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Do You Apologize for Your Kid’s Bad Behavior?

photo (129)I consider myself fortunate to have well-behaved kids generally speaking. I mean, they’re still kids who do annoying kid things, but overall they’re good kids with hearts of gold.

But that’s not to say we don’t have behavioral issues in mixed company.

About a week ago, BooBoo and I were visiting with a girlfriend and her 5-year-old son at an outdoor mall. The boys naturally wanted to play so my girlfriend and I established generous physical parameters and a few simple rules. Within minutes, BooBoo began testing the physical boundaries and rules of play while running through hoards of unsuspecting families who are just there to enjoy a nice summer day. Um, please excuse my kid while he mows over your grandma and new walking toddler…

I warned him, pulled him aside, took him to the car, used my best teeth-gritty, nostril-flaring scare tactics and still, he just could not pull himself together. This exhausting routine continued for about an hour before I finally called it quits, but not before he managed to hurt himself and his playmate.

I was exhausted, embarrassed for myself as a mother, and embarrassed for my kid.

Don’t get me wrong, BooBoo’s an awesome chap. He’s loud as hell and hilarious an all-around boisterous boy. He plays hard. He’s dangerous. He’s fantastically weird and wonderful, but when it comes to commingling with other kids, his spirited behavior has been known to cause problems.

I thought a lot about the circumstances that lead to BooBoo’s over-the-top behavior that day and found it difficult to stave off excuses (he was tired/it was hot/he was just excited), but in looking at the situation for what it really was, excuses were just excuses.

My kid wasn’t the first to have a bad day. He chose not to listen, follow the rules, or use good judgment, putting him, his playmate, and the general public in harm’s way.

We all have “that kid” on occasion, but do you feel the need to apologize for it?

I did. I felt it only right after I dished out BooBoo’s punishment to sit down and compose this text to my girlfriend: “I’m sorry [BooBoo] has such a hard time following the rules today. We’re working on it together and I have faith we’ll get there in time. Thanks for your patience today.”

Did I need to apologize? Probably not, but it felt right even though I’m not the one who really owes the apology. You can be sure that the next time BooBoo meets up with my girlfriend, he’ll be the one apologizing.

Do you apologize for your kid’s behavior?

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