My son is at that stage where he wants to be more independent, so one of the things that we’ve started letting him do is walk beside the shopping cart instead of riding in it. There are stipulations that come along with Deklin’s new independence. He must stay near the cart and if he gets two warnings for venturing off, he has to ride in the buggy. Last week my husband, myself and our curious two (almost 3) year old were grocery shopping and he kept venturing off. So we put him in the shopping cart and he started crying and begging to get out. (But my husband and I were pretty firm) All of these people were staring, acting as though they’ve never witnessed a child crying before and some of them were even giving us mean looks. It infuriated me.
People like to talk about how todays children and even my generation doesn’t have any respect and they/we act as though we are automatically entitled to everything. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a child (that’s old enough to know better) throw a fit in the store because their parent told them they couldn’t have something and then watch the parent give in because they don’t want people staring or they just don’t want to listen to the crying. Usually at about the same time the person beside me in line will lean over to me and say “If I acted like that when I was that age, I would have gotten my butt busted”. ( I would have gotten my butt tore up too.)
But here’s the catch, today’s society hates to hear children cry. I remember before I had my son being in a restaurant and complaining that there was a crying child. I remember all the crappy things I said everytime I heard a child cry but parenthood has humbled me. Do I now love the sound of a baby/toddler/child crying? Absolutely not! Do you honestly think that I want to walk around Walmart with my screaming crying toddler?! NO! I don’t, however, my son has to learn that if he doesn’t act like he’s suppose to or do what he’s told there will be consequences to his actions. Unfortunately sometimes these lessons have to be taught in public. We can’t just parent inside the home, it has to be everywhere. It’s the job we signed up for when we decided to become parents.
My child isn’t going to grow up to be a menace, he will have respect for others, and he will learn that entitlement is earned not given. So for now you’re just going to have to listen to my child cry. I’m not apologizing for it.
SIDE NOTE: I would like to thank all of the strangers that have passed me as I’ve placed Deklin in time-out (in public) and then come over and told me I’m raising him right. As crazy as it may seem you’ve given me encouragement and reassurance that I’m not a total screw up at this whole parenting thing.