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post #121 of 134
Even if she was being "ignored"...it's one meal. I have had to go to dinner with my husband for work stuff. Not a whole lot was interesting to me, or inclusive of me. I didn't whip out my iphone and start playing or whine because I left my book in the car, I sat and ate and generally waited for it to be over. BOooooOOOOooOOOring. I wasn't deliberately shut out, but there were things that other people wanted to/needed to talk about that had zilch to do with me. No big. One meal. Yes, I'm an adult but it happens. Life is not always entertaining.

Certainly when I was a kid, there were times (like CHURCH which, if memory serves, went on for five and a half days every Sunday) that it might not be all that interesting but sitting still and being quiet was still required.

It's one meal. I can't imagine a rational adult actually IGNORING a child (as in, here is the invisible wall and I'm pretending you're on the other side of it), but I can imagine two adults want to talk and their conversation doesn't necessarily include an 80-ish year old. I can also understand the expectation that the 8-ish year old can just suck it up for one meal.
post #122 of 134
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
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.
THIS! I don't understand why everyone is assuming that she's 8, assuming that she wasn't being ignored, assuming that she should be fully responsible for entertaining herself when the adults are entertaining each other, and assuming that no exceptions should be made for getting something to entertain her just because she needs to "learn" a "valuable" lesson and suck it up. I'm also hating the vibe of it being okay to take people along for dinner who you don't intend to include in the conversation. This is the "children should be seen and not heard" rule, and frankly, I find it demeaning to all concerned. If you're going to take a child to an "adult" restaurant, you do have a responsibility to help her help herself, and it goes beyond encouraging her to take her doll into the restaurant and then telling her "I told you so" when she has compelling reasons to change her mind. It doesn't matter whether or not you had choice in bringing her (and frankly, there's always a choice).
post #123 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
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.
I'm not going to say whether she was ignored. That's impossible for any of us to know. But I tend to find it very plausible that she was not being ignored. The reasons for this are:

1. In my mind, ignoring someone means that if they speak, you don't listen or respond to them. I have never seen that happen in a restaurant between a kid and parent. I have seen adults very engaged in conversation with one another (and it sounds like this mom told her child ahead of time that this was what it was going to be like and that the child chose to come even though she could have stayed home with someone or gone to a babysitter or something), while the kids aren't participating actively, but that's not the same as ignoring (in my mind).

In restaurants, I've never seen a child shushed or a parent just go on talking over the child or something when a kid speaks. I don't think its that common, especially with a parent who seems to otherwise be very reasonably talking to her child about the child's situation later on. When I was a kid, we bounced in and out of adult conversations. Because we were socialized to be conversationalists, that was what was expected. Often we would just listen, but occassionally we would jump in. I don't feel that we were being ignored in either scenario. Rather, we were being socialized/taught to develop our interests in the adult world and to be able to hold conversations with adults about both things of greater and lesser interest to us. We were being socialized/taught by the provision of opportunity and the refusal of my parents to see being our entertainers as part of their job description. This is not the same as ignoring, though I can easily see how an emotional eight year old in a moment of frustration might take that position.

2. The mom really sounds like she was keeping a focus in the conversation. She is repeating herself/being very focused on the issue at hand, no matter what her kid says. It sounds like conversations I have had in which I was trying not to be sidetracked. In my personal experiences, not responding to claims like that is not an admission of guilt. It is an avoidance of an unecessary power struggle. I read it that way because it fits most closely with my own experiences. You clearly have different experiences informing your own conclusions.


I guess also, if the child was really being ignored, I still don't see that the parent necessarily has to suddenly focus on that. I can understand why some folks may feel that way, and I might even as a parent realize my child reasonably felt ignored and then try to make ammends...but then again...the parent made it clear that the child had a choice to come or not come to the restaurant (so I am assuming she had the option to stay home with another parent or with a sitter), and that the parent had emphasized in advance that this was an *adult* restaurant and that she would be meeting with another adult to talk with that adult.

My kids know that after church during "coffee hour" I (who work in ministry) need to mingle/do work/talk with people/etc. They know in advance that I am not going to be able to pay much attention to them. Sometimes my dw will give them the option to stay or for her to take them home. They know if they choose to stay that they won't get my undivided attention. They also know that once we all get home they will get 100% of my attention. So when they have chosen to stay, and then come and interupt my conversations every two minutes, I do get firm with them. If they say, "But you are ignoring us!" I am not going to suddenly make that my focus. No, I am going to say, "You had the choice to go home and wait until I could give you my undivided attention. You chose to stay, which means that you will be sharing me for another hour."

I can see a similar situation resulting from me deciding to go out to eat with a friend. My child might request to go, and I might think, "I can live with that, and my kid is old enough to come along without being entertained." And then I might say, "Kido, I am going out to eat with ______. She and I really want to talk about ______. This isn't a kid's restaurant, and I am not going to provide you with entertainment. Do you think you can manage?" And my kid might say, "Yes, I think I can do that." Then we meet up with my friend, and as we are getting out of the car, friend says to my kid, "Do you want to bring your doll in? You might get bored." And my kid might say, "No."

Now (since it has come up a few times on this thread) with this kind of thing, I don't make it my practice to go, "Are you sure? Are you really, really sure? Think about this carefully." I think that is patronizing, and my kids know that when I ask them a question I want them to give me a thoughtful answer. I trust that they will, and I communicate this trust and confidence in their decision-making by a cheerful, "Okay!" If I then shut the car door, and my kid goes, "Oh, wait...I change my mind," that is usually cool with me. Sometimes it takes me a while to process information, and I change my mind after an initial decision. But let's say that doesn't happen. I'm not going to stand there trying to convince my child to change his or her mind by saying, "Are you sure you are sure?" That's not how I roll.

Okay, so when we get into the restaurant, my kid is welcome to jump in to converse with myself and my friend, but I am not going to sit there trying to think of ways to keep her entertained because she said she wanted to come but knew that was conditional on (1) me being able to have a conversation with my friend, and (2) her keeping herself entertained.

So there are several ways this might go. One way is that my kid does great and everything goes as planned. Another way is that my kid decides it really is boring. This might be because she had gone in thinking that there were going to be crayons, and there aren't, or whatever. But whatever reason, that doesn't make my filling my child's desires a sudden top priority. My kid knew this trip out to eat wasn't about her from the get go. I told her ahead of time where I was going and what I was going to do, and then she had options along the way about whether to participate and whether to bring something in to keep herself entertained. My family values include creativity, and my kids are resourceful. I expect them to keep themselves entertained in a variety of ways, many of which are perfectly appropriate for an adult restaurant.

Now someone mentioned that refusing to get the doll for the bored daughter teaches the daughter to be inflexible. I disagree. I think by enabling the child's belief that only one thing could save her from boredom teaches the daughter to be inflexible. It is by giving her the message that I trust her ability to keep herself entertained with or without her doll that I teach her a flexibility of the mind. Counter-intuitive, but I firmly believe it to be the case.

In any case, let's say my daughter says, "I'm bored. I want my doll." Well, I don't get to control my daughter's behavior. She had a choice, and she made it. Her choice was to leave the doll in the car. The natural consequence of the choice is that her doll is in the car. That's not parent imposed.

The only thing I can control is my own behavior. So when someone asks me to get something for them (and because I think most folks try to be reasonable most of the time...I am choosing to believe this mom had some reason she didn't send the girl to the car...either the girl was younger than thought by the OP or the car was further or whatever), I get to decide whether to do it. There are times I might decide to do it. Let's say we ordered only a minute or two ago, I know it's going to be a long wait, my friend and I are just warming up to our conversation, and I know from experience that when my child says she wants her doll, that's what she really wants and that she will then entertain herself with it. Yeah, no problem, I will get the doll.

On the other hand, let's say I know that the food should arrive at the table in another five or maybe even ten minutes (any time period I know my child can handle without her doll), my friend and I are really into our conversation, and I know from experience that my child is likely to get her doll, and then want something else two minutes later, and then something else two minutes after that, and that I am about to spiral into making the whole restaurant experience about her and not about a balance of needs, then no, I wouldn't get the doll. I'd say to her, "I know you can last another ten minutes. Hang in there kido!"

If then she spiraled into a fit, crying etc., if my child was over the age of 3 or 4, I wouldn't reward the fit by getting the doll. By that age, kids are smart. They put it together. Throw a fit=get whatever I want. I made that mistake with one of my kids. No way will I make the same mistake again. It leads to lots of trouble over the long haul. Plus, as someone here already astutely noted, most of us as parents can tell the difference in our own children when they are throwing a fit to get their way and when they are truly upset about something. We respond accordingly. I would be very reluctant to question another parent's judgement in this regard.

I can choose to intervene or not intervene in the natural consequence, but that doesn't change whether it is a natural consequence. Children can be saved from most of the natural consequences of their choices and behavior, but that doesn't mean that a parent is imposing a logical consequence (which also can have value) by chosing not to intervene. It just means the parent is stepping back and letting the natural consequence be experienced by the child. The idea that if a parent can intervene and choses not to, it is a parent-imposed consequence is really a twisted perception of what a natural consequence it is.

Now since some people are saying, "hey, would you treat an adult this way?" I would say, if I leave for work and realize I forgot my lunch, not having my lunch is the natural consequence of my action. So then I might call dw to see if she'll intervene. She might say, "No problem. I am available and can run it over to you." If so, great! But she also can make the valid choice to say, "Honey, I have the kids' doctor appointments, and then we have playgroup, and I just don't think I am going to have the time." There might be any number of contributing factors to which way she'll lean, not only including her schedule on that day and what else she is engaged in, but also whether she feels she is enabling me by bringing me my lunch (do I call her like this almost every other day?), and what other options she thinks I have. If she says yes, I am glad. If she says no, I can count on her to say it with compassion and empathy because she's very kind and loving. I might feel a little put-out anyway, but I also know I was the person responsible for my lunch. So I buck up, and I get resourceful. I see what there is up for grabs in the fridge, I grab something to eat if I have a few bucks, I decide to come home a little early and skip lunch, or I decide to live with the hunger. Or whatever. But I take responsibility and I experience the natural consequences of my actions. That's the way it works in my family.

Sadly, this is a lesson I had to learn as an adult. One of my parents always said, "The world is hard enough. Let's do everything we can to make it easier on each other." Which sounds great, right? Well. It is and it isn't. My mom would rescue me from all kinds of choices. Forget my lunch? No problem, if she can't bring it to me, she'll call a friend and ask the friend to bring it to me. If her friend can't bring it, she'll figure out a way to leave work and get it to me even if it puts her job at risk and makes her resentful and angry. It wasn't until adulthood that I realized that the world didn't revolve around me, and that not all my wants were needs, and that not everyone was as forgiving as my mom, and that I wasn't always going to have people to rescue me. (And paradoxically, I also needed to learn that I didn't have to be a doormat when it came to other people either and that I didn't have to bear the burden of everyone else's unfortunate choices). It's a MUCH harder lesson, with MUCH bigger consequences when you are an adult than when you are a kid. I'm just glad (and lucky) I survived. Personally, having lived through it as an adult, I want my kids to have a chance to learn that particular lesson as kids when there is less to lose.

By the way, on a more positive note about things I learned in my childhood, my mother used to tell myself and my siblings -- when we would whine to her about being bored -- "only boring people get bored." She was right. Interesting people choose to be interested in the world around them.
post #124 of 134
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Originally Posted by MadiMamacita View Post
I was also impressed with her abilities- thats why I imagined that she must have been around 8. her voice didn't sound like a really little kid either. but thats just a guess.
Iam impressed with the girls vocab and arguing abilities
I would have gone to the car to get the doll for my 8yr old. I wouldn't have waited for her to start crying either (if she was the crying type- mostly she just starts sighing and moaning when she is not impressed )
post #125 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

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.
I agree with this. We cannot know if she was being ignored.

I'm also surprised at the assumption I've read that the girl threw a tantrum while waiting a short time for her food. We have no idea how long they had been there, whether or not they had already eaten, how long the girl had been patient and polite before this incident happened. Two minutes? Two hours? We can't know.

Based on the description she doesn't sound like a girl melting down, just one who is upset. She's crying but able to articulate herself clearly; that's being upset, not tantruming. It concerns me to read assumptions about why she's crying that are dismissive of her experience when we have no idea what actually went on beforehand. It seems the opposite of GD to make assumptions about why she was crying, especially when those assumptions cast her in such a negative light.
post #126 of 134
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Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
1. In my mind, ignoring someone means that if they speak, you don't listen or respond to them. I have never seen that happen in a restaurant between a kid and parent.
I have, on more than one occasion. I'm actually surprised to hear someone say they haven't seen it, to be honest. I'm sure this is a factor.

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I have seen adults very engaged in conversation with one another (and it sounds like this mom told her child ahead of time that this was what it was going to be like and that the child chose to come even though she could have stayed home with someone or gone to a babysitter or something), while the kids aren't participating actively, but that's not the same as ignoring (in my mind).
I don't get that at all. How does it sound that way?

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In restaurants, I've never seen a child shushed or a parent just go on talking over the child or something when a kid speaks. I don't think its that common, especially with a parent who seems to otherwise be very reasonably talking to her child about the child's situation later on.
I have seen it, so we're obviously coming from different places on this. I also don't think the mom was necessarily "very reasonably" talking to her child. There's more to being reasonable than simply being calm.

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When I was a kid, we bounced in and out of adult conversations. Because we were socialized to be conversationalists, that was what was expected. Often we would just listen, but occassionally we would jump in. I don't feel that we were being ignored in either scenario. Rather, we were being socialized/taught to develop our interests in the adult world and to be able to hold conversations with adults about both things of greater and lesser interest to us. We were being socialized/taught by the provision of opportunity and the refusal of my parents to see being our entertainers as part of their job description. This is not the same as ignoring, though I can easily see how an emotional eight year old in a moment of frustration might take that position.
But, we have no idea if that's what was happening. I do agree that neither of those scenarios constitute ignoring a child. (I do think inviting someone out to dine, whether a child or another adult, and then deliberately discussing things you know they have zero interest in is unbelievably rude, although I have no idea if that happened here.) I also note that you say "we". Did you have someone else you could talk to, if the adult conversation was completely over your head and/olr uninteresting?

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s...but then again...the parent made it clear that the child had a choice to come or not come to the restaurant (so I am assuming she had the option to stay home with another parent or with a sitter), and that the parent had emphasized in advance that this was an *adult* restaurant and that she would be meeting with another adult to talk with that adult.
umm...what? I missed all this. Which post is it in? I thought the whole conversation the OP heard was in the OP, and there was nothing about this at all.

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My kids know that after church during "coffee hour" I (who work in ministry) need to mingle/do work/talk with people/etc. They know in advance that I am not going to be able to pay much attention to them. Sometimes my dw will give them the option to stay or for her to take them home. They know if they choose to stay that they won't get my undivided attention. They also know that once we all get home they will get 100% of my attention. So when they have chosen to stay, and then come and interupt my conversations every two minutes, I do get firm with them. If they say, "But you are ignoring us!" I am not going to suddenly make that my focus. No, I am going to say, "You had the choice to go home and wait until I could give you my undivided attention. You chose to stay, which means that you will be sharing me for another hour."
This all makes perfect sense, and I'd do the same thing (depending to some degree on age, of course). But, it has nothing to do with the OP.

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I can see a similar situation resulting from me deciding to go out to eat with a friend. My child might request to go, and I might think, "I can live with that, and my kid is old enough to come along without being entertained." And then I might say, "Kido, I am going out to eat with ______. She and I really want to talk about ______. This isn't a kid's restaurant, and I am not going to provide you with entertainment. Do you think you can manage?" And my kid might say, "Yes, I think I can do that." Then we meet up with my friend, and as we are getting out of the car, friend says to my kid, "Do you want to bring your doll in? You might get bored." And my kid might say, "No."
Sure. This could all happen. But, I saw no evidence of this in the OP.

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Okay, so when we get into the restaurant, my kid is welcome to jump in to converse with myself and my friend, but I am not going to sit there trying to think of ways to keep her entertained because she said she wanted to come but knew that was conditional on (1) me being able to have a conversation with my friend, and (2) her keeping herself entertained.
There was nothing whatsoever in the OP to suggest/indicate that the child knew anything was conditional on either of these things. The fact that she said she thought there would be colouring suggests pretty strongly that she had no idea she'd be expected to entertain herself in some other way while her mom talked to someone else.

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My kid knew this trip out to eat wasn't about her from the get go. I told her ahead of time where I was going and what I was going to do, and then she had options along the way about whether to participate and whether to bring something in to keep herself entertained.
That's all great. But, this is about the kid in the OP, and there is nothing to say her mom told her any of that.

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So when someone asks me to get something for them (and because I think most folks try to be reasonable most of the time...I am choosing to believe this mom had some reason she didn't send the girl to the car...
Okay, so we're working from very different base assumptions right out the chute. In 42 years, I've never seen anyting to indicate that "most folks try to be reasonable most of the time".

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If then she spiraled into a fit, crying etc., if my child was over the age of 3 or 4, I wouldn't reward the fit by getting the doll. By that age, kids are smart. They put it together. Throw a fit=get whatever I want. I made that mistake with one of my kids. No way will I make the same mistake again. It leads to lots of trouble over the long haul.
I made that "mistake" with ds1. I have no problems with him on that front, and never have. I never made that mistake with dd1, and we've had issues with volatility, meltdowns and fits her whole life. Some of it really depends on the kid.

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By the way, on a more positive note about things I learned in my childhood, my mother used to tell myself and my siblings -- when we would whine to her about being bored -- "only boring people get bored." She was right. Interesting people choose to be interested in the world around them.
I know lots of boring people who are never bored (eg. me), and interesting people who are sometimes bored, so I don't really agree with this. That said, I don't have much patience with "I'm bored", in general, either. There are a myriad of ways to amuse and entertain oneself.
post #127 of 134
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Originally Posted by theatermom View Post
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.
Discouraged from rolling a straw wrapper? If the restaurant was that "adult" there is probably a dress code and children should have been there anyway. Being bored IS a skill that kids learn. You can't say that you've never been out at a restaurant bored out of your gourd and just had to sit there. I can think of 2 weddings, a business lunch and a very awkward baptism dinner off the top of my head.

There is a lot of speculation in this thread, but based on solely the info given, assuming the child was 8, or at least as articulate as PP mentioned, she should have been able to sit quietly.
post #128 of 134
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Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
I have, on more than one occasion. I'm actually surprised to hear someone say they haven't seen it, to be honest. I'm sure this is a factor.
Yeah, I really haven't. I've lived in one country (the U.S.) my whole life, but I have lived in the northwest, the southwest, and the northeast...in a number of different states, regions, cities, and towns. Like I said, I've heard adults be really engaged with each other while kids were present, but when kids have spoken up, I've never heard anyone shushed or talked over. Actually, as a general rule, I've noticed in restaurants parents seem really willing to engage with their kids...no one wants fussy children in a restaurant.

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I don't get that at all. How does it sound that way?
When the mom says, "Thats what happens when you go to adult restaurants," to me, there is an implication of choice. Why would someone say something like this if the child had no choice to go? It just doesn't make any sense to me otherwise.

So if a child made the choice to go, and the adult is holding her accountable to the impact of that choice, it seems logical to assume that there was some conversation ahead of time about the choice.

Either of us have to make assumptions to make sense of the story. I am making the assumption that seems most logical to me. It also matches with my experience, i.e. times when I've said stuff like the mom in the OP.

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I have seen it, so we're obviously coming from different places on this. I also don't think the mom was necessarily "very reasonably" talking to her child. There's more to being reasonable than simply being calm.
Sure. Some other characteristics of reasonability I think may be on display here include the use of reason or a step-by-step explanation of logic in decisions being made, the desire to help the child make sense of her experiences, and possibly the desire to avoid getting into another argument (about whether the child was being ignored)...depending on how you read it.

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But, we have no idea if that's what was happening. I do agree that neither of those scenarios constitute ignoring a child. (I do think inviting someone out to dine, whether a child or another adult, and then deliberately discussing things you know they have zero interest in is unbelievably rude, although I have no idea if that happened here.)
Again, the only way I can make sense of what the mother said regarding "that's what happens when you go to adult restaurants" is to presume the child had a choice.

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I also note that you say "we". Did you have someone else you could talk to, if the adult conversation was completely over your head and/olr uninteresting?
I grew up in a semi-large family, so yes, I usually did. But not always. Sometimes my mom would take me with her to a friend's house or whatever. (I also remember my dad taking me to a class or two at a very young age...he was a student for many of my youngest years...I couldn't have been more than five years old. Talk about being taught to be resourceful with your own mind! Try going to a math class with your dad at four years old. My dad never talked down to us, that is for sure! He's also the guy who, when I asked what books he read to me as a child, said, "Oh, that's a hard question. I just read you whatever I was reading." And what he meant was literally, if he was reading War and Peace, he was reading it outloud to us LOL. My point being that I am coming from a place of putting a high premium on inner creativity and kids rising to the expectations of adults.)

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umm...what? I missed all this. Which post is it in? I thought the whole conversation the OP heard was in the OP, and there was nothing about this at all.
It's the way the parent is holding the child accountable for certain peices of information. If I am holding my child accountable for something, it is because it is something about which they had knowledge when they made their choices.

You can assume the child didn't have that information, but then the story doesn't make any sense. Why would the parent hold the child accountable for a choice to come to the restaurant if she had no choice? Why would the parent hold the child accountable for the fact that an adult restaurant is different than a child-friendly restaurant if the child didn't know that when she made her choice to come or the choice about her doll?

Again, I'm not the only one making assumptions here. You are as well.

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This all makes perfect sense, and I'd do the same thing (depending to some degree on age, of course). But, it has nothing to do with the OP.
I obviously disagree, or I wouldn't have posted it. The OP asked, "So would you have gone to get the doll from the car? (I have no idea where the car was parked, if that makes a difference) or at least somehow brainstormed with her things to do until the food came? Or do you think that kids should stick to the choices they make?"

I am answering partially by providing an example in which I hold my children accountable for the impact of the choices they make. The scenarios seem alike enough that my example is particularly relevant.

Now, as I have said in a previous post, on my good days, at the same time I would help my children problem-solve/brainstorm -- even while sticking with a choice my children made earlier -- but some days I don't, and my kids know that they are responsible for being resourceful either way.

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Sure. This could all happen. But, I saw no evidence of this in the OP.
We obviously read the OP with the filter of our own life experiences, and my experiences are clearly different than yours. I saw evidence in the way the child was held accountable to pieces of information in the OP that she likely had prior knowledge of that information. If your "read" of the story, which also is presumptive in its own way, is correct -- that the child had no idea what she was walking into and/or she had no choice to go to the restaurant -- is correct, than yeah, I would agree with you on most accounts.

But the only evidence I see of that in the OP is that the child says she didn't know there wouldn't be any crayons. Which says to me that maybe the child knew it was an adult restaurant, but didn't realize that meant there weren't crayons. Just because she didn't realize there weren't crayons didn't mean her mom didn't tell her that this was an adult restaurant. So the mom then helps the child make sense of that: "Thats what happens when you go to adult restaurants. They don't always have coloring things."

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There was nothing whatsoever in the OP to suggest/indicate that the child knew anything was conditional on either of these things. The fact that she said she thought there would be colouring suggests pretty strongly that she had no idea she'd be expected to entertain herself in some other way while her mom talked to someone else.
As I said, perhaps the child didn't have the life experience to understand that when mom says she is going to an adult restaurant, she means a restaurant that may not have coloring (or maybe mom didn't tell her she was going to an adult restaurant, but again, then the dialogue doesn't make sense to me, so I am not choosing that assumption).

That said, if my kids choose to go with me to an adult restaurant where I am going to be engaging (not necessarily exclusively...but given the context of an adult restaurant, I am going to assume heavily) in conversations with other adults, in my family my kids know they are expected to be resourceful whatever the particular experiences of the restaurant. Sometimes I talk them through this, sometimes I don't. But in *my* family, if no coloring sheets show up, whether or not you expected them, you roll with the punches. It sounds like maybe this mom also expects her child to roll with the punches.

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That's all great. But, this is about the kid in the OP, and there is nothing to say her mom told her any of that.
Again, I think its implied by the way she is being held accountable. I think it is implied through the signs that she was given the option of whether or not to bring in her dolly. I think it is implied by the signs that she had a choice of whether or not to go to the restraunt at all.

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Okay, so we're working from very different base assumptions right out the chute. In 42 years, I've never seen anyting to indicate that "most folks try to be reasonable most of the time".
Well, you and I have different life experiences. I think people do try to be reasonable. I think sometimes the reasoning gets screwy based on the presumptions people make in their heads, or the way other people's experiences add up, but even living in a city with a bad reputation, 99% of my day is spent around people who are trying to make reasonable choices from their understandings, flawed as their understandings may be.

Seriously, think of the last time you were at a convienence store. Think of all the people in there, and the things they were doing. Think of the last time you were at a doctor's appointment and all the people in the waiting room with you. Think of the last time you were with your kid at the park. Now people might have made different choices than you, maybe vastly different, but in general, I think if most of us really reflected on our day to day experiences, we can see evidence all around us that people are trying to make sense of their experiences and make choices that stem from the sense they make of things. That's the epitome of reasonable.

You can chose to make assumptions that set this mom up as a "bad mom" who was being completely unreasonable and holding her child accountable to a decision the child made based on incomplete information, at the expense of the child's well-being and happiness. Or you can ask, "under what circumstances would this kind of conversation make sense?" and follow the logic the other way. You've made your choice and I've made mine.

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I made that "mistake" with ds1. I have no problems with him on that front, and never have. I never made that mistake with dd1, and we've had issues with volatility, meltdowns and fits her whole life. Some of it really depends on the kid.
I've had plenty of experience as a parent. My current two are 4 and 5 but I've also been a foster parent for a number of years and my oldest is now in his twenties. I am well aware that every kid is different. But, there is a big difference between my dd's version of volatility, meltdowns, and fits, and my ds' manipulation. With ds, it is clear that he is acting out of things he learned early on. Now we have to work hard to unteach the things we unintentionally taught him early on.

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I know lots of boring people who are never bored (eg. me), and interesting people who are sometimes bored, so I don't really agree with this.
Not me. Like I said, the people I know who are interesting all are interested in the world around them.

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That said, I don't have much patience with "I'm bored", in general, either. There are a myriad of ways to amuse and entertain oneself.
On that we can agree, and on the rest we'll have to agree to disagree.
post #129 of 134
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Originally Posted by kriket View Post
Discouraged from rolling a straw wrapper? If the restaurant was that "adult" there is probably a dress code and children should have been there anyway. Being bored IS a skill that kids learn. You can't say that you've never been out at a restaurant bored out of your gourd and just had to sit there. I can think of 2 weddings, a business lunch and a very awkward baptism dinner off the top of my head.

There is a lot of speculation in this thread, but based on solely the info given, assuming the child was 8, or at least as articulate as PP mentioned, she should have been able to sit quietly.
Discouraged from making a mess on the table with Splenda and lemons. And really, how engaging is rolling and unrolling a straw wrapper? Seems like it might keep a simple minded child going for awhile, but a more intelligent being is going to get bored with it fairly quickly.

Why should she *have* to sit quietly? And who says she wasn't? FWIW, my oldest and 2nd oldest sons were extremely articulate from an early age, and frankly sounded like they were 8 when they 4.5 or 5. They had a friend, a girl, who was even more articulate than they were. Energy level, frustration tolerance, reasoning skills, and articulation are all separate issues, and a person can score highly in one area and much lower in another. The combination makes a particular child a certain way at a certain time, and we don't know what this child should or should not have been able to do.

Just because there are boring, icky, annoying situations in life doesn't mean we have to unnecessarily burden people with them. Even if she was 8, so what? If she were 14/15/16, maybe. I think people on this thread REALLY value their quiet dinners out (sans paying for child care).

I really think we're confusing the current trend of entertaining children endlessly with the common courtesy of including everyone at a table in a meaningful way.
post #130 of 134
I have an 8-year-old, and she'd generally have no trouble sitting quietly at an adult restaurant while a conversation between adults was happening. But everyone has off days, and I'd still go out and get her a doll from the car if she were having trouble and was bored. And when my dh was stuck waiting at a waiting room and couldn't leave and was bored, I ran out to the car and grabbed a newspaper he wanted to read. Again, I have no idea about the specifics of the event witnessed in the OP, so I'm not talking specifically about that, but just the idea in general that kids should be expected to consistently handle themselves in boring situations, or that they need to be taught not to change their minds, and that kind of thing. I don't think that kids learn bad lessons when their parents let them change their minds or help them when they're bored.
post #131 of 134
I don't think kids learn bad lessons when their parents help them either.

And there would be plenty of situations where I would go get the toy from the car or let her go get it.

There are also plenty where I wouldn't: my friend was in the middle of telling me something important, the car is down the block and the weather isn't nice, the food is about to be served, etc.

IMO the lesson is not "you can't change your mind, ever" but "your changed mind is not necessarily everybody's highest priority". And I think that's an appropriate lesson for an 8yo.
post #132 of 134
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Originally Posted by childsplay View Post
Yes but like I said, there had to have been some lead up scene to the mother taking the child out of the restaurant. Why put the other diners, not to mention herself, her DD and whoever else she was with through a tantrum/crying fit/ prolonged whining/etc ? Especially when the mother could pop out, grab the doll (and whatever else she might have stowed away in the car) at the first hint of a public display of tantrum, come back in, say "here's dolly, next time let's bring her with us just in case!"
So no, a public restaurant, IMO is not the place to be teaching your child about natural consequences.
Totally disagree. That's like saying a mom with a kid in a grocery store should just buy him the candy at the first hint of a tantrum because they are in a public place. And if the girl was actually 8 years old, then a "tantrum" would be even more unacceptable.
post #133 of 134
nm...I can't seem to get anything across clearly to anybody today.
post #134 of 134
My 9yo ds would absolutely have a hard time in a restaurant if no one was engaging him in conversation. Not all kids are created with the same capacity for entertaining themselves while sitting still in a foreign environment devoid of things they are allowed to touch, lol. Not only would I have gone back for his dolly equivalent (um, nintendo ds) but I'd probably have something else interesting in my bag. And I certainly wouldn't bring him to a restaurant if I expected to have an exclusive conversation (or just a chatty catch up conversation) with a friend. Some kids enjoying eating at restaurants and listening in on adult conversation. My ds would probably have a better time at the dentist.
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