Sunday, June 24, 2012

Kids and The Public

I just came home from the tractor pulls in Wisconsin. I had a great time and the little break from home life and the kids was just what I needed to get recharged. Notice I said a little break from my kids. I missed them like crazy and wished they could have come, but the thing is...they don't care for the tractor pulls. They would be fine sitting through one show/night of the pulls, but five shows would be torture in their eyes.

Some of the things I see at the pulls and in general public just makes me shake my head. I don't like to condemn other parents for doing what they feel is best for the child and them. I am all for taking my children with me if they would like to go with me. Sometimes I do exert a little pressure to have them come with me if I think a life lesson or a skill could be learned.

I just can not handle the parents who do absolutely nothing to control their kids. Nothing. Case in point: We were sitting in the top row of the bleachers. A young boy of 4-5 years (?) came with his family to the pulls. They sat down in front. The little boy is climbing up and down the bleachers while his parents are talking to the others around them. After about 15 minutes of that, he stands at the top of stairs on the bleacher and screams/yells for his mom.

For 10 minutes.

Do you think she heard him? Do you think she reacted?

No. This little boy continued on until a few people told him to go down to his mother. Which he did. Screaming her name all the way down. Honestly? I don't think she knew he was not sitting beside her until he screamed her name from the bleacher above her. Then she scolded him. The dad did nothing.

I am not perfect as a parent. I have made more mistakes than I can remember to admit. I have lost Dane twice in a store. He thought I went one way when I went another and followed the wrong person. After that happened, I didn't take him shopping for awhile until he could prove that he could listen to my direction and to pay attention. Both those skills are hard for young ones to learn, but totally necessary.

What if a real emergency happens? Are your kids going to know that they need to listen to you and pay attention to what you have to say and what you are doing? I hope so with my kids, but I continue to make sure that they do in daily situations.

Another skill that kids should learn is self-control. That kid screaming from the top of the stairs and bothering those around him? Was that okay? Not in my mind. He should have known better. One of my kids screaming for me like that better be hurt or have an emergency (and yes, running out of toliet paper in the bathroom while going to the bathroom counts). It is extremely disrespectful and very disruptive to those around them.

Honestly, I know he might have enjoyed the pulls, but at some point I think kids might be too young for them. Same thing goes taking kids to the races, concerts, and whatever you enjoy doing that requires behaving in public. If my kids can not behave in public and become hard to control then I will leave with the notion that they will not come back until they can. As a parent, I need to be the one who teaches my kids how to behave in public settings. Not random strangers.

I know how hard it can be to get a babysitter to watch, much less finding one who is reliable and trustworthy. Having family close by helps, but that welcome can be worn out if overused. Sometimes the only solution is stay home or have one parent take the kids who are old enough and well-behaved enough to go.

For the sake of those around you, please understand your kid's limitations and control them in the public settings. I know I think my kids are pretty good kids as well as wonderful to be around, but I want to be realistic too.

I want to treat others how I would like to be treated. I don't want to treat others with my kids' bad behavior so please be considerate of others by not treating them with your kids' bad behavior. If they are misbehaving and I don't see it, I want to know about so I can deal with the situation quickly.

Thanks for reading my rant! Have a great night!

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