Sydney & Denny

Sydney & Denny
September at the Park

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Misbehaving in public.

Every parents fear.
I am the type of person who says he doesn't give a tiny rat's ass what other people think, but really I get embarrassed pretty easily. I really do not like to have attention  brought onto me. I once fell while leaning on a desk in a college classroom. There was only about 15 or 20 people in there, but I was mortified! For someone who has played sports in front of people my whole life and actually does well with public speaking, I embarrass easily.
So, when my kids start to act up or misbehave in public, I have a hard time with it. It happened today. My daughter has been deprived of sleep lately because she doesn't get naps anymore, plus she has been battling a cold mostly at night. So, after school she is a ton of fun let me tell you. Today after picking her up we had to go to a grocery store to get a couple of things, and it did not go well. It started out okay. The two kids wanted to ride in one of those enclosed carts that show cartoons on a small screen, and of course they got to. After a while the girl wanted out. Then she wanted back in. And then she threw herself on the floor and screamed. We didn't let her get back in because she was being really cranky and whining about everything that she wanted and didn't get. Plus, we were about to go to the checkout lane. So as I said, the wife and I got to deal with one of my worst nightmares: my daughter laying on a grocery store floor screaming and everyone there looking at us. AWESOME!!!
My embarrassment is not the real problem.
Now of course, as she is writhing on the floor as if in pain, everyone there is looking at me with that look of judgement on their faces. All I want to do is get her out of there as soon as possible. I am afraid that everyone there is going to think I'm the reason she is acting this way. So, we hustled out of there, as she continued to scream I might add. My wife and the boy dropped the girl and I off at home and continued to the next store we needed to visit. It was at home that I realized that my embarrassment wasn't the problem. The problem was her behavior and how I reacted to it. There have been a number of times when my kids have acted up in stores or other public places and looking back on it now, I think I've handled it all wrong. I try and just get them quiet as opposed to dealing with whatever the real problem might be. For example, today the obvious issue was that my daughter was overly fatigued and probably hungry. We probably shouldn't have gone to the store when we did. Maybe after a short nap and a snack would have been the way to go. I read an article recently about this very issue and for the life of me I can't find it anywhere. But the gist of it was that kids sometimes have a hard time knowing how to behave in public places, and have to learn that behavior. It's up to us as the parent to teach them what is acceptable and what isn't. This is not forgiving my daughter for acting like a psycho in the grocery store, but it helps explain why she did so. We all have strengths and weaknesses and perform better when our strengths are emphasized. By taking her to a busy store when she is so tired and hungry, I set her up for failure. It's up to my wife and I to teach her how to behave under less than ideal circumstances. Even as adults we act differently when we are tired and hungry. I know I can be cranky as hell at times. I've just learned that acting how she did isn't acceptable. At least I'd like to think I have. I did throw a little fit a few months ago when a woman picked up the last chocolate snack pack before I could get there, but who wouldn't? Chocolate snack pack pudding is like the world's perfect food. 
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I have to put aside my embarrassment and try and resolve the issue at hand. By being upset with her and just telling her to be quiet, I can make the situation worse and teach her nothing. And parenting is a teaching position weather we like it or not. 
Another cool blog.
I spend a lot time at night reading blogs from other SAHDs, or just other Dads, and occasionally I come across one that I really like. I've mentioned a few of them here in my blog and I'd like to mention another one now. It's called Dorky Dad and it's at:
I found this guys blog last night, and thought it was really cool.  His most recent post was really funny and right on for situations in my life here.
I hope you've had a great day, and if you have any suggestions on how to avoid misbehaving in public, I'd love to hear them.
Thanks again for taking the time to read my blog.

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