A restaurant in North Carolina puts up a sign saying “Screaming children will not be tolerated”.
“I’ve never seen a restaurant say, don’t bring your screaming kids in here,” said Ashley Heflin, who is a mom of two. “You can’t help it if your kids scream.”
Yes you can.
I’ve got 3 children. Now I grant, the younger the children are, the less control there is. A 6 month old baby will start crying and telling them to stop isn’t going to work. But a 6 month old child typically cries because they are hungry or tired or are in pain… things you can remedy, but still yes, a 6 month old screaming is a bit more understandable. Nevertheless, just letting the kid cry and scream doesn’t do anyone any good, most of all the child. Take the kiddo outside and remedy it.
But as the children get older? Oh you certainly can help it if your children scream.
By not tolerating such behavior out of your own children.
If Junior screams in the restaurant, it needs to be met with a swift reprimand. If you’re going to give the child a warning or threat, you best follow through with it immediately because the kid will scream again (they will test you, and you must pass the test). This is not a time to beg or plead with the child nor continue making empty threats, not a time to keep talking to them about it and discussing how they feel or to let them have the freedom to choose. They’re too young to understand social constraints; you’re the parent, you’re supposed to teach them. It’s time to “man up” and be the parent that you’re supposed to be, the one in control, the one in charge. The rules are set, they are iron-clad, and if you violate them you will meet with punishment. Punishment could be a spanking, being grounded for a length of time, deprivation of privileges. Or it could be that instead of “do bad, get punished” you take a “do good, get reward” approach. Just be careful there, because behavior that is expected shouldn’t only happen because a treat will come of it.
Sure, the kid has to learn. So that will probably mean some embarrassing and awkward experiences for you. But hey, that’s just part of parenting, get used it to and get over it. Be a parent. Be tough. Be the one in control. If kiddo keeps it up, then you leave. Yes it sucks for you, no it’s not what you want right now, but what do you want? dinner now? or a well-behaved child that grows up into a well-behaved adult? Leave, and make sure Junior knows that this is unacceptable and the behavior will not be tolerated.
It really boils down to a few things: 1. be the parent (be the one in control), 2. don’t tolerate bullshit, especially out of your own children.
And then, just then, we might raise well-behaved children, and restaurants won’t have to put such signs in their windows.