Don’t you just love them? The parents who use this phrase as a “get out of jail free” option.
My child assaulted your child? – oh, kids will be kids.
My child told you to “**** off/go **** yourself”? – oh kids will be kids
My child jumped on your child’s hand, on purpose? – oh kids will be kids
My child just broke your table by jumping on it after you said not to? – Oh kids will be kids
My child has made your child’s life a living hell by bullying them every day in school? – Oh kids will be kids
Yes, we all know one of these parents.
The ones who decide that their child’s behaviour is not their responsibility.
“Kids will be kids” translates into “it’s not my fault that my child assaults your child/swears/damages property/bullies your child. I am not responsible in any shape or form for my child’s actions”.
Well here’s a newsflash. Yes you are.
Don’t look at me, kids will be kids
Yes, kids will be kids but parents needs to be parents and teach them what is acceptable behaviour and what isn’t. If your child is involved in bullying, have a word please. You are not their mate, someone there to egg them on. You are their parent and with that comes responsibility. The responsibility to ensure they know how to socially interact. The responsibility to ensure that they respect others, they respond when spoken to and they don’t think bullying others is an acceptable pastime.
I am all for teaching our children to be independent, free-thinkers but if our children do not know how to act socially, we are setting them up to fail.
It isn’t easy. Trying to teach a child to be respectful but to also safeguard themselves is a real challenge but who said parenting would be easy? Trying to ensure your child knows the value of common courtesy when their friends’ parents don’t see it as a priority is a challenge.
Now before all the mums with children with a diagnosis of autism or similar, get angry, let me clarify one thing. The children’s behaviour is not what I am commenting on here, it is the parents who do jack about it! The parents who don’t even attempt to address behaviour. As a mum of three kids with SEN, I know the additional difficulties well, but I still keep trying. I don’t excuse their behaviour if it is not acceptable. My job is to help them to learn what is and isn’t acceptable and to be consistent in that.
I am not a perfect mum, far from it, but my children are told, consistently, if their behaviour is unacceptable. Their good behaviour is also, consistently, praised. Yes, there are days it would be so much easier to say “this is too difficult so I am not going to bother” (or words to that effect) but one day they won’t be kids anymore and more importantly, one day I won’t be here to protect them. So every time I feel like calling it a day and giving up, I remember that I am doing this for them so that when they are older and I am not here, someone else will like them enough to care what happens.