By THERESA DAVIS
Oh, boy. A kid is screaming in a store, or a movie theater or a park right now, at this very moment. My question for you: Are you cringing or are you sympathetic? Cringers, this one’s for you!
Judge all you want; we’ll even have a grand jury. I’ll bring the popcorn! I know you’re bored with seemingly inadequate excuses for the child’s and parent’s behaviors. But I’ll put another one out there: The child in question might be adopted, particularly one adopted out of foster care, but not necessarily.
I won’t bore you with why the kid is crying – it could be anything. You just want her to stop already, and the parents aren’t doing anything to make her stop.
Actually, yes, they are. They might be ignoring the behavior, but the child might be trying to draw negative attention to themselves or their parents. Some adopted children want to make their parents’ lives miserable, so they make a scene.
You might notice that the parents are not making eye contact or talking to the child at all. This is not inaction on the parents’ part, they’re just not giving the attention the child is demanding in a negative way.
The child might be responding to a parent’s “no,” and the parents are NOT going to give in to their child for your peace of mind. That would be teaching them that the behavior they’re displaying gets them what they want.
If you think corporal punishment is lacking these days, consider that the adopted child may have been physically abused. Spanking will do absolutely nothing except teach them that trusting adults is a complete waste of time. In the reverse, if a parent ignores the child if the child hits the parent (GASP!), the parent simply does not want to escalate the situation and make it worse.
I promise the plan is to remove the child, only it has to be done in the safest manner possible. Even if it takes an excruciatingly long time and makes everyone’s ears bleed.
Then why bring them out if they’re going to act like that, you ask? Well I ask you, how do you think they’re going to learn social skills alone at home? And segregation infringes on their human rights, so don’t even go there.
Take heart, cringer, you’re not supposed to like the sound of a child crying and screaming. It’s biological. Humans don’t like it so they find a way to (hopefully) soothingly stop it and therefore respond to a child’s needs.
Adoptive parents sometimes can’t parent in a traditional, for lack of a better word, manner. What looks like bad parenting is actually active, involved parenting. The worst thing you can do is interfere.
And if you are silently cursing them, don’t worry, those parents in that awful scene are already dying inside. Try to empathize with them. And if you happen to be related to or friends with the parents and their little ones, bring them a bowl of popcorn and give them a hug.