I believe children want discipline. As much as they act like they want their way all of the time, they enjoy boundaries. My interaction with a child this evening is a prime example. I am not one who pays attention to other people when I’m shopping. I go into the store, shop, and leave. I wish other people would do the same…
I don’t normally talk to other people’s children because I am funny about that. So, tonight while making a quick stop at the corner store I encountered an unruly child whose parent was allowing to be out of control. The child was running down the aisles and yelling pretty loudly. Instead of addressing the behavior the woman was holding onto the child’s shirt and telling him to stop pulling her around the store. Really?! Just discipline the child. He looked to be about 7-8 years old and had a large enough vocabulary that he understands right from wrong.
So I get to the register and wait for the couple in front of me to finish their transaction. And here comes this woman and her loud child, who by now has progressed to knocking things onto the floor. And this woman starts talking loudly to the child but its directed to the adults. She’s saying things like “you have people looking at me crazy” “you have me running around this store like a fool”. I didn’t respond (yes, I’m proud of myself) and just stood quietly waiting my turn.
And then the child starts bumping into me. So I look at him and then look at the woman and hold the stare long enough to make her look away. She says “the lady doesn’t want you touching her”. I didn’t respond….and he does it again. I’m talking about bumping into me to where he moves my body – and its on purpose. So I put my items on the counter and look at her again, still not saying anything. And she tells him “see you are making her mad” but she’s talking to him like he cares. And then he laughed and bumped into me again…and that’s when I said something to him. I didn’t yell or raise my voice. I spoke to him calmly, but sharply because I wanted him to know that I was not playing with him. And I told him to be still and not to bump into me again. Children know who they can test because he replied “yes ma’am”. It really is/was that simple.
The situation should have been over with because I was checking out by that time. But the woman says, this is how boys act. I laughed and said no I raised a boy and that’s not how boys act. That’s how CHILDREN act when their parents don’t care. And then I hear several “AMENs” from customers behind them.
The thing is, the child stood there quietly after I addressed him. He wanted to be told that he couldn’t do something, but he wanted to know that the person meant it. That child doesn’t know me but he recognized that I was serious. He wanted to be disciplined. Unfortunately this woman is allowing this child to be out of control and it is the public, teachers, and others who suffer. And she’s setting him up for failure because he doesn’t know how to act around other people.
I say love your children enough to discipline them.
God bless, and be blessed.