Your heart is beating fast. You start to sweat. You can’t concentrate on anything around you. It’s like you have tunnel vision. Don’t worry; you are not having a heart attack. You are simply a loving parent watching your child behave in a way you find totally inappropriate. And you are sure everyone in the room is watching your child and horrified. This magnifies your anxiety, and you just want to run. Fight or flight your body is saying. Scoop up that child and flee! And on your way out, you are thinking, apologize to anyone listening…
I can’t tell you how many times a parent has approached me after a class at The Little Gym to apologize for their child “having a fit.” My response is almost always the same, “did your child have a fit? I really hadn’t noticed.” And I’m not saying that to be nice. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am direct and honest sometimes to a fault. Ask my staff…
But anyway, back to you and your experience. When your child acts age appropriate in a child centered, nurturing place like The Little Gym, it is barely registered by anyone but you. Even when they do the cutest thing in the world, guess what? No one likely saw that either. They were watching their own future star. And ‘fits’ are appropriate too my friend. Children have bad days. And unless they are bullying, biting, pushing or in any other way acting inappropriate, if another parent or the teacher notices the ‘fit’ at all, the emotion felt is more likely empathy for you the parent than horror at your child’s behavior. 9 times out of 10 the other adult is having their own post traumatic flash back to when their child embarrassed them nearly to death in public!
So the next time you find yourself sure that everyone wants you to take your child and leave, relax, take a deep breath, and laugh. Look around. Really look and see that it’s ok. This too shall pass.
And I know you want to teach your child the ‘right’ way to behave. But I promise you, if you are the kind of parent that notices these ‘fits’ then you are modeling the right behavior. And your child will get it.
And if you are at The Little Gym in a Parent/Child class during one of these ‘fits’ leave them sitting on the red mat, walk right over to the cheese mat and do a forward roll. Might shock your child enough to take them out of their fit, and at the very least your heart will then be pumping fast for a positive reason! So hands high touch the sky, hands down touch the ground, look at your belly and roll!
-Angel Hundley