Even though I just read an article from a mother apologizing to other mothers that she judged before having her own kids in which she expresses her frustration with judgments being passed on others’ parenting styles, I am going to do some serious judging. But I think it is completely warranted.
We took a very cranky (screaming for his binky for about an hour straight) Miles to the play area at the yucky mall (you know, the one with the Cici’s Pizza close by…cravings) yesterday. While we were there, I was sitting next to a relatively young couple with a 4-year-old boy running around. In the course of about 5 minutes, I saw their son hit or kick a little girl about twenty times before his mother called her son (read: screamed his name) over.
She then proceeded to grab her son by the collar, get in his face (nose to nose) and say, “If I see you lay your hands on another child, you will be in so much trouble. Do you understand me?” Of course this stern warning was interrupted when he tried to run away from her, making her grab his collar even tighter and threaten him for not listening. I know this doesn’t sound so bad, but please imagine the most angry voice you can right in your face.
About five minutes after that, the mom turned to the dad to say that she was going to the restroom and then to pick up an application at Hooters (yes, that kind of mall). *Note: when I told Chris this story in the car, he said, “Her? Good luck.”*
About five minutes after that (and about fifteen more hits and kicks from their son), the dad saw him kick the same little girl and called his son (read: screamed his name) over. He then proceeded to grab his son by the collar and pull him nose-to-nose.
Then he said,” What did we tell you about hitting other kids?
Then he full on slapped his son in the face and asked, “Do you like to be hit?” His son answered, “no.” Then the dad slapped him again and said, “If you hit another kid, I’m gonna knock you out. Do you understand me?”
Teaching your son to avoid violence by using violence and intimidation.
They must be using a different parenting style than me.