Thursday, January 4, 2007

Stranger Discipline

I have had two annoying episodes lately of complete strangers disciplining my child. A few months ago I was at the doctor's office with my two kids. While I was checking out, Kennedy played with the toys. Tristan was crying because he just had three shots and I was trying to schedule his next appointment. While I was waiting for the clerk to print out my appointment I looked over at Kennedy and I saw that there was a little struggle between her and another girl, who was younger than she is, over a rocking chair. I didn't see the whole thing but I saw the girl's mom scold Kennedy. Now, I'm not naive. I know my child has a difficult time sharing. After all, she is barely three. But come on. This mother was out of line. If I would have been that mom I would have redirected my child to a different toy or tried to get her to share with the other child. The look on this mother's face as she chastised Kennedy is emblazoned in my mind. What a scowl! As soon as I could break free of the appointment desk I rushed over to Kennedy and took her home.
Yesterday was an even more shocking scenario. I took Kennedy and Tristan to the Museum of Life and Science where there is a butterfly house. It's been a long time since we have been there and I don't think Kennedy even remembered the place. We walked into the butterfly section and I immediately saw butterflies but she saw what was on her level, flowers. She loves flowers and loves to pick flowers. She bent down and popped off a flower and flung it in the air. Just as I started to tell her that was not appropriate and that these flowers aren't for picking, a young woman, who probably doesn't even have any kids, swooshed over and put her finger in Kennedy's face and practically yelled at her and told her not to ever do that again! I was so shocked that I couldn't even respond before she was gone. Kennedy just looked at the woman and I couldn't take my eyes off Kennedy. I thought she was going to cry, I would have. Kennedy was so stoic though. We went ahead and tried to enjoy the rest of the exhibit. With each step, however, my blood got hotter and hotter and I wished I would have said something to this lady.
What is wrong with these people? You can't expect a three-year-old to be perfectly behaved. Kennedy is such a sweet person. She is fun-loving and enjoys life. I have never considered her to be a malicious child.
I decided that I have to store a "Thank you, but I will take care of disciplining my child" on the tip of my brain so I will have it ready next time!

1 comment:

Lucy said...

That's pretty obnoxious. I can't recall anyone ever aggressivly disciplining any of my boys. I have heard people passive aggressively complain about them though. Usually in parks or playlands. I'm all about kids working it out for themselves and if they aren't being dangerous then back off! let them learn to share, apologize...whatever. Once when we were at McDonald's playland, one parent kept telling her child (loudly so we could all hear) if they mean boys were bugging her. Give me a break.

Sorry sweet Kennedy had to be subject to obnoxious people. Sounds like you did a good job reassuring her.