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What happened to RESPECT?

Today, I want to rant about parents.  I know there are good parents out there.  I know many.  I’m not talking about them.  I’m talking about the OTHER parents. 

A short background, so I’m not misunderstood.  I’m not a room parent.  I don’t spend any time at the school chaperoning classes.  Frankly, I don’t like being around that many kids.  Mine are ENOUGH.  But I do attend programs and concerts that my children are participating in.  I like to show them my support.  If I have the extra cash, I purchase the video.  Because the school audio/visual kids get a much better view than my short ass.

Because of the winter storms that rolled through the Midwest last week, the middle school’s Christmas band concert was postponed.  It was rescheduled to last night; right behind the elementary school’s play.  Since I had a child in both activities, I was present at the school for over three hours. 

This is not a well funded school.  Our seating was metal folding chairs set up in the middle school gym, which has a stage on one side.  These chairs are not comfortable by any stretch of the imagination.  Because of these chairs, honey-do did not attend.  His back would have been in so much pain; I’d have to get a stretcher to get him home.  We don’t have one of those.  I also had my six year old first grader in the audience with me.  This is the child we affectionately call “crack baby”.  She has so much energy and spunk; she just can’t sit still or stop touching things.  I charged my phone prior to the play/concert so she would have something to do when she was bored five minutes after arrival.

During the elementary school’s play, the audience was packed.  Their program consisted of fourth and second graders.  It was fun enough that my crack baby sat still most of the time.  She was happy that she could see her fourth grade sister singing with the choir. 

Between the elementary school’s program and the start of the middle school’s program, there was an intermission for those people only attending the elementary school’s program to fetch their children and leave.  It allowed for the clean up of the play props; and the set up of the middle school band’s chairs, music stands, and large instruments.  As the middle school program started, the audience had dwindled to half.  This could be expected.

The middle school program began with the various choirs doing a series of Christmas tunes.  Then the two separate bands began their selections.  During this time, many people were slinking out of the gym.  By the end, the audience was only a quarter of what it was when the night started.

But the thing that really set me off, was the parents throughout this adventure.  During the elementary program, there were parents that let their younger children wander around, play games on phones without muting them, or just talk loudly.  These parents did nothing to discipline their children.  I believe this is bad behavior.  I know children act up.  But if they aren’t even scolded, they will never learn that disrupting someone else’s experience is not right. 

Yet that was not all.  During the middle school’s program, it was the parents that weren’t behaving.  Right behind me a lady answered a ringing phone and was having a conversation.  In front of me, a lady was talking to another woman two rows away.  I believe this is all in bad form.

I sat through everyone else’s kids’ programs.  I listened to them sing, act, and play instruments.  My children weren’t in every aspect of the evening, but I gave those parents my respect.  I just wish they would have returned the favor.  It’s times like this that I miss my growing up years; even though I hated it when it was happening.

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