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August 30, 2010

Dealing with discipline - in public

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 Yesterday, en route home from a family weekend holiday - if waking up between 4-6am each morning can still be called a "holiday - we stopped off at a playground to give us all a break from A's carseat crying. The place was packed with kids running, screaming, crying, falling, laughing. The usual. 

We were feeding A while Mads was atop the slide pretending to be Cinderella when a mom caused a bit of a scene with her toddler. She grabbed the kid's arm and yanked while screaming about an imminent time-out. The time-out never came, but the screaming - both mom and kid - continued. 

"Don't stare," F laughed at me, as I sat looking on. 

But the way I see it, if you're going to yell right in front of me then I'm allowed to stare. Who knows, this mom might have had an epically bad day or an epically bad kid. That's not really my point, I'm not meaning to judge her. It's just the whole discipling-in-public thing can be pretty tricky territory. 

I try not to screech because things just get out of control and my own tantrum gets added to the one that's already going on. I have done the public time-out, me squeezing my fingernails into the palms of my hands while Mads sat beside me, in an airport lounge, screaming and blubbering and sliding off her chair into a pool of outrage on the floor. But usually I try to take a calm approach, aggressively whispering threats about "leaving right now" and "no more TV" through clenched teeth. 

Ah, the joys of parenthood. 

Speaking of which, here is what else has been going on over the past few weeks. 

Photo: Flickr

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