Priyanka Chaturvedi

It's all about me!!My people, my favourite things, my raving and my ranting too!

DNA Column: Let the kids and adults be

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Recently I read that some fine- dining places in Mumbai are increasingly moving towards a no-kids-below-10 policy. What do I, as a mother of two kids who are less than 10, think about this decision? I wholeheartedly support it. In all honesty, I think that is the way it should be. What I definitely do not agree with is parents who are sending their five year old kids for grooming and etiquette classes. Surprised? Yes so was I when I read such classes are popular with parents for their kids.

Why do parents feel so offended if some dining places are upfront about their policies? Why does it become a sensitive and sore point with us as parents when we see such rules? Isn’t it only fair that we avoid being in a situation where we are not angrily glared at by other diners, or being apologetic about our own child’s behaviour. We all love our children and they, for us, are our centre of the universe but they are definitely not for the rest of the world. Not all people need to be kid friendly. I was not a child friendly person at all before I had my own kids.

Conversations become difficult with people if you have a child around who is all jumpy, frisky and tantrummy. Of course, not all kids are that way but do look around at malls and you would see what I mean. My kids have been no epitome of good behaviour when eating out so that’s why I can speak with confidence that if I as an individual had to be in the same place as my kids, I would have a problem too!

 

What one must also keep in mind before planning to dine out at such places is whether the child is comfortable being in a place like that or is he there just because we as parents wanted to be there? The more uncomfortable the child the more restless he/she will be. I remember I did that with my first child. I would take him around to all these fine-dining places and he would end up creating a ruckus much to my embarrassment.

There are some parents, I read, who are sending their kids for etiquette classes just to teach them the right way to eat and behave. Why this need to conform, to fit when all we need to do is let the kids be. Why are we in such a hurry to have model kids?

Why not give them time to be able to conduct themselves better at such places and until then keep them happy at child friendly places? We of course cannot expect a child to be at his or her best behaviour which is contrary to any child’s nature but what we can do is avoid putting the child and ourselves into a position that makes a planned, good outing into a stressful experience for all around.

I do take my kids to eat out but to places where I am sure they will have fun. It could be a mall, a pizza place, burger place or just a random Udipi joint. So what if I have to eat a pill to calm my nerves after handling their running, jumping, screaming.

In case you think otherwise let me clarify that no I do not want a country of silent, well-groomed kids but a country of parents who can be more accommodating to others’ choices would be nice.

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Written by Priyanka Chaturvedi

March 27, 2012 at 9:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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