The neighbors across the street from us have two children, a boy and a girl, fraternal twins. We see the boy out playing with his dad most evenings. They run the full gamut of various sports that eight year olds can play, from some sort of street hockey to basketball to catch.
We rarely see the girl. Instead, we hear the girl.
That eight year old girl has taken to screaming to get her way, or maybe just to vent frustration. Her screaming isn't a startled scream, nor is it short in duration or small in volume. Her screaming is top of the lungs, high pitched, full-on-I'm-angry screaming.
She does this when she doesn't want to get into the car, and her dad is carrying her and shoving her into the car.
She does this when her Mom is walking her to school and she doesn't want to go.
She does this when she's not getting her way on a Sunday afternoon.
If you walk outside to my front yard, you hear a scream. And another scream. And another scream. And another scream.
I've stopped going across the street to knock on the door and make sure everything's okay. As far as I can tell, either the girl is upset, or her entire family is lying dead in the house and she's unable to cope.
It's times like this that I really truly want to ask someone who does this, "Why?"
Why do you think this is even remotely helpful?
What is this accomplishing?
Of course, part of me wonders about her parents. How many times am I supposed to bite my tongue out of social courtesy? You know what, your child is going to become a member of the society I live in. If my commenting on your parenting style helps her become a better functioning member, I'd say we both benefit. I so want to ask that neighbor, "What are you thinking? Why do you find this acceptable?"
Of course, I have a couple other people I want to ask that question, too. Why do you find this acceptable? Why do you believe it's acceptable to sleep in the same bed as your nine year old child every night? Why do you believe it's acceptable for your child to scream at the top of her lungs? Why do you believe it's acceptable for your child to be so dependent on you that he can't walk 300 yards to school without you? Why do you find it acceptable to do your child's homework, never letting him actually learn? Why do you find it acceptable never to let your child fail, so as to learn from her mistake?
Any to any parent who tells me to shut up, I'm not a parent, I don't understand, I'd like to tell you that giving birth doesn't make you suddenly wise, and it doesn't make you suddenly intelligent, and it doesn't make you suddenly better. It makes you a parent, not necessarily a good one.
So stop sleeping with your kid. Get her her own bedroom already.