I had the privilege of taking my nephew and the baby girl on a play date this week while my mother was visiting us from Ashland. And I quickly realized that the lack of responsible parents in this world is astonishing.
Seated at the mall with my baby bouncing away in my lap, I sat and watched James run and jump and play in an area designed to resemble a giant's nursery. I sat and watched him because there was a big sign that told me I had to. Apparently, that sign was more of a suggestion.
One mother dropped her two children in the play area, made sure they took off their shoes, then promptly strolled off in the direction of Macy's. When she returned I intended on telling her I normally charge $10 an hour for baby sitting.
Another woman sat and ate her Cinnabon sticks while her pre-teen child, as tall as me, ran right past the 42" height limit sign and jumped on an oversized rubber ducky that sank under her weight. If your daughter is wearing a training bra, it might not be appropriate for her to be on play equipment designed for 5-year-olds.
All around us, children were jumping on booths that were labeled "No standing," they were leaving tread marks in areas labeled "No shoes," and were sipping from Starbucks cups by the "No food or drink" sign.
My dilemma is this: how am I supposed to teach my child to follow the rules when all around them they witness those rules being broken?
How do you enforce rules for your children when they are surrounded by children playing with no restrictions. Do you speak up to the other parents?
"Excuse me- there is a no climbing rule. I'm afraid my child will want to follow yours and then a terrible domino effect will ensue and result in a massive pile up of wounded children in that corner."
I feel that my request would not be taken well. So what do we do, Mamas? How do we teach our children to follow the rules in a world where others defy them openly?