School starts tomorrow, and I felt pretty confident that I had gotten all the supplies, and for once, was ready and fairly stress free. I know….amazing. I was just as surprised as you. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I run in chaos. If you’re knew, well you learned that on the very first post you read, so you’re also ahead of the game! In all my glory, I picked up my son’s backpack that he said he’d re-use from last year, and saw it was almost threadbare. Since he’s 12, I figure he’d notice such things, but alas, I was mistaken. At 8 PM the night before school, I went on the hunt to find the perfect backpack that would make him happy and not break the bank.
I made my first stop at Marshalls, which may seem like a weird place to begin such a search, but I’d remembered they had a TON of backpacks last week, so I started there. They had about…15 left. They did, however, have a unicorn….a backpack at the very first place that I KNEW my son would love and it was great quality at a good price. I snagged it and hit the mall nearby looking for something I wanted for my daughter. I headed into Justice. Now, if you don’t have kids yet, don’t want kids, or have littles, you should know that Justice is the place all us grown women WISH we had open when we were kids. It has sparkles on everything, it’s all rainbows, unicorns, sequins, leopard, camo, mermaids, emojis and owls. It has kitties, and puppies, and is every pre-teen to early teen’s dream. I walked in the first time and felt overwhelmingly sad that such a store had not existed when I was a kid. My mom dressed me in brown pants and a green sweater….she dressed me like a damned TREE. I am still horrified by some of the pictures.
As I walked into the store, by the cashiers, I saw a mom paying for a bunch of clothes for her daughter. The daughter asked her for something, the mom said no, and the daughter got IRATE. Then she started demanding things. Then she shouted “you are so MEAN! God! You’re EVIL! Such a JERK!” and it went on and on. I physically stiffened and turned to look. The girl was probably about my son’s age. She was sulking, yelling and stomping.
This, ladies and gentlemen, was a little asshole in the wild.
Now before you get mad, and chastise me that all children are special little flowers and no child could ever act like an asshole….that’s a damned lie. Some kids are very simply put, little assholes.
The mom started saying “oh look everyone, I’m evil, I’m so evil I’m buying her over $100 worth of clothes!”. That’s when I tried REALLY hard to keep my mouth shut, and just leave the store.
My mouth decided today was not the day, and tomorrow didn’t look good either.
“If I were you….” I said, (while my brain was yelling “STOP! Not your circus, not your monkeys!”) “I would take all those beautiful clothes, leave them on the counter,leave the store and head home.” Now, this may sound harsh, but it’s 100% true. She looked at her daughter and said “I should!…so if you don’t stop soon, I may just leave the clothes and go!” I knew well and good she was going to hand over her credit card and buy her daughter those clothes. You know what? She just taught her kid a lesson that she should be an asshole again when it suits her.
People have told me I’m strict, sometimes very strict. Sometimes, I guess I am. Sure, sometimes I am just too tired to fight, and sometimes the kids get away with a bit more than they should. Sometimes my little one is so tired and miserable that I know I will have to suck up the bad behavior in the moment, but there will certainly be a discussion and correction of the behavior once she has gotten some sleep. In other words, sometimes you have know know when to fold, but you make sure the lesson is learned even if it comes the next day. The end result is that my kids are mostly very well behaved. People have gone out of their way to compliment me on their behavior at school, at programs and at sports. I take that compliment very, very seriously, and I always make sure to let them know that someone noticed their great behavior and commented on it. I make sure they too are proud when people notice and comment on it. They also know, however, that people don’t want to hang out with unpleasant, rude, bratty or entitled kids, so it is important they be mindful of behavior. Do they falter occasionally like any other kids? Sure, but on the whole, I get great reports on behavior.
We’ve all seen a kid who just acts entitled, bratty, rude, or unpleasant. Look, I try REAL hard not to judge. Sometimes a kid has special needs, is having a bad day, has parents getting divorced, suffered a loss, or something to trigger them. I don’t judge that. We ALL have bad days. But when a kid is standing there with such CONFIDENCE saying such nasty things to their own MOM, well, chances are that this sure isn’t the first time. It was clear by the mom’s reaction it won’t be the last, either, because she effectively reinforced the behavior. The fact is, we have to raise kids who will fit into society. People don’t want to be around assholes. Let me rephrase that. Good, kind, generous and loving people won’t want to be around entitled, rude, unpleasant, ungrateful people. So let’s all try our best not to raise kids like that, shall we?
I felt REALLY bad for that mom tonight. I felt bad her daughter spoke to her that way, when clearly the mom was trying to do something nice. I felt bad because she looked tired and she probably didn’t need any of the shit her daughter was giving her. I felt bad because she had to take that kid home and she was probably pretty fed up with her. I felt bad because deep down, she might have been embarrassed. That being said…teach your children that behavior is not ok.