Parents: Babies at the Movies? Toddlers at the Bar?
Think twice before taking your children to places that are not socially appropriate.
I often wonder if some parents have lost all common sense when it comes to young children and socially appropriate situations.
Recently, we were at the movie theater. We arrived during the previews, so I missed the opportunity to scan the theater because it was already dark. So, I was surprised when an infant started screaming about 20 minutes into the film—and was still crying when the manager asked them to leave until the baby quieted.
It was so distracting.
I felt bad for the baby who was stuck sitting in a dark, loud room. And I couldn’t help but think—what parent brings a baby to a movie theater? I understand that your older child wanted to see the movie, but honestly, babies don’t belong there.
This isn’t the only situation that warranted better judgment. Parents are notorious for taking overtired children to much-too-fancy restaurants. I’ve seen toddlers with their parents out at a bar, even seen children attending business meetings. Kids don’t want to be at these places—it’s not fun for them and it’s inappropriate.
And lately, the news has brought national attention to some controversial parenting mishaps. First, there was a Utah mother who took her two toddlers to a restaurant and had them sit on potty seats, instead of booster seats. I can’t even contain my disgust that someone would think this is socially acceptable. Then an American University professor made news because she chose to breastfeed her sick baby while teaching her class. As beautiful as breastfeeding can, a room full of college kids doesn’t seem to be a proper place to care for a sick infant.
I’m not usually one to criticize people for the way they parent children. I won’t talk about you if you discretely (note discretely) breastfeed, or when you sit your screaming toddler on time out in the grocery store. Nor will I make a snide comment when your kid refuses to eat anything at a family-friendly restaurant, or talks through the entire church service. I’ve been there, done that. Some days I’m a great parent, other days, I’m lucky we all made it through the day.
We do what needs to get done to survive the day. We need accomplish our errands, go to the doctor and hey, it’s even OK to have some fun. Kids shouldn’t necessarily hold you back, but you still need to think about where it actually makes sense to bring your kids. Every child is different. Maybe your 6-year-old has an exquisite palate and is well behaved in fancy restaurants. But it doesn’t hurt to err on the side of caution to make sure you put your children in socially appropriate situations.
Where have you seen children in a place that wasn’t meant for children? What do parents do with their children that bugs you? Tell us in the comments.