The Joys Of Disciplining Someone Else’s Child

My wife and I decided to purchase annual passes for the Orlando Science Center. Most folks would ask why we didn’t purchase anything that was outdoors, considering that summer is right around the corner. I’m assuming those same folks haven’t spent an entire summer here in Central Florida.

Anyhow, we decided to head over there this morning. After hitting up a few of the exhibits, we brought all of the kids over to the play area, which has all sorts of cool vehicles; an airplane, rocket ship, train, etc.. Our oldest was hanging out with mommy on some of the  activities, and I had the twins. I brought them over to a large train table, and stood them up (they aren’t walking yet, but can stand and ‘fall correctly’) quite well. We were there for about five minutes, when this little twerp came over to one of the twins, said ‘No!’, and took the train tracks away from him. Now, I knew this kid was going to be a little pain in the ass. Why? Because he looked like he was just about ready to turn three, and he had one of those denim pacifier holders clipped to the shoulder of his shirt, with the pacifier in his mouth. Perhaps if the parent(s) had taught the twit some…. I don’t know…. WORDS… he could have asked politely to play with the tracks that the boys were using, although they only had two each (out of 75 or so on the table).  Anyhow, as a parent, the first thing that I did was move the boys to the other side of the train table, brought over a few tracks for them, and left the rest for the twerp. I also started eyeballing around the room for this kid’s parent(s). Considering that not one parent in the room seemed to give a shit about him, I was on my own. Well, the twerp went over to the other twin, and as he started to push him away and take the tracks that he was using, I took them from the twerp and said (in my ‘sing-a-long-I’d-spank-you-silly-if-you-were-my-kid voice) ‘That’s not nice. Please don’t do that.’ At that point, I thought I would move the twins entirely from the situation, so I brought them over to where mommy and oldest were, which was on the Red Baron replica in the middle of the room. Within two minutes, twerp came back over to the first twin (who had just stood up at the tail of the Red Baron), and pushed him in the face.

… and that’s about all I could handle from this little shit….

… and in my ‘Boy-you-need-an-ass-whipping-but-you’ll-have-to-settle-for-my-really-effing-scary- welcome-to-reality,-you-little-shit voice’…

.. I yelled ‘DON’T DO THAT!!!’

The whole room turned and looked… then most of the folks cleared out of the play area….

The parent (a crunchy mother of about lord-knows-what age) came over. With a quick explanation from yours truly, she apologized. She should have (as my wife mentioned, and I agree) had her twerp apologize, but clearly he wasn’t capable of doing so. Instead, she hugged her boy (because, well, let’s just say I scared the shit out of him and he was balling), as if he was the victim….

Few things to take away from this:

1) Keep an eye on your kid at all times

2) If your kid isn’t socially mature, highlight #1, select ‘Bold’ typeface, select 72 point font, print it, and stick it on your fridge.

3) If your kid exhibits ‘bullying’ behavior, take the F care of it right then and there. This isn’t through hugs and kisses either…

4) (Parents) While you might want to throttle someone else’s kid at some point in your parenting career, I suggest that you don’t go in that direction (you know, there are like… laws… against that type of behavior). However, feel free to scare the ever-loving piss out of a kid, especially if the parent isn’t paying attention; it usually that gets the point across to both the twerp and the ‘parent’.

5) All kids are guilty of being a ‘little shit’ at times. It’s the parents’ job to take care of it. It’s not the parents’ job to console the kid when, in fact, he/she was being a turd, especially when he/she is being called out on it.

My first real memory was from when I was three years old. Perhaps the twerp’s first real memory will be of me disciplining him. He’ll thank me for it later in his life. At the very least, the crunchy lady owes me a granola bar for doing her job…



  1. lynnkelleyauthor said:

    Hilarious post, yet full of wisdom! I’m here from Alarna Rose Gray’s blog. I’m so glad she highlighted you and your post. New follower!

    • Chris said:

      Why thank you! :) I appreciate it. Alarna was kind enough to plug my blog, so I figured I’d stop by hers and show her some love :) Welcome aboard!

  2. Thu said:

    i don’t have any kids yet but i lol’d quite a bit reading this. mainly, i really enjoyed your use of the word “twerp.”

    • Chris said:

      Thanks! :) I’m glad you enjoyed

  3. I’ve been there! LOL! I once made a flying leap, 9 months pregnant, across a room full of “parents” to intercept a child’s jaw 1/4 inch from biting my child. I told the kid, “NO!” You’d have thought I’d boxed his ears or something. I’m not sure he’d ever heard the word spoken with authority before.
    You heal the world on your end, and I’ll heal it on mine. A few million of us “old-fashioned” parents, building healthy kids, and we’ll meet somewhere in the middle ;-)

    • Chris said:

      That has to be on YouTube somewhere, right? ;) I’m glad to hear that everything is well, and I agree with you 100%. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  4. Jbot said:

    As a teacher of small children, I know that thrill all too well.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for taking up that responsiblity ;) (and for commenting) – I’m sure you have more than one story to share :)

  5. Great post! Been there myself more than once while raising my three. “Public” parenting is lacking in this country and I have to say a lot of it could be cultural since much of our country is made up of that fond “melting pot” diversity that has made us strong and… vulnerable at the same time. My present job allows me to be at various high end retail locations and I find a truly high differential between domestic US parents and how they handle their children publically and Asians who bring their families to visit this country. Now, saying that Asian parents (non-American) all can’t manage their kids in public is a broad statement given being “Asian” can be anyone from Japan, China (& Taiwan), Korea, Indonesia, Phillipines, etc. But I am guessing that most of these ill-attentive parents are from China. If you approach them about their kid running around the place they will likely get offended and want to speak to the manager… or in the least, leave the store in a huff. Must be some culture over there that pride’s themselves on public rudeness or something. Being a Boomer I recall when dear mom would not hesistate smacking me in the grocery line when I wouldn’t behave. Now a parent risks being arrested for doing that. Truly for the better, because corporal punishment is NOT a measure of proper parenting. Good post. Brought back some memories.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for stopping in! :) I can’t (and won’t) pinpoint any sort of parental issues in terms of nationality, but I do believe in keeping an eye on your kids and making sure that they are behaving within the context of the situation, being nice to their peers, etc.

      I always found that the measure of proper parenting, for the most part, will reveal itself over time.

  6. I can relate to your story. My 8 year old daughter has asked not to be left alone with my sister again because my sister believes her 5 year old son is “too young to know better” and “bigger people are not allowed to strike smaller people” (even in defense). Even her dog is taught to jump up on people (so they do not have to bend down to pet the dog) so defenses against the dogs claws are “undermining her training”. It’s not so much fun to be in that environment.

    • Chris said:

      The phrase “too young to know better” is right up there with “kids will be kids” in terms of being used as a cop-out, and then even goes one step further by making a hypocritical statement of “bigger people are not allowed to strike smaller people”. This logic might fly within the family, but as soon as the 5 y/o gets into it with another kid that doesn’t give a crap about her ‘rules’, I think there might be a change of tune. Good luck with that! :)

  7. chiefmadapple said:

    Oh the horror stories I can tell about kids running amok and saying awful bigoted things. This one is of an American boy (6/7 years old) in China yelling things like, “hurry up old man! hurry up you grandma (referring to the same old man), what’s wrong with the people here? move it grandma.” At which point, I, who looks perfectly Chinese, spoke in perfect American English (with accent to boot), “watch your mouth kid. That’s enough!”

    This scared the living daylights out of him because he didn’t think anyone could understand him as he yelled these things. Guess what happens? His uncle, putting on the ‘ol American muscle, “I will nuke you” face and stance asks me why I’m bothering the kid. Having lived through all the bullying in high school in the US, I know about standing up to bullies so I told him off as well. Finally, his parents came over and asked what happened and apologized for their son’s behavior.

    Too bad they couldn’t apologize for the big ‘ol uncle, whoever he was. I’m all for putting kids in line when they are out of it. Parents, in public places, have lost their rights to being the only parents, especially when they’re occupied with other matters.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for sharing! It’s amazing what parents and guardians think is ‘acceptable’ behavior. The kid probably thought it was ok to do, because his uncle was there to protect him. Unfortunately, he was just protecting bad behavior. Awesome comment!

  8. I think that what’s even sadder is when you see a teen or adult bullying and you just have to wonder what goes through their heads? I write about some of my experiences on to try and reach out to kids (and grown ups) who have faced similar situations! The kid you dealt with (and I hope he remembers it later in his life) was still three, but what happens when he’s thirteen and then eighteen?

    • Chris said:

      Yes, I wrote a piece for Technorati titled ‘Don’t Forget: Bullies Are Victims Too’. One must wonder… Thanks for checking in! :)

  9. I am famous for using that same scare-the-crap-voice-reminding-the obnoxious-twits-I-will-be-listened-to-and-heard! I loved this article…thank you so much for sharing!
    Peach State

    • Chris said:

      You also utilize the dash very well :) haha. Thanks for checking in!

  10. I had a good laugh reading your post, thank you for helping me start the day with a smile! I can’t help wondering why on earth a kid that age was so far from his parents in a public place, and have never understood parents who hug their kids when they’ve done something wrong. Your story reminded me of when a kid I looked after had a similar run-in with my husband: I don’t think he’ll ever forget what appeared to be a first time with authority….

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! I could only imagine… lol Hugs are great and all, just not to reinforce a bad behavior… (sigh). Have a great day! :)

  11. KL said:

    Liked the humour in your post. As the mother of a child who can sometimes be seen as a “twerp”, I cringed a little as I read it. I posted today about my son being a bully…despite the fact that I am a very good parent, and always watch him really closely. I am glad for you that you have kids who don’t have behavioural problems, they aren’t ALWAYS related to lack of decent parenting, although I agree with you in this case, she should have been watching him rather than playing on her phone!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for your honest and insightful comment. First off, my kids are far from perfect in the behavior department. However, we’ve made sure that when they interact with other children, that it’s with respect. Also, I agree with you; not ALL behavioral problems are due to ‘lack of decent parenting’. This would be all the more reason to watch the kid, right? :) If my children had physiological or psychological issues that hindered his/her ability to function without acting out, I would be sure to try my best as a parent to teach the kid to the best of my ability instead of leaving him/her unattended.

      Thanks again – I appreciate it. Glad I could pull you into the ‘cringe’ zone ;)

  12. Same thing happened to my Daughter and it also involved train tracks at a Thomas the Train event. This little, ill use yours cause it is much nicer, twerp was doing the same thing. I took this as a experiment in child rearing and was going to watch how the parent reacted to this, the problem was that in the 15 minutes we were there the parent never came out of the woodwork. I am assuming now that this was a child raised by wolves that excaped the woods and winded up at A Thomas the Train “fun tent”, my first clue should have been the blood stains on his shirt and the bone in his mouth.

    cheers, good read.

    • Chris said:

      Haha! Thanks for the comment :) I always question how these little wolves end up separate from the pack… ;)

  13. I’m still getting slammed with hateful comments from your site. Talk about bullying!

    I notice, you have “notify me of folow-up- comments via e-mail” auto-checked. I didn’t notice that when I made my original comment. Please take care of it.

    should we get ahold of the word press administrator, or what?

    • Chris said:

      Hello Juanita – (not ‘my blog’) made a change recently to commenting. It’s on the front page of on the lower right by the links, but here is the reference, just in case.

      Also, I Googled ‘How do I unsubscribe to comments on WordPress’, and it looks like you can do this without issue as well. If you run into further issues, WordPress support would be a good option.

  14. Ben said:

    I probably would’ve started quoting my drill sergeant in that situation…

    • Chris said:

      Haha! Your drill sergeant would have rectified the kid’s behavior at the first infraction, I’m sure! Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for serving our country! :)

  15. Great post. I am not a parent myself, but I do know the joys you speak of here. I am always bothered by people who are never paying attention to their children. Good for you for doing the right thing. When that “twerp” grows up he will thank you.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Dave – that’s my hope on this one! Whether it’s by keeping him out of jail or not bullying other kids, hopefully it got through to him. Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I remind mine that if you act like a butt, pretty soon people will just call you a butt. I have a look that kids will heed warning. My husband whispers down by their ear that he gives shots for a living. ;)

    • Chris said:

      Ha! Excellent! :) That’ll set them straight. I don’t think I can scare a kid by saying ‘I work with spreadsheets for a living’, but I like the strategy there. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. bringmemycoffee said:

    Well done! sign me: 4 kids, one hubby, 2 dogs, 1 cat, minivan paid off (well creased) and queen of the evil-eye when needed for ill mannered kids! ;D

    • Chris said:

      Thanks! :) Minivan of ours is definitely not paid off as of yet, but we’re looking forward to the day ;) Keep up the ‘evil-eying’ – lol

  18. LOL. I love it! I love that you yelled at him. I know that might sound mean but I’ve done this myself a few times too. It’s so frustrating when parents bring their kids to places like this and then just let them do whatever they want. I’m always saying in my head “where are the parents of this little brat” I’m not afraid to disciplin a child if he/she is being a little shit to one of my kids. I read this and thought I have to follow this guy :)

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! It’s great to see many like-minded individuals chatting this particular topic up. You know it’s an issue when you have to look around for a parent of a child.

  19. Absolutely love this post! I’m not a parent, but needless to say I have many views about how is best to parent children (because I’m really annoying like that), and this really hit home with me. It absolutely kills me when I see children running rampant with parents paying absolutely no attention, especially when they then fly in to stand up for their child with no knowledge of their behaviour. This happens in the UK all the time, so it’s good to know it’s not just us doing it wrong.

    One thing that makes me laugh is when people actually use strangers to discipline their child, i.e. “If you don’t sit still, that lady over there is going to tell you off!” No I’m not, actually. That’s your job.

    Great blog, I shall be following!!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! Yes, I love that ‘one-liner’. Perhaps we should all put signs around our neck that say ‘Lady/Gent over there… $5 per minute’ At least we’d be getting paid for a service! :) Thanks for stopping by

  20. loved this.As a mother of four and a grandmother of four I see the need for your kind of parenting.First off your own child needs to know you are number one to them and can count on you in ALL kinds of situations,believe me when they are going through middle school you will be glad you were there when they were 1 and 3 and secondly,my daughter that is a KDG teacher is thankful for parents like you.I can’t tell you how many times I have listened to her try to wrap her head around people that do not teach their kids basic sharing.The excuses he was hungry,he was tired,he doesn’t feel good,and that’s how he always acts when he has been with so and so just doesn’t fly aroud here.Congrats on a well written peace and also for the funny way you wrote it.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! I appreciate your feedback and insight on the matter. My big concern is that there are parents out there that think it’s completely ok to leave their three year old in a public place. Insane. Again, thank you, and I appreciate it! :)

  21. Way to go! I hate when people leave their kids unattended or hug them when they’re acting up. Parents these days are really unbelievable. My father would have beat my ass in public for acting that way (but I wouldn’t have acted that way because I was raised not to). Damn twerps.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for your comment! Leaving the kid unattended is mind-boggling. Hopefully the parent will think differently in the future.

  22. Great post! Recently we were at the park and the children who didn’t-ask-to-share our sand toys, then wouldn’t return them at the end of our visit. Their mothers didn’t even care. So I removed them. Politely, one at a time, but removed them nonetheless. Some people!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you – Yeah, I can’t stand stuff like that… lol

  23. Eliza Shane said:

    This mother of three, now almost grown, children, has been on both sides of that coin! I, however, was a little less huggy and a little more ‘say you’re sorry!’ when it was my twerp(s) being a pain. It is frustrating when others don’t parent according to our book of what’s acceptable, is it not??

    One of my dearest girlfriends had a twerpy son who decided (at about 4 or so) to purposely kick my daugher (who was then 8) in the stomach. His father responded by hugging him and saying to him, in his most consoling voice, something like “now I know you didn’t mean to do that(???????????), but I’m sure it hurt her, so you should say you’re sorry.” Which, of course, he could not be convinved to do. I was BLOWN. A. WAY. by this situation. Ugh! Some people’s kids! ;-)

    • Chris said:

      Thank you – I think that part of the issue is that every family has a different level of what’s considered “normal”. Perhaps it’s because a lot of new parents (including myself) try their best, but really don’t have a damn clue about what to do; there isn’t a perfect formula when parenting (although many authors will take your money and claim otherwise..). However, I would like to think, in this day and age, that MOST parents would agree that if you have a three year old in a public venue, that you should be… I don’t know…. KEEPING AN EYE ON THEM?!?!?!? If someone thinks that NOT keeping an eye on them in that setting is “normal”, then.. well.. that’s just stupid behavior :)

      (sigh).. so the son got a hug for hitting someone in the stomach… (sigh again)

      • What A Hoot said:

        Oh, how my older children give us a hard time (teasing us) that we are sooooo relaxed raising the younger ones. They like to call themselves our experiments and joke they raised US ro be the great laid back parents with the younger ones that they say we are. It is amazing oldest children are not robots the way we do everything the right way and by the book, so to speak. My wise mother always said children are resilient to our shortcomings as long as they are listened to in conversation and hugged a lot. And tell them every so often you LIKE being their mom or dad.

    • May said:

      Didn’t mean to do it?! I’m guessing the kid had some kind of disorder where his legs just spasmed into other people’s abdomens, then…?

  24. What A Hoot said:

    Getting technical here. You did not discipline. You reprimanded. You did not punish. You commanded. Well done, Sir.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you – I appreciate the support :)

  25. What A Hoot said:

    Rules from an experienced — as in nine-kid experience:
    !. When a sales clerk or shop owner corrects your kid, whether you think she/he has a right to, demand your child look the person in the eye and say, “Yes, Maam” or “Yes, Sir.”
    2. Children CAN NOT share in the context that adults demand it. Think about it. When you have a magazine do you share, as in together, it with someone else; reading/using at the same time? Or how how about the computer? Too often a kid will attempt to repossess an item from another child and the adult observer will tell the child who has the toy to “share”. When a child grabs, the adult that is in the presence says, “It is not your turn. I will give the toy to you when it is your turn..” Remember “take turns” not “share”. This is a reality-based concept that works great in a house many children. I would keep an eye sort of open to the goings on and often, randomly, say, “OK, now it is so-and-so’s turn to ride the scooter (have truck, ball, whatever).
    3. When a child, any child appears to not being watched call store security or police if at park . This will take care of the “forgetful mommy shopper.” This is my weapon of choice for that snotty, coughing kids following my kid around demanding everything my kid touches. Never take the child to security — especially if a man — WILL end up being accused of a multiple of things and none will be ‘Mr. Nice Guy Concerned Citizen”.
    4. Secure a child in a shopping cart by tying their shoelaces together. This way someone trying to remove them is blocked. The child can not climb out and cannot get to the laces to undo like they can with the belt. If this is started young, the child knows no difference. You have a happier child because they are not spending the entire visit to the store hearing, “Sit down”, “Don’t touch”, and then all the whispered threats we make when our polite commands don’t work. By tying laces together the child is not being put into the position of being disobedient (I know a politically incorrect concept/word) and therefor is happy.
    5. Children under four DO NOT get choices. They eat what is made for the meal for the entire family. Never ask,”PPJ or grilled cheese.” Just make and give. If they don’t eat, it is there next meal, if really want to make a point. Usually I end up eating the despised food but no matter — no food until next meal AND NO OPPORTUNITY TO EAT THE refused meal so they can have whatever treat the family is having.
    6. Once a kid is potty-trained they are old enough (warning-this is very controversial) they can clean up their own puke. Yep, that is what you heard me say. Phenominal how my kids and generations before me almost always can make it to a recepticle of some sort to puke in even when when realllllllllly sick!

    Now, go have some fun calling security/911 on snotty bully kids wandering around the park/play areas!

    Gotta ask, “What is a “crunchy” lady?

    • What A Hoot said:

      Oh, and you were not out of line in yelling and scaring the kid. Hopefully it upset the mommy enough for her to watch her precious baby else someday something REALLY scary will happen.

      7. LITTLE boys DO NOT go into adult men’s restrooms alone. Once they are 9/10, if two or three brother together, let them go in. If by himself. Sorry he goes in with Mom until twelve or thirteen.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you – I love this list :) lol I’m sure others will appreciate it in one way or another. I will leave ‘crunchy’ up to the internet gods to bestow that information to you ;) Thanks again for the comments!

    • May said:

      I’m don’t completely agree that children under four shouldn’t get choices. I think it’s important to teach children how to make choices, by offering them choices when you would be equally happy with either outcome. Obviously you should never say “What would you like to do today?” when you mean “Do you want to go to the park, or read a book?” because if the answer is “Go to the zoo!” then you’ll have a pointless fight on your hand. But giving them the option between two sandwich fillings is teaching them how to weigh up choices. The important thing is the follow-through: they chose cheese, so they cannot change their mind to peanut butter later. It’s a balance between teaching kids that they can’t run the whole world, and teaching them how to handle decision-making, by practising on decisions that don’t matter much.

      • What A Hoot said:

        Age four is what my mother, who raised eight children of her own and a handful of others, and I who have raised nine have come up with. I know ALL about the balance between teaching kids that they can’t run the whole world, and teaching them how to handle decision-making, by practicing on decisions that don’t matter much.” Why four would be an entire article; the reasoning is not as basic as it appears. It is not just about decision making skills. In fact it is about a whole lot of other things. I will pass on the thesis to Chris should I ever write it.

      • May said:

        That’s fair enough, I suppose it also depends quite a lot on the child! I knew a 6 year old who was reasoning on a much more mature level and a 4 year old who was still thinking like a baby.

      • Chris said:

        Indeed. There are children of all different ages behaving at all different levels – definitely agree there. Definitely not an excuse to leave a 3 y/o unattended, but will agree that you will see different behavior patterns for different children. Thanks again for checking in! :)

      • What A Hoot said:

        And don’t we all know adults still thinking like babies! (Me sometimes, too)

  26. Yes! A thousand times YES!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you 1000 times! :)

  27. fireandair said:

    Better you be the first stranger to discipline him than a bailiff.

    • Chris said:

      You bet – well said! Thanks for commenting :)

    • What A Hoot said:

      Your one small sentence says more than all the words in my comments! Very.Well.Said.

  28. Sharlea said:

    Great post. More people should do this. My son attracts little stalker girlfriends everywhere we go. He’s three. And, while I am sure it is a compliment, there is an underlying tone of Crunchy Mommies out there that do not watch their children close enough and don’t think that it is overwhelming to a boy to have girls just randomly run up and maul him. Or, just not leave him alone to play at the museum. My husband does the “Big Scary Daddy” routine pretty well but other moms seem to think that I should just adore that my son has such a fan club. Cute little princess girls petting on my son is just as rude a twerps pushing yours. If you see a news report because I finally master my “you-need-an-ass-whipping-but-you’ll-have-to-settle-for-my-really-effing-scary- welcome-to-reality,-you-little-shit voice” … you will know what happened.

    • Chris said:

      Hello Sharlea – thanks for the comment and insight! Will keep my eye on the news ;) lol Agreed – there are definitely lines that parents draw with their kids, and if you feel (especially when they’re younger) that any other kid is getting too close or is harming your child, step in. At least you’re paying attention! :)

  29. 'Becca said:

    I think you are absolutely right in believing that this child should not be allowed to behave that way unchecked and is capable of resisting the urge to behave that way. I find that a lot of parents believe that children simply “have no impulse control” up until some magical age or that their “not knowing any better” is an inherent trait of their age rather than something to be gradually, patiently cured by TEACHING them better from the beginning. I wrote about this a while back: Impulse Control and Understanding Consequences.

    However, I think your reaction to his pushing your kid was over the top. Absolutely, you needed to do something immediate and firm that got his attention. But did you need to scare a lot of innocent people out of the play area? Did you want to model for him, and for your own children, that when someone does wrong it we roar and terrify everyone but don’t actually explain? (“Don’t do that” can mean a lot of things. The kid probably was old enough to comprehend that “that” meant pushing your child, but still it’s more effective to say what you mean: “Stop! Pushing hurts. See, he’s crying. You hurt him.”) One thing I’ve been learning as a parent is that a lot of men, and some women, never did learn to handle conflict calmly but believe they are justified in going right into their angriest, loudest, scariest mode and lashing out hard at anyone who has done wrong, no matter how small. If I were the mother of that twerp, although I certainly would have explained to him what he did wrong and why, I also would have been hugging and comforting him, because he was terrified. The fact that he was wrong does not mean that he deserved 100% of your wrath.

    You said you hope he will remember this all his life. I have vivid memories of several times in my childhood when adults full-out hollered at me; I remember the volume, the angry face, even details of the background so clearly that recalling the situation still makes me shake–but in less than half of those cases can I tell you what it was I had done that triggered the yelling. What I remember was that they yelled at me. I don’t remember what they said.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for your opinion! I would agree with you if the first time the kid acted up, and I yelled at him, that it would be an overreaction. I stated what I did after the first and second time it happened (and even removed my kids from the situation). When the kid followed us to another section of the room and did it again, then he was yelled at. Bad behavior stopped. If the parent didn’t appreciate the disciplinary style, she should have been paying attention to her three year old instead of being out of sight.

      Again, this is less of an issue of ‘dealing with conflict’, and more the issue of ‘complete and utter disregard for your young child in a public setting’. Would I do it the same way again? Absolutely. Will the parent most definitely keep a better eye on their young child? Perhaps. One would only hope…

    • What A Hoot said:

      Give me a break! Really? Still shaking? In order to halt an action one must say, “Halt”. Firmly. With a i-mean-business face. If “yelling” wasn’t necessary, the first two actions would have sufficed.

      • 'Becca said:

        I am very sensitive to being loudly yelled at and to believing that I have displeased someone. I really do feel a shaking sensation when I recall some times it happened. But my point was that because of the yelling, I don’t recall the content of what was said, and I think that is true of many less sensitive people–a lot of people, even adults, when they think your tone is inappropriate become so defensive that they will assume whatever you say is wrong.

        I agree, say “Halt” firmly and look like you mean it. That doesn’t require such volume that, in Chris’s own words, “The whole room turned and looked… then most of the folks cleared out of the play area….” If he was behaving appropriately, why did people who were uninvolved get their kids out of there?

        Since I didn’t say it before, let me clarify that I think you (Chris) did the right thing the first and second time, and that the kid’s mother should have been more involved. And I did say before that you were right to intervene very firmly. I’m just asking you to reconsider whether LOUD YELLING THAT FRIGHTENS EVERYONE IN THE ROOM is the best choice of behavior that you want to model for your kids.

        You say your yelling stopped the bad behavior. How do you know? Did the other kid treat yours appropriately after that? You didn’t say what happened next. If his mother took him out of the play area, THAT is most likely what stopped the bad behavior.

        If the mother now keeps a better eye on her child, it’s less likely to be because she’s concerned about his hurting others, than because she’s now worried that public places may harbor people who feel entitled to bellow terrifyingly at her little pooky-woogums. She’ll be intervening in his behavior not to teach him to do the right thing but to protect him from people like you. That accomplishes something in the short run–her kid won’t be allowed to hurt yours quite as much, because she’ll intervene when it happens–but it doesn’t accomplish nearly as much as conveying clearly to the kid that hurting people is wrong and you expect him to control himself.

      • Chris said:

        Thanks again, Becca – I appreciate your honest feedback. If the unattended three year old (the point of the conversation, by the way) didn’t pick up on my verbal and non-verbal cues after the first two times, as well as followed my kids after I removed them from the situation that wasn’t getting any better, he sure picked up on the change of tone on the third time. Yes, it was loud. Yes, it scared him. Yes, it got the mother’s attention (of which should have been undivided toward her kid in the first place). If most of the people in the room didn’t like or appreciate my loud voice, that’s their prerogative to leave. However, the main point (which I will restate time and time again) is that you do not leave a three y/o in a public place unattended. Perhaps if the parent was actually ‘parenting’, she would have picked up the first time that her son’s behavior was inappropriate, and that would have been the end of the story.

        If the mother now keeps a better eye on her child, regardless of the reason why she’s doing it, it’s one more eye than she kept on the child while he was roaming around a public place unattended. Mission accomplished.

      • What A Hoot said:

        More likely, the adults were either embarrassed or did not want to be pulled in to someone else’s conflict; not because they were frightened. Ideally, our first line of action is to take it to the parent to deal with, however, when you have more than one child to cart around, in a pubic place, it is not so easy or appropriate to be running around looking for the parent. The parent should have been there to protect his/her child from being in the situation where someone else, a stranger at that, found it necessary to reprimand the kiddo. Also, Chris’s children need to have the security, when out in the big, bad world, that they are protected. He set an excellent example,. His children will not be growing up scarred because they were not prematurely denied protection. In my thirty years of parenting I have encountered excessive rants way beyond Chris’s little shout-out. Most parents cleared out and when away from the scene looked at each other and laughed and high-fived each other for the bold parent that did what any of us could have and should have done when the same neglected child was pestering our children. .. .. instead of the repeated “polite” and appropriate responses that forced him on someone else’s kid. On one occasion, several of the run-away parents lingered and gave their phone number to the “yelling” parent should a witness be needed if the neglectful parent cried victim. Which gets to my next point:

        You are misdirecting blame for your scars of being yelled at by adults. The fault lies with your parents. No matter how wonderful they are, they failed in teaching you that a raised voice is not an evil voice and to buck up. Someone yelling at you does not put you outside of their love but sadly many people today think just that. A child who, for whatever reason, does not feel protected and safe in the midst of a public setting, is not the behavior monitor for the adults they interface with. You don’t remember the words because you were taught, somewhere along the line, that yelling is an act of violence and/or someone near to you snapped randomly at you on a regular basis and blamed or shamed you when you were wrong. Your reaction to what you describe as a few people yelling at you IS NOT an adjusted adult and there had to have been bigger problems going on for you to still shake when you hear someone yell. My children are trained from a young age to respond to the words and not focus on the delivery so they can hear and remember what was said. They learn young not to say, “You don’t have to yell.” or “You hurt my feelings”. You most likely were taught to focus first on the delivery and thus, did not hear intently enough to remember, perhaps? Don’t worry, though, as adults we have the opportunity to rewire ourselves and work towards growing up — which is an ongoing process!

        Chris, if my responses are too aggressive, feel free to delete. I will not be offended.

      • Chris said:

        Nope – you are spot on :) I’m glad to see that there’s great discussion here. I appreciate it… (and I agree with what you are saying)

      • 'Becca said:

        I understand your logic, and I know that there are people whose problems with yelling stem from dysfunctional teaching or abuse. However, there is also such a thing as inborn temperament. On two of those traits, sensory threshold and approach/withdrawal, I was a very extreme baby: I would jump out of my skin every time the phone rang, and I was extremely anxious about unfamiliar people or situations and wanted to just watch for a long time before getting involved or being noticed by other people. My parents worked very hard to help me relax about these things and become a more normal person. I am very grateful that they respected my needs and helped me gently and gradually, instead of just yelling at me that I needed to “buck up”–I had several teachers who did that, and let me tell you, it did not help at all but set me back because it reinforced my fear that unfamiliar people won’t like me and will scare me. It’s no good being ordered to “buck up” when you have no idea how to go about it. I had to be taught.

        After working on this all my life, I am now able to function like a normal person on the outside. I also have a lot more control over my emotional reactions than I used to. But when I remember my experiences in a few particularly upsetting situations when I was younger and how I felt then, yes, I still have that shaking feeling. Note that what I said above was, “recalling the situation still makes me shake”–not that hearing just anyone yell now that I am an adult makes me shake.

        Anyway, I am explaining all this about myself only because you felt compelled to analyze me and to assume that with your superior parenting I would be a different person. I don’t mean to imply that Chris ought to be assuming that every child he meets, or even anyone else in a public space at a given time, is so extremely sensitive to yelling that he dare not raise his voice. I’m only saying that modulating a bit would set a better example while still being effective. Even if the other parents present were only embarrassed for him, not frightened for their children’s safety–why feel proud of having embarrassed yourself by freaking out so extremely over the actions of a little twerp with a pacifier?!

        Chris, I do understand that you were provoked by worrying about your kids’ safety and angry that the other kid’s mom was not watching him, and I think your feelings were totally justified! I understand that it’s because you were so provoked that you yelled so loudly. My only issue is with your saying that you would do it exactly the same way again, instead of, “Gee, I’m sorry I cut short a lot of other families’ playtime. I’m glad I protected my kids, but maybe in future I could find a better way to get the kid under control and back to his mom.”

        I guess I have a somewhat different feeling than you do about the presence of an unattended three-year-old in a place where my child (when he was as young as your twins) is playing with my supervision. I definitely agree that in a very public space that is at all crowded, an adult should be within 20 feet of the child, looking at him at least once a minute, and intervening if he misbehaves; this is a matter of basic safety and courtesy. However, at times when an unfamiliar child misbehaves in some way that has a negative effect on my child, myself, or public safety, I don’t even look for that child’s parent; I immediately speak to the child, using my Calm Firm Voice, believing that this child wants to be a nice person and will accept instruction. This works very well about 75% of the time. I always try it before I even consider moving my child away. The times it doesn’t work, of course usually the parent will intervene, but I have had times when the child seemed unattended (or once when the moms of the two kids were sitting together giggling in embarrassment over their children’s outrageous behavior and their own incompetence!!!) and I physically intervened, gently but firmly moving the child out of my child’s face, taking away the objects being inappropriately used, etc. I just sort of believe that we’re all people together in this public space, so if a specific person is causing a problem, it makes sense for me to tell that person; I don’t see anything to be gained from getting anxious and angry over the failure of another person to save me from this one. It feels funny writing this out because, as noted above, I’m a very anxious person by nature and often struggle with feeling unsafe or afraid to speak to strangers–but in this type of situation, I find it easy!

      • Chris said:

        Hello Becca – thanks again for the comment. I appreciate your feedback, and I appreciate that people can be honest about their feelings toward the situation. I also appreciate the insight into your personal situation regarding anxiety.

        In short, I became the modulator to the other parent. It’s really not a lengthy concept or idea, it’s a fact that a) a parent was negligent by ignoring her kid, b) said kid was utilizing bullying behaviors, not once… not twice, but three times, even following my kids to another area, and c) I rectified the situation, when the parent of the child should have been doing that all along. The person that needs the ‘modulating’ is the parent that wasn’t watching her child, so that she, the parent could ‘modulate’ HER child’s aggressive behavior. I would agree that if it was the first infraction and I just screamed at the kid without regard, that would be a problem. However, that wasn’t the case here.

  30. This is positively perfect. I am not a parent, but nannied for a brief period of time and usually was out in public with the kids and often found myself surrounded by parentless, monstrous single-digit-aged humans. When nobody claims them, it’s fair game to pull rank and sit a kid in their place if they’re being unapologetically aggressive. Good for you.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks much! :) I appreciate the support on this topic.

  31. Love it! So wrong, but oh so right! Your tips are great, and useful, thank you very much. Esp #4. I would’ve done exactly as you did in that situation, actually have done, many times. Didn’t feel nice, but I can’t stand parents who don’t have a clue how annoying their darling little twerps are in social situations! Well done.. breathe.. its all ok now.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! Disciplining is never actually fun, but if it gets the point across, it’s fulfilling. I wish more parents would pay attention to how their kids are behaving, especially when they are young.

  32. Reblogged this on hypocrisy2012 and commented:
    All Kids On Are Guilty Of Being Little Trouble Makers At One Time Read~

  33. As a parent who has already been through this stage with my boys, I largely disagree with the way you handled the “twerp” and his mother. GeneralIy, I’m not a fan of using bullying tactics to handle a 3 year old “bully”, which is what I believe you did. Nor do I believe you “parented” someone else’s child by yelling at the child–discipline begins well before the infraction. And I question whether this 3 year old was “bullying” or learning his limits. If he doesn’t communicate well, as you indicated, can he know what a bully is? It would appear that there are some parenting issues from the mother of the 3 year old. And maybe some issues or delays with the child, too, but you can’t possibly know them all based on one incident. At some point, your kids need to learn that there not all folks in the world are kind and polite so they can better understand why you feel it is so important for them to be kind and polite. Relax, dad! Experiential learning is a gift to give your kids. Don’t forget they are also watching their father yell at another child and causing that child to cry. Embarrassing the mom, too, perhaps. I’m sure you don’t want that for your kids but they will model your actual behavior–not your perception of your behavior.
    However, I appreciate that you were out with your family and were (and are) an actively engaged father. Kudos to you for doing that for your kids and thanks for setting that example for other fathers. In a few years you will barely remember this day (save for the post) and may be shocked, saddened and disheartened when the cruel, heartbreaking realities of bullying (mental and physical) hit close to home.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for your honest feedback! :) While I agree with experiential learning, I don’t agree with this particular parent’s blatant disregard for her young child; setting him with no supervision at three years old, in a public place, with zero ability to behave. If the child had been kidnapped due to this parent’s lack of regard for her child, would we chalk that up to ‘experiential learning’ for the parent and child?

      I hope that the mother was embarrassed; she should be. Perhaps she’ll learn to keep an eye on her kid. Also, my children are watching their father stand up to bullying behavior. More kids should model this behavior. If a kid has a friend being picked on by a bully, the kid should stand up for the friend if the friend can’t stand up for himself.

      Remember: If the parent was watching their kid and setting a good example, this wouldn’t have been an issue.

    • What A Hoot said:

      Hogwash. Touchy Feely Hogwash. Reprimanding in a manner that FINDS the AWOL parent is not bullying. The mother SHOULD be embarrassed.

  34. alastor993 said:

    Good for you! As a teacher I take great pleasure from getting students to stop early bully behaviour or – on the other side of the line – ass kissing (how I hate it when they rat eachother out, sometimes continuously). Not a mom yet, but I will surely remember your post!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for the comment – Best of luck in the parenting field when it’s your turn to step up to the plate! :)

  35. 1cath said:

    Love your post and I totally agree with you! I have two children, one 14, the other 3. When i took them to our local playgroup setting from the age of about twleve months, i followed them to every toy, every slide or trampoline to be on hand when they engaged with another child. You have to, so they know the correct way to interact with their peers. I have in the past, told other children off if they were being twerps towards mine and will continue to watch over the 3 year old to make sure his behavious is acceptable.

    I am amazed at some of the comments you have received but that just goes to show the mentality of some people and explains a lot!!!

    Congrats of being ‘Freshly Pressed’

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Cathryn! It’s all about teaching your kid how to interact with their peers, and I’m glad to see other parents employing that strategy as well. :)

  36. Fantastic post, Chris – and congrats! I don’t have kids, but I am an Aunt, and I’m always moaning about how kids these days (I’m too young to be saying that, by the way) aren’t given any guidelines, routines, discipline…whatever. I still remember being disciplined and, ok, it wasn’t fun or always appropriate, but I’m sure glad I wasn’t left to grow up a twerp :) (By the way, I might be going blind, but I couldn’t find buttons to follow you on facebook/twitter?) Anyway, thanks for making me laugh :)

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Alarna! :) I saw the duplicate comment, so I’m canning the first one.

      It doesn’t take a parent to observe what would be considered improper behavior, so you’re completely qualified to make that call :)

      You are definitely not blind. I’ve been tweaking the social networking side of things on my end. Right now, if you enjoyed the post enough to listen to me rant and rave again someday, you can either go ahead and follow the blog through WordPress or get an email notification for when it updates. Also, feel free to share the post if you think others would get a kick out of it ;)

      Thanks for stopping by, and Aunts rule! :)

  37. mlshiira said:

    I find it sad that parents are so disconnected from their kids that those kids will go snatch toys out of other kids’ hands just to get a little attention from someone. Since this twerp kept following your twins around and harassing them, despite your best efforts to separate them, I would say he’s probably lonely. Mommy’s on her phone AGAIN, so he’s got to find somebody to play with (and no one’s ever taught him how to play nice). I’m not excusing the bullying behavior, because I don’t tolerate that from other kids either, but I find it even more disappointing that he got exactly what he really wanted (mommy’s hugs) for it. Maybe it’s worked for him many times before–cause a scene so that everyone will look and maybe someone will actually care–and the more times it works, the more likely he’ll continue the behavior. I agree that if the mom was doing her job, and keeping a close eye on this kid, or even better, engaging him with something educational, then maybe he wouldn’t need to have the one toy in the room that somebody else is using. Sorry, but some parents just don’t get that their kid is supposed to be more important to them than whatever new app they just downloaded.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for sharing! You are 100% spot on, and it’s a VERY good point; kids that aren’t getting enough attention will act out for it, and the mother’s behavior (hugging and kissing after her kid demonstrated bullying behavior) will only reinforce said bad behavior. Excellent comment!

  38. lijiujiu said:

    Great post! Yes, all kids are guilty of being a ‘little shit’ at times.
    This is really a good work. I appreciate your efforts behind that.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! :) I’m glad that lots of folks seem to agree with this philosophy ;)

  39. Great Post ! Excellent point which I really hope some parents need to see.. I have seen a lot of parents who actually encourage that kind of (unruly? ) behaviour from their kids.. There was this one kid who seemed kind of bullying people around him and his mom went all “awww.. look at my baby ..” and so proudly !

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! Yes, those parents are usually lacking in brain cells (or, in the very least, they equate bullying behavior to ‘growing up’, and think it’s cute). If someone shoved her kid, I wonder how proud she would be then. Insane!

  40. I was fueling up the other day, when a young mother pulled in behind me, jumped out of the car and went inside. Inadvertently, I happened to glance into the windshield of her car, at which time her little threeish year old girl seized the moment and flipped me the bird.
    When the mom came back out, I said, “Just so you’re aware, your kid just flipped me off! I have small children myself, and I would want to know, so I’m letting you know.”
    “Hey, you got a f’ing prablem widdit?!” she implored.
    “First off yes”, I said, “Secondly, I’m not interested in discussing it with you. I simply thought you’d want to know.”

    This pitiful, barbaric mother will likely forget that episode, and many others like it… and then wonder where things went wrong when the girl goes to prison one day.
    And I hope I’m there so I can be all like, “Hey biatch!!! Who’s got a fucking problem widdit now yo?! BOOYAH!!!”

    Lol :-)

    • Chris said:

      LOL!! THAT was hilarious! :) I agree, parents like that will ‘forget’, then ‘wonder why…’ Thanks for commenting! (and sorry you got flipped off by a three y/o for no apparent reason ;)

  41. Audrey said:

    I. ABSOLUTELY. LOVE. THIS. POST. Made me laugh, nod my head in agreement and think of all those times when I had entire ‘I wish I could do this x, y and z to this kid’ scenarios playing out in my mind!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! :) I strive for the ‘head nod’ ;) It’s amazing the patience that parents have with kids other than their own, especially when they are acting up. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you see another kid ‘twerping’ around, especially when the parent is MIA!

  42. So funny, I am definitely with you on this one! I’m so glad to read that I am not the only one whining about rotten kids. Sadly the parents with these twerps are rarely what we call “readers” and are thus unlikely to find your helpful list at the end. :)

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! :) Yes, they probably aren’t “readers”. I mean, heck, they really aren’t “parents” in the operative sense of the word, so why would they read? ;) Have a great day!

  43. Excellent post! Congrats on making it to ‘Freshly Pressed’!

    I grew up in a place where children were raised by the ‘community’. If a kid was out of line it was totally okay for anyone from the community to tell them that that is not the proper way to behave. As a teen I too would tell off younger children for bullying/hurting/pushing anyone and I never got any flack for that. I think all the kids from our little town grew up to be better adults because of it.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you, and thank you! :)

      I agree with what you are saying. Of course, it seems as if nowadays things have changed, but I’m really happy to see that there are parents out there that think similarly regarding this situation.

  44. I remember when I thought I had all the answers. And then I became parent to a special needs child.

    I agree with you that all parents should take their job more seriously and work to grow good people. Their job isn’t over after the child learns to walk. It’s damned hard work, but I believe in the adage, “You reap what you sow.” Enjoy your little ones; they sound precious.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for sharing – I appreciate it! :)

  45. Erica said:

    Thank god I’m not the only one who gets irritated with parents lacking… common sense, shall we call it? I don’t have any children, but I’ve been around them enough (oldest of five) to understand what does and doesn’t fly in public situations…

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for commenting and sharing – you are not alone in your irritation, that’s for sure ;)

  46. This is exactly why I have an evil twin in my head. She takes twerps and knots them up like pretzels, then tucks them into her catapult and bombs away! I, on the other hand, must simply glower ferociously while she feeds me the images. I think if I didn’t have this little circus going on in my head, I might actually hurt someone :D

    • Chris said:

      Hahaha! Excellent comment :) I’m sure that’s only one ring of the three ring circus, correct? ;)

  47. *bawling. Sorry, I was the spelling bee kid. Anyway, hilarious post! Enjoy my blog!

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for the love :)

  48. zomelie said:

    Going into this whole parenthood thing, I knew that I would be responsible for watching my kids. However, I never realized I would have to watch out for other people’s kids. I am amazed at how often I am the only parent in the kids’ area at our favorite fast food restaurant, for example. Many a child in that place has been the recipient of my evil glare when he or she has come too close to my toddler. And on a few occasions, I have voiced my discontent when actual touching becomes involved. On the flip side, I have also been the parent to pull aside my rambunctious seven-year-old to remind her to watch out for the people that are smaller than her. (This is the child who once hit her younger cousin in the face with a water bottle when they were both in the backseat of the car. I immediately pulled the car over, got her out of her seat, and gave her a right good spanking. She never did that again.)

    I’m so glad to know I’m not the only one who gets frustrated with the lack of attention parents show in the public arena.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks much for commenting – you are, indeed, not alone. It’s a balance between making sure your kid’s not instigating, making sure others aren’t instigating, and giving your kid the chance to learn something… all while retaining an ounce of sanity. It’s all about Advil and a cup of coffee ;)

  49. Can I just say, “Hell Yes!!!!!”? Preach it brotha!

    • Chris said:

      You may, and thank you for doing so :)

  50. CJ said:

    OMG! This is right on! Some parents are afraid to discipline their bad ass kids in public and kids pick up on this very early on. Your kids seeing your behavior toward unruly children will teach them a very valuable lesson. Thanks for sharing!

    • Chris said:

      No problem – thanks for reading! :) Hopefully the parent picked up on it as well..

  51. THANK YOU! The manners of the kids around where I live are atrocious. I went to the public pool when I was 6 or 7 months pregnant and kids ran into me left and right, no “excuse me” or anything. I said something to one kid, and he actually started to give me lip back until he saw the look on hubby’s face. Then last year, a kid at the pool kept grabbing my kid’s leg and shaking it under the water. I told him to stop like 4 times and he would look straight at me and keep at it. I wanted to smack the shit out of him, but I was afraid to even grab his hand for fear of sure happy parents. And the other week a little boy spit in my friend’s face and his mother did NOTHING about it! But I decided if it involves my kid’s safety, I will do what I have to do and if that means snatching the parent up by the throat, I guess that’s what I’ll have to do. ;)

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for sharing! I’m glad that there are other parents out there that realize that other parents aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. The funny part was that, after this kid’s first time picking on my kids, the first thing that I did was look for the parent. Once the parent heard me disciplining her kid, that’s when she appeared out of thin air. It’s a shame that it has to go that far.

  52. I”m sorry I just read some of the other comments and I have to add one more thought. Once another child lays their hands on my child, we have left the realm of “kids will be kids”. Have you lost your mind?! Adults aren’t allowed to do that…it’s assault in the adult world…and guess what the child world is for…training to become adults.

    The lesson learned is 1) NO ONE is allowed to put their hands on my kid but me and his father.
    2) The general level of tolerance for inappropriate behavior in children is exactly what has led all recent generations to be overwhelmingly underwhelming and underproductive.

    • Chris said:

      Couldn’t agree more! :)

  53. newsy1 said:

    My kids are long grown and I’m at grandparent age now but it never ceases to amaze me when I see kids in social situations that have not been prepped by the parents to exhibit their best behavior. But, if the parents can’t do it themselves, they are the losers all the way around.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! I agree 100% :) Then, those same parents do a lot of ‘wondering why…’

  54. AW!!! You got me fired up!!!! EXCELLENT post. First, (and most importantly) it made me laugh and I needed a laugh. Second, you’re damned right! I have done the exact same thing before. And I will continue to do so as long as there are kids with behavioral issues left unattended or worse encouraged for such.

    Anyway, just found your blog. Lovin it. Thanks.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you – I appreciate the kind words. Also, thank you for picking up the slack for other parents when needed ;)

  55. THANK. YOU!!!!! First congrats for being freshly pressed and secondly GOOD GOING!! It’s really sad that a lot of parents aren’t teaching their kids manners anymore. I see it everyday because I still unfortunately work in retail.
    Plus when you described how that “Crunchy mother” picked up and cradled her little bastard (sorry, that’s the title I use for problem children) after what he had done, you could already tell that he’s going to be trouble in a few years. The correct thing she should have done was had him say he sorry to the twin then add some discipline (time out, take away the toys). Instead she hugged him and now he probably thinks that pushing someone and taking away the toys is an OK thing to do.
    Freaking amazing :)

    • Chris said:

      Thank YOU for reading and commenting! :) Very true, and I agree with your assessment on the situation. I’m hoping that the parent learned that other parents will discipline your child if you aren’t paying attention to them, and that the child learned not to behave that way towards other children.

  56. I’m a preschool teacher and I totally see what you mean. Once, for no reason at all, this very rough boy started pushing another little one around in the trampoline. Of course, when we noticed that, we had to separate them and educate them both, to say, “Stop I don’t like it!” and walk away when someone is being too rough and also to “use gentle hands when playing.” When we talked to the parents about this, here’s what happened:

    Rough boy’s mother: Oh, I’m sorry. You know, that’s how he plays with his big brother at home. Boys will be boys.
    (She says that all the time, like being a boy and having a big brother excuses the child from not knowing how to behave.)

    Little one’s mother: Boys will be boys only if you let them be. You have to actually discipline them you know.
    (Apparently she was tired because it wasn’t the first time this happened.)

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for commenting! The general term ‘X will be X’ is a cop-out, employed by many parents as an excuse. Glad to see that you brought the behavior forward!

  57. nice story…pacifier clipped to clothes says it all don’t you think?

    • Chris said:

      Haha! Yes, and denim… (sigh). Thanks for checking in!

  58. So, if your kid was the ‘twerp’ what would you do differently? I know what the daddy in our house would have done!

    • Chris said:

      Let’s just say that the ‘twerpish’ moments from my three year old to other children are few and far between. However, if I saw him behaving that way towards another child, he would be removed from the situation and reprimanded appropriately, given the severity, repetitiveness, and magnitude of the situation… ;)

  59. wellcraftedtoo said:

    Forgot to add–

    The terms bully and bullying have been used repeatedly here. Obviously, the parenting problem of the season (month? week?).

    But, honestly, this kid’s conduct is not bullying–rude, pushy, obnoxious, yes, bullying, no. Real bullying is something very different, and not something an almost three year old does. To call this bullying minimizes actual bullying. And those of us who have been bullied, or witnessed bullying, or whose kids have been bullied don’t appreciate that.

    I have a strong sense that most of the posters here either do not have kids, or have very young kids, and don’t work with kids.

    Kids act like…kids. They need correction some times, but they don’t need parents or other adults freaking out when they act…childishly.

    • there are many forms of bullying, and this is where it starts. 3 year olds not being told that pushing is not nice to the other person. And it is generally a leaned thing from parents (whether from lack of discipline or being pushed around himself)

    • Sarah D. said:

      Bullying is different at different ages. For a three-year-old to be aggressive with smaller children who are doing nothing at all to him is indeed bullying. When that child is older, the form will change, unless he is taught otherwise. You’re trying very hard to make excuses for this child; if it is because there is a similar child in your own life, I hope you will take another look at what is going on here. To me, the fact that he behaved this way in front of an adult who was watching speaks volumes. He was looking for attention that his mother obviously wasn’t giving him, and he may even have been looking for someone to set limits for him.

  60. wellcraftedtoo said:

    Are these your first, or oldest kids? I agree with some commenters above, this does sound like an over-reaction.

    Loosen up! “Almost three” is nowhere near old enough to ‘ask politely’. This child was behaving within a normal range. Not nicely, not politely, not socially skillfully. But let’s stay real here–how old did you say these kids were??

    And, please, drop the expletives. Little children don’t deserve being called ‘little sh-ts’; reserve that for when it really matters, and this situation isn’t it!

    Last, I just cringe when I hear someone, anyone, say to ‘watch your kid at all times’. What does that mean? Why? Is that really what you want in this hyper-helicopter parenting world where many kids literally are watched by some adult at all times? Is that how you were raised?

    Actually, your twins could probably have learned a thing or two about taking care of themselves with pushy kids had you been willing to step back.

    But as it was, they might have just become more anxious watching you get steamed up.

    All parents over-reaction at times. But not everyone blogs about it, and rarely are those blogs featured ones.

    • I’m a nanny; I’ve watched my two kids since they were three and fifteen months. Since day one, each child has known that if they’re in a public place with other children manners should (and will) be used. It is NEVER acceptable to snatch a toy out of someone’s hands, or to push, or otherwise exhibit violence. It doesn’t matter the age – they’re only obnoxious if you LET them act that way. Making excuses for them (they’re “only” three) isn’t going to solve the problem. They won’t grow out of their problem unless YOU, the parent, fix it.

      Furthermore, actually read the post. He didn’t call the child a little shit. There were no expletives used towards the twerp in question at all. However, this is his personal blog, and he is allowed to express his personal feelings, and if he desires to call a child a shit on his blog, then he’s damn well allowed to. Don’t like it, don’t read. We’re all entitled to our opinions and expressions of them.

      Finally, as a nanny, I do watch my kids at all times. When we go to the park, I watch them. When we’re at a museum, I watch them. They are not out of my sight. Who knows what freaks are out, looking to take my children. And I watch them at all times…because it’s my JOB. I’m not paid to let them run free and wild on the playground or in a public place, I’m not paid to sit and read a book or talk on the phone. They are my responsibility, and I’m paid to watch them and keep them safe and prevent them from acting like the little shit mentioned above. There is no excuse for a parent, someone who actually loves the kid and produced the kid from themselves, to ignore a child and let him run wild. It’s ridiculous.

      It was not an overreaction on the blogger’s part; I would have done the same.

  61. wellcraftedtoo said:

    Oh boy, if these little ones are your oldest kids, are you in for some learnin’…And if you have older kids, what’s going on?

    First, kids approaching three don’t ‘ask politely’ to play. Second, drop the expletives–these are kids, and very little ones–they don’t deserve to be called ‘little sh-ts’; reserve that for when you really need it, and believe me, this isn’t it!

    Next, you got to loosen up. This behavior is within normal, as someone above said. Normal doesn’t mean polite, pleasant, rational, etc. Just ‘normal’–because kids are kids.

    Finally, I cringe when someone says–in our helicopter parenting world of never allowing a kid any breathing space at all–’watch your kid(s) at all times’. Do you really want a world like that? Is that how you were raised? And what happened here that was so awful anyway? Your twins probably could have learned some valuable skills from the ‘twerp’, but you took over.

    Your post sounds like an over-reaction, something all parents do some of the time. But they usually don’t blog about it, and WP usually doesn’t feature the post if they do!

    • Chris said:

      Hello. First off, thanks for commenting – I appreciate the honest feedback.

      Now it’s your turn to receive it… :)

      The behavior in question here is the parents utter disregard of their three year old child. She wasn’t watching him at all. Had I been a child abductor, her kid would have been a perfect target. My kids are just over three, and 13 month old twins. I watch them in a public place. That’s ‘normal’. Not watching your three year old in a public place at all is not ‘normal’.

      Next, if you don’t prefer the language that I use in my blog, find another blog to read. The kid was a ‘twerp’. Hopefully the parent(s) of this twerp will be parents, and perhaps the kid will graduate from ‘twerp’ to something less ‘twerpish’. That is, if the child doesn’t get hurt or killed while the parents are ignoring him.

      The real issue isn’t ‘kids being kids’, it’s parents NOT being parents, the latter being more detrimental to the kid in the long run.

      Regarding bullying, pushing a kid down for no reason, regardless of age, is bullying. That’s a fact. It’s also why I became the parent of said child, while actual parent was not parenting. Hopefully the twerp’s first memory will be that pushing other kids is wrong.

      • wellcraftedtoo said:

        Sorry, don’t agree: a little kid pushing another little kid down is not bullying, Chris. It’s pushing another little kid down. Is it okay, good, right? Well, usually not. But you don’t need to inflate the language to make your point.

        As for language, it’s not the ‘twerp’, it’s the expletives, as I said, the ‘little shits’ and such. That’s very strong language for a very little child, and really not fair or appropriate.

        I don’t like to justify bad behavior by saying kids will be kids, but the reality is that kids do act like kids, and that means they can behave very poorly. (Just like adults.) Parents can and should both model and instruct good behavior, but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they aren’t around, sometimes they miss the bad behavior, sometimes their minds are elsewhere (maybe thinking about what to make for dinner, maybe–yes–thinking about the job they just lost, or the loved one who was just diagnosed with breast cancer).

        My point is to relax. Parenting is a long and winding road, and it’s best taken well-rested and with eyes wide open. If you get this steamed up over this, oy, just imagine what’s down the road. I know, I’ve been there, and, yes, it gets a lot–a lot–tougher.

        Good luck!

      • Chris said:

        Thank you – we’ll have to agree to disagree then :) Clearly you are educated enough to look up the term ‘bullying’ and apply it to this situation. It fits.

        As far as ‘little shits’, that falls under the similar behavior as ‘twerps’. If little kids are reading this blog, parents should cover their eyes. That language wasn’t used at the museum, nor was it used towards the kids, so the point is not taken.

        Again, it’s parents NOT being parents, and this particular parent wasn’t paying attention to her child at all in a public place. Period. If the parent isn’t parenting, other parents should (as I did) teach them not to behave in that manner. There’s a difference between ‘missing a bad behavior’ or ‘sometimes their minds are elsewhere’ and completely not watching your three year old child for a period of time. If the parent is that distraught over something else going on in their life, they should think of something else to do with their child instead of leaving them unattended in a public place, especially if their brain isn’t able to cope with ‘parenting’ at that point in time. Perhaps when you were parenting your three year old, times were different. In this day and age, you don’t leave your three year old unattended in a public place.

        I say, ‘good luck’ to the parent not watching their kid, but I appreciate it anyway! :)

      • wellcraftedtoo said:

        Yikes, lots of misguided statements in these comments on bullying, and what it is, and whether ‘an almost three year old pushing another small child’ is, de facto, bullying.

        I don’t know who’s been bullied on this thread, or who’s witnessed it, but bullying is a lot more than a little kid pushing another. If that’s what it is, then we have all been bullied, and we are all bullies–because no one makes it through the preschool years without being pushed and pushing.

        Anyone who has raised little kids, or works with little kids, knows that they are not ‘civilized’–indeed that’s why–as the writer here keeps decrying–parents are so needed, and how so many, in his view, fail in the job that falls to them. Little kids can be aggressive, big kids can be aggressive, teens, and adults can be aggressive.

        Is this good, or desirable? Usually not, but in some situations, yes…Depends. Being aggressive can save one’s life in certain situations.

        But is every instance of one kid pushing another, bullying?

        Of course not.

        Bullying is a sustained, conscious, clear pattern of aggressive behavior intended to intimidate and control another. It can be physical, social, and emotional in content, or any combination. It is NOT one little kid pushing another! And nor is that necessarily a sign that the pusher is going to ‘grow up to be a bully’, or ‘where it starts’. Anyone who says, or thinks that, has not spent much time watching small children grow up.

        Labeling something you don’t like, or that is confusing, or upsetting, or irritating ‘bullying’, doesn’t make it so. Don’t minimize the severity of bullying by making it out be nothing other than little kids pushing each other.

        Some here might want to check out the fascinating and now classic series of books on child development written some years ago by L Bates and F Ig and published by the Gesell Institute. They are now more than a few decades old, but still timely–as child development, despite the tempest of changes around us, remains remarkably consistent over time.

      • Chris said:

        Hello again :)

        When you have a three year old pushing a 13 month old, a parent moving the 13 month old away from the three year old, the three year old following the 13 month old and pushing again, and then the situation repeated a third time, that’s bullying. It wasn’t one incident. You are right, though – I would venture a guess that most of the people reading this post have been bullied, have been a bully, or have witnessed bulling. In this case, it was bullying which could have been prevented if the parent wasn’t being negligent.

        Being agressive can, indeed, save one’s life in certain situations. However, being agressive (even perceived agression) can also get you killed.

        In this case, ‘little kids weren’t pushing each other’, as you stated. It was a bigger kid pushing a little kid. Not once, or twice, but three times. What part of that is NOT a sustained, conscious, clear pattern of aggressive behavior intended to intimidate and control another according to the definition that you referenced? Had I not put the twerp and parent in his and her place respectively, the pattern would have most definitely repeated itself, perhaps not with my child, but perhaps with another one. That’s speculation, but I put a stop to the behavior, so that was the end of that for the moment.

        Yes, little kids push and get pushed. Adults are responsible for teaching their kids what’s acceptable behavior in certain situations. Even kids in self-defense classes and martial arts are taught to first avoid physical conflict until it’s absolutely necessary. In this scenario, the person responsible for the three year old wasn’t even in sight. That’s the point of the post, which was clearly missed by a few folks. Don’t minimize the importance of parenting by twisting a story to fit your definition of bullying.

        Thanks again for your comments. While you fall within the minority here regarding my post and this issue, it is gladly appreciated. Also, while I appreciate the book reference, that might just be part of the problem with parenting nowadays; throwing money at someone else’s theory instead of using common sense.

      • @wellcraftedtoo Pushing and shoving is bullying. regardless of the age, and at age 3 most kids with reasonable aprents have an idea of what is not acceptable. In a public place, you look out for and watch your kids. not helicopter them, just watch. as for the twins learning a lesson, they learnt that at the moment their dad will protect them. As they get older dad will surely teach them how to behave, with manners etc. Sure, most kids at 3 don’t ask nicely to share, but nice kids don’t just snatch toys or push others in the face either.

  62. kcasrkev1 said:

    Reblogged this on kevinsblogpost.

  63. kcasrkev1 said:

    Great job! I’ve done it before when my kids were little. I have a DEEP and VERY LOUD tone, so when I’ve had to do it in the past, oh yes, it scares them TO DEATH! My own nieces and nephews had to get used to the tone of my voice. They were scared of me, until they’d spent a little time around me and realized that I wasn’t the Big Bad Wolf. Funny! Keep up the good work. You have to watch out for yours, and sometimes, theirs. It takes a village to raise them correctly.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Kevin – very true regarding it taking a village, especially when half of the village is sleeping (the rest of us have to pick up the slack!)

  64. Great post. I’m always disciplining other’s kids when they’re being bullies. Maybe it’s the teacher in me coming out :)

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! I appreciate it, and I appreciate you for being a teacher that’s against bullying. Way to go!

  65. Roar! I especially get frustrated with good-for-nothing parents. I put my cell phone away when I have my dog and we have to move from point A to B. I was four years old when I stuck my tongue out at a woman sitting behind us in church. The woman thought it was cute. When my mom saw what I was up to it was WHAP, “You tell her you’re sorry for sticking your tongue out at her and being rude!” I apologized, not my mom, me, four years old. And I don’t recall ever being rude in public again, ever. My parents disciplined us, but they also set an example and this included politeness and strong character. Thank God!

    • Chris said:

      Bingo! It’s amazing how far a little discipline at an early age goes. ;) Thanks for the comment!

  66. talentedsarah said:

    “(because, well, let’s just say I scared the shit out of him and he was balling)” HAHA I loved that part.

    I think you did the right thing. Children learn from their mistakes and you let him know that what he did was indeed a mistake.

    And you made a hilarious well-informed post about it.


    • Chris said:

      Thank you! :) My hope is that the parent learned something as well. Hopefully that was the case! :)

      • I find that these are the parents who will then bitch about ‘the idiot who yelled at my kid’ and essentially have learned nothing. Mainly coz, although they pay no real attention to their kids, think they do nothing wrong.

      • Chris said:

        You would be correct – It’s sad, but indeed true.

  67. I feel your pain, I’ve had to deal with kids much older than the kid you dealt with who needed a lesson or two in social ettiquette. Thankfully, they learned their lesson, which is don’t mess or throw rocks at the heads of people older than you, or they and the camp counselors will make sure everybody knows you’re in trouble and why.
    By the way, what do you mean by “crunchy”? That sounds like a great descriptor; could you be a little more specific about what it means?

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for checking in! I will leave the term ‘crunchy’ up to you to determine through research and context cues ;)

      • oh, that’s no fair! was she fat or was her face a wrinkly, hag-like mess?

      • Chris said:

        Nah, she seemed normal…. you know… outside of the whole ‘not watching your three year old in a public place’ sort of way…

      • ah, that type of parent. and yet they are always the ones that say their kids are “well-behaved” and “couldn’t hurt a fly”.

      • Chris said:

        It’s funny how they claim that, but they aren’t even watching what their children are doing.

      • if i have kids, i’m probably going to be the type of parent who goes crazy over them and doesn’t want them out of their sight, but at the same time knows that kids need their own space, and struggles on finding that balance.
        in short, i’ll be like richard castle with his daughter.

      • Chris said:

        Well, here’s a hint; keep an eye on them when they are three years old and in a public place, unlike the parent in the post… :)

      • you don’t have to be dear abby to know that’s good advice.

  68. Spijder said:

    At the very first incident you should have nipped that in the bud by shouting “Who does this child belong to?! I think we have a lost child! Is this a lost child?!” (I would have done so at the top of my lungs) and then apologize to the mother for thwarting her obvious attempt at fantasizing that the dinosaurs were more than just bones and what course nature might have taken in that case.

    • Chris said:

      Haha! Yes, this would have been a reasonable alternative. I guess the mother thought that the exhibits would come to life and watch her kid, ‘Night At The Museum’ style.

      • I also think this is a great idea to nip the situation in the bud.

        Once, I had this awful summer job in the bed and bath section of the department store. My last hour of my last day of work there was a kid that wouldn’t stop jumping up and down on the display beds, even after repeatedly asking him to stop. His jumping worked a finishing nail (yes, the sheets of show beds are sometimes nailed into the frame) and punctured his foot. Started bleeding all over the bed. The mom came over and started yelling . . . AT ME!

        I wasn’t jumping on the bed! Maybe it was my last day of work and I didn’t care anymore, but I yelled right back and told her that her child’s behavior was unacceptable, it was not my job to police her child as a store employee, and her child’s bad behavior just ruined a $400 bedspread. I must have been pretty defiant because she mumbled sorry and offered to pay!

      • Chris said:

        Thank you for stopping by and sharing! I think most parents (including myself on occasion) have this tendency to point the finger at something/someone else before blaming their own child for their own crappy behavior. It must be hard-wired. However, if parents ignore their children, they don’t get to see the bad behavior to be able to correct it appropriately in the first place, and THAT is frustrating.

  69. asraidevin said:

    Okay I know this child was taking from your children, but I think you’ve had a bit of an overreaction here. The child is not a twerp, he’s a normal 3 year old who hasn’t learned to share yet or how to deal with conflict.

    Yes the mom should have been closer, and she should have stopped him before he got that point. But at the same time, he’s 3. He may not know better (not his fault), he may not have self-control yet (pretty normal). She should have comforted him, and explained to him that pushing is not nice. And I know that’s not good enough for you hit-your-children types, but have some empathy he’s only 3.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you for your opinion! :) ‘Normal’ is relative. My three-year-old doesn’t behave the way that this child behaved. Perhaps if the parent was paying attention instead of ignoring her child in a public place, the child wouldn’t have been disciplined for being a twerp. I know that might not be good enough for you ‘ignore your child’ types, but have some responsibility. He was, indeed, only three.

      • here here. By the time a child id 3 (mine are all way past that) they are old enough to have a basic understanding of what is right and wrong – providing they have hands on parents – sure they all lose what self control they have at times, but a child will keep doing these behaviours if they get sympathy (for being scared like said twerp) or no discipline. They turn into spoilt kids as they are not told No. Why would you comfort the child. He needs to be told it’s not nice and to apologise for hurting/snatching and upsetting the other child.

      • Chris said:

        Exactly. My wife made mention that she was frustrated that there wasn’t any apology from the kid. I agreed, but then brought up the point that if the child couldn’t even communicate at play with the exception of the word “No!” and then shoving, that he probably wasn’t taught how to apologize, or even knows what it means (which, as you would figure, is pretty sad).

  70. If the “twerp” hasn’t learned how to share then the least you could do is pile all the tracks up in front of him and say, “There, you can have them all. Let me see you do something smart with them!” “If you can’t do something smart with them then give me half back you little asshole!”

    • Chris said:

      Haha! Excellent ;)

  71. Love It!! I can’t stand it when other parents don’t care about paying attention to their kids until the ultimate trouble (meaning I’m crying for attention and I’ll get what I want from it – A.K.A. “I’m the victim syndrome”)

    Clearly your twins were the target for this bully in the making. And I believe that you and your wife handled it very graciously. It’s sad that it has to come down to other parents to monitor the bullies of the playgrounds when their own parents are too busy with themselves to care. Of course I believe that bullies are not born but created within time. Good show for protecting your kids from the future bully.

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! Being a proactive parent wasn’t this lady’s forte, that’s for sure. Parents definitely need to monitor their children for bullying behavior, as well as ‘bullied’ behavior. Otherwise, there will be (guess what?) BULLIES! :)

  72. Good post. Entertaining, at least. :) I don’t have kids, but am around kids a lot, and I’ve found that a firm, clear voice works on most any kid. My niece has less-than-stellar parents, but she’s learned that I mean what I say and I’m going to make her do right. She also knows that her doing right the first time is much less painful than me making her do right. It’s similar with other kids. A clear, firm voice without yelling or shouting goes a long way. Also, making them look you in the face helps a TON because I think some kids are just so used to tuning out their parents that they really don’t hear/process what’s been said!

    • Chris said:

      Excellent advice! :) Thank you for sharing. Tone of voice and ‘the look’ go a long way in getting kids to pay attention.

  73. I used to find the disciplining of children very easy as I didn’t have any, however I have aquired them through default as my new partner has four of them.
    Luckily two are old enough not to need discipline but I have just passed my first test as a parent where I have finally lost my temper and shouted at the younger ones, much to my and their surprise.
    When I was a child I was perfectly behaved at all times, in the old days children simply weren’t allowed to have opinions of their own and if your father said “No”, that’s what he meant.
    I was never chastised or beaten in any way and yet I knew the rules and stuck to them, I have no idea how I was conditioned to be so obedient, it’s a shame my father is no longer here to ask.
    Before I aquired children I always used to espouse the theory that locking badly behaved children in a cupboard for an hour or so would get the message accross although I believe there are laws nowadays which prohibit such actions.
    Some young people are so disrespectful it leaves me lost for words, but when you have children who hate school and are rude and disruptive being punished by being excluded; surely the punishment should be to be included and made to do more work, not less.
    We live in a very topsy turvey world and I am only at the beginning of my life class in child discipline, I can only suggest a return to old fashioned ideas, although how you’d sell the idea to the young I have no idea.
    Good luck to you all.

    • Chris said:

      Well, then – may I be one of the first to welcome you aboard the crazy train of parenting in 2012 :)

      My advice: Control what you can, let go of what you can’t, and do your best to make sure that your kids don’t kill themselves or someone else. If you get that far, you’ve done a decent job. :) Good luck to you as well!

  74. Cafe said:

    Good for you! Ugh, I hate shit like that. This is why child twerps grow up to be adult twerps >_<

    • Chris said:

      Bingo! :) Rest assured, we’re trying to raise ‘non-twerps’… it’s not easy, but we’re trying :)

      • Cafe said:

        LOL i’m sure you are doing a fine job ;)

      • Chris said:

        Thanks – I try! ;)

  75. I’ve seen three year olds going “f*** you”, while sticking their fingers up. THREE years old.

    Another (about 8 years old) at the local park started annoying some teenagers by stealing their football. When the teenagers sorted it out (in a rather mature way) and got their ball back, the kid ran home crying to his dad. His dad came over and attacked them (literally grabbed hold of them and chucked them about) for “bullying” him.

    Some kids don’t give a damn. Even worse, some parents don’t give a damn. Here, we have teenagers attacking people with knives and chucking bricks through windows.

    Here in Britain, too many kids are left to do as they please and they grow up thinking this is acceptable behaviour. Parents are fooled into thinking they shouldn’t smack their kids by the PC brigade, and this doesn’t help things.

    Good to see a lot of people out there are still willing to discipline their kids.

    • Chris said:

      Thanks for stopping by! Parents that don’t discipline their own kids wonder why other people end up doing the disciplining for them, and then get their panties/boxers in a bunch when it happens. If they’d just do their freaking job to begin with, there wouldn’t be an issue.

  76. my brother saw a kid at the supermarket poking holes into fresh cheese in the fridge counter and the parents were happily paying no attention at all. He got really annoyed, so he said, in a very sweet voice: “Kid, if you go on like that I’ll bite your finger off”. I know it’s probably not the right way to do it, but at least the little idiot stopped spoiling food.

    • Chris said:

      Was it Swiss? ;) Thanks for stopping by, and a big thanks to your brother for preventing folks like us from having to make returns to the supermarket!

  77. I was once at an airport waiting for my connection on a business trip, when someone’s ‘little twerp’ as you nicely call it, came over to me and wrote on my skirt with a magic marker. I reamed that kid a new one! Then Mom came over and gave me hell for scaring her kid. I told her that her kid was a brat and I’m sure she was sorry she ever had him. In retrospect, I may have overreacted a tad….

    • Chris said:

      The sad part about that is that you were probably the only source of the child’s discipline. So, the kid won’t work for Crayola.. big whoop. Way to parent! :) (and thanks for stopping by!)

  78. AWESOME! I can’t tell you the # of times my kids have had a similar situation happen to them. In fact, one time I was baby-sitting for the neighbor and her kid was like the one in your story and I gave her a few chances and tried to explain to her how to properly behave but finally she just went too far, so I swatted her behind. She screamed at me and so then I put her in time out for about 15 minutes and then her parent got home. To her credit, the parent had her kid apologize to all of us and then took her home.

    Congrats on Freshly Pressed by the way!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you! I know that my kids aren’t saints, but when it gets to the point where someone else’s kid is being a pain-in-the-rear due to the apparent lack of parenting or (insert some other excuse here), it drives me slightly bananas. Glad you enjoyed the post!

    • I knew someone with a grade school age child. While the mother attended classes at our college she would leave her son with a neighbor, who was an older lady and retired. Apparently her son one day got out of line and the lady grad the boy by the arm hard enough it left a welt. When she picked her son up later that afternoon, she obviously noticed the mark. Then the lady told her that if she knew how to raise her kid then she herself would not have to punish him that way. Personally I applaud you for how you handled your situation!! But this lady to me should not be allowed to babysit children if she can’t handle them without leaving marks.

      • Chris said:

        Thank you for sharing! Yes, babysitting is an interesting one – it’s definitely important to establish boundaries with the babysitter as far as discipline, and keep the communication lines open to identify any ‘out-of-line’ behaviors. If the kid was running out into the street, and the lady grabbed his arm, leaving a welt, would it be the same? Essentially, it’s preventing a bad behavior from happening (running out into the street, potentially getting him/herself killed), and perhaps saving the kid from future bad behaviors. Communication is the key, I suppose!

      • “leaving marks” is the key phrase there. LOL

  79. Loved this ! I had a mom try to tell me once (long story…incodent in the park) “kids will be kids” to which I said “and bullies will be bullies”.
    All kids have less than perfect days, but like you said, that’s where the parent needs to keep an eye out ….

    • Chris said:

      No question. Funny that parents say ‘kids will be kids’, and yet the parent that says that doesn’t subscribe to ‘parents will be parents’, due to the fact that they fail to carry through with the parenting part. Thanks for stopping by!

  80. Shay said:

    Good for you

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Shay – much appreciated!

  81. Bravo on trying to be the good parent first. You removed your kids from harms (little turd’s) way. Only after the third strike did you get loud. Fair play! Dad on my friend, Dad on! ~Regards, Dan

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Dan – Doesn’t this qualify me for the Dad Scout ‘I don’t put up with any crap’ badge? ;)

      • And the “Papa Bear” badge too!

      • Chris said:

        Sweet! Now I need one of those badge sash things… :) haha

      • Nah, a wolf skin vest. It’s the obvious complement to animal themed accomplishments and if you wear the head as a hat it’ll scare little turds off before they start trouble!

      • Chris said:

        Wolf skin vest… viking helmet… yeah, this will be cool.. lol ;)

  82. Growing up in a small rural area, we were “community raised.” It wasn’t uncommon to hear a “knock it off” from someone other than our parents … it took me a long time to learn that not others had the same experience.

    Doesn’t mean I appreciate “Lord of the Flies” parenting, as you witnessed from Crunchy Granola.

    I would have done the same as you … Cheers! MJ

    • Chris said:

      Thanks MJ – I appreciate it. I was much more disappointed at the parenting (or lack thereof). Clearly she didn’t give a crap, or ‘twerp’ would have been in her line of vision.

      • you are right .. it’s the lack thereof. Grr.

  83. I worked in a retail sales job part-time for two years (and wrote a book about it) and noticed that the best- behaved kids (even very small ones) were always ex-pats from Britain or elsewhere whose parents kept a close eye on them, made them say please and thank-you and set very clear limits and expectations. Some of the other kids were f—ing monsters and I never hesitated to say, loudly, DON’T DO THAT…they’d mostly ignore me because I was clearly just some peon with a lanyard.

    The only way we could ever get parents to take care of their damn kids was to (truthfully) say: “You know, this store environment has a lot of sharp metal edges and can be dangerous.” No one gave a shit about dirtying the clothes or making other shoppers unhappy.

    No, I have no kids. Can you tell?

    • Chris said:

      Haha! The good news is that you seem to have your head screwed on straighter than most parents (or, at the very least, the twerp’s mother that I dealt with). Also, never underestimate the power of the retail lanyard! ;)

  84. Amen to that! It drives me crazy when you see parents not watching their kids.

    I’ve experienced a similiar situation with my step-daughter (she’s five, going on 30) when we were in the children’s section of Chapters. She’s tough as nails though. A little boy about the same age took the toy from her hand and imagine my surprise when she looked at the little boy right in the eye and said, ” ‘Scuse me but I was using that!” and took it back out of his hand. I’m thrilled she can stand up for herself, I just hope it doesn’t go the other way and she becomes a bully when she sees she has a voice and the guts to get what she wants. (eeeek!!)

    ~ Janet

    • Chris said:

      Thanks Janet – good for your step-daughter. She’s on the right track by standing up for herself. The fine line will be (as you said) making sure that she focuses that energy in a positive way. Glad to hear that she ‘worked it’ :)

  85. I just love that you used the word “twerp” — and that it seems an absolutely fitting descriptor, given the little devil’s behavior!

    • Chris said:

      Thank you :) I had other choice words running through my mind, but I wanted to keep the blog post below the NC-17 rating ;)

  86. Althea Bernheim said:

    Ha ha ha! I actually hate the making the kid apologize thing like you are training a dog or a monkey. When my kids do that kind of thing and even at such a young age, I ask them how they are going to make it right. They hurt someone and they need to own up to that. They used to be reluctant because they were all defensive, but (yes, yes crunchy mom me) would start to make suggestions. First ask the other kid, don’t just hug them. In the above situation they would probably have invited the kids to play with the train tracks or brought them to them. When the other kid responds positively they are then rewarded and don’t feel bad. They then begin to derive a pleasure out of helping and being kind and also teaching other kids how to respond. Wait until your twins get big enough to double team up on some poor innocent kid… boy are you going to feel awful!!! That little twerp wasn’t just mean to your twins, he modeled bad behavior for them!

    • Chris said:

      Very true. I’m on the fence about the whole ‘apologizing’ thing – it’s true that they need to feel the need to apologize, and it needs to come from them. I also feel that the kid needed to know that they f’ed up, and that that’s the time to apologize. Anyhow, the mother of the twerp hugged her kid, her kid didn’t hug our kid. She’s an enabler of her kid’s shitty behavior, due to the fact that her kid was 100% out of her line of vision (her line of vision started from her eyeballs and ended at her iPhone), so the fact that she just hugged her kid after the fact instead of basically telling him ‘hey, this is the kind of crap that happens when you do that sort of thing’ leads me to believe that he’s going to end up exhibiting bullying behaviors as he gets older due to the lack of parenting on her part. Hopefully I’ve made an impression on him, because his mother was non-existent in that situation.

      As far as the twins, yes, I know I’m in for it. Our oldest was bit five times in daycare (long story…), and not once had he retaliated to the other kids. Why? Because one time he tried biting me (experimented with the behavior), and I made sure to squash that behavior quick. If the twins start going down that path, I’ll be right there to rectify the situation as soon as humanly possible. I’m just hoping our oldest helps to pave the way! :)

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