How not to raise a brat

Parenting in the 80’s and 90’s when I was growing up is vastly different than it is today. You could sit down in a restaurant and not have to worry about the kid sitting at the table behind you standing on his or her chair and screaming for no apparent reason. If they did, the problem would be squashed immediately by a swift spank to the butt… or the threat of one.
These days, more and more I see kids going absolutely ape-shit and the parents sitting back and letting it happen like nothing is wrong. It’s so surprising to me, because that shit would NOT fly with my parents. Sad to say, but there have been far too many times where i’ve wanted to turn around and tell a kid to STFU.. but I bit my tongue because it just wasn’t my place. I’m not their parent, it’s not my problem.

Now that I have Holden.. I do worry about how other children will influence how he acts. Children are impressionable moldable balls of clay. I try as much as I can (even at his young age) to make sure that he knows what sharing is, that he isn’t ridiculously spoiled, that he knows he’s loved and cared for but also knows that he can’t get away with doing ‘bad’ things… but those are all in my presence. What happens when he’s around other kids who are being allowed to go crazy all the time? Put a ‘well behaved’ child in a room with ‘bad kids’, and it’s almost guaranteeing that the behavior will somewhat rub off on your kid. Maybe not, but it’s something to worry about.

At Thanksgiving, a couple of my cousins were there as well who also have children. Monet is a 2 1/2 year old who is sweet (although scared of Holden), and shares with no problem. My other cousins children (who I do not know the names of).. unfortunately not so much. The older one wasn’t so bad, he was very cautious with Holden.. played with him- shared with him.. but at one point in the night all the kiddies got riled up and he started chasing Holden around in circles- amping Holden up. He would get in Holden’s face and just YELL. Not to be mean.. but because he thought it was hilarious. Holden looked shocked, but would giggle and scream back. Not exactly how I want Holden to act. I don’t expect him to sit quietly and play all the time, but screaming in another kid’s face is not something I see as a positive thing.
The younger kid, probably around the age of two.. sad to say- kind of a hellion. At one point he had some chips sitting in a tupperware on the floor. Holden obviously has no idea that things lying around don’t belong to him- so he walked up and took a chip being that they were just sitting out in the open. The little kid starts SCREAMING in Holden’s face and stamping his feet “MINE! MY CHIP! MY CHIP!”
I was in complete shock. Immediately I took the half-eaten slobber covered chip out of Holden’s hand and put it back in the tupperware to stop this kid from screaming. Luckily Holden didn’t seem to care, he moved on and played with something else.. but I was a little shaken up. All that over a CHIP? Especially when there was a container full of them left?
I do NOT want Holden EVER reacting that way to something so miniscule.

I DO NOT want a brat. I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure it doesn’t happen.. but I don’t think there’s one certain way to go about ensuring that. I can’t walk around punching kids in the face at Wal-Mart who are screaming because Mommy won’t buy them a $50 toy.. I don’t think that would be appreciated.
I also don’t want to be the ‘mean mommy’, never giving Holden any freedom… So I guess I have to be somewhere in the middle and hope he turns out as a well-adjusted compassionate selfless person.

I’m not a huge fan of spanking, but my bare butt got bent over a knee pretty often and I turned out ok! I think it was more the fear of spanking that kept me in line. The days of kids fearing their parents are in the past- it more seems the other way around these days. Parents are giving kids everything they want, no questions asked. No spanking, and rarely any discipline as to not “break their spirit” (yes I have literally heard that)..
Screw it- stick me in the mean mommy category if being a ‘nice mommy’ means spoiling Holden to the point of gluttony. Not happening here!

Posted on November 30, 2008 by Holdin' Holden 4 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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  • I was basically tortured as a kid, not literally but spanking was not a non-used form of punishment. There has been a gigantic movement in the parenting world towards non-capital punishment. Screw that, he does something wrong, and he knows it. It’s one good spank, not like beating my child but a solid, you know you aren’t supposed to do that move.

    I know people who gives their kids everything they want. Terrible idea. They will apply everything in that fashion. Food, toys, homework, people, etc. This kid I know, 11 years old, would command his mom to make him a hotdog while he sat on his fully capable ass and played his XBox on the 62″ flat screen. Ridiculous, get it your damn self, mommy is busy cooking, cleaning, paying bills, etc. YOU’RE 11 YEARS OLD! Nope, mom made it, and then called everyone in for dinner 5 minutes later.

    Holden is getting the like it or lump it dinners. You dont like what you have. Too bad.

  • UGH- so true! I am so afraid of sending Em off to school, even if that’s not for 3-4 more years. We just went to a birthday party for a little girl a couple of weeks ago and there was a b-r-a-t there too. Like you said, Holden and Emily aren’t old enough to understand things yet and this girl flipped out that Em “took” her balloon. She started giving both of us the evil eye and stomping about yelling. I wanted to leave because I couldn’t believe the mother didn’t do a THING for that or the other bad stuff she did and said.

  • I’ve already noticed that spanking isn’t going to work for this stage(for Ally) bc every time I pop her hand, she starts hitting back! So lately, I’ve just been taking her away from whatever it is she shouldn’t be messing with. It gets annoying, but it’s all I got right now. LoL

    My nephew is somewhat a brat, I guess you could say. My sister has a lot of trouble out of him bc he’s been with his grandparents(her ILs) quite a bit and they let him have whatever he wants. 3 years old-he wants sonic? He gets. He wants a 20 oz. pepsi? He gets it. He expects the same treatment at home and that just doesn’t happen.

    My point… Spoiling kids doesn’t help anyone. 😛

  • Young kids drinking soda is exactly what sparked this blog (that and thanksgiving). We were at Wal-Mart the other day and I saw not once, not twice, but FOUR times a parent give a child under 3 a bottle of soda and let them chug it.
    I would NEVER EVER do that! I was shocked!

    I feel bad enough giving Holden a SIP of my sweet tea when he’s begging for it.. but to let him chug a soda? blows me away.

    DISCIPLINE. where did it go?? Where did saying NO go??

    A little pop on the butt or hand works here, SOMETIMES, not all the time though. he just gets mad.
    What works is vocally TELLING him no, and pulling him away from whatever he’s messing with, or taking away what he’s playing with and not supposed to.

    My cousin Kristen has the smartest most well behaved child i’ve ever met.. and it’s because she was ‘strict’ by today’s standards.
    If I have to be mean mommy, so be it. I’d rather pull my screaming kid out of wal-mart in the middle of a shopping trip than give in and give him whatever toy he’s screaming for and reinforce the behavior.

    WHEW that got long