Working with kids is great, but sometimes dealing with parents can be, well, obnoxious. Now, I know, I'm not a parent. I don't know what its like to stay up all night with a crying infant or a coughing toddler. But I've taken care of children of all ages for several years. My oldest niece (along with her parents) lived with us her first year or so of life. I helped babysit her and her younger sister as they grew up. I babysat regularly in college and again a few times after returning to TX from PA school. So, do I know what its like to have your child sick? No, but I know what its like to take care of a sick child. With that disclaimer, here's my top parent pet peeves:
8. Letting your child run rampant in the hallways of an ER - first they're gonna get hurt. Second, do you know what kind of germs are floating around hospitals?
7. Dragging your child down the hallway by one arm, better yet, walking 10 feet in front of your toddler who can't possibly keep up. Keep an eye on your children people!
6. Not listening to what is asked of you. If we tell you not feed your child until otherwise instructed, there's a reason! (And no its not because we want the both of you to be miserable and hungry)
5. Talking on your cell phone when a medical provider is trying to care for your child - hang up and pay attention!
4. Yelling at your child in front of me. I know you're trying to discipline, but there's a time and place for yelling and in an ER in front of your medical care provider is not it. Be stern but not mean, please. It makes me feel very uncomfortable.
3. Smoking. Second hand smoke kills and it does terrible things to kid's respiratory systems, especially kids with asthma. And I don't care if you smoke outside, the stuff lingers on your clothes and if I can smell it when I walk in the room, you can bet your child is inhaling it
2. Rude behavior/attitude. I know you're probably stressed out because your kid has a fever and is screaming bloody murder, but please, I'm just trying to help. And if someone else has blown you off, please don't take it out on me, or assume I'm gonna do the same. Give me a chance.
And my absolute, numero uno parent no-no...
Lying to me. It gets you absolutely nowhere. Don't tell me you do something if you didn't. Don't lie to me about what medications they are or are not taking. This is about your child's health. I'm not the police or your priest, just be honest so we can treat your child to the best of our abilities.
Okay, I'm off my soapbox.
And I want y'all to know, these are definitely the exception, the rarity. Most of the parents I deal with are great. They are helpful, understanding, respectful and just want their kids to get better. I know having a sick kid can't be an easy thing. Its just hard sometimes when I see parents with chronically sick kids acting so graciously when parents of a kid with a runny nose and fever expecting the world to stop and fix their child.