Two moms were standing in the shade talking at the pool today. The son of one of the ladies got out of the pool and walked over to the table and began tearing through the pool bag. After a brief, but wild attempt to find what he was looking for he yelled, "Mom! You REALLY need to clean out this pool bag!" I was really shocked at his attitude and tone of voice for a child of what looked to be about 9 years old. His mother turned around and saw the mess he'd made and said sarcastically, "Thanks for taking such care of the things in the bag and putting them back so neatly." He answered her very loudly again, "Mom! This bag is mess! You REALLY need to clean it out!" (I had visions of myself picking up the bag and dumping it all over the ground and telling him to clean it up) The other mother steps in at this point and says, "Don't talk to your Mother like that. That is very rude. Now put the things back in the bag correctly and speak respectfully to your mother." The boy's mother replied, "See, even she thinks you are rude. I've talked to you about this a hundred times and you just don't listen." The other mother then proceeded to go over to the young boy and say, "Let's try an experiment. For one day, try and speak kindly and respectfully to your mother. Do you think you could do that? Would you try? Just for one day. You'd be surprised at the response you might get from her. When my children are nice to me, I respond with taking them for ice cream. See, if you give it a try---just ONE DAY of speaking kindly and respectfully to your mom you'd be surprised what she might do for you. Just answer 'Yes Mom' all day. Do you think you could try? If you can last all day for one day, I'll give you $5!"
I was totally speechless. Oh, I had a lot running through my head....but I was stunned. He is NINE YEARS OLD for goodness sake. What is wrong with these women? It is obvious who runs the show in this family. After he got back in the pool, the boy's mother shook her head and mumbled something about how she has to deal with his back-talk and rudeness every day and it just doesn't get any better. The lady's friend began to sympathize with her and tell her that she just couldn't stand by and let him talk to her that way. At first, I was impressed with the friend stepping in to tell the boy to speak respectfully, until I heard her try to bribe the boy into being nice to get ice cream and $5. Basically what he heard was, "Be nice for ONE DAY...just ONE DAY....and you'll get ice cream and $5." That is what he learned.
The sad thing is....I don't think he will make it for an entire day anyway---not even for ice cream and $5. It's too hard. He'll then realize that he'll most likely get the ice cream anyway....and doesn't really need the $5 because his mom will buy him what he wants to keep him quiet.
And sadly, that is what a lot of kids learn.
And then they send them to school for teachers to deal with.
Thank you, Lord, for summer. I really need it.