Originally Posted by gdl203
I would do the same.
But I've noticed that a lot of people with no kids place a standard of behavior on little children that (a) exhibits a total lack of understanding or empathy for how children of a certain age should
behave based on their age and development, and (b) is a higher standard than often placed on adults!
The best example is the restaurant one : a table of four adults being loud, laughing and getting drunk will be met with slight disapproval but rarely even a mention. Same behavior coming from 5 year olds will be highlighted and noted as disturbing their peace, while blaming the parents for not trying to control the mind of a child to make him behave like a teen. This is completely upside down - people should be infinitely more patient and understanding with rowdy kids in restaurants than with loud adults. Because that is normal behavior and should be met with a smile, not a tsk tsk tsk
Another great example are the douchebags making long faces, turning around and sighing heavily when a kid cries on an airplanes. It's nature, man, deal with it.
There's a lot to unpack here.
First, with respect to the airplane, I agree that people who make a big deal about a baby crying on an airplane are wrong. Having said that, a certain amount of involuntary despair is to be expected when you are stuck on a 12-hour flight with a screaming baby. But the parents can't do anything about it and they would if they could so they get a pass. Or, rather, they don't really need a pass since they aren't at fault. If, however, your baby is crying in a restaurant, I fully expect you to remove them until they calm down.
When your kid spends several hours kicking the back of my seat, it's another matter. I have actually had parents heatedly defend their children's actions, "Well, he's just a child! It's a long flight. What do you expect?"
What I expect is that you make an effort to control your child in public. If your child can't not continuously kick the back of my airplane seat, then you should not bring him on an airplane until he learns not to do that.
With respect to restaurants, it depends. If it is some chain restaurants that caters to children/families/drunks, I completely agree. But if it is not, then the burden is on both adults and children to behave themselves properly, or at least a bit better.
But even in family restaurants, there are limits. I was in a casual dining restaurant recently where some parents thought it would be a good idea to let their three-year-old watch cartoons on an iPad. Without headphones. I'm sure it was convenient for the parents, but nobody else was really keen on incorporating high-volume laugh tracks and funny voices into their dining experience. Plus, modern children's cartoons kind of suck so the plot wasn't even very interesting.
As I said, I have a great deal of patience and good will for parents who are making an effort. I will put up with a lot if I hear parents admonishing their kids to "use their inside voices" etc. Some parents, however, have a very different approach. While I view taking kids to a restaurant as a socialization experience, some parents consider it as just a way to get food. I think that's both fundamentally mistaken and a missed opportunity.