Thursday, June 17, 2010


I would be the first person to tell you I love kids. All kinds. Fat, tall, short, skinny, funny and even the ones who tell tall tales. They can be founts of information and their innocence, the ones which still have any, can be quite amusing.

Today, I was not amused.

Sadly, the kids in our Summer Program are not lovable. But it's not their fault, really. I've met their parents. Or at least the one who keeps dropping them off with us and demanding they stay put until 5:00 p.m. before even THINKING about coming back home. Yesterday as I was advising a boy, for the 3rd time, to stop running in the building, I made him sit in a chair. He glared at me. I stared back...sort of the equivalent of playing Alpha Male in a pack of dogs. He sat, but rolled his eyes every time I tried to speak to him. I asked his name. He stared at me. I calmly asked if he didn't hear me. He rolled his eyes again. I told him it would be in his best interest to answer the question. He eyed me up and down, then spat out, "Go look it up" as he nodded at the sign in sheet.

I'm guessing my Guardian Angel is the one who made the fingers on my right hand release that fist of frustration so I could grip the arm of the chair. I calmly (can you do that through clinched teeth?) told him if he couldn't be respectful, he would have to leave. And that included eye rolling.

Glaring at me, he stared into my eyes, then closed his in defiance. He's 10. Sadly, he's not even the worst.

I wonder how I will make it through 6 more weeks of this. I'm use to smart ass kids who learn it from the adults in their house or from HBO. Usually I can appeal to the majority to help tame the few who want to run wild.

There is no majority this year.

And so this afternoon, as I instructed a 13 year old boy who's half a foot taller than me to sit down and keep quiet, he began screaming at me. Screaming that he didn't have to be quiet. I advised that if he didn't, he was gone for the rest of the summer. He kept screaming, "I didn't do anything!" When I pointed out that part of the problem was that he was neither listening nor doing as he was instructed, he snapped back, "I'm not talking back!"

At that point, all I could do was stare at him.

A 6 year old in the group, sounding like a weary adult, piped up "You just can't shut up."

Before he could turn on the child, I told him he wasn't going to be allowed to go on tomorrow's field trip, which is a Double Dutch (Jump Rope) World Championship tournament. He began to cry. But he sat down. When his mother came, I told her the final decision was up to her; shared that he wouldn't listen or follow instructions. She nodded. And I knew she wasn't paying a bit of attention to me either.

I'm sure he'll be there tomorrow, smiling smugly. Because Mama doesn't want to listen to him whine about the unfairness of it all either.

Me? I'm in charge of T-shirt sales at the Competition for the next 2 days...because it appears my co-workers can't make change without giving too much back. So I guess I worked my way through college so I could make change to sell t-shirts to tourists.

I just hope the teams from out-of-state and the ever popular one from Japan don't go home with stories about how whiny, spoiled and obnoxious American children can be. Because they haven't seen anything.

And I've seen enough to know I don't want to spend another summer like this.


mapstew said...

Sad thing, as you and I both know hope, because I spent a good part of my late teens & early twenties working with kids, is that we can't blame the kids! They are a product of bad parenting. Parents who couldn't give a shit, and let the rearing of their 'loved ones' to teachers, babysitters, aupairs, and basically anybody and all & sundry! Kids are not bad by nature, in fact, I believe all kids are good and just want to please us, the adults, I really believe that! But I also believe that all kids need guidelines, and I think, in my heart, that all kids crave discipline! And I'm not talking physical stuff here, I mean teaching kids from an early age what is right and what is wrong, what is good, bad, respecting your elders, and I am sounding like a reet oldie now aren't I? I don't care, that's how I was brought up, and that's how our girls are brought up. They have respect for all, especially their elders. (And I must inject here, we are by no means a religious family, far from it!) But we reap what we sow! :¬)


mapstew said...

And yeah, have a nice weekend! :¬)

xxxxxxxxxxxx :¬)

savannah said...

this may or may not help, sugar, but i hope it will at least make y'all smile...our grown children have called at various times over the last few years (they're all in their 30s now) to say thank you for raising them correctly. now they appreciate the concept of replacement costs and why we taught it to them very early on! xoxoxox

Titus said...

God love you hope, for all that you do. And our love and strength to you.

Heads and brick walls never make the best bedfellows, but a part of you will be getting through on one level or another.

And the Double Dutch Championships sound exciting, T-shirt stall or no!

Jingle said...

loving kids is a blessing hobby.
have a fun weekend.

Nessa said...

You sure have a rough crowd to tell with. I hope things improve.

mapstew said...

I do tend to ramble when I've been to the local! :¬)


Bill ~ {The Old Fart} said...

You need a Sidney Poitier to come into your Class. I think all the little beggars should be forced to watch "To Sir With Love".

Prayers have been said for you.

Enchanted Oak said...

I like that prayers have been said for you, Hope, because you need 'em and they do work. Just not right away, usually.
So I'm saying a prayer for you, too, that the Creator give you a balanced experience, that there be sweet moments to temper the sour.
And that there be plenty of restoration for you in the off hours.

hope said...

Ah little ray of Irish sunshine when I've reached the end of my rope. I was too tired to tie a knot in it and hold thanks for propping me up. Deep down I know kids need to be molded and given boundaries...which they'll try to cross. I just hope after a while I don't feel like a police officer without enough handcuffs. :)

Savannah, just having y'all here to listen when I'm ready to truly lose it is always a blessing. Not for you perhaps.... ;)

Titus, I can use all the help I can get. Like I said, my Guardian Angel is getting tired of keeping me from doing something I'd regret...eventually. :) And yes, Double Dutch was interesting today, even though the Supervisor was clueless, put me in charge of something I knew nothing about while the Boss came up to tell me how grateful she is for me. Yep. Sucker is written in invisible ink on my forehead. ;0

Jingle & Nessa...thanks! Kind words really do help.'re just doing the drinking so I won't have to. ;)

Thanks Bill! I'm sure God is getting tired of hearing how much help I need but...
Sad thing is a Deputy Sheriff told the kids last year they needed to pipe down and listen to us...and the kids waved him away, as if he were a bug. It's sad and scary some days.

Enchanted Oak, having some of the "good" kids leave their good parents' sides to come over and hug me this morning illustrates I'm not as evil as I felt yesterday. And the team from Japan is awesome!

mapstew said...


xxx (x)

Larry said...

wow my heart goes out to you I'd hate to do what you do because I think they would have to take me to the hospital to get my foot out of their ass. I swear I have no patients with kids at all and never will I'm sorry to say...

I'm posted just follow the link below.

Merit Badge

Thanks for reading my flash 55...

pilgrimchick said...

I am so sorry this is like this for you. I entirely understand because I work with kids, albeit in a different capacity. Kids today are a really spoiled lot, and this behavior is the result of that. I truly hope that the next generation of parents learns something from this and doesn't reapeat it.

Rachel Fox said...

You need a break, honey, you really do!

Jingle said...

Happy Fathers Day to fathers in your life.
two awards at the bottom.