Some children really are little stinkers aren’t they? Toddlers and younger kids don’t count. I mean they do often stink on a literal level but behaviour wise, they’re still in the tantrum/totally irrational phase so I never blame them for rotten behaviour.
But 8/9 year olds? They should know better shouldn’t they? They should have some sort of moral compass and a basic grasp of what is and isn’t acceptable.
So it was with great frustration and sweary mutterings that I observed some truly horrible kids bullying small babies in the sand-pit at our local park yesterday.
The group consisted of three seemingly very nice kids. They were making sandcastles and digging holes. So far so normal. Their parents were nowhere to be seen but I’m sure they were sitting on a nearby bench looking at their phones or having a chat. I mean when your kids are 8 you don’t need to hover over them the whole time do you?
Anyway, as the kids did their sandy construction work, my friend’s one year old crawled over, gave a cute grin and ate a bit of sand whilst banging a spade on the floor. At this point, one of the girls started throwing sand at him. She couldn’t chuck enough. Poor little guy looked so confused and upset. A few minutes later another little girl who had obviously just started walking, wobbled her way over to them and the same girl shoved her really hard.
That was it. I couldn’t watch any more and neither could a whole bunch of mothers. We told the girl off and rather than apologising or looking embarrassed she glared at us and said:
“Keep your babies away from my sandcastle and I won’t do it again”.
The little brat. I was so angry and riled. She could not have cared less. She obviously had no respect for adults and a big superiority complex which is of course thanks to her parents.
There have been a number of recent articles saying that middle class parents in particular are scared to say no to their children. We pander to their every whim and fancy. Anything to stop a screaming match or tears. I am definitely guilty of this. I would rather let something go than deal with an hour of histronics whilst also handling a crazy one year old. But the more I think about it, the more I realise that I am actually being bloody selfish because my little girl won’t be little forever. She’ll be at school soon, then perhaps university and eventually she’ll become a fully fledged member of society. If I’ve created a demon because I was too scared to confront her and amend her behaviour at a young age then surely I am to blame if she doesn’t turn out to be a very nice person.
We have a collective responsibilty to help our children to become nice people. Intelligence, talent, good handwriting? They’re all very nice goals but what really counts is personality. Give me a kind, generous hearted human being any day.
Here’s to being brave enough to say No!