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Carol Perkins: Child Psychology, from grand's point of view

Kids can get the best of adults in public and find it a safe forum, so they think, to act up.
The next earlier Carol Perkins column: Travel - Carol Perkins: Cruise, Part III, Stop in Freeport, Bahamas. Posted July 20, 2014By Carol Perkins

My nephew climbed into the McDonald's tubular playground and refused to come out. No matter what threats his grandmother lodged, he would not budge. Finally, she flipped off her shoes and went in after him. As she maneuvered through the maze, so did he, laughing as the game's intensity heightened. Backing him out of the tube and onto the ground, she caught him and marched him to the car. He lived to tell this story.

Kids can get the best of adults in public and find it a safe forum, so they think, to act up. Although he was only four, my nephew knew his grandmother was ready to go home and he wasn't. How many times have we said to our kids, "Five more minutes," for those five to turn into twenty?

Not long ago, I stopped near Cool Springs Mall to shop at The Old Navy before taking my grandson Joseph back home after a visit. Guy was there too.

Four year old grandson wasn't ready to go anywhere

As I stood in the checkout line, Guy and Joseph wandered around. Mostly Guy was following him. Then I said the wrong words, "I'm ready to go now." He wasn't ready, so he promptly threw himself to the floor and had a fit. A good kicking-the-legs and flinging-the-arms fit with a fake cry that rivaled any child star. I just looked at him.

Guy said, "Can't you do something?" So I gave Guy a look too.

I leaned over so sweetly, as any latest book on child rearing would instruct, and said, "Joseph, we are going to the car now. You can lie here and cry, or go with us."

Child psychology did not work.

He was carried to the car, kicking all the way

I looked at Guy with urgency and said, "Pick him up." His first response was, "I can't pick him up." He thought again. Like trying to restrain a hostile prisoner, Guy lifted him and off we went with him kicking all the way. Once to the car, he was over his fit and had moved on to something else. We will remind him of this when he grows up. (I'm sure some parents would have worn the hide off him before leaving the store.)

Having a fit sometimes works and kids know that, but so does wearing the parents down. The theory is that if a kid asks over and over, his parent(s) will give in just to get him to stop asking or whining. I have been guilty of folding. Kids usually wait until the adult is extremely busy to ask for something, and just to appease the child, the parents will give in. As Guy says, a child know how to play adults like a drum.

His kids certainly can't play him

Jon's kids certainly can't play him. He has the upper hand on them when it comes to holding his ground on important issues.For instance, when he and the youngest came to visit and picked up the Tennessee grandson on the way, Jon told both the boys that there would be no "electronics" until after bath at night. "You're going to ride bikes and play." Would the world end? To them the time was near.

I heard Joseph say to Noah, "Ill be glad when my mama gets here; she'll straighten out Uncle Jon."

Noah said, "Me, too. I want my electronics."

Tattling on Uncle Jon didn't work with their mother

Before Carla could get her car in park, both boys were at the door telling on Jon. "He won't let us use our electronics until after we have our baths."

She said, "Oh, well." Off they went, getting no support from her. They actually had to play all day. Outside. Most kids don't know where outside is. We can't blame them; we have surrendered our authority to preschoolers and they keep it until they leave home.

No wonder they are still living in basements when they are adults! They can play their electronics and don't have to wait until after their bath! After all, they make the rules. Carol Perkins Carol Perkins, the writer is an author, weekly radio talk show Host on The Hoss, 99.1 FM, on the Tuesdays at 10amCT, Susan (Chambers) & Carol (Perkins) Unscripted and is owner of Main Street Screenprinting PO Box 1051 601 S. Main Street Edmonton, KY 42120 270-432-3152 270-670-4913

This story was posted on 2014-07-27 05:26:12
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