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.
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.