I learned a long time ago that judging parenting in public rarely makes sense.
Most of the time, parents are stressed. Kids are tired of being drug from one place to the next. And everyone just wants it to be over.
But the other day at Target, I found myself inches away from an altercation.
Our neighborhood store is growing from a regular Target into a super store. You know, one that offers fresh fruits and vegetables and other grocery items. So, there's construction everywhere. The lay of the land has changed and no longer is it an easy gig to get in and get out. Everyone's adjusting.
So, as I was wandering up and down the linen aisles looking for baby goods, I heard a little boy, probably 5 or 6 whining. Nothing new. My kids do it all the time. In fact, when they're not, that's when I know I'm in trouble...because most likely, they're in cahoots organizing a big brewhaha.
It wasn't the little boy wailing that got me. It was his piss poor of an excuse for a mother that I wanted to strangle. Getting in too late on the conversation, I didn't hear what he wanted...but his mother's response was something like, "Keep dreaming...who do you think you are...I make the money around here...forget about it."
Now all of these things may be true. He may be dreaming big Lego dreams. She may be the bread winner. And, he may never see the toy in his home....but for the love of God...why do you have to be such a bitch about it?
I have long believed that kiddos deserve respect. They understand everything we say in their presence and they model our behaviors. And when we fail them or the situation, they deserve an apology...as we may give to our partner or to a coworker.
And believe me, the whole store would hear an earful, if I asked any one of my kids who they thought they were? All I'm asking is that when it's time to discipline, do it as benevolently as possible. Children are people too who deserve kindness even when they're on our last nerve.