DailyMail has the story:
Children crying in restaurants can be enough to frustrate even the most sympathetic diner.
But one restaurateur is so fed up with noisy toddlers disturbing his customers that he’s decided to ban them altogether.
From next week, parents who want to eat at McDain’s Restaurant and Golf Center in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, will have to leave any children under six at home.
I actually think that he should ban the parents! It’s not the kid’s fault that their parents don’t know how to control them or teach them good behavior in public. And even the best parents have to deal with a melt-down now and again. But I’m sure there are people who have perfectly well-behaved children under 6 who would be fine. I’d amend this to give everyone one chance and then disinvite the family to dine there if they can’t control their kids. My friend said that at one diner the kid was screaming so loud that the manager came over and said “Just leave, don’t worry about the bill.”
Well, that’s one way to get a free meal, I suppose.
I think this is a symptom of a larger problem though, perhaps two larger problems. The first is that those with us without children are hardly sympathetic to those who have kids. I know many single people who wouldn’t last a day with a kid in tow. I love babysitting my colleague’s son because it gives me the opportunity to sympathize with her and her husband. Now their son has been pretty well behaved and we like a lot of the same things so it might be pretty easy for me in this case. I also was a camp counselor for 6 years and my wife is a teacher, so I’m not exactly flying blind here.
The second problem is a lack of mentorship in parenting. We don’t really teach people how to be parents. We teach them that children are a gift from God and that they should love them, both good things, but what happens when that little gift is one you’d like to give back. What rises to the surface each time that someone feels anger or frustration surrounding their kid is the following:
“I’m a bad mother/father. I shouldn’t feel this way.”
People will go a long way to protect themselves. As long as they feel like their kid likes them and feels secure with them, the rest is insignificant. It’s why parents are going to job interviews and calling HR offices and asking Campus Ministers if they’d see their child for spiritual direction. Parents of small children need to know when it’s time for their little one to go outside when they just can’t take it anymore at the dinner table, movies or church. Those of us without children also need a bit more sympathy when the crying starts or when it escalates. In all cases, the parents need to correct their child and when they do not they are doing irreparable harm to both the child and themselves.
My colleague, Pete Rogers, at Regis University, told a great story that resonated with me. He said, “If I got in trouble at school, my parents would immediately ask me what I did. Once I said, ‘I wasn’t doing anything! It was John that did it and I just happened to be nearby.’ My mother’s response was ‘You were doing nothing in the wrong place!'”
True enough. Teachers and other authority figures aren’t always right and don’t always have their charges best interests at heart. But often, especially amongst college students, parents need to lay off. They need to let their child fight their own battles and learn that they need to be self-sufficient. They need to know when to let go of their own issue of over-protecting their child and to let them sink or swim once in awhile.
For those of you with children, what are your thoughts?
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2013215/Restaurant-owner-Mike-Vuick-bans-ALL-children-six.html#ixzz1RzPd0jU8