Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Disrespect...

One of the things I truly dislike is disrespect. I don't like when my children are disrespectful to me or their father...or to any other "elders". I don't like sass or misbehavior for the sake of misbehaving. I don't tolerate it from my children and will be quick to call them on it. I've taught them manners (which they must often be reminded to use) and I've taught them to obey (again, must be reminded)...but they know my stance on it and they KNOW they will get in trouble if they continue with disrespectful behavior. Don't talk back to me, repeat me, mock me behind my back (I have eyes in the back of my head like all moms, you know!), don't lie to me and please do what I tell you. I think, all in all, that my children do well by me when they are with others. It's a reflection on my parenting when they behave well, and I am fully aware of that.

Why the lecture on disrespect? Well...

This morning I went to the pool to swim laps - this is my daily exercise right now, and I'm actually enjoying it much more than I do running or walking. (the kids are currently at VBS this week, so I can do this alone, which is nice). Usually, there is no one there at the pool...or there may be one or two sun-seekers...but that is it until about 10:30 or so. Then the families start coming. Well, this morning, there was a grandmother and her 2 grandsons. I've seen them there a few times recently...they're likely visiting Grandma, or else she's got daycare duty for the summer.

She was sitting in a chair, underneath an umbrella. One boy obviously could not swim (about 2 1/2 years old, I'm guessing), and the other was between 6 and 9 years old. The older one was obnoxious to his little brother, scaring him, teasing him, taking things from him, threatening to push him in. Grandma kept hollering at him to knock it off, but didn't do much else. I ignored most of this, since I was swimming laps, but the constant sound of the little boy screaming, the grandma rebuking and the obnoxious boy teasing broke through as I would be on my breathing stroke. It irked me.

Grandma threatened to call mom to come and get them...but again she didn't do much else. I'm going to chalk that one up to being older and tired...she just didn't have what it took to really discipline him. That, or she didn't want to paddle his bottom when there were others present. (I was the only other person there). I had to tell the boy once to get off the rope that divides the pool. In a conversation I had earlier this week with Gene, an elderly man who worships the sun, he'd mentioned that if that rope gets broken, they (the HOA) will close the pool down until they can replace it, due to insurance regulations. And they (the HOA) are not very quick to do things...so it could be several days of closure. Gene mentioned that he didn't like telling the kids to stay off the rope but he didn't want to lose one of his amenities (we pay a good fortune for that HOA fee), and I can't blame him. Besides, There's a HUGE pool and I'm swimming along the rope...go find somewhere else to play (he kept trying to get into my line of sight under water).

I stopped to fix the buoys on the rope (I use them for guides when I'm doing backstroke), and the older boy was trying to take a quarter from the younger one. He'd already taken it once and claimed that it was lost in the pool. Since I was wearing my goggles, I was so kind as to point it out for the older boy (who knew full well where it was, and he got angry at me for that!). Grandma went to get the quarter so the older one didn't get it, and he started splashing her. She told him to stop and was walking away when he did it again, this time drenching her backside.

My jaw dropped. Good thing I wasn't in deeper water, I'd have drowned with all the water going it. Of course, I couldn't help myself.

I said to that boy:

"You're awfully rude and disrespectful to your grandma. That is NOT very nice. Don't you realize that she won't be here forever? You'll regret treating her so ugly. You don't know how lucky you are to have a grandma here with you. My kids grandmas' are NOT close by and they don't get to spend a lot of time with them. My grandparents are gone, and I miss them a lot. You should learn to respect your elders, young man."

I then apologized to the grandmother for butting in. She was relieved, I think. (I can understand, it's hard sometimes to discipline children when others are present, you don't want judgement on your disiplinary style). She told her older grandson, "See, someone else can see how you're behaving." I do believe the boy was taken aback. He looked as though he wanted to cry.

I finished my laps and left shortly after. I went up to the fitness center to do some shoulder exercises, and when I came back, they were gone. I hope this is a lesson that sinks in for this young man. Never take for granted that someone will be there forever. It's a tough concept to grasp, but I think that when we look at people as precious gifts that may soon be gone, we will cherish and appreciate them much, much more.

8 comments:

Wheezer said...

Good for you for speaking up! Sometimes it is the opinion of others that sinks in for kids like that. They won't remember Grandma telling them to stop but the lady in the pool will leave a permanent impression. Good job!

Kat said...

I second that on good for you for speaking up!!!

Jessie said...

Oh my gosh, kudos to YOU!

Barbara said...

I have NO problems with not only disciplining my own kids in public but also getting after others. I once took a boy to the principal's office because he cut in front of Jorden at in the breakfast line and then gave me attitude when I called him up on it. One of the neighborhood hoodlums was throwing rocks on the playground when there were little ones around. After repeatedly telling him to stop so others wouldn't get hurt I finally said, "You are not my child but I will beat you like you were. STOP THROWING ROCKS!!". Yeah, doesn't bother me one bit.

Gwen said...

good for you for speaking your mind. I'm sure Grandma appreciated it. Makes you wonder how the kids behave around their own home. :(

liberal army wife said...

what just bugs me - how some adults think it's CUTE when a child backtalks. from all those TV shows in which the kid is just so cute and sasses his parents/adults, and the adults are clueless morons. It's NOT cute. That young man you talked to should have been removed from the pool and sat in a chair, until he could act in a manner befitting a well brought up child. - we used to call that - sit there until you act like a human. As a Gramma, I'm still a tough broad.

LAW

The Mrs. said...

good for you! disrespect is running rampant these days and its disgusting. We are fighting the uglies around here and I just will not stand for it. Especially towards other people.

saintseester said...

Wow, I am not sure I have what it takes to speak up. I do know that I have been guilty of that "tired I don't feel like this" attitude the grandmother seemed to exhibit.

My kids go through cycles. We have to stay tough with them through the bad sass, then we coast along with good behavior for a while. Invariably, when it starts up again, I sometimes do not recognize it for what it is. They are older and cleverer in how they phrase things now! LOL. My daughter has had some issues backtalking this past week. She's grounded in her room, now.