I find it fascinating to listen to parent-child conversations when I’m out shopping. Most of the time I find myself laughing over the funny things kids say to their parents, but also the conversations adults feed to their children is intriguing. College (and Supernanny) taught me that every opportunity is a learning experience for the young child. A parent can either chose to see the trip to the store as a hassle or a valuable teaching moment.
I was browsing the selves at the bookstore when I overheard a young girl shout, “Mom! I found two books I LOVE LOVE LOVE!” Her mother gently tried to quiet her as she walked back to the shelf yelling, “I just love ALL books!”
We then went to the Goodwill store. I heard two boys getting excited over some toys and a mother getting annoyed. “You don’t need that ball! Freakin’ Christmas is coming! Put it back!” I headed for the checkout and waited several long minutes until my favorite angry cashier was ready. A girl behind me stood impatiently with her mother. “I know what that says” she said. “Thank you thank you thank you” she said as she read the bag. “We are in G…Goo…” “Goodwill” her mother says, “now stand back here with me. Would you like to buy this for your sister?” Distraction is a great weapon. The cashier looks at the child, “And how are you today sweetie?” (Yet to me she scowled). “We’re almost ready to check out” she says to her mother as I say, “Merry Christmas and thank-you”.
Now I’m not a parent, so I can’t say I understand at all how frustrating one or more children can be when they are in that parent’s constant care 24/7, but it does irk me to hear parents speak harshly to their children. If we want our kids to grow up to be effective communicators, employees, and kindhearted citizens why wouldn’t we be the example? What good is it if we yell at our kids to stop yelling?