It’s interesting, the topics that get people’s knickers knotted. On the VS Facebook page the other day, it was a massive debate over supermarket etiquette. I posted this…
“Acceptable or unacceptable. Holding up entire line of pre-Easter supermarket shoppers so that your toddler (under 2) could complete the card transaction for you – complete with fumbling, card dropping, and “just wait for it to say remove card, darling” then more fumbling, and finally lifting child over checkout so that she could take the receipt.”
Response was swift and vehement. Many people found it entirely acceptable. Comments like…
” Acceptable. Even with fumbling around it would have taken less than 5 minutes. I think it’s a sad reflection on society that we can’t give a few moments of our time to make a child’s day.”
” Oh come on… Were you in such a rush that you could deny a little one a happy moment? Were you never a child??”
” Acceptable. I would do it with my kids. In fact, if people were getting stroppy over it, I would prolong the whole thing just to annoy those people more. My time is as valuable as anyone else’s; I’m not going to stress my kids or myself just because you can’t wait an extra minute. If you were really in that much of a rush you probably should have picked another time to go shopping. My schedule revolves around my family and my time, no one else’s. Expecting me to deny my child a tiny bit if joy for the sake of sparing you 30seconds is asking a bit much.”
” Man the comments on here make me feel bad for your kids.. My 2 year old and I do this and whether or not others are unhappy about our pace is of no concern to me when I am standing there teacher her how to do a real life situation that she sees mommy do everyday. I have patience with her and understand that everything is a learning experience for her in this big world. She wants to be part of and involved in. People should slow down their lives a moment.. Im sorry some of you are in such a rush you must not be fully enjoying your little ones and more angry all the time.”
” Life’s not a race, if you’re rushing around at the shops today, that’s not the toddlers fault, it’s not the mothers fault, it’s YOUR fault for being disorganised. We should be complimenting good parenting and seeing a child being happy doing something that the rest of take for granted as a mundane task.”
” Is your time really so precious that you won’t let a child learn?”
Then there was team ‘unacceptable’…
“Not cool. It’s about consideration of others and mum should also be teaching her toddler that (certainly a far more important skill than using a damn credit card machine). It’s not ok to assume that unnecessarily holding people up has only a small or no impact on the rest of their day. Being in a hurry is not always about mere impatience. Take all the time in the world to “slow down” when it’s just on your own time.”
” I don’t let my son (9) do card transactions but I certainly encourage him to do cash payments for things he wants with pocket money. Teaching him confidence and manners to say hello, thank you etc.”
” Perfect way to raise self-indulgent & inconsiderate children. Looks like there’s gonna be lots of them!”
And on and on it went. About 230 comments in all – you can read them here.
Along with lots of advice to me, to chill the hell out and factor in a few spare minutes each day, the main argument had dissolved into greater discussion over the way we’re parenting – issues such as selfishness, lack of consideration and indulgence of our children.
I was sorry I hadn’t asked people to prefix their comment with their age, because I’m wondering if we’re now getting some strong parenting divides based on our own generation.
I turned 40 last year, placing me in Generation X. Gen Y are 10-15 years younger and are just having their children now. Are we going to parent differently?
The online world is a brutal place – I cop it often, despite the fact that I’m online trying to be helpful. No one is safe in cyber space, and debates over parenting choices seem to be especially angry and intolerant.
So in the midst of such a volatile setting, is a generational parenting war just starting to erupt?