I celebrated my nephew’s birthday this weekend; he had a few friends join him at the trampoline park and dinner. One
spawn of satan kid got out of hand—talking loudly and over others. Getting up randomly. Shaking his empty cup at the server. Yelling “where’s my food?!” more than once. Not a once did I hear a please or a thank you. My nerves, y’all!
As far as I know, T (for Terrorist) doesn’t have any mental limitations besides maybe a food/sugar addiction, so I was dumbfounded to why he was acting out pretty much the entire time we were at the restaurant. There were three dads present (including his father) who never reprimanded him. Not once! After at least six common decency violations and 12 restaurant etiquette infractions!
Instead of digging deep into why he was behaving this way (my guess is he doesn’t get enough attention, mom is the only disciplinarian, both parents have a Helen Keller style of “parenting” or/and he may see his dad treat his mother this way), it bothered me more that none of the guys spoke up, especially his father. I mean treat your parents how they allow, but it’s problematic when your disrespect trickles onto strangers, especially those who are servicing you! I wanted to say so much more, but I only told T to go ahead and eat your food when he kept exclaiming his sandwich was “pooping” because the sauce was coming out the side, but that was a misdemeanor compared to the rest of his behavior that evening. And that was all that was said as far as discipling him, if you can call my weighted suggestion discipline.
I know, like me, reading this makes you want to just back of the head smack the little sucker and his father and tell him to sit down and shut up. But it wasn’t my place. Or was it? This was my first time meeting them both, but since he was with my party, do I bear some responsibility to this heathen? I know T’s a product of his environment, as all children are, so should I (or any of the other adults) have asked his dad wtf, mane? Get your boy! ??
Parenting is such a personal subject as your children are mere reflections of their genetic makeup and who’s raising them
or failing to raise them properly. Besides if he is in obvious danger or putting another child under duress, do you step in when a kid you don’t really know is acting a damn fool, even if the parent is present and aware? What if you do know the child? Do you step to the parent? How does this work?