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Control Your Damn Kid!

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An Open Letter to the Dad with the Out-of-Control Kid:

snarling boy

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.

next: 'Terabithia' Author: Reading in a MySpace World
18 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous January 31, 2010, 4:44 AM

Excellent point and exactly correct however it is wishful thinking. These parents will NEVER change. Sad really.

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Sara January 31, 2010, 5:36 AM

That out of control pre-schooler will turn into an out of control teenager and the parent will claim to not know how it happened and that it isn’t their fault.

shana January 31, 2010, 12:15 PM

i hope you said something to the person instead of just writing a letter on the interweb. in a way your just as guilty of letting someone get away with behaving like a jerk.

Liz January 31, 2010, 2:37 PM

I agree 100% with Sara.

Mommas Pearls January 31, 2010, 3:13 PM

Hi Christina,
We all face this as parents. I wrote a blog called “INDOOR VOICE” which talks about how we correct or fail to correct our kids. I definitely feel that assault and battery is where the line should be drawn!

Here’s a snippit from that blog:
“Parent’s reactions are key guides for children to understand appropriate behavior.”

~ Cynthia

Anonymous Mom February 1, 2010, 8:39 AM

I don’t see bad kids anymore, for the most part. All I see are bad parents for letting their kids act like that with no consequences. To add to Sara’s insight: One day too, this kid will have no friends and wonder why.

Sarah December 15, 2010, 4:32 PM

If I was there, I would have said something!

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