I just read this article on Parent24 about disciplining other people’s kids. I am shocked at the comments on those articles! The intolerance out there.
Just because your child can sit quietly at the table, does not mean that other people’s children can do the same thing. Children are different. If you go to a place like Spur, then you expect screaming running children. That is why that restaurant is so popular with families….so you can eat out in an environment that it is acceptable for your child to run and scream. If you do not like running screaming children while you are eating out, then do not go to Spur. If your child is so perfectly behaved and you are bothered by other people’s “badly” behaved children, then go somewhere else.
I am amazed how little tolerance adults have. I have a two year old child. We do not go out because it is difficult when he gets upset or has a tantrum. If you have ever had a child like mine, you will know that there is no reasoning with him when he wants something. When we are at home, I can send him to his room, but when we are out, I do not know what to do. Generally, we have to stop whatever we are doing and take him away from the situation, and away from people, and try to get him to calm down.
Sometimes, because you want to do something special, you go out to breakfast. You think that this is the least offensive time. It is early, the intolerant people should be asleep still. You make sure you have toys and crayons and cookies and snacks and you just want to sit down with your husband and have a meal. So when the waiter offers to babysit for you ( remember the restaurant is not that busy, and Spur employ people to mind your child, they even have special tags on their uniform, in fact they are not waiters, but child minders), you give in so you can have ten minutes to eat quickly before you are back on parent duty.
You do not do this because you are a bad parent, like some of those commentators say. You do this because you are human and you want a moment to yourself, and when the friendly lady at Spur is holding your smiling child, what could be wrong? Why take your smiling child from her, to force him to sit at the tabe, so he can scream, and then other intolerant people look at you and think how badly behaved your child is. They will still say you are a bad parent, because you let the Spur child minder take your child. Those commentators are so perfect. Their children probably never have tantrums, and they keep their clothes clean and they sit at the table and use all the cutlery correctly.
I am not a bad parent, I am just a tired parent. And sometimes, it is nice to have someone else take care of your child while you eat. Your child is screaming in the the trolley, but I think to myself, is it really important to keep him quiet? I can still shop and he is safe, and I actually need the groceries, and it is not my fault that the retailers do not design child friendly stores. It is not my fault that there is only one route to the till filled with sweets and chips and it is 20 metres long. For those people who do not like screaming children, GO SHOP ONLINE! BTW, I do not like to have my child screaming.
I do not fly with my child anymore because of those intolerant people. The last time we did so, it was 45 minutes of hell to Durban. My child screamed the whole way. It was not because I was a bad parent, I had bottles, and a dummy and he was only 2,5 motnhs old. I ended up breasfeeding him, on the plane, with a shawl over my head, with gentle encourgement from an old tannie. He was not crying because I did not care, and I wanted to disturb the whole plane, he was crying because he was a child. Most people forget that children are there to be loved and treated gently. They are not little adults who need to undergo military training so they can keep their clothes clean. I do not care if my child is screaming in your ear, you are the adult, show some reasoning and do not go to child friendly restaurants and go hire your own private jet.
I say thank you to the people who actually understand children:
The lovely lady at the SIlverlakes Checkers, who unpacked my trolley for me because my child was crying and she could see I needed help.
To the lovely car guards who know when to stand back and to fetch you a trolley because you have a toddler having a tantrum
To the Spur staff at the Grove
To the petrol atttendants who wash my windows just to make my son laugh
To all thse people who are just sensitive and understand that sometimes other people just need a smile, instead of your judgemental looks.
PS: This is my rant post, because, I know I am a good mother, and I know my child is essentially good and there are many errors above, but I am ranting.