Don’t Take Your Kids To Public Places

Is there anything more annoying than loud, unruly children in a restaurant when you are trying to enjoy a nice quiet meal? Why do their parents even take them out knowing how loud and disruptive they will be?! Just don’t take your kids out in public. It’s much easier for everybody concerned isn’t it? Stay at home, let them go on their computer games and eat candy whilst you sit on your phone having a quick flutter or something else that makes you feel like you still enjoy life once in a while, right?

Tonight my husband and I went out to a restaurant for dinner to a quaint, quiet place in the countryside. We were near two school age children for the entire meal. I still have indigestion now thinking about the evening. The two kids should have been in bed, it was a school night afterall, but instead their parents had taken them out.

The two children got louder as the evening went by, and I could see the aggravation rising in my husbands eyes. We came out to enjoy a quiet meal, but instead we were witnessing something from a Looney Tunes cartoon.

The children shouted, laughed loud, shook condiments over people, climbed under the table, squealed loudly, were rude at times, and kept standing on their chairs. The mother tried to reason with them but to no avail. One of the children ran off around the restaurant and was dragged back!

I looked on in utter disbelief.

The children, surprisingly, ate their food despite moaning about its impending arrival. It was obviously way past their usual meal time, but each parent to their own I guess. When the kids had finished their main course they demanded pudding like their parents were slaves. Manners were scarce!

After the kids had eaten their food the rampage continued. They started swiping at the grownups with them with their teddy bears. They climbed over chairs, they made patterns in the condensation on the restaurant windows, and they jumped on the back of their mother. At one point the mother was on lockdown with the one boy. He had her hair in a death grip and they were literally both lay across the bench style seat for a good 3 minutes. What the hell? I was shocked. I was disgusted.

The whole restaurant was aware of this family, and it felt a little uncomfortable to say the least!

Why do parents with children like these inflict them upon the public? Are they really this selfish?

Anddddd stop.

The kids in this post are mine. The teddy bears were Snoodle. The hair was also mine. And the sanity has well and truly gone. Would I take them back to a restaurant? Hell yeah! That’s the life of this momma, and as ‘abnormal’ and ‘crazy’ as it may have been, they were actually pretty well behaved on this occasion. Ha, for real!

Don’t ever be ashamed or embarrassed, ever. Those onlookers know nothing about your children, or your parenting skills.

There are additional needs in our family, invisible ones, SPD and ASD, but regardless, if a restaurant has a children’s menu the fact remains that children (in all forms) are welcome.

(For all the new people over on here who don’t know my origins, my story, my life…my children are normally in bed by 7pm, this meal was 5pm ’til 7.30pm, my children didn’t run into other diners – he ran off once, it was a family celebration – we don’t go out when it’s school the next day in everyday life, my kids had ‘things’ to keep them entertained, I said manners were scarce not non-existent, I also said the mother intervened, and BAM! There you have it! This post was written to make other parents feel less alone in their struggles, nothing more, nothing less)

Does Your Child Have Good Self Esteem?

Does your child have good self esteem? I ask myself this question so many times, and have done since my babies were newly born. How do you even tell? Sometimes I don’t think you can tell, and other times it is pretty obvious.

Children are born with various personalities, some is nature and some is nurture. A LOT is nurture. As a care giver we have a huge responsibility to help these little beings and big beings figure out their self worth, and in my opinion it is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. It literally has the power of life or death. No pressure then huh?! It used to worry me endlessly, but now it doesn’t. I do everything in my power to make sure my boys have a healthy self esteem.

Self esteem is not something that happens overnight, it’s years and years of life endeavours, task failures, successes, losses, obstacles, learning, and battles. Self esteem is something you cultivate and nurture over a period of time, and the younger you start the better.

I don’t particularly have a very good self esteem but I’m working on it. Life has not often been kind to my self esteem so it hasn’t grown as well as it should have, which is why I am determined that my children will have a good sense of self worth. And I think they have.

How can you cultivate self worth in children?

Children are so impressionable from such a young age so praise is very important. It shows you care, that they did well and tried their best, and it encourages them to try again next time. I am a firm believer in praise. It goes a long way. I don’t buy into the ‘tough love’ regime, and never will. Love isn’t tough.

If my children fail, I am there telling them to try again, and again, even if its over a few days or weeks or months. Teach them not to quit, but that it’s ok to fail if we pick ourselves up and try again. Tell them that unless you make a mistake you never learn anything. Mistakes are ok, lying in defeat is not. Help them build their stamina.

Don’t do everything for your children, as tempting as it may be. Let them do things by themselves, encourage them to try, and if they cannot manage the task then tell them you will help them because they tried their best first. They will surprise you and themselves! I promise!

Teach them to write their failures in the sand and their successes upon the rocks.

Tell them you love them, often. Never let them wonder. Even if you were raised without those words do not let your children live their life never hearing them. Cuddle them. Tell them things you like about them. Tell them you love being their momma etc. Tell them. Every single day tell them! Leave them a note. Press a heart into their toast. Let them know you think about them.

If your child struggles with self esteem try a Strength Jar. This is simply a jar filled with pieces of paper, and upon these pieces of paper you get your child to write down all the things they are good at and like about themselves, and you can write them too. One you’re finished read through them weekly, and place on a shelf within reach. My boys really loved this activity and still look at them a year on!

Choose your words carefully. I know kids can drive us insane and we all get irate and say things we don’t mean but just make sure you apologise when you need too. Words can hurt but apologies are a great medicine. You are never too old to apologise. It will teach your child a good lesson in forgiveness and empathy too.

No app can replace your lap.

Read with your kids. Knowing you want to spend time with them will do their heart the world of good. Even 5 minutes a day will make the difference. It will widen their imagination too which is a very good thing!

If they ask for a cuddle give them a cuddle. If they ask for a second cuddle give them a second cuddle. If they ask for a third cuddle…get my drift? Life is too short to not give them that third cuddle. Tomorrow is not promised to anybody and I sure as hell do not want to wish I’d have cuddled my child for a third time and are no longer be able to. Hearts are breaking around this world for lost loved ones, so cherish the ones you have whilst you have them.

Teach them that we are all unique. Teach them it’s ok to be different and that it doesn’t make us less. Teach them about the importance of being kind and compassionate. Teach them to sit with the lonely. Teach them to look out for others. Teach them to help. Teach them be assertive. Teach them about mental health and self care. Teach them to be a good human being. Teach them that their best IS good enough.

Teach them that academic ability is NOT the most important thing in life.

Listen to their worries, their concerns. It may be little things, to them they are big things. When you listen to the little concerns, you validate them. This will go a long way in raising your children to never suffer in silence.

Raising children is the most important job you could have ever been given, even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, even when you’re exhausted, even when you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel, keep going, keep learning, keep loving.