When I was a childless young lady, I watched in horror as a stressed-out mum yelled at her tantrumming child in a supermarket to “STOP IT RIGHT NOW, OR ELSE!”
When the (bad, bad) child’s shrieks increased in volume tenfold as she flailed about on the supermarket floor like a mini octopus out of the water, the (bad, bad) mother sighed, rolled her eyes and stalked off.
I knew this mum’s parenting methods must be just so wrong for her child to behave in that manner, and in public no less.
Until I had my own children.
Here are — from my experience — eight things that kids do that have nothing to do with bad parenting.
1. Nose picking and private parts handling
Whether your child has one finger up his nose (looking for gold up there, buddy?) or a hand grabbing his crotch, it’s done regardless of location — at the dinner table, in a fancy restaurant, while you read him a story, and so on.
Consider yourself lucky… extremely lucky… if your child bypasses the tantrumming stage, especially when she’s a toddler. Okay, we know they often do it out of frustration at their inability to express their true feelings. But seriously little lady, are you out to embarass your mum or what, when you throw a diva-fit in the middle of a mall?
3. Whining, whingeing and complaining
My older child, age 6, went through a phase where everything was a complaint, usually about his little brother. And my younger child, age 3.5, is going through a phase where he feels a great urge to whinge and whine when he wants something. I.Can’t.Win. Because I know no.2’s whining and whingeing stage will morph to the complaining stage real soon.
4. Selective hearing
I have seriously considered getting myself a dog whistle. I’ve tried yelling, whispering, pleading… maybe it’s the frequency of my voice that’s wrong that my children don’t hear me most of the time. Except when I’m talking to them about something they like to do…
5. Shouting instead of talking
Even questions about the most mundane things are asked in shouty voices: MUMMY CAN I PEE?
Hands up if you have a little girl who can’t decide between sparkly pink shoes pair no.1 or sparkly pink shoes pair no.2 in the morning? This indecisiveness is often extended to… everything. Clothes, shoes, food, friends — you name it, they just can’t decide what they want.
7. Telling little lies
“Who cut up Mummy’s t-shirt?” “HE DID IT”, yelled the brothers, simultaneously.
8. The general lack of table manners
Either they’ll stuff themselves like there’s no tomorrow, making loud chomping noises and spilling food everywhere, or they’ll turn up their little noses at that meal you laboriously prepared, exclaiming “Ewwww, what’s THAT?”
So mums and dads, the next time that self-righteous young lady looks at you and your nose-picking, tantrumming, indecisive child in horror, tell her (mentally), “just you wait”.
And don’t beat yourself up about it either. Because despite the behaviour of our little and very cute monsters, we just can’t help but love them to bits!
What else would you add to the list in this article? Let us know by leaving a comment below.