Friday, November 26, 2010

What would I do? Uh, nothing

I like to watch clips of the show "What Would You Do?" on ABC.  It's a show where they stage scenarios and then watch what people do via hidden camera.

Recently, they showed a young woman posing as a nanny with four children, all of them on wrist leashes, all of them yanking on the leashes and misbehaving.  What would you do? 

A teenager walked by and stated she was treating them like dogs, which is the reaction the show was hoping for. 

They also showed a controversial clip from Youtube where a woman drags her child out of store by his leash while the child is lying on the floor. 

My reaction? Well, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

My grandmother put my dad on an acutal dog leash attached to his pants in the early fifties. One woman confronted her in the bank saying she was treating her son like a dog.

My grandmother said 'Well, YOU chase him then!" and let my dad go. And go he did!

My maternal grandfather used to take my cousin on collection calls with him. "That's okay. I'll wait while you cut a check. Hey, what's in those drawers over there?" and my cousin would run off to get his hands on staplers, papers, pens. My grandpa got his money most of the time.

I would bet money that the mom in the clip that ended up on Youtube had told the boy to get up and walk a number of times before telling him she'd drag him if he didn't get up. And drag him she did.

Enough carpet burns and the boy'll start getting up. Some children stick close, walk with their parents and aren't in need of a tether. Others need a way to be held within appropriate boundaries and a thick string may be the answer.

It's also important to keep in mind that a person outside of the family doesn't have all the information. What if the boy is autistic? Is he deaf, easily distracted and can't hear his mom call him?

The kids with the actress on the news show were all straining to get loose in four different directions, hitting each other, screaming and generally being little shits.

From the outside? As a mom? Ya gotta do what ya gotta do. Four children all yanking a person in four different directions at once is more than one person with only two hands can handle. I'd put them on leashes too.

Unless a person is a parent, it's impossible to know what the day to day, minute to minute experience is like. Parents come to the end of their patience, the end of their experience, the end of their sanity and it's good to have something to hang onto to keep from slipping into a place you don't want to go. Clutching the end of a leash that tells your child is with you can give a little comfort, lets you know that at least you haven't lost him.

Until I see a parent smack a kid, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt when I see children on a leash.

There but for the grace and all that.

Hey? Have you had your sandwich today?

Amanda's beauty tip of the day: You know those, um, 'intimate sprays' they sell for us ladies? Don't use them! They're horrible for your natural flora and fauna. And they sting.

1 comment:

gloucester said...

I agree! This sort of parenting issue is best left to those who live it. My son was on a tether or he would have run. (autism and non verbal) This is hardly abuse.