Friday, March 24, 2017

We're Losing the War on Lousy Parenting

Image result for out-of-control twelve-year-olds
The mother of the patient with whom I dealt today will soon be airing her grievances to law enforcement personnel and to judges.

I had an interesting afternoon. In our very last appointment, a rather large twelve-year-old boy became mildly distressed that the video game system in the waiting room of the pediatric neurological office to which I am currently assigned was non-operational. That in and of itself is not usual. The game system was already broken when it was brought to the office waiting room. Its sole purpose in the office is to gauge self-control and frustration tolerance issues in pediatric neurology patients. The twelve-year-old male patient apparently had very little self-control or frustration tolerance.

I walked through the waiting room and out the patients' exit to take a jacket to a patient who had left it in an examining room. As I walked back through the waiting room, the boy, who had been trying in vain to get the game system to work, sprang from his seat and grabbed my arm (not hard enough to leave a mark, for the record. "You need to let go of my arm right now!" I told him in a voice that was simultaneously both quiet and the most menacing voice I could manage. The boy's eyes seemed to get bigger as he let go of my arm and backed away from all ninety-five pounds of me. (I weigh ninety-five now if I keep my shoes on.)

Then Mama Bear attempted to come to the kid's rescue. "If you have a problem with anything my son does, you need to take it up with me!" she bellowed, poking herself in the chest for emphasis as though I otherwise would not have known to whom she was referring when she used the pronoun me -- "not with him!" Another parent in the waiting room grabbed her much younger child and moved away from the twelve-year-old. 

I turned to the kid, pointing right at him and deliberately ignoring his mother. "You need to learn to keep your hands to yourself." He tried to hide his roughly 160-pound body behind that of his mother. I then turned my attention to the mother. "You need to teach your kid some manners. You're running out of time."

The receptionist escorted the other mother and child in the waiting room to an exam room. The doctor came out of his office to ask what was going on. The receptionist filled him in. He stepped back into his office, printed something, then stepped into the waiting room. He gave the mother a list of the other pediatric neurologists in the area and told her she would need to find another practitioner for her son.


  1. Replies
    1. That's what I thought, too. it wasn't so much the kid, though he clearly had boundary issues, but kids are unpredictable. The mom, however, was over the top. The pediatric neurologist said that he wouldn't have invited her to take her son elsewhere had she been even remotely apologetic.

    2. Sounds like a good doctor. He probably doesn't want to deal with her, either.

  2. The above comment is creepy snd highly
    You did wonder a few months ago if a drop in the number of comments was r/t
    a certain constant commenter...

    1. Thanks. I'll switch comments to "moderated" nd publish them as fast as is possible.