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.