Monday 2 February 2009

Just another miserable old man

Miserably calling to order

It was not a discussion or conversation; it was an outburst of a concerned citizen.

Man: Can you take control of the child?

Woman: Take it easy, she is just a child.

Man: But this is a public place.

Woman: She is just having fun, what is your problem?

Man: You cannot just have a child running in and out of people’s legs, it is a public place.

Woman: Oh! Get away you miserable old man.

Man: You are completely irresponsible parent.

She walks away mouth out and mimicking the man – It is a public place.

Put a leash on the girl

Very much an incident as one walked the long concourse of the new St Pancras International Railway terminal.

This little girl hardly five had been running away recklessly weaving through the crowd without any sense of being under any control.

In an instant, she ran between the legs of a commuter tripping the person that she had a great fall and I did quite feel the pain of the fall whilst I thought to myself, I cannot afford to fall like that even if I was falling onto a bedded floor.

Her mother apologised profusely saying it was not the intention of her daughter to cause the fall just as the lady dusted off herself and tried to reclaim her dignity.

Nary a second after the incident, the girl off running again doing the same thing and as she ran round me that I had to stop, and therein was the outburst you read earlier.

Between expression and restraint

What I intended was achieved, she was kept close immediately after that exchange with her mother but there is a problem that gives great cause for concern that needs to be addressed on the matter of parenthood.

There is this unhealthy concept that children must be allowed to run free, express themselves and do whatever they can imagine or get up to without restraint.

A child would normally have boundless energy and some believe that there should be no boundaries to that self-expression as if the lack of restraint exposes the creative genius of the child which offers them the great opportunity to become a success.

There might be some truth in that, but releasing the boundless energy of an individual without providing parameters of operation within a community is the recipe for chaos and anarchy.

The need for some sense of control

It was all well and good for the girl to be able to run around, but if she cause the fall of others, who then is responsible for that accident and if it becomes a serious legal issue who should be held responsible?

Many might say, but it is a child which is true – but the child is the ward of some supposedly responsible adult who should for all reasons of safety and consideration ensure that the child comes to no harm just as much as it does not cause harm to others.

More so, having a kid run around in a vast station area like that could lead to more serious issues like kidnapping and really I am already inured to any sob story about a lost child.

If I had my way, any parent that inadvertently loses a child should be water-boarded till they confess to exactly what they have done to the child – after the case of Shannon Matthews [Wikipedia], it is unthinkable what these rotten animals that end up with perfectly adorable human offspring get up to.

Self-discovery without barriers

The matter of self-discovery is myriad from the positive parts of development that definitely needs good parenting, role models and positive reinforcement and encouragement to the more worrisome societal ills of juvenile delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, gang membership to teenage pregnancy.

This is all in the name of the child being given the freedom to discover itself and by doing so hopefully becoming successful without necessarily becoming responsible members of society.

Many of us who frown on such bad manners and uncouth behaviour would get a mouthful of abuse and be called miserable old men or gits for standing up for what is right and in some ways expressing concern for the safety of the child and parent – this is a little price to pay before I see another parent sobbing on television for all sorts of reasons related to the child they failed to manage responsibly with a sense of parental responsibility.

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