I am not one of those mothers who assumes that my child is right and your child is wrong. I don't walk around asking people what THEY did to upset my child. I have no problem with other adults correcting my child when it is appropriate and needed. I appreciate the help! I don't mind in the slightest when someone has to help my child down a step or up onto a swing or whatever. I'm not going to flip out if someone else's child hits, bites, kicks or pushes my child on purpose or by accident (although accidental biting is still one I don't buy at all) because it is something that can be dealt with and something that I can totally see one of my children doing.
It may be because I'm a mother of 4 and also have 3 boys . . . 2 of which are going to turn 3 in a month. It may also be because I teach preschool and I know all about how kids react and how they are testing their surroundings and testing your/my limits.
For example, we went away this weekend:
While the trip was a little stressful for obvious reasons (we were outnumbered 4/2 by our children . . . we took 2 almost 3 year old boys on vacation), we tried very hard not to let the little stuff bug us too much. When the child on the beach "borrowed" Dean's boat and then wouldn't give it back, we expressed our understanding and let his parents deal with it. I even offered to let him keep it because we had 2 more but his parents explained that he was autistic and that sharing was an important thing for him to learn so after a minute or two and some one on one time with his mom, the little boy brought Dean his boat and they thanked each other for the good time.
Dean also had a complete and total meltdown when a kid riding in the blue boat he wanted to ride in at Kiddie Land wouldn't let him sit next to him in the front seat. I asked the little boy nicely twice if he could scoot over or let Dean sit on the other side but "NO" was his answer both times. His mother and grandmother seemed to not care that my son was having a meltdown and that is okay. After all, who's to say that if they had tried to make him move HE wouldn't have had a meltdown of his own? So . . . I calmly handed Dean to Jerry and asked him to take him to another ride. Problem solved and really, I didn't let it get to me that the little *ahem* darling wanted the front seat of that blue boat all to himself.
That being said . . . there are 3 things that I absolutely, 100%, without blinking an eye will NOT tolerate being done to my children. I'm a pretty understanding person but you do one of these 3 things and you will see my Mama Bear side - and it ain't pretty:
1) Dash their hopes and dreams - I will not tolerate someone who tells my children that they will NEVER achieve their goals or be able to follow their dreams. I don't care if you don't think that my daughter is going to grow up to be a princess who saves animals and drives a garbage truck. I didn't ask for your opinion and if she tells you that is what she wants to be it is because she is sharing information with you . . . not because she is asking for advice on how to become those things. She really isn't asking permission and if you tell her that she can't do it then you will see this Mama Bear's teeth as I tell her that she can become whatever she wants.
2) Lie to them - Lying is one thing I do not tolerate from my children and I will not tolerate it from anyone else when it comes to my children either. I don't mean goodhearted fooling around - like when my father-in-law tells my daughter he is going to send Dean to Chicago because they need sirens for the fire trucks there . . . Dean is a little bit loud at times. I do mean if you tell my children you are going to do something and have no intention of doing it. Don't tell them you will buy them something they REALLY want and then keep making excuses for why you don't have it with you to give to them . . . if you say you are going to do it then they expect you to do it. They are young and innocent. If you don't do the things you promise to do you make them feel like they aren't important enough to you. If you do that then you will see this Mama Bear pull her cubs away from you and make sure that they never depend on you for anything else. You lie to them once and make them cry then SHAME on you! You won't have the chance to lie to them again because I won't give you the chance.
3) Intentionally physically harm them - Unfortunately, I've had to deal with both #1 and #2. Fortunately, I've never had to deal with this one but you can bet your bottom dollar that this one would bring out the fiercest Mama Bear, yet. I know that accidents happen. I understand that sometimes, when you are trying to make sure that they don't fall down the steps, you might scratch them on their arm when they start to do just that. I understand that sometimes their chubby little legs can get caught in the buckle of their car seat. Those things happen to the best of us but if you do something with the intention to physically harm one of my children, you will have a BIG problem on your hands. BIG, HUGE problem and not just from me. I really hope that this side of my Mama Bear never makes an appearance...
So, what sets you off when it comes to your kids? What are the things that you absolutely CANNOT handle? Do you ever see parents that overreact to little things? Ever see one not react when you feel that they should? I am not a competitive mother...I don't think my kids are any better than yours or that I'm better at being a mother to my children than you are being a mother to your children. I do, however, know without a doubt that I am the best mother I can be to MY children and that means making sure they learn patience, understanding and when to draw the line.