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Bad Mannered Kids

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Old 09-27-2011, 08:03 AM   #1
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Do any of ya'll read etiquettehell.com? It's a pretty good blog where people submit etiquette horror stories. The one yesterday was about a lady (the poster) on a bus who was playing a game on her i-phone. The bus was very crowded and a man and his young (maybe 5 year-old) daughter were sitting behind the poster. The daughter started screaming that she wanted to play the poster's game and the man LEANED FORWARD AND TOLD THE POSTER, "She wants to play with your phone, can you let her use it?" Poster declined and daughter started crying asking why poster was being so rude. Father answered loudly, "Some people are just mean."

Yah. I know. It's terrible, right? It reminded me of when I was in a Chili's the other day with DH and MIL and the table behind us was a group of women with a baby. The baby was SCREAMING and crying for the better part of our meal (I say baby, but really the kid was probably 2). I understand, sometimes it really sucks to have a toddler throwing a fit when you're trying to eat your dinner. It doesn't make you a bad parent to have a kid who throws a fit. It DOES make you a rude restaurant patron when you don't take the kid outside until they calm down. I would have understood if the kid had an outburst and then they soothed her at the table, but that obviously wasn't working and so instead they just ignored her and let her freak out. Yes, sometimes ignoring that kind of behavior is helpful to stop that kind of behavior, but not in a restaurant. Kids need to know, even from a young age, that eating out is a privilege that can and will be revoked when they misbehave.

What are your hair-curling stories of kid etiquette horror?
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:12 AM   #2
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It's not the kids ... it's the parents.
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Old 09-27-2011, 09:44 AM   #3
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Just had to check and see if this one was about me

And, sometimes it IS the kids
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:47 AM   #4
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I had a little boy (maybe 4 or 5) at the grocery store grab my bottom while I was in line for self check out recently. His dad just laughed and I told him that if he didn't stop doing that someone a lot meaner than me was going to make him feel pretty bad about himself some day. It's funny because he acted like there couldn't be anyone scarier than me simply because I'm heavily tattooed and have a septum ring. At least I scared him out of doing it to me again.

I don't know who would possibly encourage that behavior.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:09 PM   #5
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My biggest gripe is not with children but with rude adults who do astonishingly inappropriate things in public. Like, people who are needlessly rude to people serving them. There is no excuse for rudeness unless that person is being rude to you in the first place-I am sorry, and I understand one's frustration about getting a drink order wrong. Or pickles, instead of the no pickles burger you got, etc. But, all one has to do is ask politely for it to be replaced....Of course, there is the other side of the coin, like the man who delivered a pizza to our house as a child. He brought the pizza and a 2 liter of regular coke to a diet drinking household. My father specifically ordered diet coke, and when presented with the regular informed the pizza guy he'd ordered diet. That guy proceeded to say, "You get what you get" to my dad, the paying customer. Needless to say, a call to the manager fixed that. Rude people in general make me cringe.
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Old 09-27-2011, 12:27 PM   #6
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I am constantly amazed at what young people say & do, and their rude, crude behavior. By "young", I mean VERY young -- like the 3-year-old who cursed at my friend -- her Early Childhood teacher! Then let's talk about the incident I went thru just the other nite -- when I was giving a lady & her two children a ride home from church. The adolescent-aged kids were in the back seat (buckled in, which was my first battle with them), when they began hitting each other and screaming, kicking the car doors, etc. I slammed on the brakes and told them both to be quiet and to keep their hands to themselves when they're riding in MY car. The Mom never said a word. I finally arrived at their home -- the boy actually said "I ain't never riding with you again!" as he climbed out. The Mom never apologized, merely said, "I don't know what's wrong with those kids." The kids are not the problem -- they learn their behavior from their parents!
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:04 PM   #7
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I would be mortified if my son did those things, he's 2 1/2 and is WELL aware already that you say please and thank you, you keep your hands to yourself, you don't raise you're voice and you behave or you go home.
And yes, I am one of those moms that will actually take him home. He's thrown a fit in the store once, we left.
He threw a tantrum in 1 restaurant, I asked the server if she could pack up our food, paid our bill and we left. He was shocked and confused into silence.

The only thing I find more surprising then the way I see some kids acting, is the actual shock on peoples faces that he uses please and thank you.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:18 PM   #8
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Wow, that first incident is insane. I would NEVER let some random kid play with any of my electronics, I just can't imagine what that parent was thinking?

However, I DO try and be somewhat understanding of parents of crying kids. You just never know the whole situation there. I can think up a number of scenarios where you'd just have to suck it up with a kid in a crying restaurant and try and eat as quickly as possible before you could leave (you're traveling s you can't eat at home is a big one). Maybe the mom also had some sort of depression where she just couldn't deal with the kid? I don't know, I normally have a lot of sympathy for those parents after having to take a lot of international flights with DD when she was young.
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Old 09-27-2011, 01:24 PM   #9
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I have two kids and I learned pretty quickly that other than Mcdonalds or Chickfila there wasn't a good place to take a toddler. So, I didn't. Once my younger turned 4 or 5 we started eating out again. What pisses me off more than anything is when we pay ten dollars an hour for a babysitter only to plagued with misbehaved children running around establishments. IMO, there are some establishments that clearly do not cater to children and therefore, they are out of place.
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Old 09-27-2011, 02:44 PM   #10
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I find etiquettehell hilarious. Not because of the bad manners chronicled on the site, but because the forums (and sometimes the stories in the blog) are full of people who take things way too seriously. Life's too short to worry about a lot of the things that people complain about.

Back to the topic. I've seen my share of bad kids (and as a teacher I've had to deal with some, certainly!) but never anything as ridiculous as that story!

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Old 09-27-2011, 04:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
The one yesterday was about a lady (the poster) on a bus who was playing a game on her i-phone. The bus was very crowded and a man and his young (maybe 5 year-old) daughter were sitting behind the poster. The daughter started screaming that she wanted to play the poster's game and the man LEANED FORWARD AND TOLD THE POSTER, "She wants to play with your phone, can you let her use it?" Poster declined and daughter started crying asking why poster was being so rude. Father answered loudly, "Some people are just mean."
This honestly is so outrageous, I'm guessing it was a scam. The father shames people into handing over electronics by training the kid to ask for things, and on busy public transport, the phone disappears to an accomplice pretty easily.
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Old 09-27-2011, 04:32 PM   #12
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I too was wondering if maybe it was a scam to get the iphone. Who in their right mind would ask to let a kid play with someone's phone? Even so...there are too many stories of rude parents and kids. I think it is both in that the parents aren't teaching the kids manners. Most cases i've ran into the parent is talking on a phone and not paying attention to kids and they are running around being HORRIBLE! I love kids but I dislike bratty, screaming, rude kids.
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Old 09-27-2011, 06:00 PM   #13
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I'll start out by saying I have a very strong willed child - just last night we had an EPIC meltdown. He's just the type that will do exactly what you just told him not to while staring you in the face just to see what you'll do!!! GAH!!!!

That being said, he's generally well behaved in public because he knows he will get in serious trouble if he doesn't. I do not take being embarrassed by a screaming fit throwing child very well and he knows it. I've had to leave stores, restaurants, friends houses, etc because he started to act out. Did it put a damper on my night? Sure. But him acting like a brat and not doing a thing about it is going to ruin everyone's fun and make me look like a tool.

I worked clothing retail once and this woman was walking around shopping and her kid was just screaming and flailing. She had the audacity to call her husband to come pick up the child so she could finish shopping. He apparently had to leave work to do so because he was in his firefighter uniform.

And yes, the situation above with the phone sounds like a total scam. It's sad what people will manipulate kids to do. I read a story a while back about a woman teacher her kids to steal from a jewelry store or cash from store registers. Great role models there.
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:25 PM   #14
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My admittedly mild, but still most memorable, bad-mannered kid story took place a few months ago. Like a lot of bad kid stories, it's really more of a bad parent story.

I was attending the basic training graduation ceremony of a friend, and was sitting high up in the middle of a bleacher section with his family and some other friends. Shortly after the ceremony started the 7- or 8-yo kid behind me started repeatedly whining at his mother, asking her why she'd shushed him - "What'd I say?" This went on for several minutes, and her only response was to "Shhhh!" him, which had no apparent effect on his behavior. The brat was loud enough to drown out the mic'ed MC, and I think he even got a few whines in during the invocation and the playing of the national anthem. The dude next to me was obviously annoyed by this, but wasn't going to do anything about it other than shoot dagger glances at the family. There were uniformed military personnel in the stands, but they were all at the walkway at the bottom - getting up, making my way past half a row's worth of people's knees, and getting down the steps to complain to them would have been even more disruptive and might not have accomplished much. His mother obviously didn't have control of him - I didn't see any point appealing to her for help. I had finally had enough of it and wanted to be able to hear what was going on (and I'm pretty sure the people around me did too), so I turned around in my seat, looked the kid in the eye, and said in a calm, firm voice and with what was hopefully a blank face: "Be. Quiet." Now, keep in mind, I was very careful to be as calm with the kid as possible, and to stay in my own space (forearm on and parallel with the seat-back, head and shoulders well behind my arm).

What do you know? It worked. There wasn't a peep out of him for the rest of the ceremony.

Unfortunately, his mommy was a different story. She didn't say anything (or appear to be paying too much attention) when I turned around and spoke to her son. About 5 or 10 minutes later though, the guy sitting on my other side bent down to pick up something that had fallen onto the floor of our row. He polled the people in front of us - wasn't theirs. Wasn't mine. He turned around - hey, it was theirs! The little boy took it, so perhaps he had dropped it. Since his mommy took the opportunity to get in my face and scream that I had better not ever scream in her son's face like that again*, and that she was the only person who could discipline her son**, I kind of suspect that she was the person who'd dropped it, and was hoping that I'd pick it up and turn around so she could have the opportunity to yell at me. That got me a little bit riled, since I all I had done was told the brat to be quiet as calmly as I could, but I wasn't about to get into a shouting match in the middle of the ceremony. So I just said (in my calm voice), "I didn't shout at him." "Yes you did!" Whatever. I just turned around and enjoyed the rest of the whine-free ceremony.

And, since they hadn't been disrespectful enough already, Crazy Mommy, the boy, and the rest of their party disregarded the instructions of the MC and basic common courtesy and left the bleachers (with, I should add, a number of other people) before the graduating battalion had finished passing in review. Her kid was done - who cared about showing respect for all the other kids who had cycled through at the same time or their families - who might have wanted to watch them march past without having to stand up and crane their necks?

If I'd acted like that kid at an event, I'd have gotten one or two warnings, and then my butt would have been marched outside and sat in the car for the duration of the ceremony.

I don't know if I handled the situation well, although I was satisfied with the outcome (quiet kid). How would you guys have handled it?



*In addition to lying, Crazy Mom was also modelling some awesome conflict resolution skills.
**I'd like to see how that's working out in about 8 or 10 years. He was already disregarding everything she said and she let it slide - so no discipline there. If he takes the message that nobody can give him direction to heart, he's going to have a long, hard road, and he'll drag her as far down it as he can.
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Old 09-28-2011, 12:28 PM   #15
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I was walking with BF down the street, as we crossed and reached the corner, when a man and his 4-yr-old(?) who were riding their bikes across the street perpendicular, came up to us (still on their bikes on the sidewalk) and the kid almost ran his bike into bf. Bf said, whoa! and held his hands out. And the father started to get feisty saying they had the right of way. I didn't think the kid was rude, I thought the dad was very rude, especially since they shouldn't be on the sidewalk riding their bikes, and on top of it to run into a pedestrian then make an issue in front of his young son that it was our fault, sheesh!

then at the Y, a 10 yr old girl was at the window with her dad, the dad had just given the attendant his ID card. The girl said loudly, CARD! (as in, give me back my card). And the dad said to her, it's ok, honey, I already got it back. Like it's ok to speak to speak to someone that way. sheesh again.

it really does seem to me like some parents are creating a sense of super entitlement with their kids.
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