Have you ever been in the store shopping and your child starts throwing a fit in front of everyone? Of course, you have. Every child does it. It is not rooted in whether or not we are good parents. There is something else going on. Your child wants to be his or her own authority. Your child is testing boundaries. “What can I get away with? How strong is the will of my parent?” The truth in this is that, often times, parents will give in during these moments, not because they are bad parents, but because they are embarrassed and want the situation to come to an end.
However, the question that comes to my mind this morning is “why do we become so embarrassed over something that is out of our control”? Everyone’s children misbehaves in public, for the most part. It’s not as if we are on an island of bad parenting that everyone else has the privilege of watching from afar. All of our children do this.
Yet, we all experience this. Our child starts throwing a tantrum in public and it is somehow a reflection of our parenting ability. As if there is something that we have done to create this monster. And, granted, many people can probably identify something that they have done to contribute to the problem but that is not the point. I will repeat….
I will repeat…. All of our children do this at some point.
I was talking to a friend of mine at church a couple of nights ago. Our children were all playing on the church playground equipment with some other kids and one of his was in the process of being disobedient. He had warned the child multiple times to stop what he was doing or there would be consequences. You could tell that the child was measuring these things out in his mind.
Is it worth the consequences to continue doing what I am doing?
Ultimately, the child continued right on down the path that he had chosen and created a situation where the parent had to react. Is this a big deal? Not even in the least. I would rather see a parent lay down discipline than give into the child. Remember, we are creating boundaries and must be consistent with them.
I made a comment to him about how ridiculous my own children’s decisions are at times and we discussed how comforting it is to know that we aren’t out on that island alone. See, this is what we should be doing.
As parents, we need to build each other up. Support each other in raising and disciplining our children. The alternative is to create a scenario where everyone feels judged and criticized for their children’s behavior. That does no good for anyone.
Our children are going to test the boundaries that we lay down for them. It is in their nature. Expect it. Allow the meltdowns to run their course. Don’t feel like you have to run and hide your child away somewhere so that they don’t embarrass you. We have all been there. Create a set of rules for you kids to follow and hold them to it. Maybe things have gotten past what you can control. If that is the case, GET HELP. But, don’t ever feel like you have to explain yourself to other parents. We all get it. Or, at least, we should.
Life is Strange. Live it Well.