So, here’s the scene:
I’m standing in line at a local mega-mart, returning some things I bought this morning after taking them home and realizing that they were either defective or outright broken. Next to the return counter is a branch of a local bank, and a mom is standing in line waiting for the next teller. Her son, a lad of about five or so, is crying. Loudly. About something he wanted but didn’t have (I couldn’t figure out what, exactly, he wanted: my Mommy-filter has long since been turned off to such communication as that).
This, in itself, is not blog-worthy. Kids cry when they don’t get what they want. Mine did it, and I’m betting, if you have (or had, or will have) kids, yours do (or did, or will), too.
No, what I’m writing about here is how the mom chose to deal with this particular fit. After a few attempts at getting her child to quiet down, she pulled out this little gem:
“I’m telling Santa!”
Now, Ms. Cornelius just wrote an insightful piece about parenting and her experiences, as a teacher, with all sorts of different ways in which people go about raising their children, and I’ve got to add this bit to hers.
Did this mom stop to think, for a second, that she’s putting more power in the hands of an imaginary being than she herself has as a living, breathing MOTHER?! Has she no other means of putting a stop to this kind of behavior and, if not, what does she use as a threat during the off-season? Seriously, what did the mom think this is going to get her? Because I can tell you what it DID get her – a kid who, horrified that he was going to get ratted out to the guy in the fuzzy red suit, only refocused his screaming from wanting something to NOT wanting something.
Sometimes I think that parents get from their kids exactly what they deserve.