RANT: anybody else sick of the anti-child militancy?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by andruca, Jun 30, 2017.

  1. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    I'm pretty sick of running into opinions (in newspapers and news websites) about what a drag it is to share space with kids being, well, kids, and its whole bunch of associated "acts" (hotels or restaurants that don't allow kids in, etc.). It's the kind of attitude I'd expect from the typical old grumpy neighbour that would yell at you for skateboarding in the street when you were a kid. Well, those old grumpy human beings you remember are now people in their 30s/40s (and mostly women, surprising). Don't get me wrong, I'd be totally suportive if such opinions were aimed at their right cause of distress: POOR EDUCATION. Because I think education is exactly the problem. I don't think these anti-child people are so ignorant not to know that centuries (or even decades) ago some people were banned from many things for being the "wrong" race, ancestry, sexual preference or faith without giving their education/behaviour the benefit of doubt.

    Sorry, but people in their 30s whining about other people's kids (per se) look highly resentful and miserable, and lacking a life (with or without kids, not the problem here either). I'm in Europe, I know, home to the most selfish and childish adults who should get a life I've ever known. Folks from the other side of the ocean, Asia or Africa might not be so invaded with this phenomenon (I've been to the USA, Canada and most of Latin America and have never felt such an "anti-child" climate as we're living here in Europe, hell, you even keep wanting to have babies there!). Maybe it's because we're getting old at a much faster rate here, so society's norms are conforming more and more to the grumpy-pseudo-old-selfish-creeps' needs.

    Just some background data, I'm 42, been a father for the 1st. time at 38 and will be again in 4 months. Didn't even think of being a parent before 35 but even then I still would have never embraced such a stupid fad.

    Sorry, I'm not looking for reaffirmation, just complaining.
  2. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    Having a child of my own doesn't mean I have to enjoy other people's kids.
    These days people don't discipline their kids & frankly they're running amok some places.
  3. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Right, totally agree, so the problem is education, isn't it?
    gebass6 and Killed_by_Death like this.
  4. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    That was quite a rant. Forgive me if I skimmed it...

    Remember when parents knew better than to drag Ill behaving kids into nice public settings? I do. An, even as a father of three, I have zero issues with child free zones. If anything, it's sad that we have to use rules to regulate common sense.
  5. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    It is a condemnation of poor parenting, not of children themselves.
    aah_scary, CB3UK, tzohn and 16 others like this.
  6. nutdog

    nutdog when I'm a good dog they sometimes throw me a bone

    Feb 19, 2009
    in the dog house
    I love kids. Adults, on the other hand...
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
  8. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I think it may be too late to educate those parents whose kids behave like animals. My wife is a kindergarten teacher; I hear stories on a daily basis that would make you weep for humanity - and it's rarely the kid's fault.
  9. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Well tell them to keep their mok on a leash. Yeesh some people !
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  10. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    The problem is not education. The problem is lack of parenting. "Kids being kids" in a restaurant is one thing. Sure, they can giggle, blow bubbles in their drinks with their straws, and will probably spill most everything they touch. We can laugh. We can cut up. But there is a HARD LINE I draw when it comes to respecting those around us. My children WILL NOT bother others while they are trying to eat. Seeing to it that they don't is MY job, not their teacher's job.

    I have fun phrases that I use to train them. When we get ready to walk into a restaurant I am them "Ladies, where are we going right now?" They answer (with their eyes rolling of course) "An open place of business and not a playground." Then I say "And who are We?" They answer "People, not monkess on a playground."

    Yes, we have fun. Yes, we go to fun places and go nuts. I will take them to kid friendly restaurants as well as others. When we go to Chic-fi-la (most have indoor playgrounds) or Chuck E. Cheese they can run around like crazy people and all I will do is try to prevent their untimely deaths. But when you are at a nicer place, no you can not run around.

    We recently went as a family to our favorite sports bar for dinner. Just your average local spot with 400 TVs and really good burgers and wings. This group came in after some sort of baseball game. There were 8 adults and six kids. One of them had been drinking something from a paper cup when they came in. Before the parents were even seated good the boys had balled up the paper cup and began a game of cup ball IN THE RESTAURANT. For those of you who don't know, cup ball is like baseball only the balled up cup is the ball and your hand is the bat. The "parents" finally brought the game to an end the THIRD TIME the ball landed on someone else's table.

    The boys we're just being boys. Their parents were idiots. My girls kept asking me what was wrong with their parents. I simply said "They are dipsticks."

    Then there are the useless parents who let their kids stare at a screen (a phone, an iPad, a video game of some sort) the whole time they are in a restaurant "So we can have a few minutes of peace to eat". The problem is they let the urchins play those idiot boxes super loud. It's as if they don't even notice it.

    For my background I am almost exactly like you @andruca only a few years ahead. My girls are 5 and 8. We had our first when I was almost 39.

    I err on the side of liberty every time. So, no, I don't think children should be banned. But I also think a business owner has the right to ask dipstick "parents" to have their children pipe down somewhat or leave.

    @andruca keep it mind that math and science is the job of your children's education system. But educating your children in moral values, respect, manners, decorum, etc. is YOUR job. You can allow "kids to be kids" without allowing them to disturb those around you at the same time. But it takes YOUR time and attention to do it. My children don't behave because I snatch them or yell at them. Theu behave because I am engaged with them playing "I spy", or drawing pictures or playing tic-tac-toe with them on the backs of the kids menus, or asking them questions about their day at school, or teaching one how to multiply while my wife reads a story with the other. I don't pawn them off on the rest of society to deal with while I eat. That would be disrespectful on MY part, not my kids.
  11. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    Sometimes my grandson is just too energetic and rambunctious to be in a restaurant, yup he is a kid. Taking him for a walk outside and helping him calm down usually helps.
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  12. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    i am 19 years older than my adopted son, still he managed to come out alright despite my excellent parenting. :angel:
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  13. Gravedigger Dav

    Gravedigger Dav Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2014
    Springtown, Texas
    Excellent! Dead on.
    It is interesting how the paradigm has changed. When I was a kid, I understood there were two rules for behavior, one for home and one for public. Unruly kids were not accepted and the parents of those kids were usually embarrassed. In today's world, if you object to a kid running and yelling through a public place, you are a nasty old kid hater. I want to tell them, "No, I don't hate your kid. I feel sorry for your kid. It is you I don't like."
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  14. hrodbert696

    hrodbert696 Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I think the OP may have meant "education" more broadly than Americans use it. He's in Spain, I don't speak Spanish, but I know that in German (for instance) "Bildung" can mean "education" in the formal, school sense but also "upbringing" or "formation."

    I think there's a spectrum, and part of the problem is that people don't know where to draw the lines - both parents, and people sharing public space with families. Babies cry, and kids like to run and play. I'm totally with the OP, that people should loosen up and let kids be kids. I work part time in a library, and I love it when the little kids come through, even though they're not all sedate and silent. I wouldn't want them to be. I had a lovely incoherent conversation with a little boy last night, four or five years old, asking about all the things on my desk.

    There is such a thing as inappropriate behavior, though, that kids should be able to learn not to do. There are times for the "inside voice," for sitting down, for not throwing that... Some parents are afraid to actually accept the responsibility of being an authority figure. My originals band practices at our drummer's house, and he has two kids who are basically lovely... but they do run wild and whine quite a bit, and I notice that neither he nor his wife ever TELL them to do or to stop anything. Everything is a request. "Would you please think about cleaning up your dishes...?" I don't think that's good for the kids. You don't have to be a harsh taskmaster, but I tell my daughter (the same age), "Honey, pick up your dishes. Now." I do think that makes a difference for communicating that there are boundaries and obligations, and to get them used to following them.
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2017
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  15. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    When I was growing up, it was not uncommon for ANY adult in the neighborhood to get us kids back in line.
    We all responded appropriately, because a) we realized we were out of order and b) we were taught to respect adults.

    I'm sure plenty of you guys are familiar with the saying "Children are seen, not heard". That was my childhood in public. "Speak when you are spoken too" etc.

    The other day a cousin of mine gave me a line of crap about how my asking her kid not to do something was not within my purview. Note, the kid was wrong and I merely ASKED them to cut it out.

    Reading the papers and watching the news these days, it seems that now even teachers are prevented from or vilified for trying to instill discipline in children.

    I guess that well behaved kids are not something our society values anymore.
    CB3UK, murphy and Pilgrim like this.
  16. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    This is a large post but, forgive me, I am only going to address a very small portion. What ever happened to it takes a community to raise a child? I had a friend come back from Japan recently and he informed me that the school system there teaches nothing but manners and social skills until grade five or so. The western world view (particularly in USA) is very neoliberal and puts a major emphasis on personal agency, potentially too much emphasis. Also, I think the school does actually make a point to instill values beyond math and science. A huge part of school is socialization and the skills that develop from it even if it isn't a formal class. So I do think the OP has a good point in saying the education system should bear some responsibility. Heck, we all agree what goes into the curriculum and nobody is suggesting adding morals/ethics/social skills classes. I completely agree that home life has a play in everything but if your parents came up in a crap education system that instilled crappy values they are probably going to perpetuate that junk on their kids. The only way to break that cycle is through collective action.

    For the record, I am very pro kid-free zones and, no, I do not hate kids. I realize you made a choice to have kids but that does not mean I want to be bothered by them. There are plenty of kid options available, take them there. I can think of one mediocre restaurant in the city which I occasionally go to only because of the lack of children. But, like the OP said, maybe I just do not experience this phenomenon to same degree in Canada.
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  17. hondo4life

    hondo4life Guest

    Feb 29, 2016
    I love it when I see a kid on a leash. It keeps them off my lawn.
  18. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    I haven't noticed any anti kid stuff, maybe because I don't have kids - but I have noticed some people who seem overly sensitive to kids being around. A kid crying on a plane goes unnoticed by me, until some idiot starts getting upset about it. Then I get annoyed at the idiot getting in a huff. Same in any public place. Don't know why, but I don't even notice kids until someone starts getting annoyed at them. If anything I think they add life to things. Even when they're throwing tantrums.
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  19. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    I am not sure if kids are better or worse than me when I was but a mere pratt. I do know there will always be bratty kids, and good kids. And with that there will always be parents that are better than others.
    andruca likes this.
  20. slobake

    slobake resident ... something

    My wife and I love playing tag in our house with the kids and anyone else who is there. I wonder what the neighbors think of all the running around, yelling and laughter. Our house is connected to houses on either side of us.
    The other night I was woken up at 3:30 am by young adults having a party in their back yard. What I would have given for a bottle rocket at that moment.
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