I’m going to date myself here in what I’m going to say but that’s ok. I wear a badge of honour for my years.
Back in the 1950’s and early 1960’s, there seemed to be a line that every parent gave. Perhaps, it was written into a Dr. Spock book somewhere but, most parents back then, didn’t put up with their child’s whining especially, in stores and would swiftly swat us when we acted up.
“If you want to whine…I’ll give you something to whine about,” they’d say, ushering us out of the store or over to the side where we couldn’t bother anyone else.
Yesterday, I was in a mall shoe store, trying on shoes with the help of a friendly clerk. The store was crowded and there was barely room to try on shoes or get past other customers. As I bent down to try on a pair, a child ran up the aisle, knocking over boxes of shoes, swiping down displays and carrying on like a lunatic. He was no small child who didn’t know any better. He appeared to be around the age of 8 or so, possibly even older.
No one did a thing. His mother and grandmother went on blissfully looking at shoes while this kid ran wild through the store, continuing to wreak havoc with not only store merchandise but, making it impossible for other shoppers to try on shoes or even look.
One brave sales clerk, dared to try to stop this little creature from his reign of terror by taking a box out of his hands, telling him it was rude and asking where his parents were. The little monster ran to his mother, whining and screeching out whining noises that sounded like something from a horror movie. The mother did nothing and the child returned to his antics.
At that point, another store clerk attempted a similar tactic and met with the same results. Most other shoppers at this point had stopped to stare at this Child Gone Bad in either amazement, disgust or both.
It was at that exact moment that my own parent’s words came flooding back as though they were standing right there and were it not for being put up on assault charges, I would have smacked the child upside the back of the head then, proceeded to repeat the same gesture and words with his mother and grandmother.
“If your child insists on being such a pain in the behind and, you’re not going to do anything about him…you may as well feel it like everyone else in the store is feeling it!”
Of course, I couldn’t and I didn’t but, I can tell you that it was mighty tempting.
From my little corner of life, what you put up with from your child at home is your business but, if that child is annoying the pants off of everyone else around you, either do something or expect some sort of consequence.
I would have loved to have seen that family kicked out of the store at that point but, I’m sure, like me, other customers left instead.
Sadly, I have come to truly appreciate that line that was given out so freely back in the 50’s and 60’s. I wish more parents would learn it…or, perhaps…a t-shirt with the saying imprinted on it would serve a purpose?