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overheard in a restaurant - Page 6

post #101 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Okay, what we know for sure is that the doll is in the car and she feels bored. We don't actually know that she IS being ignored: we know she thinks she's being ignored.

Again, I really feel that the expectations for a typically developing 8yo are different than for a toddler. I am not an especially strict parent, but I do expect my 8yo not to throw a fit if she forgot something and to be patient when other people are talking.

Of course it's possible that her mother and her friend were being rude and actually ignoring her. I just find it more likely that she FELT ignored because the conversation wasn't all.about.her. That's pretty typical of 8yos, IMO/IME.
Have to agree that is IS very typical of that age. I generally kept my nights out with friends child free when my DDs were at that stage.
post #102 of 134
Am I really going to be expected to entertain an EIGHT year old in a restaurant? Well that is not what I wanted to hear.

I'm working with my four year old on understanding that sometimes you're just going to be bored - and you're going to have to sit still and suck it up anyway. She's just so wiggly and she thinks she should be entertained every minute of the day - and that I should do the entertaining. I'm not a huge fan of this trait. I also don't think it's reasonable to expect that you're always going to have everything you want, everywhere you go. At some point, I want to stop having to carry toys or books or crayons every time I leave my house (or in the case of most four year old's I know, DVDs and iPods) and sometimes, you can't indulge your every impulse to sing, dance, and wiggle. I don't expect this is something she's going to master in the next day or so, but I think it's worth working on.

As to the situation in the OP, since we can't KNOW the whole story - it sounds to me like the child was warned that this wasn't going to be interesting or fun because Mom was there to visit with a friend and it was a grown up restaurant. She was asked if she wanted to bring the doll and refused so - oh well. It's one meal. Eventually a kid should be able to make it through ONE meal without entertainment. Because it's hard to know if the child was actually crying OVER THE DOLL or if the doll was just the excuse, I can't say if I would go back and get it. I do draw some limits - and we're talking about my four year old. If the car is right outside, maybe. If the car is down the block? No. If the doll was the actual reason for the crying...maybe. If the doll was the excuse and the crying and ill-temper was going to happen anyway, no.
post #103 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Attached2Elijah View Post
I don't know... my almost 7 year old "spirited" son throws fits more akin to a 2 year old over stuff like this so 8 is definitely possible.
This is my life right now. Except I have the opposite problem in that my DD wants to bring PILES of stuff everywhere. I repeatedly tell her she won't need it. At first I used to suggest but as she's gotten older she's wanted to carry more and more things and I've just started to tell her NO - you can't bring that, you won't need it. For school the other day it was an "expanded" backpack, plus lunch bag, plus 2 purses AND a lightweight shopping bag. (Dh took her to school).

I'm sure the mom was doing the best she could for her daughter. Some lessons are hard to learn. Some children need to learn things in different ways.
post #104 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
I guess the lesson I'd be trying to teach would be that other people may not be willing to accommodate mind-changing.

Again, under some circumstances, I'd be happy to get the doll.

Under others, it wouldn't be so much "you can't have the doll" as "right now I am not willing to leave the restaurant and walk down the block to fetch the doll". That may be semantics to some, but to me there's a difference between refusing a request out of meanness or spite and refusing a request that feels unreasonable -- and there are definitely circumstances where one person going out of her way to accommodate another person's changed mind may not be reasonable.
this is how I feel. If the car was parked right outside, I'd have no issue getting the doll or whatever. If we had to go far away, or the weather was nasty or my food had just come or whatever, I'd be much much less inclined.
post #105 of 134
I am soooooo with all the mamas on here who are basically saying that even if someone does something differently than you, it doesn't make it a "bad parental choice."

What we do as parents varies on our own family values, our children's personalities and tendencies, our own personalities and tendencies, our family dynamics, and general moods and experiences on that day or week. That's going to be different for everyone.

In fact, not only is it different for different people, but it will be different at different times. For example, it may be one way between you and your 8 year old until you end up having another baby, and then it may change. It may be one way one week because you've had a smooth ride for a while as a family, and different another week when things are rougher.

I can imagine times when I might get the doll. But I can also imagine plenty of times when I would not get the doll. Not only can I imagine situations in which I might have this conversation with either one of my kids, but I could imagine having it with them now (at ages 4 and 5), and not just at age 8.

On a good day, if I was having that conversation, I might have a conversation with my child in which I help her problem-solve (other ways she might keep herself entertained, etc.). I would also be very empathetic and compassionate even if I had decided I wasn't going to get the doll and had to be firm about my choice regarding *my own behavior.*

On a bad day, I might not stop to think that it would be nice to help her problem-solve, and I might be more firm than empathetic and compassionate.

I started writing up a long post here, but it was repetative with many previous responses. I do, however, want to say that one of my family values is creativity (which means nurturing creativity...which means my job description as a parent does not include being an entertainer...yes, I play with and at times entertain my kids, but I don't consider it a failure to do my job that there are times when I say to my kids that they are responsible for their own entertainment). I feel the same way about my spouse, who on plenty of occassions has had to sit through boring experiences for me as I have for her. There are plenty of dinner parties I have gone to with her that haven't really been "up my alley." Oh well. It's not anyone's job to keep my mind entertained but me, and frankly, I am much better rounded because I teach myself to be mentally stimulated by things that are not naturally interesting to me...just because sports are not my thing doesn't mean that I can't become a more creative and interesting person by sitting through a conversation about them.

Second, I think those of you who are saying we can't assume that the child wasn't being ignored are making assumptions themselves. You have to *assume* that the child had spoken and been shushed to believe that she was being ignored. That seems a big assumption, especially given the way her mom was talking her through the decision not to get the doll for her.
post #106 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdnaMarie View Post
She's eight, I hope by the time my kid is eight she can go out there herself and get it.
This is the same thing I've been thinking. I don't see why the options are getting framed as: either the parent has her conversation disrupted and gets up and goes out to get the doll -- or the child is taught a lesson about how natural law dictates that things that are left in the car have to stay in the car.

Eight is certainly old enough to go unlock the car and get your doll yourself. Of course, don't you know, there are all kind of creepy people just lurking outside restaurants and waiting for bored 8yo's to come out alone to get their dolls so they can kidnap the child and steal the car all in one fell swoop ...

But that's a subject for another thread.
post #107 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
This is the same thing I've been thinking. I don't see why the options are getting framed as: either the parent has her conversation disrupted and gets up and goes out to get the doll -- or the child is taught a lesson about how natural law dictates that things that are left in the car have to stay in the car.

Eight is certainly old enough to go unlock the car and get your doll yourself. Of course, don't you know, there are all kind of creepy people just lurking outside restaurants and waiting for bored 8yo's to come out alone to get their dolls so they can kidnap the child and steal the car all in one fell swoop ...

But that's a subject for another thread.
I think it really depends on where the car is parked. A lot of people seem to be assuming that the car is relatively nearby, but it could just as easily be a 10-15 minute walk away. I don't think I'd comfortable sending an 8 year-old out on a 20-30 minute errand in an area of town she is probably not familiar with.

For that matter, they could have been dropped off and the car was half-way across the city.
post #108 of 134
With respect to several of the recent posts...

1) We don't know that the girl is 8. That was the OP's guess, based solely on her verbal skills.

2) Could those of you who think it sounds as though the child was warned explain where you're getting that? I've seen it over and over in this thred, but I'm not seeing where it's coming from. I don't see anything to suggest that in the OP.

3) It's possible the child wasn't being ignored. But, again, I'm wondering where people are getting that from what was posted. The mom's response sounded to me as though she knew she was ignoring the girl, and the girl was going to have to accept that.

I just keep feeling as though I read a different OP than many posters here.

FWIW, even based on the way it seems to me it went down, I don't think the mom is a "bad mom". I just wouldn't make the same decision.
post #109 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I also want to add...someone mentioned if they went to a restaurant and got ignored by the people they were there with, they'd go get a book and read it. That just seems so...rude to me. If they were PURPOSELY ignoring you..like, you'd contribute and they wouldnt look at you, or seemed to be mad at you, i could see getting up and leaving.
That was me and I'll clarify myself. I was speaking in hyperbole which didn't get my point across at all! What I meant was that sometimes there can be different 'rules' for adults and children. Like when three adults go out to a restaurant together it's assumed that they'll all be engaged in conversation. Sure sometimes two people will go off on a tangent and the third won't be interested or have much to contribute. But generally, all three adults are welcome, even expected, to talk with one another.

Sometimes though, children are expected to sit quietly while two adults talk. Sometimes this can last a long time, depending upon the adult's sensitivity to the child. I don't think this is very respectful to the child, who is basically a captive audience at that point in a restaurant where they have no place else to go. Of course we have no idea if that's what happened in this scenario; the mom and her friend might have spent a lot of time engaging with the girl. Or they might have expected her to be completely quiet while they caught up with one another; it's impossible to know.
post #110 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Lupine View Post
Sometimes though, children are expected to sit quietly while two adults talk. Sometimes this can last a long time, depending upon the adult's sensitivity to the child. I don't think this is very respectful to the child, who is basically a captive audience at that point in a restaurant where they have no place else to go.
My BFF and I joke about having vivid childhood memories of thinking, "Noooo!! Please don't order a refill on your coffee!!!" when we were out at dinner with our moms and their friends. The excruciatingly sloooooowwww sipping of coffee ... arrrgghhh! Of course, now I'm the one who loves to sip and chat forever after a meal, but I don't let the kids come with me when I know it'll be one of those nights.
post #111 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
With respect to several of the recent posts...

1) We don't know that the girl is 8. That was the OP's guess, based solely on her verbal skills.

2) Could those of you who think it sounds as though the child was warned explain where you're getting that? I've seen it over and over in this thred, but I'm not seeing where it's coming from. I don't see anything to suggest that in the OP.

3) It's possible the child wasn't being ignored. But, again, I'm wondering where people are getting that from what was posted. The mom's response sounded to me as though she knew she was ignoring the girl, and the girl was going to have to accept that.

I just keep feeling as though I read a different OP than many posters here.

FWIW, even based on the way it seems to me it went down, I don't think the mom is a "bad mom". I just wouldn't make the same decision.
I think we are all reading a lot into this situation based on how we interact when talking to our older children in ways similar to this mom. The tone reads like something I would do with my dd and I know that I give her many many warnings (probably too many before acting). The mom also doesn't let herself get side tracked by the conversation about going back inside by talking about ignoring. I don't think that means she was ignoring the child though. If we are discussing an issue I try not to get sidetracked with my dd because it fuels an argument instead of finding a way to wrap up the situation. That doesn't mean she is being ignored, it just means that we are talking about one thing and I am not willing to fight about five other things just because my dd is feeling like arguing. I can't imagine what a child could do to have to go outside. It would have to be very bad for me to bring dd outside and since there wasn't yelling mentioned I would imagine that the mom was calm and laid back along the same lines. I know that I would probably not be that laid back and I would definitely not be in the fetching mood if I had to bring my dd outside at her age.

I think that each of us will interpret this differently based on how we handle things, how old our children are, how our children behave in general during discussions and when they aren't the center of attention 100% of the time (just 90%), and how we were raised. We don't have a big glimpse of what happened so we can only assume things based on how we interpret the conversation.
post #112 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
My BFF and I joke about having vivid childhood memories of thinking, "Noooo!! Please don't order a refill on your coffee!!!" when we were out at dinner with our moms and their friends. The excruciatingly sloooooowwww sipping of coffee ... arrrgghhh! Of course, now I'm the one who loves to sip and chat forever after a meal, but I don't let the kids come with me when I know it'll be one of those nights.
I can remember this as a kid too. Trying to will my Dad's hand AWAY from the rolls, thinking to myself "You can't possible want *another* roll, we just had dinner and dessert, and have been here an eternity."
Now my dad lives in South Dakota, and I live in Ohio, and I wish there were more rolls

I tend to agree based on only my own childhood, an 8 year old should be able to sit until food comes. Someone has a pen to drawn on a placemat. There is a straw wrapper that needs rolled and unrolled, a lemon that needs its seeds poked out, splenda that needs liberated, possible onto the lemon. There are a million things to do at a boring table. What ever happened to imagination?
post #113 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by kriket View Post
I tend to agree based on only my own childhood, an 8 year old should be able to sit until food comes. Someone has a pen to drawn on a placemat. There is a straw wrapper that needs rolled and unrolled, a lemon that needs its seeds poked out, splenda that needs liberated, possible onto the lemon. There are a million things to do at a boring table. What ever happened to imagination?
At an "adult restaurant", most children are discouraged from doing these things. Sometimes there really isn't anything to do at a boring table except talk. I think it's funny that so many say that an 8 year old (and again, this child may be as young as 5, we don't know) should be entertaining herself when the adults aren't entertaining themselves -- they're entertaining each other. Most people don't like to eat out by themselves or go to the movies by themselves, but we expect children to sit quietly at tables for long periods of time, listening to adults talk on and on about things they either don't understand or don't care about, and entertain themselves with nothing.

I also think it's worth pointing out again that the girl didn't leave her doll in the car because she was being obnoxious -- she left it in the car because she didn't want to lose it. She thought there would be coloring, and so made what she thought was an informed decision. She just doesn't come across (with the info available) as a whiney brat. When my children make an effort to make informed decisions and act responsibly, I try to reward that, and if I can't, I at least try to give them a better reason than "sometimes we can't change our minds". BTW, we often encourage the boys to leave prized items in the car in order to not lose them, and they often choose to do so on their own for the same reason. It's a responsible decision, and one that I don't think should be punished with "natural" consequences unless it's awfully unhandy to fix. Even then, the child should at least be told the real reason.
post #114 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellien C View Post
This is my life right now. Except I have the opposite problem in that my DD wants to bring PILES of stuff everywhere. I repeatedly tell her she won't need it. At first I used to suggest but as she's gotten older she's wanted to carry more and more things and I've just started to tell her NO - you can't bring that, you won't need it. For school the other day it was an "expanded" backpack, plus lunch bag, plus 2 purses AND a lightweight shopping bag. (Dh took her to school).

I'm sure the mom was doing the best she could for her daughter. Some lessons are hard to learn. Some children need to learn things in different ways.
LOL, I used to build the best towers out of those little cream cups! Not just stacks or pyramids: mine were super complex!
post #115 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelmendi View Post
I think it really depends on where the car is parked.
That's a good point. Even though I live in an urban area, it's not so crowded that we have to park several blocks away when we go out to eat. We usually just park in the parking lot. So I wasn't quite envisioning a long walk.

As far as them being dropped off and the car not even being accessible -- it seems unlikely that an 8yo would be so irrational as to try to go get the doll if she knew it was miles and miles away. Even my 5yo would understand that sort of situation.

It seems possible that, as nextcommercial mentioned, the daughter might have had the option of staying home with Dad but just begged and begged to go, even after Mom explained that it was going to be boring adult conversation at a boring adult restaurant.

At that point maybe Mom just felt like giving her dd a super-strong dose of experiencing an adult lunch date, so as to maybe get her to be more agreeable to staying home with Dad the next time Mom wanted to have some adult time.

If this is the case, it certainly doesn't make her a bad mom or anything, but it just doesn't seem like the best way of handling it. But then, I'm not sure if my way has always been the "right" way either, LOL -- it's just the easy way.

When I've occasionally wanted to go out and do something adult, dh has often done something super fun with the girls ... i.e. they have dropped me off at a talk at a coffee shop while they've gone right up the street to eat and play at a McDonald's Playplace.

Maybe it's not "teaching" them anything -- but it's reinforcing the idea for me that when things are hard, it's not necessarily because they "have" to be hard. We can often find an easy solution with a little ingenuity.
post #116 of 134
Personally I have a no toy in the restruant rule because I KNOW my girls would end up getting their favorite toy in the middle of their dinner (or mine) and then have a crying fit when it has to be put in the wash. However, I do carry a small coloring book and pack of crayons in my purse where ever I go so if its boring for them then they can color.
post #117 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
My BFF and I joke about having vivid childhood memories of thinking, "Noooo!! Please don't order a refill on your coffee!!!" when we were out at dinner with our moms and their friends. The excruciatingly sloooooowwww sipping of coffee ... arrrgghhh! Of course, now I'm the one who loves to sip and chat forever after a meal, but I don't let the kids come with me when I know it'll be one of those nights.


So glad my mom didn't bring us out. Of course, those were the days when you could leave a two year old, a five year old, an eight year old and a ten year old at home and the eight and ten would babysit the little ones. So they could have a girls' night out without bringing the kids OR spending their entire monthly food budget on childcare.
post #118 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
With respect to several of the recent posts...

3) It's possible the child wasn't being ignored. But, again, I'm wondering where people are getting that from what was posted. The mom's response sounded to me as though she knew she was ignoring the girl, and the girl was going to have to accept that.
I didn't get that from her response at all.

Girl: "I didn't know there wouldn't be coloring stuff here! I'm so bored, I just want something to play with! You are talking with your friend and no one is talking to me and I'm bored!"

Mom: "Thats what happens when you go to adult restaurants. They don't always have coloring things. When you stop crying we can go back inside."

The mom isn't saying that getting ignored is what happens in adult restaurants, she's saying that there are no colouring books in adult restaurants. It looks to me like the mother is trying to avoid being sidetracked.
post #119 of 134
I have a child about that age, and I wouldn't have gone to the car. Sounds like the mother was being perfectly calm and reasonable. Honestly, if he couldn't behave in the restaurant, there'd be more consequences than just boredom. I expect that I might have to step outside with a toddler; if either of my school-aged boys had to be taken outside, I'd be very angry.
I often have to tell my middle child that XYZ was his choice. He'd change his mind all the time if I let him and honestly, you have to learn to make and live with choices. And if he whines about it? No way in heck is he getting whatever he wants.
I really doubt they were ignoring the girl. The conversation wasn't interesting enough to her, sure, but that is life. In groups, sometimes the topic of conversation isn't about us or our interests. I wouldn't get up and leave a restaurant if my friends were discussing football or something.
My kids are used to dining out and most restaurants we enjoy don't have crayons. They love it. Sounds like this girl just needs a little more practice.
post #120 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post
I have a child about that age, and I wouldn't have gone to the car.
About what age?

Quote:
I really doubt they were ignoring the girl.
Based on what? The only thing we know is that the girl thought she was being ignored, and multiple people have said, "I doubt she was being ignored". I don't get why. If you've never seen a parent ignore a child in a restaurant, I'm very happy for you, but I've seen it enough times to know it definitely happens. Why assume that it wasn't happening this time?

Quote:
The conversation wasn't interesting enough to her, sure, but that is life. In groups, sometimes the topic of conversation isn't about us or our interests. I wouldn't get up and leave a restaurant if my friends were discussing football or something.
I wouldn't, either. I've been well socialized enough to know that it would be considered really rude to do so. However, if my friends were consistently inviting me out and then discussing things they knew wouldn't interest me, I'd stop going. Going out to eat with people is a social activity. Sitting around listening to people going on and on about stuff that bores me to tears? Not so much.

Quote:
My kids are used to dining out and most restaurants we enjoy don't have crayons. They love it. Sounds like this girl just needs a little more practice.
Would they love it if it were just one of them, and they were being ignored? My kids do okay in non-family restaurants, even though we very rarely go to them...but my kids have each other to talk to, even if there is an adult conversation going on around them. It's a lot different when it's just the one child, sitting there by herself.


I guess I'm still not getting why people are assuming she wasn't being ignored. The mom didn't specifically say "you get ignored in adult restaurants", no. She specifically mentioned the colouring. That doesn't actually mean she was trying to avoid getting sidetracked. (And, frankly, if my child felt that I was ignoring her, that would be my priority, not "you chose to leave your dolly in the car".) The girl said her mom was ignoring her. The mom didn't deny it. A significant number of replies have included "I doubt she was really being ignored", with absolutely no evidence to support that. It really just confuses me.
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