“You want to jump and scream and encourage your child”

Yes, you do want to “…jump and scream and encourage your child.” But comes a time – and I’d say it’s around 8th grade, where you really should no longer feel compelled to scream your kid’s name and hoot and holler every time you see them perform in a band, sing in a choir, etc.

Apparently, this bishop feels the same way and after repeated requests to parents to please refrain from carrying on and applauding, hooting, bellowing, etc until all the High School graduates were named were ignored, he decided to teach the parents a lesson; he walked out.

Still, Mona Ozone, whose son, Tarick, 18, was among the graduates, said Wednesday she felt the bishop acted like a “spoiled brat.”

“It was rude,” Ozone said. “He is one of the shepherds of God, he is our leader. That was not a good example for us, his sheep, his flock. It was an embarrassment. The word says we should forgive 70 times 70 times. That’s God’s word, the Bible.”
Administrators and the bishop made it clear no one was to applaud or cheer until all the diplomas were handed out, Ozone said. Still, she admitted she had to exercise great restraint to keep herself from cheering when her son’s name was called.

“You want to jump and scream and encourage your child,” she said.

Yes, yes, we love our children, we want to encourage them, lots of positive feedback for the little darlings and as little criticism as possible, even constructive, I got it. Right out of the current parenting handbook. Our kid’s self-esteem billows off of them like smoke signals.

I have to say, and this may make me sound curmudgeonly, but I agree with what the bishop did. For the last few years my husband and I have attended a huge number of High School events for our kids and friend’s kids, and we are forever having to endure the bellowing of parents (not siblings, usually, but parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles) who seem to think an event is not complete unless their child hears his or her name shouted out with accompanying whoops and whistles. We’ve even heard adults scream out Buster’s name, apparently thinking that – since we did not – they needed to step up and make sure Buster knew someone appreciated him.

I guess it’s supposed to be validating or somthing…a nice big, loud “YOU’RE SPECIAL” that makes an audience sound like they are in a barn calling in the cows, or something. It’s so annoying. It’s so…yahoo. Your kid knows you’re there. Your kid knows that as part of a performing group, or a National Honor Society, or graduating class or whatever, they are part of something “special.” Calm down, for goodness sake. It’s one thing to have other students cheer a fellow student – that is often spontaneous and moral-building for everyone. For parents to carry on, so…it’s just really unnecessary and yes, excessive.

By the time a kid is in High School, we parents have hopefully moved beyond the excessive gushing and cheering we fell back on during potty training and the first bike ride. A quiet hug and an “I’m so proud,” can say a lot more than a “Charrrrllliiiiieeee! Whoop! Whoop! You GO Girl!” (can I officially whack upside the head the next person I hear say that?)

And maybe if parents and family members can demonstrate some restraint and reserve, their kids will start to learn to appreciate it too, and to comport themselves as…well…as adults used to, and perhaps should, again.

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • goddessoftheclassroom

    I’m with you, dear Anchoress.

    And what about the yahoos who chat during the parts of concerts their child isn’t involved in?

    I was assisting with supervising students at an evening vocal concert. My patented “goddess glare” was enough to hush early whispers. Then I heard a conversation. I whipped around, reading to attack (I think I actually began to say in the loudest possible whisper, “NO TALK__”) when I realized that the voices were those of adults.

  • Mary

    I am totally with you on this one. Hooray for the Bishop, and bad cess to the moronic mother who criticized him. I have sat through two First Communions that were totally ruined by obnoxious adults running around the church taking pictures of their little darlings, maeanwhile blocking the view of everyone else. (This after they were requested in writing not to do so.)Screaming, bellowing parents at sports events are also the pits.

  • Sal

    Ours is tomorrow, last one to graduate from high school. They have rehearsal today in the gym and will be strongly cautioned to behave themselves. Perhaps we need a rehearsal for adults?
    I agree that it is very heart-warming when your child receives the acclamation of his peers. Ours got a standing O at her Theater Banquet, due to the stellar work she did this year. To me, that will remain the high point of the end-of-school events.

  • Bob March

    “to comport themselves as…well…as adults used to, and perhaps should, again.”

    No “perhaps” needed! Today’s Boomer parents (and some grandparents) are breaking an ancient cultural pattern, in which the older show the younger when and how to temper their exuberance with dignity and self-restraint. I think most kids are quietly thirsting for that kind of leadership. But too few are getting it from their parents, and they’re sure not getting it from the boorish, loud-mouthed culture around them.

    You and the Bishop are right. Mona Ozone and her execrable ilk are wrong.

  • http://www.marchhareshouse.blogspot.com March Hare

    Omigosh! Last year DD#1 graduated from HS and you would have thought that some of these kids were winning the Nobel Prize!
    The worst part is that this kind of “Yahoo” behavior builds as one student’s family & friends try to out-do the others. And it encourages the students themselves to strut, preen, dance, and generally act outrageously during their 30-seconds onstage.
    35 years ago, we were warned that ANY misbehavior on our part would result in our diplomas being withheld after the ceremony. We didn’t doubt it. At all. The fact that we graduated during Mass at the Cathedral no doubt helped impress our families with the solemnity of the occasion as well. :)
    However, for some of these students (and their families), this may very well be the pinnacle of their achievement in life and their only 30-seconds of recognition. And, so, I feel a little sorry for them even as I’m annoyed by the screaming in my ear (or talking loudly on their cell phones during the ceremony until their precious darling crosses the stage).

  • Jean

    The worst is when graduation takes place in CHURCH and the parents behave like yahoos. Imagine nuns in their habits and lay teachers in the robes and colours of their degree. They can’t see the ceremony because a dozen relatives have decided to crowd the aisle between the chapel seating and the altar. And not just the occasional photographer – no, these fools stand there like it’s the sideline at the big game. When the principal tries to discretely get them back to their seats, they act offended – and they return again!

    Now I teach in public school and HATE outdoor ceremonies. It’s not just the hooting and hollering – which actually isn’t as bad as in a gym. It’s the general lack of decorum. People show up in butt-showing short shorts. People bring their DOGS (without pooperscoopers). Two years ago, I was two rows behind two 20-something men who gave a play-by-play of which of the female graduates were hot, skanky, or had bad reps. I wanted to go down and beat them with my high-heeled shoes.

    I can’t help but think of what Mr. Schuster, advisor to the Class of ’87, said – “The ones who get the most noise are the ones who are the worst students.”

  • Sigmund Carl and Alfred

    I guess mooning is out of the question.

    Never mind.

  • http://benningswritingpad.blogspot.com/ benning

    The Bishop showed moxie! Good for him! Parents are turning into children – you see them acting like kids everywhere.

    Time to say, “Enough! Sit down! Shut up! Grow up!”