My 1st book, THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS”, 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love, delivers on it’s title. The tips included in this book are tried and true. There are some who will argue that there is no such thing as a “perfect” person, so for those naysayers, let me make myself clear, I raised (almost) perfect daughters, that means, they’re as close to perfect in the eyes of many, as you can get. And the reason they were raised this way, is because I have zero tolerance for undisciplined children.
Recently, on a trip to WalMart, I could hear a kid screaming at the top of her lungs somewhere in the store. Literally, screaming. I then heard a little boy yelling at the top of his. Well, I tipped over to find out what was wrong and to ensure that these kids were not in any danger. (Yes, I’m that Mom). What I found was a little girl sitting in a basket (unharmed), just crying/screaming; a little boy standing and yelling at an older woman, who appeared to be his grandmother/caregiver. The woman walks over and says, “Let’s go, I’m not buying that for you.” This little boy, who looked to be between 7-8 years old, stood there defiantly, folded his arms and shot back at her, “I’m not going anywhere! You are buying me those chips!” My eyes literally popped out of my head and are still on the floor of that WalMart. That was a month ago, so please pardon any typos you might find here as I’m working without my usual eyes.
The woman notices me and others who had started to gather, customers and employees alike, to witness this sad display of parenting. When the boy didn’t budge, the woman says, “Well, I’m going to leave you right here.” She walks away, pushing the basket which held the still-screaming little girl.
All you could hear was chatter in WalMart, people lining the aisles whispering and pointing, and it was extremely obvious that this woman was totally embarrassed. She continued to shop as the little boy runs behind her, shouting what she was GOING to do for him.
I’m leading the pack that’s standing in the center aisle in disbelief, just waiting for the moment when this lady was going to put a stop to all that nonsense of screaming and embarrassment that they were causing her.
Then, out of nowhere, pushing her cart down an aisle, this older lady turns, stoops down and says to the little boy: “Why are you behaving like that? You need to go and find your mom and do what she says.” He folds his arms and stands in front of her, with that same defiant look he’d given to his guardian. The lady stands up, shrugs her shoulders and just walks away. The next scene that plays out, is another little older lady, who comes up to the little boy, grabs him by his arm (I’m smiling, cheering her on, by the way), and she is almost shouting in her little voice: “You are too old to behave this way! You know better! You stop that screaming at your mom and you do as she says.” Then, Mr. Police Officer walks by, shaking his head in disbelief at these two kids who are being allowed to create such chaos in a public market.
The little older lady continues her rant and you can clearly hear her saying out loud, “Maybe someone should get that police officer to talk to him and scare him a bit.” By this time, this little older lady is my champion.
So, the guardian returns when she sees little older lady talking to the boy, and says to him, “Get over here and let’s go!” (Finally, she’s commanding him and he’s not commanding her). It didn’t work, though, as he walked away and stood on yet another aisle pointing to the new object of his attention…screaming at the top of his lungs for her to get it for him.
As we (the members of the IN DISBELIEF CLUB OF WALMART that day), looked on, she walks over, grabs what he is pointing to and says, “Now, let’s go.” I was just outdone in that moment. Really? She’s giving in to the demands of a 7-8 year old child? My husband, who had been searching for me for a while around the store (but remember, I was following the Carnival crowd), sees this and says, “Honey, hold your tongue, please, please.” I’ve turned a few shades of red and he could feel the fury emanating from my body at the situation.
As the little girl is still screaming while being pushed in the cart, the little boy is running behind the guardian and smiling as he sticks out his tongue at all who is staring at him. (Although he was using his tongue to disrespect us, this is what I felt him doing…)
The lady heads directly to the register. Finally, a WalMart manager comes over and asks the lady to leave the store. Now, I don’t know if that manager broke any laws, but maybe she was trying to contain all the fury she felt building up in the customers who had witnessed this for far too long, and she was trying to get the woman to safety (out of my reach…because at that point, I wanted to personally whip her myself!)
The woman places the “thing” the little boy wanted on the counter, starts to push the basket with the screaming little girl out of the store as she is literally dragging him behind her, because he has sat down on the floor and refused to move.
Would you all like to know what I said to my husband? I said, “He, at that age, is prison-bound if they don’t put a stop to his behavior right now!” YES, I SAID IT! and I didn’t bite my tongue doing it. I firmly believe that no matter your race (because someone is going to throw race in this), if you don’t discipline your children and teach them properly, then the streets and law enforcement will do it for you. I had never witnessed such horror before in my life and I hope that I won’t have to witness anything like it ever again.
To all the parents who think that it’s cute that your little girl walks around disrespecting you at the age of 6, it’s not. To all of you who feel that you want your kids to be FREE in what they do and say, think again and grow a parenting backbone. My daughters are free to think on their own, and express themselves, but, always in a respectful manner and tone. You can’t beat respect on any level, I don’t care what anyone says. My daughters were always the ones who were used as examples in school for the other kids, and guess on what basis? The teachers always, always pointed out just how respectful and mannerable they were. My oldest is well into her twenties and you will still hear her saying on any given Sunday to her elders or any adult older than she: “Yes, Ma’am, No, Ma’am, Yes, Sir, Thank you, Excuse Me, Please,” etc. and any other respectful phrase that you can think of, both my daughters use them.
Tip #18 in my parenting guide is about discipline. I’m going to share that tip with you and then share with you the importance of it:
*DON’T BE AFRAID TO DISCIPLINE WHEN IT’S NEEDED. Again, in full disclosure I must say that I have never physically disciplined my daughters, BUT, that was only because I didn’t have to. I had 4 siblings and although the girls didn’t get spankings, only the boys did, I come from the school where whippings were just a part of life, and I also tend to think, we all turned out pretty well. I believe that some children only need to be admonished from time to time, but others…well, that’s when we need to invoke the teachings of the Bible. (Proverbs 22:15) says “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.” Does this let you know that I believe in spankings? I hope it does, because I most certainly do!
I know that people differ on this subject; some believe in physical discipline, others believe in only verbal, and some don’t believe in it at all…and that’s OK (as long as they keep those kids at their house). I personally believe that parents should be allowed to discipline their children in the way they see fit for their family. (That’s not to say that kids should be allowed to get away with murder). That being said, a child should NEVER be bruised, injured or cut by a physical correction.
Physical discipline should always be done in love and never as a vent to the parent’s frustration. It is also just one part of discipline and should ONLY be used when the child shows defiance to a clear limit, not in the heat of the moment. No matter how it’s done, don’t be afraid to do it. I must end this by re-iterating that discipline is something that you need to begin at an early age, and when I say early age, I mean DAY ONE! You cannot wait until your child is 13, 14, or even 16 years old, standing taller than you, and decide that they’re a little too mouthy for you. If you start disciplining from day one, I can assure you, “mouthing off” will never be a problem.
It’s no wonder that people still ask me, “How did you get them to turn out that way?” and I always respond, “It wasn’t that hard.” Before I became a mother, what I saw in the world around me, made me want to be a much better parent and made me want to raise a different breed of child. A better child. The kind the world would appreciate on so many levels. Examples for all the rest. If you want children who will cause you to shed only happy tears in your old age, decide early that you will raise them in the proper manner. The woman in WalMart that day, would never have had to deal with that humiliation, had she or whoever the parents of these children are, used some form of discipline. And again, discipline is not just physical. You teach your kids with your words, your actions and your consistency. These were my forms of discipline
“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE…” has tips that are not just for girls. If you haven’t already, pick up a copy and share your thoughts with us. See the trailer:
I hope that someone who has lived thru this woman’s humiliation before, is helped by this post. If you’re a new parent, just starting out, there is still time to walk down the right road, if you feel you’re headed down a bad one in your parenting. I’d love to hear your thoughts, whatever they may be, on this topic. How do you feel about discipline? And honestly, how did your kids turn out? I don’t mean just in your eyes, how do you think they’re viewed in the eyes of the world? Will they/are they contributing and productive assets to today’s society and their community?
Community, let’s talk about this!