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Tag: discipline

Correcting Others' Children

Thump. Thud, thud. Whack! Whack! Whack!

You’re halfway through your entrée when the child in the next booth goes all Keith Moon on your backrest.

First you ignore it. When the pounding continues, you glance over at the parents — the universal signal for, “Your child needs guidance, or restraints, and I don’t care which.”

His final blow sends petite sirah sloshing down your dry-clean-only date-night blouse, and you launch over the booth, locking eyes with Thumper.

“Sweetie,” you say between clenched teeth, “there’s a person sitting here. It’s time to stop.” Considering what you were really thinking, the comment is friendly, sensitive, and generous. It doesn’t matter, though; you could say, “Thank you, sir. May I have another?” and it would still cause the drummer boy’s parents to regard you as though you’d just stabbed their musical angel with your salad fork.

My mom friends say they feel “hateful” and even “violent” when someone else — particularly a stranger — reprimands their kids. And I honestly don’t get it.

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