Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Parenting 101

While at the library today, I had one of those moments that I knew would visit me eventually. I was watching my littlest (16month old) encounter another young boy (probably around 2). The boy was obviously annoyed at my little one. He was scowling and advancing toward him. No big deal. It's always interesting to watch their interactions. See how they both handle it.

So other kids pushes my little one. No big deal...W stumbles a bit but manages to keep his footing. All is fine. No need to intervene. Then kid advances further and pushes even harder. W catches air before he actually falls. At one point not one bit of his body is touching the ground. I look around for a moving mom. A mom that looks the least bit interested in what is happening. I see nothing so I say calmly but firmly, "No, no. We do not hit." And then I pick W up and move on to looking at books in the vicinity.

Then missing mom comes on the scene and I over hear here saying to the boy, "What's the matter". So I turn to look at him. He is still standing in the same spot with a big pout on his face. This doesn't bother me at all. Many children pout when they are scolded even if it is something they need to hear. Truthfully adults do the same thing. I tell the mom, he just pushed my son down and I told him that we don't hit (plenty of other parents around that witnessed the whole scene). The mother scoops him up and hugs him and he starts to cry.

She cuts me the look and tells me that in the future to leave the parenting to her. To which I replied that I was sorry, but I looked for a parent and as there was none, I felt something needed to be said as he deliberately pushed my son with no invocation. She said, well I was right there and was headed this way. To which I replied, Well I did look around for the parent, and didn't find one.

Now I'm annoyed for several reasons. I'm annoyed that it didn't seem to matter that her son was acting out...more it mattered that I said something to him when she wasn't present. I'm also annoyed that I employed gentle instruction and that was somehow perceived as inappropriate. I would much rather have had the discipline coming from the mom, but I couldn't find her when the time called for her instruction. Obviously I didn't lay a hand on the child, but is it now inappropriate to explain to a child that it's not ok to push? Sheesh. I know I muddle the line, because I tend to surround myself with people who discipline in the same manner as I do, so I don't mind when others correct my children. They are great learning times for both the kids and the moms!

How off am I on this? Opinions? Clearly I offended someone...that wasn't my intention. Was there a better way. Maybe not going to the library with both kids when my brain is still in a very serious flu fog!


w and js mommy said...

I''m proud of you. you did the right thing..you looked to see if CRAZY mom was around and she was not and so you told him a big fat NO--I believe that some people have no clue. you are right about being around friends that dicipline the same I would not think twice if one of my friends called my kids out...that is our job as a Christian family. We all live under ONE umbrella. Its our JOB to see that none of us get in the rain.

kathylovemeyer said...

Honestly I don't see anything about what u said is wrong, but right on:) There are alot of parents today who just don't get it...don't really know how to parent...besides doesn't this mom know that someone/anyone could just walk off w/her small child ... never ever can be too carefull these days! I'm really proud of u standing ur ground on this! Just maybe God knew this mother needed to be confronted w/this. And I'm thinking that this sort of thing has happened before w/her child...hitting another child:)