I really don’t get it. I really don’t! Why is it so difficult to control your kids? How can it be that, although some of them can barely talk, they walk all over their parents? Oh, and everyone else in the closer proximity… How can parents ignore their kids when they clearly misbehave, destroy stuff and make a hell of a noise?
I am a mother. I know that kids sometimes need to move and, as much as I struggle with that saying, kids are kids. I struggle with it because it is misused as a cheap excuse for everything parents don’t want to deal with. A child bites another child: Kids are kids. A child hits another child: Kids are kids. You know what: Kids are kids when they run around and play. They are kids when they giggle and sometimes giggle a little bit too loud. They are kids when they play a game and maybe don’t understand the rules. But it should not be an excuse for “I can’t cope with this bullshit anymore”.
There is one day in my week, where I really really want to put my earplugs in and turn my music up and in a perfect world would probably just shut my eyes. Oh no, wait: In a perfect world nobody else would be there but the parents who know how to control their kids. Or better: Just the parents with the kids who have manners.
It’s that one day when I wait for my little girl. And I want to wait, because I want to watch her dance. I love to watch her dance. I love to watch the entire group dance. But I would love to do it in peace and quietness. Now let me tell you: It’s a Zoo! And only on this day. None of the others! It’s those two moms and their kids. I’ve never seen kids misbehave like this. Running around, into anybody who is in their way, screaming, running over the seats and the sofas, which are there for parents who wait, throwing shoes around and so on. And the parents just don’t give a rats ass!
Those women sit there on one of the sofas (they sit in front of the window which you could use to watch the girls dance) and chit chat in a volume that in itself is already, let’s say not to my liking as I usually like to hear myself think… It’s the combination of them speaking so loud and their kids going mental in the waiting area. Well I kind of understand that they have to talk so loud, as it is impossible to hear each other with the screaming of the boys…
Now today it got extra special. Today there was a dad I’ve never seen with two boys. While the usual screaming, running, loud talking is going on, he joins the party with his glorious offspring. Now he was on his phone, playing some game (I know because one of the boys asked him about the game) and one of his boys threw a tantrum. A six year old child throws a tantrum… because he can not have dad’s phone… The dad got up and walked off, leaving his boys there for 10 minutes before he returned, only to find one of them still on the floor screaming. Well… I guess it is better than killing the child. As you can see it got really exciting. The moms still taking full blast, their kids still running, screaming, jumping over sofas and throwing shoes and in the middle of it a six year old on the floor screaming and shouting and going nuts… Bliss!
It’s so hard sometimes. I try to tell myself that the kids are not the bad ones. That in the end it’s actually not their fault. But I tell you what I could sometimes just grab them and shake them and tell them to stop! I know, I am such a bad ass! It just makes me so mad. There is such a huge amount of disrespect. Disrespect for the property of someone else. Disrespect for the girls, who are dancing and their instructor. I am so sure they hear the noise. And disrespect for everyone else around.
I can’t tell you how often those kids have stepped on my foot or bumped into me. Not once there was a ‘sorry’. Not from the kids, not from the moms. And each time it was pretty obvious. But oh don’t dare to stop them and tell them! And I am nice. At least so far. I would not tell them off. I usually just say “Oh, be careful, you just stepped on my foot…”. They either ignore me or then they give me that ‘what do you want’ look and the moms go into ‘don’t talk to my child’ mode… And if you approach them about the fact that it is extremely loud they just give you the ‘if you don’t like it sit somewhere else’ look.
I stand my ground. I do. But sometimes it is pretty hard to. There is this fine line (or not so fine line) you just can’t cross when it comes down to the way other people raise their children. I understand that. I don’t like it either if someone tells me how I would have to raise mine. If mine would step on someones toes constantly or kick their shin or run into them, I would make sure they apologize… well no, I would not have to, as they would apologize right away.
People: I really don’t care how your kids behave at home. Not at all. But the moment you step out of your home I care as you step into my world as well. Your home = Your world and your rules. Outside of your home: OUR world. OUR rules. A world we share. And there are certain rules we all have to kind of apply to in order to get along and live peacefully and happily.
Now, if you don’t teach your kids respect and manners and behavior at home, how can you expect them to behave in public? If you ignore them constantly, how do they know that you care? If you don’t teach them at home that a conversation over a meal should not be a screaming contest, how should they know that they have to keep it down in a restaurant? If you don’t teach them that in some moments it is important to listen and sit still or be quiet, how should they know that when you are on a trip and on a flight they have to stay in their seats and buckled up at least for take off and landing?
It’s those ‘little’ things that have such a huge impact. Kids need to know that a no is a no and not a maybe. They need to know when it’s serious and when it’s not. They need to know when enough is enough. Is it really such a big effort to teach that to your kids? Where is the problem?
Maybe we are just lucky. Maybe it’s just the way our kids are. Maybe it’s the homeschooling…
No! It’s not. And yes, we might be lucky because they are just amazing little personalities, but all of our friends have amazing kids. And all of them are so well behaved and so well mannered. So it’s not the homeschooling and it is not a jackpot in the lottery of life (well it is). It is something we all do right.
We all care! We care about how our kids behave. We care if they have manners. And we care teaching them. There are no excuses like ‘I am not happy about it but that’s what they learn in school…’ or ‘I can just not be bothered anymore’. We care so much that we don’t care that we might have to argue with them, that sometimes it might be unpleasant to say no and easier to say yes. We care enough that we stay our ground even though we understand why they question our decision. Nobody ever said that parenting is easy. Seriously!
When you commit to be a parent, which you do the moment you decide to have your baby, you sign up for a 24/7 lifetime job. So you will have to bother for a little while longer. It is your responsibility to give your child the right tools. To guide it properly and into the right direction. Nobody else’s!
There is this one thing I wish all parents would teach their children. It’s respect. Such a little word, such a little thing but such a massive impact… So let those kids be kids but let them do it with respect!