Oh my word! I cannot believe the backlash (wait, yes I can). Have you heard about the diner owner who just couldn’t take one more minute (there had already been 40 minutes of it) of the screaming of a 2 year-old toddler in her busy restaurant?
Oh, the audacity of her…. right?
Here we are at yet another parenting fork in the road. What the heck is it about parenting that blinds people to the common courtesy of the people around them?
Guess what? I don’t hate kids. I don’t beat kids. I don’t mistreat kids. I don’t want parents to mistreat kids. I don’t want to scream at strangers kids. I don’t even want parents to scream at their kids. I don’t hate parents.
I do hate lazy parenting. I hate it with a big ole Barney the dinosaur purple passion. It’s a smack in the face to all the parents who are beating down the doors of heaven trying to be great parents. The ones who get up and discipline over & over & over.
Not sure what that looks like? Here is a tiny glimpse.
Great parents (note: I did NOT say, PERFECT PARENTS)
…Love their children enough to train them to behave – Now, listen. I know kids will be kids and meltdowns will happen. That’s not what I’m talking about. Children get tired, hungry, sick and more. A great parent knows when that kind of stuff is happening and they don’t sit on their cell-phones chatting or lounge around in a diner talking it up with another adult while their child is self-combusting in front of the world.
They do the right thing and pay attention to their kid’s needs. If the issue is beyond helping in the here & now, they leave the store/restaurant/party/wedding/church/loved ones special moment and take care of their childs needs.
…Love others enough to train their children to behave – Look, how often have you been interrupted by kids while having an adult conversation with another adult? I’m not talking about an emergency interruption. I mean the repeated over & over, “Mama, Mama, Mama….Look, Mama!”, “I’m hungry!!”, “Let’s go! Mama, Let’s go!”. The entire time you’re talking, Mama is totally oblivious to the nagging interruptions of a child that needs the right kind of attention (no, not a spanking). The best parenting tip beyond loving that’s out there, a gentle hand on their hand touch.
I’m forever grateful for this little gem of a parenting trick. When my little punks were young darlin’s, my hubby and I had an interruption rule. They were not invisible people just because we were chatting with someone else besides them. However, they did NOT run up to us screaming or jumping up and down for our attention (one, because we were always watching and paying attention to them even if we were engrossed in a conversation with someone and two, because what they have to say is IMPORTANT to us). We taught them to be polite and wait for a lull in the conversation. While they were waiting, they were to simply lay one hand on our hand or shoulder signaling to us that they were there to ask something or speak to us. Not just hanging around to listen to the chit-chat.
As a respectful parent (not a tyrant), we assured them that we understood they needed our attention by placing one of our hands onto theirs. That gave them the signal that we knew they needed our attention and that as soon as it was polite to stop talking to the other adult, we would give them our full attention.
It was a lesson in self-control and it was a great way to teach our young children to respect others. Which, they all 3 still do to this day. It’s not cruel to teach your kids to be respectful or thoughtful to others. Nagging or interrupting children are not cute, they are not being “just kids”, they are a reflection of their parents. So, I ask you…do you run up to others involved in a conversation and shout or push your way into the moment? Probably not. So, why should we allow our children to do that?
TRUST ME ON THIS ONE. Your kids will be pleasant little humans just by incorporating this little tiny bit of training. People will love watching your kids show such a kind gesture of respect too.
…Love their own selves enough to train their children to behave – Parenting is by far the most difficult and challenging job of any human adult. But, it does not have to be a punishing sentence of misery. There are days that it can get pretty overwhelming (that doesn’t equal pinching their little heads off). Sick kids, whiney or tired kids or just bored kids can wear a person down. Still, they require a parent who will stand the test of time and repeat whatever discipline or love is needed for that particular moment. In other words, keep at it Mama!
Everybody knows, kids are INTUITIVE. They know all our weaknesses and they will pounce on every little moment that we have our guard down. Don’t fall victim to kids running the show. It never turns out well. Ever.
Be the boss. Be the pack leader. They are looking to you for that whether you think so or not.
Nobody wants to be on the news because a business owner lost her cool on their kids!
THIS HAS TO STOP! Okay?