Thursday, May 30, 2013
Do you ever hear your parents voice inside your head, saying something to you about how to behave when you were at someone else's house? I do, all the time.
My parents were very clear about their expectations of me. When it came to school grades and my behavior while at school, there was no doubt I needed to be at my best. They didn't necessarily expect straight As, they did expect me to do my very best always.
The same extended to my behavior outside the house. I was a "reflection of them" when I was not at home. If I misbehaved, it reflected badly on them as parents. My parents were far from perfect but I knew they were serious about their expectations of me. I always knew I had to be polite when I was at someone's house, to say please and thank you, and to be respectful of all elders, regardless of who they were.
It is now my turn to be a parent, and to remind my kids they are a reflection of me when they are outside our home. They are expected to be polite and respectful at all times, and I expect any adult who sees them acting like brats to tell me so I can address it.
I'm not naive to think my kids are perfect. They can drive me crazy in a millisecond, and there is very little (if anything!) that you can tell me about them that I don't already know. If someone tells them they have said something rude or have misbehaved while in their presence, my children know I will take that very seriously. Every time they are going somewhere without me they get the "speech" as to how they need to behave.
Do they always behave when I'm not around? I'm sure they have moments but hopefully those are far and few in between. And hopefully the adults supervising them have said something to them (and to me!) so we can correct the issue.
Kids are kids, I get that. Even adults act like brats from time to time. But it never ceases to amaze me when I see children who act like idiots without so much as a "look" from their parents. They have no respect for their own parents, much less any other adult. It doesn't matter where they are; they act as if they rule the world and the rest of us in it.
I know kids get unruly, mine do, specially in a group of kids. I'm talking about more than unruly. I'm talking disrespectful. Ignoring adults trying to redirect their actions, or behaviors, and just doing whatever they want to do.
The thing that bothers me most? When the parent is either watching and does nothing or is told about it, and actually looks upset to hear their precious angel is anything but. Do they really think their kids are perfect?
I think most people who know me and know my kids know they can tell me when my precious angels misbehave and expect me to do something about it. Most of the time that something involves an apology to that teacher, church volunteer, whoever they have disrespected with their behavior. Am I too hard on my kids? I don't think so. I don't want them to grow up thinking they are entitled to act like brats any time they want. I certainly don't like putting up with brats that belong to me, much less brats who belong to other people.
I'm not sure when parents stopped telling their kids how to behave. Or why some parents think their kids are entitled to disrespect other people without so much as a "don't do that" look.
Kids will act like kids but there are things (like raising your voice to an adult, or ignoring what they are telling you) that are big no-no in my book.
So if you are ever around my kids and they act like fools, please tell me. I promise I will address the issue and you will have my respect for bringing it to my attention. If I tell you your kids have been disrespectful, I hope you extend me the same courtesy.