Wednesday, September 3, 2008

It has Open Can of Worms Potential

If you knew me in my life outside this blog you would quickly learn that I am not one to tolerate drama. I do that by not getting involved in it in any way shape or form if it can be at all helped. If I know you (general real life you) to be a proverbial pot-stirrer; I will avoid you. I like my life comfortable, boring, and predictable. All grossly underrated attributes in my humble opinion.

Against my better judgment, and putting my comfort threshold at risk, I'm going to address a comment from yesterday's post. In yesterday's post I used the following scenario for my argument:

I once casually followed a woman around Target. Why? Because I wanted to see if she would really follow through with counting to ten and then getting in the car. Her son was busy in the back of the shopping cart throwing the grand mal tizzy to end all tizzies; hurling objects to and fro [also interchangeable with hither and yon]; basically acting like your average terrible two. Except he was about five. It was around the time that she had threated to "count to ten and then they were going to get in the car and I mean it!" for about the fourth time [at least that I heard] when I grew curious if she did, in fact, mean it. After she'd made the threat several times over, and by then had counted to infinity times pi squared; I finally grew bored with the scenario and, frankly, had run out of shopping to do.

I left. They did not. For all I know she's still there. Counting and threatening. And bobbing and weaving.

And it would seem that I ruffled a feather or two. The following comment from christina shaver prompted thought that just wouldn't leave my head until I wrote it down.
"Please stop judging other parents.

It could have been me at Target. And if it were and I knew you'd written this about me, I'd have a field day.

You would never know by looking at him, but I have a kid with special needs, and while it is no excuse for his behavior, it is still the reality that I need to deal with. Typical parenting does NOT work with kids who have special needs.

It could be entirely possible that this particular mom was just buying time and trying to keep a lid on things while she finished up some shopping. Taking it to the next level could very well have caused an explosion that would be way more unacceptable in public than what you witnessed. And maybe it was her decision that she needed to get these items more than she needed to deal with a blowout.

When you raise a kid with special needs, you're constantly having to choose between two lousy situations. That's something that I don't think most parents of "typical" kids understand."

First of all, we all judge other parents to some degree whether we say so out loud or not. There's nothing wrong with making judgments since it's how we determine our choices. If I were to send one of my kids to another's house for a play date, you'd better believe I judge that parent and their abilities before I send my child over to their care for the afternoon...

[and in some cases I've chosen to stay myself and supervise, like that one time? When I was friendly with another mom in Boy-Child#1's kindergarten class? And we would occasionally get together after school? But her son was kind of an ass to Boy-Child#1? And then he hit Boy-Child#1 in the face which shocked Boy-Child#1 because he was all, the hell? And said friendly mother handled the situation by assuring her son that instead of the TEN toys from Toys R Us he was promised, he was only going to get SIX. Yeah. Okay. buh-bye, then].

True story.

Secondly, my argument and point in yesterday's post was about parents who don't set boundaries [or the boundaries are inconsistent] and deliver hollow threats that have no real consequences; which can lead to negative behavior in the child. Let us say for a moment that the woman in the example illustrated above is a mother to a special needs child . Here is where I'll utilize the bullet points:
  • If your child's misbehavior is caused by his special needs then you wouldn't be issuing the threat of counting to 10 and going to the car because you would already know that it would be ineffective.
  • If you're issuing the aforementioned threat without intending to follow through and with the knowledge that it is ineffective, you are doing that child a disservice.
  • If you're "just buying time and trying to keep a lid on things while finishing up shopping" and doing it by issuing hollow threats, you're still being inconsistent and doing your child a disservice. And if buying time means allowing him to hurl objects that don't belong to you but rather the store, is also unacceptable.
  • If a parent isn't "willing to take it to the next level that may cause an explosion that would be more unacceptable that what was witnessed" is no excuse to say they are going to do something with the intent of doing nothing.
As you can see, I don't see much of a difference in raising a child with special needs and a "typical" child. The fundamentals are the same: setting boundaries that are appropriate for the child and adhering to them.

P.s. I also disagree that when you raise a child with special needs that you are constantly having to choose between two lousy situations. There are several women who are mother's to special needs children who read this blog (and I their's) and they have the most beautiful things to say about raising their children. While they may admit to challenges and frustrations I've yet to see any of them use any form of the word "lousy" when detailing parenting their children.

P.p.s. While I appreciate your apology you sent via email, it isn't necessary and you certainly don't owe me one. You're entitled to your opinion. Don't apologize for it.


calicobebop said...

Wow - I've been away for a while but it looks like I'm missed out on some interesting posts!

I'd be happy to have you stalk me in Target - maybe you could help me choose a cute pair of shoes!

SuburbanCorrespondent said...

It's true - there are times I've put up with bad behavior in the store because I had to be there; but, if I know I am not really going to leave, I don't threaten to.

On the other hand, sometimes parents of special needs kids are just worn down and tired; and so their judgment isn't top notch on that particular day. No one's perfect.

Christina Shaver said...

You know what I think it so ironic about your polarization of the comment I made online and the private note I sent to you via e-mail?

I SELL a behavioral program online. And, I'm just guessing here, but I probably know way more about behavioral therapy than you do, considering I've been trained in it for several years. Plus, my son sees a behavior therapist for FIVE hours each week.

I'm not arguing with you on setting limits and boundaries. What I am arguing with is cutting people slack.

To be quite honest, I think that judging a parent who is raising a special needs child with behavioral problems is in the category of racism. There is an ignorance that the general public has (I'm not saying you personally, so please do not take this as an attack) about these situations. I just take the opportunity to speak up when I can.

I look at that Supernanny show and see that these families do NOT need to be on TV. These families and these children, in my estimation, need therapy and perhaps medical intervention.

But we are in the stone ages when it comes to mental health. We don't see these children and families as needing help, we see them as a spectacle -- on TV and in Target.

Listen, I know what it's like to raise a typical kid and a special needs kid. If I only had my typical kid, I'd probably think similar to you. But my eyes are opened wide.

Mekhismom said...

I think that setting boundaries is key. Empty threats do nothing but exacerbate the situation.

Anonymous said...

Christina Shaver: While I don't condone judging parents, particularly parents of strangers, parents whose kids aren't associated with yours in any way, I'd be lying if I said I didn't stare in shocked disbelief at the mother who stood in Zellers yesterday, laughing while her kid kicked over a display of Spiderman toys, screaming "Look at my karate!".

I think it's extraordinarily unfair to simply assume that the child in the original post has special needs, and therefore, that Mrs. Farklepants was mocking the parent of a special needs child. Making a statement like "I think that judging a parent who is raising a special needs child with behavioral problems is in the category of racism" is inflammatory in the extreme!

Since your statement shows supreme common sense, it seems that the only reason you said it is to imply that Mrs. Farklepants IS that kind of person. What qualifies you to judge her as akin to being a racist?

I understand that you SELL a behavioral program online, but that doesn't give you the right to make such an awful accusation, even by implication.

I SELL Avon, but that doesn't make me a dermatologist, and it certainly doesn't give me the right to imply that someone who's wearing cheap blue eyeshadow is a whore.

I respect that you've lived a life with your children that I have not, and I agree with you - anyone who makes fun of a special needs kid, or the parent of one, is a monster.

I also think that judging parents whose kids don't affect yours is kind of a waste of time. But then, so is television and knitting scarves I'll never wear, but it's my time to waste.

And finally, when you say "I look at that Supernanny show and see that these families do NOT need to be on TV. These families and these children, in my estimation, need therapy and perhaps medical intervention" THAT is a judgment of both those children and their parents, which is the very thing you requested that Mrs. Farklepants stop doing, the thing that started this.

If it's okay for you to judge that a family needs medical intervention, based on 46 minutes of footage stitched together for maximum impact, then why is it wrong for Mrs. Farklepants to shake her head over a parenting error she was actually witness to?

By the way, I agree with you that putting it on TV is wrong, though I'm sure that my reasons differ from yours.

In any case, I don't think it's anyone's assumption that other parents are perfect, or that anyone is, really. But as far as the original post goes, it appears that consistency is the hallmark of successful parenting (and of successful dog ownership, come to think of it), and since a lack of consistency was the essential error the parent in the original post, we've come pretty far afield.

EatPlayLove said...

I can forgo my daytime drama, for Tootsie is now offering it up on demand!!

In my humble opinion, parents don't want to say no to their kids, they think it will scar them. I believe it's harming them more by not giving them boundaries and expectations.

Sorry, I am on Team Tootsie.

Heather of the EO said...

Some days a blogger posts something and then something goes terribly wrong in how it's perceived. As simple and harmless as it was intended to be. Just another day at the blog, waxing funny about tantrums in Target. Or so you thought :)

All I have to say is that it's nice to think we don't judge each other, special needs or not, but we make conclusions-that's judgment, and it happens naturally with each of us, even if we know a lot about behavior and cut each other slack as much as we can. It's true, we all do it. We think the way we think and do things is best.

It's also ironic how we don't want to allow judgment or criticism, yet feel it's okay to make comments on blogs, judging someone's thoughts and feelings.

I happened upon you yesterday for the first time and browsed around a bit. It was obvious right away that you're a smart, loving woman with nothing but good intentions, especially in regard to parenting. Drama aside, it's nice to meet you,

Anonymous said...

While I agree with Christina that we shouldn't judge other parents, I also agree with you, Tootsie, that we do anyway. Yeah, your eyes do get opened when you have kids of your own and YOU'RE the crazy woman with the screaming kid in Target, but come on! We all know the difference between a mom struggling to control her kid--the mom we sympathize with and mouth, "I've been there!" when our eyes meet--and the mom who can't parent and doesn't care if her kid makes a huge scene. The whole "special-needs-you-don't-know-what-that-mom-goes-through" crap doesn't need to be drug into it.

You were talking about the idiot mom, and we've all met her. Hell, sometimes I've BEEN her. :) I liked your post and your honest opinions. Keep it up!

Oliver Rain said...

I have to say I'm on Team Tootsie too. I see a lot of parents with boundary setting issues around here. I think that was the point you was making. I'm thinking that SOMEONE is a little sensitive & has had people make unfair judgments about her in the past.

All said, thanks for the drama.

Marcy Writes - The Glamorous Life said...

Amen sista!
Picture me standing behind you and nodding like crazy as you read this post. And I will say "yeah" after everything. I got your back. I am ready to rumble on this issue.

patty said...

So, let me review for the sake of clarity. It's not ok to judge random parents in Target, but it's ok to judge people who post their opinions on their blogs?

OK. Got it.

New-ish here. I'll be back.

MamaHenClucks said...

Yep. Team Toostie all the way for me. I think we all know the difference between the parent who has had a bad day and the parent who doesn't give a hoot. The spirit of the original post was about that, not about special needs kids or even about the every day struggles we often have with our own kids.

Texan Mama @ WhoPutMeInCharge said...

I just wanted to say one thing about yesterday's post.

I know you kinda judged that other mom. You openly admitted that. I know we all do it from time to time.

I guess the thing that bothered me was that you didn't seem to be willing to forgive that mom her mistakes. I felt like you were saying "That mom got what she deserves!" when I thought it would have been nicer, even more supportive, to say "That mom was in a tough situation. While I've never been there, because I try very hard to be consistent about follow-through, I feel bad for her."

Maybe you don't feel bad. Maybe you aren't trying to be nice. In that situation you don't owe anyone an apology.

I just think that we, as moms, can do so much more to validate the role of motherhood by supporting, forgiving, and encouraging one another rather than judging and tearing one another down.

If that mother had been hitting her kid, or calling him stupid, or doing something dangerous, then I can see a mom stepping in and getting angry. But allowing a kid to not receive a punishment? Well, that kid will certainly survive and maybe grow up to torment his family. But his mom may just be doing the very best she can.

But I have to say that you are totally right, in regards to the fact that you are entitled to your opinion. If people don't like it, they have the right to not read you and unsubscribe.

JCK said...

We all have our own looking glasses in which we read and interpret blog posts, coming from our own life experiences.

I know Tootsie would never have posted anything that was an attack on a child with special needs.

Our generation does seem to have a big issue with consistency and setting limits.

Madame Queen said...

And there it is...she SELLS a behavior program online.

April E. :) said...

I am with you...not that there are sides to be picked. However the injustice done to children these days with a lack of consistency and boundaries baffles me. Why in the world to we expect consistency and boundaries from thier teachers, babysitters, etc..however we fail to provide them that same benefit at home?!?! Baffling really. Granted, I am NOT a parent...but I do know that it doesn't take a rocket scientist...nor a mother to see the benefit from consistency and boundaries...or to see the better behaved child.
*my opinion*

Rachel said...

Im glad you were able to express your parenting ideas! thats wonderful. I work for the state, in care of abused and neglected kids. There is therapy involved AND proper parenting. :)

boundaries!!--keep it up!!! way to go mom

Ann said...

I've been reading this blog for quite a while, so I need to say something today.

We ALL make determinations about how others behave - otherwise, how on earth would we determine how we ourselves want/hope to behave? Or how we may want/hope our children to behave?

Tootsie observed some behavior and then made some conclusions about it, drawing from her own experiences as a parent, PERIOD.

As a person who used to work with special needs children, I can tell you that the fundamentals are indeed the same: you create boundaries, set limits, and adhere to them.

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

Tootsie, Very well said!

I agree with you about hollow threats and the need to follow through. We parent the same way.

Chelly (APPLAUSE, APPLAUSE) You put my thoughts into words better than I ever could. That was a GREAT comment by you.

JoeinVegas said...

Sorry, but all this back and forth seems very amusing to me. I'll join the few and back Tootsie on this, with so many other thoughts in my head about commentors that I will keep laughing for a while. (sell a program, yet your kid still needs FIVE hours a week with a professional? Tootsie, you aren't charging enough)

Anonymous said...

I completely agree w/ you. Sometimes I have to get on my husband bc he makes those non-threats.

And, even if a parent has a special needs child, they have to be taught boundaries. We had a very special family vacation ruined by a family with an autistic boy. BECAUSE the family let him run around like a maniac. And jump in OUR train seats, while WE were in them. And when I asked the family to please keep him from jumping in front of my camera when I was trying to take pictures of MY kids or to take the ball away from him that he kept throwin at me, they said, "But he's autistic. We can't control him." That really pissed me off!

Insane Mama said...

Setting boundaries is SO important. Empty threats do nothing but cause trouble in the long run! I have worked with children that have special needs and they respond quite nicely to boundaries.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I'm a judgy parent. And I openly and warmly encourage the moms who DO count to 3 or 5 or 10 and then walk out. Or the ones who stick to "NO" in the checkout aisle and DON'T cave in and buy the candy bar. I tell them, "Stick to your guns, it pays off." Likewise, I roll my eyes at the parents who don't mean what they say and reward their children's bad behavior just to shut them up. Because like bell hooks wrote, "Silence is compliance."

San Diego Momma said...

Seems to me the original point of Tootsie's post was that she thought parents should set boundaries that are right for the situation and the child, and then follow through on them.

The judgment issue is another one altogether. And so is the special needs child. Still, Tootsie made it clear: her opinion is "follow through," and "don't say what you don't mean" (to any child, even one with special needs).

I think due to her situation, Christina read the post through a filter and imbued Tootsie's words with another meaning.

Maybe after re-reading the original post and today's, Christina will re-think her racism comment. I sure hope so.

O'Neal (The woman in charge around here) said...

I can see both sides of this, being a parent of a special needs type child AND a normal SUPER bratty tantrum throwing drama queen 2 year old. I have often been the lady in Target with an out of control child with flaming red cheeks totally mortified everyone was glaring at us. And I KNOW people were judging us - just like I do other people in other situations. We are HUMAN, we ALL do it whether we realize we are subconsciously doing it or not.
From the way I read it, Tootsie was just commenting on her own observation of the situation. NOT downing anyone,especially someone with special needs.
The good thing about living in America is everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Even better- opinions are like assholes, everyone has one and they usually stink!

Vallen said...

When people take their parenting styles( good and not so good) out in PUBLIC, then yeah, we all get to judge.

Anonymous said...

Be a constistant example of the behavior your want in your own kids. I have a SN kid and this is what my husband and I do. Both our kids have boundaries and rules they have to follow. I cannot control any other mom or her kid. I don't know their circumstances or challenges. if your kid comments, use it as a teaching tool.

Lisa Milton said...

My son had special needs as a preschooler, and it did take a little something extra to get through the day.

No doubt it was harder then. When Zack was sick or couldn't talk and cried incessantly, it felt terrible to issue punishments. Yes, terrible TO ME. But I learned, especially with the help of his speech therapist and his preschool teacher in early intervention to do better, for his sake. That he needed consistency perhaps more than my neurotypical daughter.

But the basics still apply; they did then, they do now.

I can't imagine Ms. Farklepants being unduly kind to a family with special needs to contend with. She's feisty, not cruel.

What an interesting discussion...

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Tootsie is a lovely person! As is Christina! You are both lovely people who would probably love one another in real life. It was just too easy for C to get snarky on line because you aren't seeing people face-to-face. I'm really glad to hear Christina gave Tootsie the apology she deserved, and I'm sorta disappointed that Tootsie decided to publicly snark at Christina AFTER C apologized. T-why didn't you just delete the attack? The comments say you will. We love you, girl! We don't want you to feel alienated.

Swirl Girl said...

I see both sides of the coins.
I don't think there was malice aforethought in either argument.

Just opinions - and everyone has them and are entitled to them.

There is no winner in this debate.

Manic Mommy said...

None of us is perfect yet we judge other parents in part to make ourselves feel better. Isn't that the Super Nanny audience in a nutshell?

Let's not take ourselves too seriously.

Anonymous said...

Personally? I judge everyone's parenting. EVERYONE'S. Most of the judging stays inside my head, but there it is none the less.

However, right now I'm having way, way more fun judging Sarah Palin's parenting and Barak Obama's parenting. But, if you gals want to go at it over some unknown at Target, be my guest. The entertainment value of MSNBC is where I'll be.

Carry on!

AGSoccerMom said...

I am the mom of a 14 year old son with aspergers and I do agree with you. And I have left the store, as you have, because life is life they have to learn to deal with life. Yes, I have had my share of the looks and probably gave a few back. Yes we have bad days but there are alot of good ones too.
He has had lots of therapies too, but that's no guarantee, they have to practice it in LIFE. If I can read a post with an open mind so should others. Afterall lately I am having more tantrums from my 10 year old (normal) girl than said son.

Burgh Baby said...

There is so, so much that could be said, but at the end of the day, I don't care if your child is "perfect," black, white, purple, special needs, smart, dumb, socially inept, brilliant, or whatever, there is no point in stating a consequence and not making good on it. If you're going to make the threat, you have to be prepared to actually do it or you just aren't teaching your kids that actions have consequences. What if law enforcement said, "you have until the count of 10 to stop spray painting that wall" and then started counting all over again when the person didn't listen?

Amy said...

Wow! Didn't see this one exploding the way it has...

But I still agree that boundaries need to be set and followed through - no matter the child or the situation. And I feel there is no reason to "cut anyone any slack" who can't follow through with it.

I personally feel that if you're going to take your child out in public you need to be able to control them. I understand kids act up - they all do - but you need to be able to get them back under control or remove them from the situation. There is nothing worse than having my time ruined (at the store, dinner or wherever) because someone else can't control their child!

Mary Alice said...

Whether you are the parent of special needs child or just your run of the mill kid, you must provide consistency. Once you have issued an ultimatum, you must be prepared to carry it out. If you don’t mean it, don’t ever, ever say it. Seriously, you are just teaching your child that you are inconsistent person, who will not, in fact, honor their word…..and that in the long run will make your life very, very, difficult.

georgie said...

holy.smokes.shit.a.brick.... guess i am not entertaining enough to get those kinds of responses...

generally everyone agrees with me and I like it that way(ima dont rock the boat kinda gal)....with that said i think you rock! and while I know i am a new reader I am glad i am a reader!

all I can say is there are always gonna be peeps who think they are right and you are wrong....even tho you are always right...right?

feather nester said...

Hear, hear, Chelly!

And I don't think we merely all judge others' parenting; I think we all judge everyone. Period. To pretend otherwise is to deceive yourself and therefore pointless.

Mrs. G. said...

I'm just glad to know that I'm not the only one who gets chastising email-I've been getting a lot lately.

Stalk me, stalk me.

ms-teacher said...

As a teacher, I see the effect of lack of boundaries present in my classroom every day. Some parents don't know "how" to parent. Ms. Tootsie was just pointing out a situation that occurred on a particular day. She wasn't judging ALL parents and most certainly wasn't judging a parent with a special needs child.

I'm also a sister of an adult who is mentally and physically handicapped. He has Prader-Willi, a syndrome fraught with behavioral issues. My parents were told for years that my brother could never live independently by the "experts," many of them behavioral specialists. He has lived successfully on his own for almost 15 years.

How was he able to do this? Mainly because my parents held him accountable for his actions, just like they held my older brother, myself and my younger sister accountable for our actions. If he had a temper tantrum and destroyed something in the process, guess who had to pay for it? When he became of age and during another temper tantrum assaulted someone, guess who was carted off to jail in the back of a police cruiser?

The fact that he has been able to live independently when the majority of those diagnosed with Prader Willi speaks directly to the way my parents raised him and us.

All kids need to know they have boundaries, even those with special needs. said...

I'm sorry you had to address this. I loved your post.

And, the people on Supernanny need drugs? Is this woman high? Umm. There are TOO MANY kids on drugs. We need to tell them NO, stop being their friends and start being their parents, and stop giving them so much sugar.

Eve Grey said...

Hmmm, I do often disapprove of parents who seemingly allow their kids to be total brats in public or in private. I have also at times genuinely felt for a parent when I see their child lose their marbles in public. The issue here however seemed to be more about idle threats than about kids being out of cotrol in public.
As an aside, I do think we should all be a little more compassionate when a parent is having a hard time with their child because we don't know the life that parent leads. Creating firm disciplne and following through can be exhausting and if a parent is alone, low-income, has high-needs children, health problems or any other parenting challenge I think giving someone dirty looks for what is perceived as poor parenting is counter-productive. Not that I haven't done it when a child is freaking the fuck out. Just that it never helps the situation is all.

Jason said...

Empty threats sabotage discipline, that is for sure.

And YOWZA. I'm sorry someone who detests drama found drama. Or rather, it found you.

Anonymous said...

I was really REALLY going to stay out of this...and found I just couldn't. See, I know Christina. I met her last summer when I was home in Chicago, and have read her since well before that. And if you haven't read her heart-rending posts about trying to raise an extremely challenging special needs child...well, then you need to visit her site and read the last 18 months or so. This isn't a woman who needs to cut back on her child's sugar. This isn't a woman who needs to set stronger boundaries. This isn't a woman who sells a program AND STILL NEEDS TO HAVE HER CHILD IN THERAPY 5 HOURS A WEEK (frankly, a low blow). This is a loving mother who is living a parenting hell none of us will ever know. A woman who has done everything, and I mean EVERYTHING possible for her son (and has a neurotypical son to care for as well). The old adages of "those in glass houses shouldn't throw stones" and "you don't know a person until you walk a mile in his shoes" apply here better than in any other situation. I, too, unfortunately judge other parents while out...but my own challenging child has given me the gift of seeing the situation differently, that it could very well be a special needs child of some sort and the mom is coping the very best way she can. At least until the kid is in bed and the wine can pour freely! ; ) None of us is perfect, none. We all do things that, in retropect, are not in our best interest in the long run, or are stupid, or are blog-fodder. I'm sure I've showed up on someone's blog as an example of "hooboy!" I'd be surprised if I wasn't! LOL But, at the end of the day, we have to stick together. Being a mom is hard enough without dissent in the ranks. So, please, unless you know the backstory...think twice about making a broad comment about, well, anything.
And I'm sure I'll hear about this, but hey, my computer is dead in the water and I won't learn about if for a few days! : )

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Tootsie can write what she wants on her blog. I can tell by her writing that she and I share similar parenting styles--that's the filter I read the post through and I believe my comment was along the lines of "Amen!"

I am in the interesting position of having a son with Tourette Syndrome. There is another boy in our neighborhood the same age as our son, with about the same degree of TS.

We have parented all our children in the way Tootsie is advocating--consistency and clear as well as consequences. While we are understanding that TS can make those with it more prone to outbursts (and this is true in our son's case), that doesn't mean those outbusts are okay. We worked to give him the tools (early recognition of frustration, the need to remove himself from a situation, etc). to work around his limitations. We involved professionals when necessary.

Family of other boy? Set no limits, made allowances, asked others to make allowances, etc.

One child is "judged" by others to be a brat, one is not. Yes, I'm judging his parents.

Muddlin' Mother said...

Seriously? I think we all know the difference between a parent who gets it and a parent who doesn't and the target in Target was the first. I look around at parents who have their 11 year old boys' birthday parties at Hooters, eight year old kids who throw around words that make ME blue in the face and wonder what the heck, man? Am I the only one left in the world who thinks that kids in elementary school don't really need cell phones, plasma TVs in their rooms or three different gaming devices? Am I in an episode of the Twilight Zone?

K said...

How did this become about Christina and her kid? This is about a disruptive child that should have been removed from a public place. It makes no difference if the child is special needs or “neurotypical.” A disruptive situation should never be allowed, whether it’s a child or an adult causing the commotion. An adult would probably be arrested or at least escorted out of the store by security. I think the same thing should apply to unruly children, regardless of their mental capacity

Undomestic Diva said...

When would it be a good time to tell everyone who has commented that it was me with my kid in Target the other day, letting him throw shit out of the cart because I felt like flipping my middle finger up at society and all its rules and expectations?

(And no, he's not special needs, he just insists on wearing last year's Spider-man Halloween costume every day because he likes it. Gawd, you people are so quick to judge! ;)

LI Laura said...

I used to teach "special needs" kids with behavioral problems (for 17 years). IMHO, the best way to raise a special needs kid is...the same way you raise a "normal" kid. I have found in my classroom that most will do their best to rise to any expectations you have of them. It may take longer to teach a special needs kid to behave appropriately, but in most cases it is possible. No, they are not going to be perfect, but they will be able to go out in public without destroying property.

just a girl... said...

wow, whoa and wow - I agree with K. Bottom line a judgement is no different then an opinion. We all blog because it our place to speak our mind. I am sure Christina as well as all of us, from time to time have judged, rolled our eyes, or muttered under our breath for a number of things. If I saw a kid screaming in Target and the mom seemed to do little, I would have had the exact same thoughts. I think the bottom line is that this isn't about Christina and it isn't about Special Needs children. This was about a woman who irritated in Target period. Maybe someone who read it took it a little too personal.

Timi said...

Tootsie...I concur!
I have no kids so I'm the most judgemental of them all. I try to understand but for the most part it just ticks me off.
Special needs or not I'm totally annoyed with parents who let their kids act like savages in public. Do you let them act like that at home? I bet not. If you do...shame on you!
I have been waiting for the day school starts so I can now shop in peace during the day!

Anonymous said...

followed this over from a blog I read frequently Yes, children should be consistently disciplined. If you say it, do it. And I have seen some "hum dinger" temper tantrums thrown by other children that do not belong to me. BUT, a little compassion for others, please. Step around the child that's kicking and screaming in the middle of the aisle-REFRAIN from offering your "advice" on the off-chance that the parent is dealing with an issue that you know NOTHING about (such as what I know Christina and I deal with on an everyday basis-and yes, I am a firm believer in consequences and consistency-but as a parent with a special needs child, that approach doesn't always work and you'd better have a "back up" plan just in case~sometimes your back up plan involves whatever it takes to get the heck out of the store with your toilet paper, ground beef AND your sanity)
Anywhoo...just walk around them and go on your merry way. Please.

Mel, A Dramatic Mommy said...

My oh my. Obviously I need to brush up on my writing. I actually wouldn't mind a little drama. ;^)

MamaMo said...

I'm reminded of one of the Four Agreements from Toltec wisdom:
"Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean."

Mother Goose said...

love the way you handled this. I think we may be twins! I counter the same way and it frustrates people because it is always factual and unemotional.

Sleep Deprivation Ninja said...


As a parent, I've heard the line 'judge not, lest he be judjed' ad naseum. Sometimes, I agree, sometimes I vehemently disagree with what some people think is a golden rule.

There is a massive difference between judging a parent on parenting choices and judging a parent for being a bad human being. Just because you are a parent and what you are doing is to your child does not grant total immunity from persecution.

If you are being a bad human being, as that mother was, somebody needs to say, 'hey, WTF?', lest you never learn and change.

Your post was totally valid. I only wish I could have been there in person so I could have said all of that to her face. I'm not trying to be mean, just hoping to better the human race by calling bullshit when I see it.


Sleep Deprivation Ninja said...

sorry for the mass of typos. Lame iPhone :)