Learned something about kids in public
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|Sat, 08-09-2003 - 1:22am|
To refresh your memory, I take my kids pretty much everywhere with me. I have no issues with taking them to the doctor with me, out to nice restaurants with me, to weddings, funerals, etc. Anytime we have "dinner parties", children are included. Children are a HUGE part of our lives and we just include them in most everything.
Over the coarse of the weekend, I witnessed several things that made me think of these recent discussions here.
1) First night away, we stop for dinner in a really nice steak restaurant. We are seated next to a table of 6 people, two children and 4 adults. The kids are about 3 and 5. Thank GOD they were finishing their meals as we came into the restaurant, but the kids were HORRIBLE. The younger one got up and actually ran across the room! So, mom picks him up, saying nothing to him, and sits down, with him in her lap. All the while he is SCREAMING (as only a 3 year old can) this squealing "wanna gooooooo" "wanna gooooooo". So, mom wraps one arm around him, including his arms, so he CANNOT move, and he continues to squeal, so mom puts a hand over his mouth. the ENTIRE time, she NEVER says a WORD to him. They ALL ignored these two kids the entire time we were there, which was about 40 minutes. It is no WONDER the kids were miserable and misbehaving in the restaurant!!! It wasn't the kids, it was the ADULTS not parenting, and not paying ANY attention to the kids!
2) ONe of the mornings we were gone (don't remember which), we went to a Cracker Barral for "brunch". The restaurant was broken into three "areas" within one large room. We were in the center "area", and in the middle of eating when two boys start RUNNING through the (pretty crowded) restaurant, from their "area", around the partition separating our area from theirs, through our area, in a circular pattern. These kids were like 6 and 8! And the parents LET THEM!!! It was INSANE!
3) We were at Sea World this week, and it was HOT HOT HOT out! WE were hot, and we spent most of our time in the water and/or shade. We had taken a seat on a bench, in the shade to rest a little and eat some ice cream, and here comes a lady (about 3pm) with her 4 year old (approximately) in a stroller (fine, no problem with this), and a baby who couldn't have been even 2 months old in her arms. The babys face was RED, he was SCREAMING. The baby was obviously hot and tired, and he did NOT need to be out in that. Now, this was a kids place, but not for an infant, not in those temps. The baby was reacting to the heat the way he knew how...the mother was just an IDIOT for having him out there!
So, my point in this...I'm still working on it. ;-P
My kids have been in all kinds of public situations like these (excluding the baby in the HEAT). They behave in doctors offices and restaurants and stores, at weddings and funerals, etc because they are EXPECTED to, they have been taught to, and because we include them in whatever the "event" is.
While we were gone, my girlfriend went in to the military immunization clinic to get a tetnus (how DO you spell that) shot for her and her oldest daughter, and took all 6 kids 2 mine, 4 hers). They had to wait over 45 minutes, and all 6 kids sat quietly and never moved, because they have been taught, from day one, how to behave in public. My girlfriend had each of them take a book with them to look at/read while there, and there was no problems (never is).
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I can understand the frustrations people have with children in public who are just not taught to mind and/or are in a position where they are forced to act out. Even the most formal occasions can be made child-friendly by the parents/adults. But many parents don't seem to want to discipline their kids or teach their kids or deal with it. I don't understand it myself...any thoughts?