How much do I love my daughter? A lot! I waited in line with her for four and a half hours to get autographed photos in person from Bella Thorne, young dancer, singer, actress on Disney Channel. Several weeks ago, on Facebook, I saw an announcement that she was going to be at our local mall. The show that she is on, “Shake It Up”, is one of Disney’s more wholesome shows that I’ve allowed my daughter to watch – check it out on www.commonsensemedia.org. (This was before our decision to cut down our cable t.v. package, the way Marilyn and her husband did. Read her post about it here.)
The event was announced as “Meet Bella Thorne…12 – 3pm.” No other details were given, besides the date and the name of the mall. I understood it to be a situation where we would be in line for an autograph. We found this to be true. My daughter and I got in line at 9:45 am, and I estimated that there were 200 people ahead of us. Security guards let us know that they had to turn away those who wanted to line up as early as 3 am. They were let in at 5 am. It turns out my original estimation of the number of people ahead of us was way wrong. What I didn’t know and couldn’t see was that in front of the stage where Miss Thorne was to be, there was a line that zig-zagged, cordoned off by ropes, like you’d see at an amusement park ride. There were easily 300 or more people ahead of us.
Aside from the undeniable fact that mall management and security were unprepared for the crowd of hundreds of people that showed up, what was most appalling to see was the lack of decorum of the parents at this thing. Children were allowed to be in line, unattended, like the two girls behind us, aged 10 and 13. Many others screamed their heads off. However, the upsetting part was when we had finally reached the rope line. I witnessed three different parents tell their children to cut the line. At this point, we had waited four hours. The mom, ahead of me, had had her three young children with her, by herself. She evidently had noticed one of these three parents, a father, try –on more than one occasion– to get his two daughters to cut the line. When she got the attention of a security guard, this dad denied that they were with him. These girls ended up right behind my daughter and me.
Why didn’t the people behind us cry foul, you may ask? Well, the two girls who had been behind us for nearly four hours had at that point allowed for no less than a dozen of their family members to cut in front of them. What could they do, but just look guilty of having done something similar.
It’s hard not to witness events like these and feel as though society isn’t going down the tubes. Instead though, I’ll choose to see it as a call to be that much more careful with my kids. I hope that you will do the same.
To quote Wendy, one of TFF’s Fabulous Readers, “Children learn by example and even when you don’t think they see and hear what’s going on, guess what? They do.”
Answering the call to redefine success,
- Redefining Success: The Value of Please and Thank You, Setting Limits and Non-negotiables (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- About Two Frugal Fairfielders (twofrugalfairfielders.com)
- 10 Situations Adults Model Bad Behavior to Children (www.momnificent.com)
- Parents’ Effect on Child Behavior (www.livestrong.com)