Last week it occurred to me that Tigger does more parenting before 9 a.m. than some parents do their entire lives.
Tigger? Yes, Tigger – the happy-go-lucky tiger from the Winnie the Pooh cartoons and lovable costumed character that wanders Disney theme parks. But there's also a darker side to Tigger. You see, Tigger is a rogue thug who sucker punches innocent children. At least, that was the accusation made after a teen, who was posing for a picture with Tigger, yanked on the back of the costume, and Tigger reacted by swinging his left arm across his body, which brushed the kid, who was apparently dressed for a Sex Pistols concert, in the face.
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Early last week, the father of the boy went on CBS' "The Early Show" and spoke of the absolute horror of that day, claiming he took his son to the hospital to be treated after the alleged hit. A video of the tragic mauling – a surreal Zapruder film of sorts – can be found here. And to think that Saddam Hussein was hanged while Tiggers like this are still allowed on the streets. Is there no justice?
If the boy was taken to the hospital for that, Lord help him if he's ever in a pillow fight. The poor lad would be in traction for a month. If the father really cared about the well being of his son, he'd have realized the counterproductive nature of going on national television to tell the world his teenage boy was beaten up by Tigger – which is bound to get him mercilessly picked on in school. Oh well, if the father can afford a family admission to Walt Disney World, then presumably he can afford a lifetime of emotional therapy sessions.
We see out-of-control kids all the time. They yell at teachers, lash out at authority, disrespect their parents and abuse others property. The world has always had its share of these kids, but what's reaching epidemic proportions are parents who defend them because there's some other goal in mind.
Coincidentally, I read a study that said one-third of parents in North America don't think their methods of disciplining their children work well. Well gee whiz, maybe it's because too many of them don't discipline their kids at all. This could be, in part, because some people know that if they do discipline our children, they'll end up in court.
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This isn't just about the rope-a-dope incident at the Magic Kingdom. It's about a parent who's teaching a child the worst lesson of all: If anything bad happens, even if you precipitated it, lie, say it was unprovoked, and it isn't your fault and the other party should pay. This brand of parenting is raising a generation of sniveling, lying, bullying disrespectful brats ? kids who may well someday end up in jail – a place where ''Hundred Acre Wood'' takes on an entirely different meaning – simply because a parent or parents wanted to make a few bucks.
If you spank your child in some states, you're subject to action by the state, but if you raise your child in such a manner that could cause them to grow up to think their negative actions don't have anything but positive consequences, you might as well drive your kid to prison right now. That's child abuse, and we need to recognize it as such.
Let's defend Tigger against the attack by Christopher Robin-hood ? because it's the right thing to do for all parties involved. Kids need to learn that life isn't always bouncy, trouncy, flouncy, pouncy, Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! Fun! ? no matter what their parents may try to demonstrate to them. It's a sad day indeed when a guy in a Tigger costume is doing the job a parent should be doing ? and getting in trouble for it to boot.
History may record that this country started its downhill skid the day being an idiot became a profitable business venture. It's time to turn it around. This particular Tigger should not only be reinstated to his job, but also made "Parent of the Year."