Friday, April 17, 2009

face as red as his hair

So I have come to the point in time with my boys were it is sometimes necessary to correct their behavior in public. Especially with Atty who seems to think that public embarrassment by way of tantrum is awesome. I being the mean mom I am do not give in to public displays of nastiness, and instead react the same way I would at home and follow through with what ever discipline is necessary. I'm fully aware that if I give in and allow them to act up in public, they will capitalize on this, and being as I am out numbered, the idea strikes terror to my core. That being said, there is something so awkward about correcting your child's behavior in public. The stares, and whispers. The murmured comments, I've even seen people pointing. We were at a home improvement store last weekend and right when we walked in and started putting the little boys in carts, Atty freaked out and decided he wasn't riding in a cart. Being as he is heavy carrying him wasn't an option for me. Letting him walk is a disaster with him at this point. So I needed him to sit in the cart. I tried to reason with him a couple times and then told him if he didn't sit in the cart he would get a time out. He didn't care, so I gave him a time out right then and there, and sent my hubby and the other boys to start there shopping. Now I know it's not pleasant to listen to a child throw a tantrum, and I myself defiantly wasn't enjoying it, as evident by the darkening red shade of my face, but I seriously don't need to be stared at during it all. It's so irritating. I looked up and the closest clerk was just full on staring at us, disapproving look and all, didn't even bother to look away when I glanced over at her. Atty continued to throw his fit for a moment then stopped and I asked him if he was ready to get in the cart, were as he said yes. The whole time this lady and anyone who happens to pass by is getting an eye full. So I attempt to put him back in the cart, and sure enough he starts pitching a fit again. So I tell him he will take a time out in the van if he doesn't stop (mostly because I want to run away and hide at this point) and he could care less. So then I have to carry him kicking and screaming, red faced to match his hair through the store, because the exit is located conveniently on the other side of the store. With everyone staring at me, and making comments. I truly know why people just give in, because it's absolutely humiliating to deal with the aftermath when requesting appropriate behavior. We made it out to the van, away from prying eyes, I buckled him into his car seat, shut the door and stood outside for a few minutes. He got the point, I got him into a cart out in the parking lot away from the audience, gave him a snack, went back in and all was good. He ended up falling asleep in the cart, which was probably half of the reason why he threw a fit in the first place being as he was tired. Although he has always caused problems when in a cart, he just hates being strapped in because he is such an active explorer.

The point of this post, if there is a point, is why do people feel the need to stare and criticize when a parent is only trying to get there child to behave. Obviously if a person is beating their child, or screaming degrading remarks at their child they should be stared at and hopefully someone would intervene for the sake of the child. I've overheard situations were I felt the parent wasn't dealing with things appropriately. I still don't make comments though, nor do I stare, in fact when I notice a parent reprimanding a child I look the other way. I give them as much privacy as being in a public place can afford. Nobody likes a wild undisciplined child running free in a store, so why stare and make the parent uncomfortable when they end up being in the position of having to enforce rules in public. Give the parent a break for trying to do there part. For trying to raise a well behaved child. Stop staring, and making mumbled comments, even if you think you can do it better.

Have any of you been in this situation, and what do you do to deal with it? Does it get to you, or do you let it roll off your back, and let it go unnoticed?


Mama said...

Oh I am so there with you! I get very uncomfortable. My kids are getting to the point of being embarrased them selves...this is a good thing.
Good job doing the right thing! I cant stand obnoxious kids. We always point out others bad behavor to our kids. What not to do, and they have even made comments about kids being bad.
Keep it up!

Melody said...

Amen! I totally agree... whenever I see a parent trying to deal with their child like that in public, I always look the other way too... I know how embarrassing the situation already is and I don't want to add to it! It is so horrible when people stare and point! Like it's our fault as a parent that our child had a tantrum... ANYONE's child can misbehave, no matter who you are! It's the parents who do nothing about it/don't even notice or care at all, who should be stared at, not the parents who continue to be consistent with their disciplinary techniques! (Although, I have ignored Kade having a tantrum in the store before because I was just too burnt out to deal with it and felt like I was at the end of my rope... so I can see how it happens!) Sounds like you dealt with the situation perfectly :)

The Mom said...

Here, here, me also, I look away. I have two red heads who live up to what they say about red hair.

If you remember you commented about falling asleep in weird places on my blog. Do you care if I post part of your story when I get a chance? I also need to send you the "surprise" that I mentioned. Email me with your snail mail addy.