The S.O. and I were in town to have a bit of lunch and do some shopping. One stop on our list was the auto parts store. Luke was doing a tune up on his work van and needed a part and had a couple of questions. While he was doing that, I wandered down the aisle to look at seat covers. I have been looking at seat covers for a year now, but I haven’t liked what I have seen or they were too ferking spendy to consider. Obviously I am in not hurry to purchase them.
So Luke is at the parts counter, I am down the accessories aisle, there are several other shoppers in the store when I hear the first part of a commotion. Three young boys are tearing around the store at top speed. Two are fighting with each other to point of one being pinned to the floor and crying. Dad is doing nothing to stop any of this. Not one word spoken to the kids to settle down. Nada. Zippy-do-dah. Dad is oblivious.
The other customers are trying to stay of the way of the kids racing around. The boys are yelling at each other. They running all over the store. Luke finally turned around and said;
“Hey! You boys need to settle down!”
Loud, but not in anger. With that ‘parent voice’ we know from being in trouble ourselves growing up. He didn’t curse. He didn’t threaten or blow up. He simply made them mind.
The boys stopped running and yelling and went and stood by their dad. Dad looked at Luke and said;
“I would appreciate it if you didn’t speak to my kids like that”.
“Then make them behave”
“They’re kids and kids will be kids”
Are you kidding me?
Okay. I am sick to death of the ill mannered…..ill mannered……..*LOL*……. ill mannered would be an improvement. Where was I? …….. oh! I am sick to death of kids with no manners running around loose in stores and restaurants. Parents stand and do nothing. Their kids a literally running as fast as they can, they are yelling, playing hide and seek or tag in stores. In restaurants. In public places that ARE NOT PLAYGROUNDS! I am tired of excuses made for children not minding and having no manners.
‘I can’t discipline my child in public or someone will call child services on me’
Baloney. If you beat your child in public, yes. I will be first in line to call the cops. But if you don’t have to strike them to make them behave, now do you? A complete stranger made 3 boys stop racing around in 2 seconds flat. From across the room. If he can manage it, so can you.
‘Boys will be boys!’
Or in this case, kids will be kids. So what? That doesn’t give them a free pass on manners. I raised two kids, one of each. Ask them what the expectations were when we were out to eat, shopping, or on a field trip.
‘He/she can’t sit still very long/is only *insert age here* so it’s okay for him/her to walk around the restaurant while the adults eat’
No. It isn’t okay. I don’t want your bratty kid climbing over the booth back or poking me in the head while I am tying to eat. Hanging onto my table front and drooling isn’t cutting for me either (yes, all of those have happened to me). If your kid can’t manage to sit for a meal, then get a sitter or to go a fast food joint with a playground. But again, this is a manners issue. My kids sat for an entire meal out at two. No, they weren’t perfect, but they did not run amuck or sit and scream.
‘It’s not your place to tell MY kids how to behave’
Well, you certainly aren’t doing it. If you don’t like someone else telling your kid to stop running around, shut up or go find his parents, then teach them manners. Tell them ‘no’ and mean it. Take them out of the store when they won’t stop screaming. Stop buying them toys and candy as a bribe to mind.
Grow a pair and a spine. Be a PARENT.