How do you feel about other people correcting your kids?
Many people bristle at the thought of someone else telling their kids what to do. The reason I know this is because I have had mothers tell me in no uncertain terms that they did not appreciate me correcting their child’s behavior.
Since I was a public school teacher for 8 years, I spent a lot of time telling other people’s children what to do. Or not do. Or do over.
Then I had 8 children of my own, so I still spend a lot of time telling kids what to do. Now days, my time is spent mostly telling my own kids what to do, but old habits die hard.
That’s why when I was in line at Six Flags last week and 2 boys were rough housing, and one of them actually kicked me right in the booty, I told them in my best Mother Voice to calm down and knock it off.
I don’t know where their mother was or whether she appreciated me doing it, but frankly I didn’t appreciate getting kicked, so I’m guessing we were even.
Honestly, I don’t mind if someone else corrects my children.
I even think it is good for them if the correction is not something I would have told them myself.
For instance, I don’t mind my children cart wheeling around in our yard. But if they are in the church yard cart wheeling around, and a little old lady tells them to stop doing it, I expect them to say “yes ma’am” and stop.
Now, this may not have been something I would have thought to tell them. Maybe I usually allow cart wheeling on the grass. Maybe I don’t see a problem with cart wheeling on the grass. But if an adult has a reason for telling them to stop, then they should do it immediately without question. (We actually had something very similar to this happen.)
They may come to me if they have questions about it. They may not ignore the little old lady, laugh at her, or say, “You are not the boss of me.”
Another example: I am one of those annoying moms who lets her kids go up the slide at the playground. My kids know that if there is someone else playing on the slide, they should not go up because that would keep others from enjoying the slide. But, let’s say I am reading a book and don’t notice my kid is going up while there are other kids waiting to go down.
I would hope there would be another mother there with enough gumption to tell my kid to get down. I would absolutely be mortified if my kid said, “My mom lets me do it!”
Even though it is true “my mom lets me do it,” we are not in our own home. We are on public property, and someone else is being inconvenienced by the behavior.
It is good for my children to realize that there are other standards for them besides my standards.
There is no running allowed in the grocery store.
There is no singing allowed at the library.
There is no talking allowed during worship service at church.
Now, running, singing, and talking are all things I allow at our home, but we are in a public place, and there are other people involved. That means other standards apply to my children. Not just my standards.
It actually makes me glad when my children are able to find out while they are still young that sometimes they must accommodate the world around them, instead of the world accommodating them. Sometimes they must bend to the wishes of others.
Then when they are adults, it won’t come as such a shock.