STFU Parents: Angry Parents On Facebook

Today’s column is also the launch of a new STFU, Parents category called “Angry Parents.” Angry Parents was born out of necessity when, several months ago, I noticed there was an influx of submissions about pissed off parents who’d taken to social media to vent. These parents weren’t just a little annoyed about something or vying for their friends’ sympathy; they were using violent expressions, saying things like, “I wanted to throat-punch her,” and publishing updates with broad implications like, “My kid’s principal doesn’t want to mess with this mama bear!” The more hostility came through my inbox, the more I sensed a pattern that seemed to mirror what we often see in the news. “Mother Punches Two Teachers At Two Schools,” “Reporter Faces Backlash From Teen Drinking Story,” “Rabid Mother Chews Ear Off Neighborhood Bully” (OK, I made that one up) are not far-fetched headlines these days, and the reason, I believe, is that parents are more openly angry.

Sure, helicopter parents have been arguing over grades with their children’s teachers for years. And yes, daytime television has showcased mothers getting buck wild in reaction to their children’s relationships, pregnancies and eating disorders for decades. But the one thing that’s changed in recent years is the ability for parents to broadcast their frustrations on a platform like Facebook where they’ve got a built-in army, er, support network to chime in and back them up. It’s the ultimate Slam Book, and some parents are using Facebook for that purpose just as much as their children are. Let’s take a look at some examples.

1. Momzilla

Being a mother naturally brings out a little “momzilla” in every woman. But there’s a difference between thinking you want to destroy another child and actually typing out the words on Facebook. Everyone is bound to have those moments of aversion to kids who aren’t their own; the trick is figuring out a way to process those feelings without expressing them publicly. Remember, some of your friends are actually parents to “little demons” and might not appreciate the sentiment.

2. Lack Of Perspective

 

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think terms like “murder” should be used so sparingly. Obviously the person who wrote this Twitter update is expressing “intense” frustration and is being facetious, but over community centre dance classes, really? Talk about your #FirstWorldProblems. It’d be funnier if she said something light like, “I’m seriously going to murder someone. I can’t find delicious Cadbury Eggs anywhere!!” but pairing the expression with something that she’s genuinely upset about just makes her sound like a brat.

3. Assuming Makes You An Ass

 

While I share in Jackie’s disbelief that her son was choked by a classmate in school over a game, I’m in equal disbelief at the way she and her friends are talking. I’m not sure what Jackie wants to get across by saying, “that girl is lucky she’s not 18,” but the message I’m hearing is, “…because if she was, I’d go over and kick her ass my damn self!” Perhaps that’s just the Maury in me talking, or perhaps that’s exactly what Jackie means. If my assessment was based on Traci and Tara’s comments, I’d put my money on the latter.

4. Words < Fists

This is the kind of thing leaders tell their disciples before starting a revolution, and yet something tells me Monica is just pissed off because her sons were being on “unfairly singled out” in some social circle or sports-related activity. Regardless of her reasons, though, there’s no excuse for writing something like this on Facebook. Monica needs to find a way to contain the crazy, and so do the four psycho people who “liked” her update.

5. No Shame

 

Mothers getting involved in their kids’ fights is an entertainment tradition that stretches all the way back to 1992. But it used to just be something you’d hear about in line at the grocery store or at a PTA meeting. Now it’s something that makes mothers and their kids “stars” on the Internet via YouTube videos, and parents are far less hesitant to relay the details on sites like Facebook. On the plus side, it doesn’t sound like Karen got physically involved so much as she did vocally, but really, who knows? All that matters is that she, her daughter, and two other girls got ejected from the game — but it was the ref’s fault for letting it get out of control. Those darn refs.

Share This Post:
    • Kathryn C

      Where can I submit a few from my friends’ list…??? LOL

      • STFU Parents

        Hi Kathryn — You can submit by emailing a screen shot to me at ‘stfuparentsblog at gmail dot com’. :)

    • Eep

      I keep hoping someone will call these parents on their anger issues, but everyone’s probably too afraid of them.

    • Patrick Larson

      most of these comments are against the facebook user agreement they could all get kicked off facebook for good

      • Laura C.

        If only life were that good.

    • Kinneyl

      I literally gasped when I read Tara’s response on Jackie’s status update. “Future little whore”? Ummm, that’s a bit harsh. Granted we don’t know anymore of the backstory and most likely this little girl completely deserved the suspension because choking someone is never cool unless, of course, you’re into that kind of thing…… but for all we know Jackie’s little boy did something to provoke the little girl first but OF COURSE Jackie would never tell anyone that because her child is oh so perfect. I just think calling a child a future whore is really going over the top.

    • Lisa

      Who calls a child a “future whore”?? That’s so awful!!

    • roblad

      That “future little whore” comment made me *jawdrop*. What a fucking awful thing to say about a child you know NOTHING about. At whatever age these kids are, I highly doubt that her gender had anything to do with the scuffle, anyway. Little kids are little kids, they aren’t little “future whores” or “future jackholes”. Jeebus!

      • leah

        Exactly! I was surprised this slipped through without commentary. Nevermind how terribly a thing that is to say about any child ever, but what the hell? There’s not even a line of logic to follow between choking and whore-dom. It’s disturbing that there are people out there thinking, let alone proclaiming such slut-shaming judgements onto children they don’t even know.

    • savvy slipon

      Too much frustration to express… but Everly?? EVERLY??

      • Non-mom

        Ok, I’m definitely not defending Everly like I did Sabeen. That is awful.

      • liebs

        I hope Everly has brothers…

        …ba dum ching?

      • Erin W

        My cousin just named her daughter Everly. (My cousin is not the submitter; her Everly is three weeks old and presumably not dancing yet.)

      • Non-mom

        Everly Brothers! Good one, liebs! :)

    • LiteBrite

      Under #3: Traci’s Comment: “Keep in mind there are emotionally disturbed kids in public school.”

      Apparently there are emotionally disturbed parents as well.

    • lullaleah

      You can’t know a girl is going to be a future whore until she’s at least 16.

    • Melissa

      I worked at a school for a year. Parents are indeed this psychotic. And even more so. I still can’t wrap my head around some of the craziness I saw.

    • Steph

      The “future whore” comment made me sick as well. I’m guessing these kids are elementary school aged. WTF?! Who calls someone’s child a “future whore” without even knowing who they are?

      The fight at whatever sporting event? We have had that issue in my state during hockey ALL YEAR. Hockey brings out enough emotions ON THE ICE. One game not long ago there was a full on brawl on the ice and that was bad enough, but then the parents started fighting in the stands and the cops had to come break it up and write tickets. A couple of years ago they fought in the parking lot. THE PARENTS?! These are high school kids, they really need a better role model than a mother throwing right hooks in the stands at their games. No wonder their kids pick fights on the ice. Fighting in high school hockey is expressly forbidden just like in the Olympics and will end up with suspensions for players and coaches, but what about the parents? They should be banned from the rinks for that crap. It’s ludicrous. Now there are two clubs on “probation” in risk of losing their shot at the State title and a couple of weeks ago one of the clubs had another brawl. I’ve yet to see anything more than a suspension of the coach and players involved, no sanctions or jerking their shot at the state title. At the very least they should forfeit the game they were playing when they started the fight. That would level the playing field for the under dog teams because I can assure you, the teams starting the fights are the better teams in the State full of self entitled kids with mommy’s telling them how great they are all the way home despite their repercussions of their actions. Oh wait! Of course they are, there ARE no repercussions! *sigh*

      • Canaduck

        Agreed, “future whore” was the worst.

    • Renee J

      The only time it’s appropriate to get violent and angry over someone messing with your kids is if they are dragging them to a windowless van.

      • Xyzzy

        Or aggressively bullying them, though protective older siblings are often much more useful in that situation (as kids, that is).

      • disquspusk

        Ummm…. NO. Not in aggressive bullying situations. That is exactly the opposite of what the poster meant.

    • Dawn

      (in reference to the 1st momzilla) If I was a kid in that playground meeting, I would have slapped little Sabeen too. Just because his/her name was Sabeen. That mom had better get used to her kid getting the shit kicked out of them if she picked a god awful name like Sabeen. Sounds like a fucking ninja turtle.

      • Nocturnesthesia

        It’s a legit Arabic name just FYI.

    • Dawn

      (in reference to the 1st momzilla) If I was a kid in that playground meeting, I would have slapped little Sabeen too. Just because his/her name was Sabeen. That mom had better get used to her kid getting the shit kicked out of them if she picked a god awful name like Sabeen. Sounds like a fucking ninja turtle.

      • fwfwefw

        Ninja Turtles are named after famous renaissance artists.

      • Non-mom

        In a post about over-the-top violent statements, maybe we shouldn’t get violent over names (although I’m hoping you were being tongue-in-cheek). I hate crappy, made-up or cracked-out spellings in names, too, but having a friend named Sabine (she’s Austrian) had me curious about Sabeen. Turns out Sabeen is an Arabic name.

        /cool story, bro

      • Sam

        Sabine is actually a beautiful, traditional French name.

      • Non-mom

        I think it’s beautiful too, Sam! As is my friend :)

      • Sam

        Agreed, Non-mom! :) I knew someone once with that name. I always thought it sounded so elegant…of course, pretty much anything in French sounds lovely!
        (Now, the way that Erica spells it is not my cuppa…definitely never seen that before.)

    • Sophie

      I think when they say ‘lucky she’s not 18′, they mean it would be a criminal offence if an adult did it?

    • Jenni

      I actually don’t think Traci’s comment about emotionally disturbed kids in school was hateful or angry, I think she’s just stating a fact. I’m a special education teacher and there are emotionally disturbed kids in the general population of students that do sometimes harm other students. I think Traci was saying to keep this in mind, that the child may be special needs and maybe Jackie shouldn’t be talking smack about a kid with issues. That’s how I read it anyway, because I probably would post something similar to that statement if one of my friends was crazy ranting about someone hurting her child.

      • STFU Parents

        I think your outlook is positive and that’s great. BUT I still don’t think that’s what Traci meant. She specifically said “public school” which is what raised the red flag for me. I could be wrong, but it reminded me of this post/submission from a couple years ago: http://www.stfuparentsblog.com/post/402827742/am-i-the-only-one-who-read-scarlette-like

      • Xyzzy

        I interpreted it the same way Jenni did, FWIW — I’ve made similar comments countless times over the last decade about kids (or sometimes adults) that were doing something flamingly autistic, in hope of getting the ranting person to calm down and reconsider their perspective.

    • JMB

      These expressions of anger are so over the top, it is scary; I guess I still have to hope these are just extreme examples. Both my kids have been on the receiving end of some levels of aggression in the past. Each was bit by other kids multiple times in daycare and once, a boy came swinging aggressively at my son after a karate sparring match because the boy was disqualified by too many penalties and lost a match to my son. I let the professionals take care of the situations in these cases and stayed on the sidelines (so to speak). Instead of anger at the kids or the parents of the kids, I felt sympathy for the parents of the so-called aggressors because they have to deal with the shame and embarrassment of having had their child act out aggressively (and if they are dealing with something worse such as a child with an emotional disorder, then I feel even more sympathy). I think these situations are pretty common because children are immature (captain obvious, here) and most children do not have complete control of their emotions; most will grow up to develop more self control. When the aggression is because of an emotional disorder or imbalance that is much worse than occasional outbursts because of immaturity (which, in the choking example might be the case), well that is where the professionals come in, but that is a whole other story.
      The girl who bit my daughter in daycare is to this day one of my daughter’s best friends; (actually it was a policy that the daycare does not tell who the biter is, but I knew because the other mother and I were friends. I knew the situation was much worse for her than for me; she also used to joke with me that if her daughter didn’t stop, she was going to get her a muzzle, but she is a cool person in general and not STFU,P material.) As for the mother of the boy who came after my son in a karate tournament, I did not know her at all, but I saw her leaving the tournament (with her son who had been kicked out, which may have been overboard, but, again, I trust the judgment of the professionals) in tears, so no, I did not feel anger; I felt for her because she was ashamed and embarrassed. All that said . . . well too much said . . . I have trouble understanding where all these people are coming from with their crazy anger; where’s the empathy? (I have a suspicion they think it makes them look cool and tough to act out like that on Facebook and in a way, that is even worse.)

      • C

        Thank you so, so much for this comment, JMB. My son is one of “those” kids and I cannot tell you how hard it is to have people stare at you and whisper behind your back about what a horrible parent you must be. I wish there were more people out there with the same attitude that you have.

      • A

        Your outlook is mature and reasonable (unlike the parents in the article), and it’s nice that you highlight scenes of parents appearing aware of their child’s unacceptable behavior. Unfortunately, not all parents understand that. I may be in an industry that sees too much of the “bad” side, so I’m aware that this may not be the majority… but I see far too many parents that completely disregard their child’s poor behavior, allow it continue, laugh about it, or get violently angry at any outside person who comments or tries to instruct the child how to behave (for example, I said to a child in my workplace to stop trying to pull over a solid metal tower because it weighs about 200 pounds and could badly hurt him… she flipped out, started yelling at me, threatened to have me fired and said over and over that she was watching him the whole time, which wasn’t true). I don’t care if this is stereotyping… but these are almost always low-income, uneducated, unambitious parents who are typically getting money from the government. If they can’t spend their time finding a job, the least they could do it put some time into teaching their children proper etiquette and manners so they can be successful contributors to society. But the problem is they just don’t care.

      • JMB

        @C, I am sorry to hear that you have to deal with a difficult child. In one of the parenting books I read, the author (who was an MD) said that it is the parents of difficult children who are really the best parents. I agree. Some parenting choices can probably lead to problems in children, but I definitely do not think it is that simple; the personality of the child is, to me, a bigger factor. And I know that many people want to discount the existence of emotional disorders, but I am pretty sure they exist. Also my children are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination; nor am I perfect as a parent, which is why I do rely on the expertise of other people who know what they are doing better than I do for many aspects of so-called ‘parenting’ . . . actually, I have grown to hate the term ‘parenting’; what does that even mean?

        @C, I do not think it is wise at all to not try to understand how the behavior of a child may impact others around them so not paying attention to their behavior in public and at home is not appropriate, in my opinion. That being said, people have different ideas about what is acceptable behavior. I’m pretty sure my aunt did not at all like that I allowed and, indeed, encouraged my daughter to jump in mud puddles one day in front of her own daughter, who incidentally is about the same age as my daughter. She didn’t think that was appropriate; I saw no harm . . . it is fine . . . to each her own; there was no anger over it, though . . . at least not expressed. But to threaten to have your fired, etc. when you pointed out that a child was doing something unsafe, well, all I’ll say is who is the adult in that situation? I can only speak to myself, but I would have been completely mortified if I had not noticed a severe danger and someone else had to point it out to me. I don’t notice everything, though; I am only human. I am certain I’ve had plenty of people shaking their heads at me over things I have done in my ‘parenting’ role . . . well, I’ve also shook my head at myself.

      • JMB

        Oops . . . that second paragraph was meant to be directed to “A” . . . well, you will probably figure that out!

    • Anna

      I can’t believe that Erica did just wanted to destroy that child but that she called him/her a something not a someone but a something. That’s the kind of thing that makes me believe that this mom could really harm someone…

    • Sam

      Sometimes I worry that there aren’t any classy women left in the world.

      Then I read these Facebook posts and I’m so encouraged to know that they DO exist! And the best part–they’re mothers! Passing on their teachings of dignity, grace, and decorum…hooray!

    • bmcas

      That Monica sounds frighteningly like my slacker classmate. I’m going to pretend that it is.

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