Address Children’s Bad Behavior Immediately

Kids are out of control and their parents are missing it completely!

I was at the deli counter in a local grocery store the other day and I witnessed what has unfortunately become an all too ubiquitous sight. This 3 year old child was having a significant fit, or as John Rosemond calls it a “high self-esteem seizure," repeatedly hitting his poor mother. 

What troubled me the most was that Mom had completely checked out to the situation and was much more concerned about getting her lunch meat than addressing this child’s out of control conduct. Maybe she had no idea what to do or she simply thought nothing of the need to address this outrageous and anti-social (although completely typical) behavior. 

It’s possible that she thought that he needed to have the room to express his negative emotions freely so that later on he won’t be an unhappy and repressed adult. But my mind immediately fast forwarded to what this would look like for this family and our community in just 10 years and my heart sank.

Parents in past generations would have had no problem intuitively knowing what to do in that situation. Our grandparents knew certain things about all humans, one of those being that no one likes to be told what to do. But it is the parents’ moral obligation to present themselves as their child’s first legitimate authority for the good of the child in particular and society in general.

My Great Aunt Myrtle would not have been shocked by this fit. She knew that humans have been rebellious since the beginning of time and it is our job as parents to civilize them. She would have firmly and immediately picked up that defiant kid and left the store. At home she would address the issue with consequences that were significant enough to help the child remember that under no circumstances is it ever acceptable to hit your mother. 

Life is so fast that it’s easy to be distracted by unimportant things and miss the opportunity to address the real important issues of life. Once we get the priorities straight in our minds parenting becomes common sense and the answers are obvious. Let’s not ignore the present because it’s too difficult or messy….the future depends on it.

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Kathryn A. Patterson May 28, 2011 at 03:33 PM
I agree that the mother needed to stop the hitting, because kids need to learn better ways to express emotions. But while hitting his mother is not appropriate, I have to wonder if the mother was attempting to ignore the bad behavior. If the kid did not get whatever he or she wanted, then the fit did not accomplish the goal. Sometimes, giving kids attention for bad behavior encourages the bad behavior.
Lori Rader-Jacobs May 31, 2011 at 11:48 AM
On rare occasions ignoring bad behavior may be appropriate but unfortunately I've seen that strategy used as the rule and not the exception. Most of the time ignoring problems make things worse. If you hear a knocking in your car engine, you shouldn't turn up the radio hoping that it goes away (I do that). And if you have tightness inyour chest it may not be just heartburn. My Great Aunt Myrtle would have looked at that poor mom and her out of control kid and told her to nip it in the bud!
HQ June 01, 2011 at 04:22 PM
I don't know exactly when common sense and responsible parenting gave way to colly-swaddling children no matter how inappropriate their behavior, but the fast-forwards are beginning to enter the workforce now...there is an increasing number of whiny, lazy individuals out there that have limited capability to express themselves and I can assure you these are not happy people. They are frankly disappointed in life when they learn that it doesn't revolve around them as they've been conditioned. This type of parenting will keep the makers of prozac in business for a long, long time.
Lori Rader-Jacobs June 01, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Universities and companies now have departments specifically devoted to handling the PARENTS of these young people because they are uncapable of functioning as adults. The average age of emancipation has increased from 20 to 27 since 1970. Helicopter parents create boomerang kids! Thanks for your comment.
Joanne Blumenaus Curtin June 02, 2011 at 02:28 PM
My children go to Village Montessori off 92 and I have learned great tips from their parenting classes and really like your education of this too thx
Lori Rader-Jacobs June 02, 2011 at 03:22 PM
Thanks for your feedback...it so important to support parents to return to raising children based on traditional principles and values. Moms are the ones on the front line most of the time so let's make sure to hold them up.


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