Yesterday’s responses to my “What Would You Do?” question were very interesting! They were split down the middle…and not gender-related.

About half of you would have spoken to the girls and asked them to clean up after themselves.

The other half of you would have just picked up after the girls and some of you would have said a prayer on their behalf.

So here’s what I did:

I went into Mom Mode.

I marched after the girls…all the way down the escalator! I stopped them and politely asked them to go back and put away the magazines so the store could sell them. And throw their empty water bottles in the garbage.

The girls said, “Oh. Our dad is waiting outside.”

I said, “Your dad can wait.”

I followed behind them to make sure they would actually go clean up…and was just appalled at their attitude along the way. Bored! Irritated! Inconvenienced! Not at all embarrassed or apologetic or contrite. They even walked slowly.

I made sure they put the magazines away, downstairs.

Along the way, their dad found them. He was mad at them for making him wait. They pointed to me and whispered to him, probably telling him a psycho lady was on their tail. I politely explained to the dad what the girls had done.

“Do you work here?” he asked me.

“No,” I said. “But I do care. And this is how I would like someone to handle my kids if they did such a thing.”

“Well,” he said. “That’s your perogative.”

Huh? What does that mean?

To be fair to the dad, he expected the girls outside, about five minutes ago. He was probably thrown off guard. But it still amazed me that the dad–and the girls–did not act as if they had done anything wrong! They had a detached lack of concern.

I don’t know if it’s better to say something to kids like that, or to realize it’s not my problem and my interference probably wouldn’t change anything.

But the phrase, “It takes a village to raise a child” rings true. If kids aren’t held accountable by others…if they don’t feel as if their behavior outside the home matters…what kind of grown-ups will they become?

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