Saturday, November 08, 2008

To Child Monkey or not to Child Monkey?

The Behavior Factor

"But it doesn't really make sense, does it? For a start, the most unruly people I've seen in cinemas in the last few weeks were not teenagers – they were people in their twenties. It's a similar story outside the cinema, too. What sort of people cause the most trouble at football matches, or festivals, or on the beach, or when the pubs shut? Adults."-William Leith in his post about Vue cinema's decision to ban under 18 in certain adult movies.

Leith is trying to argue that children need to attend adult establishments or else fail to develop the etiquettes at the movies, restaurants, or any other public establishment. Likewise, he says that parents without children, behave like--uh--children. From the perspective of a person who tried to have a decent date with my husband and Chili's a week ago: Children were running rampant in the waiting area, falling all over us and screaming in our ears. The parents did little to establish that this is not appropriate, instead they told them to jump and inch or two away from us and maybe just scream a little quieter. This got no better once we sat down. Though no children were running in our aisle they were screaming in the next aisle over and we swear that the people with the baby did nothing to make her stop crying. If these children act like children in public places, its because their parents are making little attempt to act like adults in public places.

Perhaps I sound short of patience, that is because I am. My 13-year-old child will tell you this is so and I made this clear to him back when he was four. I told him straight up, "I have no patience. You get three counts and after that you are grounded for the rest of the day. There will be no spankings unless you do something stupid like run into the street or a parking lot or off with someone you don't know." He got the famous 1-2-3 finger count. I would never say a word. This enabled me to take him into public places. I would not let him run. He speaks loudly and so we have to temper that voice, as my parents had to do with me. We do have fun though, at the table, using words and the occasional straw. I explained early on that I thought running and screaming was disrespectful to those who are trying to eat and talk with each other. So do I think parents misbehave when their children aren't around. Yes. They are human and after day after day of trying to be the role model sometimes its a relief to store that persona away. The degree of misbehavior though reflects in the children. I'm pretty positive the parents who are the rowdiest alone are the ones with the rowdiest children in public. Discipline breeds discipline and just like any bad habit or addiction, someone has to decide to break the cycle somewhere.

Write more later... Peace... RK

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