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Because I Said So – Being a Latina Mom

She bowed to me in a Wayne’s World “We’re Not Worthy” gesture.


I acted like a Latina mom.

Let me give you the back story.

We’re Not Worthy!

I was at my son’s school, speaking to one of the moms who was on hall monitor duty, when two kids ran up and down the hallway right in front of us. The mom on duty said in a very soft and sweet voice “kids please stop running”. The kids looked at her and completely ignored her and proceeded to run some more. Right in front of us.

The other mom who was there, standing with us nicely reminded them to not run as well. Her voice was a little more firm, but it was still soft, pleading and basically “asking” the children who were breaking a known rule to please follow the rules. I was not at all surprised that she got the same result.

The ladies looked at each other and me and wondered what to do next.

I stepped over closer to where the kids were and in a stern voice said, “Hey! Cut it out. You know you can’t run.” They stopped right in their tracks, looked at me, said “sorry” and respectfully walked down the hall and sat down.

My fellow moms looked at me with wide eyes, and laughingly, the bowing incident happened.


I didn’t do anything special. I simply don’t subscribe to the principle that I can’t reprimand other people’s children when they are acting up. I expect my friends and fellow parents to do the same with my kids. If you are teaching your kids to behave, then this is a non issue.

Now, to credit the other moms, their kids are lovely and well behaved. I just think they are afraid to reprimand other people’s kids because it’s been made out to be such a “no no”.

Now I know, kids will be kids and they do stupid things. And that’s OK. But it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be corrected. If they are permitted to continue the bad behavior, they learn that they can get away with it, and a world full of people who have no manners is a bad thing. We sort of live in it today, and there’s just no reason for it.

It is a pleasure for someone to smile, say hello and open a door for you. Please and thank you are lovely as well. And a genuine 'I'm sorry' when necessary can do wonders. I have yet to encounter someone who thinks otherwise.Click To Tweet

What The What?

On another occasion, there was a group of kids who attended an event and one of the kids yelled out something inappropriate while a speaker was on stage. Now this was a group of honor students representing their school. One of the chaperones singled him out after the event and reprimanded him. Later, there was a bunch of drama about how he shouldn’t have been singled out in front of everyone, yadda yadda.

This is a perfect example of where I think we are failing. If this were my child and I heard that he had to be reprimanded for dishonoring his fellow team members, his school and his family, there would be consequences for my kid and a profuse apology for those involved. He would have to write a letter of apology to the organization, his team members, his sponsor, chaperone and principal. He would also benefit from extra volunteering for the school as well as some good ole’ fashioned chores at home, like toilet scrubbing and spring cleaning activities. Hell, I might even rent him out to mow some lawns for neighbors, FOR FREE.

Because I Said So.

Growing up in a Latino household, you just knew that respecting your parents and elders was expected. You represented your family and would pay dearly if you acted up. I took those principles, and have adjusted them for my own parenting. I created four principles that have been the Holy Grail of my parenting.

This is what my boys know for sure.

  1. I have spent countless hours and years teaching you manners and to be a decent human being and a good citizen. Do not waste my time and efforts.
  2. You represent your familia with your behavior. If you act like a jerk or disrespectful toward anyone, you are dishonoring us and there WILL be hell to pay.
  3. If another parent has to reprimand you, I will find out and you WILL be grounded when you come home.
  4. Because I said so.
This is what my boys know for sure... Because I Said So.Click To TweetThe 4th one is to remind them that I am the parent and I always have their best interest at heart, so there is no arguing with me over it. There are a lot of folks who say that allowing your kids to discuss things and find out your reasoning are important. I agree, but this does not apply to my principles. I give them an opportunity to tell me their side of any story, but in the end, what I say goes, because I have already established what is expected of them.

So if my kid dishonors his family by not adhering to those principles, there are consequences and they will most certainly be doled out.

Does this mean that I am giving other adults a free pass at treating my kids badly? Absolutely not.

After traveling cross country for three years, I have learned that most folks are genuinely nice, decent people. However, there are jerks sprinkled in between.

And this mami will protect her kids at all cost from anyone who tries to mistreat or harm them. But reprimanding and correcting bad behavior is not mistreating. And I truly believe that is where we are mishandling the issue of bad behavior.

What I am saying here is that when you send your child to school, you are expecting them to get an education. But you MUST send them educated about manners. THAT is your job, not the school’s or the teacher’s.

When you send your child to school, you are expecting them to get an education. But you MUST send them educated about manners.Click To Tweet

What I am also saying is that when you send your child anywhere in another parent’s care, you should be sending a well behaved child. They already have to teach their own kids manners. How many times have you taken care of someone else’s kid who misbehaved and felt the life drained right out of you?

What are your thoughts on other grownups reprimanding your kids?



Latina Mom Rules - Because I Said So
Latina Mom Rules – Because I Said So

24 Responses

  1. I agree with you. As long as the other adults ARE adults, have discipline of their own, are respectable, I would be fine with them correcting my kids. Unfortunately many adults are not worthy of disciplining children these days. I once had an adult correct my daughter’s walking. This adult was a stranger, had no idea my daughter had cerebral palsy. That adult should have minded their own business. In your case such as at the school, CLEARLY they were doing wrong. I do agree we need to be firmer with children. I think many parents these days are afraid to correct children’s behavior.

  2. I believe in what you stand for. I am not a mom yet but I appreciate moms who reprimands other kids. In my country, some moms are afraid to do that even to their own kids and it’s frustrating!

  3. Sometimes the grand kids try to pull things on my when I talk in my soft voice. I have to be stern. I wanted other grown ups to correct my kids when they needed to and I want them to correct my grand kids. They’re going to become the next generation and I want them to be respectful and competent adults.

  4. I don’t have kids so I can’t really comment. However, IF I did, there’s no way I would want ANYONE ELSE reprimanding my children! That’s for me and my husband to do. Their job is to tell me about it. My job is to make sure my children would never have to be reprimanded in the first place!

  5. I didn’t grow up in a Latino household but we pretty much had the same lessons taught to us. It was fun to read your stories though! Good job on calling out those kids.

  6. I am not latina and I also have the same rules. However, I work in an urban public school district and it is very clear that not all parents do have a similar set of rules.

  7. I’m more like do whatever you want kinda parent. I’m really glad that the schools they go to is amazing. They know how to discipline kids (and parents) LOL! – AMER

  8. I really love these rules even if I’m not Latina mom. Thanks for the tips, I will share to my sister too

  9. Kids have to know who is the adult and who is the parent. Tough love is important or they won’t know where they’re boundaries are.

  10. I do not have kids but you reminded me of my time working in a group home taken care of people that have developmental disabilities, which means I have to take care of someone else’s son and daughter who are ill-behaved and very violent, and my energy was drained after a long day. I agree with reprimanding children who does not know how to behave at the public. From my observation, kids who frequently act disrespectfully are born with parents who does not give a damn about their kids’s behavior, like my clients I took care of, most of their parents does not even bother, and ended up blaming us about discipline them.

  11. If my children were acting up and I wasn’t around, I would absolutely expect other parents or grownups to correct them. Not physically, but definitely say something, even if it has to be sternly. I don’t want my kids to be jerks and that’s not how they’re taught at home, but I can’t always be around to make sure they behave appropriately.

  12. We sure need more of this these days. Not enough parents are enforcing values and I think all the social media groups etc are not helping either. Great post.

  13. Oh my gosh, I love this post – not because I am Latina, but because I am a mother who takes her responsibility seriously. I look around these days at kids that are my kids’s ages, and I just shake my head. They get away with murder, and heaven forbid little Johnny gets told to straighten up and behave. It’s sad.

    1. I know Brandi, that’s why I feel it’s even more important to hold strong to your parenting principles. You are helping your kids prepare to thrive when they are older and know how to navigate in the world as disciplined adults.

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