Oct 17, 201209:08 AMCup of Joe
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Oh, the guilt!
Perhaps it is my lack of parenting experience, but it has always bothered me when I see a family out shopping and the kids are begging and pleading to have some ridiculous toy and the parents ignore them, while the kids scream louder and eventually start crying—and the parents eventually give in and say “Fine, just be quiet.”
This happens fairly regularly in the places I shop and when I see it, I have a strong urge to walk over to the family’s shopping cart, reach in, remove the toy or gizmo and say the correct answer is, “No, you cannot have this.”
Maybe that’s a little harsh, but come on. Why should kids be rewarded for behaving poorly? The adults should be the ones in charge right? What’s so hard about telling a child “no?”
I found myself eating those words this past Sunday.
Each week, my wife, mom, sisters and I visit my grandmother who lives on the western end of York. This makes for a fairly lengthy drive from Mount Joy (maybe 45 minutes if traffic isn’t too bad). This particular weekend, my wife had work to catch up on and we came to the decision that we weren’t going to be able to make the trip this week.
Sunday afternoon rolled around and right about the time we usually arrive at my grandmother’s house, my cell phone started to buzz. “Mom” flashed across the screen so I quickly answered and was greeted by my younger sister’s voice: “Are you coming up to grandma’s today?”
I hesitated and then explained that we wouldn’t be able to make the trip this week, and in a slightly saddened tone she murmured, “Oh, ok. Bye.”
Guilt immediately flooded my thoughts and I had to fight the urge to call back and say, “Just kidding, we’ll see you in a little bit.”
But this phone call has led me to question whether I’ll be the stern parent I always thought I would be. I have no plans of letting my kids walk all over me, but when push comes to shove and they really want that new toy while we’re out shopping, am I going to make them put it back?
Well, yeah, I probably will because I’m stingy, but maybe all of the other parents who let their kids get the toy aren’t so bad after all.
What about you? Do you give in to your children’s pleas?