Are You THAT Mom?

I witnessed some pretty harsh child-on-child violence the other day. Even more surprising was the setting: Church.

The brother and sister – each about eight or nine years old – were fighting over who knows what. That’s not really important. If you have kids, you know kids will fight over just about anything. If you don’t have kids – geez, thanks for reading my blog anyway. (Sorry about all the poop stories.)

So, here they were, in the heat of it. He’s saying something she doesn’t like. She’s saying something he doesn’t like. He says something she really doesn’t like and she winds up – cranking her arm – fully stretched – as far as it will go backward – and slaps him. HARD. In the face. God love that boy, while he didn’t quite turn the other cheek, he didn’t hit her back. In fact, he didn’t do much of anything. He stood there, clutching his now very red cheek and stared back at her in disbelief. That’s when reality struck her.

“OH! I didn’t mean to do that!” She blurted out at him.

I stood there – watching. Waiting. When no one came swooping in to act – I chose to be: THAT MOM.

My own mother is pretty notorious for scooping up and reprimanding small children in the church I grew up in. But, since I’m pretty new to the church I now attend, I decided not to go all out on this kid. I walked over to her and she gazed up in me in panic mode.

“Lets go find your mother,” I said calmly to her.

“NO! It was an accident!” she pleaded with me.

I wasn’t about to call some kid I don’t know a liar, so I replied, “I’m not sure that’s accurate.” Then, we went to find her mom. The girl took off running toward her mom – anxious to have the first word. I saw her mom’s face take the shock. I walked up and said, “I just wanted to make sure you knew what happened,” and walked away.

Tell me – what would you have done? Do you become THAT MOM and go narc a kid out? Do you yell at the kid yourself? Do you ignore it completely? How do you handle these scenarios?

 

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Suellen
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 13:42:19

    I have been that Mom on many occasions. Some Mom’s don’t see it, like in this case. Some don’t know what to do, some are embarrassed into paralysis. I think it is good for children to know that other adults find their behavior unacceptable enough to say/do something about it.

    You may get a dirty look or a harsh word, but it has an effect on a kid, and sometimes the parent too.

    Reply

  2. Jenn Miller
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 13:54:21

    I have definalty been know to be THAT MOM, I will walk with the kid to their mom. Around the church I go to all the kids know me (partly becuase I work here) and they all know the LOOK! If I know the kids I will talk to them, if not I walk them to their parents and have them tell the parents what happened.

    Reply

  3. Megan
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 14:08:11

    It takes a village to raise a child, and I don’t always see exactly what is going on. As long as a parent is not trying to tell me how to raise my child, I appreciate having another parent bring to my attention something that I miss. But then again I am “that Mom” also.

    Reply

  4. Miranda
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 14:25:10

    When I am in situations and know the kids know they should or should not be doing something I will usually give a verbal reminder. “Child we are not suppose to run in here” they are not doing something wrong enough to need to involve parents… usually works and I would hope that if other adults might see my child doing something like that they would remind my children too.

    For the instances of hitting I have not dealt with older kids (grade school) but I have dealt with preschoolers 4-5yolds This is where I find it tricky. Everyone parents differently from the super laid back “kids will be kids” to the full on “helicopter” parent who is up their kids business. I think that reflects on how each of us would handle a situation like the above.

    I don’t under any circumstances support hitting/ striking or biting for retaliation. I had a friends child over as I checked in on the children the friends child didn’t like what another was doing so she took a big size building block and repeatedly hit the other child in the back. I immediately in a stern voice told the child “we don’t hit” took her hand and brought her to her parent and explained she was hitting another child with a lego.

    By the time we got to the parent the culprit child was crying hysterically and the mother only consoled her and said NOTHING about her kid hitting…. upon checking the child that was hit I found he had been hit hard enough to break the skin leaving prefect little square marks on his back, I told the parent the child hit the other hard enough to break the skin. The parent, even after obtaining the information, did not offer an apology or mention anything to her child about not hitting. If one was to bump into you at the store you would expect an “excuse me” of some sort or you think the person to be very rude.

    Again, I don’t support my children hitting and have found these situations to be the hardest. I don’t want my kids to be sitting there getting pommeled, at the same time I don’t really want them hitting someone back just because they can. I know kids will hit, it happens they don’t know what to do with the frustration that builds up. Like in the case of your story, the sister felt remorseful almost immediately it is not their nature to be mean. Children are not little devils, they need to be shown an appropriate way to deal with their feelings. As parents it is our responsibility to teach them. Sometimes we need help in those situations, good for you for being “That Mom” for helping the other parent. I know I have been thankful one or twice for a helping and understanding parent.

    Once I had to do a time out in the grocery store with my boy who was 3.5-4 he kept running off, so I put him on a square to sit until he could listen… He thought it was a game and kept getting up. Well I picked my battle so after 2 dozen or so “you are going to sit on your square”s and putting him back he finally sat. As I looked up a grandma gave me a thumbs up and mouthed “good work momma”. One, I have never been so embarrassed to know someone was watching me. Two it never felt so good to have someone give me a compliment. I suppose it pays off in the end all the hard work we momma’s do. It sure is tough sometimes.

    Reply

    • Mom Land
      Feb 13, 2013 @ 15:33:39

      Miranda, some people are just plain rude. Children – adults… You are right – they just need to learn an appropriate way to deal with their feelings. I think there are a lot of adults still struggling with that.

      Reply

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