It was about 4 years ago, Ann had learned that her mother had an incurable but exceedingly rare disease. So rare, that only 10 people a year in the US ever have the disease. Her mom has been slowly dying ever since then. Her father had, less than 6 months before, also been given a death sentence in that he had a lung issue that would slowly rob him of his vitality. Now, mind you, both of them are still alive today, and have had the best and longest dying period. But at the time, we didn’t know if we would even have a chance to see them alive again.

It was on that day, when Ann’s heart was so burdened with concerns that, while at Target, she just ignored the kids. They were “those kids”, our great and fantastic kids who rarely put a foot wrong, were tare assing around ‘nam looking for the shit. And that is when Ann saw a well dressed man recoil with horror at our kids. Now clearly this young gentleman didn’t know the secrets of the EDS. He only knew bad behavior when he saw it. And, did he see it that day.

When Ann made it back home and collapsed into my arms, she told me how while she was there, she didn’t have the energy nor the will to stop the kids. She just couldn’t. Her heart was too heavy with concerns for her mother and she just looked at the kids in a fog. She could only sit there and quietly in her head wish that her children would behave better. She didn’t have the energy or the will to move faster out of Target only to plod hopelessly out. She would have felt ashamed, but a life sucking sadness was all she could feel.

And the Grinch aspect of this was that I was forced to acknowledge that by commission or omission other parents make this same choice. They choose at any given time not to be that parent that smiles at their kid and gets their kid to behave by showing them love. But sometimes, people have other things in their life that prevents them from making, what I feel, is the right choice. And when I see strangers, again in the Target, and their kids are acting up, I don’t know what else is happening in the parent’s life. I don’t know if they have financial issues or someone is dying or, like a coworker of mine now, has their in-laws trapped in Syria. All I see is the snapshot now: badly behaving kids. There may be a thousand things wrong with their life and some of them make it impossible to, for my convenience, make their kids shut the fuck up.

So now, I just smile. I know my kids are safe, my kids are happy, and those kids are not my kids. My life is blessed and I don’t know why those other parents are choosing at that time not to enjoy being with their children. It may not be a choice they can make at this time. And for me, that is OK. I still try to shoot an occasional EDS, but the power is weakened. Mostly I just smile. I’ve found that, while not as effective as the EDS in getting a kid to act right, a smile goes a long way. It makes me feel better about the situation, and really, that is all I can really change.

So you shoot other people's kids the 'EDS' but not your kids?


SylviaSmile


Jan 28, 2013, 9:01 PM
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Re: [Toast_in_the_Machine] No babies please [In reply to]
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Toast_in_the_Machine wrote:
drivel wrote:
the prob with that isn't the children. It's shitty parents. I will put up with infinitely more screaming and dirt throwing from a child if the parents seem to be *trying.* It's when they give zero fucks that I want to murder the little shits.

So I possessed a trick that we called “The Evil Death Stare” or EDS for short. The EDS consists of a look that conveys a threat of physical violence combined with outright distain. One of the great things about our monkey brain is that the human emotions are universal. A smile is a smile, a frown is a frown, and the EDS can be understood by all people, even those of a very young age.

Now the best trick with the EDS is to be able to turn it on and turn it off quickly. It became a game where I, or my wife, would shoot the EDS at a kid in front of us at Target (why always Target? I dunno, just almost always there). The kid would visibly wilt and always move to be closer to their parent. As well they should, when someone looks at a kid with a look of real malice and intent, the monkey brain makes the child go to safety. As soon as the child moved towards the parent, the EDS was lifted and my wife and I would go back to a normal conversation. We found that a well timed EDS will shut up a misbehaving child with a near perfect batting average. Meaning, it usually took only one EDS and the kid would shut up and start behaving better. The human equivalent of The Dog Whisperer’s “tschh”.

Yes, I just more than condoned threatening a child. I recommended it. But the EDS is a silent and well placed threat. One that gets children who are behaving badly in public to change their behavior.

Now, this isn’t quite a story that ends with a Grinch like “his heart grew that day” ending, but it is close.

My wife and I practice what we call “high touch parenting”. There are lots aspects of our parenting style, very few of which are accidental. One of them is that we have always treated our kids with respect. Even when they were at the “terrible twos” stage, we never yelled or threatened or spanked. We treated them with the same respect as we would have wanted to be treated, albeit one where the parent is still the responsible party and the child is still a child.

We have never punished our children, only talked with them. Sometimes at the end of a one of our parenting conversations my wife and I will turn to each other and say “do you think they got it that time” to which the other person will inevitably reply “oh yeah, this time they understood”. It takes a great deal of effort and energy to only be on the positive side. It is much easier to threaten or to put the child in a “time out”, but we fundamentally believe that the only lesson that is learned from punishment is that the parent has more power. By talking and listening to our children we demonstrate on a fundamental level the behaviors we expect them to have.

Not that I pass up too many occasions to say so, but my kids behavior is, for the most part, fantastic. People consistently praise how respectful they are, not just to strangers and adults, but to each other. There is no sibling rivalry, only support between family members. We let our kids do odd things like wander around a restaurant, but they don’t cause any disturbances. They are just curious what the rest of the place looks like, so we let them. They come back and politely “report” what they have seen.

Now, I did say we never punished. But we do occasionally point out to the children that they are getting a bit squirmy and that if a stroll doesn’t help them sit still then maybe something like push-ups or sit-ups or jumping jacks are in order. Yes, my kids do jumping jacks in Target if they aren’t listening. But this is a rare occasion, except for each night before bed when energy fills the children and some form of exercise becomes inevitable.

While I could go on about “high touch parenting”, my story is about the time when my wife didn’t. She didn’t break our guidelines in that she struck the kids, it was about the time she didn’t stop them when they acted in the way that children do, but they shouldn’t.

It was about 4 years ago, Ann had learned that her mother had an incurable but exceedingly rare disease. So rare, that only 10 people a year in the US ever have the disease. Her mom has been slowly dying ever since then. Her father had, less than 6 months before, also been given a death sentence in that he had a lung issue that would slowly rob him of his vitality. Now, mind you, both of them are still alive today, and have had the best and longest dying period. But at the time, we didn’t know if we would even have a chance to see them alive again.

It was on that day, when Ann’s heart was so burdened with concerns that, while at Target, she just ignored the kids. They were “those kids”, our great and fantastic kids who rarely put a foot wrong, were tare assing around ‘nam looking for the shit. And that is when Ann saw a well dressed man recoil with horror at our kids. Now clearly this young gentleman didn’t know the secrets of the EDS. He only knew bad behavior when he saw it. And, did he see it that day.

When Ann made it back home and collapsed into my arms, she told me how while she was there, she didn’t have the energy nor the will to stop the kids. She just couldn’t. Her heart was too heavy with concerns for her mother and she just looked at the kids in a fog. She could only sit there and quietly in her head wish that her children would behave better. She didn’t have the energy or the will to move faster out of Target only to plod hopelessly out. She would have felt ashamed, but a life sucking sadness was all she could feel.

And the Grinch aspect of this was that I was forced to acknowledge that by commission or omission other parents make this same choice. They choose at any given time not to be that parent that smiles at their kid and gets their kid to behave by showing them love. But sometimes, people have other things in their life that prevents them from making, what I feel, is the right choice. And when I see strangers, again in the Target, and their kids are acting up, I don’t know what else is happening in the parent’s life. I don’t know if they have financial issues or someone is dying or, like a coworker of mine now, has their in-laws trapped in Syria. All I see is the snapshot now: badly behaving kids. There may be a thousand things wrong with their life and some of them make it impossible to, for my convenience, make their kids shut the fuck up.

So now, I just smile. I know my kids are safe, my kids are happy, and those kids are not my kids. My life is blessed and I don’t know why those other parents are choosing at that time not to enjoy being with their children. It may not be a choice they can make at this time. And for me, that is OK. I still try to shoot an occasional EDS, but the power is weakened. Mostly I just smile. I’ve found that, while not as effective as the EDS in getting a kid to act right, a smile goes a long way. It makes me feel better about the situation, and really, that is all I can really change.

This is an amazing post, although the anecdote at the end is strikingly similar to one from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People . . .

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