Okay. Breathe. Count to 10. Ready now. I don't get offended or upset easily. I can hear people's opinions and usually listen to what they have to say, but sometimes, I do get really frustrated. Reading the Dec/Jan edition of Parenting magazine and in the Mom Poll (page 24 if you are interested) and the question was "Should restaurants have the right to ban loud or screaming children?" One of the responses to Yes was this:
"I never understood why some parents seem to need to inflict their brats on the general public. Are they too cheap to hire a babysitter, or do they actually enjoy all the screaming? The management has every right to ask an unruly customer to leave. I see no difference between an offensive drunk and a screaming child, except it's not the child's fault he/she has inept parent. Anon4242"
First let me say, I know crying/loud/obnoxious kids in restaurants is annoying. I get it. I know servers don't enjoy dealing with children sometimes. Sometimes, my child is the one being the "brat". I understand why some people say that they should ban. Do I agree? Depends on the restaurant. Any restaurant that has a children's menu, high chairs, boosters....heck no. If it doesn't, then sure--they are already telling parents the child isn't welcome. Now, getting up on my soapbox for a minute.....
To answer the questions and reply,
1) No, we are not too cheap to hire a babysitter. We simply like to enjoy a meal out together. If "our brats" are not allowed to be out in public because, HEAVEN FORBID, they make a peep, they will never learn how to act in public.
2) Do we enjoy the screaming? No, but that is why one of us will take our child outside to calm him down, bring a coloring activity in or bring food to tide them over until the meal gets there. Will they still be a little loud? Possibly, but most good parents will deal with it.
3)Am I an inept parent because my child makes noise or isn't happy 100% of the time or wants attention....HELL NO. Children are impulsive, children don't completely understand the difference in locations, but as I said in No. 1--if they aren't exposed, then they can't learn? Nothing gets me more aggravated then having someone make comments that their child would NEVER ever act up in public, never whine, never act ugly to someone, always uses their manners because they know better. I am sorry. I have known some wonderful children, but I have never seen the perfect child. And for those that do swear that their child is on the best behavior 100% of the time.......I just have one thing to say--WRITE A FREAKING PARENTING BOOK that doesn't include beating them into submission. Okay, that last part was a bit nasty (I am not going to debate spanking with anyone), but you hopefully can understand why I feel that way. Children are impulsive, and they are learning to express emotions so if you are saying I should be banned because my 2 year old cries/fusses/laughs too loudly, then maybe YOU should eat at a restaurant that doesn't cater to families......or are YOU to cheap?
4) Lastly, comparing children that GASP....behave like children to unruly drunks??? That is the absolutely most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. I can't even fathom how anyone can justify that statement.
Stepping off the soapbox now. Should children be taught to behave, have good manners, be respectful.....absolutely. Should they be banned and parents be considered bad parents because they don't act like perfect angels? I don't think I need to say this, but I think not. Now just to clarify---there are crappy parents out there who don't teach their children these things, that ignore them when out in public and just don't care what their child is doing...that's a whole different blog. But for the majority or parents, I think most will agree. We do the best we can and shouldn't be referred to as inept or our children brats.