Children are not always the most welcome patrons at restaurants, and I get that. I have two children of my own. They are loud, messy, and full of energy and that can be annoying to the people around us.
Grandparents tend to handle the noise well — sometimes stopping at our table to chat with our kids or give them the “Granny Eye” (with a smile of course). I even had one gentleman, on a day my daughter was especially difficult, order jello to appease my daughter while she waited on her meal. And although I don’t want to reward my daughter for her rambunctious behavior, I was grateful for the man’s understanding heart.
But I’ve also had people tell me that parents should not go out with children. That if your child cannot stay quiet, that you need to get up and leave. Leave without your meal at the restaurant. Abandon your shopping cart at the grocery store. Get the heck out of Dodge.
While I understand children can be annoying, that kind of attitude is unfair. Why are children and parents the only ones required to be on their best behavior in public? Why don’t we have the same expectation for adults?
Why does no one question the people at the table next to me discussing who’s a “whore” and who’s a “douchebag”? Don’t you realize you’re at a family restaurant?
Why is it okay to sit behind my family at a demo derby and shout “F-this!” and “F-that!”? Isn’t it supposed to be a family-friendly event?
Why can you walk around the grocery store spouting off profanity and hate to someone one your phone as we pick up the ingredients for our dinner? Don’t you realize we can hear you?
Or do you not care?
Have you ever considered that your words and actions are molding children’s minds? You don’t have to speak to them, see them, or even acknowledge them — but they hear, see, and are watching you. Why are you excused for your behavior, but my children are expected to be silent and invisible? Why am I, as a parent, expected to not only control my children, but also unteach them everything they have learned from observing you?
We don’t live in a bubble. Like it or not, children are watching you. Learning from you. Imitating you. You are molding the adults of the future. Is your behavior worth learning?