I’m not one of THOSE parents

By kate on June 7th, 2008

I just read this article in the Seattle P-I and was flabbergasted at the deliberately even-handed tone. The reporter gives equal time and weight to people who don’t want kids disturbing their businesses and parents who feel they have the right to impose their children on everyone. Excuse me? I didn’t realize that it is now supposedly OK to let your kids run rampant. Parents with this kind of entitled attitude infuriate me.

Even though I’m also a parent, and love my kid enough to think she walks on water, I would never presume that anyone else is happy to see her. If a business requests that children not be present, I’m happy to respect that. In other businesses, Ruby is kept on a very short (figurative) leash. She knows to stay right by me, doesn’t touch things without permission, and talks in a normal speaking voice. When she disobeys any of these rules, she gets a single quick warning, followed by a time-out if she still doesn’t listen. If her noise level rises (and she won’t be quickly hushed), I take her right outside so as not to disturb others. The only places I let Ruby run free are specifically for families: playgrounds, playcenters, parks, etc. (Then, I’m happy to sit back and let her run around exploring things for herself.) Because of our high expectations and this consistent discipline, we’re able to do things like take Ruby to restaurants and grown-up events.

Unlike the self-centered parents quoted in the article, I encourage you to tell me if my child is bothering you (or your patrons). I won’t get ridiculously offended that you dared to question my parenting practices. While “even the best-behaved child is going to have a bad day and throw themselves down on the ground and scream,” when that happens it’s the parent’s responsibility to remove the child immediately, rather than shrug it off as just the way it goes.

We all live in this world together, and the more courteous we all are, the better. Don’t you want your child to learn that lesson, too?

Filed under: media, parenting
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3 Responses to “I’m not one of THOSE parents”

  1. buzz Says:

    We’ve been venturing out more with Z to restaurants in the past month.

    I find myself doing two things: 1. tipping better because there’s sure to be a cup and a half of cheerios, rice and meat on the floor. 2. eating really quickly in case he cant hack it and we need to bolt.

    You nailed it all Kate, wd.

  2. Michael Kwan Says:

    I was just on a 12-hour flight to Taiwan and there was a crying toddler in the row behind me. The caretaker (presumably the kid’s mother) did nothing to stop the child from bellowing her lungs out and it made for a very bad flight.

  3. kate Says:

    I’m sympathetic to this, having just camped next to a couple with an 8-month-old who screamed for ages in the middle of the night. However, to be fair, if they were in the row behind you, you probably didn’t see all the things the caretaker was desperately doing. And, most importantly, on a plane there is nowhere to take the child, no “outside”. If the child can’t be placated (which does sometimes happen), they can’t be removed from the situation as one usually would.

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