Home for my rants, raves and general sharing of 'insytes'. Some of you will enjoy this gathering of text - others will wonder how I tricked them into giving me a Blogger's license...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Please behave and use your indoor voice...

George Scarlett, a professor of child development at Tufts University in Boston states "The rights of any one individual — whether he or she be a parent, child or stranger — do not negate the rights of others."

I provide this quote as there has been some flack recently over a story about a cafe owner in the Chicago area who posted a a sign on his front door stating 'Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices.' It seems several parents in the area take this as a dig and feel their kids are no longer welcome in the cafe. I think these folks missed the point - it is not about segregation and penalizing them and their childen - it is simply about etiquette and good parenting.

I say kudos to Dan McCauley and encourage more business owners and private citizens to take a stand. Let's bring the issue of bad manners into the light and try to resolve it - peacefully.

Zulema Suarez, a professor who studies parenting, adds, "Children don't need to be allowed to run wild and free, but they do need to be allowed to express themselves." Sure, give them room to explore - just please set guidelines. I understand you can't control the volume of your children's voices every minute - just try for the minutes when they are in public places (movie theatres, restaurants, on red eye flights, etc.) - heck, before they enter my house too. Teach them to respect personal property and other peoples 'zones'. Don't let scream for an hour hoping they'll eventually stop. Do not cave and give them everything they want. This passive attitude turns your child(ren) into selfish, unruly adults - and Lord know there are enough of those people around these days.

Of course, this is easy for me to say/write/share as I am a girl in my 30's who does not currently have any kids. And if Murphy's Law decides to have its way with me - I will spawn a demon child who cannot be controlled by anyone, and those close to me will reminisce about this post for years to come.
Well, hopefully not. There are so many wonderful people around me that I can use as examples of how to raise your kids, including my dear friend Jones who has brought up three lovable, respectable, zany but well-behaved kids who I gladly take with me anywhere. If I could only do half as well as her, I would still be ahead of so many. Thank you Jones for leading by example. I love you man!

And no, mom, I am not pregnant. Yet. :)


Blogger Chris Heuer said...

Seems that when I dont have time to write about something important, Kristie does. Instead of writing my thoughts in this area, I went ahead and jumped into the Mena vs. Ben discussion, which has a similar theme in a different context. Perhaps not surprisingly, I agree with Kristie. Most of the time, I find the antics of children in supermarkets, starbucks and other places amusing. Then there are those times where they are over the top and you have to wonder how they got that way...well we know how, bad parenting. While we won't have little demon children running around, I do know we are going to be challenged in some interesting ways. By then though, I hope we will be up to the task....

4:06 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

“Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when they come to A Taste of Heaven.”

First, if you think this policy is aimed only at children, or at all children, then you’re a fool. Loud mouths appear on the faces of people of all ages, and this message is for those people.

If this sign makes you feel stressed, guilty or unwelcome, then look to yourself.

If you think that this policy is “anti-child”, then you’re a fool and part of the problem.

If your kids are truly well behaved and you’re offended, then you’re a fool because you have no beef.

If you think that your child is an angel, then you’re wrong. You’re a fool, and part of the problem.

If you think that you have a right to inflict your child’s (or your) bad behavior on others, you’re a jerk.

If you’re an adult who’s offended by the mere presence of children in any environment, then you’re a jerk.

If you get offended when notified when your child is disturbing others, too bad. Teach your child how to behave in public. Jerk.

If YOU are not well behaved and you’re offended by being told about it, too bad. Grow up and learn how to behave in public. Jerk.

Nobody should have to tell you that if there are no high chairs, and there’s no kiddy menu, then it’s not a place for children.

Most good people understand that a small child will have a meltdown on occasion. They’ll understand if it’s a short outburst, but when the parent doesn’t deal with the outburst then the parent is the problem.

If you won’t stop your child from running around, screaming, yelling or throwing food in the restaurant, then you’re a jerk.

If you think it’s ok to change your child’s diaper on the dinner table, then the word “jerk” isn’t strong enough.

7:09 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

you dont get badley behaved kids through bad parenting, i have 6 children and i have 1 child that miss behaves you do know all children miss behave i bet even your cildren do

4:28 PM


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