So we had a problematic kid over at the house the other day. Dad's friend came over. He's not bad, just ill mannered. His sister is very well behaved, but this boy is not just hyper, he has something wrong with him. And I suppose many would get annoyed with him. But I figured the best way to deal with kids like him that are very loud and talkative is to follow this motto: "What would Mr. Rogers do?" Seriously, Mr. Rogers really knew how to deal with kids. He knew not to talk down to them but to talk to them at their level I suppose but without acting like they are stupid. Just understand them and how they think I guess is what I figure. I find it simple.
So the kid is quite loud and I can tell he is going to be a problem. He has no restraint like his sister does. He comes in talking loudly, yelling but thinking he is talking at a normal level and asks among other things: "WHAT'S BACK THERE IN THAT ROOM?" He is alluding to my parents room. I tell him, "That is my parents room." He keeps asking though. I tell him simply that it is my parents room and he can't go back there. Then he sees we have the Harry Potter movie and wants to watch it. So I turn it on and put it in.
He comes over another day with his mother and he is talking loud. My mother is asleep. So I simply decide to say in a playful whisper, "We have to use our inside voice. Do you know what an inside voice is?" He smiles and starts talking softly. He gets loud again naturally and I remind him about the inside voice and he is pretty well behaved. I give him a little snack and something to drink and he is content.
I like kids and think you have to look at them like Mr. Rogers did, who I loved as a kid. He really was a hero trying to save children form bad influences on television and life in general. He did not like bombardment of the shows for kids but wanted them to learn and love themselves. He is as much a saint as any Protestant can be in my opinion.
Not to judge his mother but she's had it hard I suppose but like many single mothers, perhaps naturally frustrated, she talks to him in yells when yells are not needed. She keeps telling him to SIT DOWN. She kept threatening him and everything with not getting this thing or that thing in a very emotionless manner. She is clearly tired and all that, so I understand that, but I am speaking objectively, not about subjective characters. He does not listen. He keeps getting up. He's a very loud, hyper and ill-behaved boy, not bad, just not very well mannered like his sister.
I saw this problem at the library, too. A little four year old was with her mother and whining. Her mother was on the computer and getting annoyed I suppose but the mother was ignoring her and absorbed in what she was doing. She then very loudly told the poor little girl to "SHUT UP!" The little girl shut up alright but not for long. Someone else was with them and perhaps more gently seemed able to figure out all the little girl was going on about was that she had to go to the bathroom.
I know parenting is not easy but I know my sister gets annoyed with her daughter but she knows to speak to her in "the right way" and be affectionate. Many of these single mothers, perhaps frustrated by various things, just put the kid in front of a TV and play with their phone. If the kid wants attention they give it without real affection and the kid suffers. From what I read social problems and psychological problems develop from such bad interaction with parents where parents do not give kids attention but make the TV a babysitter. Young kids, especially four and five, need affection. They do not need to be put in front of a TV all day and ignored so that parents can satisfy their own selfish desires. My sister is able to do her own thing and give plenty of affection to the child. I am not talking about spoiling, but a very important paternal affection. I cannot stress, form my observance, how important it is. And how important it is for adults to speak to children in the right way, not talking down to them but listening to them and understanding them. The education of our children is the most important thing.
I am sorry about this rant, but it just saddens me to so many children raised in bad homes and bad circumstances, growing up with scars because their mother told them to just "SHUT UP" or just treated them like a second hand thing while texting. I am not trying to judge. God knows the heart and sorrows of single parents. But it does not mean that these bad parenting habits are right. Proper social interaction with kids is important. Not simply giving them things, which leads to spoiling and materialism, but not always yelling either, which leads to unhealthy fear. Kids have to be understood and loved. They are fragile and the early years are important for the development of their temperament is my observation.
Hope his made sense. Parents do you agree with much of what I said? I think I am right and hope that I will make a good, wise father, free from both spoiling a child and neglecting them. God grant all parents wisdom and St. Mary and St. Joseph pray for us!