Taking your kids out in public to play with others is a crucial part of their development. Learning how to interact with other people around them can be hard sometimes, but with constant guidance and examples from parents, kids can pick habits up pretty quickly. Sometimes, as this mom learned, too quickly…
I went to McDonald’s today with the kids. It’s a street corner away and there is a park. The kids love it, they get to play and see other kids while immunizing themselves (ha.)
We walked there, I got a coffee, the kids went to play, everything was fine. It was really busy today but that’s fine, more friends as my son would say. Now, my son is almost 3, he’s been potty trained for about 2 months and didn’t have any accidents since about 6 weeks (day and night!) Now I’m sure you see where this is going…
I’m watching my youngest play when my son comes down the slide and I can see by his grey pants that he pees himself. Other kids that are playing or eating at tables nearby also see that. My son comes to tell me and says “mommy, I peed, sorry. Let’s go clean.” And he ties to drag me along. At the same time other kids that are about to go into the playground see him and start laughing. My son understands they’re laughing at him and saying silly stuff like “he pees his pants! What a baby!!” And then a mom jumps in. Her son was about 8 and laughing at mine pointing him and saying “baby baby!!!” The mom starts saying “this is just gross, I can’t let my kid go play in there now, doesn’t your son know to go to the potty? You didn’t plan ahead and being him to the potty first? If his mom isn’t able to plan ahead I understand how he isn’t able to say he has to pee before peeing his pants!”
Oddly enough, I didn’t get upset. I was mainly astonished. Had she really said that? I replied something like “I find it much more gross that your son is mocking a not even 3 year old and that you aren’t reacting.” Then we left… Well after telling the staff that my son had peed in there.
When I got home it kind of hit me… My son’s behaviour reflected mine, he was calm, realized he had done a mistake, came to tell me, apologized, offered to help me clean. That’s what I taught him to do when he makes a mess. That other kid, he did exactly what his mom does. He made my son feel bad for an accident. That’s what he’s been shown and that’s how he reacts in those situations.
So parents, your kids really learn from you. When you’re yelling at someone, when you’re frustrated, when you throw things, they are watching. Same for when you’re polite, gentle, loving and calm. You are their examples, they look up to you every day. So be good!
Like one comment said, “kids are like walking mirrors. They reflect everything that they see – the good and the bad!” This was something that I am still learning! Whenever I react poorly, I stop and think of how I could have acted better. Here I am, middle-aged and still raising kids, feeling like I am the one learning from THEM sometimes. Kids are incredible, and I’m so glad that this mom decided to share her story with the world! It was truly eye-opening!
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