While I was coming from by break at work, I saw a child sitting on the floor having a tantrum over not getting the candy she wanted. Her mother told her she already had 2 pieces of candy from the machine, but I guess she wanted a particular flavor/ color based on my observation. Months ago, a toddler cried/ screamed the whole time at the food court, even irrationally shoving away the food the parent was trying to give her. Around the same time, a girl ran and hid from her mother behind a column, maybe because she wanted something or wanted to go somewhere. Her mother grabbed her wrist and took her to the chosen destination.
I don’t have any children. I don’t want to tell folks how to handle the situations because I’m not a parent. I would wonder how I would handle a situation of a child throwing a fit. I think about how my mother would have handled it, because I had my share of fits. With my brother, she channeled his fits out, and it irritated me when he would cry for something, like McDonald’s. I was like, “be quiet!” And I would think of a punishment like a whupping if a kid was acting “bad.” Now, I think it’s not the go-to. It’s more stereotypical, like in certain cultures where it’s assumed children are sent to time-out.
If I become a father, I wouldn’t know what I would do as far as disciplining my child/ children. If they have a tantrum at a store or mall, I wouldn’t know how to deal with it. I would think to take them outside of the establishment to decrease embarrassment. I don’t know if I would handle it like my mother, because she seemed to deflect the cries and demands. What I would think about doing is let my child/ children know beforehand that when they go into the store (or any other place) that they are not getting anything (it’s most likely a candy or a toy). They may ask, but they will already know the answer: no. I may purchase candy for them if they’re cool/ good, but I want them to know that if I say no, I mean no. That would be something I would have to develop in myself. If they throw a fit, I will let them know about the consequences of throwing a fit, in hopes that the next time they want to have a fit they’ll think about the consequences and keep calm. None of us are fully well-behaved, at least I don’t think so, but it’s good to try. Some of us went to a level where our parents wasn’t concerned that we would do something against their principals out of spite.
I don’t want to be the parent that would “get the belt” at the drop of a dime. I would use “the belt” when the child/ children does something so messed up and beyond time-out or taking away the computer. If a child is caught stealing from the store, does that call for a whupping? If a child tries to set a trash can on fire at school, does that call for intervention into why that behavior is happening? If a child makes a few unworthy grades on a report card, what’s the disciplinary action? Some have disciplined properly, some too severely, and some not effectively, based on how the child/ children is/ are at adult age. I think my mother raised me to pass high school not to be out in the street (I’m not saying that being out in the street is a bad thing. It’s more like what I would be doing out in the street). I need to thank her again for that. I wouldn’t want to do anything that’s on the level of child abuse, but I want to be that parent that doesn’t play around when it comes to raising a child and laying down the rules.
I don’t know what kind of parent I will be. I don’t if I’ll be a parent. Before I am called up to be a parent, I hope to build up a responsibility that says, “I can do this.” I hope to be a good parent. I don’t hear about anybody saying, “I’m ready to be a parent” when the time comes. In the entertainment/ media, some play it like, “what am I going to do?” I wouldn’t want parenting to be perceived this way. I think this world needs parents to raise children into responsible adults, and disciplining should be a part of it.
And I’m just getting started.