Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Unwelcome discipline

Want to know one of my greatest pet peeves?

I know you're dying to find out...

I was at the check-out lane in Target this morning when the cashier thought it'd be a good idea to "correct" my children in front of me. Along with groceries, I purchased a snorkel set for my 7-year-old and a boogie board for my 4-year-old. They have become fish this summer and I know they'd get good use out of them, so...

I was putting groceries on the counter when my oldest came up to me with his brand-new (and purchased) snorkel set and asked if I could help him open it. The cashier piped up, "No, honey, you better wait until you get home so nothing happens to it". Um, ok, I let it go. No big deal. THEN, my 4-year-old had his purchased boogie board and punched it (little boys punch things; it's what they do). The cashier decided to then tell him not to punch his new toy, because he might break it.

What I should have said to her (and what I didn't think of until my car ride home) was, "You do your job, and I'll do mine". She even told me she had a 3-year-old at home. I decided after she disciplined my children that her child was a girl. (No offense to any of my friends with girls, I don't mean this the wrong way).

I was right. She mentioned later that she had a daughter. Little boys act differently than little girls. And we can't always stifle their behavior, they need room to be boys. To have energy. To touch everything in sight. To be inpatient. Unfocused. They weren't hurting anyone. They weren't in anyone's way. They weren't being disrespectful or unkind. They were being themselves: excited, full of energy and joy.

If you think I am over-reacting, I'm probably just more sensitive to this situation because it is something I have thought a lot about, and something that seems to happen to me quite a bit. Or maybe it happens to most moms, and it just seems to bother me for some reason.

I know I'm no where near the best mom I can be and that I am a work in progress. But I also know that I am the best qualified person to discipline my own children (besides my husband). I also know that I am non-confrontational, insecure, and timid at times, which prevents me from standing up for myself when this happens. SO, I should have stood up for myself when someone told my 4-year-old he couldn't have a piece of candy after lunch, when I told him earlier he could if he ate a good lunch. I should have stood up for myself when another mom told me to put a coat on my 2-year-old, when he refused to put a coat on and I was just using a little "reality discipline". I know people mean well, and people just want to help, and maybe I'm being too harsh. When family and friends do this, I don't care. In fact, we all need family and close friends to help out, especially if we're not there. But if I'm around people that don't know and love my kids like I do, and if I'm standing right there, I feel it is only right to let me do my job. Right?

Sorry for offending anyone. Any other moms out there who experience this?...


  1. I totally agree!! I really know the difference having a girl. You need boys to be boys and I am sick of people saying boys need to sit down, be quiet. THEY CAN'T!! Boys really are boys. We need them to act like boys and not quiet little girls.
    sorry....I could go on and on about this.

    People also don't understand what kind of day we may have had already. I may have disciplined all day and maybe letting them punch the boogie bored at the store was something so minor compared to the day I had. Some battles are not worth it.

  2. You go girl! My thoughts EXACTLY! Definitely one of my top 5 pet peeves! In fact, often times when I am out and about with my girls and I see moms with boys who are "being boys" I SO want to go up to them and tell them that I too have a boy at home... I know exactly what it's like!
    And yes, girls are different! My Lauryn on the other hand is NOT easier... just different:) MANY days I would take the rambunctious/punching/wild boy play over the whining/prissy/messy girl play! Ok... now I need to write about rainbow and puppies!
    Yes, I love my kiddos:) Most days!
    xoxox: Sarah

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