I have been guilty. That person shouldn’t wear that. He’s too old to act that way. She shouldn’t be doing that. If I was the parent, my child wouldn’t act that way.
Before I was a parent, I was an expert on parenting. My child would never behave like that child I just saw in Wal-Mart. My child wouldn’t wear that or do that. My child would follow me and behave meekly. Then, I had kids.
Nothing went the way I planned. My child didn’t nap or sleep. He cried incessantly. I realized parenting is a lot harder than it looks. Now, I have the child who does that. My child was the one at Disney World throwing a tantrum. Other people, much like me, were staring.
I wish I had a sign. Yes, my son is too big to act this way. But you should realize that my son has autism. He’s on sensory overload. We had to change our schedule at the last-minute, so he’s displaying his outrage. He’s entering adolescence and this is a scary time for him. He doesn’t have all the tools that other 13 year olds have. We are working with him. He is getting the appropriate help he needs. But, like all of us, he has hard times. When you stare he doesn’t care, but his brother, who is behaving himself, feels like you are staring at him. He feels hurt and upset when others stare.
Before I had a child with special needs, I stared. Now, I try to not stare. I realize that I never know what someone is going through. I don’t know what type of day someone has had.
I try to realize that none of us is perfect. We all have bad days. We have all made mistakes, and we are all still working on becoming better people.