Thursday, March 20, 2014

Other People's Kids

While at McD’s last night, my mom and were subjected to many eardrum rupturing screeches from a couple of little girls who were playing.

These little girls were not our little girls, by the way. My girls aren’t screechers. They never have been.

Jaxon was with us too and after the second crystal-shattering scream, he made his way out of the play area and came to sit with us. “Why are those girls making those noises, Gram?” he asked.

“Because they can,” my mom answered.

Yes, we were in the play area of McD’s but honestly, it wouldn’t have killed the parents of those children to actually tell their children to hold it down a little.

Maybe they’d gone to McD’s to let their kids run off some energy and screaming was one way of dong that. Whatever.

The point is, those parents and their children were not the only people in that place and I always find myself wondering what other parents are thinking when their kids are being obnoxious but the parents do nothing about it. Do they think that others will understand that their kids are just blowing off steam? Do they think other people enjoy the screaming sounds of kids having fun?

I’m am so hyper-aware of how my kids’ behavior might be affecting other people that I am probably at the other end of the spectrum, jumping all over my kids before it’s even necessary but I realize that other people might not enjoy the spectacle of my children as much as I do. Heck, they might not enjoy my children at all, gasp! I feel like one of my jobs as a parent is to make my girls aware of the fact that they share this world with other people and they need to be considerate of those other people to a point.

The visit to McD’s reminded me of a conversation I had with Julie earlier in the week.

She was talking about some lovely parents she knows who are both very patient and loving with their kids.

To be honest, after talking to her, I feel like the parents are too patient and loving and that they put their kids’ feelings above the feelings of the rest of the world.

At one point, the son of these lovely parents spilled water all over our good friend Julie. She didn’t say whether the parents apologized to her for their son’s accident. She just said that they were so calm and patient with their son, letting him know it was no big deal that he’d spilled water over someone.

Excuse me, but it was sort of a big deal. The kid spilled water on her a second time not even five minutes later, so obviously, their patience did nothing to teach him to be more careful and more aware of how is actions might inconvenience others.

As with most aspects of parenting, it’s a fine line. Yes, we want our kids to feel like their feelings matter but I don’t think we should put our kids’ feelings above everyone else’s. Not only are we trying to keep these kids alive, we’re also charged with raising contributing members of society. And society isn’t always going to be as patient and loving as dear old mom and dad.

1 comment:

Julie said...

Nope, no apologies. :)