Originally Posted by theatermom
While I don't have a problem with the comment made by the OP's Dh under the circumstances, I can't say that I want more people to "speak up". It seems like people are always willing to speak up and put my children (and others) in their "place", or to parent them when they think I'm not. I can't tell you how many times I've been in my own home and my children are climbing on the porch rails or the counters or whatever, and some random stranger (the mailman or the cable guy or whoever) tells them to get down because they'll get hurt. Then *I* get the look that says that I should be "controlling" them. It doesn't happen that much in public or in other people's houses because a) Dh and I take great pains to teach them to respect other people and their property, as well as to secure their own safety b) we try not to push them past their limits and c) we head them off at the pass whenever possible. But, at home and in certain structured areas, I know their physical abilities and limitations (and they do, too, as well as possible at their age), and I have to respect their need to do things that children their age often don't.
I hear you on this. We have a few busy boday neighbors who are forever telling my kids to stop doing something(climbing trees for exmple, or helping the neighbor ont eh roof of hte shed) and then add to that "you mom should be watching you better". My 9 year old has now taken to telling the one neighbor where she can shove it, not something I condone but I understand where he is coming from.
As for the situation at hand. I have thought those smae thoughts as the OP's dh, I jsut don't voice them loudly, though I have said things to my kids, like "That is why I have tou stay with me, or not do ___". I have a hard enough time keeping track of my own 4 kids I don't need to be worrying about what other people are letting their kids do. If you let your kid run around in an area where they could get clipped by a cart, don't get mad when it happens. I am too busy trying to stear my cart while keeping my own kids safe a zoo like that, I am not watching for little johnny with the inattentive parents to come darting out.
I'm all for givng children freedom to move and explore but their is a time and place for everything. I do not make my children stay right by my side in the store, heck when my ds was angry the other day at walmart while I was waiting to get fabric cut I let him go a few aisles down on his own to look at stuff while he calmed down. However, I do not allow them to run lile wild animals all over the store, if they are running around they must hold the cart. Freedom is given when they can be mindful of others, and be aware of the surroundings. When Dd wanted to walk through walmart playing her Nintendo DS I said okay BUT I had to hold her collar while we walked to guide her around people and obstacles. These parents did not give their children freedom while supervising, they just turned them loose without a second thought.
I had someone step in at the walmart I was at as we were leaving to give her2 cents to my kids. See as I was paying they were checking out the sale stuff that they put out across from the tills. I could see them, and if they started fighting I brought them back to me. THey weren't being bad at all, but certainly not perfect. Anyway after paying, and then getting coats on a zippered, getting my 4 year old back in the cart and giving reminders of parking lot safety(by this point it was dark), this woman who had been behind me in line comes up and asks the kids "who just came to your house the other day" My kids say no one, we weren't home(we did xmas at grandma's). SHe says "didn't santa come? why did he come" Ceilidh says Because she
loves us (they know the truth about santa) so the lady looks puzzled at dd saying SHE, and proceeds to say "If you keep being bad like wee were today Santa is never bringingyou anything again". My 9 year old says "I wouldn't worry about that", DD looks at little brother (who still believes) then up at me and says "do you want to tell her or should I" The lady was so confused and then started to think I had mouthy kids. I jsut shook my head and kept walking. I was tempted to put her in her place but decided to teach my kids it is better to let them look the fool for opening their mouth by us just walking away. DD asked later if someone forgot to tell the lady Santa wasn't real.
ANyway the point of the story is the last thing we need is more interference from people who think they know how someone else's children should behave. The only time I step in is if a child is clearly in danger, for example I once took a 2 year old off a store ladder that looks close to toppling(it was not fully set up), and brought him back to his mom. I didn't jkudge her, just said "they get away so fast don't they, it looked like the ladder he was one was going to fall" and walked away. WHen you approach a parent without judgement and without telling them or thier kids to behave in a certian manner they typically offer a thank you not get offended.