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

“You want to jump and scream and encourage your child” May 25, 2006

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.

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