Last week, Jenny McCarthy posted an intriguing question in her blog. She’d just visited a restaurant in North Carolina who had placed a sign near the entrance. It simply read: “Screaming Children Will Not Be Tolerated.”
Jenny’s question, of course, was: Is this discriminatory or brilliant?
She went on to suggest that while she understands young children will experience outbursts from time-to-time, parents don’t need to surrender to an ongoing tantrum in a child. I concur. Both Jenny and I are parents of multiple children — so our view isn’t birthed out of some artificial theory. She felt the sign was not only brilliant, it may just be genius. Patrons can enjoy a peaceful cup of coffee or lunch, and parents can march their kids over to the sign before entering the restaurant and say, “If you throw a tantrum, we’ll be forced to head home and eat mama’s cooking.”
A trend I am seeing today is parents (and teachers) surrendering leadership of their children to culture. It’s as if they throw their hands in the air, feeling they have no real authority to direct and lead their kids. Culture plays a bigger role in their lifestyles than families. No doubt, this is a new generation of kids who for the first time don’t need parents or teachers to get information. But they do need adults for interpretation. Our chief role as adults is to help our children interpret and make sense of the world; to teach them what’s valuable and how to live by values, not just appetites. Adults must put a moral compass into the hands of students. If we fail to do so, expediency will rule the day. We’ll all end up doing whatever is most convenient or beneficial for us, not the world around us. Remember, children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to emulate them. We may not be politically correct, or look very tolerant in our pluralistic culture… but at least they’ll have clear direction.
What do you think? Was the restaurant being discriminatory or brilliant? Am I being narrow or wise in comments?