As an educator for 30 years, I can’t believe the selfishness of current parents of young children. Yes, I said selfishness. Babble.com recently reported on a mother who likes to shop, but she is talking on the cell phone and enjoying looking at cute kids’ clothes, while her 4 year old runs and climbs around store by herself. The child ends up standing on a table, and all her mother can do is say, ” Maybe you should get down.” She endangered her child’s safety and maybe that of another child or adult in the store if something fell (could be you or your kid).
She set a poor role model for other parents’ kids who will also want to run and climb around the store. She is also a bad role model for the parents, and she’s not the only one.
Another mom let her 5 year old go to the bathroom alone while she was in line at Costco. She said she could see the bathroom door, but she also had a 2 year old with her. When she got to the cashier, her attention was divided even further. The child could have been kidnapped or worse. Yet this mom could not take the time to tell her daughter to wait until she could stand by the bathroom door.
Asking your child if they are insane is not the right approach either. A four year old needs to have limits set before they go anyplace ( for their own development and safety and the peace of others sharing their space.)
1. Go over the appropriate rules before you get to the destination. At the playground – no throwing no hitting. When I call your name you come to me. I will give you a 10 minute and then a 5minute warning when we have to leave. At 5 minutes start gathering your toys and brush the sand off. Come to me. This is not negotiable. At 3 minutes if the child hasn’t started to get themselves ready you go over and help them. You both are leaving at the end of the 5 minutes. I say to my 6 year old 7 lb. Maltese “I’m the boss.” She gets it. Your children should know it too.
2. If your child gives you a problem, the conversation goes like this: ” Since you didn’t do what I said, next time we come here, I will have to give you a 15 minute warning and you will lose some playtime, because I need to leave at a certain time. If you listen quickly, next time you can earn the time back.
3. Follow through. Never say anything you won’t do. You need to coach your child to make good choices.
As far as Shopper mom, she is insane if in this age of child abductions, she let her child get out of her sight. I hope she taught her daughter to scream as she is being carried off, “this is not my mom. Call 911. Help me.” If a mother is going to be that irresponsible when shopping, at least her children should be taught how to react in an emergency.