It confounds me how some parents have become scared of their kids. They cater to their every whim and pleasure in fear of a meltdown. I know we want our children happy, but should it be despite learning life lessons? Almost every time I go into Wal-Mart, I witness so many levels of these issues.
First, the parents ignoring their child while she screams and hits her because she didn’t get the cupcake she wanted. I feel for this woman, I truly do; but seriously it is not hard to take the kid out and put her on time out in the car until she cools down. This at the very least gives you the opportunity to reinforce to her the fact that the behavior is unacceptable and doesn’t accomplish anything.
Next, the parents letting their children run around, unsupervised and use the store as a playground. I understand you want do your shopping uninterrupted or you want your kids to be able to be kids and have fun, but a department store is not the place to do it. At least not anywhere except the toy section, and even then, you need to watch them! That’s the easiest way to get your kids abducted. It is even interrupting everyone else who is trying to get their shopping done when they decide to play shopping cart “Frogger.” Either keep your kids with you or leave them at home.
Also, the parents who stuff their kids with whatever food or drink they want; just to keep them quiet. Some kids are lucky to have a high enough metabolism to keep from becoming obese, but then there are a lot who aren’t. Obesity is a huge hot-button issue in the US, there are arguments over what is healthy and what isn’t. Seriously people, its common sense; your children are not supposed to be on a regular diet of candy, soda or fast food. Too often do I see children who can barely walk because of their weight or bouncing off of the walls. Everyone has had the class on the four major food groups and it is not hard to keep them in your home on a budget. If you don’t know how to cook, learn to. There are YouTube videos, classes, TV shows, friends, family…etc. There is no reason for you to not know at least basic cooking as a parent.
Finally, the parents who promise their child the world to behave in the store. Does your child honestly need another toy? If they can’t behave in the store, they don’t need to be there. They should not expect a reward constantly; only reward them when they don’t have to be asked or if their behavior is exemplary. Don’t tell them that you will; if you do then they will come to expect it. If you do reward them and they don’t like the reward, then I guess they didn’t want one in the first place. Children should not be raised to expect everything to just happen on a whim.
Call me Sgt. Mom, but children are being pampered too much nowadays. To raise happy, healthy and respectful children you need to let them know where the lines are. They have to know what they can and cannot do, say, eat and when. I’m not saying you can never treat your children; there is just a time and place. Your child’s health is not something that can be negotiated. I know there are times you just want them to stop screaming or you see them cry and your heart goes out to them. If the tears are real, then hugs are necessary. If the screaming is unbearable, send them to their room and find one of your own and take your own time out or remove them from the situation. The bottom line is, you’re the parent and they are the kid. Let’s keep it that way.