When I found my seat on the plane a two year old was standing on the seat in front of me looking back. We were becoming buddies when the flight attendant passed by and spoke to his mother, the only person traveling with him. “We are preparing to taxi. Ma’am, you need to buckle him in.”
Mom tried to get him seated but he had other plans. Mom begged, pleaded, threatened. But he was not impressed. Minutes passed.
The flight attendant returned and let her know the plane was ready but couldn’t leave until the child was buckled in. I tried to look away and mind my own business as mom helplessly pleaded with her rebel. Then I did something really stupid.
“Ma’am, would you like me to get him to sit down?”
Did I just say that?! What was I doing?!
For the first time I saw the mother’s face. She looked lost – a pitiful victim of this tiny tyrant.
“Would you please.” She whimpered.
Within a few seconds Junior was seated quietly. The plane pushed back and we were off.
I’d love to tell you what I did but, to quote Lois Lerner, “I’ve been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions related to the subject matter.”
The saddest part of the story?
Tiny Tyrant was just doing what mom had trained him to do.
By consistently making demands with no consequences for disobedience Mom had trained him to ignore her. She had trained him that her word meant nothing.
He actually was a very compliant child or I wouldn’t have been able to get him to sit so quickly and quietly simply by looking him in the eyes and in a firm voice telling him exactly what he needed to do. Oh, and it probably helped too that with a firm grip on an ear lobe I gently indicated the direction he needed to move his body.
As soon as he knew someone was serious and was going to make him an unhappy camper if he didn’t do what he was told, he compliantly obeyed.
He was not the problem, mom was. And she was already suffering the consequences of failing to love her child enough to confront the rebellion in his heart.
We owe it to our child, to ourselves, to society and to our God to confront rebellion and put out the fire as quickly as possible.
A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.
What are your thoughts on why this mother may have been afraid or unwilling to confront her child?
Other thoughts, comments?