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Forgive me, I had to rant…

I’ve been debating writing this post for the entirety of the week, but at last I’ve decided that I can’t, simply can’t let it sit and simmer in my head without blogging about it. It’s just dieing to come out and be heard and since I happen to have a blog where I write about parenting, being a mom, etc, etc… what better forum?

The debate comes in because I’m not sure I will have a whole lot of readers after I’ve finished my blog today because my opinions don’t follow the conventional ‘this is what you should think because you’re a mother’ way of thinking. But I think that this needs to be said from a blatantly honest mother’s point of view. I am trying to season my words with grace, but, even in my small town, I am running into these situations more and more and it’s really gotten old quickly.

If you’re new here, let me issue this disclaimer: I am the mother to six, totally awesome most of the time, kids. I stay/work from home and homeschool them, so I’ve been with my children almost constantly for the past 33,945 days- minus the two day trip that my bestie/SIL and I took to Atlanta to chase down our favorite band at a concert when I left the kiddos home with their dad. So, I have spent 33,943 days of my life surrounded by my children. Then add a few hours here and there for trips to the store and you can probably take away another couple of days once those hours are totaled up. The point is that it’s a lot of time, and I know how great kids can be and how bad they can be too and I’m honest enough to tell you that. 

This whole thing simmering in my brain was put there after a naptime spent on Pinterest, when I stumbled upon this guy’s blog. Basically, he’s a waiter in NY and was gifted with a very dry sense of humor which he uses to post his random frustrations with people at the restaurant(s?) where he works. So dry, in fact, that my rather dry sense of humor especially appreciates it.

(I always feel an empathetic ambivalence for waiters: they inevitably get to see both the best and the worst of society while just trying to do their jobs; I think sometimes one must gather the equivalent of a degree in anthropology while working as one.) If you can handle the occasional ‘language’ infused or entirely adults-only post, (which I don’t terribly mind) it’s really a rather awesome blog and you should check it out immediately. (After you finish reading and subscribing to mine, of course!)

Anyway, he was on an episode of Dr. Phil (which I don’t typically watch because I’m chasing around six children, trying to pound some semblance of an education, and manners into their heads while the Dr’s on and because I think Dr. Phil tends to be a snarky, self-righteous know-it-all and he gets on my nerves). If you have a few minutes, check out Part 1, because that’s the part I’m ranting on today.

If you don’t have the time, here’s a short summary: In this segment, Dr. Phil is letting his guests, the audience, and our new favorite waiter have it out about the so called “Brat Ban”. The “Brat Ban” is a policy that restaurants, movie theaters, airlines, etc, are enacting all over the country. They are in existence because of the high number of tantrum throwing children that parents refuse to discipline in these places leaving the restaurant owners and other patrons to suffer the consequences. So, they handle it by banning children. Some places ban all children under 6; I’ve even seen a place that banned all children under age 10. They are all trying to accomplish the same purpose: to give the people who know how to act like people the chance to relax and be people without shrieking in their ears.

Of course, parents are all up in arms because “My child should be able to go anywhere I’m allowed to go and want to bring them with me.” and people answer, “Not when it ruins the experience for everyone else.” So the parents answer, “Well, get over it because my kids are entitled to whatever they want.”

*sigh* {double face-palm} 

Parents, from a parent, your child doesn’t have the right to act like wild animals anywhere that other people have to suffer for it. No, other people shouldn’t have to close their ears. No, other people shouldn’t have to get over it. No, other people don’t have to deal with it. It’s not your right to ruin something for someone else.

You have the right, nay the responsibility, to teach your children how to behave. That’s why kids have parents- they don’t know how to be adults! You are supposed to teach them that. No malarkey about your job is to love and cherish them- letting your child grow up thinking that everyone in the entire world is there to give them whatever they want is a very perverted way to say or show love to your children. When they grow up, and move out on their own, (if they ever do, really) they are going to have a very hard time of it because the real world doesn’t work that way.

And don’t tell me that you don’t want to stifle your child’s personality, or break his spirit. Don’t say you are trying to make him independent, or well-adjusted. I make my children behave, at home and in public. I rarely, rarely (if ever) spank them, because there are so many more effective methods of discipline, and my kids know that when they misbehave, they have a very creative mom who will come up with some kind of complete drudgery to enforce her lesson about what’s appropriate and what’s not. You can’t spend five minutes with my children without knowing that they are happy, well-adjusted, well-behaved, and respectful and still individual, opinionated, creative, intelligent, validated children.

As far as the guy at the end of the clip- Oh NO he didn’t! He was completely off base, other people DON’T have the right to put their hands on your children any more than they have the right to put their hands on you.

But seriously? Why, as loving parents, why would you allow your children to make fools out of themselves? Why would you defend a child’s right to act like an uncontrolled brat?

Now my children are absolutely not perfect… by any means. (But neither am I.) I have six of them, remember? We’ve had our fair share of temper tantrums and fits, but I would never, EVER allow a child who misbehaved that badly in public to go back into that situation until they’ve learned how to control themselves and act like children, not brats. If you see my kids misbehaving in public it’s ONLY because we haven’t made it to the car yet, because I don’t expect the other people in whatever place we are at to suffer because my children are either 1- way too tired to deal with being in the situation and I, as their parent, should have known them well enough to avoid it and am realizing my mistake, or 2- had a momentary brain fart where they forgot every single thing I’ve ever taught them and I believe in my God-given right as a parent to say that they aren’t allowed in that situation until they remember.

But, you know what? My kids don’t usually act up in public because they know, if they do, that Mommy means what she says and that just doesn’t fly. And I don’t appreciate, as a parent, but especially as a parent of a larger family, the fact that my children and myself are given a bad rap by those of you who brought your bosses into the world via your uterus.

My point? There should be no reason to have a “Brat Ban”. Parent’s should teach their children better. Do I want to be assaulted every where I go by bratty children who don’t know how to behave and the parents that ignore them? Absolutely not! Do I think it’s appropriate for places to ban those bratty kids? Yes and no. It really stinks for my kids because they are missing out on something that they can act appropriately for, but I understand the purpose behind it and completely agree that the owners of the places have the need to handle the situation so they can maintain their environment.

The bottom line? (Because you have no idea how long I could rant on this!) Parents- get over yourself. It’s common sense: You don’t take a shrieking baby into a quiet library. (I don’t care if you call it cooing or not! Cooing is quiet.) You don’t take a two year old who throws temper tantrums every moment he’s not absorbed in Spongebob into a grown-up restaurant. You don’t take a five year old who melts down when they don’t get to have exactly what they want into a grocery store. When businesses have to enforce common sense and complete strangers are having to tell you to get onto your kids, there’s something wrong with YOU, not the stranger.

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