My job as a parent to three young and impressionable humans is to teach them. It’s yours as well, but for the sake of argument, let’s focus on me.
:: nervous twitch ::
It is to teach them how to manage emotions and money, how to act in public (though they often choose to ignore this lesson), how to manage their time, how to read, and how to treat others, among a thousand billion other things (no pressure).
As parents, my husband and I teach our children through real life situations how to manage. We teach them it’s OK to cry when you’re sad and when it’s warranted. We teach them that throwing a fit because we cut your sandwich into the wrong shape *MIGHT* be overreacting and there are different ways to work through such detrimental disappointments.
We also teach them that sometimes, in rare situations, crazy warrants crazy. And in our household, crazy warrants crazy when it’s about family. Families drive you to do all sorts of crazy things. Some crazy things are done to each other and some crazy things are done to others because of each other.
From day one, we have attempted to teach our children to be there for each other. To support each other when they’re sad and to protect each other when need be. As an only child this was something I never had and am determined to instill in my children. I mean, we gave them each other for a reason. As parents, it is expected that you do the same. I am talking step in when the situation warrants, not the helicopter stuff. Heck, the general public has even given this behavior a term, Mama Bear.
Back to teaching through real life situations. Obviously, I am never going to instigate a situation to show my children how to stand up for each other or how I would stand up for them, because often, these situations arise naturally.
My children met mama bear for the first time a few weeks back, at the park, after my oldest had a miscommunication regarding a spit race and poor aim, which lead to the other child’s mother getting involved. I won’t go in to details, but …
FIRST, I would like to commend myself on two things, not swearing at the park and not going to jail (if we’re being honest, this is a safe place, right?!).
I provided this lady with a verbal lashing for her wildly inappropriate behavior. My children and her children both in attendance, witnessing and realizing the completely inappropriate step she had taken.
On the ride home from the park, I brought up what happened with my three.
We talked about the poor choice made by that mother and about how I spoke to that mother. We addressed how two wrongs never make a right. I explained that while we unfortunately couldn’t go back in time to keep this from happening to Maddox, by reacting the way I did, hopefully keeps it from happening again. I explained further that my stern reminder to her that this was not the appropriate response probably didn’t have any imprint on the mother, but made her son think.