Thursday, March 08, 2007

Parental Philosphy

Pet Peeve 2000 Diana Ong

So, the comments for my post on kids and t.v. watching lit up like a Christmas tree. I think part, emphasis on 'part', of what made the subject attractive to comment on was the 'pet peeve' factor. I happened to stumble upon something that people feel strongly about, television. I am obviously less concerned about my children's t.v. consumption than others might be. But it got me thinking, what am I a hard ass about, with regards to my kids.

Or, more importantly, what are you a hard ass about? What are your pet peeves?

I'll stick with the subject of my kids for now, but feel free to add your own, in regards to my kids or not.

We do not believe children belong in restaurants. This has a lot to do with me being a career server and having to serve rude children, but I also don't think it is fair to ask children to behave themselves in a restaurant, and I think it is rude to the other people dinning to ask them to put up with my screaming child.

The Wife and I demand politeness from our children. (This also has a lot to do with me being a server.) We don't always get it, but nothing gets under my skin more than rudeness in children. We require, please, and thank you. We require, excuse me, and I'm sorry.

You got any you want to share?


Anonymous said...

My pet peeve is the parents not really caring about thier children at dinner: i.e, running around, screaming, tantrums. That makes me upset. Also taking your childern out to dinner late at night, like after nine. They should be home and winding down for a good night's sleep. And don't hang out for two hours at dinner. In and out is my philosophy. Let everyone catch up and eat in a timely manner. Take them home where they can be themselves. And if they are rugrats that time at dinner and you feel out of control, don't feel embarrassed to pack it up and take them home. You rule the children, not any other way.
Jolly Fingers

Natalie said...

I am so glad you don't take your children to restaurants. The only one they belong in is chucky cheese.

Anonymous said...

I don't think children should be brought to the movies either (save for the obvious kid's movies). I saw Blade II in the theater (a bigger problem here shall be overlooked for now) I went to a 9 something, Tuesday evening show to intentionaly avoid any addtional audience distraction (or maybe to avoid being seen in public). Some dad thought the same thing and brought his THREE little kids to this R-Rated flick on a Tuesday evening..It was fun, the kids also were not english speaking and seemed to beleive they were watching Spider-Man and kept yelling out, "The SPIDER-MAN!!!" anytime anyone in Blade II did anything remotely Spider-Man-ish.

If I have kids, I shall not bring them to the show.*period*
Tim (A)

Phil said...

Jolly - I share your pain.

Natalie - Exactly.

Tim - Good to hear from you, and thanks for commenting. Yes, behaving at an R-rated movies is another thing I think is unfair to ask a kid. Check out Brendans MySpace blog, one of his posts on the subject of the Aspen Comedy Fest. Someone brought, what Brendan thought, was an 8 year-old girl to his show. Brendans show is called 5 years in Amsterdam. It is not for children.

Valerie said...

So you think that kids don't belong in ANY restaurant? How about a family friendly place like Red Robin or Egg Harbor?

How are kids supposed to learn how to act in a restaurant if they never go to one?

We stopped taking our kids out to dinner because Connor doesn't do well. But we typicaly go out for breakfast every Saturday (usually to Egg Harbor). He seem to do better in the morning.

We do our best to encourage good behavior. They generally behave well. Connor's only gotten truly unruly a few times, and it's normally when it's time to go anyway, so either Chad or I will just take him out.

I would never think to take my kids to a "nice/fancy" restaurant until they are older and I know that they will behave properly.

Phil said...

Val - I agree, there are family restaurants that cater to kids. Breakfast at Egg Harbor (Kappy's, Denny's, etc.) is one of them.

It can be a kid by kid judgement call, and I support ending the meal if it is going badly.

At the same time, is it polite to subject someone who goes to eat quitely, read the paper, and have a cup o' coffee to a children's lesson that may or may not go well?

Phil said...

Val - Of course, these are just pet peeves. Not so much hard and fast rules.

Grant Miller said...

I'm picky about the restaurants our kids go to as any parent should be. I don't take them to "Ooh la la fancy restaurant" and when I go to "Ooh la la" I don't want to see other kids there. But Colonials, Denny's, some family style Italian places etc. I don't mind it. When we have taken the kids to fancier restaurants, we make sure to dress them up - that way they know it ain't chuck E. Cheese. CEC, by the way, is just a magnet for disease. My kids always, always come back with some barely curable disease when we go there. And I always leave with a headache and a desire for wine and peace and quiet.

Phil said...

We spent alot of birthdays at Enchanted Castle. I think I would geniunely be afraid to take the kids there.

I like the dressing up idea. Clear message. Gives the kids something to focus on. Gonna try that.

dirty said...

Chuck E Cheese is HELL on earth. I never take my kids there because they always come home sick...never fails. We do take the kids out to dinner...a lot actually. I never really thought about it because they always behave and any crumbs or things scattered anywhere, I clean up before I leave. We were talking to our waiter last week about the table across from us...they left a HUGE mess (spilled drinks and food everywhere) and a minimal tip...we left him a bigger tip because we are good people.

I'm at the indoor water park right now for the weekend and my biggest parenting pet peeve is people who don't watch their own children. I swear...people just let them run around and cut and steal from other kids...and I'm not one to want others to scold my kids but if you aren't there and your kid is being rude to out. People just need to watch their own kids.

Dave said...

I am bugged by parents who bring toys to the sandbox/playground/McPlayland and are not willing to share those toys with ALL the kids there.
They horde their kids toys while the kid is not using them. I hate people.
I'm not a big fan of circumcision either.

Dave said...

RE: circunmision... I wouldn't re4ally call it a pet peeve though.

dave's cousin lisa said...

I agree with alot of other people's comments here- MY thing is: if you are the parent, BE the parent - you know how your kids react in certain situations. We set out straight from the beginning that if some behavior was not acceptable (in a restaurant or a person's house or our house for that matter) that it get corrected right then and there, and then go about a better way to handle the situation. Our boys (now 7 and 4 1/2) know that if we say you're gonna get in trouble for doing something or acting a certain way- WE MEAN IT!!! I think a HUGE problem with alot of parents is they have empty threats- they’re afraid of being the “bad guy” and setting guidelines and actually sticking to them. So the kids grow up and say “Follow rules – why bother? Nothing will happen if I don’t anyways”. Also, we didn't keep them out of restaurants til they were like 5 and then automatically assume they would know how to act and behave like a decent human the second they walked in the door. It's a gradual process just like any other learned concept. We go out to dinner at family restaurants, Ruby Tuesday, Applebees, etc... how they act there is pretty much how dinner at our own table is – civilized! They know we don't always go so it's a special thing and they also know that we are not the only people there (a lot of ADULTS seem to forget that - extremely loud conversations, being rude/obnoxious, allowing their kids to run around, etc...) There's a level of respect that should be followed for EVERYONE involved, whether you have kids with you or not. One of my pet peeves is parents that allow their kids to go roaming all over restaurants or stores and let them act like complete animals – and I can say that because I am a parent… which is another pet peeve: people with no kids thinking they should tell other people how to raise their kids! All I know is from my own experience.
Oh and Phil- I can't stand rude kids(or rude people in general) either!!! and it's sad to say it seems to be a growing trend of people just plain out not caring and not putting forth an effort to realize that they are not the center that this earth revolves around.

Sara said...

I have read all the comments and truly agree that this topic can be passionately argued either way. I also have been a server at many upscale restaurants, but yet I am also a teacher, so I have really seen both sides of this argument. I tend to agree with the person who made the point that it is important to expose children to restaurant atmospheres in order TO teach them how to behave in those situations. Now I also do agree that you should a family friendly place to do it. As far as the guy who is drinking his coffee, reading the paper. He also has a choice and if he can't handle being around children then maybe he should pick a different place to relax. Parents, Grandparents, cousins,aunt and uncles who want to take their little ones out to eat should not be made to feel like they are inconviencing everyone else. Kids are people too, and they deserve to have just as many "real world" experiences as everyone else. Remember: "It takes a entire village to raise a child."