Ah, the adventure of parenting. I have recently come to the realization that, in today's society, it is nearly impossible to be a good parent. Let me explain.
I was at the store the other day and a frazzled woman was buying groceries with her two children--a toddler who was screaming and an older child who was begging for a box of Lucky Charms. "But, mom! It has marshmallows!" The mom sighed and kept moving, forcing the child, who was now protesting, to move along with her. I noticed two older women glaring at the mother disapprovingly and a young couple watching her in disbelief. Let me tell you what they all were thinking. The older women were shocked that a mother would let her children behave in such a way in a public place. I can see one whispering, "My children NEVER behaved that way!" and the other one nodding in agreement. The young couple were also surprised and were thinking, "My children will never act like that." (Just FYI, young people, you WILL eat those words.)
There was another time I was in a store and a woman's child was whining about something and the mom grabbed the child, pulled her aside, and she snapped, "I said, NO and I don't want to hear another word about it or you WILL get a spanking when you get home." Two young women who were over dressed for grocery shopping literally let their jaws drop and one said, "People are still spanking their children?" No, because in today's society you are not supposed to punish bad behavior--you are only supposed to reward good behavior. Yup, that works.
I was playing with Kaitlyn outside of Big Lots one evening while my boys were ringing bells with some sweet friends for the Salvation Army. Kaitlyn was running up and down the sidewalk and I was right beside her. When she got as far as I wanted her to go I playfully grabbed her, swung her around and planted her feet gently back on the sidewalk facing the opposite direction where she giggled and took off again. After doing this a few times and getting a couple of looks from some of the people near us, I stopped. I had this thought that someone would call the cops and tell them I was abusing my child outside of Big Lots.
No matter what you do as a parent, someone is judging you. People disapprove if you don't discipline your child in public. Should you decide to pull your child aside and try to discipline him or her in public, still people disapprove. I guess we are supposed to raise our children in caves and release them into the world on their 18th birthdays. (Thank God for those older women who smile encouragingly and, dare I say, understandingly, when our child acts up in public.)
So, God bless all of you parents out there because no matter what you do, you're doing something wrong . . . and yet, somehow, we all have good kids who will one day grow up and be mature and hardworking members of society.