Amanda - posted on 05/26/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )
My son had an incident yesterday with a total stranger and, after some thought, I'm pretty sure I handled it the wrong way.
We were in the checkout lane and my son wanted to put the hand basket back. He ran behind the person in front of us without saying "Excuse me" or otherwise letting his presence be known and she accidentally backed into him. She apologized to him and when he came back I explained to him, yet again, that he is small, he should not run behind or in front of people in the store and he should always say "Excuse me" so that he doesn't get hurt, blah blah blah. This is the preface to the incident.
We walked over to a craft store in the same shopping center. While I was looking on the shelf, my son darted behind a lady to get to something at the end of the aisle. Of course, the lady bumped into him as she didn't know he was there. She apologized to him profusely and was very kind about it. I said "Remember that sometimes people can't see you because you are small." He was really mad about it, apparently. He clenched his fist and started shouting something like "I wish you would stop stepping on my foot." The lady was so embarrassed that she walked away. I told him to stop shouting and that I didn't like his behavior. We talked about it more in the car. I'm sure he felt "punished."
I have to admit I reacted out of embarrassment. I didn't know what to do and everyone was looking. Now I'm thinking that I frustrated him further and I'm also thinking that maybe his reaction _was_ appropriate but just embarrassing for me? He used his words to express his feelings yet he's still in trouble sort of thing. Besides apologize for my reaction, what now?