What is acceptable in public? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So question here. What is acceptable in public as far as behavior, discipline, expectations? Trying to gather some opinions on the subject.

Would you let your children walk with you in a store? grocery or department? must they be in the cart/stroller? is it ok for them to run around the racks/aisles, as long as nothing 'destructive' was happening?

At a restaurant, must they sit through the entire meal? are they allowed to get up and move around? is it expecting to much to have them sit through a meal (hour or so?) or is it not age appropriate?

And what is age appropriate? Is thinking a child sitting in a restaurant (while the parent entertains them) is asking too much? Is it not age appropriate? Are you not letting 'a kid be a kid?' And at what point does the expectation need to be there?

Do you seems strict or mean as a parent to want manners/behavior in a public setting? Or because they are 2, 3 or 8 they need to act like kids and just do as they please because you may infringe on their ability to be children?

Looking forward to everyones thoughts and opinions!

WOH Wife to Steve 3/31/07 ; Mama to Sophia Margaret 9/26/07; and Ava Grace 2/5/09
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#2 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 12:10 PM
 
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We work hard at learning to be respectful of people within a framework of what Jack can and can't do developmentally.

We try hard to avoid the grocery store on Saturdays and Sundays because he does love to push the cart. Since this is a huge issue on days the grocery store is packed I go without him or go on a slow day.

On the rare occasions we eat out we usually do the patio, and only go to a few very kid friendly restaurants. Jack is almost two and is not able to "behave" for an hour in a restaurant without getting bored and squirmy.

I do not mind limiting myself somewhat since this stage won't last forever.

His ability to just be a child is very important to me but I also understand not everyone thinks sticking a straw up your nose is acceptable behavior.
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#3 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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Hmm...good thread. I'm curious about some of the same things. DD is 14 mos. For us:

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Originally Posted by zippy_francis View Post
Would you let your children walk with you in a store? grocery or department? must they be in the cart/stroller? is it ok for them to run around the racks/aisles, as long as nothing 'destructive' was happening?
DD is too short to comfortably hold my hand and walk, and she doesn't like holding hands anyway. So in grocery stores/department stores/target she is either in the cart, worn, or held. Unless its completely empty and I'm not *doing anything* other than attending to her. Like Saturday evening, we went to Cabelas for Huz to look at something, and the place was EMPTY, so I let her walk around and look at the dog houses, dog toys, etc. That was great fun for her and we didn't get in anyone's way.

Quote:
At a restaurant, must they sit through the entire meal? are they allowed to get up and move around? is it expecting to much to have them sit through a meal (hour or so?) or is it not age appropriate?
Yes, we all sit together until everyone is finished eating. I'm not sure this would be realistic with more than one child though. DD either sits in a high chair or with us, and we try to keep it fun by having toys available and letting her try all of the food. If we go out, we try to go somewhere noisy with televisions so that she has lots of distractions. We also order everything at once app/entree/extra napkins/condiments and ask for the check right away just in case.

Quote:
And what is age appropriate? Is thinking a child sitting in a restaurant (while the parent entertains them) is asking too much? Is it not age appropriate? Are you not letting 'a kid be a kid?' And at what point does the expectation need to be there?
I think its good to have age-appropriate expectations. At 14 mos., DD knows that when we're eating as a family, we all sit and eat and talk. But it's taken a lot of repetition to get her to that point. It's just something that we value; if you're not doing it every day, then it would be unreasonable (IMO) to expect that of a 14 mo. in a restaurant.

Quote:
Do you seems strict or mean as a parent to want manners/behavior in a public setting? Or because they are 2, 3 or 8 they need to act like kids and just do as they please because you may infringe on their ability to be children?
Especially as they get older, I think it will be easier to teach situation-specific manners. Like "we don't yell indoors" and "we don't run inside" and "we don't touch things that don't belong to us." I'm interested to see what others have to say....


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#4 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:17 PM
 
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#5 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:23 PM
 
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I think our expectations/desires of ds's (2.5 yrs) behavior vary by the place. Some restaurants are more formal, and quieter, and if ds wants to get down and play, then one of us will go outside with him. He's actually pretty good about sitting at a restaurant...but we go out to eat at various restaurants often enough. My brother and his kids are visiting this week, and I was just commenting to dh that ds actually is MUCH "better behaved" at a restaurant than my 7 yr old niece who cannot sit still during a meal and will often get up and wander around. I was afraid that he would start doing that too. Instead, ds kept telling her to sit

As far as grocery stores, it really depends. I won't let him walk around if it's just the 2 of us, as I can't be chasing him down the aisles while maneuvering a cart. If dh is with us, then I have no problem with ds walking (if he wants to, he often doesn't) and just fix anything he's taken off the shelf.

My personal feelings about it is that kids are kids, and are part of society - yes, they're sometimes loud, etc, but you know what, so are a lot of adults. I try to be respectful to other people around me, but there's a balance between respect to ds and other people. I wouldn't take him to extremely formal places, that you would expect to be adults only, and at other places, I think 99% of the time, he really is great. I usually have crayons/matchbox cars/ etc with me...or find ways to entertain him if he gets antsy. I do think it's important to involve kids in various situations like restaurants so they (and you) get practice with how to deal. However, ds is not high-strung, so I don't know what I would do differently if he was...
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#6 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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I think most people are happy to see parents enforcing "good" behavior in public -- but often people are not aware of what are reasonable expectations for a toddler. My expectations for a 12mo and a 2yo are vastly different... so it's hard to generalize. But in general, I try to set us up for success (like choosing a family friendly restaurant, or going shopping during the quiet hours).

With a toddler in a restaurant, my main goal is to make sure we're not disturbing other patrons. So, yes, we expect to get up and take some walks around while we're waiting for food, as well as bringing our own toys/distractions (stickers, cheerios) to keep a toddler happy in a quiet way. It definitely varies depending on the temperament of the kid -- some toddlers are able to sit still through a meal, others really aren't. Since I currently have a 5yo, 2yo, and an 8mo, we never eat out except with family so that there is a greater ratio of adults to children. My 2yo can't sit through a meal and needs a lot of distraction, which DH and I can't offer if we're also taking care of our other LO's.

As for shopping, when I had only DD1, she might either ride in the cart, walk with me, or ride in a carrier. By the time she was 2.5, she almost always wanted to walk, but she knew the rules -- stay with Mama, no running -- if she needed too much reminding, she got to go in the cart/on my back (but I feel like this is as much for safety as for good behavior). Now that I have a whole bundle of kiddos, my 2yo always rides in the cart because DD3 is in the carrier and I need to get my grocery shopping done rather quickly so that no one has a meltdown.

I am always working on public manners such as using quiet voices, walking in stores, looking out for others. My 5yo needs reminders as much as my 2yo, but it's my job to teach them to be pleasant in public. Yes, they need to be kids and run around and shout, but we do that at the park, beach, home, etc. I feel like my kids are very capable of understanding that there are different expectations for behavior in different places, and it's less frustrating if I think of every opportunity as a "teaching moment", rather than a "discipline problem".

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#7 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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It is a huge safety hazard for children to move/run around restaurants. Back when I waitressed in college, I once dropped a hot chocolate on a child that darted in front of me and underneath the tray I was carrying because I couldn't see him until I literally tripped over him. My children either sit in the booth/chairs or if they need to get up then an adult walks with them outside. I don't expect a 10 month old to sit quietly through a meal, I set them up for success. We only go to child friendly places, I bring toys or coloring books, and DH and I take turns eating and walking a child outside if need be. I find that once they are toddlers then they will sit and be entertained for most of the meal (if it doesn't take too long). I demand decent behavior and quiet voices in restaurants, if my children are not able to comply due to age, day, etc... then we take turns eating and watching children.


Same goes for grocery store, my children may walk if they can follow the cart carefully without running or darting around otherwise they ride or get worn. I do not consider it ok for children to run around a grocery store, it is not a play area. There are times and places for such behavior and a grocery store is not one of those places. Obviously I do have rules for public behavior that I expect my children to follow, no running, no yelling, we be considerate of others. In places like parks, playgrounds, our house, open gym, etc... then they can run around all they want to.

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#8 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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Would you let your children walk with you in a store? grocery or department? must they be in the cart/stroller? is it ok for them to run around the racks/aisles, as long as nothing 'destructive' was happening?
I think it's fine for kids to walk as long as they stick close to you and aren't doing things that are dangerous. Running around in a store is a no for me, because there are other people who are trying to work and shop - the potential for someone to get hurt is too high.

At a restaurant, must they sit through the entire meal? are they allowed to get up and move around? is it expecting to much to have them sit through a meal (hour or so?) or is it not age appropriate?
I expect my kids to stay at the table (I don't care if they get under our table or something). Again, this is a safety issue. Servers often can't see their feet when carrying trays, etc. I also expect them to keep the volume down to a reasonable level so they aren't driving everyone crazy while they're trying to eat in peace. If there's more than one adult present and the kids are getting restless waiting for food, one adult can take them out for awhile. The only exception to something like this is if we're in a relatively unpopulated fast food type restaraunt - I don't mind them taking over another table or two to play, spinning in the chairs that spin, being a little lounder, etc.
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#9 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:42 PM
 
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I'm more or less with Peony. I expect DD to sit through a meal (she turned 4 earlier this month) in a restaurant, and have done since she was about 2.5. Before then i would take her outside the restaurant for a walk if she was restless. She has never been allowed to run around places like supermarkets or restaurants or cafe's, ever. it is dangerous and it is rude. If a child isn't old enough to sit through a meal then i take them out for a break, i never expect others to accommodate when it was MY choice to bring the too-young-to-cope kid there in the first place. In the grocery store DD walks but she must hold my or DH's hand, or the trolley if it's just she and I. If she let go she had to ride in the cart. Nowadays she's too big for the cart of course, but she kjnows she has to stick close or hold my hand. If she refuses to hold my hand i warn her i will have to hold her arm, and i will if forced. She may not yell in indoor public spaces unless it is a place where it's fine to do so (the pool for example), this is something she struggles with. I try to walk the line on that one - it's pretty normal for a 4yo to struggle with keeping quiet when they are full of energy. I ACCEPT she might yell but i remind her every. single. time. not to.

I think being mindful of a child's age and developmental stage is handy in deciding where to take them and in the internal expectations one might have, but that beyond that they should be taught how to behave in such places from the get-go. I know lots of 8yo's who still have to run around screaming in restaurants because it was ok when they were 2 and their folks haven't figured out when precisely it should become NOT ok. I don't like eating with or near them. To me the social rules in a restaurant don't change, so why complicate things by teaching 2 sets, one for little kids and one for adults. I'm not trying to raise her to be 4, she KNOWS how to be 4 I'm trying to raise her to adulthood, so i have my eye on that as the horizon, however distant, we are heading for.
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#10 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 01:50 PM
 
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Would you let your children walk with you in a store? grocery or department? must they be in the cart/stroller? is it ok for them to run around the racks/aisles, as long as nothing 'destructive' was happening?
DD is 22 months and would run like the wind and destroy everything in her path if she wasn't in the cart. So that's where she stays. We make it fun for her, keep her interested with a couple toys, get a slice of cheese from the deli...

At a restaurant, must they sit through the entire meal? are they allowed to get up and move around? is it expecting to much to have them sit through a meal (hour or so?) or is it not age appropriate?
When I was young, I stayed at the table throughout the meal. The same will be expected of our kids. We bring crayons and coloring pages and snacks/drinks for before the meal comes (if it's necessary). Of course, like most people said, we set DD up for success but going out for meals a little earlier than we actually eat, and by going to family-friendly places. When we want to go to a nice restaurant, we get a sitter.

I don't think either of these things make it so that she can't act like a kid. After she's been good in either environment, we make sure she gets lots of time to play in the backyard or we'll stop at a playground on the walk home from dinner.

Colleen (35) married to Brian (35) 11/06; DD Emilia 6/6/08; DS Breckin 8/2/10
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#11 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 05:53 PM
 
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Stores - I don't give ds the option of walking 99% of the time. He touches everything, would run out in front of people & lead me to distraction. Very occassionally if we are somewhere very quiet, I have lots of time & he seems to be in a particularly happy mood I will let him walk for a bit (this weekend at a fishing show I did this) but as soon as he starts pulling things off the shelves or getting in other people's ways it ends. Not only is it unsafe for him & others if he trips them or gets in the way it is disrespectful of other people who perhaps do not care to smile & be indulgent for a cute toddler! I must admit I rarely did before I had one myself.

Restaurants - he must stay at the table. Like others we generally try to choose family friendly restaurants & preferrably restaurants that bring something to eat (bread or such) asap as that really helps to keep him occupied. I bring some toys to keep him occupied. We also ask for the bill while we are eating so once we are done eating we can quickly leave if need be. This isn't a big stretch for us though as at home he must remain in his highchair for the entirety of the meal, so it's really just that period between arriving & getting our food that can sometimes get a bit long. I would never allow him to run around - like pp mentioned it is so unsafe & quite frankly irritating to others trying to enjoy their meal.

In our day there is a lot of unstructured free time that ds gets to run free & I try to keep the rules & no's to a minimum so I do not think it is a problem to have stricter expectations of him when we are places that is appropriate. And yes, some days I do avoid going places with him 'cause he's not in a great mood or I'm not!

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#12 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 06:46 PM
 
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Would you let your children walk with you in a store? grocery or department? must they be in the cart/stroller? is it ok for them to run around the racks/aisles, as long as nothing 'destructive' was happening?

Once she can stay by me then I would be okay with her walking with me in the grocery store. As it is now, DD (21 months) would venture away wanting to explore things and probably pull things off the shelves, ect. I do not consider that to be acceptable. While I think society should be a friendly place for children, I choose to have a child, not everyone else in the grocery store. There are times when I want to get in and get out with my grocery shopping when you have a little person toddling about, they are likely to either frustrate people or get hurt. So she sits in the cart or the ergo. But she always brings her baby with her and we talk the whole time.

Department stores are a little different, if it is not crowded I will let her walk around and explore but usually if I am at a department store I just don't bring her because I can't keep a close eye on her and shop at the same time. If I need to be able to focus on finding something I usually bring the stroller. But DD doesn't really like to sit in the stroller thus I usually try to have my Mom or DH watch her if I need to run that sort of errand.

At a restaurant, must they sit through the entire meal? are they allowed to get up and move around? is it expecting to much to have them sit through a meal (hour or so?) or is it not age appropriate?

I don't expect her to sit through the entire meal at a restaurant, they tend to be drawn out and she gets bored. DD is the active type. She can have the worlds coolest toys in front of her and she would rather walk around. However, I do not allow her to walk around the restaurant in any part where servers are for safety reasons. We go outside or in the lobby area. Once the food is there she is usually happy to partake and sit. But the 20-30 minutes to get the food we usually take turns going with her outside. We don't eat out a lot though and when we do it is usually with my parents and they are happy to entertain her. I think when she is closer to 2.5-3 I will expect her to stay at the table for longer periods of time.

And what is age appropriate? Is thinking a child sitting in a restaurant (while the parent entertains them) is asking too much? Is it not age appropriate? Are you not letting 'a kid be a kid?' And at what point does the expectation need to be there?

Well what is age appropriate depends on the age. I don't think it is asking too much for a child to want to be entertained by an adult at a restaurant during the toddler years. I imagine to a toddler sitting at a restaurant table is quite boring. Toddlers aren't really having conversations like adults do (which is what keeps us entertained.) And like all things, kids are different. Some children are quite content to play with some small toys and color until their food comes. Other kids (like my DD) only have so much patience for toys and coloring, they are driven by movement and exploration. Insisting she sit at the table is only going to breed unhappiness and frustration for both of us. I would much rather take her outside during the "wait time" and then use her "allowance" of sitting nicely time to eat (and for her to eat.)

I think for me, by the time DD is 4-5 I will expect her to be able to sit through a meal at a restaurant without needing to be taken out to play or whining. But by that time she can truly be an active part of the conversation, ordering of the meal, ect.. which will probably make going out to eat much more interesting then it is now.

Do you seems strict or mean as a parent to want manners/behavior in a public setting? Or because they are 2, 3 or 8 they need to act like kids and just do as they please because you may infringe on their ability to be children?

I think what you are saying is, as a parent do I act more strict in regards to behavior and possibly use different discipline methods then I do when no one else is watching? The answer is mostly no. I will admit there are times when we are out in public and maybe DD is doing something that I feel like I need everyone to see I am disciplining her for and I have been tempted to use a non-GD type approach. But I have refrained from that because it is not fair to DD. I think it is reasonable to have different expectations in different places, but the way you follow through with discipline should be consistent. A lot of the mainstream discipline tactics are scary to children and I am not willing to put my DD through that so people will think I am a "good" parent. GD needs to be normalized just like breastfeeding does. People need to see it.

In a nutshell, I want DD to act respectful when we are out and about. The extent that she is able to do that is largely dependent on her being treated with respect as a person in terms of what she can and cannot handle. As others have said, I try to set myself up for success and avoid situations that I know will put us in a frustrated place.

I am reading Connection Parenting by Pam Leo right now and finding the info to be really helpful.

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#13 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 10:29 PM
 
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What a great thread! I have to echo what GoBecGo said--my end goal is to have productive upstanding members of society. I have the same expectation for all three of my children ( 5 1/2, 3 1/2, 20 months)--to become that.

That being said, I know I can't logistically expect the same thing from my toddler boy as I do from my kindergartner. If he wants to get down and walk in the grocery for example, I let him, until he doesn't meet expectation (takes something off the shelf for example) then back into the cart he goes. If he has a fit, we exit the store (now he doesn't even need me to leave, just tell him we're going to), until the fit ceases & we go back in. It's a pain, but I feel like teaching them the right behavior as early as they are capable of it benefits us all.

I'm not sure I'm explaining it clearly, does that make sense?

I can trust my older ones to act well in public because of that early training.

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#14 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 11:27 PM
 
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Grocery store, she's in the cart all the time. She can't be trusted not to touch. Department store, if it's dead in there and I have nothing else to do and we're in a good section I'll let her run around a bit but otherwise she's in the cart (so almost always in the cart). In restaurants, food isn't a big enough distraction and neither are her toys to keep her quiet the entire meal. And she's a shrieker... so either she screams bloody murder when we're done and waiting for our bill, or we walk around a bit. We always make sure we go during rather off times so she can walk around in the quiet part of the restaurant. Some restaurants are safe and inoffensive for a toddler to walk around in. There's also a big difference, IMO, between a 16 mo old toddling around and a 3 year old.

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#15 of 19 Old 04-13-2010, 11:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JennaW View Post

I don't expect her to sit through the entire meal at a restaurant, they tend to be drawn out and she gets bored. DD is the active type. She can have the worlds coolest toys in front of her and she would rather walk around. However, I do not allow her to walk around the restaurant in any part where servers are for safety reasons. We go outside or in the lobby area. Once the food is there she is usually happy to partake and sit. But the 20-30 minutes to get the food we usually take turns going with her outside. We don't eat out a lot though and when we do it is usually with my parents and they are happy to entertain her. I think when she is closer to 2.5-3 I will expect her to stay at the table for longer periods of time.

And what is age appropriate? Is thinking a child sitting in a restaurant (while the parent entertains them) is asking too much? Is it not age appropriate? Are you not letting 'a kid be a kid?' And at what point does the expectation need to be there?

Well what is age appropriate depends on the age. I don't think it is asking too much for a child to want to be entertained by an adult at a restaurant during the toddler years. I imagine to a toddler sitting at a restaurant table is quite boring. Toddlers aren't really having conversations like adults do (which is what keeps us entertained.) And like all things, kids are different. Some children are quite content to play with some small toys and color until their food comes. Other kids (like my DD) only have so much patience for toys and coloring, they are driven by movement and exploration. Insisting she sit at the table is only going to breed unhappiness and frustration for both of us. I would much rather take her outside during the "wait time" and then use her "allowance" of sitting nicely time to eat (and for her to eat.)

I think for me, by the time DD is 4-5 I will expect her to be able to sit through a meal at a restaurant without needing to be taken out to play or whining. But by that time she can truly be an active part of the conversation, ordering of the meal, ect.. which will probably make going out to eat much more interesting then it is now.
You explained this much better than I did! Thumbs up.

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#16 of 19 Old 04-14-2010, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am enjoying the responses.

The reason I asked the question is I, like all of the pp, expect pretty much the same things of my DD's. But I have seen other parents who let their kids run around a store, or a restaurant. We may be on the patio of a family friendly restaurant but they are running the perimeter and hitting the windows on their way by. Or sneaking under the railing to go around the side of the building (not in view of parents) to play, while people are eating. Or running around the restaurant (inside a family friendly est) nearly knocking over a waitress with a full tray of food. Parents in full view, not seeming to care.

The discussion came up that I am a strict parent and that I expect too much of my DD's, and by setting them with high expectations, I am not allowing them to be children. And act like children. That I expect a 2 1/2 year old to sit at a meal when at her age she cant be expected to. My philosophy is that kids need to be taught how to behave within reason based upon their age. I think a 2 1/2 can sit or walk around with a parent and enjoy a meal still with family. My kids do it all the time. I certainly dont expect them to be silent or not to make a mess, because to me, THAT is unrealistic. But to not run around, crawl under tables, through racks of clothes, up and down aisles, is a REASONABLE expectation. I certainly never thought that would make me a strict parent.... But hey if having manners in public means I am strict, then so be it.


I do love hearing all the perspectives, looking forward to more of them!

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#17 of 19 Old 04-14-2010, 05:13 PM
 
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I stay as flexible & open to Akasha's desires in public as possible... she often walks with me, explores things, moves freely, etc.

This being said, I encourage & guide her to respect other people, shared space & materials (whether they belong to us or not)... If she cannot conduct herself in a way that will show respect & appreciation to others, she cannot have as much freedom. So, basically I make the call based on what she can handle in a given situation & I don't have general rules. This works well for us, but all kiddos are different & I only have one which makes a difference too. Kashi is usually quite helpful & aware of others in public space. I talk about what's going to happen in public before it does... like "we're about to go into the grocery store & I need your help. Would you help Mama get the groceries in the buggy & stay focused? I'll remind you to focus if you're having a difficult time. We can have a great time at the grocery store by working together as a team & letting others in the store know we appreciate them." Reading it back just now, it's sounds a bit cheezy, but it's working for us. Akasha hears words like cooperation, team, working together, appreciation a lot I try to frame it as the positive thing it really is...

Of course, we all have days that just simply suck, too! Like a PP said, I try to set us up for success whenever possible. I try to make things fun & include her as much as possible... I find that when Akasha feels that she has an important job to do when we are out, she behaves wonderfully. I find when things go awry, it's likely b/c she (or me actually) is having a tough day. Better to just cut my loses & stay at home when it's just a simply-sucky kinda day (easier said than done sometimes though...)

I make a habit of showing her how I want her to behave by modeling it... saying thank you, etc... I don't force it but I always ask if she would like to offer workers & other folks appreciation when we're out & about... most of the time these days, she doesn't even need to be asked. We don't do rewards/punishments in our family, but overall I am finding that she totally understands the concepts I am trying to model. She's almost 3 yo...

Grace Comes.

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#18 of 19 Old 04-14-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zippy_francis View Post
The reason I asked the question is I, like all of the pp, expect pretty much the same things of my DD's. But I have seen other parents who let their kids run around a store, or a restaurant. We may be on the patio of a family friendly restaurant but they are running the perimeter and hitting the windows on their way by. Or sneaking under the railing to go around the side of the building (not in view of parents) to play, while people are eating. Or running around the restaurant (inside a family friendly est) nearly knocking over a waitress with a full tray of food. Parents in full view, not seeming to care.

The discussion came up that I am a strict parent and that I expect too much of my DD's, and by setting them with high expectations, I am not allowing them to be children. And act like children. That I expect a 2 1/2 year old to sit at a meal when at her age she cant be expected to. My philosophy is that kids need to be taught how to behave within reason based upon their age. I think a 2 1/2 can sit or walk around with a parent and enjoy a meal still with family. My kids do it all the time. I certainly dont expect them to be silent or not to make a mess, because to me, THAT is unrealistic. But to not run around, crawl under tables, through racks of clothes, up and down aisles, is a REASONABLE expectation. I certainly never thought that would make me a strict parent.... But hey if having manners in public means I am strict, then so be it.
I hear you... when I see this kind of behavior it really bothers me... this is different than kids being kids IMO, and I generally wonder if these poor kiddos just never get to run around outside everyday... they seem to taste a bit of freedom & are overwhelmed by it or something... I try not to judge cuz there could be other issues & special needs situations that I just don't understand, but I bet a lot of it does boil down to nature-deprivation! I just want to release these kids in a field

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#19 of 19 Old 04-14-2010, 07:10 PM
 
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I'm going to preface my responses by saying that my daughter is extremely unusually verbal. It makes a huge difference in my expectations of her.

Would you let your children walk with you in a store? grocery or department? must they be in the cart/stroller? is it ok for them to run around the racks/aisles, as long as nothing 'destructive' was happening?

My daughter walks with me the majority of the time. I don't own a stroller and she hasn't been thrilled about being worn since she was about 14 months old. If we are doing a big grocery trip she goes in the cart but that's pretty much the only time. She walks in all other stores. She is absolutely not allowed to run in a store and I would instantly address that behavior. For my daughter a fairly terse, "Do you need to sit in time out?" causes her to cease 99% of her inappropriate behavior. I will go sit with her by the wall of any store and that becomes the 'time out' spot du jour.

At a restaurant, must they sit through the entire meal? are they allowed to get up and move around? is it expecting to much to have them sit through a meal (hour or so?) or is it not age appropriate?


My daughter sorta sits through a whole meal. She often will need to sit on one of our laps. She is fine in a high chair at home but for some reason she is unwilling to use them at restaurants. By and large she sits on her own seat. If we have a booth she is allowed to stand up and look around but she is not allowed to jump or be disruptive to other people.

And what is age appropriate? Is thinking a child sitting in a restaurant (while the parent entertains them) is asking too much? Is it not age appropriate? Are you not letting 'a kid be a kid?' And at what point does the expectation need to be there?


She has been to multiple four star restaurants and behaves pretty amazingly. I think she has only needed to be taken outside to blow off steam once. She is reminded every time we go to a fancy restaurant that we have to use our best restaurant manners and if she needs to go for a walk she can request one. Usually that is limited to trips to the bathroom. She isn't two yet. So I think I'm getting off lucky with her behavior. I would have different expectations with a different kid. I absolutely consider her sitting on one of our laps appropriate and acceptable regardless of how fancy the restaurant is--dude, she's a toddler.


Do you seems strict or mean as a parent to want manners/behavior in a public setting? Or because they are 2, 3 or 8 they need to act like kids and just do as they please because you may infringe on their ability to be children?


I have an unusually acquiescent kid. She has always been this way. I am regularly praised in public for 'raising her right' but I don't honestly feel I can take that much credit. I am also pretty strict in my expectations and I do my best to be unfailingly consistent. If she really can't do something then I remove her from the scenario and she is not punished. She's still a baby. But we talk about manners and she is very good at understanding boundaries. It's just her personality. With a different kid I would have to respond differently. I do not think it is mean to want manners in public I think it is part of the social contract. I give my kid outrageous amounts of time to 'be a kid' and run and scream and not be mannerly. When it is time to be polite she does it. When we are out at a restaurant or at a friend's party she has said that she needs to go home now when she can't behave. I'm absolutely willing to take her at her word and go home when she needs to. I think that is my portion of the social contract.

My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

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