To read about F's and my London trip, start here and click "newer post" to continue the story.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Here is an article about restaurants where the misbehavior of small children is discouraged.

I think this is a significant quote:

"I love people who don't have children who tell you how to parent," said Alison Miller, 35, a psychologist, corporate coach and mother of two. "I'd love for him to be responsible for three children for the next year and see if he can control the volume of their voices every minute of the day."

You don't have to control their volume every minute. What you do is, you teach them that there's a time to run around and scream (and I hope her kids have such a time, at a playground or in the back yard) and a time to be quiet. This is how children start to learn self-control. People do their children a real disservice when they don't start working on this during toddlerhood.

And here:

Kim Cavitt recalled having coffee and a cookie one afternoon with her boisterous 2-year-old when "someone came over and said you just need to keep her quiet or you need to leave."'

"We left, and we haven't been back since," Ms. Cavitt said. "You go to a coffee shop or a bakery for a rest, to relax, and that you would have to worry the whole time about your child doing something that children do - really what they're saying is they don't welcome children, they want the child to behave like an adult."

Ms. Cavitt isn't taking into account that other people go to the coffee shop or bakery to rest and relax, too, and they don't want to hear her screaming kid. And I say this as the mother of a wonderful person who once was a screaming kid on occasion. I had to put up with her screams because I am her mother, but other people are under no obligation to do so and they do not find it charming.

Here's one more quote from a parent:

"The litmus test for me is if they have highchairs or not," said Ms. Dehl, the woman who scooped her screaming son from his seat during brunch, as she waited out his restlessness on a sidewalk bench. "The fact that they had one highchair, and the fact that he's the only child in the restaurant is an indication that it's an adult place, and if he's going to do his toddler thing, we should take him out and let him run around."

In other words, the world doesn't revolve around her son. How about that.

Via Joanne Jacobs.


Homer said...

Yay you! I never screamed in restaurants, nor did my sister, and I don't see why I should listen to other people's brats doing that. People talk about how kids are treated better in the Mediterranean - i.e. taken out to eat with adults from toddlerhood - but they are expected to sit still and behave!

Dave E said...

I don't have kids but my parents raised six. They had the same perspective as you that there are times you let your kids run around and scream but when we were in public places, particularly restaurants, they were very firm that we all be well behaved. It's a matter of respect for other people. I'm actually very tolerant of other people's babies and toddlers as long as they're not indifferent to the rest of us. I have very little patience for parents who are completely indifferent to everyone else and/or can't control kids who are old enough to know, or should know, better.