First of all the names have been changed.
Secondly I would like to say that we are not perfect parents and I'm sure people sit back and wonder what the hell we're doing and that's fine. Everyone can have an opinion and I'd like to give mine on a situation we saw this weekend.
Annika has a little friend that lives across the pond from us. She is 4 months younger than Annika, lets call her Sara. Sara has a brother that is 1 year older than Annabel, lets call him Max. So Sara is almost 3 1/2 and Max is 2 1/2.
We had dinner at their house yesterday. We never met their mother because she works long hours and their father stays at home with them. From the brief encounters I've had with the father I've learned the following:
He doesn't watch them well. We've seen both kids almost fall into the pond and Max used to play a house that was being built while the father was on his porch at least 100 feet away.
The kids drive a motorized car around and typically are 100s of feet away from the dad and I've seen them cross the road alone.
Max gets away with everything. There was an animal show at our clubhouse, Sara sat by herself to watch it while their father chased Max around because "he doesn't like animals, he wants to run".
Max is completely non-verbal. No words AT ALL. So while we're worried about Annabel's 6 words at 19 months this child is 1 year old and doesn't even say "dad". Sara says a small handful of words and Annika gets frustrated because she doesn't talk much back to her but they do enjoy playing together.
So dinner last night, I brought cookies for dessert. The dinner planned was spaghetti with sauce, garlic bread, salad and they had some fruit and a cake. Sara told her mother she wanted cake before we ate. So she gave her a slice of cake and says "Sara wants cake for dinner, hahahaha". I didn't even know what to say! Annika asked if she could have a piece and I told her she'd have to eat all her dinner first and Sara's mother says "Oh, she can have cake, I always give Sara whatever she wants to eat". Really? So my response "We eat dinner first and then if she finishes she can have cake."
Max sits in a high chair still and does not know how to feed himself so when I sat Annabel down at their little table with her own fork and plate they asked if I was going to help her. I told them she feeds herself and they both looked shocked. I swear they both stared at her the entire time and when she was done I told Annabel to put her plate on the counter and Sara's mom said "oh you make her take her own plate up??" So I said "yes, she always either hands me her plate or takes it up herself".
Also Max ate cake for dinner too because that's what he wanted. Not sure how he told his mother he wanted cake but she sat there and fed it to him as she ate her food.
I know a lot of people do this but I get so annoyed when people leave the TV on while they're eating dinner, especially with guests. It was on some sort of Disney channel the whole time and I kept having to tell Annika to eat her food and stop watching TV.
The father also told us "the kids go to bed at midnight every night, they refuse to go to bed any earlier than that but it's good because they sleep till 9am". I wasn't going to say anything but Josh told him that Annabel sleeps that late too but I always have her bed before 9pm. I'm sorry but kids that age cannot determine on their own what time they go to bed!!
Am I crazy or are these people terrified of making their kids do anything on their own or telling them what to do???? And I feel like their pediatrician must not be doing his or her job either in telling them that at least Max should be speaking more! Josh has talked their father about it before and he did say the doctor mentioned maybe doing some testing but that it wasn't a big deal.
I'm scared to meet any other parents and I'm scared for this generation if people continue to not discipline their kids, set rules for them to follow, learn to say no and try to be best friends with their children. It's really scary how these kids are going to be when they become adults in my opinion.