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What Kind of Mom Are You in Public?

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Guest blogger Michelle Kemper Brownlow: Why is it that we sometimes act like different people when we are in public? It's like we think everyone is watching. Isn't it a little vain for us to assume that we are truly THAT great that everyone is looking in our direction? I think it's safe to say we can each be categorized as one of the following three moms:

mom hugging daughter
The Overachiever
Moms in this category tend to overdo it when it comes to their children's public misbehavior. They assume the world is a stage and their reaction to their children is being nominated for the "Mommy Dearest" award. These are the moms who need everyone in their path to know that their children do not get away with anything, that there is not a soft spot to be found in their parenting style and that their tactics are so consistent their children wince as they misbehave, knowing what will soon be coming their way. This mom is also the type who watches every other mom very closely and has deemed herself a professional parenting critic.

The Softy
This mom is afraid Child Protective Services is hiding around every corner. A little paranoid, she is the mom who will do whatever she can to keep her child from screaming because someone may think she is digging a mom-style pinch into his thigh for begging for that stuffed bear. This mother's child is the one sitting in the front of the cart buried in everything he pointed toward and whimpered for. Unfortunately, her child is learning how to stack the deck in his favor. He will now use this tactic to his advantage every chance he gets. This mom is also the one with CPS on speed dial, so don't let your child squeal too long, or there will be someone waiting at your car when you get to the parking lot.

The In-Betweener
This is the mom we should all strive to be. Our discipline tactics should not wax or wane based on where we are. Our children look to us for consistency, and that needs to be our gauge for our discipline both in public and at home. "If I was in the living room and he threw French fries across the room, how would I react?" Well, then that's how you need to react in aisle three, too. We need to stop being so worried with what everyone else is thinking. We say it the best; we should start taking our own advice: "The world does NOT revolve around YOU!"


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29 comments so far | Post a comment now
K8 December 8, 2010, 8:36 AM

Somewhere between Overachiever and In-Betweener

KMayer December 8, 2010, 9:30 AM

I’m the mean mom. Always have been. But now that the kids are teens, they also consider me the cool mom. So apparently, like the experts said all along, kids do crave rules and boundaries. And laughter.

???? December 8, 2010, 12:17 PM

How about a helicopter mom?

Monica December 8, 2010, 7:03 PM

@ KMayer I’m the mean mom too. My kid, his friends call me mean. I tell them, I’m not mean I just expect you to behave yourself. But in the end I’m a little bit of both. I don’t overachieve because I think someone is looking at me and scoring my parenting skill. But I do it because nothing urks me more than a misbehaved kid and a parent who does nothing. And I don’t want to be that parent. All I expect is that my kids be polite, keep his hands to his self and stay right by my side. On the other hand I’m a softy only when he behaves well, then I’m like putty in his hands. Do I worry about CPS, a little. But I know the rules.

KS December 8, 2010, 8:13 PM

I’m the what you see is what you get mom. There is no difference between our home punishments and out of the house punishments. Though I can’t very well ground a child to their bed in isle three either but a corner usually does just fine. I tend not to give a fig what anyone has to say about me disciplining my children in public because I can guarantee you my children wont be the ones spitting food at your table in a restaurant.

Robin December 9, 2010, 9:51 AM

@KS you make a good point. It is usually the same people that will judge you for bringing your child in line in public that would not think twice about complaining to a restaurant manager if your child talks about a whisper.

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Monica December 10, 2010, 1:31 PM

@ KS and Robin Very true. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. If you discipline them they get mad and if you don’t they get mad. Either way they will have a complaint.

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