I have been thinking about this topic for a while, especially since that recent article about the restaurant that banned children under six from eating there.
I have children. I have taught them from an early age that they need to behave in public places. I have removed them from such places for misbehaving, and there are repercussions for misbehaving. My children are so good in restaurants that I have lost count of the times they have gotten free desserts and tons of compliments from the staff at the restaurants we go. My children have been vocal on occasion about pointing out misbehaving children in restaurants and public places, as well as misbehaving adults in those same places.
What gets me about this new trend is that I do feel it punishes those parents who have taught their children how to act in public. I also feel that there is a new trend by people who don’t have children and those that do. I think we are becoming a society that is all about “me.”
Children are a part of life. Those of us who choose to have them should raise them to be able to get along well in society. If we ban them from the public, how are they ever going to be able to apply and continue to learn how to act in public? Parents need to lovingly discipline their children. There are too many parents that allow their children to misbehave in public and feel that they should be able to do whatever they want to do. On the opposite side, there are many adults that choose not to have children that feel they are entitled to never have to deal with a child. It just isn’t right.
For as many misbehaving children in public, I have seen just as many misbehaving adults. The most recent was an ironic experience at an upscale restaurant this past weekend. My husband and I went to an upscale restaurant this weekend to celebrate our anniversary. There were a few small children at the restaurant, and my husband and I commented a few times throughout the evening about how well-behaved they were. However, there was a small scene before we left. Was it caused by the children? No. It was caused by a few adults that thought it would be funny to climb on top of the decor and cause a disruption to the patrons.
This whole issue really frustrates me because so many people are quick to comment on the disruptive children and blame children and parents as a whole, which means that we all get punished. What about those without children who are just as bad? What about the ones that my son has hushed in a movie theater, much to the delight of the other patrons? What about the ones that talk loudly on their cell phones in a restaurant, treat the staff poorly, and climb all over the decor? Can we ban them too? When does it end?
My message to the entitled parents and the entitled non-parents is this: the world is big enough for all of us. While there are some places children really should not be, we cannot just leave them at home all the time. We all need to co-exist.