At the park for a playdate, there were toddlers running around and babies crawling all around. A little boy crawls up and picks up a toy sitting next to my son. My breath instantly catches in my throat. I am “mom glaring” the crap out of my son willing him “don’t do it!” It’s as if time stood still. “Just be nice” I thought. “No, don’t do it!” My eyes are about to pop out of my head as I’m staring him down. Then, before I could make my way over to him… it happens. His little arm swings back and he hits the kid thats easily six months younger than him and takes the toy screaming “MINE!” The baby starts crying and my son moves on, clueless.
I run to his side and immediately apologize to the baby and the baby’s mom, taking the toy from my son and trying to give it back to the baby. I try to make my son, who can’t even talk say “sorry” to the baby. Mortified. I feel terrible and immediately feel “mom judged.” You know the feeling?
Now, having been through that situation several times in my life (yeah, he’s THAT kid), I was hoping the mom would be understanding and not judgmental. Nope. I could feel the mom’s eyes piercing through me and looking me up and down. Embarrassed and honestly a little ticked off, I just picked up my son and we went on home.
Now, having been through that situation many times (have I said that already?) I am so thankful for the moms who have “been there” and understand what I am going through as a mom to a kid approaching the “terrible twos.” I am so thankful for the mom’s that said “it’s okay” or “I’m surprised it wasn’t my kid.”
We are all just trying to raise CONSIDERATE humans. We just hope and pray that our children will become the person who holds the door for people older than them, the teenager that sits by the kid being bullied at lunch to encourage them and the college student that considers how all of their actions affect others. As parents, we have to think about every reaction we have to the circumstances of life and what we model for our children.
Sounds easy right? No pressure.
My advice to mom’s that have children that are perfect angels and haven’t hit anyone or stolen a toy or screamed in public – show patience to other mom’s who are in the “thick of it” and be incredibly loving and non-judgmental. Because, one of these days, it could be your kid that loses his/her mind when someone takes his/her toy and you feel awful that it happened – wouldn’t you want someone to encourage you and not judge you?
How do we raise CONSIDERATE humans? By modeling it for them – show them what being considerate of other people looks like. If we can succeed at this, maybe there will be a few less bullies in the world.
Those of you reading this that have raised considerate humans, please share your tricks and tips!