Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Chicken Parents

Anyone who has worked at a library for a considerable amount of time is sure to have been the victim of Chicken Parents.

A young child is misbehaving in the library: running around, being noisy, damaging property. You know the scene. In this situation, the Responsible Parent knows the child is just testing them. If the Responsible Parent passes the test, the situation is not very likely to repeat itself.

The Chicken Parent, however, is not aware of this fact, or, if they are, have a greater fear than public embarrassment resulting from their child’s constant misbehavior. I’m not really sure what this fear is . . . Being the “bad guy” parent? Growing a spine? Abandoning their own childish behaviors and actually growing up?

Whatever the reason, the Chicken Parent responds to the above situation by saying something like: “If you don’t behave, the librarian will yell at you.” Or tonight’s Chicken Mom actually said, “If you run in the library, the librarian won’t let you check out books.”

Do you see anything inherently WRONG with this?

Yeah, you’re out of luck tonight, Chicken Mom. I save my yelling for my own kids. They deserve it. They are worth it. And people in public places don’t fear them. If you want your kids to behave, you’ll have to grow your own backbone, take the parental leap, and discipline them yourself! I should write a book.

13 Comments:

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Lori on the Plains said...

When I told a Chicken mom to either take her child out of the library or get him to quiet down, she actually said to me, "Don't tell me, tell him." Unbelievable!

 
At 10:46 PM, Blogger Degolar said...

Hear, hear!

 
At 1:05 PM, Blogger Lonnie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Lonnie said...

Sorry on previous post I spelled a word wrong which annoys me to no end.

There is another creature lurking in the stacks. It is Oblivious Mom (or Dad). As they sit in front of the computer screen, a bit of drool trickling down their chin, they do not hear the loud (and varied) noises their progeny is making, nor see the mess they leave for others to pick up. SLAP EM SILLY!!!

 
At 10:48 PM, Blogger song said...

I'll admit to being an oblivious mum every once in a while, but my monster child is usually pretty good in a library (thank goodness) and if he's not, i just take him straight home and come back by myself.

Mind you, I was reading a story to him and some other children (in the kids section) the other day and some guy came up and said he was reading an important document on the computer next to the kids section and could i please stop reading allowed. Or you could just go into the 'study- QUIET' section, moron!

 
At 3:11 PM, Blogger Yachira said...

Most recent post: August 23rd. Today is November 4th.

Are you still there?

 
At 4:38 PM, Blogger slslaven said...

Do you know what happens when children of chicken parents become teenagers? They become the delinquents I witness in the library playing hide and go seek among the stacks and talking and laughing so loud the echo carries throughout the stacks. Did you know there are also chicken librarians? They are the ones who won't reprimand the chicken delinquents leaving the task to the brave patrons who love and respect the library.

 
At 7:03 AM, Blogger Woeful said...

I feel your pain. We need you back with more stories from Libraryland...

 
At 9:41 AM, Blogger mhmsmedia said...

chicken parents should be plucked! i abhor those shirking wimps who can't manange their own spawn....of course, i'm happily child free (700+ kids at school is enough for me, i love my peeps!) and i have little tolerance for the 0-8 year old....parents need to learn classroom management (so do chicken librarians) they need to learn the "look"...mine freezes a middle school kid with a mere glance...to new teachers i recommend watching Nanny 911 and Super Nanny...those ladies have it down to a science...so tell that mum to go sit on the "naughty mat" until she learns some damn parenting skillz!

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Leglib said...

Love your material. Feel free to link with a like-minded librarian. May I link, too?

 
At 6:06 PM, Blogger Louie said...

I wonder if these kids grow up (the term is used loosely) to drive through the streets blaring their bass at excessive levels in their souped up cars. We live in a Wild West Society and it starts with the parents. Unfortunately,
the good guys are supposed to tolerate the rudeness. I should have asked God to commet on this in my new book "The Louie/God Interviews (What The Big Fella Really Thinks About Man And The Universe)"

 
At 4:04 PM, Blogger mightb_me said...

We aren't chicken; we are forbidden to say anything to the little darlings by our administration!!!

 
At 2:59 PM, Blogger DirectorWho said...

mightb,
I hear ya! Here, we have to be very careful about HOW we approach the Chicken Parents of crowing rooster children. If we say something in the wrong way, we get a thick letter of compaint delivered to the County Commission and then are told to apologize.

One co-worker saw a child running full-tilt in front of the Circ desk, and said "No running in the library!" Chicken mom stormed the desk, demanding an apology!
"How dare you speak like that to my child! When you have to say something about my child, you say it to ME!" Of course, aside from the fact that 3/4 of the time, Chicken mom is not to be seen anywhere near rooster child.

And, yes, she wrote a letter of complaint to the director and to her commissioner, both of whom instructed my co-worker to apologize. Neither of whom stood up for the staff on a regular basis. The customer is always right. Right?

now that I'm a director, I make it a point to find out what happened and if warranted, support MY staff.

"The Director"

 

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