I'm supposed to feel guilty. Ever since the kid hit kindergarten, I've been hitting one discipline technique hard. When she starts up with some not very appropriate for public actions, I remind her she'd best stop ... or the other kids won't like her.
You call it shaming. I call it socialization. To-may-to. To-mah-to. And guess what? It works. Because telling your kid that they should stop eating their boogers because a giant booger factory will grow in their stomach just makes them sample more snot to see if it's the truth. Telling them that the other kids will find them kind of gross, on the other hand, is both the God's honest truth (remember that kid? The one you all called Picky Picky?) and effective.
Come on in, take a gander at the disgusting things I'm drumming out of my kindergartner one "ewww, gross, think of the CHILDREN" at a time, in the hopes that one day I may actually be able to marry her off (or at least send her to college without her blanket):
Picking Her Nose in Public. If you can't use a tissue, and let's face it, there are those little hard suckers that just never want to come out, there's a room down the hall for digging. Please use it.
Picking Her Nose and Eating It. So it may taste better than broccoli. That doesn't mean I want to see you sample the merchandise.
Pick Her Nose and Wipe It on Things. Noticing a theme here, are you? Yes, we are at the 5 1/2-year-old stage, when the hands are NEVER too busy to inch upward toward the schnoz.
Butt Scratching. Yes, it itches. No, people don't want to think about why.
Screaming From the Bathroom to "Come Look." So my daughter will one day Google herself and find this gem? Good, because the horror on her face will probably come pretty close to that on mine when I come running, thinking my little darling has fallen off a stool and put her nose through her skull or something similarly catastrophic ... only to be presented with a smiling face, the smell of something that died a week ago and has sat in her bowels ever since, and her pointing into the toilet. No, dear, just no.
Eating Sand, Grass, and Dried Up Raisins From Inside the Booster Seat. When I said I wanted a kid with an adventurous palate, I was thinking shellfish. I was not thinking that kid who everyone points to on the playground when a slug is procured from the monkey bars. The clear indication being, of course, that said person at the end of the finger-points will be willing to have a taste to see if it kills kids. Oh no, not my kid.
Stripping. It was OK two years ago, and truth be told there is a butt nekkid picture framed in our living room. That's art. Walking around the park at this age without your panties is just asking for sand in uncomfortable places.
Announcing Her Poots. MUCH better to blame it on someone else (Daddy? The dog?).
Bathroom Talk. I know, for a certain age group, this IS how to converse. We can't kill the art. But when you ask a teacher if they'd prefer to eat diarrhea or drink their own pee, they start making little marks in your permanent record. Let's just finesse that one out of the convo. Thank you!
Entering the Bathroom Without Knocking. Yes, it's lonely out there for the whole 3 minutes it takes someone to pee and wash their hands. Go chase the cat. Crayon on the walls. Play in traffic. SOMETHING.
Wedgie Picking. Like digging for gold, something that has to be done, but can be done even better in the bathroom!
Chewing With an Open Mouth. What's the image you want people to have in mind at your 20th reunion? A nice, smart kid from school or the one who masticated bovine muscles LOUDLY in front of you on hamburger day? If you must eat cows, please don't act like one kids.
Wet Willies. Funny thing, I haven't found ANYONE who enjoys the feeling of a damp finger in the ear. If you know anyone, send them over, she's rather talented at it.
With all these warnings, calls from the school have thus far been limited to "your kid was marked absent today" and "Mrs. Sager, thank you for bringing the fruit plate to the class party." I'm thinking as long as we keep reminding her that she'll be a social pariah if she doesn't quit it, I can keep that tone going.
What are the most disgusting things your kids do in public?
Image by Jeanne Sager