Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Hot Topic What Would You Have Done?

We had some shopping to do this weekend. One of our stops was at a furniture store. We did our shopping, and were in line waiting to pay. Selena was getting a little squirmy it was taking longer in the line and there were only two other people in front of us. I noticed down the long isle there was a mother sitting with her two boys on a couch near the televisions. Didn’t think much of it. Selena spotted something that caught her interest so we stepped a few steps away from Papa so Selena could read the EXIT sign.

When we came back to where Papa was still in line, in the same spot we left him, I noticed the mother had now joined her husband in line just in front of us. Selena looked over and discovered the two boys, one about Selena’s age, the other maybe a couple of years older, climbing on the top of a bunk bed. She asked politely if she could go climb too. Papa calmly told her no, and explained we do not climb on furniture in the store. Now understand Papa does not have a quiet voice, so I know the parents couldn’t help but hear what he was saying.

Selena and I continued to stand there, when suddenly these two little boys who I guess got bored with the bunk bed climbing are now running in and out of isles, teasing Selena. I got down on Selena’s level and explained that no, we do not play and run around in a store, but I could tell the boys definitely had her attention. I told Papa we were going to go look at something across the store and we would be right back. The two boys followed us, and the next thing I knew they were popping up from behind  couches, chairs and ottomans  saying boo to Selena and giggling. Next thing I knew they are climbing all over this furniture teasing Selena. At this point Selena couldn’t take her eyes off the boys and thought their little game was pretty funny and was giggling pretty hard at their antics. I knew by her body language, that it was just too much for her, she wanted to join in on the fun. She wasn’t hearing a word I had to say at this point, it was going to be just any moment and she was going to jump in to play.

I finally picked Selena up and headed back to where Papa was, and announced that we were going out to the car, because there were two little boys terrorizing the store. The mother looked at me and just laughed. As I held Selena, I couldn’t help but just say, “Selena we just do not behave like those two little boys are behaving in a store, we wouldn’t want the store manager to ask us to leave the store, would we?” Selena looked up and said “No Way!” At that point we did go out to the car and waited for Papa out there. Now, Selena did think she did something wrong, and sunk her head into my shoulder and hugged me very tight. I consoled her and told her all the way out to the car that she did nothing wrong. We did discuss this situation in the car and she quickly returned back to her bubbly self.

How would you have handled this situation? I felt we had made it clear to the parents that their boys were running amuck through the store, since their kids were the only other kids besides Selena in the store. Would you have said something more directly to the parents?  Would you have said something to the boys? Would you have said something to the Store Manager? I would like to know how you would have handled a situation like this?

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  1. Honestly, I think you handled it very well. Unfortunately, even if you would have said something more direct, I don't think they would have cared given that they did allow their boys to follow you around. Pet peeve: people that do not take care of their children and teach them the way to act.
    Again, you did GREAT!

  2. Interesting challenge. I think I would have expected a store manager to handle the situation. In many of our furniture stores children are allowed to climb the furniture without shoes unless the sign explicitly says otherwise. So when we visited such stores in the past, Anna did treat it as a very entertaining playground - this also made our furniture shopping a lot more enjoyable. My only rule is that she has to stay where she can still see me, so I can also see her.

  3. There was nothing you could have done differently. The parents of the little boys just didn't care and we simply cannot make them care. ((Sigh)) No worries on your part my dear!!

  4. I wonder if those 2 boys were my nephews on my husband's side! They are so annoying and wreck havoc on everything, everywhere! Of course his sister and husband say nothing about it and pretty much think the world is their playground.

    Anyway, I think you handled it perfectly! I'm also proud of Selena for restraining herself from joining in. That had to be difficult.

  5. Not knowing what kind of a day the other parents had already been through, I think removing Selena from the situation that bothered you, was probably the best thing to be done.

  6. Okay, I have to admit I love when other people post questions like this because it lets me read everyone else's comments as sort of a voyeur, I guess.
    You probably handled it best, I might have talked to the boys as well. I know I've done that a few times when the kids don't seem to realize what they're doing and that has shamed them into changing their behavior.
    I've actually had one or two kids actually apologize afterwards and then it gives me a great chance to realize I need to work on my heart and not be judging too much and make sure I forgive.
    I do sometimes wonder at the parents who don't do anything when their kids are busy playing and don't stop them.

  7. I think you handled it just fine. I struggle with situations like that as well....in the children's eyes they can't see why they shouldn't do something if other children are. However I personally don't feel I can tell others how to parent...very tricky those things aren't they!

  8. Thank you to all who contributed your comments to this topic. If I were faced with this situation I would handle it the same way I did on this particular day.

    It truly is more important for me to instill in Selena to respect property that does not belong to her, to respect herself, and her ability to make the right choices according to rules and laws, then it is for her to just follow suit with the majority.

  9. I've had a similar situation but it was in a restaurant. All the kids were going wild (including mine) and nothing was getting through to them. So I whispered, "The manager is coming!" and they all became quiet. I know it's not the best way but it worked enough to finish our meals and leave.

    I say you handled it better than I could have!