As you walk away, what are you thinking about this mom and her parenting skills? You've just met her but you can tell a lot in a short amount of time, can't you? She clearly doesn't have control of the situation but instead the child has control over her. You're thinking that she needs a few parenting classes to learn about child rearing, boundaries, and who is really the parent.
Or maybe that short meeting doesn't tell you much at all. It didn't tell you that the child is not only visually impaired, something you could guess by observing him, but that he also has sensory and behavioral issues related to his condition. It didn't tell you that she's been working with him ever since he learned to speak; reminding him to use words instead of screams. You have no way of knowing that she has tried everything she knows to help him understand that his screaming is inappropriate in social situations. And what you really can't see is that she is not only weary of this, but terribly embarrassed and frustrated, probably wishing she had just stayed home. And it certainly didn't tell you that she has 7 other children at home who have, or are, turning out just fine.
Yes, there are those parents who could use some help in child-rearing; who have allowed the children to control the home. But if there's one thing I've learned in the almost three years with Victor, it's that there are a lot of weary and frustrated moms who just need a great big dose of grace, a massage, or a vacation to the beach.
Or maybe all three.