by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
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