Children’s restlessness in public places is expected. It’s the parents’ decisions before and after that are suspect.

Parents make choices for us all


I raised three daughters and was very involved with my grandchildren when they were small.


I raised three daughters and was very involved with my grandchildren when they were small. I now spend a morning each week tutoring children in a literacy program, called One to One. I am not a crotchety old lady; I like children and enjoy being around them.

In recent days, I have been exposed to very unhappy youngsters. Yesterday, we flew from Chicago to Denver, connecting to Seattle. On both flights, we were seated by children who howled, screamed and yelled throughout.

Unfortunately, parents on a plane are not able to do what I used to do if my child was misbehaving in a public place – take them for a walk or to the car and sit until they calm down and are receptive to reason.

I did notice, though, none of these parents had brought things along to distract their children. I used to take toys, colouring books, pencils etc. These items were only brought out when we were away from home, which meant they were interesting and novel to the children.

One thing I never did was allow my children to disturb others in public. They were taken to a private place. If they still could not settle down, they were taken home.

Today, my husband and I went out for breakfast. A young couple with a little girl came in, and we were seated close together. Again, we were subjected to a howling, yelling, screaming, crying child. Her parents kept saying “use your inside voice.” She, of course, ignored them.

Again, these parents brought nothing to distract the child. Why do parents not understand that most children cannot sit quietly in a restaurant for more than a minute?

These parents had options: They could have taken her home, or for a walk, taking turns until the food arrived; they could have provided her with things to play with; they could have asked the waitress to bring a fruit cup.

Parents like this would likely say that they are exposing their child to eating in restaurants, so they will learn how to behave. I say they are teaching them nothing. Children of this age cannot learn to sit quietly, they have to be entertained. If the entertainment doesn’t work, they have to be removed from the situation.

That is how you teach them how to behave. You do not subject a whole restaurant full of people to a bored, cranky, misbehaving two-year-old.

I just ate as fast as I could and left. I did not enjoy my breakfast, and I’m willing to bet others felt as I did.

I did consider confronting them, but it is just this kind of parent that is more concerned with justifying their right to bring their child to a restaurant than with actually parenting their child while they are there.

Lucinda Pellant, White Rock



Just Posted

’Wham-bam out the door,’ South Surrey man warns of landscaping solicitor

Resident warns neighbours to be careful of door-to-door salesmen

UPDATE: Man arrested in fatal stabbing near Clayton Heights gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Semiahmoo Peninsula outing was for the birds

Dozens of bird species logged during field trip to South Surrey and White Rock waterfront

Candidate ‘mixer’ draws 100-plus to South Surrey’s Semiahmoo House

Accessibility, affordability and housing top of mind for self-advocates

VIDEO: Langley woman’s security camera records its own theft

Langley family discovers early morning grab was recorded

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Vancouver Giants wrap up prairie road swing with a 4-2 win over Regina

Milos Roman paced the Langley-based Giants with two goals, goaltender David Tendeck made 34 saves

Pearson nets shootout winner as Canucks clip Flyers 3-2

Vancouver picks up second straight home win

Map on Elections Canada website sends Nanaimo-Ladysmith voters to landfill

Address for polling station correct, but Google Map address differs

BC Children’s Hospital launches 2 new virtual care sites bringing total to 19 across province

Provincial initiative allows pediatric patients to see health specialists through video

Most Read

l -->