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?