An Open Letter to the Dad with the Out-of-Control Kid:
Christina Montoya Fiedler: Listen. I understand kids have bad days. I have a kid myself. I know they can be unruly without warrant, grumpy without cause, and destructive when confined, but to let these behaviors go on and on without consequence is a nuisance to those around you, a bad example for the other toddlers, and most certainly a disservice to your child who fails to learn the lessons of right and wrong. Not to mention, it makes you look like a bad parent.
I gritted my teeth when you let your little barbarian scream (at the top of his lungs) in my kid's face during music class -- which, by the way, is full of 10 other parents and tots. It happens. It's good for my kid to get a taste of the real world. I gave you the benefit of the doubt when I saw you being completely unreactive to this behavior. Perhaps you didn't see it happen? Because if you did, you surely would have felt amiss, given the look on everyone else's faces.
But the next week, when your kid yanked a pair of drum sticks from another student's hands and started drumming on my kid's head, leaving not one but two children in tears, and you laughed, saying kids will be kids, I nearly lost it. If my child acts out, to the point that it affects others, I will be the first to apologize and also tell my child, in a way that is age appropriate, that his behavior is not okay!
In a world where patience and virtue is so hard to grasp, thanks to modern technologies that give us what we want when we want it, we have a responsibility as parents to teach children from a young age what's right and what's wrong.
So, maybe it's time to step in and be the adult when your child is being less than angelic.
|Christina Montoya Fiedler resides in Los Angeles, CA, with husband Andy and her son Joseph. She juggles baby and work from home as a freelance publicist and attributes her strong love for life and sense of humor to her loving familia.|