Monday, June 14, 2010

I'm not yelling at your kid...

I'm simply trying to prevent the inevitable from happening.

You see, we live in a neighborhood with lots of kids. Those of you who know where I live know that it's a "sidewalk community" so there is a sidewalk on at least ONE side of the road throughout the neighborhood. Those of you who know where I live, you know I'm at the bottom of a hill. You know my neighborhood is still under construction. You know that to access the main roads of the subdivision (except the "new" street), you need to go around a traffic circle. You also know that we have two lovely "milk can" silos located in the circle. So, you have a limited sightline around that circle.

Lately, it seems as though parents have forgotten that the roads are used by heavy, moving, human-operated bullets. We call them cars. Parents in general in this neighborhood tend to let their kids roam and wander (if you're on my FB, you saw my complaint about someone accusing HANNAH of roaming the neighborhood, lol!). They ride skateboards, bikes, motorized scooters, golf carts (not so many of those, thankfully), ATV's and mini-bikes on the streets and roads. The neighborhood kids do not ride their scooters on the sidewalks. They ride ALL their things in the street. Granted, I understand why - the houses on the sidewalk side of the street have shorter driveways. you can't park 2 cars front-to-back because you hang over the sidewalk. Of course, this doesn't stop most folks, because the HOA covenant states that all cars must be parked in designated parking areas, not on the street (though this rule is not followed by many - but that's a post for another day).

Anyway - the kids ride their things all around the traffic circle, up and down the streets, etc. I'm not saying they CAN'T or SHOULDN'T, but I'm saying that at one time, children had a healthy respect and FEAR of a car. They would holler car, and the street would clear. Now? Ha. The kids around here look at you with disdain, like you need to get over yourself in your big old car because THEY aren't going to move for you? What ever happened to respecting adults? I place the blame fully on the parents.

If you don't teach your child what it means to respect, they obviously will never have a clue how to give respect. My kids ride their scooters and bikes in the street. We live at the bottom of a hill, near a cul-de-sac. If my kids see a car, they head for the sidewalk, nearest driveway, or grass to get out of the way. Lots of times, cars come flying down to turn around at the cul-de-sac. My kids have a healthy fear and respect for cars. Because I taught them.

Now...the other day, I was driving up the street. 3 girls (early teens) were walking down the street...sidewalk side...but NOT on the sidewalk. IN.THE.ROAD. I was slowing down (there's a speed hump), and one girl thought it would be funny to push her friend toward the car. The friend tripped and almost fell right into my path. Had I not slowed down, there would likely have been a tragedy that day. I called the girl over (I knew her name) and asked her why she would push her friend. She DENIED it! Seriously. The kids were in the car, and both said, "We SAW her push the other girl!" (without my prompting, mind you). I then addressed all the girls, "Ladies, there's a sidewalk there for a reason. It's for your protection. Should you trip and fall, OR BE PUSHED, you will not fall into the path of a moving hunk of metal weighing half a ton.

And it's not just them. They ride around the circle, which has limited sight lines. You can't SEE through the silos, or around come around the blind circle, and even if you're traveling slowly, you almost always end up locking your brakes up because the kids STOP in the street instead of heading for the sides.

I hate being the "mean mom" all the time. The one who has to yell at the kids to stop squirting the little kids in the face, or to go play their waterball game away from the shallower section so the little kids can swim without fear of being hit by a ball or having a larger teenage boy or girl fall on them. The other parents always thank me for speaking up, but with very few exceptions, they don't ever speak up.

Why is it that I want to follow the rules, and it bothers me that no one else seems to care?

So, when the mom of some kid comes up and asks me why I yelled at their kid, the answer will be, "I'm not yelling, I'm protecting your child by preventing him/her from hurting others or doing something less than smart."


Melissa Sue said...

How frustrating! I imagine I'd be the same way. I hope some of the other parents start to step up, too.

saintseester said...

It's rough being responsible in the age of adults who were raised to never grow up.

rennratt said...

My husband had a similar experience last year with a girl shoving a little boy in front of his truck. He "nicked" the kid with the edge of his bumper.

He was horrified, and waited for the boy's dad to arrive. The dad found out what happened and refused my husband's offer to call an ambulance/take the kid to the hospital. The kid was okay, thank goodness.

I just don't understand parents that allow their kids to be so disrespectful and rude. My friends all have blanket permission to beat my kid senseless if they catch HER pulling that stuff.

So far, so good.