You've seen it before. A child is running around the establishment and playing like he's at home while the parents do nothing. Perhaps that's your child or maybe you want some behavior tips to prevent it from ever happening to you. My four kids wouldn't even dream of trying this stunt. But I've witnessed it enough times in other children. While fast food restaurants are more lax than some, it doesn't mean your kids shouldn't behave themselves. As a side note, some kids have been diagnosed with mental, physical, and behavioral issues. These tips are for the average child who has knowledge and control of emotions and behaviors.
The restaurant is not a playground. On a recent visit to an area Chipotle, my kids and I were shocked at the behavior allowed by two kids. They ran past our table countless times and I was honestly afraid they were going to get hurt. Their mom only paid attention to the friend she was talking to. The scariest part was when they took their drinks along for the run. What would have happened if one of them had choked on the straw or dropped the drink and slipped on the floor? This mom should have made it clear from the beginning that the kids were to sit down. By sitting the kids down right away and intercepting when necessary, it teaches them that the table is where they belong.
Don't send mixed messages. Kids will be kids. But for a parent to not even try at all saddened me. It's probably the very reason they felt it was alright to run around. It was not until well into their time at Chipotle that this mother finally told the kids to sit down. However, the way she did it was not respectful at all. Once they ran around for at least thirty minutes, they were told to sit down and shutup. What? These poor kids were probably confused at that point. Why was there no problem with the running before? Nothing changed.
Be mindful of your own attitude and behavior. If you want your kids to behave themselves, you should do the same. Don't tell your kids to act one way, while you are doing the complete opposite. The kids weren't the only ones being disrespectful. Their mother spent time loudly talking to her friend, doing the same on the phone, and also walking around all over the establishment. No wonder the kids didn't know how to act in public. No matter how many people gave her 'the look' she just kept on about her business. She practically ignored her kids until the point at which her friend left. Obviously, they were both mimicking her behavior and also trying to get her attention. At not even two years of age, it was obvious one child had already learned these tactics well. The other was entirely too old to be going along with his baby sister on this mission.
Keep the kids fed and entertained. Perhaps the most disturbing thing to me about the whole Chipotle experience was the fact that the mother did not even buy the kids anything to eat or drink. Why bring your children to a fast food restaurant if you aren't going to feed them? They only got the drink because the Chipotle workers supplied them to these kids for free. No wonder they were restless. They were probably bored, hungry, and thirsty. Kids behave best when all their basic needs are met. This means they need to have some nourishment and they need something to do. Some coloring books and crayons or a couple books or small toys could have solved this mom's issue. Oh and she could have maybe fed them too, since they were at, you know, a restaurant...
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network
As I was chatting with my sweetheart the other day, he reminded of something I love but hadn’t done in a while – crossword puzzles! He mentioned getting himself a crossword puzzle book to keep busy while he was away and I just had to rush and get one too – the same day.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve enjoyed them. My mom used to do them all the time when I was a kid and it rubbed off on me way back then. I used to always have at least one book of crossword puzzles with me at all times.
Of course, I AM a natural writer and lover of words. So it makes perfect sense that I’d have fun with crosswords and other word games. I’m not sure when or why I fell out of the habit for a little while. But I’ve definitely picked it back up full swing. I’m so glad my sweetheart reminded me how much I love crossword puzzles!
Do you love crossword puzzles or another word game?
*I originallly published this elsewhere (no longer there).
It makes me sad when I hear parents telling their kids to stay looking “proper” all the time. They aren't mini-adults (though they're smarter than many of them). They're kids. Kids belong in the mud.
Let them get dirty. Let them cake it on if they want to. They might make mud pies, mud forts, and make...well, very muddy kids. But this is all a part of being creative and just being a kid.
I remember one time a few years back, my kids were all playing in the backyard in a huge pile of mud that they had made. A friend came over and saw them like this and practically acted like I was abusing them. I can tell you she wasn't amused when my response to her concern was uncontrollable laughter.
Apparently she got the point though because a few months later, she was at my house with her kids, letting them enjoy it too. The problem was never the mud. The problem was the perception of it. Of course you can't just let your kids play in any mud but if the mud is safe to the best of your knowledge, just let them be kids.
Please don't stifle their creativity by giving them your own ideals of what's proper and what isn't. Give them a stick or something and watch them have fun in the mud if they wish to
Do your kids play in the mud?
*I originally published this on another venue (no longer published there)
If you've been reading my work, you'll know that there are many places I feel kids belong in, such as outdoors and in trees. Kids also belong at the beach. It's where they can immerse themselves right in nature -- you know, beach mud, water, and the like.
From building sand castles with their mommy's used Mountain Dew bottles (yeah there's unfortunately enough to go around) to collecting shells on the shore or squishing sand in their toes from the ocean floor, my kids thoroughly enjoy beach time. Being in Denver, we haven't had any of that in a while and these are older pics. But I can't wait until our next visit to New York state -- and finally our move there in the future. They'll get some much needed beach time there, for sure. There's a man-made reservoir not far from us, where ironically these photos were taken. But it's not the same and has been getting dirtier and dirtier over time so we haven't been going there anymore, unfortunately.
Back to my point, beach time is both fun and necessary. Humans have a special bond with dirt. We like to get dirty. But that's really not the whole of it. Mud and sand is actually good for our skin -- and our soul. It has important nutrients that smooth our skin. But maybe more importantly, that feeling of squishing beach sand between the toes is irreplaceable, as is sifting the dry sand through our hands. Splashing in the water, feeling the ripples of the waves, and even feeling little fish swim between your legs is all a part of the experience as well. It's sad to think that some kids will never experience these things.
Watching boats, duck families, fish, and more from the pier is also a peaceful action that satisfies the soul. Kids these days are so stressed out and I firmly believe that it's because many of them are so immersed in television, video games, and other manufactured forms of entertainment that their brains never get a rest. Kids need nature, such as the beach in order to truly be at peace. I'm not saying they can't have a little fun with those other things -- mine do. But make sure your kids to a beach or other form of nature often. Let them get right in the thick of it, get dirty in it, meditate in it, explore in it, just have fun.
As I write this, I am at a park with my kiddos and their friends and they are relaxing out in a field of sand on some large rocks but were disappointed that the water in the small creek bed has dried up. It's a natural thing for kids to do to gravitate toward sand, water, and nature in general. Kids belong at the beach and elsewhere outdoors. When we can't get to the beach, we try to create that scene in other ways by getting out in nature the way we can. Before we had an apartment, we even built a mock beach in our backyard.
Have your kids been to the beach lately? If you are like us and don't have one near you, what other things do you do to replicate it?
*I originally published this elsewhere (no longer published there).