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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, route: {:controller=>"articles", :action=>"show", :id=>"parents-who-is-the-disciplinarian-in-your-family"} --> 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,

Kelly September 19, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Some people will take their kids to an inappropriate movie (or even watch at home) with their small child, ONLY because they want to see it and can't afford/find a babysitter. That's pure selfishness. Part of a bigger problem in society is small kids being exposed to way too much than they should.
Tim September 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Yep, sorry I mis-remembered that detail (thanks for that, Roger Clemens!). Honestly it's been over a year since E has even been on campus at all (save for Monday when we just stopped by for lunch). He's real popular with Tracey's department and students though. They keep wanting him to visit more, but he doesn't get terribly sick as much these days.
Tim September 19, 2012 at 02:51 PM
That's awful. People's selfishness overrides common sense. We see it every day, sadly.
Andrea F September 19, 2012 at 02:55 PM
"Personal responsibility" would dictate that all parents should do the responsible thing and breastfeed... it's scientifically proven to be the BEST thing to give our children, yet society dictates that we have to be as inconvenienced as possible? That's BS. "Personal (and social) Responsibility" would dictate that anyone who is NOT a breastfeeding mom provide as much support possible to those who are as a way of doing their part to improve the health and longevity of the species. I'll breastfeed in front of ANYONE, ANYWHERE, ANYTIME I want to because it's the RIGHT thing to do. If you're uncomfortable with that, please, get your food in a to-go box, or go eat it in the bathroom, or in your car. I certainly won't be paying attention to YOU because I know how to mind my own business.
Susan Kim September 19, 2012 at 04:36 PM
I'd rather see a boob than hear a screaming baby. I don't like it when moms bring their small children into nail salons and let them run rampant while they get pampered. I've seen kids break and spill stuff while mom ignores the situation. 1) The nail techs aren't babysitters and 2) Those harsh chemicals aren't good for US, let alone the little ones.

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