• Dr. Andy and Renie Bowman


The preschool –aged boy suddenly screamed like Beelzebub himself was after him.

Recently Andy was having a quiet lunch alone in a local restaurant in a small Oklahoma town. The place was pleasantly filled with patrons, all quietly talking with companions at their individual tables and enjoying their lunch.

Then it happened! The whole scene changed when “they” came through the door. Two young mothers entered, each with a small preschool child in tow, and were seated by the hostess across the room from where he sat. No more than thirty seconds later, one child screamed like Beelzebub himself was after him. Andy’s head jerked head up in his direction, as did everyone else in the restaurant, ready to fight to defend the boy against whoever was threatening his life.

But there was no problem to be seen. He only wanted a drink – and he wanted it NOW! Evidently not getting his problem attended to quickly enough, he slapped his mother and let out another blood-curdling scream. This went on several times in the next few minutes, while Andy, along with other diners, scrambled to cram into his mouth the remainder of his lunch to get away from there. Even the employees seemed to be avoiding the area of this awful child.

What did that little boy’s mom do? Nothing! She never changed her expression, but just continued her conversation with her friend. The whole time the child was screaming and terrorizing the dining room, his mother calmly plied him with whatever he was wanting; simply ignoring the fact that he was destroying lunchtime for a roomful of other guests. Never once telling him “No,” never once attempting to discipline a very unruly and untaught child.

Later recounting the incident to an incredulous Renie, Andy commented, “Now, let it be known, I love children - and I love moms with children. But what I dislike and cannot abide is a little hellion, who is allowed to disrupt everyone around them. And I detest when the parents are not being, and evidently have never been, a loving parent who will discipline and train their child.”

Folks, FYI - no one enjoys being around your cute little one when your cutey is acting like a hellion.

The Bible is replete with scripture about “raising up children as they should go,” and about “a child left to themselves brings his mother to shame.” When people are around your little one and end up leaving the area to avoid the loud, boisterous and uncontrolled behavior, remember the fault lays with you - not your child - as the parent who has been unwilling to do the hard work of training.

The only humorous thing in the whole scenario was the response of the other pre-schooler. Every time the boy would scream and slap his mother, that little girl had a look of shock and dismay on her face. Andy would watch her glance upward at her mom, her tiny mouth wide open in disbelief. She acted like she couldn’t believe what she was witnessing - she evidently didn’t get away with such shocking behavior!

Now understand what is being written. If you have a child in your family who struggles with emotional or physical limitations that cause behavior the world around you finds unacceptable, that is not what is being described in this article. That situation is a whole different ballgame than the one Andy watched and it deserves compassionate understanding.

Remember, parents, the Scripture says, “Whom the Lord loves He disciplines…” The same is true with Moms and Dads. Do your job well.

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