I am not sure about anyone else, but I feel in this day and age I need to make sure I am not raising ass holes. My biggest fear is to unleash little jerks onto the world, knowing I could have done something differently. It is MY job as a parent to correct my children when they are doing something wrong. My kids are far from perfect, but they know my expectations. And when I see them correcting not just each other, but also their friends, I know they are getting it!
But what happens when you run into the situation that you are in public and you see kids who are doing things that parents should be correcting? And instead of correcting it, they are too busy staring at their phones or engaged in conversation to teach their kids? Do you say something? Do you parent other people’s children?
Here’s an example. I took my six year old out for one of his Christmas presents this past weekend. He got a day at the Legoland Discovery Center; he had so much fun there last year he wanted to go back! Well, there we were, in line for the ride with guns and such, when this child behind me (about 8 or 9 I would guess) kept bumping into me. Now, having five children of my own, I get that some do not understand the idea of “personal space.” I frequently had to let my kids know they needed to back up when we’ve gone to places such as this. They don’t get it. So when I see my child climbing up the butt of the person in front of them, I pull them back, apologize to the person, and correct their actions. After all, you aren’t going to get on the ride any faster standing on top of the person in front of you.
So here’s what happened….having been bumped by this child numerous times, I finally turn around and say to him “can you please stop bumping into me like that?” I wasn’t rude, and I most definitely had to choke down my impatience for this child. His mother was standing there the whole time, saying nothing, with her nose on her phone. She looks up and sneers, growling out the words “what did you just say to my kid?” So I tell her, “he’s bumped me in the butt around eight times, so I asked him to stop.”
Her reply was “well then you tell it to me!” Well, heaven for bid I speak directly to the kid, especially since you haven’t! I didn’t realize I was speaking to a prince! Not only was she NOT approachable, but she was already not paying attention as a parent. Here’s the thing, your child is touching me, and I didn’t really want to be touched (innocent or not). I get it, he was a kid, but not everyone in public (adults included) is going to understand that your kid is just not paying attention. Let’s say he keeps bumping into a person with autism who has an outburst because of it. There are plenty of scenarios that you as a parent need to be sure YOUR kid understands we give people their personal space.
So as I stood there deciding what to do after his mother had her little fit, I took about 5 seconds staring directly into her eyes and just turned around, (she was the kind of person that would ruin her kid’s fun to be petty). But here were my thoughts:
Lady, I shouldn’t have to tell you to tell your kid to stop touching me. You should have already done that yourself. And if you didn’t notice, that’s fine, but when I told you he had bumped me eight times you apologize and TEACH the damn kid to give people their personal space. Your kid IS NOT perfect. And if you don’t correct mistakes, they will continue to make them. At eight or nine years old your child should understand the idea of not touching other people. And your kid isn’t a prince. I am allowed to speak to a child that is touching ME. If you won’t parent your child, I will.
Believe me when I say my kids are NOT perfect. But I use every opportunity I can to teach them when they are in public how to act. I’ve even gone as far as to tell them I would cancel their meals at a restaurant if they didn’t use “please” and “thank you” to our server. They are still an adult (or at least older than you), and you use respect. Why am I so hard on them? Because I don’t want to unleash ass holes into the world!!! So ladies and gentlemen, please parent your own children, so other people do not feel the need to do so!