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what would you think of me if you saw me with my kids today?

(375 Posts)
beclev24 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:25:15

I worry a lot about what people think in general. I always think that people are staring at me and thinking I'm a bad mum/ I'm not keeping my kids under control etc. So be honest- what would you think of me/ us if you saw us?

I have three boys- ages 7, 4 and a baby. My two elder ones are VERY exuberant/ naughty (depending on how you see these things)- so for eg, today in the supermarket, they were laughing loudly and hysterically at each other over everything, pointing at every item in the store or picking it up and making some joke about it/ laughing very loudly. They were play wrestling in the aisles/ jumping up and down etc (not running around, but definitely not walking quietly by my side either) . No matter how many tiems I tell them to quiet down/ calm down/ not touch things etc, they seem to be uncontainable and I always seem to be pulling them off stuff etc. IT's all good natured, and they never actually damage anything but it's full on, ALL THE TIME. If you saw me in this situation, would you hate me/ judge me or feel sorry for me, or none of these?

QueenOfGaviscon Wed 14-Mar-18 03:27:26

I'd think "bloody hell its nice to see kids as loud as DD!" and then just crack on

My DD is like you describe. Very very loud! It comes from having a DM who is deaf in one ear, hence I'm pretty loud myself blush

elmo1980 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:29:44

At the most i may glance at you for a couple of seconds and think 'she's got her hands full' then move on and think nothing more. Most people are too busy in their own worlds to concern themselves for too long with what's going on in a stranger's world so I really wouldn't worry what other people think.

gamerwidow Wed 14-Mar-18 03:32:34

If they were getting in my way and making it hard to shop and you were doing nothing to stop them I’d be cross that you were letting your children run riot. It doesn’t sound like that was what happened though so I’d just be grateful it wasn’t my DD playing up today.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:35:10

I’d smile sympathetically and think “I’ve been there”.

beclev24 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:36:22

thanks these are encouragnig! gamerwidow to be fair, they did get in a couple of peoples' way- larking around at the end of the aisle twice, I did move them out of the way but it's hard to always be one step ahead of them, while managing teh shopping/ baby etc.

TIRFandProud Wed 14-Mar-18 03:54:32

I'd think they were being badly behaved.

They shouldn't be wrestling in the aisles or picking things up you don't want.

MrsGB2225 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:56:32

I've got 2 small boys so I would look at you and think 'that's my future!'

beclev24 Wed 14-Mar-18 03:57:16

TIRF fair enough- but what would you think of me specifically as their mother? That I should be doing more to make them behave? If so, what?? Any suggestions gratefully received (this is not snarky by the way- I would love to know how to calm them down and sadly not taking them shopping is not an option)

TIRFandProud Wed 14-Mar-18 04:10:48

I think (as a teacher and a mother) that it's about clear expectations and people knowing exactly what will or won't happen if they meet or fall below these expectations.

Calm, consistent and fair.

"You can do this because ..." and "You can't do this because ... " and "If you do this then ... "

Laughing and joking and being a bit noisy is nice. Keeping picking things up after being told not to would mean holding on to the trolley for x minutes. The same for wrestling. Excellent behaviour would result in a treat. Glass of Nesquick or a cartoon when they get home (they usually only get to watch TV on a weekend morning so DH and I can lie in).

I don't think I'd think much about you as a mother unless they were really getting in the way of other shoppers and you were ignoring the situation. I don't know enough about you or them.

We've all had good and bad days with our children. My children are (on the whole) excellently behaved but I am the mother of the 4 year old who once decided to get his willy out and pee onto the floor in an M&S Cafe.

RiceBaby Wed 14-Mar-18 04:19:06

Yes, I would judge you. You don't get well behaved children by simply telling them to calm down/bot to be boisterous.

If you want a more pleasant shopping experience, you need to be more involved - so, chatting to them, making up small gamrs with them in the shop. For example, you could be chatting with them about your shopping list, asking them to help find things, etc.

SuperBeagle Wed 14-Mar-18 04:19:47

I'd think you had no control over them, to be honest.

Your children shouldn't be touching or picking things up in shops. They need to be taught that they don't touch what doesn't belong to them.

I have two boys now 8.5 and 7, and two toddlers. I figure that it was my choice to have that many children and that I need to be able to go out in public and get things done with all of them in tow. That means keeping on top of them. I set out expectations for their behaviour beforehand, and they are warned and then reprimanded if they misbehave. If you come across as exhausted or at your wits end to your children, they will play on that. You have to be cool, calm and collected and be consistent with them.

bluebells1 Wed 14-Mar-18 04:21:37

Couldn't care less about the noise and laughter. I would be worried about the cart hurting them if they rush into it, and for that I would think that you are stupid to let your children run wild. Last sunday, a lady had 2 naughty children and they were running around the aisles until one of them ran into the cart that was stationary. Luckily he was alright but the noise and the scream as the boy crashed was so scary.

Mummyoflittledragon Wed 14-Mar-18 04:33:00

I would feel sorry for you and wonder why you don’t get supermarket deliveries. Unless you can only afford to shop in the lower budget supermarkets, which don’t deliver, the monthly delivery charge is possibly less than driving to and from every week. If you can do this, give yourself a much earned break and take the kids to the park to wrestle themselves to their hearts content.

Before you go out, do you talk about expectation of behaviour and how we as a family behave? Can you do trade offs so we do this fun thing now (to run off some energy) and later I need that from you?

Try to control what you can and worry less about what you can’t. Your boys won’t be little forever. As long as they do behave when absolutely necessary, that’s the main thing because they may be little now but they’ll soon grow and you want them to respect you when they do.

You could also usd sticker charts. And cut yourself some slack, you’ve got 3 young kids.

NoKnownFather Wed 14-Mar-18 04:33:10

SuperBeagle your children sound delightful, but that's how I taught my two, so we think alike. Congratulations.

Sorry OP but with an ongoing (chronic) knee injury I would find your boisterous children too much in the shops. It's hard enough just walking around to collect what I need, without the fear of being knocked over, while contending with severe pain and discomfort.

Wouldn't normally have commented, but you did ask? smile

TanteRose Wed 14-Mar-18 04:45:32

I'm sorry , but I would think "slightly lazy parenting".

I have low tolerance for small/loud children (mine are 19 and 20) and I would actively avoid you all! Sorry!
But I do remember (just wink ) how difficult it is with two (or more).

Maybe try out more consequences and rewards?

worstwitch18 Wed 14-Mar-18 04:53:29

If I noticed them I might feel a bit sorry for you.

If they were being very naughty, i.e. picking thing up off shelves and not putting them back, I might feel a bit a tad grumpy with them.

As long as you weren't ignoring them I wouldn't give your parenting skills a second thought.

Just remember- nobody thinks about your family as much as you do.

PyongyangKipperbang Wed 14-Mar-18 04:59:12

I'd be thinking "Geez love, do yourself a favour and shop online".

Why put yourself through it?

When mine were a handful (and at one point I had 6 at home!) I either went shopping alone when DH was home or ordered online and spent the shopping time in the park where they could run off the crazy.

JosephWearsNoPants Wed 14-Mar-18 05:07:16

I don't understand why they would act like they've never been in a supermarket before.

they need to learn there's a timr and place for certain behaviours. being silly and loud is fun and normal sometimes at appropriate places like at your home or in a playground or something out of others way.

it's about being polite and considerate.. knowing how to conduct yourself in public. they are still young and can change though.

id think you need to be stricter but I might also feel emparhetic to you and wonder if you're depressed or struggling.

with mine from the start expectations were laid out any bad behaviour was nipped in the bud. I tell off instead of pleading or gently asking i TELL them to stop if it's inappropriate. I don't know im not a parenting expert and maybe my kids are easier i dont know ...

I would also get online delivery or shop when the 2 arent with you.

Corblimeyguv Wed 14-Mar-18 05:09:26

I wouldn’t make much of a judgment about you, because I don’t know you or your DCs.

I agree with PPs, though, that I might be slightly annoyed particularly as it would set a bad example to my DCs. I work hard to ensure that they don’t behave like this, but equally I do realise that my children are also fairly easy to motivate with a clear rewards system for good behaviour. I also do games with them. I also do home deliveries a lot!

I might also wonder if you need some ideas with parenting in terms of how to address behaviour- wrestling and picking things up is not okay. I think PPs have given you some great ideas here.

I wouldn’t think that you’re a bad parent, more just overwhelmed perhaps.

kungpopanda Wed 14-Mar-18 05:14:50

Hope you remembered to stock up on biscuit
Or is it just me?

losingmymindiam Wed 14-Mar-18 05:15:15

I would be sympathetic as I have two that behave like your elder two. Even now, and they are a bit older. They don't wrestle on the floor but they play games and laugh and joke. And I think they have the loudest voices of children I have ever heard. I often feel out of control because no matter the sanction, how cross, how many times I intervene, they do the exact same thing next time. They have lost privileges, treats etc, doesn't seem to make a difference. Yes you can turn shopping into a game/get them to help but honestly it is exhausting to have to parent like that all the time. Sometimes I wish they would just do as they are told! Often I am at my wits end and actively avoid situations where they can cause problems! For what it is worth I am a teacher and none of my 'teacher' strategies work and they are also very bright and question bloody everything... sigh.

Arapaima Wed 14-Mar-18 05:23:58

OP, if you are overly anxious about what people think of you then I’m not sure that posting in AIBU is going to help!

Don’t worry what people think. Just try to be the best parent you can be, according to your own values and principles, and don’t fret if someone else would be doing it differently.

Olddear Wed 14-Mar-18 05:39:17

I just want to get in/out of the supermarket as quickly as possible, so them wrestling in the aisles etc would annoy me.

Pengggwn Wed 14-Mar-18 05:48:33

I'd probably think the boys were lacking boundaries. I wouldn't think you needed to play games with them all around the supermarket, just tell them which aspects of their behaviour needed to stop. When they weren't following your instructions I suppose I'd assume you didn't always follow through on consequences.

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