Everyone’s definition of well-behaved differs. Some think children should be quiet and blend into the wallpaper. Others feel that kids should be kids; let them run in restaurants, throw fits, and scream for hours in public. We are middle of the road parents. Our kids can and will be quiet when the time is appropriate. Then there comes a time and place that they can run, play, and laugh as every kid loves to do.
Today we had a family haircut session. At 6, 3, and 2, this is a hectic trip and sometimes teary. Despite a large waiting area, our kids kept their drinks, toys, etc. to allocated chairs. Upon cutting time, each of the older two crawled up on the stools, responded appropriately to the stylists, and used their innate manners. All while I sat comfortably at a distance. Not because I was perusing the latest gossip magazine, but rather so that the kids learn some independence and experience how to “act” in public. The good news is that the older two were complemented on being “well-behaved” and polite. The bad news? Our two-year old required some assistance sitting in the chair, but did manage a teary “thank you” when offered a sucker.
This day was an “on” day. All that has been learned and experienced over his/her short few years, worked! Maybe our children will not be the fastest, smartest, or funniest, but I hope that they will be polite, kind, and outgoing.
Sometimes parents feel the need to constantly tell others how great their son or daughter is at X, Y, or Z. True, that is part of parenting. We try to keep the verbal honor roll of achievements to a minimum. Feeling that someday people will meet our kids and experience their personalities and abilities. Judge for yourself behaved, quirks, or latest and greatest status. Not because we think that they are awesome, but rather because they can speak, act, and perform for themselves. We are not their promoters or salesmen. We are their parents. If our “parenting” works, then you’ll see. If not, we have some tweaking to do.