Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Silent Concessions

I am not surprised, though disappointed, by this article in the The New York Times. What is wrong with parents today? I was NEVER allowed to scream in a restaurant. This isn't expecting children to act like adults. Adults don't get to color in their menus. It is expecting children to use some self-control. What parent allows their child to scream, romp, etc. in a restaurant? I can remember, years ago, when the signs became popular that said, "What little fingers break, big fingers buy." If your child misbehaves, you (the parent) have to deal with the consequences. Allowing children to behave like animals is not acceptable in public. There are other people in restaurants and shops that do not feel like dealing with your inability to parent. Why should they? Why is with the superiority attitude of parents today? "I have children - you don't. I'm special." Please. No one expects a baby or toddler to be a perfect child at the dinner table. Children are going to be rebellious, scream, get mad, etc. That does not mean it is acceptable to allow their behavior to make the rest of those around you miserable. You remove them from the situation, deal with the behavior - whether they are sick, misbehaving, whatever - and then you can return to your meal. That is parenting - it is inconvenient, frustrating, and changes your level of freedom. To allow your child to interrupt the evening of others is unacceptable, and teaches children nothing. Teaching your children that they must respect those around them is a valuable lesson. There again, their parents have to have that respect first.