MOVarazzi

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

939. O Is for Other People’s Kids

I noticed a strange phenomenon when I had a baby:  everyone assumed that because I loved my newborn, I loved every child.  It was as if they thought because I produced this 7-pound tiny human being, I must adore anyone born in a year with a two-zero prefix.    

Not so.     
I love the idea of children, their cherubic faces happy and laughing on a Gap Kids commercial on TV (on mute).  Children are darling when they are doing fun, but quiet and important activities, like sleeping. 

Heck, I can’t even stand my own children sometimes, let alone other people’s.  But here’s the difference:  I am allowed to discipline my own kids. 
Tall gets mouthy?  Whoops, he won’t get that playdate with Justin tomorrow after all.  Short hits his brother?  Guess we will have to cancel that trip to the aquarium.  My children know there are consequences for their behavior. 

Sometimes I feel alone.  I witness other moms do the dreaded count to three … but then nothing happens when they get there.  There are no repercussions.  Life is one long threat. 
In my mind, I correct naughty children at the grocery store.  Taylor, climb down from that shelf immediately or you will not get to go to Isabel’s birthday party.  Michael, stop racing the cart down the aisles and running into people or you will lose video games for a month.  Sophie, stop kicking the cantaloupe display or you will not get to go to ballet lessons this afternoon. 

The trick is:  follow thru. 
Hey, I don’t want to be the bad guy in my household either, the one my kids hate.  But it is more important to me that my kids respect me than like me. 

I am their parent, not their friend. 
MOV

36 comments:

  1. Yeah, I find the idea of children much nicer than the reality. The idea of a child doesn't smell, shriek, break stuff, or get in my way when I'm going somewhere. I can happily sit in a pub and have a drink with the idea of a child. Can't do that with the real thing.

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    1. the idea of a child is ALWAYS nice (and really clean, too)

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  2. I do correct strangers children (all the time). I am allowed. After all, I am a grandmother raising a grandchild. That gives an advantage. I am old and therefore not restricted by the traditional rules that would apply to a younger parent. And, I am the parent here and not the friend. He is almost 13 and will abide by the rules. Fortunately, using his dad as an example of what not to do works well.

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    1. I think I just fell in love with you.

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  3. Children are not built to carry the weight of finding and setting their own boundaries. That's what parents are for. It is how we protect them. They should not be left to raise themselves.

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  4. ROFLOL That's great Mov! I agree as a father I definitely don't like all kids. I love my own, but some kids are jerks. just like some adults.
    -Maurice Mitchell
    The Geek Twins

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    1. ha! that is a great way to put it, just like some adults.

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  5. I don't like other kids either because they are bad influences on my sweet angels of sunshine that never do anything wrong. I mean if they do do something wrong I'm sure its because they learned it from a friend. And unfortunately they are good learners.

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    1. bwahahahahahahaaaaaa! ROTFL.

      Christian, you have to turn this into a blog post (sweet angels of sunshine--love it!).

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    2. Oooh, another good topic suggestion. I've written this one down too. Thanks!

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  6. Excellent, MOV. This should be a must-read for parents. FAR too many parents let their kids get away with everything. Well said. Our kids never got away with anything, period. Now they're GREAT adults. As Kate said, "Hallelujah!"

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    1. oh, Raymond, that seriously makes me feel like Miss America being crowned and handed a check for $5000 and being told that chocolate causes weight loss. You make me think the world is a good good place after all, and that my sons will turn out as great adults! thank you for that.

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  7. If I could scream this from the rooftops I would! YES! Follow through. Always follow through. It works in all sorts of situations, not just disciplining children. Make a mistake while driving? Follow through. Don't swerve into another lane or make a quick stop. That is the sort of thing that causes accidents.

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    1. I think I will have t-shirts printed up: FOLLOW THRU!

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  8. I sometimes think I hate other people's children because I'm always surprised when I meet a child who doesn't belong to me, that I like.

    I'm not a kid person to begin with though. Don't I sound like a curmudgeon? I'm not. really! Ha ha. I love teenagers. They are pretty cool beings.

    My kids were homeschooled and in that environment, they simply HAD to behave else I'd kill them. Not seriously of course, but being with them 24/7 requires a certain stamina and for the best mental health, respectful behavior was a big deal in my house too.

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    1. Yes, we really encourage respectful behavior. I am big on manners.

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  9. As a teacher I got used to disciplining other people's children. It's a hard habit to break even though I'm now retired. I will assertively tell a child to stop running in the grocery aisles, or keep his fingers out of the produce. One of the benefits of being a senior is that I can be a cranky old woman. Okay, truth, I've also been know to mutter "Shut that fuc*$&@ baby up!" Heck, no one's perfect!

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    1. ha! I have thought that a few times on the airplane.......

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  10. Right on MOV, you hit the nail on the proverbial head. And since we're talking, parents who take their little ones to restaurants and don't take them outside when they start to act up are my pet peeve. Good "O" subject!

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  11. I do the same thing in stores, except I'm the cashier behind the counter thinking, "Wow, I don't even HAVE kids and I can tell this person is terrible at discipline." And so many of them BUY the kid something after he/she has a tantrum or meltdown. It's crazy.

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    1. ooooh, that is in the Parenting 101 Handbook: DO NOT REWARD A TANTRUM. EVER.

      If you learn nothing else from me, learn this.

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  12. Amen sista! When my kids were teeny I was always amazed at how others and even my own friends( refused to disciplined their kids) they instead stood around counting and then doing nothing. Great post.
    Blessings, Joanne

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    1. oh, the counting and doing nothing! NOOOOOOOOO! Just shows you have no "bite to back up your bark."

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  13. I loved this line because it so true: "Children are darling when they are doing fun, but quiet and important activities, like sleeping."

    Your counting to three and nothing happens example made me laugh and want to cry a little. That is my husbands form of discipline. He tells our daughter, "Go to your room." She doesn't, and he just sits there.

    When my daughter misbehaves with me she doesn't even get a warning. She just finds herself in time-out in one swift movement. Now I just have to mention Time-out and she shapes up. Of course, unless she wants to go to time-out, which seems to be the case some days. I think she gets nostalgic for it.

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    1. As a child, I was always happy to go to my room, as that it where all the toys were.

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  14. My husband told me the other day that he just realized that I don't like children. I said 'Yes I do', but then he started rattling off every child I complain about, and so we literally made a list. I love my own to death, and two others. The rest? They just annoy me. At first this revelation made me sad, for a minute. I'm recovered.
    I love your comment on the dreaded count to three. Then at 3 nothing happens. I so understand that. I had a neighbor that would threaten to grab her shoe. 'O.K. I'm counting to three and grabbing my shoe'
    One time I mumbled under my breath a little too loud, 'Just grab your dam shoe for once'

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    1. "Grab her shoe"? Then I gotta know......... does she throw the shoe at them?

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  15. Oh, I am not a big fan of the empty threat!

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  16. Agreed. I'm so with you on other people's children - I'm really not a kid person and other people's kids tend to annoy me (as do my own sometimes). I don't say this out loud because the one time I did, I got the horrified judgmental look. Whatever.

    I've stopped the counting thing. My younger son made a game of it. When I said "three", he would scream and run to go do what he was supposed to. Still got the punishment though because he didn't start until after I said three.

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When you write a comment, it makes me feel like I won the lottery or at the very least like I ate an ice-cream sundae. (This has nothing to do with the fact that I did just eat an ice-cream sundae.)