Monday, December 05, 2005
Most of you have already heard about this debate by now, but I felt like bringing it up again and stating my views.

In case you haven't, click on the link above and read about the Chicago restaurant owner who has come under fire for placing a sign on his door that reads "Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices."

I cannot see how any self-respecting parent can find offense in this statement. Besides it doesn't say children, it says "children of all ages" and everyone knows adults can behave just as badly as a child can. It is a subtle reminder to have consideration and behave while in the establishment. It should be a given.

As a parent, I have experienced tantrums from my kids and bad behavior in restaurants. They get tired and cranky and make scenes now and then, but the solution is to just leave or take them outside. Show them that bad behavior won't be rewarded and that they can't go back in with you until they calm down. If that doesn't work, go back home.

Some parents are probably saying, "Well, what about me? Don't I deserve to go out to eat now and then?"

Yes, you do. But you have to remember, parents are the teachers of their offspring. It is Mommy and Daddy who are supposed to teach their children good manners and expect them to put it into practice. Being a parent is a full time job and sometimes we don't get what we want in order to make sure our kids grow up well-mannered.

Sometimes it sucks. I've had to take mine out of church when they wouldn't behave. I've left restaurants, stores, even Gramma's house. But it eventually works once they realize that you aren't kidding.

Unfortunately some parents let their kids run all over them in a mistaken belief that kids have the right to do whatever they want so their creativity or spirit won't be broken. All that does is make them wild in my opinion.

Kids need boundaries. It doesn't hurt them any.

So, I have no problems with a store that asks politely to make sure that the kids behave. When lots of people are together in a room, one rude person, little or big, can ruin a nice, relaxing atmosphere.

Once when I was traveling and stopped for a bite, a man near my table sat there eating and farting. Yes, passing gas loudly and enthusiastically and not caring who heard him. And this was at a nice family restaurant! I wasn't the only one staring in disbelief.

I've seen toddlers running around a restaurant, sticking their fingers into other diner's plates, and their parents doing nothing about it except to say something like, "Oh honey, come sit down and eat your dinner," then turn back to take a bite of their own. Who's in charge here, I ask you?
The kids, of course.

Parents, it is up to us to make sure the next generation knows what manners are and knows how to be considerate of others. Consideration is one thing in this world that is seriously lacking.

So don't be offended by this man's sign... Just do you best as a parent and teach your kids about respect, consideration and good manners. It's our job, after all. Otherwise, who will, and then where will the world be?
Copyright Dana 2005
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Name: Dana
Location: Chicago, and if y'all call me a Yankee, I'll have to cyber-smack ya'!

I'm just a mom of two, a crafter of jewelry, and to keep my sanity among the Yankees (kidding)I write southern-themed poetry, short stories and memoirs. I have been published on the web on sites such as USA Deep South, Southern Humorists, Muscadine Lines - A Southern Journal, Mosaic Minds and Long Story Short. I am also a contributor in Dew on the Kudzu and Weight-Loss where I write dieting humor.

And this is my blog... Kudzu, funny family stories, poems, family ghosts, snakes, sun-kissed southern memories all inside! Plus some travel reviews, recipes and more! I also make handcrafted jewelry! Check out my jewelry blog - Colors of the Woods

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