Truth be Told: Why are your kids so terrible?!
How do you "deal" with other people's bad kids? Up to this point, I haven't had to deal with what to do if someone else's child wasn't behaving. Sure, we all see children in restaurants or parks or even at school whose behavior is less than desirable; throwing tantrums and talking back to their parents.
We shake our head, thank God "our" kid doesn't act like that and go on about out business; usually thinking one of two things:
1) Why doesn't his parents teach him to behave better?
2) Oh, God, I feel sorry for his parents.
I try not to be too judgmental of those children and parents when I see them in public because we have all been there. I don't care how much you discipline your child and teach them to behave like good little boys and girls, every now and again even the most angelic kid can get overtired and lose his damn mind. Believe me, I have been there and I am the person who strangers come up to and tell me how well mannered my girls are in public but still, they have their moments of insanity which in turn, on occasion, has led to mine.
I expect kids to be crazy on some level and in some situations more than others. For example, if you are crazy enough to host a slumber party for a small gaggle of 7-year-old girls and feed them sugar and let them stay up past their bedtime, you pretty much are asking for insanity to rear it's ugly little head but beware, the insanity may completely swallow up said child and leave you wondering what the hell you were thinking inviting Damien to spend the night in your house.
This kid is not normal bad. Oh no, this kid is take the whole gang down with her bad. She mocks the other children for being tired. She laughs at you when you try to ask her to be quiet. She wakes up her friends by sitting over them and using the rawring dinosaur flashlight 2 inches from their face. She goads the other girls into bad behavior by peer pressuring them and mocking the good kids for being good kids. Worst of all, she tells you no and says that her parents allow her bad behavior. This kid, my friends, is an asshole. This is what I found myself confronted with this past weekend.
I was at a loss. See, when I tell my kids to do something, they usually do it and if they refuse, I know all the ways to convince them of otherwise; it usually starts with threatening time outs, or taking away favorite toys, electronics, or events. If all else fails, I start to count to three. For my girls, the possibility is enough. But with this little girl, my hands were tied. What could I do?
Well, I couldn't let her behavior go because then I would be sending the message that it was okay and if it's okay for her, then of course, it would have to be okay for the rest of the girls and believe me when I tell you, it was not okay. She is that kid who you tell, " You better not touch that!" and she touches it anyways, while laughing at you because there is no way in hell she was going to listen to YOU or anyone else. This kid knows the rules. She knows people don't discipline other people's kids; she counted on that. She chose the wrong mom to pull that shit on.
Obviously, she is not my child so I cannot time out or ground her but I can still make life hard. She refused birthday brownie sundeas because she said that she wasn't "feeling it right now." When I said, lights out, she was suddenly hungry. My daughter told her that it was time for bed but as I walked down the hallway, I heard her tell the girls, "Watch this." She coyly asked me for a brownie. I said no sugar at bedtime. She stomped up the stairs. This was after a night of breaking toys, jumping off bunk beds, refusing to play with the other girls and making fun of my daughter for answering, "Yes, ma'am." My child has been taught to respect her elders, apparently that other child has not been. After she repeatedly kept waking the other girls up, I came into the room and sat in a chair until they all fell asleep. It took about 5 minutes. This was after midnight.
At 6 am, I heard her waking them all up with the damn dinosaur flashlight blaring into the baby monitor. She woke me up too. I couldn't discipline her. I did however give her mom a full report of her bad behavior and now she knows that I will tattle and make her life miserable if she makes mine miserable. We understand one another.