People Who Allow Their Kids to Get Out of Control in Public Places

If you’ve been reading the blog, you know I’m big on setting the scene.  Well, I have a doozy to set for you today.

This afternoon I was at the airport.  My friends were arriving and I went to airport to meet them.  I got there a little early, and I decided to partake of the Starbucks that was next to the arrival gates.  There were lots of people waiting for friends and relatives at the arrival gates, and, apparently, a couple of flights were late, so some of them had been there a long time.  As I sat in Starbucks I began to notice several children just running around and screaming.  They were climbing on the seats in the waiting area, jumping on the barrier that separated the arrival hall from the waiting area, chasing each other around Burger King and Quiznos.  They were completely out of control.  The place sounded more like an elementary school playground than the arrival area of a major international airport.  I was wishing for one of them to fall and get hurt so the parents of the other kids would take notice.

At various intervals, the children would go over to adults that I can only assume were their parents and be given food or a drink.  Sometimes the parents would make a half-effort to get the child to sit down, but the child didn’t listen.  These kids were running amok in the airport and their parents were either completely oblivious to how annoying it was to all the other people (I noticed lots of dirty looks and stares in the direction of the parents and some of the children), or they didn’t care.  These are the worst people.  They are similar to the people that disobey the smoking laws in that their habit of not controlling their kids was making other people miserable.  These parents did nothing to reel their children in and get them to behave.  We were all stuck there sharing the same space and all of us were affected by the disgusting behavior of their children, yet they just sat there talking to each other while their children screamed, ran, climbed and caused mayhem throughout the arrivals area.

These parents should be removed from the airport, with their kids in tow.  They do not deserve to have their kids out with them in public.  I have the utmost respect for the parent who has the intelligence to bring materials that will occupy the children.  An IPad, hand-held game, Legos, hell, even a coloring book would do the trick.  These kids would be so enthralled that they would not be screaming and running around.  I am even thankful for the mom who, sensing that her 2 year old is going to start a crying fit, takes out her mobile phone and tosses it to the kid in the stroller.  The kid then shuts up and plays with the phone.  These are the parents who should be allowed to bring their children out to public places.  These are the parents who should be commended!

I can’t tell you how many meals were ruined for me in a restaurant because of an incessantly crying baby that the parents have become so desensitized to that they don’t even hear it any more.  I once had a screaming toddler in the seat behind me on a flight between Paris and Madrid; screaming and crying for 2 solid hours.  I wanted to pull my hair out, let alone the hair of the moron mother who couldn’t get her kid to shut up.  What’s worse is he kept kicking my seat and I asked the mother several times to please get him to stop.  All she did was switch seats with him so he now kicked the seat of the person next to me.  No control of her child…..disgraceful!

These parents who let their kids run amok should be removed from whatever establishment they are destroying with their Damien-like devil children.  The proprietors of these establishments should give their security staff standing orders to forceably remove anyone who allows their child to get out of control.  Parents with screaming babies should be made to take the child outside until the baby calms down.  Children that are allowed to go out of control should be forced to sit in a seat or risk having the entire family banned from the area.

I do realize that being a parent is a tiring job and sometimes parents just don’t want to have to parent their kids.  In a place as big as the arrivals area of the airport, it’s easy for parents to let the kids go because they don’t see them causing havoc to the people around them.  I get it that sometimes they just don’t want to deal with it anymore.  Well, these people chose to be parents, and they chose to bring their kids to a public place.  With those choices comes the immense responsibility of controlling their children at these public places.  If they wanted free time, they should have left the kids at home!

I don’t think children should be banned from places at all, but I think there is a certain behavior that is to be expected of children in many of these places and it’s the responsibility of their parent to make sure they behave that way.  For instance, children in restaurants should not be allowed to stand on their seats and stare at the people eating behind them, nor should they be allowed to climb under the table and sit there while the rest of the family eats.  Children in airports should not be allowed to climb on the barriers or push the empty luggage carts around.  Most of all, children in public places should be kept at a low volume.  They should not be allowed to scream or run indoors….EVER!

Parents need to teach their kids that it’s NOT ok to go crazy when they’re outside of the house and that their behavior can affect other people.  These children need to learn at an early age what good etiquette is and how they need to behave.  Many parents do this well, and I am sorry for the parents who have control of their children that had to read this rant, but there are also so many parents who do this poorly.  It is the poor parents that I’m trying to reach.  Please work harder to keep your kids in check.  My friend, Dave, has a t-shirt which I’m reminded of at this moment…..”Discipline your kids, before I do.” My sentiments exactly!


1 Comment

  1. This post won’t win you any friends in the parenting blogsphere, but I have to concur. The worst of it is, you know, I’ve had parents tell me that it’s not that they’re tired, it’s that they think ignoring the bad behavior is the best way to deal with it. Seriously, I wish my mother had used that theory on me as a kid. I could have been bad all the time!

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