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Did My Kid Really Just Do That!

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When I have a kid they will never do that!!

We are certainly judgmental beings are we not?

How many of you, before having kids, have looked on with judgment while a child has thrown a temper tantrum, said something rude or heaven for bid, eaten off the floor? How many of you automatically thought, "If I had kids they would never do that!" I know that I have! Fast forward many years and I can guarantee you that many have seen me or my children and thought the same thing!!

We are so quick to judge others, to place ourselves in their position without knowing anything about them and assuming that we could do better. Let me be the first to tell you (or perhaps I am not), never say never!!

Panic and Run!

Kids say and do the most unexpected things, many times exactly what you do not want them to say or do.

This one time my husband took some of our kids out for a walk. He parked the vehicle and as all the kids filed out, a gentleman in the neighbouring car came over to comment on how many children there were (this happens so many times we just expect it). As my husband and this gentleman were talking, my two year old at the time pulls on my husband's hand and not so quietly says, "Daddy, why is that man so fat?" My husband was horrified and it seemed as though the more he tried to get the two year old to be quiet the more persistent he became in wanting an answer to his question. The gentleman was a good sport about it and afterwords my husband had a chat with the two year old on why we don't say things like that (I'm not sure how much he understood of it but at least we tried)!

I do not know how many times I have looked at something my child was doing, or said something to my child to bring attention to a poor choice they were making, and then thought to myself, "I never thought I would ever say that!"

The amount of times that I have caught my child eating something off the floor, picking their nose, licking something they shouldn't be, sticking something up their nose or mouth that they shouldn't, being mean to their sibling or friend. The amount of times that one of the children have said something or done something that completely embarrassed me in front of others. The amount of times that I have felt judged or stared at (whether or not that was actually happening) or felt like I just wanted to panic and run are endless!

What I have learned after having so many kids is to honestly, expect the unexpected! You can never control what a child (especially a young one) might say or do!

So what do I do?

So what do I do? What do I do if my child puts me in a position where I feel judged or embarrassed?

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Start by taking a breath! After you have done that, forget everyone around you and just do you! Do and say what you feel is needed. Nobody knows you or your child the way you do and have faith that you know best how to handle the situation. It may mean that you feel an apology is needed or you may look at whatever is going on and decide you just want to let it go. You know what is best!

So what do I do? What do I do if I am the bystander to the situation, or if I am the person that the child directed their inappropriate comment or action towards?

Start by taking a breath! After you have done that, have some grace. I can guarantee you that in most cases the parent is more horrified by the situation than you are. Along with grace, try to take down the judgement and turn up the understanding. You do not know what the parent is going through. Perhaps they have decided to let something go because they have had a rough day and they are at their wits end, or perhaps they are aware that their child is struggling with this particular behavior and are doing their best to work on it.

Now I am not saying that it is always the case and yes, sometimes the parent may need to be a bit more proactive in handling or preventing the situation; however, lead by grace and give the parent the benefit of the doubt!

Be the Light!

Every day that we are blessed enough to wake up we have a choice. You can choose to bring light and joy to those around you or you can choose to do the opposite.

I was out grocery shopping one day and I had four of my kids with me. At the time my youngest was only a few months old with his siblings only 2, 4 and 6. Not only had I had a rough day, but I had to stop and grab a few things right in the middle of witching hour (who knows what I'm talking about? You know that time of the day when they are all hungry and tired and everything that can go wrong will???) and my kids were not happy about it. As I was leaving the store my 4 year old decided to have a complete meltdown! Like I mean yelling, screaming, losing it meltdown. All the while I had two kids in the cart, one more walking along side me and we were in the middle of the road with cars waiting. I grabbed their arm to get them across and in so doing the cart went over their toe causing an even bigger scene!!

From across the parking lot I see this older gentleman approaching and I immediately prepped myself for the usual 'you have your hands full' or 'all they all yours' comment but instead, he looked from me to them and said, "You are very blessed to have these beautiful children; your heart must be so full!"

You guys, the words that came out of his mouth were everything I needed to hear; they were the light in my day. I really believe that if he had said any of the things I expected I may have lost it, but he didn't. He gave me the breath of fresh air that I needed to gain control of the situation and to see the bright side of it. Not only was he the light to that moment, but I still remember his words anytime I am in such a situation.

The words that come out of your mouth can have such an impact on those around you, especially when it is a parent who is doing the best that they can. Choose to be the light! Choose to bring joy and light to the situation rather than judgement. Trust me, it will be truly appreciated!

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

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