Bad Parenting, Better Parenting, Great Parenting

A friend of mine is a t-girl in the American South. She’s a nice person, and she’s also pretty. Her pretty looks are androgynous in nature. I gather that not everyone shares my high level of enthusiasm for that sort of look. “To each his (or her) own” is a good motto, but not everyone takes that approach — including in the American South.

I’ve always found it particularly ironic that the people who seem most inclined to criticize others are often the people whose personal lives could clearly use a lot of corrective action. An example might be an individual whose personal looks might be less-than-healthy and yet she is highly critical of someone else’s personal looks. Worse yet if she’s vocal about it. Worse yet if she is vocal in a public place. Worse yet if she goes on and on and on about it.  Worse yet if it’s a minor, to whom it’s socially awkward to address a direct retort. Worse yet if her mother is present and doesn’t have the good sense to have raised her child to not behave like that, and worse yet if the mother also lacks the good sense to work towards removing her rude child from that public place. Worse yet if the public place is the sort of destination that people specifically come to in order to have a good time, such as a restaurant.

Anyway, combine all of this and you’ve just described what my t-girl friend recently experienced. The little girl who went on and on was maybe twelve or so and very overweight, and the location was an Olive Garden restaurant. Not good parenting my the twelve-year old’s mother. “Fail” … describes it well, I think.

gIMAG1881 Today, I personally got to experience a slightly better example of parenting, first-hand. I rode up an elevator to the correct floor of the hotel at which I am staying, and in the elevator with me was a little family: mom, dad, a 10-year-old son, a younger daughter plus one more child whose specifics I don’t recall. They all walked down the same corridor I did, maybe ten or twenty steps behind me. I gather the parents were remarking to each other that I was probably a t-girl. That’s hardly rocket science; I was wearing a dress; I have huge boobs, long eyelashes and long, blonde hair in a very feminine style, yet my bone structure (skeletal, facial, hands, feet) look like they were shaped during puberty by an abundance of testosterone, not estrogen.  The pictures in this article are from today, maybe two hours before this incident, and that’s what I looked like during the incident too.

gIMAG1884 I have almost-uncannily-good hearing and yet I didn’t overhear the parents saying that. But I infer that’s probably what they said because that would explain their 10-year old son saying suddenly (apropos of something), loudly enough to project down the corridor: “Are you stupid?!” with about as much sneering malice as a ten-year old boy can muster, with the insult presumably aimed at me.

I suspect this was behavior he’d learned from his peers … the premises that a t-girl deserves malice and scorn, and that it’s OK for him to behave like that. Probably if he were home-schooled he’d have had a better mindset and better social skills. I conclude that because his parents each stomped on that behavior immediately. Their “don’t talk like that” was the same phrase, delivered by each to their son, immediately or almost immediately, perhaps a second or two apart. The son was quiet after that.

As for me, I’ve trained myself to not respond to negativity unless it’s violence or the threat thereof. I kept quiet and I continued walking.

So, that was better parenting. Even-better parenting would have raised the son to not even speak out as such, but still, I appreciated that the parents didn’t just keep quiet.

The best possible parenting describes a little family whom I visited recently, also in the American South. The mom briefed her children as to me being a t-girl just so they wouldn’t be surprised about it, and she then mentioned to me that she’d briefed them. She also added that presumably she’d raised them well enough to know how to behave in such a context, and no rude behavior need be expected. And so, indeed, it was.

Perfect parenting, that. gIMAG1882