Posted by R. Berg on March 28, 2002
In Reply to: Bad parents posted by Barney on March 28, 2002
: : : : : : : : : I've heard the term "Skeeziks" used by certain
older people as a nickname for youngsters. Does anyone know where
the term originated, and if it has any meaning?
: : : : : : : : : Is it used in Great Britain?
: : : : : : : : I've never heard that in the UK.
: : : : : : : Nor I. Colloquially over here, we use the ubiquitous "kid", though I've heard the older generation on occasion also use "nipper" or, if the child in question were a truculent and badly-behaved male teen, they might describe him as a "yob".
: : : : : : Years ago I spent two weeks in London and had occasion to stand in line at one of the larger banks. A boy of around 6 or 7 was in line with a woman, presumably his mother, just ahead of me. For some reason, while the woman was not looking and while I was probably lost in thought, the boy hauled off and kicked me in the shin. It hurt, and I was quite surprised, but, being that I was just a visiting American and being unsure whether I had somehow inadvertently given the little fellow some reason to be upset with me, I held my tongue. Mysteriously, a couple of others in one of the adjacent lines saw the incident and appeared to let it go, so I did as well. This boy was too young to be a yob. Does any other word come to mind?
: : : : : I have a hard time getting mad at misbehaving children. I get mad at their parents. "Yuppie larvae" is a nice derogatory term for children. It has a connotation of being spoiled and ill-mannered. "Crumb crushers," "rug rats," and "yard apes" don't really have a child-friendly ring to them. One of the parenting magazines has a cartoon, "Bad Baby."
: : : : A popular term for six-year-olds who kick strangers is "brat."
: : : Warning: venting alert.
: : : My two children are semi-grown, so I am available to give child-rearing advice to any and all. My opinion about children who act out in stores -- they're tired and shouldn't be there at all. The parent picks the child up at school or daycare and then goes shopping. The child is exhausted and throws a hissy fit. Or kicks strangers. Wal-Mart after work sounds like hell complete with the cries of the damned. What gets me is that these parents have the ability to ignore their children even when the kids are wailing like sirens. There was a kid in a cart in front of me the other day. He was crying and going, "Mama, mama, mama." I had a strong urge (which I controlled) to kick that woman in the butt and say, "Pick up your baby."
: : : Let's hear some names for bratty parents.
: : Omnipresent.
: The story of the boy kicking the grown up in the bank queue reminds me of an occasion at a village fete in Surrey about 6 years ago. I was standing behind a family group which included a small boy of about five years old who was obviously bored. The mother, in an effort to control him, said "remember there's a policeman over there so behave". The father, persumeably in an effort to to remove any fear of authority that this may have raised in the child, said, "you could always go over and kick him in the ankle". The boy promply walked over to the policeman and kicked him hard on the ankle. The mother, on seeing what had happened, raced across, apologized and grabbed her son. The people who saw it gave a polite round of applause, the father kept a very low profile and the policeman, seeing little profit in making an issue of it, walked away.
Bad marital dynamics there. First the mother teaches the boy immature moral reasoning, by example, and tries to control him with an unrealistic threat. Then the father provokes the boy to mischief instead of calling the mother on her bad parenting. It would have made more sense for him to kick her in the ankle and leave the child out of it.