I have always thought of myself as being outspoken, rarely am I left without something to say. There have been a couple of occasions lately that have me rethinking that. We had some friends over for dinner and their 7-year-old child came into the kitchen to ask me what was for dinner. When I told her she pulled a face and said, “Yuck, I’m not eating that.” I was dumbstruck, my own children have never said that to me and I know they would not say it to another adult.
I know I should have given her some sort of response about not talking to me like that, but I was so shocked I said nothing. As I finished making dinner I had time to think about how I should handle the situation. Should I say something to her parents? What if I do and she denies saying that? Does this make me a snitch or tattletale for ratting out the kid’s behavior?
It was my house and I feel like my rules should apply so I should say something, right? If she had spoken to my kids in a rude manner, I would not have hesitated to reprimand her; if she had been destructive towards my house or belongings, I wouldn’t think twice about saying something. So why did I clam up when she spoke to me like that?
The other incident involved a much older child. We were in my car and the kid, who insists on addressing me as Mrs. Currie, casually dropped the “F bomb” at least twice when he was talking to the other kids. I do not allow my kids to curse and I have not used that kind of language in front of this kid so what made him think it was okay? Once again, I was speechless.
Now my kids are not perfect, they have had their moments of being rude and disrespectful, but as well as telling them it’s inappropriate, they know there are repercussions–being grounded, loss of phone/computer privileges. Sometimes a simple apology does not cut it.
Both times I took the coward's way out and said nothing to the kid or the parents and I still question myself as to how I could have handled it better.