The boys and I are really lucky to live in a place full of children. Our apartment complex alone looks like a preschool most days with half a dozen children running around, and a handful of babies lying on blankets with their mamas.
We live close to several parks that are always filled with kids, and are across the street from the library, which has a very popular storytime.
So... yeah. We see a LOT of parents doing different things with their kids.
There are a couple little kids that we sometimes see, who are maybe two or three and on a regular basis they will run up to where my children are playing nicely, pull the toys from their hands and then throw them across the yard. It blows my mind that they are doing this.
But what is even more astonishing to me is that their mother then says "That's not very nice. Please try to be nice."
She doesn't say "go get that toy for Grey" or "please say you're sorry," or "if you do that again, we have to go home."
And since they aren't my kids, I can't punish them or reprimand them, and usually say "Could you please go get that toy back? My baby was playing with it and now he's sad that you took it."
So we were recently at the park with another friend, who is a super amazing mom. And when her daughter swatted Grey's hand away from her shoe, she said:
"Nohea, I better not see you do that again. It's not okay to hit Grey's hand, he just wanted to touch my shoe. You can't push him around just because he's smaller than you. I need you to apologize to him."
Nohea whined and shook her head, and Tanei said "If you don't apologize then we need to leave. Please say, 'Grey, can I talk to you for a moment?'"
Nohea mumbled, "Can I talk to you for a moment?"
"Please say, 'I'm sorry that I hit you, and I won't do it again.'"
And I sat there, a teeny bit in awe. So all two and three year olds are possessive, they are all bad at sharing, they can be a bit mean.
That doesn't mean that you're a bad parent, it just means you have a toddler.
I'm pretty sure that what makes you a good or bad parent is how you react to the way that your child is behaving. The children whose mother never disciplines them will probably be even brattier little bullies than they already are.
It makes me resolve to be better.
I will teach my children well. I will explain right and wrong to them, and expect kindness from them.
I feel inspired to be a better mother!
And in fact, to be a better person. Because I'm pretty quick to judge this other mom, but then another friend (who is also an amazing mom) reminded me that it's hard to go from the point when your children are babies who don't understand what you're teaching them, to kids that need to learn what's good and bad.
And then I felt a little bad for being judgemental.
But only a little bad.
Because I have a hard time forgiving people who let their kids pick on my sweet boys.
So it's a flaw...
I'm working on it.
How do you teach your children right and wrong? How do you discipline young kids?
And do you have a super mom that you look up to? I'd love to hear some more insights in the comments!