Thursday, December 08, 2005

Childish Antics

A friend of mine forwarded me this link, a story about a cafe that has put a sign about unruly children and denying service in their window.

I have issues with misbehaving children in public. There are some places where I do agree misbehaving children don't belong. When I went to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, someone brought a crying baby. For pete's sake, you cheap-ass bastard, have some decency and GET THE HELL OUT OF THE THEATER!! I paid good money to see that movie experience, and that doesn't include your crying 1-yr old. If Iwasn't smack dam in the middle, I would have gotten the usher and made them remove that person.

As a frequent flier, my one big rule to the gate agents, "please don't give me a seat assignment next to a kid." They can't sit still or they cry or they hit your chair throughout the entire flight. Plus they want to play. Hey, I'm sorry if you're kid is bored, but I was not put on the plane to entertain you child, leave me alone and let me sleep!

Nice resturants are another place where screaming and crying kids should be a no-no. Why do you bring them here anyway? Dropping $20 for a meal, when the kid would probably be happier with a $5 happy meal.

Yet at the same time, having worked in daycare, I know kids can sense when is the worst time for them to act up and pick that moment to have a temper tantrum. I feel for parents when I'm at the mall and their kid is acting like the Tasmanian Devil. How does one control this...? Are misbehaving children a sign of poor or lazy parenting?

My mother would whoop my sister and I's asses, if we stepped out of line. I'm an adult now and she still has a look that can cause me to sit down and shut up.

This is an interesting issue...not particularly black and white...


Blogger JoeinVegas said...

Yes, throw the little bastards out! After spending time with the three little Swedes, and getting stares in the places we went to, yes, it is up to the parents to keep the kids sitting, and leave if they cause trouble.
Little ones in movies? Fancy (read expensive) restaurants? Yes, I go to enjoy, not to suffer.

4:15 PM  
Blogger Merci said...

I like kids, too, but I avoid them in public, just like you. It is so rare anymore for parents to teach their kids to respect other people and be polite.

Some parents have already told their kids how to behave in public. I'll bet those parents point to the sign and say, "See honey, behave and use your indoor voice, just like Mommy told you!" And the other parents have their lawyers on speed dial on their cell phones so they can call as soon as their kid hurts himself while running around with a fork in his hand.

8:02 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

We took Bella to tons of movies when she was a baby. I wore her in a sling, nursed her in need be, and for the most part she slept through. But we sat near the back, on the aisle, so that at the first sign of fussiness I could be out that door before she could draw a breath to fuss. Once she got to the "squirmy" age, the only movies she's attended have been ones in which the audience demographic looks like her!

Only "family-friendly restaurants, too. The highest we'll go with our daughter is Red Lobster or Olive Garden. Fortunately, one of our favorite places (and hers) is Dixie Cafe!

As for the airplane situation, I have not traveled by air with my own child, but have flown with my family when my nephew was a tot. He had horrible ear-pain, and was too young to understand it. The dirty looks, and even COMMENTS my sister got as her wee son cried in pain were inexcusable. I can guarantee you, when there's a crying baby on an airplane, there is NO ONE on that plane more anxious, upset, and miserable than that child's own mother. Just offer a kind, sympathetic word or even just a smile to the next mom you see in that situation, and watch her nearly sob with gratitude, and you'll see what I mean.

As for older children who know better acting up, I'm with you. Train 'em right, or keep 'em home. Read Karen Pryor's book, "Don't Shoot The Dog," for a start! ;-)

Why do I always leave the longest comments on your posts??

2:00 AM  
Blogger Maidink said...

I think some parents are afraid to disipline their children in public.

I'm not one of them.

If Dinks acts up in a store or in a restaurant, she gets the stare and the warning. I've actually left places when she got too much. I'm a mom; I deal with it.

But what pisses me off is when people get bitchy when my child is being a normal two/three year old. She's going to talk loud and make unexpected loud chirps and ask silly questions and sing, etc. When people give me nasty stares when my kid is being a kid, I stare right back and ask they were effin deaf mutes at the age of two.

Of course, we are talking in a store or at a mall or whtever where noise levels tend to be louder. Restaurants ... she is told inside voice. And she listens (thankfully).

Forget the movie theatre ... she's too young IMO. When she's five, okay. But theatres are for quiet and you need a bit of control for that. Three year olds haven't really mastered that yet. Heck, some thirty year olds haven't mastered that yet.

As for planes, she's been on them and was an angel. Her worst period of acting up was when she stood in her seat and shouted to everyone, "Hey, we're on a airplane and in the sky!" Then she sat down and colored and watched her videos. Heck, I remember how friggin bored I used to be and remember all the stuff I wish I had when I was a kid (i.e., portable DVD players, iPods, etc). Ergo, my childhood wishes are my ways of preventing her from being too squirmish now.

Good heavens ... I do spoil her too much.

And I just wrote a book! Seems like I have that problem with long comments, too.

6:30 AM  
Blogger Virginia Gal said...

Joe - I agree up to the parents to discipline their child, I never want to get involved (its not my place, no).
Merci - you are too right, there are parents out there who are very aware and teach their child manners and than there are others, who don't see anything wrong with what their children do. I bet these are the same parents who blame the teacher when their kids get bad grades, rather than looking to see how much effort their child is putting into the class.
Belinda - When I go to a "kiddie" movie, I expect there to be noise and etc, cause like you said, that is demographic specific. And I appreciate that you would at least have the decency to leave a theater if Bella was crying as a baby. My problem at HP was that the child started crying and the parent didn't want to leave - so rude!
As for the plane, I do feel for the parent whose child cries because of the pain - that is awful and I don't say a thing (but I do usually put my pillow over my head), but I hate having to entertain a child, that is what coloring books are for! For small children, a trick a doctor friend of mine told me, for long flights, give them a little bit of benedryl, will knock them right out for the entire flight and it doesn't hurt them!
Maidink - Yes, there are some people, I've seen on the plane, who have no patience with little kids. I usually just try to ignore them, want to get settled in and go to sleep :) . At the mall or places where there is loud noise already, I have no problem with kids being active, heck I encourage it at the gate of a plane, get all their energy out before they board. I can't even imagine how difficult it is, when a child starts acting up - my hats off to you and all parents for not just washing your hands of the whole thing, I swear I think children know when you are in public and will create really bad scenes.

7:35 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

That's why we hire sitters, so when I go to a movie or a nice restaurant, I resent those who do not.

Flying - well, that really can't be helped if someone has to travel. It does suck getting stuck next to an unruly toddler, though.

When one of mine has a tantrum in a public place, we are outta there - I have left shopping carts that are half-full right in the store.

But, as parents, we really are damned if we do, damned if we don't. If we don't "discipline" our children in public, we are indulging them; if we do, with a swat on the butt, say - we are "abusing" them, and someone will stick their nose into that.

10:52 AM  
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11:56 AM  

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