I have no kids (that I’m aware of) but I do know how to observe. And I’ve observed something going on with parents that makes me want to smack them in the back of the head and say “Stop doing that shit!”
Like when parents decide to get a computer or smart phone and then refuse to learn how to use them properly. Oh, they can program your name and number into their phone and they can even call you, but learning how to text? Forget it.
The thing I noticed is when a new person comes up to the parent while their child is with them, the parent always looks at the kid and says, “That’s Doug! Can you say hi to Doug?”
And Doug stands there smiling at the kid, but the kid just stares at Doug with her thumb in her mouth and a worried I-don’t-fucking-trust-you look on her face.
And then the parent says, “Huh, that’s weird. Normally she’s very talkative.”
And then Doug says, “It’s okay, she just doesn’t know me.”
This conversation happens thousands of times a day all over the world. Yet it is always going to happen. And the kids are almost never going to say a fucking word, but the parent is always going to say “Say hi to Doug!” and the child is going to have that same look of horror on their face that now, they have to perform in front of a stranger.
And then Doug always has that same smile on his face, that smile that says “Please kid, say something so you don’t look like I just anally raped your teddy bear in front of you, and we can get on with our lives…”
For some reason the parent always thinks the situation is going to turn out differently. How many times that week has that same parent had that same conversation with her child when running across other people she knows? I’m sure it’s a few times per week, every week. Yet the results stay the same. Your kid doesn’t want to be put on the spot like that.
My advice… treat the kid like a fucking person instead of a mop. Don’t patronize the kid with “Can you say Doug? Huh? I know you can! I know you can! Oh you’re such a big girl now, aren’t you? Yes you are! You’re not a complete idiot like daddy says you are, are you? Noooo…”
Instead, talk to the kid like a normal person. When Doug walks up, you introduce the two like they’re regular people. “Kid, this is Doug. Doug, kid.”
And then Doug says, “Hi kid, nice to meet you.”
That’s when, as a parent, you get to find out what kind of kid you have. Is your kid going to respond with a wave or a word or two and be the awesome, sociable, young Einstein you swear she is?
Or is your kid going to continue nervously sucking on her thumb while her eyes are transfixed on Doug, like he’s the guy she dreams about at nights, the one who comes into her room and anally rapes her teddy bear right in front of her?
Either way, you figured it out without sounding or looking like a dumbass. But at least you gave your kid a fair chance. Don’t put the spotlight on her. Let her shine on her own.
I notice parents doing all kinds of things I wouldn’t do to my children. I really haven’t observed anything else worth mentioning, yet, but this was one that just came to my attention today and I had to get it out.
Parents, continue doing stupid shit with your kids so I have things to talk about.