There is nothing better than having people come to visit! Spending quality time with friends and family is a priceless experience, but why do the kids start acting like lunatics? All schedules and routines suddenly become foggy as if they’ve never done it before. People call it showing off, but I call it embarrassing.
By Nicole Nowitzki
Suddenly, screaming, throwing tantrums, smart mouthing, and not listening are considered acceptable to children when people stop by the house. They test the limits with company to see if they will reprimand them, and they ultimately want to see if their parents will lay into them during the visit.
This happens many times throughout childhood. When they start school or daycare, they test the waters and their limits with their teacher and staff. When they go to their friend’s houses, they tend to have better behavior because they want to be invited back. When they participate in sports or extracurricular activities, they need to determine if their coach or advisor is going to have an iron fist or be a bit more relaxed.
As a public-school teacher, I know how important it is to teach respect for adults. Then, when your children act like fools, it makes you wonder what you need to do to manage the behavior. There is a meme going around on the internet that depicts two different scenes. One scene shows a child on the other side of the teacher’s desk, and the parents are standing behind the teacher. The second scene shows a new trend happening today where the parents are standing behind the child, and the child has an obnoxious smirk on their face. This is shockingly real.
Had I received a phone call home from a teacher, or any other adult, my mother would have made me regret it, and I certainly would have thought twice about doing that behavior again. Now, whenever I would call home, you would never believe how many times I’ve had to defend the comment, “My child would never do that!” You can bet your bottom dollar that I will never say that about my children. Sometimes, children make poor decisions, fall into peer pressure, or get bullied into doing something unacceptable. I know that my children will fall. I know they will make mistakes. I just hope they trust me or another adult enough to talk about it.
My children are not perfect. Anyone that believes their children are perfect are either naïve or blind. I’ve stepped in on bullying several times, and for some reason, the parents said that I was lying and explained that their angel would never do anything like that. I was shocked! An adult wouldn’t take another adult’s word as truth. What would I gain by lying? I pray that my children know that I will always side with an adult. If someone tells me you were acting a certain way, I will definitely listen to my child’s side of the story, but ultimately, children will mastermind anything to prevent getting into trouble.
Conferencing is shockingly effective. When a child is lying, they are less likely to lie in front of someone that knows the truth. I will haul my child back to the park, to the school, or to a friend’s house to show that they will not be allowed to lie. Really, there is not much worse than a liar. Lying is the gateway other destructive behavior, and if they don’t have consequences, they will continue down a very dangerous path.
When push comes to shove, we have no idea how our children will grow up. We can fantasize about all of the wonderful things they will do, but if we don’t participate in molding them, others will. Remember, we made mistakes as children, and our children will, too. We should step up and teach them the value in kindness, love, truth, and respect of all people.