How many times have you found yourself in a situation where someone has acted inappropriately towards your children or children in your care? What I mean by inappropriate is a adult has taken it upon themselves to threaten your child with an authority they don’t have. Let me describe my situation.
While we were enjoying our time at the museum the other day a staff member took it upon herself to threaten Tenneille and another child in the children’s play area for not having their shoes on (I don’t think they had their shoes off for more than an minute as I had only stepped away from where they were playing and they had had their shoes on till this point). She told them that if they didn’t put their shoes on right away then they would have to go home. Her tone of voice was appalling and loud (yes, she was turning head from the other side of a noisy room), coupled with the fact she was standing over them with hands on her hips. She appeared very intimidating to the children. I stepped in and asked her not to threaten the kids and all she needed to do was ask them to please put their shoes on. She started going on about safety amongst other things (oh yes, I got a lecture too), which I respected from a museum point of view, but reminded her that there was no need to threaten and that it wasn’t her right to say to the children they would go home if they didn’t do as she said. I highly doubt she would have spoken to an adult in such a manner.
In the past I haven’t always said what I should have at the time, but as the years have passed on this parenting journey, I feel comfortable in what I feel is appropriate behaviour of others towards my children. I am the voice of my children while they are young and I choose to protect them from people who are essentially bullies. I want my children to grow up knowing that they have a voice and not be afraid to speak up for themselves when they find themselves in threatening situations.