Ever since we were young, we have been taught that first impressions are everything. Well, I think that the person who created that statement must have never had children. Did they know how hard it is to make a good first impression when your child is acting up?
I have always found that somewhat interesting; the first impression issue.
Just recently I was at a birthday party that my sister had invited me to. I knew no one there and this was the first time taking my children out to a place since we had moved to the area. I was determined to reach out to others and make a good impression so I could make those potential connections.
They were going wild. My two boys are still learning that not every party revolves around them. You would think with them being twins that they would be able to “share the spotlight” but that is a whole other issue by itself.
They were yelling because they couldn’t see this, or screaming because they wanted that. I was horrified with the eyes that kept looking over at us.
I will say that MOST parents understand that just because the child acts up, doesn’t mean the parent is bad…kids have minds of their own.
But it still doesn’t help you when you are trying to make that first impression.
My children don’t always act up and are pretty good in public, but there are a few times they just have meltdowns for one reason or another.
What does a mother do?
That last thing you can do to a mother who is trying to calm her child is glare at her, her children or make comments…because we are just looking for an outlet. We are looking for another venue to let out our frustrations.
Parenting is NOT the easiest thing in the world and I will say it baffles me about how many are so quick to judge the parent based on the attitude of a child, the first time they meet them. Kids have good days, and they will have their bad days…just like adults.
Parents with younger children know and almost always just smile that ‘I know’ smile, but I have noticed that many of the older generation seem to have forgotten and many times have been judged for many reasons and all because my children were emotional that day.
I will never judge someone based on the first temper tantrum that a child decides to throw when you first meet someone. Instead, I will offer empathy and maybe try to diffuse the situation. Some kids calm quickly when someone else starts talking to them. I know when my son was acting up at the store someone turned around and simply said ‘hi’ and started talking to them, he straightened out real quick. It was such a relief to find such kindness and it renews your faith in people.
So what is a parent to do? You have an important thing to go to like a wedding, a friend’s promotion, or a funeral…or maybe it is a simple get together with you trying to make those new connections.
Every child is different, so there will never be just one way to handle the situation.
So I think it goes out to others. There is not a whole lot we as mothers and fathers can do if our kids decide they are unhappy on a day. All we can hope for is that their unhappiness for that moment isn’t used as a part of the judging criteria when making that first impression.
This Post was written by Rachel Munoz (twinsmomma) of AlbuquerqueMommies where she is a member and site administrator.
She is happily married and has a set of twin boys that she absolutely adores. She works from home decorating cakes, and attends school with a major in psychology