Daughter: While at the grocery store the other day I encountered a situation that left me literally shaking my head. Little Tony, about four years old, was in tow with his mom and dad. Mom tells Tony she is looking for spaghetti and to let her know when he spots it. Little Tony takes off, darting up and down every aisle, anxiously looking for the item. When he does find it the whole store is notified that he has indeed found the spaghetti. Now mind you, mom and dad are two aisles over from Little Tony. Once they do catch up with Little Tony they praise and pat on him for finding the spaghetti. Later our paths met again when Little Tony was running ahead of mom and dad and almost ran right into my buggy. I saw him coming and could tell he was not watching where he going so I stopped. Of course, dad yelled for him to watch out right before he made contact with my buggy. The dad looks at me with that all so tender look of “Isn’t he just the cutest thing ever?”. Of course I just smile and move on gritting my teeth keeping my thoughts to myself. Before finishing my shopping I once again meet up with the little family while in the bread aisle. Little Tony was squeezing each and every loaf he can get his tiny hands on. All the while, dad, in his soothing calm tone, is saying, “Now Tony stop that. Stop that. Tony stop that.” And of course Little Tony does eventually stop but not till he is ready to stop.
As I left the store all I could think was when Little Tony gets older and is a menace to society, mom and dad will only have themselves to blame. When kids are this age it’s our responsibility as parents to teach them what is acceptable behavior and what is not. And that teaching starts at home. For instances, while eating out at a restaurant you can always pick out which kids are not made to sit at the table to have a meal. How you ask…..they are the ones up running around the table, visiting other tables, tripping up the servers and causing a big commotion. The parents that truly baffle me are the ones that just ignore them because “isn’t my child just the most adorable thing” and let them carry on disrupting everyone in the restaurant. Then you have the other parents that are mortified at the kids behavior so then they “attempt” to make little Johnny sit in his seat. Only this sets little Johnny off into a temper tantrum that results in him getting his way of running around more. Because of course, everyone would rather have their dinner being interrupted by an unruly running child rather than a screaming one. Of course my girls didn’t always act appropriate while out in public, hence enters the bathroom. It only took one mention of taking them to the bathroom to get them to straighten up their act. The public bathroom was not a place the girls wanted to visit with their momma, lol.
Did I do everything right raising my three girls, of course not. But I made it my priority to raise Godly, compassionate, responsible and respectful human beings. And if I do say so myself, I have achieved my goal! And I did it without a village. I am the one responsible for my children, not my mother, not my neighbor and not a stranger…..just me, and of course their daddy, hehehe.
I hate the phraseology “it takes a village”. I have found that way of thinking only works when you are doling out what the parent considers a benefit to them. Hell hath no fury when the “village” tries to correct a child that is not it’s “own”. What do you think the reaction would have been from dad if I would have made a suggestion that Little Tony might want to keep his hand on the buggy at all times so mom and dad know where he is? I’m sure it would have gone over like a lead balloon. Because of course, “my child is the most perfect child in the universe”. Take it from me, no one thinks your child is a cute and awesome as you do, it’s just one of the facts of life!
I’ve read many articles and stories about parents, especially single parents, that deal with the guilt of not being able to give their children what “they” think their children deserve. These parents end up doing their children a great injustice by giving them everything they possibly can, not giving and carrying out consequences for wrong doings and not holding them accountable for their actions. Discipline is not a four-letter-word. And it works! It may take different avenues to find which form of discipline works but it is so worth the effort. Kids are smart cookies, if parents start early in disciplining them it doesn’t take that much work, they learn quickly. Of course, once one issue is finally resolved a new one rears it’s ugly head, lol, but hey, that’s life.
Mother: I am so proud right now, she sounds just like me! She is even using my favorite saying ” No one thinks your child is as cute as you do”. Daughter had very well mannered girls, we could take them anywhere, of course at one point she had three under five. The only thing I have to add is in my opinion you are doing everyone, your children included, a disservice when they are not taught manners and appropriate behavior. And don’t get your knickers in a bunch when restaurants and the people in them are not happy when your child is eating the dinner rolls from someone else’s table!