Saturday, July 23, 2011

Appropriate Behavior

My supervisor pointed out this week that there are 4,886,482,940,000 sq feet of dry land on Earth for children to run in/on. Then he asked, "Why does it seem that they only want to do it in the 16,400 sq feet of our 'berry?"
When I shared this with friends, there was a general consensus that kids don't know how to act in public anymore. Some questioned "Where are the parents?" Frequently, there are no parents with them, or they're busy on a computer. 99% of the time, those on the computers are NOT job hunting, applying for student loans or anything other than social networking. Don't get me wrong. They have every right to play games and chat on facebook, blackplanet or watch videos on youtube. I just don't think they have the right to allow their children to run wild while they do it.
I've heard the comment "They(the children) know better! They don't act like that in school!" Have you BEEN in a classroom lately??!!! They sure as heck DO act like that in school! Just ask a teacher.
I've said myself there's no 'home training' anymore.
And there's the problem. The general public has certain ideas about how you should behave in certain settings. But when a 'berry worker tries to enforce POSTED GUIDELINES, they are often yelled at by the parent for daring to reprimand their child. This reaction crosses race, gender and income. I blame it on the 'my child can do no wrong' for some, and parental ignorance of how to act themselves for others. When the parent complains to management or admin, it never fails that the worker was in the wrong.

See, I work for a system that reinforces bad behavior, where any time someone doesn't like what I tell them (no matter how correct I am in fact and delivery) I am rude and unhelpful. We are are told, and internally TRAINED, that we need to understand their 'culture', and stop judging and forcing our expectations on them. We should realize that they may not really know of how to parent, and it's normal for their 3yr old to wander off out of sight among strangers. Huh?
I've been through Ruby Payne Training(Understanding the Culture of Poverty). I understand the variations of behaviors between socio-economic classes. I've learned the viewpoints that allow me to better communicate with folks from a different background. But nowhere in that training did they say that detrimental and disruptive behavior be accepted! We were told how to lead people to the socially accepted norm. How to gently educate them about our guidelines. This usually includes, "You probably didn't know, but there's no eating/sleeping/talking on the cellphone in the 'berry." Great. Good.
Okay, so now we've been gentle and kind and understanding. Now that 4 staff members have told your 8-10yr old child that running is not allowed in the 'berry, you're going to yell at us because we told you they have to sit with you or leave?

Well, you probably didn't know, but yelling abuse at us isn't allowed in the 'berry, and if you don't stop, the security officer with escort you out!
Call me rude.

No comments:

Post a Comment