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Stop Apologising

I recently saw a post where Mrs Hitch had the flight from hell on her way back from her holiday where she was 'mum shamed' after waking a passenger.

I saw it and felt two things:

1. I am due to fly soon, so this is going to happen to me.

2. This will not happen to me.

I'm aware I'm contradicting myself! But I will explain.

I had to undergo a brain shift; where I stopped apologizing for my child's normal behaviour. For my own sanity, because we are apologizing for nonsense for typical 2-year-old behaviour.

I am writing this during my family holiday, including a 9-hour flight. It was an experience! To be fair, J did really well except for a few short episodes.

There was a couple in front of me who attempted to highlight to me that my son was kicking their seat. He wasn't. He was passing from me to my husband.

Although I usually apologize (call it the British in me!), I decided that I wasn't going to reply to their snarky remarks. It felt strange, somewhat empowering! I just said, "he's a toddler, he was walking between the seats."

I decided I would only apologise if he displayed behaviours that would be unacceptable if an adult had done it as it's the responsibility of the parent to keep your kids accountable for their actions.

So when J went to pull this lady's wig off... I apologised...

When he was standing in the aisles, I watched on and said nothing. To some it is annoying, but no one is born perfect.

I don't subscribe to the thought that children should be seen not heard. It was used as a child but I don't intend to unpack the trauma attached in that sentence. Culturally, J's behaviour seemed 'out of control' because he does not sit down quietly when told all the time, but I knew my child well enough that this is part of his personality and he will not remain that way forever. If people don't like the way I parent, then that's on them.

Children learn by exploration and they should be able to do so with parameters. No child is perfect or able to control the urge which overpowers them to explore something new. They not only look at the obvious but want to explore it and how it can be used in their world.

Remember the Tampax Compak advert with the man shaking it like a sugar packet? How do you know what something is if you've never seen anything like it before?

So the next time you are on a plane or public transport, do the adult test. Would an adult be allowed to do this without fear of retribution? Yes? Then let kids by kids! If not, check your parameters and explain yourself to your child.

Everything is a learning process, even for us adults.


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