Author Topic: The Etiquette of the Childfree  (Read 46830 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Ciarrai

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 776
The Etiquette of the Childfree
« on: April 07, 2012, 10:34:45 AM »
For parents:
 - While it may possibly be true, it's never okay to say "You'll change your mind!" or "It's different when they're yours!"

 - It's also not nice to say "But who will take care of you when you're old?"

 - Not all childfree people hate children.

 - Each couple's reasons for being childfree are their own. Questioning them at length isn't etiquette-approved.

 - A woman has not failed as a woman because she doesn't have or want children.


For the childfree:
 - It's not nice to compare a pregnant woman to a farm animal or a person who breeds puppies.

 - Holding forth about your reasons for being childfree, whether in front of children or not, is not welcome.

 - It's not okay to be rude to a child's face, even if you don't like children.
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 11:02:00 AM by Ciarrai »

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6953
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2012, 05:14:22 PM »
  Good one....
Parents
Your children are not invited unless they are actually invited. 
Your child is the center of your universe only.  limit conversation and pictures to appropriate amounts and sometimes none is the appropriate amount (clue if 50 adults 40 of whom are parents or grandparents are at an event in someone honnor and no one else is showing pictures of their kids you shouldn't either)
No one wants to hear about poop unless they specifically ask about poop. " How are you?"/"what's new?"  is not asking for a description of the contents last night diaper


Childfree
Children are not a special category of conversation , that can be react rudely to. Kids are a part of parents life , some conversations will be about children and just like some conversation will be about  work,  spouse , parents , sibling , boy/girlfriend problems, hobbies , pets, plost of movies you didn't see etc.      Note childeren are also not a special category of conversation that can be talked about endlessly.   


snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2012, 05:21:58 PM »
For the Childfree - you are not the only one in the world - expect to see families in public...if they make reasonable noise deal, stop with the eye rolls and snarky
comments as soon as you see them, give them a chance to "prove" themselves, before getting upset.

The converse for the parents - Public space is just that don't expect your kids to be able to act like they would in your backyard...especially in doors.

For the Childfree - don't purposefully block access to prove a point take a reasonable amount of time and let someone else see/do/experience/whatever...they do have the right to be there too.

For the Parents - don't expect people to yield the best seats/viewing area/ect to your kids...others have the right to be there/experience/do/whatever too and if they are there first; they likely got their early or paid more to be where they are...they don't have to move over and cede the best of whatever merely because a child is present.

For the Childfree - don't  be a jerk and use more swear words than usual just because a kid is there and you want to make a point, curbing it because you're in Public is the kind thing to do.

For the Parent: If someone slips up - talk to oyur kids about how we don't use that if you want, but making a scene to the person is rude and will ensure your kids remember that word.

For the Childfree: If a kid comes in your yard tell them politely to stay out...yelling, screaming whatever is rude and will ensure the kid does it more to get the reaction and that the parent gets up in arms.

Parents: teach your kid to stay out of other's yards without an invite. But don't expect your neighbors will know which kid belongs to whom and respect their right to not have kids tresspassing and back the homeowner up with regards to their desires for their property to be used for a play area or cut through.

For the Child Free- if a kid happens to leave a bike or toy in your yard or drive way don't toss it, drive over it, destroy it or keep it - returning it to the parent soley to alert them to an on going issue is acceptable.

For the Parent - do not tell neighbors to "just deal" because "that's part of being in a neighborhood" -you would not want them using your property for their convenience any more they want your kids doing the same thing to their property...how would you feel if their party "spilled ove" into your yard? would it be different if you had to move their stuff in order to pull in your driveway or to cut your lawn...especially if it were an almost daily occurance.

For the Childfree - it won't kill you to acknowledge a kid once...either with a nod or a Hi - engaging them in a full on conversation in a public place is not necessary.  In a party or as a guest in your home, you might want to give them a bit more, but in the public arena would you not give a nod or a "hi" to an adult? The same is true for a kid

For the Parent - do notallow you kid to bother those who have given every indication of wanting to be left alone "hihihihhihihihihihihi" or other such occurrences that are intrusive are not acceptable...and the person on the receiving end  is not being rude if they ask to be left alone

For the Childfree - be careful how you judge parents, looking at a situation with kindness will often help them and you.

For the Parent - we all know that some kids are not neurotypical or however you want to call if...but even those who aren't need boundaries and guidance..,people will be more understanding if they can see yuo are dealing with the issue and not just letting yur kid run rampant over others no matter what the reason for the problem - but if they see you leaving a kid to trantrum/meltdown/explore their voices/what have you so that there is no escape even in a warehouse store then don't be surprised if there are comments and/or sighs, ect.



For both - there are two sides to each encounter a little understanding, tolerance and kindness on all parts goes a long way.

hyzenthlay

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 8750
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2012, 05:34:21 PM »
Childfree: If you extend an offer to host a child, please adjust your hosting for the child, don't expect the parents to keep a prison escort grasp on their toddler for the duration of the event. (And please don't feel you have to extend an invite, any parents offended that you don't isn't anyone you need to socialize with anyway.)

Parents: Dont' fish for invitations for your kids, and be mentally ready to maintain a prison escort grasp of your kids and leave early even if they ARE invited. I've taken my kids to parties where my parents friends very much wanted to meet them, and having thanked my host graciously left an hour later exhausted from preventing breakage and/or tantrums.

Black Delphinium

  • The Black Flower
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7491
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2012, 05:43:00 PM »
For the child-free: Recoiling from a child's attempt to initial physical contact is every bit as rude as recoiling from an adult. There are better ways to react.

For parents: Not everyone wants to engage in physical contact with your child(ren). Telling little Jenny to "give Del a kiss" without establishing that Del is okay with kid kisses is presumptuous and rude.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

kherbert05

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 10317
    • Trees downed in my yard by Ike and the clean up
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2012, 06:26:11 PM »

Parents -  Just because I don't have kids doesn't mean I don't understand them. In my case I'm a teacher.


Don't yell at me for addressing your child, when I'm apologizing for nearly running into them with the grocery cart because I saw them at the last minute.



Please for the love of everything don't force your child to have physical contact with anyone. It is completely the wrong message to send. Yes verbal kids should say hello, engage in polite conversation for short periods, and say good bye. They should not be forced to hug or kiss people. (Handshakes are ok.)


When I jump away from your kid - and everyone in the room who knows me is scrambling to grab him before can hug me - LISTEN. I'm not a horrible person who is being mean to your kid. Your kid has cracker jacks in his hands and I'm allergic. It has been 7 years and this woman still talks about the time I was mean to precious. Oh and my Mom had died the day we met at my sister's house. She wanted me to leave since precious was making me nervous. Thankfully sis and her friends don't like her or her kid much, so she isn't around very often. She is only around when all the husbands are there also. (She is the wife of BIL's friend)


Childfree -
Kids do have a right to be in public.


Stop screaming about unattended children at the library
a) Harris county policy says kids have an equal right to be at the library as you (see policy here go down to section e)
b) Harris county does not require the children have an adult with them
c) they are behaving appropriately - you on the other hand are screaming in the library. 


At a restaurant where you order at the counter. Just because my niece, nephew, and cousin are under 18 doesn't mean they can't sit at a table drinking their drinks while I pick up our lunches from the counter (took me multiple trips - the crowd was to dense for the kids to carry their own food). You don't get to order them to move because your party wants the table. Woman was going to do the self same thing, sit and wait for her party to get her food.  She raised such a fuss the manager asked her party to leave, and gave the kids a brownie for being so polite.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

snowdragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2200
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2012, 06:34:15 PM »
For the child-free: Recoiling from a child's attempt to initial physical contact is every bit as rude as recoiling from an adult. There are better ways to react.

For parents: Not everyone wants to engage in physical contact with your child(ren). Telling little Jenny to "give Del a kiss" without establishing that Del is okay with kid kisses is presumptuous and rude.

Sorry, I disagree. No one has to suffer unwanted contact no matter who it's from.  There may be  more and less polite ways to handle it but simply refusing to be touched when you do not want  physical contact is not rude. I've seen threads here on how to avoid unwanted contact crossing your arms in front of you, offering a stiff armed handshake, ect, one should not be forced to submit to unwanted contact just because a kid is involved.

cabbagegirl28

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1175
  • violinp's my sister :)
    • My Fitness/Singing Blog
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 06:38:28 PM »
For the child-free: Recoiling from a child's attempt to initial physical contact is every bit as rude as recoiling from an adult. There are better ways to react.

For parents: Not everyone wants to engage in physical contact with your child(ren). Telling little Jenny to "give Del a kiss" without establishing that Del is okay with kid kisses is presumptuous and rude.

Sorry, I disagree. No one has to suffer unwanted contact no matter who it's from.  There may be  more and less polite ways to handle it but simply refusing to be touched when you do not want  physical contact is not rude. I've seen threads here on how to avoid unwanted contact crossing your arms in front of you, offering a stiff armed handshake, ect, one should not be forced to submit to unwanted contact just because a kid is involved.

Seriously. If someone touched me without my permission, I'd yank myself away as fast I could. Now, if it were a child, I would try not to hurt the child in doing so, because he/she may not understand boundaries and is probably smaller than I am. However, all I would do is move as quickly as I could and say, "Don't touch me." I wouldn't have a pluperfect fit over it (not saying that you implied that, Black Delphinium), but it's not bad for me to back away from them.


"To study and practice the goodness of life, the beauty of art, the meaning of music...To speak the words that build, that bless and comfort...And again, to practice./This is to be our symphony."

shhh its me

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6953
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 06:41:04 PM »
For the child-free: Recoiling from a child's attempt to initial physical contact is every bit as rude as recoiling from an adult. There are better ways to react.

For parents: Not everyone wants to engage in physical contact with your child(ren). Telling little Jenny to "give Del a kiss" without establishing that Del is okay with kid kisses is presumptuous and rude.

Sorry, I disagree. No one has to suffer unwanted contact no matter who it's from.  There may be  more and less polite ways to handle it but simply refusing to be touched when you do not want  physical contact is not rude. I've seen threads here on how to avoid unwanted contact crossing your arms in front of you, offering a stiff armed handshake, ect, one should not be forced to submit to unwanted contact just because a kid is involved.
I think that's actually what OP was saying , the actual act of recoiling not avoiding contact even backing away is not the same as recoiling.

Black Delphinium

  • The Black Flower
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7491
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 07:20:01 PM »
For the child-free: Recoiling from a child's attempt to initial physical contact is every bit as rude as recoiling from an adult. There are better ways to react.

For parents: Not everyone wants to engage in physical contact with your child(ren). Telling little Jenny to "give Del a kiss" without establishing that Del is okay with kid kisses is presumptuous and rude.

Sorry, I disagree. No one has to suffer unwanted contact no matter who it's from.  There may be  more and less polite ways to handle it but simply refusing to be touched when you do not want  physical contact is not rude. I've seen threads here on how to avoid unwanted contact crossing your arms in front of you, offering a stiff armed handshake, ect, one should not be forced to submit to unwanted contact just because a kid is involved.
I think that's actually what OP was saying , the actual act of recoiling not avoiding contact even backing away is not the same as recoiling.
Thank you, yes, that was the point I was trying to make. It's okay to refuse,but unless there is a case like kherbert05's where there is genuine threat of illness or harm, recoiling(which to me implies making a scene) is a rude act.
When angels go bad, they go worse than anyone. Remember, Lucifer was an angel. ~The Marquis De Carabas

Only me

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 732
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2012, 09:03:10 PM »
to parents: When you tell you child to hug/kiss me, don't get upset when I tell the child its ok they don't have to. I have seen them hestitate and I"m ok with that.

Also when you're child says they don't want to hug someone, and the other person makes a fuss, side with your child and respect that they have an opinion (as long as their not being rude about it).

GreenEyedHawk

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2092
  • Not hot but SPICY
    • My Facebook.  Feel free to add me!
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2012, 10:39:01 PM »
Parents- Please understand that when I invite you over, I mean you, not you and your kids.  I'm not being rude or nasty.  My house is old.  The basement stairs are steep.  I have a lot of breakable things.  I have two dogs and three cats, none of which are very child-experienced.  In short, my house is pretty much exactly the opposite of what you think of when you think of someplace that is safe for a small child.  While I don't like kids, I certainly don't wish them harm and would hate to see your child take a tumble down my stairs, or get bowled over by one of my pets, or for both you and I to feel badly if we moved too slowly to stop your child from breaking something accidentally.  Please understand I don't "hate" your kids.  My home is just an inappropriate place for them.

Childfree- Please understand that sometimes, little kids have meltdowns, and there's nothing a parent or anyone can do to stop it.  I've seen it happen.  It's loud.  It's irritating.  It's awful.  And sometimes, it's just plain unstoppable.  Rolling your eyes, huffing or sighing or saying "Someone needs to shut that kid up."  All those things are unhelpful and unnecessary.  It's also embarrassing for the parents, and sometimes it's in a situation, like on a bus or a train, where the child just can't be removed from the vicinity to calm down.  It just happens.  Just because someone has a small child doesn't mean that neither they nor their kids should be allowed in public until the kids are past the "meltdown" stage.  Yeah, it sucks.  I know it sucks.  But sometimes you just have to suck it up and deal.
"After all this time?"
"Always."

SamiHami

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3223
  • No! Iz mai catnip! You no can haz! YOU NO CAN HAZ!
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2012, 11:48:49 PM »
This is a great topic. As a blissfully childree person (23rd anniverary is tomorrow so really not likely to change my mind), it is easy for me to lose patience with kids I (except for those related to me). I honestly don't dislike kids; I just don't spend much time with them.

Now, if I'm in a restaurant and child is wailing away, yes, I will get irritated. But, on an airplane, sure-I understand. Air pressure changes and no way to remove a child from the situation. I won't pretend to be happy, but I won't give the parents grief, either. Sometimes you just have to deal.

Anyway, this is a good reminder for parents and non-parents to see each others' points of view.

As for who will take care of DH and I when we're old; I've already put my nieces on  notice that they MUST marry rich so that they can take care of us as well as their parents. ;D

What have you got? Is it food? Is it for me? I want it whatever it is!

buvezdevin

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1465
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2012, 12:22:33 AM »
No rules to add, but comment on two prior points:

1.  Re the child initiated physical contact, can we add a rider that the child free, and possibly the child-Ed are not dressed in every circumstance to engage with a child.  Thinking of a suited fellow, shortly covered in child detritus, and one occasion I was enthusiastically, spontaneously hugged by a child who was engaged in finger painting immediately prior to hugging me.  In neither case was there any bad feeling, the suited guy was also a parent, understood, and in my own case, I was wearing clothingg which could be readily washed and not headed to an event where some smudges of hand paint were a problem.  It *would* not in either case have reflected well on the parents of the children involved to suggest that any recoiling or avoidance of the children was inappropriate ( neither happened in a specific family/child area, just a common area at a group function where some had children, and brought things to occupy the kids).

2.  As a very mature (in years) adult who never had children, but also including my observations of those who did have children, but are well past current small child raising experience, when we do include your children in an invitation to an activity, and especially at our home, please do not assume we understand without your guidance, what may actually be needed in the way of child-proofing or having a child friendly environment.  I might get it right, but our collective likelihood of an enjoyable experience will only be heightened by you pointing out or suggesting things which will not automatically occur to me, and I will appreciate pointers.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
Mark Twain

General Jinjur

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1679
  • This is serious business!
Re: The Etiquette of the Childfree
« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2012, 07:54:13 AM »
Parents: Don't be a jerk.

Childfree: Don't be a jerk.

Everybody in the world, ever: Don't be jerks.

There, world peace is sure to follow  :)