I was at the supermarket and I could not help but overhear a mom's cellphone conversation with her boyfriend/spouse, Tony. It wasn't so much a conversation as it was a one-sided verbal-shellacking of Tony. Trust me when I say she left no aspect unabused - the entire frozen-food section got to hear all about Tony's manhood, lack of social skills, deficiencies in communication, living situation with his parents, poor income, and all around general hygiene. I felt bad for both of them. But I felt even more remorse for the daughter who had to bear witness to this and most-likely several other episodes just like this in a public grocery store. Bottling this stuff up doesn't seem to be a good alternative, either. My question is: Is it okay for your kids to see you cray-cray angry?
Tony's ladyfriend sounds like a class A douchetool. I guess this depends on how you were going to express your cray-cray anger. Were you going to hit Tony's ladyfriend upside the head with a bag of frozen peas? Give her a good talking to about how she should behave in public when there are children present? You didn't specify whether you had your daughter with, or Tony's ladyfriend had her daughter with, but I assume you are talking about your daughter. I probably would have said something snarky to Mz. Tony like "Hey, there are kids present. Save the drama for when you are in your car." and stalked off. Then I would have told my daughter that there are sucky people on the world who have zero manners and believe that the frozen waffle-aisle is a good place for airing their public laundry to innocent bystanders. Kids need to see their parents angry because this is how they learn that anger is a normal human emotion and there are healthy ways to express it. My kids know when I am angry because I always walk around yelling "I am so pissed off right now! Not at you guys! You guys rock but I am in a bitchass mood and Mom needs to go angry-garden!" or something. And then I either pull weeds or clean compulsively or else if it is something that is kid-friendly, I will explain to them why I am pissed off. Everyone gets angry, kids aren't dumb, showing them you are angry and explaining to them why is much better than bottling it up.
My daughter, who is 11, wants a cellphone. Should I get her one?
Oh hell no. No. Why would you get your daughter a cell phone? Is your daughter a very important brain surgeon who needs a cell phone in case her employer, the hospital, needs to get in touch with her? No kids need cell phones. Ever. The only kids who need a cell phone are latchkey kids who come home alone and are alone for a few hours. No other kid needs one.
I hate cell phones. I hate nothing more than kids and teens with cell phones. My 16-year-old has one, but he knows if he ever used it in my presence I would take it away. They can be convenient if your kid has a lot of after-school activities and you, as the parent, always forget what time you need to pick them up - but none of us had cell phones and we all grew up just fine. Those kids who use a cell phone to text or play games when they are at a restaurant with their parents? I hate those fucking kids. In my opinion, using a cell phone in public is just about the rudest thing a person can do. If you get an emergency phone call, excuse yourself, walk away from the table and answer it. I hate cell phones.
That being said, some features on cell phones are nice. Having a camera always at your disposal is nice. Being able to contact someone in case of emergency is nice. But you do not NEED a cell phone, and your kid for sure doesn't NEED one. Giving a kid a cellphone is just a new way to give your kid more opportunities to be an asshole. I would say wait until they are much older, and then have very strict rules about how and when they use it.
My 11 year-old son invited his best friend (we'll say his name is Mark for now) over for a sleepover. He's hosted sleepovers with this friend before and great times were had. Eventually, they sleep, wake up, and everything seems routine. This time, however, Mark decided to *steal* a pack of gum from my son in our own home, just as he was leaving with his mom. By the time we knew what happened, it was too late. I can try to console him about how replaceable gum is, but trust isn't. About how he needs to talk this through and see, hopefully, that Mark is just "playing" and didn't intend the hurt. They were, before this, the best of friends. So, my question is: What do we do to Mark? I mean...with Mark. I mean, how do we handle the Marky Situation?
Marky sounds like a total douchetool. No, just kidding. I mean can you blame Mark? Gum is delicious! I probably would have stole the gum too. Why do you only have one pack of gum? What is wrong with you? Why did you go put your penis inside of a woman and make her have a baby if you knew that one day you would be a "one-pack-of-gum" household? Don't you know there are HUGE problems in the world and you expect me to worry about this gum-gate? Sigh, okay, fine.
You should have called Marky's parents as soon as you discovered their kid who was some dirty rotten thief who stole from your house. If your kid has playdates with Marky then I assume you are on okay terms with the parents. You could have explained to them that yeah, stealing a pack of gum is no big but since you are trying to raise your own kid not to be a thieving McThieypants that you want Marky to apologize for his transgression. Next time, deal with it right away. And any parent who has kids knows you can't just have one of anything when other kids are around. Buy a few packs of gum and give one to the kid staying over so they don't steal your kid's. (This does not extend to iPads and cashmere sweaters, just cheap shit, like gum or candy.)
Need some bad mom advice? Hit me up in the comments or reach me below.