I didn't have kids because I thought over the responsibilities it entails, and I decided I had other things to do.
I love being an aunt, and have friends whose children regarded me in that category.
And there's a big difference between a child who is having a meltdown with a parent who is trying their best to handle said child, and one who ignores obnoxious and/or dangerous behavior on the part of their child.
I'm sympathetic to the first, but not to the second.
My best friend/former asst BM is in town with her 3 yo DD. We were at a fun show at the barn this weekend, and DD missed her nap. She had a nuclear meltdown at one point -- that lasted about 5 minutes (and was just funny as heck) -- then she was fine the rest of the afternoon. Because she had been so well-behaved all day, no one said word boo about it.
If parents are making an effort to manage their child, empathy, understanding and patience is in order. If they are oblivious, a calm conversation to bring it to their attention is in order. If they ignore your conversation, then a word with management is in order. If that doesn't work, then you need to decide if you're continue to patronize that barn/store/restaurant, etc.
"Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."
Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous
Trak, are you sure she's feral, and it's not a pain issue? Try getting her teeth done, and checking for ulcers. If all is well, my advice would be to try and bond with the Feral Child. Lock her in the roundpen and chase her with a carrot stick until she submits to playing the 7 Games. If that doesn't work, try calling an Animal Communicator. If that STILL doesn't work, well, toss her out with an old, babysitter broodmare to teach her some manners.
OMG how do you get Diet Pepsi out of a keyboard? I spewed! TotT that was CLASSIC!!!
If Feral Child (and I LOVE the term btw) is still running amok, tie her in the crossties one day while Birthgiver is riding. Preferably with a heavy D snap that tiny fingers can't get open very easily.
I obviously don't have an issue with kids, I have and almost 8 year old. I do however have an issue with out of control kids. My DD has ridden since she was 3, needless to say we board at a barn that is "child friendly". I think there is a fundamental difference between enthusiastic children and ones that have never been told no. DD and I just finished reading the secret garden (one of my childhood favourites) and there was a great line about children who either never get their own way or always get it being equally spoiled.
Perhaps the mum isn't really a mum, as trak says, maybe she is more of a "breeder, more interested in herself than in her child. I mean who let's their kids run amok at the barn?? Do you not care enough to leave the child at home? My DD and her BFF both ride in the shorties and are at the barn six days a week. They can be "enthusiastic" to say the least, but they know how to behave around horses and they are never, never left to their own devices in the barn. Also when I ride my DD is either mucking stalls or riding with me