There are times when other peoples parenting styles make me want to slam my head repeatedly against a wall.  I have to forcibly bite my tongue to keep from saying something.

Yesterday was one of those days.

As a special treat my friend M and I took our girls to McDonald’s for lunch and let them play in the playcenter.  This was V’s first time playing in those climbing structures that McDonald’s has for kids.  And it reminded me why I’ve never been overly eager to let her go play in one.

As soon as we walked in, we pegged her.  You know the type.  The bratty little kid who figures she owns the place and who’s mom is too busy being oblivious to notice.

We let the girls run off into the playcentre, as we sat muttering about how there’s always some little shit you have to keep your eye on at these places.

Sure enough.

Within a few minutes I hear V start crying hysterically up in the structure.

I coaxed her down and tried to get out of her what happened.

Now, V is prone to dramatics, so I tend to take it with a grain of salt.  But she was really upset.  She finally managed to get out that someone had pinched her.  I looked and there were two red angry welts on her chest where someone had pinched her HARD several times.


But before I could do anything, M’s daughter started screaming and crying in the structure too.  This is a kid that’s tough as nails and not the crying type so we knew something was really wrong.

Moments later she emerged out of the playcenter with two bloody scratches down the entire length of her cheekbone.

W. T. F?!?!

Now?  We were really pissed.

Three guesses on who was the culprit in both these attacks (and the first two don’t count).

Yup.  Brat extraordinaire that we marked as soon as we walked in.

Brat’s mom finally took notice as the girls pointed out who had attacked them and, too her credit, made her child come apologize to our girls.

Now… If that was my kid?  I would have be horrified.  Absolutely horrified.  I would have been falling over myself to apologize to the kids and their parents.  And that would have been the end of play time.  I would have hauled her out of there and back home so fast it would have made her head spin.

This mom?  Made the kid sit out for a few minutes, then she was back playing.

There were no real consequences for this kid acting like a brat.  Is it any wonder she’s like that?  She’s allowed to be!

Children need definite, unquestionable, consequences when they’re acting like monsters.  Not a gentle reprimand.  The only thing that teaches them is that they can be a monster because nothing’s really going to happen.

Quite franky, I feel sorry for that mother.  Her kid is going to grow up to be an out-of-control teenager because no boundaries have been set now.

I may come off as a strict mom, but at least my daughter has manners and is very clear that if she wants to act like a brat, she’s going to have to accept the consequences.



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13 Responses to Consequences

  • Shellina says:

    OMG. I almost flipped out on a kid yesterday because he kept KISSING my son at the playplace- heaven forbid he hurt him. I might be in jail right now.

    PrincessJenn Reply:

    Ugh… some kids have no concept of personal space. And…ewwww…germs!

  • Tricia says:

    Oh girl, I hear you. It’s everywhere!always! My kids always loved going to the play places, but there was always one of them who would be the “bully”. Always. They were running the show, not the parents. It’s scary as you say, because if there are no consequences at three and four, how bad is it going to be when you don’t have control anymore? I can never tell whether it’s just apathy or the parent was brought up the same way. Children learn from how you handle something like that. M never forgot the tantrum she once threw in Burger King when she was a mere two and a half. I took her food and her toy and threw them into the trash can and left. It killed me throwing away money like that (LOL) but to this day she says she remembers that day. She was looking forward to a promised treat. I told her that if she was going to behave like that then we would leave. Every time. Same with Brian. He begged for something once in a craft store where I was getting stuff for my classroom,. And proceeding to throw a fit because I wouldn’t get it for him. I calmly abandoned my cart and left the store, really pissed off that I would have to go back again, but he got the message. It’s hard, I know these examples don’t involve hurting another child. They’d be grounded for life for that. So it’s never happened, heh.

    Accountability is one of the biggest and hardest lessons to teach. And in my own experience around the area where we live, the least practiced. This attitude of “entitlement” on the part of parents and children makes me want to scream. And I’m not the judging type, I know all kids have bad days and do bad things, (mine included) but you always need to step up and let your child and the one who might have been hurt know that this is not acceptable. It teaches self-control and tolerance from the beginning. Never too early to start teaching that imho.

    I’m known as the strictest Mom in the world around these parts. But ya know? I don’t care, It’s hard now, but when I see my kids make me proud and take responsibilty for themselves, I know it’s worth it.

    Great post Jenn. : )

  • Michelle says:

    I can be a firm Mommy and I’ve thrown away/given away/put away my share of toys/candy/junk food. It’s not unusual for one of us to retreat to the van with a defiant child so that we don’t spoil everyone else’s good time. We have even gone in two vehicles when we anticipate an event will be too much for one of our children. I bristle when my children believe they’re entitled to something just because they want it.

    On the flip side, I also believe in letting kids solve their own problems when possible. I step in for observed physical violence (like in this case – I’d have been as horrified as you Jenn), overheard name-calling, repeated action that can be construed as bullying and obvious imbalances of power. I also step in if I think my child is being an ass, especially with kids I don’t know. But, especially between my own kids and kids they play with regularly, when they come to meet tattling about S hitting me back, M hitting me first, or R not playing with me, I step back. I may provide suggestions (Could you find a different game to play with? Could you ask him to share?), or by now I may just tell them “Hum, that looks like a problem that you need to solve. I am exceptionally proud of my daughter. At daycare a little boy hit her. Instead of retaliating she looked at him and very firmly told him “I DON”T LIKE TO PLAY LIKE THAT!!” and turned away.

    Fortunately, my kids physically fight most with each other. They’re great with friends. And the two that are closest in age know that if they’re fighting, they BOTH need a break to calm down. Often I tell them they can restart whatever activity they were doing before, only when they can hold hands together and ask me nicely to try again. It’s been working wonders!!

  • Heather says:

    Now, see…you should subscribe to Momma Heather’s School of Anti-Playareas. ;)

    Kidding, sorta.

    Anyway, that Mom is lucky I wasn’t there, because I “may” have told J to punch a kid back one time, when the mom did the very same thing after a kid bit her.

    I know…Mother of the Year.

  • Amy says:

    • Standing ovation • Cept I don’t feel bad for the mom. She’s going to get the unruly teen she deserves.lP

  • Colleen says:

    We would have left too if one of our boys had done this to another child. I feel bad for this girl too because I think she’s acting out to get her mother’s attention. Clearly her mother was too busy to spend time with her.

  • Brigid says:


  • Tam says:

    Ugh. Just another reason I’m not park people. Some people just suck. Some parents suck more.

  • UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! this angers me sooooo damn much. jackson had a playdate with a good friend a few weeks ago and hit him because he wanted a toy. jackson is not a hitter, but he gets more and more stubborn by the day and he’s 3, so while the behavior isn’t typical of him, i wasn’t all that surprised that it happened. that being said, i was MORTIFIED and apologized profusely to our good friend (who was all “omg, he’s fine and totally milking it”). it’s awful to think that your kid has hurt another little one. and it certainly warrants more than a stinkin time-out.

    on the flip side, i don’t know what i would do if i were the parent of the little one who was hurt. i haven’t encountered this yet and i am not looking forward to when that day comes because i’m afraid it will be ugly. it’s not our job to parent someone else’s kid… however, if your child hurts mine (INTENTIONALLY) then god have mercy on your soul because i will be so tempted to rip it out of your chest and stomp on it with my stiletto.

  • Melissa says:

    From my perspective, G walked away with 2 angry red welts and some tears, but has accepted the situation and moved on – no big deal for her really. I was actually surprised that she didn’t engage in a fist a cuffs with the little angel, so points to her for just walking away. The world is full of ignorant people, and we can’t fight everyone. That is a lesson that many of us are still trying to come to grips with at 40, forget 4. As much as I would love to keep her safe from every bad child/parent combo – I know she is going to have to learn that ugly people live amoungst us and we just have to try to set a better example when given the opportunity…
    Having said that, if she sees that little one again and gives her a taste of her own medicine – she may only get a 3 min time out as well!

  • Jodee says:

    You know what good for you! This was a great post. If my child had been the one hurting another child I would of been mortified. And we would of left and it would not of just been a time out. I do hate when there is that one bully kid that the parents completely ignore and they terrorize the other children. And you are right if you can’t handle a four year old there is no way in hell you will be able to handle a 14 year old.

    Great post!

  • Yeah…I would NOT have been able to bite my tongue on that one. I am known to have a big mouth (to say the very least) and I would have mostly definitely given that mother a piece of my mind – whether she wanted to hear it or not. It is a shame that some people don’t take great care in rearing their children…but karma sucks!


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