In the last few weeks I’ve been at public locations and witnessed other kids behaving really, really badly. (In the past few weeks, I’ve seen my kids behave badly too but I usually know how to do deal with that).
- At a coffee-house/play-scape place a few weeks ago, a little boy around the age of 4 or 5 was taking the bouncy balls from the “basketball court” and throwing them at the faces of other children (including my two). I asked him to stop and he did initially but then picked up again with the same behavior. This time I went “Supernanny” on him, got down to his eye-level and firmly told him to stop throwing balls. He stopped but called me some names (you know, “poopy-head” or something of that vein). When he started up again, I simply walked over and took the ball from him. He was shocked but his parent was nowhere to be seen so I was not sure what else to do. Eventually, I told DIB & AIB to go play somewhere else because it did not seem like this kid was going to stop.
- Today we were at the library and two little boys (probably around 4) were having the time of their life trashing the puppet stage area. They were taking some cards intended for a matching game and throwing them up in the air and then, eventually, in people’s faces (other adults). Their moms were in another little section of the library chatting away. The woman they threw cards at was sort of timid but then they started throwing books at her and her daughter. I walked up to the little boy who threw the book and told him to stop. The woman asked him where his mother was and both little boys replied, “We don’t have mommies.” The woman walked away while another woman kept observing the yelling and general chaos. Their moms were not far enough away not to hear them but they simply were engrossed in conversation. They eventually came over and saw the mess and cleaned it up. DIB & AIB were observing this and had these shocked looks on their faces. I know it is not because they are above this kind of behavior (they are not); I just think they could not believe the kids were getting away with it.
What I wanted to do at the library today was walk over to the two moms and tell them, “You kids are being a little rowdy.” But I have no idea how people would take that. I want to believe that if I was them that I would not react defensively and would go deal with my kid. I hope I would. I hope that my friends and family know that if they see my kids acting crazy they should definitely say something to me or them. I totally get that kids have bad days (my four-year old had one this Wednesday which meant I ended my night with a Mini-Heath Blizzard from DQ). I hope other parents would understand that if I mention something that your kid was doing that it does not mean I think he/she is a bad kid altogether; just misbehaving in that moment. But these circumstances are really awkward and I wonder how others deal with them. Do you just find the parent right away or try to correct the kid on your own?