Public Respect

| January 2, 2012 | 1 Comment

We’ve all heard the axiom, “Children should be Seen and Not Heard.” This is actually a fairly old idea, but it still has some merit today, but only some. Children should be listened to and therefore heard; they are people after all, albeit small only partially educated people. They excel at simplifying issues, as another axiom puts it, “..as through the eyes of a child”.

But there are times when children should NOT be heard and in certain situations they should not even be overly noticeable. For example, at a restaurant. I am not talking about most fast-food chains, like McDonalds or Taco Bell, where you expect loud children running around the premises. I am talking about family dining and fine dining restaurants. In these establishments children should behave or be removed from the premises.

A child’s behavior in these establishments should include: keeping the volume of their voice to the same level or lower than the volume of the conversation at the table; remain seated throughout the meal unless they must leave the table for some reason; and of course use proper manners.

These same rules should apply in most public places (the outdoors and fast-food restaurants being the main exceptions). Of course if children are behaving incorrectly, it is only the parents who are to blame. And when your child gets out of their chair and walks around the table to loudly tell you they “Don’t want anymore!”, everyone in the room immediately identifies you as “One of those parents.”

Now that you’re defensively thinking, “Why does it matter if my child is loud and doesn’t stay near the shopping cart in the grocery store?” or “Hey man, don’t try to push me into your mold. Kids will be kids, and I allow that.” Let me answer you with this.

Teaching your children to respect the situation as well as your fellow humans, only makes the world a better place for all of us in the following ways. First, everyone in the restaurant will be able to better enjoy their meal (why should your meal be more important than their meal?). Not just because the restaurant atmosphere is more pleasing (it’s closer to what it was designed to be), but also because the service is better when the servers don’t have to avoid and cleanup and hear over your loud, unpleasant, demanding children.

The other reason children should respect the environment (I’m not speaking about the Earth here, but about their current situation), is for safety’s sake. Respecting the wait staff enough to stay in your seat, helps stop accidental drops, slips, and trips. When a child respectfully stays near your position within a store, not only does it help stop accidents, but it also helps keep the children safe from predators. And all training in respectful and safe practices will directly translate into better practices with new situations in the future.

The rule: In public respect the situation along with the people.

It makes the experience better and safer for everyone, even those not directly involved.

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Category: Rules for Parenting, Rules for Public Conduct

Phil Jackson

About the Author ()

Philip "Phil" Jackson has determined that the biggest problem in the world is stupidity. "Most people don't seem to have basic Common Sense, but if they have a list of rules to follow, I have found that they will do so willingly." So after years of experience living he has decided to help out the ignorant by compiling the missing life rules into an easy to read and understandable format.

Comments (1)

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  1. Jeff Bell says:

    Keep them coming Phil! Good job.

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