Alright, I know I've never been a parent and I really have no desire to become one, but I'm 100% sure that I know when I see amazingly bad parenting. On our Saturday afternoon stroll around the San Diego Zoo I was amazed to hear one mother calling her son a craphead. Yes, it sounds hilarious and it was rather hilarious in the, "I can't believe that grown woman actually used that word and on her tantrum throwing 8 year old child. What kind of wacko world does she live in?" kind of way. We kind of stared in disbelief, while fully aware that people use all sorts of inappropriate language towards their children. Really now, if anybody had ever used that sort of language towards me when I was a child I would have grown up to be a rather miserable little wretch. I was just so sensitive, it would have been severely detrimental.
The other amazing display of bad parenting technique was just odd. A mother was walking around a cute little pond full of giant Koi, turtles and ducks, with her two sons(one pre teen and one about 4 years old). We saw the little guy throw a rather large rock into the pond and were relieved that it didn't hit any of the fish. We assumed that the mother would scold her boy and so turned back to watching the fish, but the stupid woman just stood there while he picked up two more even bigger rocks and threw the smallest one at a turtle, just missing it by an inch or two. Finally I realized that neither the mother or the older brother would intervene and so I walked over and said "No, don't throw rocks at the turtles and fish. That is mean." And I stared and him until he stopped his naughty little throwing. What a naughty little boy. His mother still didn't really react. Maybe she was too tired to do anything but in that case it's just time to leave the zoo. How horrible!
So, I'm just an interferer, and I'm sure that my scolding won't stop that little boy from a life time of throwing rocks at little animals, but at least someone has told him not to do it.