Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Other People's Kids

So one of the hot-topic debates amongst mommies today is how to deal with other people's children. Should you ever yell at a child who is not your own? Criticize? Redirect? There are some who argue that it is NEVER ok to do any of the above to a child who is not your own or under your direct care, and there are some who argue that it's fine.

I thought that I had a very solid idea of where I stood on this.

To me, if another child is in danger, or putting your child in danger (throwing, hitting etc), and their parent isn't speaking up, you are obligated to. Danger was the key word there.

Then I found myself getting involved with strange children who took my children's toys away - our neighborhood park seems to be a mecca for lazy moms who think that they can just drop off their 3 year-olds and sit on a bench NOT EVEN LOOKING while they talk on their cell phones. I mean seriously, what is THAT about?!?

Then I found myself chastising my child's playmates for acting out. In my defense, it was mostly because said child is a follower and I wanted to keep him in line. And it's wicked hard to yell at your kid for doing something when his friends are all doing it and not being yelled at.

But there's something about the holidays...

Apparently not only do the holidays turn people into awful nasty drivers, steamroller mall shoppers, restaurant rudies and grocery store turn me into Miss Manners, child behavioral expert.

Please, stifle your giggles that I, the mother of two often-less-than-stellarly-behaved boys, would be dispensing lessons.

Because that's EXACTLY what has happened!

I actually "mommed" a friends child into saying thank you to another mother today. As soon as I realized what I had done, I apologized to the mom (who thankfully didn't turn on me to point out how my son was stealing her daughters toys a few minutes earlier). Then I thought about it and realized I'd been doing it to everyone! I actually told a little girl at the mall who wasn't behaving while her mother was waiting in line at the Gap that Santa was watching her. WTF? I must be out of my mind. I mean, they could be Jewish!

I'm going to hope that it's just a weird holiday twitch that will pass along with 2008.

But in the meantime, if you're up in Valencia at Heritage Park and you see a crazy lady yelling at your kids, do say hello or I might out you for manners infractions too.

1 comment:

Shosh said...

LOL! This is so hard, I always have to hold back from saying things to other kids.But youre right, we shouldnt do it. ANd my own kids are certainly not angels? And kudos to u for thinking of the jewish thing...because we are jewish, and i cant tell you how many people have wished my kids a merry christmas this week!