Kids In Adult-Oriented Places…
Weekly Writing Challenge: How do you feel about children in adult-oriented places? It depends on the age, location and circumstance. For starters, children don’t belong in bars or late night adult parties; the rest is negotiable depending on their age and the reasons for the outing. We all have an occasional bad day… and the same goes for our children. If we take time to prepare ourselves and our kids for challenging situations, and determine when it is appropriate to keep them home or take them out with us, we’ve won half the battle. I titled the post On Tykes & Terrible Twos… because that happens to be a particularly difficult age for little kids and the possibility of meltdowns are higher. But if we remember to prepare ourselves for such outbursts and stay away from potentially explosive situations, we will survive that phase unscathed. Of course, things can and do change.
“Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.”Lady Bird Johnson
Several years ago, when my twins were little, we went out to eat with friends at a fairly nice restaurant that was also kid friendly. We came prepared with extra snacks and toys; every parent knows we need these extras… The kids settled down at the table with crayons and paper provided by the restaurant, and we turned to our own chit chat. Not long after we arrived, another family came in with a little boy in tow. They sat down and went through the same motion we did; provide toys, offer a snack, make promises about surprise treats for good behavior, and offer periodic hugs, kisses and answers to endless questions.
Little Tommy (let’s pretend it’s his name) seemed quite adept at playing and responding to the indulgent adults with him, nodding his head again and again as his mom promised him the moon. Suddenly, out of the blue, Tommy started whining about his seat. Before you could say boo, he had a major meltdown and his mom had to carry him out of the restaurant. You could feel the tension in the air. Some patrons looked annoyed. Others glared at us as if we were next, and we looked at them with a smile, and then at our kids with pleading eyes (or some would say with threatening eyes)… mouthing, “Please just be calm.” We all go through it and we survive. What would you have done? More below!
“A person’s a person, no matter how small.” Dr. Seuss
One thing I know for sure is that I chose to parent differently from the way my parents raised me… I grew up in a very formal household with some of the usual rigidities, but lots of travel. My kids are from a different generation and so we incorporated things that made sense for their Gen X. However, good manners, civility, and consideration for others were part of our parenting. We traveled globally and exposed them to other cultures; this is something special my parents gave me and I wanted it for my kids. As parents, we do the best we can teaching them about boundaries and expected public decorum; we intervene when they misbehave and guide them through their teen years; then the rest is up to our kids and their individual temperament… If we establish early guidelines and teach our kids to be considerate and kind, we will find that with time, those teachings will/do kick in. What about your experiences?
What are your thoughts? What do you remember from raising your kids? Did you struggle with bad behavior? Did humor help? How differently did you parent from the way your parents raised you? Do share! Thank you.
*Please bear with me as I catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: How do you feel about children in adult-oriented places? Everyone loves kids, right? Right! Except when they don’t. This week, we’re particularly interested in what you think about kids in adult-oriented places. I think most of us can agree that it’s not a good idea to drag little Sally to a bar at 1AM, but what about a museum? A fancy restaurant?
Positive Motivation Tip: Our children depend on us for guidance and mirror what we do… Be vigilant.
- Children in adult-oriented places: a collection of [random] thoughts! (3rdculturechildren.com)
- DP Challenge- Kids In Adult-Oriented Places (brouhaha-access.com)
- The Terrible Twos! (debenhams.com)
- Discipline dilemma (thedimplesliveon.wordpress.com)
- Dp Challenge: Kids (cloudandmountain.com)