Thursday, 22 July 2010

Free range kids *warning = controversial!*

Controversy time!

While we were on the Isle of Wight last week, we ate out most evenings in pubs.

And most evenings, I did a very good impression of a "grumpy old woman"


Free range kids.

Sometimes it was children running around, shouting, playing, in between the tables while their parents carried on eating regardless.

One time it was a harassed parent marching up and down holding a screaming baby, while his partner bolted her meal.

On one evening we gave up altogether and ate fish and chips from the takeaway sitting on the beach!

20 years ago when my children were small, we'd either have left them with a babysitter or we'd have gone to a child-focused place - and if they'd become a nuisance to other diners, we'd have left.

Now it seems the child is king, and never mind the adults.

Is this a good thing, or not? Over to you ;-)


ClareBears said...

that is controversial!

though I remember never being allowed to run around between tables as a kid, or be allowed to make a scene in a restaurant. we sat and were well behaved, if we wanted to play in the kids section we could but if we were noisy and disturbed folk then we were told to sit down and not to disturb other people.

I think there's a point where parents don't seem to notice the calamity their kids are making. It's less hassle to let them run around than to discipline them and make them sit down and behave.

Maybe they don't encourage proper meal times at home so kids don't know how to sit at the table with their parents and eat dinner?

Either way, my little one wont get away with it!

Daisie said...

Couldn't agree with you more!

My children are, mostly, well behaved when we are out and about and they know the limits of what is tolerated and where. Elizabeth classically told her sister when she saw two children running aorund and around the book shelves in Waterstone's that "if we did that Mummy would be ashamed". I am rarely shown up by them infront of other people and often sit there slightly smug as my children behave and watch someone elses be naughty!

And as for the baby marching in the aisle, she should have just stuck it up her jumper, quiet dinner all round!!


Heather Leavers said...

daisie that is exactly what I was thinking - should have known you'd be the one to say it! I remember an old chap remarking after church once how he'd enjoyed hearing my baby sucking her thumb...that was no thumb I thought!

glad to hear there are two of you younger mums with my way of thinking, it's not just my extreme age then!

Aileen Clarke Crafts said...

I agree too! People pander to their children far too often these days and just do not discipline. Good discipline is done out of love for the child. Not to do it is neglect! Glad to say my 5 and 12 year old are great when they are out and about. The 5yo is hard work at home and sometimes has hissy fits here and there but there is no way she would be getting away with charging around a restaurant. I agree with Daisie about the baby too : )

Nats Nest said...

Oh God, I agree too! I work as a waitress and I'm shocked at how many mums and dads let their kids run around the pub or play on the stairs - I'm always worried that I'm going to drop hot food all over them - so dangerous!
Sometimes parents say - 'Be good or that lady will tell you off' - which really annoys me - why should I be the one to disipline their children? (I'd be too scared to tell anyone off!)
When I have kids I hope I never let them behave that way :)

joy said...

when my lads were younger, if we took them out for a meal with us they would sit nicely at the table but then start to wind each other up. this was so unrelaxing for us that we simply stopped taking them out with us. I think pub management need to be stronger, they should have a policy that parents of children who dont behave should be asked to leave. I agree its not the waitress's job, but it should be the manager's responsibility to ensure his customers aren't bothered by others' unruly children (which, sadly, there will always be).

Heather Leavers said...

A Short Story - oh goodness, that's dreadful - how dare they pass their parenting responsibility over to you? I'm glad I'm not alone. I fully expected lots of comments about my lack of tolerance...but maybe those people aren't reading or commenting!

HollybirdBeads said...

Totally agree...couldn't believe our eyes last xmas when we were out for a meal and on the table next to us they were letting their toddler stand ON the table!! Can't believe how some people ignore their child's behaviour...both in terms of disturbing others and in terms of safety. I can remember being in a floating boat restaurant with some friends, sitting by the door and there was a wee toddler playing on the stairs (no adults in sight, they were on a table upstairs), kid then gets bored of the stairs and starts wandering towards the door (it is a floating boat place so outside there is a little gangway up with only ropes either side, no proper barrier to stop little ones falling in the water)...well we had to intervene then, friend took little one by the hand and took her back to the parents - little one could have gone out the door & fallen in the lake or been taken by anyone and parents would have been none the wiser, frightening.

Heather Leavers said...

oh hollybird...I'm shivering. so glad you were there to be responsible - what were the parents thinking??????

Lisa said...

I agree. I'm tired of parents being child worshippers. They're raising a generation of spoiled kids who become adults with an undeserved sense of entitlement.