Actually…this post is all about the reasons your kids less than desirable behavior is totally normal and how, as mothers, we can support each other through the tough times.
Reason Your Kid is NOT a Brat #1: They Won’t Share
Over the weekend, I took my kids to story time at our local bookstore. When we arrived a little girl was sitting in the story room playing with a globe, spinning it round and round. My 17 month old toddled over to see what she was up to, but it was clear this little girl did NOT want help spinning.
Her mother, admittedly looking very frazzled, apologized profusely for her 22 month old daughter’s inability to share.
“I work so hard with her on sharing and she is just not getting it,” she lamented to me.
I genuinely replied that I didn’t think a not-even 2 year old was supposed to share. I mean, my 4 year old isn’t even that great at it.
“oh good, she continued. I thought I was doing something wrong.”
Reason Your Kid is NOT a Brat #2: They Take Toys From Other Kids
Then her little girl proceeded to approach another story time visitor who was holding a yellow stuffed duck. The little girl wanted to touch the duck and neither the other child nor his father seemed very concerned with the interaction. But the poor mother rushed over, and scooped up her daughter, who then melted into a boneless temper tantrum. She turned back to me with her now flailing daughter under her arm and said;
“I am so sorry, I’m so embarrassed, I think we have to go”
And with that she swept the little girl out of the store.
I wanted to run after her and tell her to stay. That they BOTH needed the story time, that her daughter’s behavior was totally normal, but she was already gone.
YOU Are a Great Parent (and your kid is still going to melt down)
I couldn’t stop thinking about her all day. And how we, as mother’s, are so afraid of being judged by other mother’s, but really we become our own toughest critics. Not only do we sometimes set unrealistic expectations for our little one’s behavior, but we sometimes set unrealistic expectations for what we can do as parents!
It Takes A Village…But a Non-Judgy Village
I should have said more to that mom. I should have engaged her more and assured her that we are all in this crazy parenting thing together. We talk about “it takes a village” but I know I could probably actively support moms in my ‘village’ more in situations like this.
My Kid is Sometimes the Brat
I had another moment of clarity around why we all need to support each other as parents and back off on the judgy-judging for everyone, ourselves included.
While at an indoor play space last week, I was appalled at the lack of parenting when an older child came up to my 17th month old and yanked the toy she was playing with out of her hands and NO ONE scolded him. Only to turn around and watch my own 4 year old deliberately kick a (thankfully stuffed) ball at a crawling baby at point blank range. That bit of karmic intervention brought me back down to earth and reminded me that EVERYONES’ kids are sometimes not going to be on their best behavior. And just because your kid kicks a ball at another kid or won’t share the globe spinning doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a parent.
How Do We Support Without Judgement?
So, what do you do? We have all been in that situation where we have gotten unsolicited (and usually not helpful) “advice” from strangers. So how do we support each other without judgment? If I say “oh, don’t worry, my kid throws temper tantrums too,” while I am trying to be empathetic, I worry I sound like I am calling that mom out on her kids behavior.
What would you YOU like to hear?? Leave a comment below and the one thing you wish more people would say to you in public about your kids or your parenting. I’ll make it my personal challenge to actually say your suggestions to strangers I encounter this week. Who’s with me??
Lets make this village a little more supportive!