I went to church last Sunday and went home with a migraine. No, it wasn’t from the homily. It wasn’t from the pressure of being “good,” either. Instead, it was from the squeaky heels of this toddler whose parents obviously do not know the difference between cute and irritating.
As if the toddler with the squeaky shoes was not enough, there was this little girl who walked up the altar and proceeded to mount her own concert. Watching her teetering on the edge of the stairs—and eventually on the small foothold at the base of one of the cathedral’s columns—was disturbing enough. But what really stressed me out was the fact that the parents or whoever was with her never made the effort to get her to behave.
I don’t know, but there are some parents who need a dose of discipline themselves. They look the other way, not giving a hoot if their child is growing horns or assaulting the neighbor. They laugh off irritating pranks as innocent, harmless things that will make the kids more “macho,” more “street-wise,” more “worldly.”
I know of these parents who thought that they were doing the kid a favor by letting him have his way in anything. Well, the kid is now a pre-teen who drinks, gambles, smokes, swears and bullies.
I won’t stress myself any further thinking what the future holds for the two kids who gave me a migraine if their folks would continue looking the other way. This much I know, though: disciplining a child can be a minor head (and heart) ache. But better a slight discomfort now than a real headache later.