General Etiquette > Family and Children

parenting backbone sighted!

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Years ago when I was a store worker on a military base , I overheard a Mom in the PX tell her 9 year old daughter " You have not yet earned the privilege of being allowed to walk around in this store unsupervised ."

To which her child replied " Yes Ma'am ."

I wanted to hug her . Heck , I wanted to clone her... ;D

I don't think it is parenting making a comeback, as much as we are starting to notice the good parents who are the quiet ones who don't make scenes in dealing with their kids.  We are used to the screeching non stop the the whole store kids whose parents just ignore it or say 'honey, sweetie, lovey, mummy will do anything you want..what will make little snookie ookums a happy kid?"   

I do believe that good parenting is making a come-back.

30 years ago, when we first moved into the neighborhood, the kids were terrors.  There were restaurants we liked but wouldn't visit because there were always little children playing hide-and-seek around the legs of waitresses carrying trays of hot food. It was too scary to watch.   

A generation or so down the line, things are completely different.  Recently we had lunch at a sushi place.  Seated next to us was a table of six.  There were four young boys fresh from a soccer game in the park.  The boys were accompanied by two adults. 

The boys enthusiastically discussed the match but weren't overly loud. They stayed in their seats and ate their food nicely.  If it wasn't for the childish voices, you'd think you were sitting next to a table of adult sports fans discussing the recent victory of a local sports team.

It's interesting to consider that the four-year-olds who were allowed to create havoc  in 1983 may be the parents of these very well-behaved young men in 2013. 


I think it is making a comeback.  I think it is based on prevalent parenting philosophies.  I was born in 1970.  I remember many friend's parent's seemed to think that "As long as we love them and don't spank them, then all will be fine."  Then there was the permissive "I don't want to squash his/her individuality."  Then there was the "Praise for every little thing and tell him/her 'you are smart' so that it will be true."  Lots of exceptions, of course.  But now the idea seems to be leaning more toward the Love and Logic idea of natural consequences, or the straight old-fashioned parenting ideas. 

I also think that social pressure comes into play.  I think people are more disapproving of a badly behaved kid in public.  There is no "kids will be kids" attitude.  (Not that I disagree)

Nayberry, your story sounds just like what DS and I went through a few weeks ago.

Our rule is that DS can walk by himself if he follows the rules (stay close, no touching, no running). We were in a store and he kept touching things, so after a warning, I decreed that he had to hold my hand. He immediately dissolved into a puddle of wailing torment. The end result is that we marched out of the store, across three parking lots, and back to the car with him screaming the entire time.

I was incredibly embarrassed, but I received *several* kind smiles from my fellow shoppers, and one even saluted me. ;)

Happily, DS has been a model of good shopping behavior ever since.


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