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post #61 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
it is not natural because someone CAN get the doll but they choose not to.
Dolls do not come into restaurants by themselves. It is natural for the doll to remain where it was left.

It is artificial -- not wrong, but not natural -- for someone to go get the doll.

It is a perfect example of a natural consequence that the doll stays in the car.
post #62 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Because there are some things that we as parents are supposed to teach our children. In a situation like this, the child can learn that sometimes they have to deal with a situation where they CAN'T get what they forgot/made a wrong decision about. They can learn that sometimes they have to think ahead a little. They can learn that mom and dad are NOT there to satisfy their every desire and whim. They can learn how to deal with occasional boredom. And they can learn that sometimes the authority figure DOES know what she's talking about when she gives advice. Sometimes a child does "suffer" to learn a lesson. And I am not saying that any one of those is a VITALLY important lesson to teach, but they aren't wrong for a parent to teach either.

I dislike the "well we would't do that to an adult" arguements, because kids aren't adults. Sometimes they need different treatment, because they are kids. Because they have things they need to learn to become adults. Because it's our job as parents to teach them things. So we treat them differently than the adults that we expect to have already learned those things...and we still treat them differently than the adults who haven't learned them, because it's not our place to teach other adults. But as a parent, it IS my place to teach my child.
post #63 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
Dolls do not come into restaurants by themselves. It is natural for the doll to remain where it was left.

It is artificial -- not wrong, but not natural -- for someone to go get the doll.

It is a perfect example of a natural consequence that the doll stays in the car.
I agree. I think that natural consequences is the best disciplinary teacher there is. However, I don't think "natural consequences" is the same as "natural disasters." I don't actively hope that my car catches on fire so that DD can learn a lesson about leaving things in it that she'd rather have.
post #64 of 134
Right. I don't believe "natural consequences" are the right answer for every situation: I'm not going to let my daughter experience the natural consequence of not wearing a seatbelt, and I'm not going to let my house experience the natural consequence of her trying to make chocolate chip pancakes all by herself.

But sometimes natural consequences are entirely appropriate, and IMO being bored because she chose not to bring a toy/book/whatever is one of these times.
post #65 of 134
Instead of the doll, I'm more concerned with the child saying no one is talking to her.

In my opinion, if a child is given the CHOICE to come, then it should be assumed that the child will be included. If the mother just wanted grown up time, then either the child shouldn't have had the choice to come or the mom should have planned for a different time.

I think it is pretty crappy to have children along on something that isn't a necessity only to let them sit there ignored. There are threads all the time about ignoring infants and just letting them sit in seats rather than holding them or interacting with them in some way... why should an older child be any different? Boredom sucks. being left out sucks. Feeling alone in a crowded room is awful.

I would have not only let her get the doll before it escalated to crying, I also would have pulled out a pen and paper for her just like my mom and grandma always did for me and I would have included her in the conversation if she so desired.

I don't like sitting somewhere twiddling my thumbs while the people I am with ignore me and go on about things I can't be included with. Why would I treat my child that same way? Either child doesn't come because I need me time and it would be boring and unfair to her, or I would plan the outting based on a child being along.
post #66 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marsupialmom View Post
I do not feel I have enough back story to say if I would or not. If the mom was being calm I would say there might be a very valid reason behind her decision that you have no clue about. We do not know how or if the child was truly being ignored.

Since I have had exchanges with my children like lilyka has described, yes I would have told her to live with her decision - because she is 8 not 2.
What I bolded is a very good point. The 8 year old was already upset, and her claim of being "ignored" might very well have been QUITE different from a reasonable description of what had happened at the table. We already know that she is in an inappropriately emotional state: she was crying over being bored. Over a doll. At age eight. And I'm not judging the girl: 8 is a volatile age between little kid and pre-teen, and sometimes they act mature in ways that make your eyes bug out and sometimes they regress to the level of toddlers. That's just what kids around that age are like. But that's why it's also the age where they do need to learn to keep some of the over-emotional reactions about things that are just not that big a deal in check. They need to learn to manage life's little disappointments now (the exciting adventure in a grown up restaurant was not as interesting as she had expected) so that she can manage life's little disappointments later (not burst into tears in a meeting when her boss assigns a project to someone else).

And it sounds like the mother was working through that with the DD in the most appropriate manner: she took her outside to calm her down, was speaking to her calmly (not yelling or swearing or hitting), was talking her through the whole situation... outlining what had led them up to this point and what her expectations were from then on.

Obviously, it's impossible for us to know what had already happened, both before the restaurant and at the restaurant. But from what was outlined here, it all sounds like a normal, if annoying, parenting situation that was handled well. I'm sure the mother really didn't enjoy interrupting her meal to take her daughter outside, but she was handling it calmly and doing what needed to be done.
post #67 of 134
If they truly were ignoring the child, I agree that it's wrong.

But -- and again, I'm speculating (as much as everyone else is ) -- sometimes kids feel like they're being ignored when they're not the center of attention. And there have been times when I've told my child "yes, you can come along, but I'm going to do [x] and that's the reason I'm going". If I had said "I need to meet with Mrs. Whomever to work out booths for the fall festival", then I would not *ignore* my daughter, but the conversation would center around booths for the fall festival and not the new Webkinz coming out next month. And she might FEEL ignored.

Quote:
There are threads all the time about ignoring infants and just letting them sit in seats rather than holding them or interacting with them in some way... why should an older child be any different?
Because an 8-year-old is different developmentally than an 8-week-old or an 8-month-old.
post #68 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
But again, we don't know the situation that occured before...it's entirely possible mom TOLD her there wasn't going to be anything to do.
I'm going by the conversation as reported in the OP. The girl told her mom that she didn't know there wouldn't be colouring.

Quote:
Sometimes though, when you are bored, you CAN'T leave. Like in a class that you already know the stuff, but need to graduate. Like in a work meeting that addresses a whole other department but your boss wants you at. Sometimes life hands you boredom.
Yes. It is going to happen. I still wouldn't put up with it in that particular situation. And, wanting to graduate or keep my job is my choice. Lots of people do leave jobs due to boredom. We have that choice.

Quote:
A person who ALWAYS questions authority figures about ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING, especially if the authority figure has already been accepted as an authority figure, is going to have issues because of that. An example. My 9th grader is in soccer. She's the freshman goalie...the only one. She and the coaches have been working to train a backup. The second game of the season, the back up played 3/4 of the game, my dd, only a little over 15 minutes. My dd was devestated, convinced she was going to lose her place. The next day, after practice the head coach of the three teams called her aside and asked her to participate in the jv game this weekend. She didn't play much in the freshman game because if she is needed to play any substantial length of time this weekend, she needed that playing time available as IHSAA rules limit the total time a player can play on any team-varisty, jv or freshman. The freshman coach was not at liberty to divulge the information at the freshman game, in front of the other freshman players. In that case, "questioning authority" could very well have cost her the "promotion." I totally agree with questioning occasionally when something doesn't make sense. But sometimes your boss, your coach, your teacher, your parent DOES know what they are talking about and sometimes they can't explain the reasons and I think it's important to teach a child that there might be a minor occasion or two in life where they should probably trust that the person in authority might actually know what they are talking about. I think any parent that doesn't teach their child that sometimes mom and dad might just give the correct information is in for a VERY long road of parenting. I can't imagine not wanting my child to know that sometimes I do know what I am talking about.
Your dd has apparently accepted the coach as an authority figure, which is a whole other ball of wax. In any case, not questioning authority can also cause a whole lot of problems.

I'm not sure what this particular aspect of things has to do with the OP, and what lesson about authority is available. I took it to mean that the mom in the OP can teach her dd that she knows what she's talking about when she tells her that she's going to be bored (I strongly disagree - I don't know how my children will feel in any given circumstance, and I haven't ever accepted an authority figure telling me how I will, do or should feel - nor should anybody), but there's no evidence in the OP that the mom ever mentioned it at all.

Quote:
Well, I am speaking in a more general sense, though I think these things can apply to the OP as well. These may or may not have been things the mother in the situation in the OP was trying to teach...we are only 3rd hand observers on the internet who know basically nothing about the real situation.
I can only discuss what I'd do in the situation, based on the OP. According to the OP, the girl didn't know there wouldn't be anything to do, and was being ignored by both adults who were present. There's nothing in the OP that suggests the girl was asked/told/reminded about taking her doll. Based on the OP, there's really not much in the way of teachable moments about anything.

However, I don't know what I'd do, because I'm not in the habit of taking my kids to restaurants, then ignoring them while I chat with friends.
post #69 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by lach View Post
What I bolded is a very good point. The 8 year old was already upset, and her claim of being "ignored" might very well have been QUITE different from a reasonable description of what had happened at the table. We already know that she is in an inappropriately emotional state: she was crying over being bored. Over a doll. At age eight.
We don't know any of that. We know that she was crying, but we don't know that it was because of boredom or the doll - it may have been because she was being ignored. And, we also don't know that she's 8. The OP was guessing at her age. Honestly, I would have guessed younger than that, simply because nobody I know would use the term "dolly" when talking to a child of eight. Around here, that's more-or-less baby talk.

[quote]But that's why it's also the age where they do need to learn to keep some of the over-emotional reactions about things that are just not that big a deal in check. They need to learn to manage life's little disappointments now (the exciting adventure in a grown up restaurant was not as interesting as she had expected)...[quote]
Interesting. I didn't see anywhere in the OP that the child knew she was going to an adult restaurant, or that she thought it would be an adventure. I'm not sure where you're getting any of that. I also take issue with other people deciding what's a big deal for someone else...even a child.

Quote:
And it sounds like the mother was working through that with the DD in the most appropriate manner: she took her outside to calm her down, was speaking to her calmly (not yelling or swearing or hitting), was talking her through the whole situation... outlining what had led them up to this point and what her expectations were from then on.
I don't think we read the same OP. If there was any outlining of what led up to this point (beyond "you decided to leave your dolly in the car"), I missed it completely.

Quote:
Obviously, it's impossible for us to know what had already happened, both before the restaurant and at the restaurant. But from what was outlined here, it all sounds like a normal, if annoying, parenting situation that was handled well. I'm sure the mother really didn't enjoy interrupting her meal to take her daughter outside, but she was handling it calmly and doing what needed to be done.
To each their own. I see no evidence that it "needed to be done". We don't know anywhere near enough about what actually happened, but based on the snippet the OP provided, there's no evidence that the mother was doing anything but "teaching" an arbitrary "lesson" that may have had nothing to do with anything. I know I'd be pretty upset if someone answered my complaint that "there's nothing to do and you're ignoring me" with "well, that's what happens in this kind of place - deal".

I'm basing my responses on what the little girl said. Her mother (again, based on the OP) didn't argue those points. She didn't say, "we're not ignoring you", so I have no reason to jump to the conclusion that the girl is overstating it. She didn't say, "I warned you there wouldn't be anything to do", so I have no evidence that this was discussed ahead of time. I'm basing this on the discussion recounted in the OP, not on any thoughts about what might have happened prior to said discussion.
post #70 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
1. That still doesn't mean it's not a natural consequence to not have something if you chose not to have that thing.

2. I would not consider my husband a beast if he didn't want to leave a meal with his friend to fetch something (that was not a lifesaving medicine or the like) for me.
Well, if my husband were in the middle of a meal with a friend, I'm actually empowered enough to get up and go get stuff for myself. I do it all the time. I would be ticked if I got up to get something from the car and he said, "No you don't. Sit back down; I asked you before we came in if you wanted it and you said no. Now you have to live with your choice."

Needless to say, I wouldn't be sitting back down, or standing in front of the restaurant crying while he calmly explained why I couldn't have my purse or whatever other inanimate object I'd left in the car which would be "artificial" for me to go out and get. And while he said, "As soon as you're done crying we'll go back inside."

I do realize that I don't know this mom or this child, so I can't judge her. I'm really just talking from the standpoint of what I feel is reasonable behavior for anyone who makes one choice and then changes her mind.

There are plenty of times when we change our minds but, because of circumstances, can't go back on our original decision. But why be artificial and pretend like a situation where the child actually could fix the situation is one of those unchangeable circumstances that she just has to "live with?"

What does that teach children about their power to correct a bad situation? I mean, if all their lives it's been drilled into them that once you make a bad decision you're just "stuck" and you have to live with it, how are we allowing them room for personal growth and change?

I guess some have the idea that if the "stuck" thing gets drilled into heads early enough, they'll be doing everything perfectly by adulthood and won't ever need to make a change, but that seems kind of unrealistic to me.
post #71 of 134
Quote:
I would be ticked if I got up to get something from the car and he said, "No you don't. Sit back down; I asked you before we came in if you wanted it and you said no. Now you have to live with your choice."
Of course you would be ticked. Because it's not your DH's job to teach you anything. It is however your job, as a the parent of your child, to teach your child things and as a result of that, you WILL say things to your child, and take actions with your child, that you never would with your spouse. Saying "I would never do that to an adult" or "I would be angry if an adult did that to me" isn't a valid arguement, because a child ISN'T an adult. Children and adults cannot and should not always be treated the same.
post #72 of 134
I would have gotten it. It's pretty apparent the kid thought there would be coloring stuff to keep her entertained while the grown ups talked. I'm impressed she thought that far ahead. I can't imagine trying to teach my child a lesson while I was talking with friends and not interacting with her.
post #73 of 134
it is apparently perfectly ok and appropriate for an adult to change their mind, try and fix the situation and not be "taught a lesson" (arbitrary lesson) by another adult.. but it is our job as the parent to cause undo suffering and call any emotion we don't think is ok at that moment inappropriate. how can being upset about your situation (especially if you were just told to live with it) be inappropriate? seems pretty natural to me.
i am a bit surprised. i would have thought there would be a bigger level of compassion for the child. having 4 kids who have been 8, i see all the time that what i think they should know and what they actually know are two different things.

i would recommend the book "When Anger Hurts Your Kids" which really gets into what we as adults THINK our kids are doing to us and what is really going on, due to their level of understanding and developmental ability. it is a great book and has been really helpful to me in seeing what i expect of my kids might be more then they are capable of doing at a given age.
compassion shouldn't stop at 1 year or 2 or what have you. there isn't a magic age where all children suddenly get all things. heck i am still learning. i wouldn't expect more of my own kids then i expect of myself... and then i have to remember that they are much much younger then me.

h
post #74 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by happysmileylady View Post
Of course you would be ticked. Because it's not your DH's job to teach you anything. It is however your job, as a the parent of your child, to teach your child things and as a result of that, you WILL say things to your child, and take actions with your child, that you never would with your spouse. Saying "I would never do that to an adult" or "I would be angry if an adult did that to me" isn't a valid arguement, because a child ISN'T an adult. Children and adults cannot and should not always be treated the same.
and because the child isn't an adult i would think there would be MORE compassion and understand not less. at what age do we start showing compassion to others? when do we get up and help out someone who made a "poor" choice and can't fix it themselves?
i guess this is where the things get weird to me. it is ok to help an adult BUT not ok to help a child... it is a teachable moment.
i think our biggest lesson to our children should be that they matter, their feeling matter and that we are there for them. to me purposefully not going out to get a doll to "teach them a lesson" seems a bit weird. like what are they learning here? you would hope it would be to never make a bad choice and if you do suck it up, even at 8. but my best guess is that they learn that mom can't be bothered with helping them.
post #75 of 134
Not to nitpick, but the OP did not see how the Bad Mama interacted with her child in the restaurant. She only overheard a portion of the conversation as they came OUT of the restaurant.

Now, maybe you guys have 8 year olds who NEVER EVER exaggerate, or perhaps I'm just Horrible Mama because mine does--but I'd take claims of "you didn't talk to me you just talked to your friend" well salted. Just today, I spent 2 hours straight drawing/crafting with MY 8 year old, and when I had to get up to prepare lunch (something I warned her about starting 30/15/10/5 minutes beforehand) she huffed at me that I NEVER spend time with her and I NEVER do anything she wants.

Sometimes I think that nobody can ever win. If the OP had posted that somebody allowed their 8 year old to cry and throw a fit at a restaurant this mom would still be getting bashed.

I can picture something like this happening with DD and I. I ask the kids to bring a book (generally not a toy, but only because most of their books can be much more easily replaced than a favorite doll or lego figure) with them in the car so if they don't feel like coloring they've got something to do. Sometimes they don't want to take their stuff in the restaurant, because being a Horrible Mama and all at 8, 7, and 7 I expect them to haul their book in and out themselves and keep track of it. We don't go back and forth to the car because we did do that for awhile and it sucked for me big time and I got tired of it, so just made a standing rule (besides, what they really wanted at that point was not what was in the car, but a walk--which is fine with me, they can walk back and forth to the restroom, or whatever).

That I do this now does not mean I was a Cruel or Stupid mama who did not bring toys/snacks/entertainment for them when they were littler--I certainly did. Now though, since all of my children are capable of keeping track of 1 or 2 of their own things, I do expect that of them. And if they were to throw a fit, they're not getting what they want handed to them. I would have packed up and *left* the restaurant--perhaps since her friend/other adult was there this mama could not.

Think about it though. I'm sure there are some saints amongst us who have such enlightened conversation with their older (or heck, even younger!) children that NEVER could be interpreted as anything other than wholesome sweetness and light no matter what the snippet is. Me? Not so much. Restaurants and public areas are generally where I'm at my worst, esp. if my kid is misbehaving or embarassing me, because *I* am overstimulated with a lot of noise and input. So I never assume how someone acts in a store or restaurant, esp. if they've got a grumpy kid, is their *best*.

That being said, I did look askance at other people and their big kids and behavior issues when I had littles. So maybe that's WHY I can relate to this mama a bit--I certainly got my comeuppance for those thoughts a few years later! It makes me scared to think anything at all of tween-teen/parent interactions, I don't need my butt kicked even more!
post #76 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post
and because the child isn't an adult i would think there would be MORE compassion and understand not less. at what age do we start showing compassion to others? when do we get up and help out someone who made a "poor" choice and can't fix it themselves?
i guess this is where the things get weird to me. it is ok to help an adult BUT not ok to help a child... it is a teachable moment.
i think our biggest lesson to our children should be that they matter, their feeling matter and that we are there for them. to me purposefully not going out to get a doll to "teach them a lesson" seems a bit weird. like what are they learning here? you would hope it would be to never make a bad choice and if you do suck it up, even at 8. but my best guess is that they learn that mom can't be bothered with helping them.
I agree with this. I also feel that one of the biggest 'lessons' I need to teach my DD is that people she has relationships with should treat her respectfully and compassionately all the time. I want my DD to expect and if needed demand that the people she chooses to have in her life treat her fairly. Ignoring some one at dinner isn't kind or respectful. Being inflexible if someone close to you has an emotional need isn't compassionate or respectful either.

We've gone to restaurants and other functions with my DHs coworkers and even they have never ignored our almost 5 year old DD.

Some people feel children should be treated less courteously than adults because they need to learn lessons about life. Well we choose to teach our DD how to be respectful and kind by being respectful and kind to her and others, not be lecturing her while modeling inconsideration or rudeness.

I would have gotten the doll before my DD got upset enough to cry about it. And I don't think the age matters much, but the child's behavior sounds closer to 5 than 8.
post #77 of 134
Without witnessing the situation myself, the only thing I can actively take issue with is the idea that we can't change our minds about things. Of course we can. And many times we should. Teaching her to be consistent without logical reasons leads to inflexibility. We don't need more mindless inflexibility in this world. According to the OP's account, the girl at first reasoned that it would better to leave the doll in the car to keep it safe (a very mature decision), counting on having something to do while in the restaurant. When the information that led to that decision was updated with new information, she changed her mind, deciding that the risk of taking the doll into the restaurant was worth the benefit of relieving her boredom. What's wrong with that? Let's say I decide not to ever do any vaccinations (for myself). Then, later on, I'm presented with the opportunity to visit a wonderful, interesting country where the chances of contracting yellow typhoid are fairly high. Would it be "wrong" or inconsistent of me to reconsider my original decision and choose to be vaccinated against YT? Or let's say I circumcize or vaccinate one child, operating on information available to me at that time, but get new information before the birth of child #2+ -- do the subsequent children have to live with my original choice because I already made a reasoned decision, or do they receive the benefit of my new reasoning? Many people *do* think this way, and I believe that it's partly a result of feeling like you can't change your mind once you've made a big decision. Sometimes you can't. If you buy the wrong house, it would be foolish to turn around and try to sell it right away. It would be more appropriate to wait 3 yrs (or until you'll at least break even), and then sell it if that's you need to do. If it was truly a problem to get the doll, it would have been more appropriate to say why -- The car is 3 blocks away and they're about to bring the food. Why don't we play a game instead? Or whatever. When you have a captive person (it's not always a child, sometimes we bring along adults who are dependent on us for whatever reason), we do have a certain amount of obligation to make sure that they're occupied. We don't expect guests in our homes to fully entertain themselves because it isn't their personal space, and because their happiness is important to us. Why would we expect a child in an adult restaurant to fully entertain herself, and then when she identifies a potential avenue for entertaining herself, tell her no?

I guess this particular part of it really hit a nerve with me. The emotional upset? It's developmentally appropriate. Even if she really was 8 (which is more than unclear at this point), she's a bored, hungry child out of her element for whatever reason. She didn't drive herself to the restaurant. She can't drive herself home or anywhere else. She can't even go to the car and get the doll on her own. She can't call a friend and chat while her mom chats with her own friend. Even if she chose to come to the restaurant, she can't undo that choice. So, why not let her undo the one choice she can? In this case, I really think the lessons being learned are 1) once you make a choice, even a carefully reasoned one, you can't change your mind even if more careful reasoning makes it clear that you should 2) as a mother, I care more about teaching you a (questionable) lesson and maintaining consistency than I do about having a pleasant dinner out with you (my daughter) and my friend 3) I care more about appearances and decorum than I do about your emotional state at this time.

All of this is based on the information provided. More information about the particular circumstances and relationships of the people involved might change my mind about the appropriateness of saying one thing or another, but in the end, the basic principles stand.
post #78 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssh View Post
in her life treat her fairly. Ignoring some one at dinner isn't kind or respectful.
We don't know that the child was being ignored. We do know she said no one was talking to her. We don't know if that is true, or just the child's perception.

I have an 8 yr old, and i know that if we don't talk about Justin Bieber every five minutes at dinner, or if I don't allow her to constantly interrupt, or if she isnt the center of attention 100 percent of the time, she feels ignored.
post #79 of 134
I really doubt the kid was 8, but my son is 9 and he needs something to do at restaurants if we're going to be there awhile and if I plan to have a conversation with whoever else we're with. The girl in the OP made the very reasonable and responsible decision of leaving her doll in the car so she wouldn't have to worry about losing it, thinking she'd just color instead. This was good decision-making and it should be encouraged. Instead, she was punished for it.

There is no question that the girl was sitting there not being talked to because of course the mom and her friend were talking. That's why you have something for your kid to do so you can enjoy your meal out. This is just another example of making things harder than they need to be and then it makes it worse for everyone. I imagine myself as the friend in that situation thinking, here just give me the keys and I will go get the doll!
post #80 of 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
One time, on occasion, no biggie. Of course it's not a big deal.

But we do not know the mother and child in question. Approaching it from my perspective, with a child who has taken it to extremes, I can totally envision saying the same thing. That's why I think that it's best not to judge it one way or the other, because we just don't know enough to make a judgement either way.
I wasnt' talking about the oP there. What I said about the OP was:

Quote:
I don't know about that specific situation as we're only hearing about a small part, but generally when my 8-year-old is bored and has something that will amuse her in the car, we run out and get it. No big deal.
What I was talking about there was the idea that seems present in this thread that in general kids should be taught to not change their minds. I don't understand why that's a lesson that parents want to teach their kids.
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