Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Drop-Off Zone Doesn't Mean Drop Your Manners

I'm an extremely rule abiding person. Chalk it up to eleven years of Catholic education or to having strict parents, or both, it doesn't matter. The fact is, when it comes to rules, I'm very compliant and you'd rarely see me challenging them.

This is why I always find myself shaking my head when I'm at the school car line. Always at the car line. For some strange, inexplicable reason, it's as if people either become stupid or turn into jerks and a**holes as soon as they enter said zone. I don't often find myself in this pick-up and drop-off area as my son is a bus rider. However, every single time I've had to pick him up, whether on regular hours or late dismissal because of some school activity, I've been exposed to this 'bizarre' behavior courtesy of certain parents.

It never fails. Someone always ends up breaking the rule (which isn't unwritten, by the way, as we've all been given the same memo every single school year) and decides to do as he/she pleases. And actually, you don't even need to have read the prescribed procedure for the drop-off/pick-up zone because commonsense dictates what needs to be done. Well actually, commonsense and common decency,both of which appear to be not so common after all.

I mean, seriously, how complicated can it be? You drive to the car line zone where you will eventually pick up your child from. There is a stop sign at the end of this line, which is also the end of the building, where the first car that arrives is supposed to stop and wait until the children are dismissed. I understand that the doors to the school are in the middle part of this building. But that shouldn't matter. When you are in the car line zone, you're supposed to follow and keep the line. You drive up to the end of the line, which ever spot that may be in, whether it's close to the door or not.

It's a line, people! Not a freakin' parking lot! 

You're not supposed to stop and park your car wherever you want to. 

You are not to skip spots just because you want to be that car that sits right in front of the school doors.

Seriously, would it hurt that much to take about fifteen to twenty more steps in order to reach the school doors and pick up your child? And no, I've never ever seen any parent or grandparent with a disability picking up the student/s, so it's not like these people have any valid reason for breaking up the line.

The only real reason I can think of is their false sense of entitlement, which in common, angry language is best known as bratty behavior / arrogance / assholiness. It's inconsiderate behavior, and frankly, very narcissistic. When I see parents do this, it's as if I'm hearing them say, "F*** you people, and F*** the rules. I'm going to do what I want to do just because I can!"

What's sad and really unfortunate about this is that these are the same people who are taking care of our children, socializing our children and shaping the minds of these young ones. Should it still then be a surprise that a lot of children these days exhibit the same self-centered behavior and sense of entitlement? We often say that children are like sponges and they learn not so much through what we tell them but through what they see. If they see their parents having no empathy and consideration, no respect for rules and a solid sense of propriety, then how can these same children be expected to develop into kind, compassionate, and disciplined human beings? 

As adults, we all have the serious responsibility to think of the kind of ripple effect our actions create. And as parents I understand that we all make mistakes and are all just doing our best...mostly, hopefully. But it is unfair to expect from someone what we ourselves don't have in us to give. So the next time you feel the frustration over your children's unreasonably bratty behavior and decide to give them a lecture, consider owning it and ask yourself: How did I teach them to be like this?


  1. Unfortunately, it seems like bad manners are in and good manners out, old-fashioned, or backward. Your (and my) Catholic school manners, not being pushy or rude, modest, always say excuse me, wait in line, patience, etc. are no help in this free for all society that has developed. You have to remember that many people come from backgrounds where manners didn't exist and pushiness equalled survival so it might be said that has resulted in descendants with a false sense of entitlement that they can ignore rules that others have to follow, I doubt anything will change them so maybe you are the one who will have to change and not allow things like this to get to you. Your good manners will still get you into places where they would be out of place. Not much satisfaction outside a school or in other similar situations but self-entitlement is something we have to deal with all the time and often it's hard to take.

    1. That's a really good insight and reminder, Pennie. Not everyone grew up being aware of manners and probably view them as a disadvantage even when it comes to fighting for survival. I do need to be more tolerant, although not honking at them and not cussing them might already count, right?....does it?...does it?....Oh please say yes. :-)

  2. That's a tough one. It is hard to have good manners and be polite when those around you are so rude and impolite. However, as Penelope said your good manners will be rewarded in the end and they will certainly set an example for your children. Gosh, but sometimes it is so difficult NOT to honk!

  3. We don't have a pick-up line on this side of the pond. That said, for some reason, when they are driving people tend to forget their manners. I don't know why. That's just the way it is I suppose. And it is even worse in France, I must say.

  4. It only takes lust to become a parent, not brains, unfortunately.


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