Monday, December 8, 2008

What would you do?

Last night, a sweet couple at our church invited everyone over to their town home for coffee and hot chocolate. Their town home is in a gated little community and it has a duck pond with bridges and islands etc. They hosted the party out on one of the decks of the pond area. It was really pretty!! The community had decorated the whole area with lots of lights and Christmas decorations. Gates and two of his friends were playing on an island. An older woman who was not part of our little party but who lives in the community walked by with her two dogs. They were crazy barking at the kids on the island. The dogs were on a walkway. Separating the kids and the dogs was water, then grass then railing. The kids on the island playfully barked back at the dogs from the distance. The old woman got mad and in her loudest meanest voice she yelled at the kids to "SHUT UP!" I couldn't believe it. At first I thought she might have been saying that to her dogs, but I was wrong. I have never had another adult talk so rudely to my children. My first instinct was to go over there and give her a piece of my mind. However, I was standing in front of a big group of my christian peers and not at my own house. I can't believe anyone would talk that way to children. I am still shocked. I called the kids over and asked them to stay over on the side where we were. Nothing was said to the woman. Would you have said something to the woman who was clearly much older than you?


Camille, Blake and Pierce said...

I am probably the wrong person to ask this bc I do not have a filter (sometimes) and I usually speak my mind and I am a mother... but I am not sure what I would have done bc I am sure I would have been alittle shocked as I am sure you were... but I do not think that is would be wrong if you would have told the lady that you do not talk to your own children in that way and you would appreciate it if she would not talk to them in that way. Shut up is a strong word and It makes me sad when the elderly are the ones we need to respect and honor and some of them make it very difficult for us to (and make are children too). I hate that you had to experience this and it is just bothering... I had an old lady in the elevator tell me the other day after I asked her to push 14 please when she was blocking the floor selector pad... After she pushed it she said it would be nice if you said Thank you... I said Thank you after she said that with a smile and even had Pierce say thank you and then after a response I told her that it would be nice if she said Your welcome. Ok... so maybe you hit a hot button with me...

Corrie said...

Wow. That lady did that to children AND she did it in front of a bunch of adults? Either one is awful but BOTH? Apparently she just doesn't care about much. I'm thinking it's a good thing you saved your breath because if she would stoop to that level, nothing you said would've sunk in.

I don't know what the right answer is. We're supposed to turn the other cheek but we also need to protect and defend our children. I don't think you would have been wrong to say something to her, but I think you probably made the right choice by not saying anything.

Camille -- instead of saying "thank you" I would have wanted to say "it would be nice if you weren't standing right in the way".

Amy said...

Hmmm, tough one. I am a little hot headed when it comes to my kids.

There is a very real possibility that I might have yelled back at her...DON'T TELL MY CHILDREN TO SHUT UP!! And then I would have looked like an idiot in front of all my Christian peers. That's just how I roll!!:)

Seriously, my biggest issue is that I don't appreciate an adult saying things to my children that I would not say. I NEVER use the word shut up with my children. Well, maybe once or twice, and it was an extreme moment of "loser mom". Back to my point, I would have been fine with her saying, don't bark back at my dogs, or stop it, anything but SHUT UP!! Some people are just mean. Period. It's sad.

I'm stepping off now!!:)

Perks said...

o.k...I had to giggle at Camille's and Corrie's response. You girls are funny!

I think you did the right thing. I'm all about defending my kids but at the same time, "no words" speaks louder sometimes. I would definitely treat it as a learning opportunity...some people just aren't happy people, she was wrong to use ugly words and sometimes people are just not going to be nice. Those type of people are everywhere, unfortunately, and it's good that our kids encounter them when we're around to explain WHY some people are like that.

Just my two cents. :)

Blessed said...

Unfortunately, I shift immediately into "Momma Bear" mode as Chris calls it. There is no telling what I would have said, but there's no doubt it would have been something. I like to think I would have kept my dignity. I've had a stranger physically shake my child at a McDonald's playground and had a woman ask me why on earth I'd bring a crying child to the grocery store and ruin her peaceful shopping. So, I base my ability to become enraged on those and a few other experiences. After I regained my cool, I would have used it as a teachable moment on how God wants us to treat others. Depending upon how I reacted, I might have been the center of the lesson. HA!

Jim said...

I guess I am in the minority. Your children were taunting the dogs by barking at them. The older lady had a right to yell at your kids. You should have told your kids to shut up before she did!!!

Its like the two young men in LA that were taunting the tigers and then were surprised when one jumped the fence and went after them.

Animals are not as smart as we humans and dont understand taunting.

Your kids were WRONG!!!!

Jaime said...

I am sorry this happened. I get my feelings hurt too easily and am upset for you. I would have been much to hurt to say anything to the woman probably. I hate confrontation and I would have been shocked, as you were. I really don't think anyone that is a stranger should try and discipline children in any way (kind or unkind)...unless the child is doing something that could result in hurting themselves. It just isn't a stranger's place. She definitely handled herself wrongly, but I wouldn't think it would be your place to tell her off either. Does that make sense? Sounds like you did the right thing in my book. (And kids will be kids. Barking at a dog to a little boy is great fun. Most little boys would do exactly as your kids were doing!)