Spare The Rod

Last modified on September 9th, 2010

I was just reading an article about a restaurant in Carolina Beach that no longer tolerates screaming kids inside the restaurant. Obviously it’s a bit controversial, at least because they are making their policy public. But I wanted to see what everyone else though.

As far as I’m concerned, I have no problem with it at all. I understand that kids will be kids, but if your kid is having a really bad day, then I don’t see why everyone else in the restaurant has to have a crappy meal because of it. It’s one thing to when a newborn is fussy, because they don’t know any better. But I think it’s completely reasonable to expect parents to deal with screaming kids outside, or possibly take them home.

I’m absolutely amazed what kids are allowed to get away with nowadays. Maybe it’s because you can’t smack a kid anymore, but kids seem to be given free reign whenever I’m out in public. I was at a coffee shop last month and some kid was literally running around in circles like a gymnasium and knocking stuff off of tables while the parents were laughing like it’s funny. That same kid started banging on my laptop monitor, trying to see what I would do. At the doctor’s office a few weeks ago another kid was treating the whole place like a jungle gym, and eventually ended up pulling the window blinds right off the wall. The kid’s mother sat and did nothing while this was going on.

When I grew up, behaviour like that wasn’t tolerated. Sure, smacking a kid on the bum was allowed back then, and I knew lots of kids who would get the belt from time to time. Nowadays that’s child abuse, but it sure stopped a lot of kids from being mischievous and unruly in my day. Most kids that got the belt for doing something bad never ever did it again. I’m not advocating that parents should be hitting their kids, because I don’t think they should, but I think parents need to take some responsibility for the behaviours of their children, especially in public. I also think other patrons need to be understanding when someone’s kids are having a bad day. But when it hits a point where everyone in a paid, public establishment is impacted, then I personally think it’s time to take your kid somewhere else and sort the problem out.

Just my two cents. Feel free to chime in.

6 responses to “Spare The Rod”

  1. Lisa says:

    Here here. Absolutely agree. As a former university educator, I’ve seen the result of 20 years of children being treated like princes and princesses, and it’s not pretty. Kids are entitled, stubborn, and ignorant of the needs of those around them; we even had seminars at my university on how to deal with this sociological trend. You’re not their best friends, people, you’re their parents, and discipline is your job.

  2. Tom says:

    I always found that a “Bonking on the Head” with the words, “Don’t ever, ever, ever, do that again, worked quite well.

  3. Duncan says:

    I agree. Our kids are very well behaved because we’ve instilled good manners in them from an early age. We are also lucky in that both of our boys began reading early, starting with picture books:).
    There are times when our kids Start to have a fuss or meltdown in public. Either myself or my wife promptly march them outside for a time out and a stern warning that their behaviour was unacceptable.
    If on the rare occasion they still can’t behave,
    One of us takes them to the car and waits with them until everyone else is done.

    There’s a real lack of common etiquette these days. My parents taught us basic manners and we followed their example. We always respected those around us and would never invade someone elses space without permission.

  4. Jen says:

    I’m with all the previous commenters. If my brothers or I ever dared misbehave out in public, we’d be marched out of whatever situation that was immediately and we knew we were in for it at home (rarely a spanking, but my parents had also mastered the art of making us feel VERY bad for being such disappointing humans).

    I was always raised to be quite aware and respectful of the world around me – that meant even when my brothers were babies, if one of them started to fuss, one parent would remove them immediately and come back when they’d settled down. Nobody deserves to have to deal with someone else’s fussy or screaming child.

    Of course, that plan doesn’t work quite as well on airplanes with babies but do not even get me started about misbehaving kids on airplanes. gah.

  5. Hesty says:

    What’s wrong with asking the parent to take the screaming kids out of the airplane? 🙂

  6. Clay says:

    Kids can be disciplined without violence, and here-in lies the problem; many parents just don’t get how to be a disciplinarian without raising a hand. I have a buddy who’s kids were never spanked, and they’ve grown up to be really good folks. They were never spanked, but they also never got away with stuff like you describe up there. And duane…if some little cretin smacked my laptop screen, there would be a very definite and immediate reaction. He wouldn’t get hit, not by me anyways, but the parents would certainly hear about it, and not in a ‘aww i know it’s hard’ way.

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