Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wisdom Wednesday

Recently I heard about a restaurant in North Carolina that posted this sign:

Here's a little video with the owner and some "would have been" diners:

The news story (yeah, this made the news here!) made me think about all the times lately that my lunch or dinner conversations with friends have been interrupted by unhappy children. Is it just my imagination or is it happening more often?

Here's what I think...

We, as a society, eat out a LOT more now than we ever did! When I was growing up, going out to eat was the exception to the rule - saved for special occasions. Although I must say, my Dad usually did treat us to Sunday breakfast out after Church...good times! But I can assure you, we all knew how to act at the table too! We were seated and seated we stayed. We used proper table manners and "inside voices." I don't think my folks expected any other behavior and for the most part, they never got any. However...should one or the other had a...umm...'moment' that a *look* or a quiet word failed to nip in the bud - well, a quick trip to the Men's or Ladies room for a little 'discussion' soon set that to rights!

Nowadays, many meals are on the go. We're sooooo busy!! And whereas "back in the day" you maybe wouldn't take your young children (infants/toddlers) out to a restaurant regularly, now it's the rule rather than the exception.

Babies cry. And toddlers get restless. That's reality.

But those without children want to eat in relative peace and quiet. That's their reality.

So...quite the conundrum, no? Thoughts?

Personally, I do think if your child is being disruptive to others, you should do the right thing and remove your child. I've only had to do it once and it was my own fault. ("Waiter, may we have this 'to go' please?!") But no way would I have remained in that nice restaurant and subjected all the other diners to my screaming infant. (Thanks, Matthew!)

I think what gets me most of all are the parents that choose to purposely ignore the bad behavior of their children that's going on right next to them! Hello...you don't see that your child is rolling around on the floor?? You don't hear them shrieking just for the sake of hearing themselves?? As if ignoring it will make it go away! Attention to those parents: it doesn't work!

As the Mom of three grown children and Grammy of two grandsons, may I be so bold as to say this:

The good Lord entrusted those precious children to you for a reason and for a season.
I know you probably don't believe it now, but the years will pass in the blink of an eye!
You are to guide and teach them, give them boundaries and parameters.
Correct them when they're wrong and praise them when they're right!
It will be from you (hopefully!) that they learn how to be successful and
productive members of our society!
They will have many friends in their lives but only one mother and father.
Please take your responsibility seriously.
And here's the bonus:
After all is said and done and they get to the age
when your "hands on parenting" days are over ~
that relationship is heavenly and a true blessing!!

Don't fail to discipline your children. They won't die if you spank them.
Proverbs 23:13-14 NLT


nancygrayce said...

I always have the desire to say to young parents, please take your child out until they quiet down! Like you, we rarely went out to eat. I have 5 brother and sisters so eating out was a treat! We knew how to behave because our parents took the time to teach us at our own table at home.

If we had behaved badly anywhere, we would have immediately faced consequences!

I heard an excellent speech by Elizabeth Elliot on training your children to sit in church. She said from the time you child is born, take a few minutes each day, turn on a radio program and sit still with your child. A minute or two to start, then work up to age appropriate times.

A few young parents in our church could really use this advice! We have a room with the service on t.v. that they can take unruly children or crying babies, but a few make all of us tough it out with their screaming meemies!!!! :)

Judy said...

Oh, I so agree that disciplining your child won't kill them! I truly don't understand when young parents are afraid to teach their children. We had high expectations of our kids when we went out in public and they turned out just fine! (Better than fine, if you want my biased opinion...)