When do you say something to a parent who has a badly behaved child in a public place?
In a restaurant yesterday, some very loud children were not only causing a ruckus that was disturbing everyone but sitting on top of the booth with their feet literally on the table while the two adults were having martinis and ignoring them. I am a big believer that you should leave other parents alone about their child's behavior because you probably don't know the whole situation but at what point do you say something?
I usually give the kids my evil eye and the stare down. And, it works. People don't want to be told anything when it comes to their children. Especially when the advice or requests come from strangers. This is the same with drunks. I was in a restaurant where a woman was drunk and had this very loud, disturbing laugh. A family asked her to quiet down because they did have toddlers. Do you think she listened? They did ask her politely. People will do what they want.
"Kill it with fire." There's no excuse for poor parenting: if they can't keep control of their offspring, they shouldn't take them out in the public.
What a great question. I was in a hospital recently watching a boy walk on the tables and chairs in a waiting area while his mother watched.
I think the thing to do is to ask somebody at the facility to handle it. A request to control the children will be dealt with much better coming from an authority figure at the place of business rather than you personally. It's really sad that people don't know how to deal with their own children and would rather allow them to annoy other people instead of parenting.
As an owner of two kids myself, it's definitely the path of least resistance. Discipline is a hard job that requires consistency and constant attention. Not all people are up for that.
I believe the same as you that in general you leave it up to the parents and keep your nose out of it. With the explanation that you explained in your question, I would have gone to the Manager of the restaurant and made a complaint. Parenting is a learning thing and nobody knows exactly what to do with every situation, however if the parents are that arrogant that they won't correct their children when they are acting like that then they need some major instructions and at that point it is time to say something.
I would only make a point of saying something if the child's behavior was harming another child whether it be verbal or physical.
Unfortunately, in most instances the parent that is sitting there probably doesn't view it as bad behavior (as they are allowing it to take place) so would probably not take well to any interference.
Never hurts to have the Manager handle it. This works well in restaurants or movie theatre. No reason that your personal enjoyment time need be ruined.
In that case, you should have spoken to the manager. I hope the parents don't make a habit of ignoring their children as they drink, but you were not responsible for putting yourself in an awkward position. You had a right to enjoy your meal and I am sure the manager would have been pleased to handle the situation.
yes, I agree with you. If you want to say something then be cornered them and say politely so that they cannot feel hurt.
I don't think it would be a good idea to say something to the parents...it most likely wouldn't help anyway. I would have asked the restaurant staff to intervene.
As a mother of a child that suffers with ADHD symtoms, I've had to accept different levels of behaivor. That doesn't mean I ignore his bad behavior, it means I have had to adjust what I feel is bad behavior. My son talks loud and often. It is something we are constantly reminding him of. But we do not disapline him for it. If we did he would be in trouble, constantly. However, if I felt he was a disruption to others at a nice restaurant or a place where people are trying to relax (in peace and quiet), we would leave as soon as possible.
To be honest, I wouldn't care. I'm sure the parents were emberassed enough as it is. If they weren't, then they sure as hell aren't going to give two sh*t$ about what you have to say to them. Kids will be kids. So what if they are loud? If their is a problem, store management should deal with it, not you. At least, that is my personal opinion.
It's hard because like you said you don't always know the situation..but more so you don't know how the parents will respond. Perhaps they've never thought about it as disturbing to other people. Perhaps they know and they've tried but just given up. Maybe people have told them and they just don't care.
Most of the times it might be better to just keep quiet about it because they won't change anyway.
If you do speak to the parents of obnoxious children, let it be out of true concern not just irritation. Some parents don't have much experience and wouldn't know what to do, they just might need a person to come along side them and give them a little nudge.
I think it's really situational. Obviously you can't expect a nice quiet dinner at a fast food place, but if you're somewhere expensive there's no excuse for an unmotivated parent to not show discipline towards a child and stay in control. In a place like that you would be doing everyone a favor and the only difference between you and them is that you have the initiative to do what they're all thinking.
Definitly leave it up to the parents. However, there are those parnts out there who seem to think nothing wrong with letting their children disturb the rest of the publice with a child that refuses to behave. Honestly it is their position to teach a child self control and respect of others. I NEVER let my children behave loudly or otherwise in public. If I knew my children were not in good spirits we simply stayed home. If they threw a tantrum in a store or restaurant we left regardless if the cart was full or if the meal had been ordered. Now that my children are teenagers the same rules still apply. But they have also learned to have manners, respect for those around them and thank goodness they are past the tantrum stage of a toddler. Honestly if the children have structure and discipline and follow through from the parents in their lives, behaving in public should not be an issue regardless of what complications or disabilities a child has. (personally speaking I have 2 children with ADHD, non-medicated diet and structure and routine are key)
I don't think you can say anything if it is just behaving badly. Every parent has their own parenting style. If they are sitting there watching all they are going to hear is someone who doesn't know how to mind their own business. I know it's hard, but if the parents are ignoring it you should too. (I do agree with the other comments that talked about if its dangerous. If the behavior is dangerous, suck it up and say something.)
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