Imagine what life was like before your children for just one minute. Did anything prevent you from going places or visiting locations? Now fast forward to your first child….Are there places you simply don’t go to anymore, like your favorite restaurant because it isn’t considered “kid-friendly” or you are afraid of how your child(ren) will behave? What if your child had a disability that made going to any restaurant seem impossible. What if you had to live your life without the possibility of going out ever again because you were afraid of how others might react to your child’s behavior?
Having children is a tough job. Having a child with a disability, be it physical or mental is exhausting. While I do not know this first hand, I do know it from close friends that do.
I do not stare at tables with children that are acting up. I do not make faces or complain to the manager. I do go over and say hello. I do offer my daughters crayons and coloring book as a distraction. I know what it is like to want to be able to breathe outside of your home and enjoy someone else cooking a meal.
The next time you are out somewhere and you see a child “acting” out, don’t judge the parent, don’t complain to the manager. Ask yourself what you would want if you were in that parents shoes. I really enjoy reading this article, “To The Woman and Child Who Sat at Table 9“, about what a restaurant manager did when another table complained about loud noise.
Applaud that parent for the bravery it took for her to come out. Instead, offer a smile or even a helping hand. The appreciation will sparkle out of their eyes and into your heart like you have never felt before. Children are children and we need to let them be just that. They aren’t meant to sit still for long periods of time or any time for that matter. And no parent should be expected to live the life of a recluse.
If children are restricted from exploring the world how will they ever become creative and contribute to society as adults? The old adage of “children should be seen and not heard” is quite repulsive in my book. There is nothing more fun than getting on the floor with my kids for a total tickle fest, even in a restaurant. My money is just as good as everyone else and if not, then I will gladly take my business elsewhere, to a place where it is appreciated.
Do you have a story you would like to share about venturing out with your children? Have you ever been asked to be quiet or have you ever asked for a table to hush down?