Recently I was in a restaurant and observed a mother with three young children sitting within earshot. It was quite obvious she was a single mom and her children were polite, quiet as well as courteous to the waitress. As I was leaving, I approached the mom and apologized if she thought I may have been eavesdropping. "I want to applaud you as a mom. It was a pleasure to have dinner next to your family. You should be very proud at how well behaved and polite your children are." She agreed that she was very proud of them and thanked me for making her day.
Last week, I was returning from a several day visit with my daughter and grandson. I am always delighted at how kind and polite this little soon-to-be three year old acts. The trip home requires two ferry boat rides and the time of solace to get caught up with reading or writing is appreciated.
I parked my car on the bottom deck and got into the elevator. A woman got in with her five or six-year-old boy. As the elevator door was closing, he threw his soda can out the door, causing the door to reopen. My first thought was "Great, this is a good time for this mom to teach her kid a lesson." WAS I WRONG. I actually expected this mother to ask her son to retrieve the can and throw it away in a receptacle.
She laughed and said "You shouldn't have done that." End of story.
I continue to the cafeteria for breakfast and while paying for it, a kid around the same age as the first one walks over to me, looks at my tray and yells.....yes, YELLS "You should never eat junk food. Junk food is not good for you. Why are you eating that food?"
My tray consisted of eggs, toast and a glass of water. His face was the same level as the tray and I restrained myself from dropping it on his head. What did his mother do? NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING.
The Last Straw
After breakfast, I found a comfortable corner to relax and read. In the row ahead of me was a young family. The husband and wife were cuddling their new baby and their three year old leaned over the seat with his head almost in my face and just started to scream. I couldn't figure out what he was saying - just screaming as loud as he could. What did the parents do? NOTHING. Absolutely NOTHING.
Anyone who knows me, knows that all the right buttons had been pushed and I was using every restraint I could muster not to slap this brat. ZERO TOLERANCE.
My friend and fellow blogger, Corinne Rodriques, wrote a post about unacceptable behavior by children in public places. I thought of her that day as I had encountered three situations in the course of an hour that were offensive.
If any of them had been in my place of business, I would have invited them to leave. But they were in a public place, under the influence and protection of their parents. I felt helpless and it certainly underscored how blessed I am to have a grandson who, at a very young age, knows what is expected of him and behaves accordingly.
Remember the story of the kids who stole William's Spiderman bag with his Thomas the Train toys and his parent's camera? What did the parents do? You guessed it - NOTHING. At the end of that post I suggested that these same parents may wonder why their soon-to-be teenagers get in trouble. I don't think it is anything to wonder about -- it is just common sense, which at times, is not that common.
Have you had similar experiences? How have you responded?
Photos courtesy of mountrobsovinn.com and tyronetribulations.com, verbatim.blogs, myhealthgarden.blogspot.com