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Today DH and I were in the food court in the mall getting a quick snack. i wasn't feeling well, so I chose a table where I could sit on a soft comfy bench instead of a rickety chair. This was right next to a family with two young kids trying to eat lunch. The two little boys were doign what two little boys are apt to do--bouncing on the cushy bench, squirming, sliding under the table, stuff like that. I got the impression that the mom and dad were totally cool with this--the kids were just being kids and weren't being excessively loud or messy at all, but once DH and I sat down they started really trying to *control* thier kids; I mean telling them to sit straight , not to even bounce on the soft upholstery. A pretty difficult request sicne the kids were done eating, just the parents were trying to finish up. It seems like the parents were trying to keep thier kids form bothering me and DH.<br><br>
I felt so bad and wanted to tell them that it was ok, they didn't have to try to ge the kids to behave for our sake (it really was; they were cute kids and I was watching tem play--the parents did not get all uptight until we sat down). I didn't though, becuase I didn't want to invalidate anything the mom was saying in front of the kids; I mean it's none of my business to tell her how to parent, and telling her she that the kids behavior is ok right in front of them is problematic. This has happend to me a couple of times, woth strangers and even with acquaintences. How to you communicate to people "Hey I know how kids are, I'm not gonna be offended if you let them act like kids in front of me" without being disrespectful or intrusive. If there a way to do this? WWYD?
 

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I find that smiling at the cute behavior and commenting on how cute the kids are to the parent relaxes the parent and also gives them a warm fuzzy because they have cute kids.
 

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I always try and find a way to let moms off the hook- "Don't worry about us, we know what kids are like!" Lots of smiles and nods... Just think of all the judgemental, nasty parents that we have to balance in the world.
 
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