At the end of the day, I have been left feeling very self conscious about what I can say or do in public, to keep my childrenâ€™s behaviour in check, not just out of the fear of being critiqued, but out of the fear of me becoming the centre of attention. Am I the only one afraid to parent her children in public?
Parenting in Public by Cerebral Tickle
The other day, I took my 3 year old and 4 year old sons with me to do the food shopping. They began doing what they always do: run around, touching everything, climbing on anything, etc.. It lasted for all of 2 seconds. While I am a firm believer in allowing children the freedom to play, explore, satisfy their curiosity, etc. I am an equally firm believer that there is a time and place for everything, and the market is not the place to climb onto tables and shelves, touching eggs and other produce. I did what I always do: have them â€˜freezeâ€™, place their hands on their heads, distribute their weight evenly on their feet, stand still while I finish what I am doing, then walk in a straight line to the next stop. That apparently amused a group of older women who decided to make such a scene that it attracted a bunch of onlookers. I felt like I was the star of a freak show.
I could not help but wonder what I had done to warrant that much attention. I later learned that these ladies were impressed that I controlled my childrenâ€™s behaviour, but simultaneously amused at the â€˜put your hands on your headâ€™ technique. It got me to wondering, what do other parents do which works? I have seen parents who let their children run amuck without so much as attempting to correct them, and I have also seen those who try to talk their children into good behaviour, sometimes with results, but many times without. Regardless of the scenario, I usually just mind my own business and go about doing my thing. Do I agree with every parenting technique Iâ€™ve seen outside? No. Would I comment whether I agreed with or disliked the way a parent dealt with her child? No. So why do other people feel the need to comment on what I do? I know that everyone will have an opinion about anything he/she witnesses, but I do not expect complete strangers to voice them to me, even when they are about me.