Kids (Not!)

This is solely based on my experience and observation so far, while I am trying my best not to judge anyone’s parenting skills – I really cant stand these behaviors.

Last week I was returning home after a terribly tiring day at work. The grand-daughter of our house owner was playing all by herself on the stairs. Usually I smile at her, while she stares at me! That day was no different. This girl who was playing, suddenly sat down on the stairs – stretched her legs and arms as to block my way with a deadly stare. All this from a 6 year old. I stood there for a few seconds and not seeing that she would give me way, I had to slowly move her legs so that I could cross her.

If you think whats so wrong with this, consider the below scenario.

Yesterday, this girl happened to be playing with a boy of same age as her from our housing complex. A few feet away, the boy’s dad was playing with his younger son. From across the portico, this girl shouts – “Uncle.. do you know that I am the owner of this house?!” With a laugh, he answered yes. Then she turns to the boy and says – “Listen, you hear me? I am the owner of this house”.

It left such a bad taste for me. A little girl should not be saying things like this. I am sure she caught it from the elders of the house. OK. Its their house. Their big house. And we are all only staying for rent. But then shouldn’t the elders tell her its wrong to show such attitude? These people just sing and dance to her tunes. Sigh.

*****

We were at a wedding lunch. A small boy of not more than 4 or 5 years old was running past the entire hall. I don’t know what got into his mischievous mind – he suddenly grabbed the food from S plate and threw it on the floor. No adults around him noticed this, so I mouthed him a NO. From across the hall, he was staring at me for some time and then suddenly, took a glass of water and threw it on me. Luckily his aim was not that good, so most of my food was still edible. My wet silk saree is another story.

When some uncle noticed this, he came forward and said sorry to me. Seeing that the entire family apologized profusely while that little boy was still smiling devilishly. No one told him what did was not correct.

*****

Amma had invited our neighbours home for Varalakshmi Puja. Our ex-servant maid, her daughter and her grand-daughter were also present. I am always fond of babies and so, I went closer to this 1.5 year old. I didn’t even touch her or talk to her, before I knew she slapped me hard. Intentionally. And it was very very painful. Not telling that its wrong to hurt someone, the mother and grandmother were beyond happy that she is so mischievous. Really?!

*****

There are always these kids, who come to our home as if their sole responsibility is to jump up and down on our sofa. Or worse, taking every doll or keepsake in the showcase to be their own. Now my dad is very particular about his things. Even if he is visibly unhappy that his stuff is being taken, the parents hardly notice this behavior. Once, we heard the parents say – Pls give that car to him or he will create more ruckus. How can they say this in someone else’s house I don’t understand?! Not only did my dad not part with his car, he gave an earful to those parents (Not that they were very keen on that idea)

As I said, my intention is not to judge these parents but what choice do I have?!

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46 thoughts on “Kids (Not!)

  1. As a mother of 5 year old and as a person who attends these kids behavior workshops and reads about them, here are my personal thoughts and observations.
    I do agree parents play a major and they need to address these issues.
    1) Yes I agree with you. Parents needs talk to her about the attitude. They shouldn’t encourage.
    2) There is a good chance that someone might have provoked that kid or something like this.Parents might not want to correct him in front of everyone. That does affect the kid. The little minds have a lot going on in their brains.
    3) I feel the little one has stranger anxiety. She is trying to defend herself. Instead of 1.5 yrs, think as 18 months old baby.. When kids see new faces, some hold on to their parents or some scream and some may hurt. I don’t know if the parents reaction was correct or not but thats how stranger anxiety works sometimes. 🙂
    4) Tell me about this problem… I preach vaandu a zillion times before going to others house. But the curious minds when they see new toys/things they want to explore right away. Even though it doesn’t work always, I try to take some toys along with me. We baby proof our own houses but I agree we can’t expect the same at others house.

    I know, I wrote a post in the comment. Parenting is fun, great and at the same time difficult… Sighhhhhh

    • Thanks for taking time in writing this Sri. May be I dont understand completely as yet, ‘cos I am not a mother. While I know that we will not know what goes into the little minds of the kids, shouldn’t we as adults try to teach them good things? And more of my concern was that these days, I come across people who think its ok for their child to behave in whatever way he/she wishes irrespective of how good/bad it is. Otherwise how do you take this – a mom sees that her little boy is constantly pushing me with the cart at super market. When I am silent, he takes it for granted and runs the cart over my feet – multiple times. The mom sees this and does nothing but smile!!!
      I completely agree with you.. Its the deeds of the adults that provoke the little minds. In the case of my owner’s grand-daughter especially. Parents might not correct it in front of everyone.. but if they have spoken about it at all, she shouldn’t be bossy around other kids in the complex?!
      With that little baby, I am not at all angry at what she did. But if that is how she is playing these days, as they claimed – should they not take care of it, rather than just laugh it off?
      Finally on behaving well at someone else’s house – I do understand that the kids have a mind of their own and would like explore stuff. But.. but.. tell me this – if Vaandu is creating complete chaos by jumping up and down on the sofa, pushing/ pulling stuff from all angles (only imagine ok) , will you just say that is how he is.. no one can reason with him? I am very sure no. That’s exactly what I am talking about. I, scold Appa also that he cant be very strict around kids.

      Sorry if I have hurt your feelings in any way, with this post or my comment.

  2. My my, you have encountered some rude kids GB 😦

    I remember the niece getting a loud hearing from her mom when she hit her cousin, and she knows she will get an injection ( thats our brahmastram) if she ever hits anyone again.

    P.S You are tagged in the sequence of the story tag 🙂

  3. I can understand and It reminds me on my friends kid who came sometime last year and went into my games room and (for the life of me I cant understand WHY).. spilled a glass of water inside the PS3.. yes now I know for a face that it was deliberate because you have to pick the game box, tilt it so you can spill the water in the cd loader.. and then he drew on the TV with a color stick..

    The little devils mother just said “He is so naughty, nothing is out of reach of his hands”.. Well I had to refrain myself from slapping the kid and asking the mother to leave I mean that is expensive stuff 400+.. thank god for insurance..

    and another episode is downstairs one of the Sofa seats is a recliner as in evening I like ot relax recline while watching TV.. now god know how the kid found the different buttons and he kept on playing , he would open the chair , all the way and then get it back and NOT once did the Mother or the Father ask him to stop.. in the end I just got up and Swtiched off the switch, NOW that is a BIG HINT but no it was not for them

    I know kids do all this, I was a devil myself but I also knew that the 5KILO HAND would land on my cute delicate cheek if I overdid it , especially at someone’s house, that does not make my parents EVIL, and It has not given me nightmares blah blah blah .. what today;s DO-Gooders will like to say.. but it did bring discipline ..

    Go about doing all this in your own house, break your own Tv or sofa or whatnot .. Dont come to my house and wreck my stuff , I have worked hard to buy all that.

    parents are 100% responsible for their kid and if they cant look after the kids then they have no right to produce one .. (sorry if this sounds BAD).. but thats the fact. by that I dont mean parents need ot be VERY STRICT and go overboard, but at least take some time explaining the kid what is right or wrong.

    I dont mind the ps3 or the sofa been wrecked , it is all insured so can get replaced but at least one of the parent should have said to the kid that it is not right, JOB DONE.. and if he does again and then tell him again and again .. hopefully one fine day the kid will understand

    • First things first. I loved how you took all this time to write here. Much appreciated.

      In both the cases you have shared, I can see that the parents were quite cool with it. Now how can they be so? Will they let their kid do the same in their house? I hope not. Then how can they let him do so at someone else’s place – especially spoiling such costly stuff. Looks like the mother was not even apologetic. Thats so wrong of her. What kind of message is he sending across to her son. Sigh.

      And I am highly irritated by the parents who would never get the hint – even after you make it very clear.

      In both the cases, these parents must be acting asap or high damage would be done.

  4. Oh no you haven’t hurt my feelings and all. I just see this as a discussion n expressed my thoughts. I totally gree with you and put a different possible perspective thats it. Parents should teach them and they learn everything from them. If vaandu hurts someone I correct him right away n don’t encourage it. With other things I handle it differently but I make sure I discuss about it. Some parents think that they will outgrow these behaviors but not always.

    • Thanks.. I was worried if I said something wrong. I am glad we both agree on certain things. And so true! How can children outgrow their behaviours if no one talks to them about it?

      • Dont be worried GB.Whatever you said is right.As a mother of 3 year old,i have experienced these things from both the sides.
        While we cant entirely blame the kids for their behaviour,I feel frustrated with parents who laugh it off and say that he/she is like that only.(what)..I guess that encourages the kids to do these things again.
        I feel the parents must correct the kids then and there.Not like shouting or slapping but with stern voice and terror look.That usually works for me.

      • Oh yes, we should not be blaming the kids. They are kids after all. My anger is more towards the parents, as you said you brush it off saying he/she is like that only. I am also dead against hitting kids. That teaches them nothing. I like your approach. Thanks for the comment.

  5. This is insane. I too can’t stand such behaviour. Parents really need to make it clear to kids what is and isn’t right. This will not take away from their love.

  6. So badly behaved kids are a pet peeve of mine.
    Now, the older kids should have been supervised, behavior corrected asap. From what you say, parents were not around in either situation. So maybe they didn’t see it, which amazes me, especially at a wedding. If you are close to the landlord’s daughter’s mom, you should tell her about it.
    The baby also should be distracted and basically not encouraged to hit. Trust me, its hard though. Bandar hates anyone touching her, who is not family. We never run into the issue in the US, because no one simply touches your child. In India, its fairly traumatic for her and me as strangers( read family, friends etc.) put out their hands to grab her, which scares her. She now says loudly – ” Don’t touch me”, as we have told her to use her words and not hit or push anyone. Honestly, I am glad she knows to defend herself. Before she spoke, pushing off an elder child, or someone she didn’t like was her only defence mechanism. I am also glad my child is picky about who picks her. A new teacher in daycare cannot change her diapersa. All this I am glad about – she needs to build trust before she allows touch.Also every child is different, you might have only seen kids at that age who lov being held by anyone and everyone. Our second cousin in India has a son like that who is Bandar’s age and of course, people comment about the difference between a US child and an India child. Honestly, Bandar could very well have been brought up in India and still bewn picky about bwing touched by strangers. Sorry, not trying to defend the child here…just seeing it from my point of view .
    The last kid pulling out toys at people’s houses and show piece items is ridiculous. I would reprimand Bandar and carry her own toys with us. She knows she isn’t allowed to touch random things, even from our own display at home. They are not toys.

    In a nutshell, parents of course should discipline on three out of the four cases. On the fourth baby related case, its a different kind of discipline. A firm no when the baby hits anyone , over time works. Strong but gentle tone works usually.
    sorry long comment here!

    • Thanks for taking your time to write this comment. I love how you guys have taught Bandar to say not to touch her. And yes, you should be super proud of her – for she knows who can touch her and who cannot. And I also understand about the stranger anxiety. If there was any provocation, then pushing or hurting others atleast makes sense. If the kid is deliberately trying to hurt others, it should definitely be a concern for the parents.

      In my house owner’s case, I hardly see the mother. Both the grandparents have highly spoilt this kid 😦

      Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

      • Glad you didnt mind the comment. After I wrote it, I was like maybe I shouldn’t have said that.
        Ya, I totally get grandparents making brats out of kids….seen it happening all around me. Like forget not disciplining themselves, they don’t even let the parents discipline the way they want.

      • Dont worry Pop.. What you said was right. 🙂 Completely agree with you on the grandparents thing.. Those who were strict parents themselves melt for their grand kids. It’s lovely to see that in one way but not so good for the kids.

  7. I can totally agree with this.. I get very irritated when kids behave like this and wonder y parents dont correct them.. I’m worried about my niece who is the apple of my brother’s eye.. He hardly raises his voice against her.. And although she is 2.5 yrs old, a lil correction from parents is a must. The other day she missed her shoes somewhere and had a very sorry face( i kid you mot when she has such a face, none would say anything to her) and was feeling guilty about it. But there came the brother comforting her with words like we can get another one!! I just couldnt accept it.. He didnt have to raise his voice but a little stern advice to be careful would have sufficed.. But then i do agree with what srividhya says too..

    • I can completely understand your point. Being the apple of the parents’ eye is not a problem – if the limits are set correctly. And yes, I agree with what Sri said too. We will never know what goes on in those little minds.

  8. Its not about not being able to stand these behaviors GB. Think about this. We are not them. Kids are not us. We don’t know what struggles they are already going through. I find moms busy on their cellphones at playground instead of watching or spending time with the kids. I used to think its very wrong until I realized the mom is FINALLY getting a break from all the watching and caring she does at home. So, I almost always have better thoughts about every mom I see that behaves differently than what I do or what I am okay with.
    That being said, you are still right. 1. Limits need to be set. Absolutely. No matter what. 2. Many parents have a feeling that as kids grow up they get better magically and they don’t need to be told. That is okay for kids to behave like this. It is not. They need to be told. Sooner the better.
    Sorry, I cant resist myself when it comes to parenting topics. 🙂

    • I never even thought of it in this perspective, Dil. I completely agree with you on the mom catching a break. But then as you said, they cant ignore the bad behaviour of their kid. Thats my whole intent of the post. I am glad you commented here, made me see this in a different light.

      • I guess what I meant was, its not always right to blame the parents. Because some day you will see a mom who is doing the best she can and yet failing, and when judge/blame her, she will feel even more horrible. Sorry, my two cents. One of my friends is suffering with a tough kid. She does everything she can and yet nothing is working yet. She feels bad that everyone around her talks like she is not doing anything about it. Only I know her pain.

      • I’m not judging such people Dil. If I see her try even a tiny bit.. I respect her. Really. But do you think I can do the same when I see a kid intentionally pushing the shopping cart on to my feet again and again ( i don’t know what is going on in his little mind) but if the mom just smiles at me as if it’s alright?!! I don’t know if she will talk to the kid after going home.. But when he is hurting me and the mom doesn’t care.. I get annoyed. Its not correct to judge anyone. You will not know what they are going through until you get in to their shoes.

  9. now you can withstand this? Even if the child does things like this the parents and elder nearby should act responsible and teach the right way to the kid.. Can’t just laugh it out..

  10. GB, I can’t tell you how much this post resonates with me. I do think a lot of times parents don’t discipline children enough/or in a timely manner to stop them from misbehaving. I’ve seen loads of instances of parents simply smiling and saying, ‘He’s so naughty,’ in such an indulgent manner that the kids don’t even realize that they are misbehaving. It is certainly up to parents to guide their children, and when they don’t live up to that responsibility, its just not right.

  11. From every incident, the heading should be Parents(Not). It can be harsh and people can’t accept criticism these days. But I applaud what your father did.

    There really is no excuse for bad parenting. Common decency would be to think, would I want this happening at my house, my function, or to me.

    • Yes Kaj! I should have named it so.

      Common decency would be to think, would I want this happening at my house, my function, or to me. – So true. I dont think some of us think that way 🙂

  12. I agree GB….sometimes kids have there own mind..but its a parent’s responsibility to guide them for right & wrong behaviors. With us also, many times things happen in an instant…but I ensure that LIl one says sorry to other person with an eye contact …that is enough for him to realize that he has committed a mistake and later on I have a private talk with him….generally he takes care of it next time..I would also like to admit that I am blessed with a good mannered and very sensitive child..This may not work for everyone..some children are very mischievous.
    I can just imagine your trouble with such kids and their parent’s attitude…what goes on inside their head..I don’t understand..!

    • Thanks for understanding Prachee. And I love your approach – lil one saying sorry making an eye contact. So much for the kid to learn. I am going to keep this in mind for future 🙂

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