This post is dedicated to those parents that let their children completely run the show.
You know this parent, the one that always asks their darling offspring at every juncture what they want wondering why the kid never does what he's told and doesn't listen when he's never really had to because what he wants wins out every time...
The parent that makes empty threats about "if you do this one more time - for the 10th time - blah blah blah will happen," that are never followed through on when if they would just follow through ONCE, instead of repeating the threat numerous times, the child would know which consequences are real...
The parent that is too busy helping organize whatever organized event you are at to tell their own kids to quit chasing each other around, encouraging other kids to run around..if one gets up, they all get up, it's complete anarchy. Don't worry though, you are helping afterall...
We all know the parent that makes you feel the need to intervene in one or more of these situations or your own choice situation. The clown that planfully ignores their child's obnoxious behavior so that someone else can intervene.
I feel like a coward when I don't do or say anything and at the same time, I have recently learned it's not like I will get any kind of consequence from the parent who hears me yelling their child's name from afar and still remains socializing instead of finding out what's going on. My husband on the other hand, has no problem taking charge in a situation where a kid needs a good talking to, or as he would refer it "A swift kick in the ass". (pardon his French)
I have spent the last 9 and a half years spending the majority of my time at parties or fieldtrips or organized events and what have you with my own children, following them around. Call me anti-social if you would like but I would rather spend my time getting to know my kids and looking out for their well being rather than getting to know strangers or socializing just to hear my own head rattle.
Kids need supervision - even at age nine, I see kids at the park trying to choke one another and of course I intervene - twice with the same kid choking two different ones.
Kids thrive on limits (even though they often break them) rather than you leaving it up to them.
Kids don't need a friend, they are discovering enough of those along the way - they need an authority figure to guide them.
I have always given my kids limited choices - you can do this or this - instead of leaving it open to the endless possibilities in the mind of a child.
I have also placed limits and expectations when we are getting ready to get out of the car to wherever we are going - best behavior, you will not be getting candy while we are here, no screaming - to avoid the meltdown. Or we leave..no ifs ands or butts...
I have followed through with any consequences that have been discussed which is why you will never hear me make an empty threat I'm not willing to follow through on.
These parents that threaten to "lock their child in the car while they finish the rest of the meal" or "throw their child in the lake if they don't behave" aren't fooling anyone especially the child. Children are smarter than people give them credit for..
Of course they are not going to act like they WANT these things, nor are they ever giving up without a fight but if you don't fight back and stand your ground, they will continue to walk all over you.
It's not about if you do this one more time..that's reactive.
It's about here's what's gonna happen if you don't do what's expected of you...be proactive.
I have never been embarassed to remove my child from a situation when having a temper tantrum, sure it's natural to wonder what they think of you but who cares? More than likely you will never see any one of those people ever again in your whole life.
Here is an example of something my father did growing up which I will never forget...and happens to be a perfect example of following through on consequences..
It had to be 1978ish or whatever year Star Wars came out and the family went to the Drive In to see it..
It was a double feature movie and once Star Wars was over, my sister and I were supposed to sleep during the second movie in the hatchback. Maybe a little much to ask of two young children at their first drive in movie.. I think we might have been 6 and 4 if that.
Of course we messed around, probably ruining whatever second movie we were supposed to sleep through and my dad simply told us if we couldn't settle down, he would never take us to a drive in movie again.
The second drive in movie I saw was in high school with a boyfriend a good 10 years later.
I truly and firmly believe that ALL parents should take some kind of parenting class before having children or shortly thereafter. I also would like to patent a shirt that reads:
Parenting: It's all about getting off your ass!
If I have to tell your child what to do, there is a problem..the fact that you would rather me tell your child what to do than do it yourself to me, is a bigger problem..
" Do not handicap your children by making their lives easy. " — Robert A. Heinlein