The minute my back was turned (story of my life), I heard the wails. We were at at our local indoor playground, a shiny new miraculous sort of place.
A brilliant construction of science, technology, engineering, and math-based environments. LOTS of active indoor play. Huge jungle gyms and state-of-the-art equipment.
All of this awesomeness meant tons of kids, especially on a weekend when you live in the polar vortex. As we do.
The sound of screaming children — even fighting, screaming children — is just par for the course. You have to sort of drown it out but also have your own ears perked up to know when it’s your own kid wailing the blues.
So when I turned around, almost expectantly, and discovered that an adorable young lad (probably about 4) had hauled off and laid a smack down on my Abby — and continued to do as such… Well, it was like any other day in my house.
Except in my house there are consequences for such behavior. If Wyndham or Abby gets physical with each other, there is no good reason for it, and it is absolutely addressed right away.
It’s up to me to teach my kids how to treat one another with kindness and respect, even if they’re really annoyed with one another. It’s up to me to help guide them through how to deal with their emotions without inflicting physical pain on someone. Dishing out consequences isn’t something that I’m going to start administering when they’re “older.”
Obviously it isn’t my place to preach on others with theories on how to best raise their kids. But I can’t help to surmise that when your child–especially your older, bigger child–hauls off and hits my child repeatedly… and you respond with a smile and a shrug that, “Kids will be kids,” I can’t help but think: Yep, they will. And yours in particular is going to turn into a self-entitled brat! (Because yes, that’s what happened, the young lad’s very own mama bear was right there the whole time, just smilin’ away. Which is fine. Smile. Shine it up. But stop your kid from beating my child while you’re at it, mmmk?)
Is this wrong? Am I really focusing on the emotional development of my children too much? I don’t think so. In fact, the importance of how to raise our children during the early years sets the foundation for how they learn, how they understand themselves, the world and the people around them is HUGE. This has been researched and written about in peer reviewed journals for decades. Many of us know this. Believe it.
So I suppose I have to resign myself to the fact that there are also many parents who are not like me, and they are going to let their little ones get away with pretty much anything under the notion that kids will be kids.
Kids who will one day turn into teens. And then adults, who don’t give a second thought to how big of a bully they are because their parents didn’t invest in their emotional development enough to teach them a better way. Perhaps I am generalizing a bit here, but it happens somehow, right? Aren’t we, the parents, responsible first?
More Babbles From Selena…
- No-Cook, DIY Valentine’s Themed, Scented Playdough!
- No Sleep Till Brooklyn
- The Week That My Toddler Hated Me
- On Giving In To The Unexpected In Parenting
- Through One Mom’s Lens: Life With Little Ones on a Russian Farm
- That’s No Blizzard, That’s My Sister!
- New Year, Saner Me: 10 Things I’m (Trying) To Do Before The Kids Wake-Up
- 10 Things I’ll Never Regret Doing With My Kids
- 7 New Year’s Resolutions I Hope My Toddlers Make For 2014
Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all the time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets … via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve