Mike Adams

The other day I was sitting at a deli having some breakfast and drinking a cup of coffee. A man was walking out of the deli with his kids when his son, who looked to be about three years old, asked his dad whether they were going to the park. The dad said “no” because, apparently, they had somewhere else to go. That’s when the boy turned and starting swinging his arms striking his father repeatedly around the groin area.

What happened next also annoyed me. The father leaned down and, in a gentle voice, began to explain why the child’s actions were inappropriate. The father wasn’t at all successful. The kid just kept swinging away and making a scene. The father patiently pleaded with his son “Please stop that, you’re hurting daddy.”

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Previously, I observed something similar at the grocery shore. A man was shopping while his two boys ran wildly up and down the aisles. One boy was pulling items off the shelves and throwing them at his brother who had to catch them lest they crashed to the ground. When he tried to toss the items back to his brother – to put them back on the shelves – the instigator/brother would just run away laughing.

The boys’ father stopped the instigating son – obviously the older of the two boys - and began explaining to him why his actions were wrong. After he was finished making sure his son understood his position – that there was no “communication breakdown” – his son simply resumed with his disruptive behavior.

Right now, I’m waiting to board a flight in the Minneapolis airport. A young boy who is about two years old is throwing a tantrum and his father is pulling out a bag of goodies in an effort to appease him. The waiting areas in the A terminal of the Minneapolis airport are pretty small so I can’t get away from the noise. I’ll have to resume writing this column later.

The take off of our flight to Lincoln, Nebraska was delayed for a few minutes. The little boy who threw a tantrum in the terminal refused to stay seated with his seatbelt on before the take-off. After his dad buckled him up he started to scream. So his dad unbuckled him and let him just stand up in his chair and scream. The flight attendant finally told the father that we were not going anywhere until he held firm and showed the boy that he was going to win this battle.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.