Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Apparently, I Have High Expectations...

I understand that my children are young. I understand that young children are still learning and developing and have all these impulses. I also understand that there are children that are so much worse behaved then mine, but is it too much to ask that my children behave somewhat in public? Is it too much to ask that I be able to take them to a place and not have to constantly say "Stop. Don't put that in your mouth. That's not a toy, we don't play with that. Your food is coming, so please be patient. We sit still at the table. Please wait until I am done talking. Don't pour that out. The cards are not toys so don't throw them around. Use gentle touches. We don't hit/kick our brother". And that was basically in a 5 min trip to the store. We ran into someone we know there and I was talking with her--in whatever kind of conversation you can have when you are saying all the above. The whole time we are talking, her 5 year old daughter sat there and ate her lunch, didn't try to get down, didn't make silly noises.....I apologized to the women working for their behavior and they said "Oh, they were good. They didn't do anything wrong. They are just little boys." WHAT? I know they were trying to be nice because they could tell I was frustrated since I had already taken away EVERYTHING and told them they lost even more things when we got home but saying they were good??? Apparently, my expectation are way too high except for the fact that I see young children behaving in public all. the. time. We've been having major issues at the table lately, mainly with Will, but Troy is no angel. It's been so bad that I have left in the middle of a meal or even taken Will outside to sit in the car while Jay and Troy finish eating in peace. I just don't understand because we've been eating family meals--home or out for 5 years now and we don't act like that and there is always a consequence for misbehaving. I finally am putting my foot down and we eat all meals at home (or in the car if life is busy) when it allows. But I can't avoid taking them out in public. I can't avoid the errands that are necessary, but honestly, the way things have been, I don't feel like they should be out and about. But how else do they learn without being put in these situations? I was so humiliated last night at dinner and then today because other children are there and sitting quietly--the same ages as mine, but yet, mine are bouncing off the walls and acting up. Are my expectations too high? Or am I just a crappy parent who can't get her children to behave? There has to be something that helps and I REFUSE to resort to bribery.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh, I remember when I felt exactly like you do with my older three kids. I was miserable and we we didn't go out anymore often that I had to. I hated going out because I knew that we were going to fight and end up with the day ending badly. Eventually I learned that my kids needed to constantly have their minds entertained. I started carrying things for them to do in a bag that only came out while we were gone. I also started the "quite quarter" which was when I would give them each one quarter and as long as they behaved, they would either get to add it to their bank or put it in the machines by the front door. Might seem like bribery, but really I think it is more like a reward for good behavior since if they are not good, they loose it. Also, I had to remind them of the rules before we even went into the store and then every few minutes, talk about them. They are so busy looking and learning that they forget and need to be reminded a lot. My son was sooooo strong headed that nothing worked for him until he eventually grew out of it but these things that I just mentioned, seemed to help a little bit. Hang in there, I know it is hard but you are a great mom and you have a couple of great kids!