Wednesday, September 3, 2008

The park rocks

I run into some pretty interesting parenting "philosophies" at the park. Now, I try not to make all these judgements about what kind of mom she is by the one incident, because hey, I too can look like less than the ideal mother (sometimes).

However, sometimes words are a dead give-away of the philosophy of the parent - conscious or not.

The mom today was begging her 3 1/2 year old not to throw rocks. Over and over. As he just laughed. Now, everyone who knows my children knows that they would never so blatantly disregard my authority.

Sense the sarcasm.

So the kid laughed and threw some more rocks, a handful of which hit me in the leg. The mother gasps, "Did you see what you just did? You hit her with those rocks! Now you stop throwing rocks please!"
The boy laughs some more.
The mom, "It's not funny!"
The boy ignores her and throws rocks some more.
The mom tries to reason with him. "Look, you can throw rocks but you'd better make sure nobody's around that's gonna get hit!"
The boy has no response. Other than more laughter. More throwing. Totally ignoring her.
Oh, and all this is always accompanied with "We're going to leave. We're out of here right now if you throw rocks ONE MORE TIME!"
I think he picked up on the fact she wasn't following through.
So she finally says, "You know what? You're going to hit one of these little kids if you throw rocks, and then you'll be in trouble.
Because apparently he wasn't getting into any trouble just for his disobedience and disrespect to his mother.
As I said, interesting philosophy.

I wonder if there are any moms out there blogging about what they've seen me do.


Jennifer Mulvihill said...

Interesting philosophy, yes. My philosophy in that situation? Easy. Spanking! My guess is that the rocks would be a non-issue really quick! :)

sean said...

I think that mother would be better off taking the "ignore-whatever-bad-things-your-child-is-doing" approach. With this approach you save a lot more energy and embarassment. There's no yelling across the park or other children/moms staring at you for making a scene. In using this approach it is key to appear distracted by something other than your naughty child. She should've looked the other way when he first started throwing rocks or dug into her book/magazine or my personal favorite: talking with someone else and completely ignoring your children. This approach is made easier by bringing multiple children to the park with you (NOTE: they do not need to all be your own). Said mother can then quickly pay more attention to the other children, "Oooo! Look at that rock!!" or "I think I hear an airplane. Can you find it in the sky?" or the best one yet: "You need to go potty. Lets go to that Porta-Potty over there in the opposite direction of the unruly one."

Hope this helps!