Wednesday, May 7, 2008


I have to go grocery shopping at least once a week, and I typically choose to shop at the Wal-Mart. Let's face it, they don't always have the most charming and civilized shoppers, but the prices are good - and when I have to buy diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, and other non-food items, with a toddler in tow - one stop shopping is my friend.

So, I went to shop on Monday. As I'm pushing my cart along, I hear a mother say to her two boys, "Shut up." And I don't mean the sarcastic "get out of town" type of shut up either. She said it very rudely.

And I thought, as I often do, "Those kids don't stand a chance." They're just junior assholes in training, thanks to their hateful mother.

I guess I should NOT be surprised by this type of behaviour after all these years, but I am.

You might be thinking, "Well, 'shut up' isn't that bad." In my book, genteel and civilized people don't tell one another to "shut up!"

In my world, it's stated, "Could y'all please settle down?" or "Please! Be quiet!" Granted, it works about as well as "Shut up!" but at least it sounds nicer.

Why any person would talk to another person - let alone a family member - like that, out in public no less, is beyond comprehension for me.

Please, don't let my kids grow up to be insouciant, rude, self-absorbed individuals. I hope they stand a chance.


  1. Trust me when I say that I think your kids will turn out fine. How are kids supposed to learn how to interact and be polite if they never experience it firsthand.

  2. I was in Wally World last night. 2 kids were running wild in there, thumping into peoples carts and handling the fresh fruit, etc. while their parents said or did nothing. I was like.. aaaarrrrgggghhhh!!

  3. Hear, hear. I feel the same way. Telling your kids to shut up is a great way to raise a brat. And the kids usually learn that if they act like a brat they get attention from their mom and so they act more brat like to get her attention. I wish child development was taught at school :-p

  4. Dad used to always say, "Could you simmer down to at least a dull roar?" LOL

    No matter where I travel, it seems I see parents who have no clue just how bad they're fucking up their kids.

  5. We're all going to hell in a handbasket. Where's my deserted island when I need it most? ;-)

  6. Shut up is a big no-no in my house. I said it once to the kids and felt horrible. It's just rude, is just what it is.

  7. In a perfect world each of us would have a deserted island full of desserts :)

  8. Tiff - Good for you. More moms should banish that phrase!

    BB - how apropos. I got my Harry and David Mother's Day gift I ordered for myself today. LOL. Mmmmmm.

  9. I like going to walmart and play in the kids dept.

  10. I never felt that 'shut up' was bad until I became a mother.

    I have, however, encouraged Nooze to 'shut her mouth and listen before...'

    I still felt awful, and revised it to 'please be quiet and pay attention'.

    I am also a HUGE fan of 'hush!'

  11. Sadly....I have heard worse. Shut up is a really demeaning phrase....kind of like poking someone in the chest.

  12. ETW, I've been thinking about your post all day.
    My mother used to tell us that she had to hear ugliness out in the world, but she didn't have to hear it in her home. We weren't allowed to say shut up, either.

    But somewhere along the way, I have failed my children and my mother. At first I blamed stress after my mother died, then I blamed my son for being difficult and belligerent and provoking it, then I blamed my husband because he said it first. (Nice deflection, huh?)

    But the reality is that I've lost my temper so much with my kids in the past few years that we're all falling into a trap of being rude and mean to each other.
    It sucks.
    And it is so not what I wanted for my children.
    I keep trying to start over and establish new ways to communicate, but I get so frustrated when I hear my kids telling each other to shut up or call each other stupid or retarded (which makes me see red), that I end up telling them to shut up when I've had it.
    And so the cycle continues.
    How can I tell them not to say shut up, when I say shut up to them in frustration?
    It was so much easier when they were toddlers and I could gently redirect them or sternly sit them down in a time out. Over quickly, not damage done.

    Sorry, this is your blog, not mine.
    But I do feel like I got a load off my mind. Thank you.

  13. kwr, it's hard these days with all the extra added stressors of just society in general. When I want change in my household, I just gather everyone up and say, "We're going to try something new..." and lay it out. Then, try to stick with it. And don't beat yourself up if there are slips - just do your best! :-)

  14. I get so annoyed when I hear someone being overtly rude to their kids... I mean, if they snap at them like that in public, what are they going through at home?

    The old saying "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.."
    You better believe it.