I never normally comment publicly on any other parents parenting styles, or how they behave towards their kids, I normally have the attitude of each to their own. Parenting is a very unique experience. Of course there are a lot of parenting styles that just don’t sit well with me, such as super strict discipline or the use of pain in the form of a “slap” “tap” whatever they call it as a punishment, but I wouldn’t normally voice my opinion to anyone other that say hubby or my mum. However a few weekends ago, I was left feeling really quite upset by one particular women’s behaviour in front of me towards her little one/s.
It happened in my home town (we were up visiting my parents) on a Saturday afternoon. We (mum, dad, Mini and I) had popped into get a few bits and pieces for my aunts birthday and a general dander about. We bumped into a woman/girl (late 20’s) who was my parents friends daughter and who I had known growing up, with her two kids and husband. As soon as she saw us she crossed the street with her two little ones in a double buggy, but when she got beside us she announced loudly “don’t look at her (meaning her 24 month old little girl) she’s a little S#*T and turned the buggy away so the little one couldn’t see us. The wee girl started to cry hysterically, her mum then went on a speel directed towards me about how I should never have more than one child, how I was going to be in for a shock in 3 months time as Mini will supposedly turn into a torture of a child. How she wishes she never had a girl, how having a son, who was also in the pram aged 4 months is so much better than having a daughter and so on. As well as how her dad was going to smack her for her behaviour when she got home. During this the little girl continued to cry, and to be honest is it any wonder?!
Her mum was trying to make the point to us, how terrible the little one behaves, but she in my opinion was making the whole thing so so much worse, by shouting and generally bad mouthing the little one to people in front of her and talking about how amazing her new born son was in comparison. When they were walking away she quiped “i’m seriously considering adopting her out, do you want her?”. It really made my heart hurt, the look on that little girls face. Now I’m not trying to say this little girl is an angel, or that her behaviour wasn’t poor and driving her mum mad, but she’s only a little child. The way her mum was behaving in my opinion was ten times worse than the child’s. We all have days were little ones are over tired and maybe playing up and yes this can be stressful at the time, but really in those situations I think it’s important to take a step back and try to remain calm. Just because a little one is just that, little,in my opinion does not give an adult the right to be disrespectful about or towards them. I don’t think a parent like that mum can expect her child to show her respect if she doesn’t show the little one it in return.
Now I am not writing this to “shame” her, nor am I writing this to sound holier than thou because, believe me I know that everyone has their off days. However, maybe I’m just odd, maybe it’s because I was raised by an amazing mum who always treated us with the up most respect and kindness, and who in turn, has had a huge impact upon my parenting style. I’m not sure, but that kind of disrespectful, unkind, mouthy parenting style just doesn’t sit well with me. The whole situation just left me feeling really rubbish, anxious and stressed. But it also made me so thankful to have been brought up by such kind parents myself.