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Monday, July 1, 2013

Monday Musings - Is Attention Evil?

I am an avid people watcher. I find human behavior fascinating. But sometimes it can get disturbing.

I was in a store recently when I came across a young child who was crying because her stomach hurt. She had bags under her eyes and she was pleading with her mother as she was being pulled around the store by her wrist.

I engaged the mother in a conversation. She had an advanced degree and was what people used to call "book smart". I turned the conversation toward her child, who was still crying.

"She's only doing this for attention," the mother said.

"How do you know this?" I asked.

"Because I'm her mother."

"Well, what do you do when your stomach hurts?" I asked.

"I take medicine for it."

"Does your child have direct access to that medicine?" I asked.

"Of course not. She's a child."

"Then what do you expect her to do when her stomach hurts?"

"I expect her to shut up," the mother responded.

"So, when your stomach hurts, you take medicine to stop the pain. But you want your child to suffer in silence?"

At that point, the mother responded with words I won't repeat.

I alerted the store's security and a short time later, I saw the mother giving the child OTC stomach medicine as security looked on. I'd like to think I stirred something in her intellect or motherly instinct that caused her to pay attention to her child's cries.

When did parents begin ignoring their children because they thought they simply wanted attention? And isn't a cry for attention valid as well? If we teach a child to "suffer in silence" through physical or emotional pain, what is that accomplishing?

Or is it simply that the parent can't be bothered by their own child's needs?

6 comments:

onespoiledcat said...

Good for you.....thanks to your willingness to "speak" for the little girl, she got help. Isn't it sad that it took someone other than the woman's OWN child to actually get her to pay attention to her.

Pam

p.m.terrell said...

Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, Pam. That incident really struck a cord with me!

Bonnie Watson said...

Unfortunately, this is an everyday occurance, and it's with a lot of people. You see kids crying late at night because parents pull them into restaurants, shopping areas, etc. It's really sad. My mom came across a woman who had a newborn. The newborn was just crying away. When mom asked the mother about the baby, the mother's response was, "She's got gas."

Yeah, right. You just don't want to be bothered.

Kids today suffer the most. You've got parents who don't really need to be parents. They only think of themselves nowadays. While that's not everyone, the majority need to go to parenting school. Seriously, I wish that was an option. I think when people get ready to have a child, they need to qualify to make sure their child gets the proper care. If your funds aren't adequate enough, you can't have a child. Sorry. It's for your own child's good.

Then what about teen pregnacies? I feel sorry for them because they're stuck with a baby for the rest of their youthful lives. What life is that?

I'm glad I don't have kids because I know I can't care for them. But, you know what, it all comes down to how you're raised. That mother you spoke with was probably raised the same way. Now she's caring for her child in that manner, and that child may grow up to act the same with her own child. Sometimes, the child may break away, but a lot of times they wind up acting the same.

Pity.

Christie Silvers said...

I agree with Pam. If it weren't for you stepping up there's no telling how long that poor child would have suffered.

Bonnie Watson said...

And another thing. People don't like to be corrected. I'm sorry she replied to you in such a negative manner. You're such a pleasant person. That mother didn't want to hear it, and, sad to say, she probably wore the child's butt out when they got home for "getting too much attention."

p.m.terrell said...

Bonnie and Christie, thank you both for stopping by and leaving a comment. Bonnie, this obviously hit a nerve with you the way it did with me. I have thought of the same thing regarding parenting classes. I don't want any government being able to tell someone they can or cannot have children, but our culture needs to change. These kids are the future. We should have time for them if we don't have time for anything else.