A Conversation for Parenthood
Reigncloud Posted Jul 31, 2000
Good point. Dining out with my daughter has become my form of dieting. I'm exhausted before our meals arrive, and by the time I get a nibble, it's always cold. If only I could leave her home as easily as I could leave a pack of cigarettes behind - I'd be sitting in the "no children" section too.
Cheerful Dragon Posted Jul 31, 2000
Can I suggest a third section for this eating area: 'Well-behaved children'. As far as I'm concerned, it's not the children per se who are the problem. Richard and I have stopped off for a cup of tea in places where there have been children, and the children have been so quiet and well-behaved that we haven't even realised they were there. (Pretty much like me and Richard when we were kids.) We have also had to contend with screaming babies and misbehaving children. Those are the ones we like to avoid.
You could also have a section for 'Snotty Parents'. Richard and I were in the cafe at Beaulieu (a stately home with an excellent motor museum, for those that don't know). A lad of about 12 carelessly bumped into our table. Reckoning that he was old enough to be responsible for his own actions, we asked him to be more careful. His dad then turned on us (and I mean 'turned on' rather than 'turned to') and said that if we had problems with his son, we should talk to him (the dad) rather than his son. As it was his son that was at fault, why should we talk to the father?
Reigncloud Posted Aug 20, 2000
No doubt there are rude parents. Still, I wonder what tone you used toward the kid. What would you have done or said if an adult made such a mistake? I'm not defending a rude parent, just questioning what the other side of the story may be. As for sections for well behaved children, nice concept. That would be another way to insure that my family won't have to sit near the rudely intolerant.
Though I agree some parents lack the ability to discipline, to blame a child's bad behavior exclusively on bad parenting skills is ridiculous and unfair. If you have children yourself you know that a number of things play a part in their behavior, hunger and tiredness to name a couple. Even a child's personality - which IS his or her own - plays a part, as does age, etc. Some children are naturally quiet, some outspoken. Though it may be more work, I like that my child speaks when she has something to say. Manners must be learned, and she learns them, but not without trial and error. Until she is better able to handle her own responsibility to behave, I will not dine out as much or at more refined restaurants. But when I do, I pray that other patrons respect my need to expose my child to the situations in which they must learn. Along with that respect I hope for, is patience when a misstep happens. If perfect behavior were required before one could venture out without reproach, that perfect behavior would rarely be learned. Field experience is the best learning tool. (Which is probably why many non-parents don't get what it is to be a parent.)
Adults with attitudes like some I read here are just as offensive as parents who take no responsibility for their child's behavior. Either way, one is assuming to know far more than one possibly could. The whole world is viewed through one's own narrow experiences. Both extremes think the world should do and accept what they do and accept. If families bother you, don't go to family restaurants.
Administrator-General (5+0+9)*3+0 Posted Aug 23, 2000
Well spoken. Families (at least rude ones) bother me, therefore I don't go to family restaurants. I'm more often seen dining at the bar. If you feel the need to expose your child to a barroom atmosphere, you might do well to wait until he's 21 anyway.
Key: Complain about this post
More Conversations for Parenthood
Write an Entry
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."