Do you let your children win?

Yesterday we spent the day at a theme park (Sesame Place) and were astounded at some of the behavior we witnessed. It made hubby and I have a nice long talk on the way home about what is and isn't OK in our opinion. One incident that really sticks out in our mind is this one:

At 3pm, there was a parade. We were sitting on the curb and had plenty of space next to us. A mom came up with a stroller and her 4-5 year old daughter in it. Mom said "____ why don't you get out of the stroller and go sit next to the kids up there!" pointing to the space next to my children. The daughter turned her head around in the stroller and told her mom (in a very flip tone) "NO! YOU ARE STUPID!" Mom just said "ok" and let her kid continue sitting in the stroller. I totally get the idea of picking your battles and if the little girl didn't want to move to the curb, it's not a battle to fight... but I would never ever let my children talk to me the way she was talking to her mother. The little girl then continued to be nasty and demand things and Mom just sat there listening, there was never any redirection or scolding. Eventually, the little girl won and Mom strolled away from the parade (with brother in tears because he didn't get to see the characters) to get the little girl whatever it was she had been causing a racket over.

Part of me says to cut her some slack - it was the afternoon of a day that was probably over-stimulating for everyone, and they were probably all hot, tired, and likely a bit hungry and/or dehydrated. Theme parks are a perfect environment to bring out the worst in our children.... but she wasn't even trying to make it stop or talk to her daughter about her tone.

What would you have done in her situation? Are your children the boss? Are they allowed to talk to you in whatever tone they like? Do they win arguments, or do you always win?

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BethSummerville, South Carolina
    06/24/14
    Comment deleted
    06/24/14
    Beth
    It really is! It scares me to think how that little girl will treat other people when she is older.
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      06/24/14
      I cannot believe she let her kid get away with acting like that. I don't believe in just letting a kid win an argument just because they're a child or you don't feel like fighting. I back-talked my mom all of the time, and I know why she let me get away with it, but that NEVER flew with my Granny. Especially calling her mom Stupid like that. Just no. I'd stay long enough for the other kid, if he was being good, to see what he wanted to see and then we would go home, or go sit out somewhere long enough for her to understand why she was in trouble or at least to quiet down. My brother was being an utter brat once at a carnival, and Granny called my Uncle to come take him home, since the friends we were with and I were behaving she didn't want to punish us all for his behavior.
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      06/24/14
      Beth
      Way to go Granny!!
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        06/24/14
        Tristen tried to be the boss but it doesn't work. I REFUSE to have a bratty kid. I would never let him talk to me like that. Even now when I tell him no he will turn around and just go off on me, arms flying, yelling at the too of his lungs. I normally have no clue what he's saying but I know it's probably not good. Lol it's hard not to laugh but we always correct him.
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        06/24/14
        Beth
        Mason has started threatening us when he doesn't get his way... except he is terrible at threats. "well if you make me clean my room then I'm never going to get my legos out again!" It is SO hard not to laugh or just say "sounds great!!" but knowing that his intention is to hurt us means that we don't tolerate it... no matter how silly the threat is!
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        06/24/14
        Lol that's funny...but it's not! Tristen has started this thing now whenever Daddy corrects him he will walk over and slap me. I always see my husband start to smile and I'm like "if you do I'm gonna hurt you!" Lol
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          06/24/14
          Melissa Middleton
          I let them win games, but that is all they win. Sometimes, we compromise, but not all the time. I was raised to respect my elders and to obey my parents. Our children are expected to do the same. If there is a nasty tone or demand for something, it is straightened out, immediately. My daughter will get mad and pout so we let her pout or take a privilege away. If that were one of my children speaking to me that way, they would not have gotten what they wanted and would have been in trouble for speaking to us that way. I will not tolerate it. If I let them do that to me, they will do it to others.
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          06/24/14
          Beth
          Yes, we let them win games too... but not something like this where they are winning an argument or being disrespectful!
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            I deffanitly do not want to judge at all but that would make me sad to see something like that I would really have to hold my tounge knowing it aint my little girl....you have catch on to that stuff quick when you first notice it and do something about it now yeah it is not ok to argue with you 4-5 year old or 2-3 year old but you got to say it once and it should only be said once but of course with toddlers you always have to say it over and over again like if you put thm in time out and they get up throwing a fit screaming yelling yea dont say anything just pick thm back up and gently put thm back in the timeout spot walk away you have to keep doing it but eventually they kno u are seriouse in public that is when it is harder i always tell my little girl before we go anywhere what we are doing and this is what is happening.....ok we are going to go to the store to get food to cook when we get home she will say ok and be happy about It i say ok let's behave so we can get this done and hurry and get home to cook and if you are good I just might never say i will or wont it depends on her.... i just might get you you a yummy snack to munch on while I cook and she will be even more excited and we get in and out I even let her help me put the food up on the check out she loves it she thinks she is being a big help
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            06/24/14
            Beth
            I think that's a great idea. We try to set up our kids for success as well, letting them know what we are doing, what they can expect, and if we are open to rewarding good behavior what the reward will be :)
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              06/24/14
              you do got to talk to them like they are a person to cause they are they a little persons lol but I will def if my little girl does try to be disrespectful I take things away one by one and if she continues I will not give it back thn she goes and sits realizes her room is half empty and she doesn't have anything to do thn will come tell me she is sorry and give me a hug but I give it back one by one when she does show me she really is ready to have her stuff back
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                06/24/14
                Comment deleted
                06/24/14
                Beth
                There's a HUGE difference between a joke and flat out disrespect. This little girl was not teasing her Mom when she called her stupid. She was being nasty and her tone left no room for confusion. Ronny and Austin are both at the age where I think they probably know the difference between disrespect and a joke, a 4 year old (or however young she was) doesn't
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                  06/24/14
                  9Michelle Fritch
                  My kids know better than to be disrespectful like that, I have always taught them to respect their elders and they know they will be punished if they misbehave. I can't stand it when I see kids disrespecting their parents.
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                    06/24/14
                    am sorry but I think this lady is partly to blame, this girl is five, she can only say and do what she feels confident to do, sometimes she has hard these words or seen someone do that. Not necessarily her parents, at times it's the people who watch our kids, the T.V shows we let them watch or the conversations they over hear, however it's important to explain to the child the wrong in such behavior at that particular moment because after a while she won't know she hurt your feelings.
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                    06/25/14
                    Beth
                    Totally agree - I do sometimes let something slide when out in public to avoid a full blown confrontation or war.... but just like you said - my kids wouldn't ever talk to me like that because they have long since learned it is not appropriate and will not be tolerated.
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                      06/25/14
                      I would've addressed it immediately as I've done in the past when Erik's kids are acting obnoxious and rude. The kids know that their Dad and I are a united front when it comes to disciplining. I will call out any of them if their tone is uncalled for. I wouldn't call it winning but more of a compromise. If I'm totally ticked, I don't trust myself to continue the disciplining so I will tell Erik to take over. What usually happens is he'll listen to the child's side and will have child address me. It usually turns into a "I'm sorry there was a misunderstanding....etc from the child and then I will also apologize for something to keep it even.
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                        07/24/14
                        First of all I would have found the nearest rest room and spanked her. One, my kids know if you talk back to me, you know that i better not find a bathroom or we go home cuz it is on. I don't believe in talking back,especially if your a child. She needs to put her foot down and let her know you can't talk to me like that and you will be in time out. All i got to do is give them that look, even my oldest starts to apologize.
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                        About Beth
                        Current: Summerville, South Carolina
                        Birth: September 18
                        On Moms.com since: Aug 18, 2013
                        obsessed with babywearing, cloth diapering, and breastfeeding (but not judgmental about those that aren't). I'm a SAHM that works. Loves cupcakes, kittens, and glitter; hates spiders, housework and pessimism.