Thursday, September 3, 2009

Disciplining Your Kids - I'll Do It Myself, Thank You.

I remember shopping one day when my now adult daughter was very little. We were in line and she tried to stand up in the cart. I told her to sit down. The woman behind me proceeded to tell me that I didn't deserve to have children. Children, in her opinion, shouldn't be doing something wrong to start with to need disciplining in public. At that time it stung. I was a young mother and I had problems having children to begin with. I was never certain if I would ever be able to have children. Was I doing something wrong? No. I have wonderful children. My older ones are successful and happy. My younger ones are intelligent and well mannered. What else could a parent want?

Today a man in Georgia was arraigned with felony charges because he believed that he could discipline a two year old more effectively then the mother of the child. The child in question was crying and screaming in Wal-Mart. The man told the mother, "If you don't shut the baby up, I will shut her up for you." The mother went to the next aisle, but the man came and slapped the child across the face four times. At that point he said, "See, I told you I'd shut her up."

One of the other patrons stopped the man and held him while security came and the police were called. At this point the man apologized to the mother for striking her child.

We all have seen the weepy, crying, and fit throwing child at the store. I didn't have problems with my children screaming because they couldn't have something at the store, but I did have times when, as babies, they would cry. Babies cry for various reasons - needing a change, being hungry, being tired, or just being grumpy or feeling poorly. It is something all parents have to deal with at some time. No one is immune to the sound of children crying unless they are deaf.

It would have been best if the man, evidently grumpy himself, had just left the store to contain himself and his anger. Wal-Mart, after all, is a family store. He had no right to strike a child, especially one that had no connection to him.

When we see crying children at the store my boys and I usually try smiling and talking to them. Most of the time the child stops. I've found that most small children do not enjoy the shopping experience for long periods of time. Even if you gave them a credit card they'd more than likely drool over it, gum it, and then throw it down. Shopping for babies is not usually stimulating. But parents have the right to shop, to take their children shopping, and to deal with behavior problems in their own way.

So, to the culprit in question, Mr. Roger Stephens of Georgia, get over your bad self. Take some time in jail and make a few license plates. Maybe when you get out you'll have learned the lesson of tolerance.


xavierv said...

Well, talking about tolerance, I find your speech a little tough towards the wrong-doer. Ok, he slapped a kid, but obviously the media are demonizing him. Just look at the picture you chose to display in your post. I'm pretty sure the guy doesn't make this face when he orders a non-fat latte at starbucks. In a tolerant world, the man probably is just a grumpy old man, and the mom of the crying kid was probably not doing anything to make her child stop. Then boom, accident! The guy earned a good beating (or community service since times have evolved), not imprisonment. That's the intolerant part of that story.

Pasty said...

Well, the picture I chose was his mug shot, which is the one that was on the news site. Secondly, it was said by witnesses that this guy followed the mother to the next aisle where he slapped the child. Not an accident, but a deliberate act. Third, no stranger, or non stranger for that matter, should be hitting a child in the head or across the face. If that, in your mind, is me being intolerant then guilty as charged.