About the mom who lost her son in the gorilla enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, which ultimately led to the death of the gorilla.
Why do I care?
The incident has sparked outrage about animal rights and conversations about how quickly our kids can slip out of our sight causing quite the debate online and otherwise.
Tell me more.
A 17-year-old gorilla named Harambe was shot to save a 4-year-old boy who had managed to find his way into the gorilla enclosure this past Saturday at the Cincinnati Zoo. There is shocking video of the boy in the enclosure, showing him being drug around from place to place for ten minutes. As a result, Zoo officials opted to kill the gorilla to save the boy. While the zoo is standing by their decision to kill the gorilla in lieu of tranquilizing, it has done little to quiet critics and protesters who are angry, some of which are asking for charges to be levied against the parents of the boy.
The commentary online varies from passionate anger and fierce judgement to sincere empathy for the parents of the child. As one blogger, Kara Carrero put it in her open letter to the mom, “I also know that as a mother of two and now almost 3 kids, they can slip away in a single instant. They dart between clothing racks, climb to the tops of trees, and seemingly disappear even when we’re trying to pay attention and juggle life in general.” She goes on to say, “It’s easy to point fingers from behind a keyboard. It’s easy to attack you because the mob mentality is that someone must pay and someone must be to blame. And it’s easy to forget that, again, you are not the only party involved. It’s also easy to forget that you’re human, that you’re imperfect, and that you’re a mom just trying to do the best for your kids like the rest of us.”
That’s What She Said
What would you do or say if a stranger disciplined your kid while you’re out at a playground, or similar public place when you were out of direct sight or earshot? We’ve all been in the position at some point when we’ve seen someone else’s kid acting up in a way that affects their safety, your child’s safety, or otherwise. We question whether or not we should step in and break out our ‘teacher voice’ to squash the behavior. Obviously, not all parents agree with the exact circumstances in which this might be ok.
One mom’s response online to a stranger disciplining her kid is going viral because she applauds that parent for checking her kid’s sketchy behavior. She thanks the parent by saying, “I didn’t get the chance to say this today, but THANK YOU. Because if my kid is acting like a douchenugget and I’m not around for whatever reason, you have my permission to tell him to knock that shit off.” She goes on to elaborate on her boundaries for that discipline, but in short, she’s cool with breaking out the teacher voice and another parent using their best judgement if her kid is out of line. Personally, we here at Trending Parent loved this little statement:
“It takes a village. And these days our village might be a little bigger and more spread out and we don’t all sleep in side-by-side huts or ride in covered wagons or gather around the campfire at night and we don’t even all know each other, but we can either choose to have a village or not. And I choose to have a village.”
Read her letter in entirety here. It’s worth it.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
It’s the little things in the last minutes we have in a morning before the bus, or delays before bed that can result in a parent losing their temper. We’ve all been there. We’ve also felt pretty rotten after the fact, because we know we could have reigned it in and seen ourselves through that moment in a different way. So what can we do in those moments to stop losing our temper? Holly, from Kids Activities Blog has a great list of suggestions HERE.
Some of our favorites?
- Be the teacher. Instead of using ‘Because I said so”, explain reasoning behind your decision making. Show them what you expect and then explain why.
- Start with a positive. This suggestion is for the child who is reacting negatively to you or a sibling. For example, something like, “You’re normally so kind when you help your sister with her hair, but this time you weren’t patient at all.” or “You are usually so polite when you ask for your milk, but that was not polite at all. Let’s try that again.”
- Take care of yourself. She has at least three points on her list that are aimed at mom/dad caring for themselves through rest, exercise and taking a time-out. All of these things go a long way to ensuring you have lasting patience.
Check out the rest of her list HERE.
“When my kids become wild and unruly, I use a nice safe playpen. When they’re finished, I climb out.” -Erma Brombeck
Add some wine and chocolate in that playpen and we’d totally be on board with her thinking.
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