That’s not to say I go around instigating fights or pushing my parenting philosophies in other people’s faces. That’s just rude.
It’s just that on those occasions where parents disagree with me there’s a new chance for self-reflection as well as some righteous indignation.
Here’s one example. My wife and I were shopping at a neighborhood garage sale recently, and near the end of our journey lil’ Ben had to go potty. We whipped out our portable toilet from the trunk of our car, set it on the sidewalk and let the boy do his business–number one.
My wife dumped the small amount of liquid out onto the street. That set off a mom who lives nearby.
“Did you really just do that?” she asked. My wife said, “yup.”
And that was that.
Well, the Missus and I had a good laugh about it, mocking the parent’s puffed out chest and sense of scandal. Meanwhile, we understood it was just pee, it was on the street and that dogs do their business all over the neighborhood without so much as a shrug. Should we have carefully poured our son’s urine into a secure container and deposit it far, far away?
The incident inspired a good talk about parental posturing, the responsibilities we share with our neighbors and the laughable limits of faux outrage. As much as I hate the expression for its touchy-feely tone, it gave us a teachable moment about parenting.
Other times my instant sense of fairness may betray me, and the anger I hear from my fellow parent can be justified. I tend to mull over arguments long after the loud voices have died down, letting me consider arguments from a cooler perspective.
Parents need to be learning all the time to do their job. Sometimes our children will teach us lessons we never see coming. The same can be true of our fellow parents.
Have any stories of over-reacting parents you’d like to share? Post ’em below!
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