Let’s just deal with the elephant in the room. There are kids that nobody wants to be around. I mean no. body. Kids you avoid inviting for play dates. Kids you avoid babysitting. Kids you just plain avoid. If you don’t know any, chances are good that they are your kids.
Here’s how to tell. If your kid:
1. Doesn’t Listen
Even with your best mean voice and threatening the dreaded count down, your kid still refuses to clean up his toys or put his shoes on. Whether you tell your kid to come here or stop running into oncoming traffic, chances are he is not complying. No one wants a high-risk kid around. It’s dangerous.
2. Doesn’t Share
After multiple, repeated, repeated again requests, your kid still takes other people’s toys. A severe case of the “no shares” will be evident in a kid who takes a toy that he otherwise would have no interest in. No one wants to be around a selfish toy snatcher. Period.
Or kicks. Or bites. Or pulls hair. If your kid has done this more than once, other children are going to be understandably apprehensive. Other mom’s resist subjecting their kids to that. Abusive children are really no fun at all.
4. Doesn’t Eat
“YUCK!” If your kid ever responds like this to a plate of food, he is not going to the top of anyone’s re-invite list. Ingratitude is a most repelling quality in a child.
Finger nails on a chalkboard are more tolerable than a kid who won’t stop whining. From the “gimme’s” to the “I don’t wanna’s”, incessant whining is sure to drive away potential playmates and old women at church in droves.
6. Throws Tantrums
Does your kid have a tendency to kick and scream? Throw things? Foam at the mouth? That kid is a total drag. Not only are other kids a little freaked out by it, adults are stressed out by it.
Does your kid talk to you or other adults like a peer? Is your kid demanding or bossy to adults? Are “please” and “thank-you” like a foreign language? Then your insolent, little child bears more challenge than cheer.
8. Says No
If little Bobby frequently refuses other people’s polite requests, Bobby is going to get left out. Other parents watch Bobby repeatedly tell you “no” wonder when you will put a stop to his verbal abuse.
No kid wants all their dirty laundry aired out to adults. I mean, some things are best left in the sacred trust of other kids. And other moms really don’t want to hear how unfair their child is being in a game of tag. Unless someone is on fire, some things are best left unsaid.
If your kid is always gets to be the teacher, changes the rules of the game or points a finger at other children, you’ve got a bossy one on your hands. Other kids don’t want to be bossed. Other moms don’t want their kid being pushed around. Maybe your kid bosses you around. That’s worse.
The unfortunate reality is… I have a couple of these kids in my brood as well. So starting today I’m going to:
Stop being permissive. NO is a completely underused word in my vocabulary. No doesn’t require an explanation. No is non-negotiable.
Stop feeling guilty. If I haven’t read enough stories or created enough childhood magic for the day, I feel guilty. I feel so guilty that I start being permissive.
Stop yelling. Loud moms are sadly more annoying than their obnoxious kids. I’m going to tone it down and hopefully spread some zen.
Expect the best. Kids rise or fall to our expectations. Today I am going to expect pleasant, polite, God-fearing children. I am going encourage excellence.
Now hopefully we will get invited to more play dates.