Sometimes, I am shocked by the level of cruelty, meanness, and outright nasty behavior that even young humans are capable of. There are occasions where I wish it was still socially acceptable to yell at your neighbor's children or in extreme cases, give them a good slap for their horrible behavior. Too many of them are ABSOLUTE MONSTERS.
Today, I went to have a prescription filled. In the waiting area, a little girl kept putting her feet on the seats, kicking people, kicking their chairs. Her mother left her there while she shopped for some things and waited for her own prescription to be filled. An old woman asked the child to stop kicking her because it hurt. The little girl kept kicking her. The old woman moved. The kid repeated it, moving to an old man, then a young woman. Finally, everyone was clumped together like they were scared of a 7 year old. She got on the seats and put her feet in people's faces. They just moved. When she did it to me, I slapped her legs out of my face and told her that she needed to learn to honor her personal space. She said, "Only my momma can tell me what to do." I took her by the arm and marched her over to where her mother was inspecting vitamins and told her what the girl had been doing and how she behaved when asked to stop and when forced to stop. The little girl got yelled at and pinched.
As I was walking home from Walgreens, I saw familiar neighborhood children playing on the sidewalk. A rare occurrence. Everyone keeps their little angels cooped up in safe, air conditioned rooms away from germs and bugs, and children have developed an affinity for glowing screens for entertainment. So, I was happy to see kids outside playing, throwing clods of dirt at each other. My feelings soon changed when I realized that they were ripping apart a bird's nest and the dirt clods they were throwing were fistfuls of the nesting material.
The pit of my stomach sank when one of the kids started to fling little blue projectiles at the others and they landed on the pavement with a hollow splat. I felt sick when I heard them scream, "EW!! IT'S MOVING!" and stomp a tiny baby bird, nearly ready to hatch, until it was unrecognizable paste.
I rarely involve myself with other people children, but I wouldn't be true to my own morals if I just walked by. I told them to stop being mean to the poor baby birds. They didn't care. I told them that they would get into big trouble for animal cruelty. They didn't care about that either. When I threatened to tell their mothers the next time I saw them on the train, they ran away. One kid was sobbing, knowing that I frequently talked to her mother on the train on my way to work. But, one little, festering turd of a boy was defiant and threw the last of the robin's eggs on the concrete, hard, before he made his exit.
The pitiful baby bird wiggled somewhat, but it wasn't quite ready to hatch and its tiny body was obviously shattered by the impact. I couldn't save it...so I put it in a shady spot, out of the direct sunlight so it could die in peace and hopefully with a little more dignity than its siblings.
Am I wrong for feeling like small children should be taught to be compassionate and that little psychopathic brats should be taken to counseling? Am I abnormal to feel like discipline and understanding is supposed to be part of a child's education so they understand that there are negative consequences to their actions?