No Screaming Children

A restaurant in North Carolina puts up a sign saying “Screaming children will not be tolerated”.

Naturally, some people have a problem with this.

“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.

How?

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.

5 thoughts on “No Screaming Children

  1. I agree; the only time kids act like wild animals is if the parents allow it. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t have even thought of screaming and running around like some do; my parents would have made me regret it.

  2. “…but what do you want? dinner now? or a well-behaved child that grows up into a well-behaved adult?”

    All to often, the answer to that is dinner now. Gratification now. Responsible parenting? That’s too much like work. And besides, what do they care if they annoy everyone around them… it’s all about them, after all.

    • I can sorta accept the “everyone around them” part because well… are we to live our lives for everyone else? No matter what we do we cannot please everyone, and in most other things in life we generally promote working to please ourselves. So…. a bit of mixed feeling here.

      But on that same token, life is about balance, and to some extent you do have to balance your wants and needs with the wants and needs of those around you. Thus we have some “social constraints”, one of which is that children need to be well-behaved. Kids will make noise…. we all have to accept that fact. Kids may make one ugly noise in the restaurant, and folks have to deal with that reality. But once that noise is made, parent needs to lay the smack down. If the problem continues, then punishment must be swift…. because yes, it is about consideration for others…. because well, if kid ever wants people to be considerate of him/her, he/she needs to first learn to be considerate of others.

  3. Bring back any memories? “Alexandra. Alexandra! We’re leaving, Alexandra! I mean it, Alexandra! Do we need to leave, Alexandra?”

    • And it went on for what? 5-10 minutes?

      “Tyler, please stop throwing rocks at Mommy…. Mommy doesn’t appreciate you throwing rocks at her…. Tyler… Tyler?! Tyler you need to stop that. If you don’t stop, Mommy’s going to get mad. Tyler stop throwing rocks… OK Tyler, I really mean it this time.” ad nauseam (add nausea??).

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