June 06, 2006

Being a Parent means being an adult, mm'kay?

I'm not a parent, but I don't think that means I've given up the right to complain about how other people's kids behave in public.

After all, I was a kid once, and certain things were expected of me.  I needed to be quiet, not silent, mind you, but quiet.  I was required to keep my food on the table, refrain from spilling if at all possible, and I had to say "Please" and "Thank You" to the wait staff.  Even to the person behind the counter at McDonald's

So it irks the holy crap out of me when people these days refuse to discipline their children for acting out in a restaurant.

It's pretty simple:
--If you can't trust your young child to behave acceptably in public, don't take them out.  Even a normally well-behaved child who is tired. 
--If your child gets loud, take them out.  The waitstaff will be more than happy to watch your belongings while you're outside if you have to leave the table altogether for a few minutes.  There's a big difference between a 30 second outburst and a 10 minute screaming jag.
--Make sure your kids know what is expected of them and be willing to give them consequences.  I knew I sure as hell was gonna sit in the car if I acted out.
--Manners start at home.  Use your everyday dining experience to teach "please" and "thank you" and how to use utensils properly.

In this op-ed piece in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, mother of 2 Wendy Heath takes the manager of a "family" restaurant to task for asking them to leave after her 2 year old pitched a fit.

The response has been huge.  And nearly all of it siding with the manager.  This prompted another column in the AJ-C, defending Ms. Heath's outrage.  Read the column, and the responses to it.

Some people will just never understand.
h/t McGehee

Posted by caltechgirl at June 6, 2006 11:12 AM | TrackBack

There is no reason for children to be badly behaved in pubic and no excuse for it. I am not a parent, but I take my young cousins with me on excursions quite often and each of them, including the year old has proper manners and conducts themselves well or else they will not be invited again.

Manners are a valuable tool in life and we learn them when we are young or not at all, I'd hate to see the person that molly-coddled child growns into.

Posted by: silk at June 7, 2006 03:04 AM

We don't go out to eat a lot with the little one, but when we do, I am prepared: I bring toys, snacks, books, etc. It's my job & my husband's to make it a pleasant experience for our family AND to not spoil the experience of the other diners.

Three minutes of outburst is a looooooong time in public. The father could have gathered up their stuff & waited for the mom outside. Seems like a no-brainer. Maybe that's the problem. He had no brain.

Posted by: Marie at June 7, 2006 07:56 AM

Ugh. I hate it when parents *refuse* to "parent"....

Posted by: Richmond at June 8, 2006 05:36 PM