*warning - rant coming*
I lived nearly 30 years with no children, and I don't remember being so obnoxiously opposed to children. What are parents expected to do? Lock ourselves in our house until the children are 30 years old? How would they learn socially appropriate behavior if they don't have opportunities to practice?
The majority of the time my children are reasonably well behaved in public. But there are times when I swear to you, I am doing everything I can and they are just unruly. THEY ARE KIDS. The problem is, it is often unpredictable, so I may think they are going to be well behaved in the restaurant, yet all hell breaks loose when we get there. I take my children outside if weather permits, or to the restroom. In extreme cases, I've taken them out to the car. However, there are some instances where this would be a very difficult solution.
I have a stay-at-home mom friend who was hugely pregnant and took her 3-year-old to the post office with her because she needed to get a gift in the mail. After standing in line for more than 30 minutes (all the while, her 3-year-old behaved), the child decided to pitch a major fit right when it was her turn at the counter. She figured she would just hurry up and get her business done. Here she is, tired, pregnant, embarrassed, and what happens? Strangers start telling her how she should handle her child, criticizing her, and glaring at her.
You know what, I can't tell you how many times I've seen full grown adults behave way worse than any child. Why are they allowed to go to restaurants and fly on planes?
In the article above, it is debated whether airline passengers should have to tolerate babies crying or kids being unruly. So, if I agree that passengers shouldn't have to tolerate this, then my children won't ever see my husband's family? Or if I fly with them, I should take two children to the tiny bathroom and lock myself in there with them?
For what it is worth, when we fly our children are very well behaved 95% of the time. We keep them entertained, fed, and we pace with them in the aisles if they are restless. However, there have been a couple of instances when I couldn't do anything - once was during descent when I wasn't allowed to get out of my seat and the baby had a wet diaper - she was a little fussy. I guess the freaking air marshall should have arrested us.
Let's have a debate about why adults shouldn't be allowed on flights:
- They fart and it is permeates the entire plane in a very disgusting manner. I DON'T WANT TO BREATHE YOUR POOP PARTICLES!!
- They drink too much and talk too loudly.
- They lean their chairs back even though I already can taste the coffee that spilled on my pants (since my knees are crammed in my face).
- They take my arm rest. It is clearly MY armrest.
- They treat the flight attendants like crap. "Raddy, raddy, rah. Hmpf. Look at me, I'm Mr. Important Business Person, so I should be allowed to do whatever I want and you should be at my beckon call."
- They have temper tantrums when they don't get their way (e.g., asked to turn off cell phone during takeoff).
So, Mr. or Ms. Obnoxious Adult, why don't you put yourself in timeout in the disgusting, smelly bathroom?
What do you all think?
- How do you feel about children in public places?
- What is your limit on what is reasonable to expect from children? What are the exceptions (certain circumstances)?
- What do adults do in public that you think is worse than what children do?
I like this short but effective article about children's behavior in public. The gist is that it is about balancing the child's needs and the need to teach them appropriate behavior with the needs of the general public. One doesn't trump the other, but both needs are important.