Monday, 3 February 2014

Just Say NO (and mean it ffs!)

Excuse me for a minute while I have a little rant – I'm not actually all that good at ranting being more a live and let live kind of person but I’m going to give it my best shot.

You know what really pisses me off?

Unruly parents that's what!

I won't say kids (although they often unfairly get the blame), it's the parents that get my goat. In particular the ones who say no and don't mean it.

Now I guess from time to time we all have a pop at other parents and the truth is that I doubt any of us are exemplary, I know I'm not but then again, I'm not the worst either (more on that later).

I'm also not a disciplinarian, I'm a fairly laid back kind of mother but there are some things I don't tolerate and among those things are, whining, moaning, screaming displays of temper and tantrums (unless they happen to be mine!).

So, the reason for my rant today?

All of the above.

And the reason for all of the above?

Unruly parents who say no and don’t mean it!!

I was standing in a queue waiting to be served at a checkout today. In front of me were a couple and their child who was about 18 months old at a guess.

They had one of those baskets that also has wheels so you can pull it along. Amongst other things they had in their basket several packets of sweets presumably for the child.

The checkout was one of those festooned with sweets designed to have children (who don’t know that NO MEANS NO) shouting for a sugar overload.

Sure enough the child in front of me spotted the left over selection packs reduced to 2 for a pound and grabbed a handful.

His parents said no.

He screamed.

His parents said yes and put them in the basket.

He wanted to hold the basket.

His parents said no.

He screamed.

His parents said yes and gave him the basket (which he then proceeded to ram into my bloody New Rock boots every 2 seconds).

He spotted a large pack of brightly coloured sweets.

His parents said no.

He screamed (are you getting the picture?).

His parents said yes and put them in the basket.

He wanted to hold the sweets.

His parents said no.

He screamed.

His parents gave him the sweets.

He wanted to open the sweets before paying for them.

His parents said no.

He screamed …. yada, yada, yada …

To all intents and purposes this child was a huge pain in the butt (and yes, I AM mainly talking about the scratch he left on my lovely boots!) but the truth is, the parents were entirely to blame for every bit of perceived bad behaviour.

The kid was too young to know any other way of communicating. He knew how to get what he wanted. OF COURSE he was going to scream every time they said no because he knew THEY DIDNT MEAN IT!!

I don’t know why some parents think its the easy answer and no, I cant speak for all parents and I fully accept that not all bad behaviour is a result of bad parenting, there are many factors to take into consideration including medical, emotional and mental health issues and not all are apparent to the lay person but, it APPEARED in this case that it was a simple matter of bad parenting and it pisses me off!

Saying yes to kids who scream is a short term gain which results in long term pain for everyone including the kid who doesn't have any idea where the boundaries lie.

Like I said, I'm not a perfect parent but I don't tolerate bad behaviour and never have even when my kids were very small, no means NO with no arguments and, I have to say that it's worked pretty well in almost every situation. I'm sure I've been lucky in that my children have all had pretty placid and laid back personalities but I'm also fairly sure that knowing where they stand has helped with that.

I rarely judge other parents, after all, I know nothing about them or their circumstances but on occasion it's almost impossible not to have an opinion. What I never do is judge the child (well, not before a certain age of culpability anyway) but seriously, is it really so hard to say no and mean it?

I was going to move on and tell you how great Miss Mac is but that seems a bit smug after my rant …

Sod it, I'm going to anyway ;-) but first of all I should tell you that she accused me of wearing something 'age appropriate' the other day so she's really not ALL that perfect!

We had parents evening last week and aside from the fact that she is doing beyond well in every subject the thing that pleased me as much as anything was the fact that the teachers seemed to genuinely like her. She had as much praise for her behaviour and attitude as she did for her performance and results and that makes me incredibly proud.

Ok, well I'm not going to bang on about it too much (although I really could) but I am going to leave you with a couple of examples of the art work that she's been working on lately because I am one proud Mama!!!


joeh said...

You have a right to be chuffed (see how I learn...I used to think that meant pissed...Lo explained it to me.)

First of all, "No" is just rude, even to a toddler. It should be "Not today," or "maybe later," or "I'm sorry we can't." If the toddler insists then I find, "That is never going to happen!" Says no much better than "no." But you are right if no doesn't mean no, if you give in to your toddler every time, I think that is child abuse more than a slap on the wrist or a paddle on the backside ever is.

Sarah said...

Absolutely Joe, I don't necessarily mean a blunt no in those situations (at least not in the first instance) more a firm message. I think children deserve to be spoken to and listened to with respect at the same time as teaching them to listen and respect others.

SlapdashMama said...

They are beautiful! And believe it or not, I have been known to say no until my child screamed too loudly and forced me to cave into their demands. I KNOW! I'M THE WORST!

Sarah said...

Lol NS, none of us are infallible, I'm sure I've given in too sometimes but as a general rule its easier in the long run not to. I'm over it now and thankfully the scratch on my boots polished out so, like I said, I feel a bit mean (and a little sanctamonious) now ;-)