I like some children I really do. You probably wont think it when you have read this entry but its true. I especially like my daughter and for that reason I will never let her act in the manner that I have witnessed some children acting. Its ultimately the parents fault if their child acts like a brat after all.
I was out the other day for instance and there happened to be a childrens party going on nearby. I had my baby with me so as I chatted with my friends she was looking round and generally taking an interest in the children who all seemed to be having a good time.
Out of the corner of my eye I saw a rather overweight child. I don’t say this lightly but he must have been clinically obese. He was a big boy. The following dialogue then took place.
MOTHER: No JimBob * you cant have another cake, youve already had four.
JIMBOB: But I WANT one.
MOTHER: well you cant and that's that.
JIMBOB: (screams at an ear piercingly high volume right in his mothers face.....for so long...he actually went red in the face....the whole area went silent...my baby cried....)
MOTHER: oh ok then, go and fetch another one then
(*Jimbob is clearly a made up name....its from the Waltons and not this real life scenario....i cant even remember this boys name...i was too shocked to register anything)
What?? I swear I felt like telling the child off myself. But obviously that is socially and morally unacceptable. Why would the mother give in to that kind of behaviour? Worse than that though she seemed to think that it was in some way amusing. It really wasn’t. It made my baby cry.
I belive that children really learn by example. Thus if the parents are not respectful of others or have the notion that you can always just get what you want, then so will the child. You cannot expect that a child knows how to behave. They really have to be taught. That kind of behaviour should have resulted in the child being told that not only could he not have a cake right then but in fact he could not have any cakes for a whole week. We would have also left the party immediately an he would have been sent straight to bed. I would have also made him run up the stairs....
Of course I say this now but when it comes to it I suppose its a different matter to see it through.
What really gets to me though is the reaction of the mother. What was at all amusing about this situation. Its embarrassing. Sure I know people laugh when embarrassed, this wasn’t that kind of laugh. This was an I don’t care kind of laugh. She really was indifferent to the whole thing and that's what suddenly made her parenting seem so bad. Judgmental or not. She condoned her childs poor behaviour by an acceptance laugh. What example is that to set?
Another example of the way in which your attitude affects your child comes from an encounter I witnessed between a man and a young girl. I think he was probably her step father. He certainly didn’t seem confident enough to instill the same level of discipline which you would hope a father would.
The girl said that she wanted some sweets and she wanted them now. He told the girl that she would need to go home and tidy her bedroom and then she would receive some sweets as a reward for her good behaviour. The girl refused. She wanted the sweets now. She did not want to tidy her room. He told her that she couldn’t expect to get something for nothing. That she had to work before she would be given what she wated and that that was how life worked. No she replied, it was not. Mummy doesn’t work and she always gets what she wants.
There are no words.