She bowed to me in a Wayne’s World “We’re Not Worthy” gesture.
I acted like a Latina mom.
Let me give you the back story.
We’re Not Worthy!
I was at my son’s school, speaking to one of the moms who was on hall monitor duty, when two kids ran up and down the hallway right in front of us. The mom on duty said in a very soft and sweet voice “kids please stop running”. The kids looked at her and completely ignored her and proceeded to run some more. Right in front of us.
The other mom who was there, standing with us nicely reminded them to not run as well. Her voice was a little more firm, but it was still soft, pleading and basically “asking” the children who were breaking a known rule to please follow the rules. I was not at all surprised that she got the same result.
The ladies looked at each other and me and wondered what to do next.
I stepped over closer to where the kids were and in a stern voice said, “Hey! Cut it out. You know you can’t run.” They stopped right in their tracks, looked at me, said “sorry” and respectfully walked down the hall and sat down.
My fellow moms looked at me with wide eyes, and laughingly, the bowing incident happened.
I didn’t do anything special. I simply don’t subscribe to the principle that I can’t reprimand other people’s children when they are acting up. I expect my friends and fellow parents to do the same with my kids. If you are teaching your kids to behave, then this is a non issue.
Now, to credit the other moms, their kids are lovely and well behaved. I just think they are afraid to reprimand other people’s kids because it’s been made out to be such a “no no”.
Now I know, kids will be kids and they do stupid things. And that’s OK. But it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be corrected. If they are permitted to continue the bad behavior, they learn that they can get away with it, and a world full of people who have no manners is a bad thing. We sort of live in it today, and there’s just no reason for it.It is a pleasure for someone to smile, say hello and open a door for you. Please and thank you are lovely as well. And a genuine 'I'm sorry' when necessary can do wonders. I have yet to encounter someone who thinks otherwise.Click To Tweet
What The What?
On another occasion, there was a group of kids who attended an event and one of the kids yelled out something inappropriate while a speaker was on stage. Now this was a group of honor students representing their school. One of the chaperones singled him out after the event and reprimanded him. Later, there was a bunch of drama about how he shouldn’t have been singled out in front of everyone, yadda yadda.
This is a perfect example of where I think we are failing. If this were my child and I heard that he had to be reprimanded for dishonoring his fellow team members, his school and his family, there would be consequences for my kid and a profuse apology for those involved. He would have to write a letter of apology to the organization, his team members, his sponsor, chaperone and principal. He would also benefit from extra volunteering for the school as well as some good ole’ fashioned chores at home, like toilet scrubbing and spring cleaning activities. Hell, I might even rent him out to mow some lawns for neighbors, FOR FREE.
Because I Said So.
Growing up in a Latino household, you just knew that respecting your parents and elders was expected. You represented your family and would pay dearly if you acted up. I took those principles, and have adjusted them for my own parenting. I created four principles that have been the Holy Grail of my parenting.
This is what my boys know for sure.
- I have spent countless hours and years teaching you manners and to be a decent human being and a good citizen. Do not waste my time and efforts.
- You represent your familia with your behavior. If you act like a jerk or disrespectful toward anyone, you are dishonoring us and there WILL be hell to pay.
- If another parent has to reprimand you, I will find out and you WILL be grounded when you come home.
- Because I said so.
So if my kid dishonors his family by not adhering to those principles, there are consequences and they will most certainly be doled out.
Does this mean that I am giving other adults a free pass at treating my kids badly? Absolutely not.
After traveling cross country for three years, I have learned that most folks are genuinely nice, decent people. However, there are jerks sprinkled in between.
And this mami will protect her kids at all cost from anyone who tries to mistreat or harm them. But reprimanding and correcting bad behavior is not mistreating. And I truly believe that is where we are mishandling the issue of bad behavior.
What I am saying here is that when you send your child to school, you are expecting them to get an education. But you MUST send them educated about manners. THAT is your job, not the school’s or the teacher’s.When you send your child to school, you are expecting them to get an education. But you MUST send them educated about manners.Click To Tweet
What I am also saying is that when you send your child anywhere in another parent’s care, you should be sending a well behaved child. They already have to teach their own kids manners. How many times have you taken care of someone else’s kid who misbehaved and felt the life drained right out of you?
What are your thoughts on other grownups reprimanding your kids?