I am sick and tired of people raising mean children.
It’s amazing to me that parents today are not instilling kindness in their children.
On top of that, they’re defending their abhorrent behavior.
Today at our community pool, my daughter and son were playing with toy sharks. Two young boys around her age swam over and immediately started grabbing their sharks. Being the kind soul, she is, my daughter told them they could play with them. The boys grabbed the sharks and went off on their own a few feet away to play. A few minutes later, I heard them talking to her. Only they weren’t talking, they were making fun of her to her face.
‘He said you’re fat and ugly!’, one announced loudly. ‘No, he’s the one who said you were fat and ugly!’ piped the other one.
My heart dropped. That was it for me.
I’ve had enough of kids being cruel. My kids have been taught from early on to always practice kindness. Why is it so hard for others to teach the same?
I walked over to the edge of the pool and asked both boys for the sharks. I then told them both that there was no reason to speak that way to someone who was being kind enough to share with them. As they rushed out of the pool to find their mother, I yelled after them ‘You also need to say that you’re sorry!’ They didn’t.
As I’m consoling my daughter who is on the verge of tears, the mother swam over to me and began shouting at me to not speak to her children like that.
Here’s the thing, I pride myself on being a decent human being. I don’t like confrontation, and I don’t like yelling. But I also don’t like it when a grown adult defends bad behavior. Behavior that has clearly been learned at home. Behavior that hurt my child.
I won’t lie, I saw red. A natural reaction for a mother whose child has been hurt numerous times due to the cruel words of her peers.
‘Your children called my daughter fat and ugly, after she was kind enough to let them play with her toys. They need to apologize.’
Her response, ‘ Well, only one of them is my child. The other is a friend we brought with us from next door. They didn’t do that, and you will not speak to them that way.’
‘I heard him, as did my aunt’, I replied. ‘And if they weren’t intentionally being cruel to a complete stranger, I wouldn’t have to say anything.’
She didn’t care. She wasn’t going to admit any fault. She continued to raise her voice in an attempt to scold me. It didn’t work.
This back and forth continued while everyone at the pool stared.
‘I would never speak to your child like that,’ she said, as though that comment put her on a pedestal above me.
‘You wouldn’t ever have to’, I replied, ‘because my daughter was raised better!’
That comment ended it all. How do you possibly bounce back from that?
You don’t. You can’t.
She never apologized. Her son never apologized. Instead, in front of my daughter she hugged him, told him she loved him, and told him to go play with his friends. The other child never apologized either.
No repercussions for either of them. No shame for what they had done.
They went on about their day with no remorse for how deeply they had hurt my daughter. It was very telling of the type of environment they’re being raised in.
And this, parents, is how you are failing your children.
This is how you are doing a disservice to your children and the people they come into contact with.
Our children learn from us. They learn from how we react. They learn from how we handle difficult situations. They learn from the lessons we teach them in these types of moments.
Today, my child learned that I will always defend her. She learned that her mother will protect her at all costs, especially against bullies and their equally disgusting parents.
Those kids at the pool learned that no matter how wrong they are, there will never be any consequences for their negative behavior.
Whose child do you think learned the more valuable lesson?
Raise kind children so that the world isn’t responsible for your failures.
And if you can’t, be prepared for mothers like me to do it for you.
**This story originally appeared on Love What Matters. Used with permission.