There we were, sitting in the ice cream shop with our kids.  They were in heaven… covered in melted chocolate and sprinkles.  Everything was perfect.  The world was at peace.  And then it wasn’t.

Enter – little devils.

A family of five sat down.  Or should I say the parents sat down to enjoy their ice cream.  Their three children then proceeded to run around like little coked-out maniacs, screaming at the top of their lungs.

Their parents didn’t say a word, instead choosing to savor every bite of their banana splits.

As their kids ran circles around us and another table next to us, I looked on in disbelief at the parents, who weren’t saying a word.  Mom was so focused on shoveling every bite into her mouth and not dripping on her Hillary Clinton shirt that she didn’t notice her kids slamming into our chairs and those of the family behind us.

I had the devil on my left shoulder whispering in my ear, “yell at the parents”.

Then there was the angel on my right shoulder whispering, “trip the kids as they run by”.

Before I had to do anything, the father at another table spoke up.

“Hey – guys – you wanna get your kids under control?”

The parents of the devils looked shocked and dismayed.

“Well EXCUSE US,” said the mother.  “Forgive us for having a parenting technique that you don’t understand.  It’s called ‘giving our kids space to express themselves'”.

“You should try OUR technique,” he responded.  “It’s called ‘disciplining your kids'”.

In a flurry of indignation and self-righteousness, the devil family stormed out.

Gravel and dust exploded behind the car as the Subaru sped off into the sunset.

What happened to parenting?  What happened to being your kids’ mother and father and not their best friend?

Growing up, we would have gotten one warning.  Then we would have gotten a good whack.  Or the ear pull.

God forbid dad put his hand on his belt… GAME OVER.  Whatever you were doing to act like a little brat ended the second the leather card was pulled.

Perhaps part of the problem is that parents are no longer teaching their kids about respect.  Or values.  Or integrity.  God isn’t allowed into their lives and they have no moral compass.  All they have is “feelings” and “participation trophies”.

That day, there were no winners.  Just three little kids who didn’t learn a lesson… and a room full of families who lost a little faith in humanity.

What’s it going to take to fix parenting in those who don’t realize they are failing?