Squeezing in social time as the parent of a young child can be challenging which is why I like to meet for “play dates” and bring/serve wine! The kids can play and the moms can talk about the latest celebrity gossip and whatever else may arise in that dates discussion. However, recently my child had been complaining about one of the children not being a nice person (i.e. hitting, using profanity, being bossy and introducing “how to kiss” classes to the other kids). At first, blinded by my need for adult stimulation, I ignored it as just childish whining. Then I had the opportunity to observe this child in action during a sleep over at our house and I have to admit, I didn’t like the way she acted either.
This left me at a crossroads. Her mom was one of my favorite moms to have “play dates” with. In fact, we had grown so close that when an opportunity presented itself, we would do things together without the children. Now what? Was I to cut off this child and her mother and lose a great gossip buddy (allow me to interject: finding moms with kids your childs same age, that you actually like and can relate to is hard to come by)? Continue to force my child to play with someone she didn’t like to keep me socially engaged and not to offend? Or, dare I say it, should I talk to the mother about the childs behavior *gasp*?
Luckily, I didn’t have to do any! The next time we met, she actually confided in me that she didn’t know what to do about her childs behavior. She touched on all the things that I observed at my house that night and she seemed aware and genuinely concerned about the behavioral challenges her child presented. She elaborated on different strategies she had implemented in an attempt to curve the bad behavior and even asked for my advice.
I was relieved to hear her acknowledge that her daughter was not a saint. Often times I’ve wondered if parents know just how crazy their children can be, mine included! On the other hand, this also made me empathize with her. So often, when a child does something wrong, we blame the parent. “Where’s the parent?” “The parent didn’t discipline that child correctly.” We’ve all judged, admit it. When have you ever stopped to think, “that parent is really trying? You never assume that a good parent is behind a bad child but I just learned that just isn’t true. So here’s a special shout out to all the good moms of bad children. I see you trying ☺. Just love them a little more and get a very sturdy belt, preferably made from genuine leather.