So I've been the lone voice saying "I disagree" in a facebook thread that one of my friends started with a link to this article. To start- here are all the things I had to say about it:

puff piece totally disconnected from reality. if parents developed "the look" then children wouldn't misbehave? if only life were so simple.
A piece of missing perspective maybe: Parents are a lot less sensitive to their child's behaviour then bystanders. So when you're annoyed because there is a child yelling at their parents in a restaurant, those parents may not even realize the child is so loud because they are ALWAYS that loud-in good behaviour and bad. Behaviour and expectations are so subjective, is it really fair to pass judgement? all you can say is "I would do it differently" and even then you don't actually know that you could.
July 6 at 12:00pm

I guess this just makes me happy to live in a place where children are not expected to behave like adults and this debate doesn't happen.
July 6 at 6:32pm
Actually, yes I can say that. Children and their development are highly respected in Danish culture. Giving children the room to learn about themselves and express their individuality, even through bad behaviour, is possibly the most important thing that Danes, as a whole, work to establish and protect. Supporting parents and allowing them to make choices in how they raise their own children is part of that.
My point is that these articles take a lot of generalizations and give them one umbrella of thought to fall under. But, these situations that are generalized actually have important context and don't deserve to be thought about in the same way. Conditioning ourselves to ignore context does not make us a more respectful society.
How can I say to someone "you should respect me because I am around you" without first showing them respect by acknowledging that I don't understand everything about their situation, and therefore, won't make any generalizations about them or their behaviour.
July 6 at 11:47pm
I'm sure they will all be too busy riding bikes and eating pastry to bother you.
Thursday at 10:08am
I completely agree with the things you have said Anna. What I disagree with is the attitude that when you have a child you have to be a certain type of parent otherwise you're a "bad" parent according to society. Because society is making these decisions of what type of parent you are based on minuscule intervals of time without any context or really any direct interaction with the children they are looking cross at. Very different from a teacher in a classroom who possibly spends more time with the child then the parents do. And it would even be ok with me for people to be so judgemental without context, if they still supported the parents in the end. But that's not what people say, they say if we think you are a bad parent, then you shouldn't have your children around us; you shouldn't be welcome.

I think it's fine to expect more reasonable "adult like" behaviour from kids who are in school, but this article and discussion isn't specifically about kids in school- in fact there is no information about the kids beyond what they were doing to be so bothersome- and there never is. This article is a blanket blast of all "bad" children in public and their parents who must not have the tools to control them. An example: he writes about a very young girl that smacked her mom and then was told "we don't hit" in response- her mother is being portrayed as a "bad" mother. But hitting can be part of a normal child's development of communication; its how they tell you they are mad before they can really say it. And, any basic parenting guide will tell you to respond by correcting them simply. So, is the mother really a "bad" mother? we don't know because we don't have any context!

I am bothered by how easy it is for this guy to write a rant about all these parents he sees and say they suck; and then get people to cheer him on because "good" children in the US behave in a way such that they are not noticed by bystanders! (Again, totally different than the relationship with teachers.) And it's because of how easy it is for people to get all up in arms about a part of life that, really, is as inconvenient as being in traffic (and more inconvenient for the parents being judged- even the "bad" ones), that I wanted to say something in the first place.

I have had the opportunity to live in a society that is very supportive of parents no matter how their children behave and I know how it has made me a better parent. Not because there are hoards of children wreaking havoc here, as was suggested, but because I'm not worried about what people are thinking when my child is screaming and that gives me the opportunity to focus my full attention on meeting the needs he is screaming about.
Friday at 4:57pm
I'm not personally offended. There are a lot of reasons why I spoke out against this. I think the main one is that IMO its better to have a discussion about these things then to just cheer for the one side. I find the other side is noticeably silent in this argument and I wonder what implications that has on US society as a whole. I also champion showing love to other people, no matter how difficult or crazy or against the culture norms- not because I'm perfect at doing that but because I know its what Jesus would do. And it's unfortunate that background heartbreaking tales have become cliché because they are never a cliché for the person who went through the particular story.

I guess, also, I have a personal vendetta against this stuff because it's very American. And like most things American, it is never acknowledged as such. And the reason I care is because I'm raising a child, and probably more children in the future, who will have to spend portions of their lives within US society and I don't want them to walk away hating it, I want them to understand it's differences. SO instead of just walking away from this article and hating it, I spent sometime trying to understand the differences.
Yesterday at 11:52am
My issue was always the generalization and stereo-typing of a group of people for which we have basically no information about, except that in public their child's behaviour, indirectly, offended someone else for a short period of time. And, people can give as many reasons and explanations for why they think what they think- I don't believe a disruptive situation is inherently a disrespectful one. And I think that reacting that way has a larger negative effect on society as a whole than the children's behaviour that started it in the first place. Everyone else who's commented here thinks this guy has a good point buried somewhere in his article and I don't. AT ALL.

As to Jesus and love... (first let me apologize for adding yet another layer to this discussion and invite anyone who takes issue with what I'm about to say to PM me). While I agree that love is a two way street and all; I give only myself expectations in relationships with total strangers. Jesus meets us all where we are. I just show compassion and understanding to strangers, and leave the love based lessons to the people who actually know them. The Jesus I know would not ever be annoyed with a child acting up in a restaurant, nor would he think that the child's parents were lacking.

And, finally, I wasn't saying that judgement was American (but I see where I was confusing). What I mean by "this stuff" being American is the severe lack of support for parents in society- displayed through articles like this one. And, secondarily, a concentration of narcissistic children being raised such that it is newsworthy.

A final thought from me: parents have been and always will be good, bad and in-between. Kids haven't just started to act out in public recently, and I seriously doubt their behaviour is significantly worse now then it was twenty years ago. If those two factors haven't changed, what has which makes this debate so prevalent these days? I don't know. But I feel like an article on that would be worth reading.
about an hour ago
Obviously within I am responding to people who said things that I haven't posted here. But I don't think I need the exact words I'm responding to because (besides the one line snarky comment referencing Danish stereotypes) I feel like my argument is pretty consistent and doesn't need the words it was defending against to stand on it's own. I'm not trying to take my words out of context; I think the context is there without other peoples responses. Plus, it's more important to me to post what I said because writing it really made me evaluate myself as a parent and made me solidify some ideas that were only wisps when this thread started. And in my next post(s?) I am going to elaborate more on this idea.

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