I saw what Little Brother could become without proper discipline and consistent parenting. It disturbed me so much that I have not been able to let go of it in my mind. Everytime I remember it, I feel sick to my stomach.
Little Brother, Little Sister and I took Remmie (TD’s miniature daschund dog) to the vet today to get spayed. She is 7 months old and needed to have this procedure done ASAP. As we entered, I saw a mother there with her approximately 11 year old son and her approximately 8 year old daughter. She seemed to be kind and greeted me as I stood in line behind her.
Within only a short moment, my eye caught her son. Seated next to Little Brother, he made eye contact with Little Brother and raised his hand and pretended to shoot him. Knowing that boys can be boys, I focused on making sure Little Brother was doing what he needed to and just let it go. The boy’s mother told him about three times to stop and instead of stopping, he would wait for his mother to turn around, nudge my son and then put his hand near Little Brother’s head and pretend to shoot him. It all happened so fast that I didn’t have the moment to call Little Brother to me to get him away from this situation.
As the mother caught her son “shooting” my son, she told her son to go sit elsewhere. He simply would not listen. There was a point where this very healthy sized 11 year old physically fought with his mom who was trying to put him under control. He was dragging his mom and she was telling him, “This is unacceptable. Stop it now.” As he attempted to drag her, I had to look away. She was winning the physical battle, but I was so disturbed I couldn’t watch.
She then told him to sit in a chair in the corner. He continued to act up and she turned to tell him to stop. His answer back to her?
He cocked his hand as if it were a gun, looked directly in her eye and said, “Bam! Bam!”
Now, I am not saying the mother is a bad mother at all. Being a foster parent myself, I am always aware that some situations are not as they seem. He could have been a foster child that she is working with, he could have a legitimate disability of some sort – even if it didn’t appear to be the case. I will never know the fact of WHY this all happened before my eyes today. What I can tell you is that it deeply disturbed me.
It also gave me incentive.
It gave me incentive to remember that discipline is ALL ABOUT THE FUTURE and not about the present. The hard work of parenting – and it is very hard work – is all worth it when your children rise up and call you blessed. I am believing that someday I will actually get the compliment that my son was the most polite child in class and behaved appropriately. If we can cultivate their walk with Jesus AND take our parenting seriously, I will not have to deal with what I saw today.
Let it always be a visual in my mind. Rules are necessary. Respect is non-negotiable. And my child’s future is more important than the present hard work of parenting.
I refuse to live out the scene I saw today.