July 17, 2011

Brats



We've all encountered them. The tantrum throwing kid in the store, the ones running around in a restaurant.  The ones that whine and whine until the parent gives in and gets them what they want in the end. Those kids that misbehave and have no consequence. Excuse me while I get judgey:

I'm seeing more and more kids who run their family's lives. The way I see it, parents should be the boss and if a mom's life completely revolves around her child's needs and wants, I think that's a problem. I feel bad for someone who has little to no life of her own and what little life she has, is scheduled around the child's whims. Kids need to learn to be flexible and that what they want, doesn't always come first.

I cringe inside when I see a kid who's running wild and wreaking havoc. Unless she's not bothered, then I'm annoyed. I think Hey lady, get your kid under control. If we're in a nice restaurant and people let their spawn run around and disturb other patrons, I can't help but feel annoyed. This isn't McDonald's or Chucky Cheese. It's not cute.

I recently witnessed a kid ordering his mom to get him dessert because he didn't want to eat the yucky food. He slapped her hands away when she tried to calm him down and she got him cake at the end. Can you believe it? Rewarding the little demon? He's learned that's how to get what he wants and it works. The mom probably feels frustrated, but she lets the cycle continue. If things don't change that kid is going to be even more of a nightmare. Think Veruca Salt.

I don't claim to have the most perfectly behaved children at all times but they know how to behave in a nice place and speak to me and other adults with respect. I do have to note that although a lot of kids here in Egypt are rambunctious and rowdy, (boys especially), in general kids have a lot more respect and appreciation for their parents and elders than kids in the US.  Thoughts?

16 comments:

  1. Great post, I'm glad you brought it up. Kids here in Canada seem to be getting worse and worse...well I shouldn't be blaming the kids for their parents poor disaplining skills. Whenever I mention these brats to anyone I always hear "kids will be kids", "oh they aren't hurting anyone", "he/she is only (insert an age), it's ok". My mouth use to hang open hearing this, but puleeze these are the same people who always have problems with their kids, they start off as brats and that's all they are until they hopefully grow up and out of it. I disapline my kids, they know better, I have one who is easier and one who is strong willed like me, today she was crying while we were waiting in line (I thought it was, and it turned out to be boredom), the cashier hands her candy, my older quiet child was ignored. I find it so annoying when people do this because I had to take that candy and put it away for later which made my already crying child even louder. Ack.

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  2. Assalaam waliekum.
    I used to be one of those people who were like: "They need to calm their kid down."
    However now I have a three-year old brat who throws fits in public, argues like an adult and then pleads an half-hearted apology. And I used to be afraid of what people thought, I told myself: None of these people REALLY want to raise my brat, so I could care less about what they thought.
    The thing to keep in mind is that there are many great parents out there who Allah SWT have decreed a small tyrant or two. Or the kid might be hungry or tired or sick or in need of a old-fashioned butt-whopping.
    Me, being a Muslim, I feel humbled when I see someone's brat go off because I don't know their life like that.
    Yet I have no sparing of judgement for the parents who sit on their butts letting their brats run the show. Especially in the masjid.
    Yes, those mothers (most of the time, from my observation; it's foreign Muslim women) who can't seem to pull themselves from their inner circle talk to control their brats, who assume the other sisters are going to watch their hordes (and the sisters probably have children of their own)and believe that "real" discipline should come at puberty.

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  3. Muslim Convert, I also don't appreciate when, say, one of my kids is whining about something, which they do and someone suggests that I just let them have what they want to get them to be quiet. I will not. I don't go back on what I've said and will not give in to whining which is the worst thing in the world, ever. Thanks for commenting!

    Gail,Alaikum alsalam, You know, I realize that my post is too judgmental. I should have made a disclaimer that I wasn't talking about kids who are having a once in a while bad day, cranky or hungry. I'm not including children with autism or similar conditions. I was just ranting on some things I've noticed lately. You're right, no one else is going to raise your child but you. It's easy to judge when you're not in that position. InshaAllah it gets better, 3 is a tough age.

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  4. It's alright, it's your blog and you still ranted with good judgement. I understood what you were saying, Im just currently dealing with my kid being a half-pint tyrant in public and she was improving alot on her behavior.
    This is the greatness of blogs: good dialog.
    I'm sorry if insha'allah I came off as angry.
    Can a sister get a blog hug?

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  5. Gail, lol, thanks. May Allah grant you patience.

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  6. it comes down to the parent. you have to be firm from the beginning and not give in because if you aren't they will learn behavioural traits and consequences. if mum or dad doesn't reel it in in the beginning then the child learn tricks to get their own way.

    i was in a shop the other day and this little girl hit her mum when the mum was telling her no. what did the mum do? gave in. hence the child wins and the behaviour continues. who is in control in that situation? of course the kid is.

    it is probably a bit harsh, but when i was a kid, we used to get smacked on the bum in public if we acted up. we learnt pretty quickly not to misbehave.

    it is definitely up to parents to not only control their kids but more importantly to TEACH them proper behaviour.

    saying "no" to your child and sticking by it and saying "no" but giving in is basically training your child on how to act. they learn to predict your responses and so act accordingly.

    from a teaching POV it is all about behaviour. i see the same things with kids i teach. their teacher before them said "no" but ended up giving in and giving the kids what they wanted because they wouldn't stop playing up. in the end the teacher had absolutely no control over them and they ran all over the person. i came in, firm when i said no and within a few weeks (and the rest of the year) they knew "no" meant "no" and their misbehaviour diminished so quickly and the amount of times i had trouble with misbehaving was so tiny compared to the teacher before me.

    sorry for the long arse comment, but it really proved to me that behaviour is learnt. kids aren't automatically little brats on their own - they learn (and can unlearn) bratiness.

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  7. and for the rest of the year*

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  8. Asalaam Alaikum!

    I read Muslim Converts comment @kids will be kids' and it made me smile... I hear that alot too and it annoys me...did a blog post about it http://www.muslimmummies.com/2011/06/children-just-being-children-really.html?showComment=1308777524961#c7891474764482944193

    I agree its up to the parents to teach good behaviour to their kids.

    Alot give in to their kids too easily to keep the peace...but then this will be even more problematic in the future.

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  9. Salaam sis. Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents worth. I've always raised my children to be respectful, well-behaved and well-mannered.

    Some of the times, they actually were! lol As we all know there are times when, as many of you have said, when a child is tired or overexcited.

    For me however that it still not an excuse. If I am in a public place, I will remove myself and my daughter. We both take a timeout away from everyone. I try to briefly explain that it's not acceptable to scream/run/be demanding. Usually that works.

    I think one of the most important things in raising a child is consistency. If you ALWAYS respond the same way to infractions, they know what to expect. I don't care how tired or frustrated you are, remain calm and respond the same way each time and insha'allah they learn consequences from it.

    My biggest hurdle now is not letting the bad behaviors of my step-kids rub off on Aaminah. I pray Allah swt makes it easier on me, amin.

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  10. Ange, I'm with you. Kids learn how their parent's will react and the parents teach the child how to treat them. No need to apologize, I love comments.:)

    Foz, Alaikum alsalam, I'm going to check out that post now, thanks. Yea keeping the peace for now will end up bad in the end.

    Umm Aminah, yea we have to watch out for the rubbing off effect.

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  11. Kids certainly dont come with a handbook. Ive got little ones, and Im in the throws of teaching proper and respectful behaviors. Its really hard! Ive had to 'remove' us during times of really bad tantrums. I think whats worthy of mention is that the fathers and other family members or cargivers all need to be on the same page in terms of discipline.

    Good post! Salams :)

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  12. Midnightmama, I've had to leave when mine were little too. It's hard especially when you have things you need to do. I agree about everyone having mom's back, it's so important to be consistent or kids will divide and conquer.

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  13. I have very strong feelings about this and I'll say it loud and clear: The child is a product of his/her environment.

    If parents don't set-up their environment for their children to follow rules, expectations, etc, why do we blame the kid if he is allowed to run all over his parents.

    we should strip from our mentality that kids 'outta shoulda wana' do something right. That doesn't exist.

    So when I see a bratty kid, it's all the parents doing. I don't feel sorry for them.

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  14. Organica, you're right, kids are the product of their environment but sometimes a usually good kid has a bad day or is cranky and that's when give the mom a sympathetic look.

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  15. My daughter is three and a half and she can throw major tantrums but usually she's hungry or sleepy. When we go out, I prepare her a couple of times by explaining where we are going, why and what she is allowed to do, it works most of the time and when it doesn't I just remove her from the place until she cools down. She is a stubborn little one, but I find that I need to put my foot down. It is exhausting but I hope it pays off in the end

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Thanks for commenting!