Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things that make me grumpy

There are so many days that I want to put up a sign that says "Control Your Children or Leave".

I have kids. 3 of them. A rambunctious bunch. We generally avoid taking them anywhere like our appointments, and in the rare case where we have no choice we bring distractions: Nintendo DS, books, etc. I know that not everyone has easy access to child care, and understand that.

But...

It's amazing how many people come in thinking my staff and office supplies solely exist to keep their kids busy. Neither Dr. Pissy nor I see anyone under 18, so we don't keep kid stuff around.

I've seen people tell their kids to just go sit up by Mary's desk and play with her. Or give them scissors, crayons, and glue to "make something" out of the lobby magazines. Or ask me if they can play online games on my work computer. Or just let them run amok in my exam room with my stethoscope, hammer, tuning fork, whatever. Ed has been knocked over 3 times in the last year by kids.

I've had patients leave my practice because their kids caused trouble during the appointment, and I've told them they can't return unless they find a sitter. I don't care that it pisses them off. I can't treat you effectively if I'm chasing your child all over because you think it's my job.

In a pediatrics office this is more common, and they are prepared for it. I go to my kids' appointments, and they have all sorts of books and toys to keep them busy (but we still bring Nintendos). But I don't see kids, and don't consider that something I should provide.

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior is common elsewhere. You see kids running wild, knocking stuff off grocery shelves. I know a veterinarian who had a kid, with his parent's permission, urinate on his office floor, and the family thought the vet was being unreasonable to ask them to clean it up. They figured a vet would be used to dogs and cats doing that, so what's the big deal if they let their kid do it?

Although frequently told by patients under these circumstances that "you obviously don't like kids," that's not the issue.

The problem is parents who won't control them.

72 comments:

jenniferarb said...

Here is a sign I have seen in offices that I thought was amusing "unattended children will be given an espresso and a free puppy"
Only slightly unrelated, I thought you might appreciate this:
BREAKING NEWS: The Pity Train has derailed at the intersection of Suck It Up & Move On, and crashed into We All Have Problems, before coming to a complete stop at Get the Hell Over It. Any complaints about how we operate can be forwarded to 1 (800) waa-waaa. This is Dr. Sniffle reporting LIVE from Quitchur Bitchin'. If you like this, re-post it. If you don't..suck it up cupcake, Life doesn't revolve around YOU! ;)

myoclonicjerk said...

I wish I could say that I'm shocked, but sadly I am not. Maybe you should put up a sign: "Please curb your child." Also put up one with the universal symbol of a child on a leash. If all else fails, set up some kennels.

Don said...

I'm getting old. On the rare occasions where my brother and I had to go with mom to her doctor, we were always well behaved. Not because we were inherently good, but because we knew that if either of us misbehaved in the slightest degree, our derrieres would be smacked.
I remember seeing another boy acting up, and the receptionist spanked the kid. When his mother came out, she administered another spanking, and left the office saying something about when his father gets home...
Mind you, this was 40+ years ago.

Anonymous said...

As a grumpy pediatrician, I wish I could say that this issue didn't apply in our office as well. The patient that I see may be upset (appropriately so), but the unrestrained 6 siblings who are brought along make it very challenging to do do a good job with the sick one. Try listening to a chest on a screaming 1 year old when the general decibel level in the room already exceeds a Led Zep concert (blew out an eardrum at one of those once a long time ago). No wonder I go home with headaches every day.

myoclonicjerk said...

@Don: Same here. All it took was "the look" from my mother and all shenanigans came to a screeching halt!

carla said...

Not having children, I have an even lower tolerance for the misbehaved ones (and their parents). I not only believe in abortion, I believe that it should be applied rectroactively up to the age of 25 ...

radioactive girl said...

I totally agree. I have 4 kids and everyone always comments on how well behaved they are. I don't think they are exceptionally good, just that most kids are not taught the right things to do so that's what people expect most kids to be like. Kind of like when before surgery last time the nurse took my blood pressure and commented on how low it was. I asked if it was really low and she said "well, not really, I am just used to seeing so many people with really high blood pressure that yours seems so low". It's sad that what should be "normal" has now become good, both with the blood pressure and with kids.

Anonymous said...

I feel for mary I had the same problem when I worked in a pyschologist's office as a receptionist. They would try to leave their toddlers with me a stranger so they could have privacy. No no and no. they went in. maybe you should have a policy of doing fast neuro checks on each kid brought in then charge them. bet they'd find a babysitter quick.

Anonymous said...

Not sure when the Entitlement Age started, but I am sick to death of parenting books going on and on about how detrimental spanking is. At this point, raising your voice to your child is detrimental.

No, it's not. It put the fear of YOU into them, and I think every kid should have a healthy dose of fear regarding their parents. Not cower in the corner fear, but "if I misbehave when I know darn well how to act appropriately, my mom/dad is going to be PISSED, and I'm gonna get it!" What is wrong with that??

Two things I can't stand in this world, uncontrolled children and uncontrolled dogs. Both are the result of a lack of parenting.

Anonymous said...

My story is similar to radioactive girl's. I am frequently told by others how well behaved my 2 children are. They ARE well bahaved, but I would not call them exceptionally so. It is just that the bar of acceptable behavior by children has been set so low that my kids look awesome by comparison to many of their peers.

Jess said...

When I was a child, parents had "that look". One moment of observation made you realize mayhem was closely approaching if you didn't immediately stop and sit on your hands.

I don't know where they got it, but I'm thinking a shaped piece of lumber had something to do with it.

Moose said...

I don't call people with children like that "parents." Parents take responsibility for their children. Parents teach their children manners and to behave in public. Parents do not ignore misbehaving children and remove them if they don't stop. Parents do not think that random other people are automatic babysitters. These people you describe are not parents, they are people who have had children.

You don't have to spank kids to get them to behave. I am not anti-spanking but I consider it the last resort. Most of my friends who are parents have never spanked their kids and those who have had to do it perhaps once. The threat of it ever happening again was enough for it to never be needed again. Fear and intimidation? Why not! "Oh, you're scarring your kid!" Yes, because it's better to let them misbehave while you refuse to properly deal with the situation. "Oh honey, don't do that!" is the appropriate reaction when he runs blindly out in the street because he never listens to you.

Poor kid.

Related: http://notalwaysright.com/apparently-bad-parenting/10378

Bethany S said...

And my mother wonders why I don't have kids...

Thomas D. said...

>>When I was a child, parents had "that look".<<

I'm over thirty and my mom still gives me "that look" from time to time. Even now, I'll stop whatever I'm doing if it happens!

Dr. Z said...

I think a lot of people confuse "discipline" with "corporal punishment". It is possible to instill discipline in people (and animals) without causing them physical pain. Where the problem occurs is when people abandon spanking (good idea) and do not replace it with another form of effective discipline (bad idea). In a fit of passion, once, my husband told my son he would be spanked for deliberately scratching up our coffee table with a toy. He had a change of heart, and offered my son the choice of spanking vs. no Legos for a week. Kid picked the spanking.

I definitely hear you on the kids in offices. When I was still in general veterinary practice, I noticed that the families with wild, uncontrolled dogs had wild, uncontrolled children. Coincidence? I doubt it. There is a reason I went into radiology.

BTW, there was a case here in the Twin Cities recently where a tag-along child was crushed to death by a chiropractic device.

Don said...

Along similar lines are the "Take your kids to work" days, which are a nightmare.
I worked at one company a few years ago that was really fond of this day, with all sorts of events, and kids running around the office, screaming and yelling.
We contractors actually had work to do, and given the noise, the kids wanting to play on the keyboards and see what they could do(BTW, our software is very expensive), we rapidly reached boiling point.
Finally, having told our supervisors that we could not work under these conditions, we simply stopped working. We shut down our work stations and got out our books, etc. Too bad about those deadlines.
We billed the client for the time, and we were paid for it. And they did the same thing the next year. That day, we didn't even turn on our systems. I'm sorry that you don't have that option, to just shut down and read a book.

Word verification: convul[sions]
What the sound of all those kids running around gave me.

JoAnna said...

As a parent of three small children (plus one on the way), I heartily approve of this post. I NEVER take my kids to my doctor's appointments if I can help it, and if I have to bring one or more of them, the diaper bag + toys come with to keep them QUIETLY entertained, or I play kid-appropriate iPhone games with them. They are NOT allowed to run amok in adult settings; it's rude and uncouth.

Packer said...

I have a Border Collie. Border Collies have a thing called "the Eye" it is a penetrating stare that gets the attention of their charges. Sheep and cattle and even humans come to attention under "the Eye", geese can feel it from hundreds of yards away, I was one of 9 children--my father and mother both had "the Eye", even my Border Collie would have come to attention under their "eye"

Quarter Life Crisis said...

As a child of a single mother, both my brother and I were taken everywhere, including appts. However, we learned to silently entertain ourselves, no matter where we were. If mom even had an idea that we'd caused any sort of havoc, we got a trip to the bathroom and let me tell you, the two hour drive back to our place was not fun on a sore bum.

We were damn good kids, even at the doctors.

That said, I think spanking is a last resort, but I sure know it worked on us.

Life in vet school said...

Hear, hear! I cannot believe the enormous sense of entitlement many parents seem to have nowadays -- the prevailing belief seems to be that the world revolves around them and their offspring, and they should therefore be able to do whatever they want, anytime, anywhere. I've been reading the spate of articles that's cropped up lately about the increasingly common practice of banning children from restaurants and movie theaters, and I think it's incredibly sad that there are so many thoughtless parents out there that it had to come to that!

danielle said...

This is what we call the Joshua Effect and why we want the Joshua Law passed. Joshua was the little boy who ran amuck in a small, upscale restuarant. Running up and down - screaming - throwing his food - taking food from other people's tables. The waiter very politely told the parents he would be glad to box their food up so they could take it with them - which the parents declined. So the owner came out - took their plates - boxed them up - brought them back and told them there was no charge but they had to leave now. The parents were very astonished - and even more as the entire restuarant broke out in applause as the 3 of them walked out.

theangrypharmacist said...

You're not alone. Happens in the store here all the time.

Forts made from boxes of Tylenol.

All of the shampoo lined up on the floor. Parents just sit and watch.

Try to talk to a patient about an Rx when their kid is screaming in the background and other people's kids screaming in your other ear.

I've even had parents say 'go play with the pharmacy staff' and have their kids RUN back here in the pharmacy where we have pill dust, a big churning robot, people scrambling, and enough drugs back here to off any 3 year old in a hot second.

As much as I love children, I have a strong hatred towards their parents.

Anonymous said...

So why not put a few toys in the corner? I'm sure you have plenty unused ones around your house. Sounds like a simple solution to me. At least it would help those parents who have a last minute babysitter cancellation and have to bring along their unruly little one(s).

Anonymous said...

I think I only spanked by girls once, however I found the most effective way to get them to behave was to follow through on whatever I promised. Misbehaving wasn't tolerated; if I told them we would leave the store, we did. One warning and that was it. Once on our way to the zoo they were fighting in the back seat and I told them I would rather save my money and do something I wanted to do rather than take badly behaved children to the zoo. We turned around and drove home in silence. Once home, we cleaned the house. I have well behaved children now.

Mal said...

One of my cousins has stepkids. With their mom, one has major tantrums. When they spend the weekend with stepmom, no tantrums allowed. When the six-year-old started screaming, he was startled to be picked up, carried briskly to the empty box-room, and plonked down with a box of tissues and a wet flannel. She told him that when he was finished, he could blow his nose, wash his face, and come out. If he came out before then, he'd get locked in, and she'd come and check on him in half-an-hour to see if he was finished.
Other tactics include carrying the screaming kid out of the shop, strapping him in his booster seat, and shutting him in the car, while Rose listened to her ipod and read a book leaning on the car.
Now all she has to say is "No whining, Simon!" when he starts the 'I Wants' that precede a tantrum.
She grew up the eldest child of six, and has a zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour. The kid still throws tantrums with his mom, though, and gets his way.

Badly behaved kids are a nightmare.

OldSquid said...

I think a basic undergrad behavior modification course would be useful for most parents. Reward and punishment are most effective when given right way after the behavior you are instilling or getting rid of. This has to be done consistently as well.

Anonymous said...

Oh, poor Ed!

I don't want to cause conflict, but is anonymous @ 11:26 a.m. serious? There is no reason he should have to put toys in his office. He doesn't even see children in his office. People need to be decent parents and teach their kids proper behavior. That would be the solution to the problem. And really, if the kids behave the way Dr. Grumpy has described in his post (and the parents allow it to happen), do you actually think a few toys are going to keep them calm?

bobbie said...

There's a reason I've never wanted kids...
And if you say anything to the stoopid parents, you get screamed at, or worse!
Grrrrrrrr...
One thing that killed me ~ 'rents would bring their kids to the hospital to visit GranPa, and let the kids play on the floor...
Can you say GROSS?!?!

Anonymous said...

As a chronically ill patient I spend far too much time being miserable in waiting rooms as it is. Add in misbehaving children (or obnoxiously loud adults or a tv blaring talk shows) and I want to strangle them all simply for some calm.

Its not an optional space for me and I cant come back when I might be feeling better or in less pain.

I go to docs who only treat adults and I dont find it unreasonable to expect to not encounter children. I dont care what level of behaved they might be - find the near by drop in daycare center and leave them there.

Margaret said...

It's not a matter of "I don't like kids." It's a matter of "I don't like YOUR kids." ;-)

Dalai said...

You have hit upon one of my hot buttons. The lack of discipline in today's kids is nothing short of appalling. But what did we expect? We now have the first generation of children raised by the first generation of parents who were raised without discipline. The children of the 60's and 70's, today's parents, were the first to be raised with no limits. Their parents were told that spanking would yield an axe-murderer, and even today, a swat on the rear in public can land a parent in jail. We are now reaping the harvest of the asinine, feel-good (dare I say liberal?) policy. Good luck reversing the trend, or even getting the stupid lackadaisical parents to realize that their children will grow up to be totally useless human beings.

Ben S said...

Not following through is one of the biggest mistakes I see parents make. When kids know they can ignore warnings because all it leads to are more warnings, they'll continue ignoring (pretending to not hear) as long as possible.

Anonymous said...

Here ya go Doc
http://www.wpxi.com/news/28731371/detail.html

knitalot3 said...

My DH was in the hospital recovering from surgery. A family visiting in a room across the hall had about eight adults and four kids (seemed like a hundred). They actually let them run up and down the hall making noise. When I could still hear them through the closed door, I called the nurses desk (like they couldn't hear them?!?!?) and asked if it was a daycare or a hospital. She said she would take care of it. They took them all in poor grandma's room (also post surgery) and shut the door.

My other favorite is the people who drag their kids out in public when they are way past nap and lunch time.

Come on parents!! Get off your butts and follow though. I don't think I spanked my three kids more than once or twice each, but they new I would have. They got the look, then a quiet reprimand and then we went home for further punishment. That only happened once per kid.

I took my kids to restaurants and movie theaters, but never tolerated misbehaving.

was1 said...

Children are like New Year's Resolutions. They're easy to make but they need to be carried out.

Mrs J said...

Anonymous 11:26, I don't thin grumoy should supply the toys, I think the parent that is bringing the child should bring a few toys, books, ect. It is more sanitary and you know what your kid likes.
Anonymous 12:33pm, it isn't always possible to get a sitter, especially if it's a single parentwho is struggling financially. Having said that, I am disgusted with parents who allow their kids to control them and act like self entitled brats. I raised 3 boys and could take them anywhere with me (single parent) I also quite often had my brother's 4 children with me and took all 7 grocery shopping,restaurant, ect & always received compliments for they behaved. It is about consistancy and loving your child enough to set boundaries and stick to them. I am 44 and still don't cross my momma and I thank her often for instilling that in me.

Loren Pechtel said...

Dr. Z and Anonymous@11:42 nailed it. The problem isn't a lack of spanking, it's a lack of any method of discipline.

While we are a childfree couple I've seen how others raise their kids and from what I see anything more than VERY occasional spanking reflects a failure to discipline.

Anonymous said...

dalai- esad. dave

Anonymous said...

@Dalai, you hit the nail on the head! I'm a 70s/80s kid and my mother is British, so my sister and I had a very Victorian upbringing. You'd never see either of us out of line in public, or there'd be dire consequences! Kids these days have it easy, and that's a bad thing.

I think this is also why US politics is so polarized these days... everyone is taught that they're a unique and beautiful snowflake and thus absolutely correct in their beliefs, and they refuse to even consider anything contrary because that might mean they'd be wrong, and that's bad!

Anonymous said...

I think I was spanked about four times (seriously spanked, or more than a swat) growing up and I can name exactly what I did each time. I was never afraid of the parent who did the spanking. I never chose my own punishment (a week without toys?? kids have such an overabundance these days it is sick. Big friggin deal there). I wrote lines until my hand was cramped. We also had TV limited to less than an hour a day, none of this leaving it on for background noise...

I think that I am a responsible person, and I recognize that actions have consequences. My nephew is quite well-behaved for his age, but will choose a time-out or hand over a toy if my sister threatens to take it away because he has tons more. She feels (and I agree) that it is just not effective punishment. Where do you go from there?!?

thatsit said...

I thought of you when I took my 9 and 12.5 year olds to the 9 year olds ortho appt. today. They both had their DS's. It was pretty quiet. The lady with her cell phone trying to sell her Dad's Vikodin (yes-she pronounced it that way) over her cell phone with her elderly father sitting right.there! caused a much larger problem than my children. Someone (not me) alerted the staff and much craziness began...

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:33. Are you serious? Children are a part of society.
There's no excuse for poorly parented children, but there's also no excuse for a zero tolerance where they are concerned.
Also, if I never take my children into public places with me, how will they learn to behave anywhere other than daycare?
As a mom of several well behaved children, I think daycare is part of the problem, and have never taken my kids there. If you have children, you must also take the responsibility of raising and educating them appropriately. This includes lessons in the world at large.

MJ said...

I once had a little girl complaining of bordom in an opthamology office, that like your office sees adult patients only, no peds, so i offered to put either Shrek or Harry Potter in the VHS player of our 12 inch tv, when she whined that the tv was too small and she couldnt see it, I promptly turned it off and rolled it away, much to her mothers dismay. Her mother insisted that I entertain her daughter, or put the movie back on. to which i replyed that it was a very nice day out and she should maybe go out and play.

Anonymous said...

I had four kids in just over 5 years and when they were small I was frequently complimented by strangers on how well they behaved in restaurants, simply because they sat still, spoke quietly (and not with their mouths full), and did not fight or whine. I even had one woman confess to me that when our family of six first sat at the table next to hers, she was dismayed, but to her surprise the kids behaved 'beautifully'. I accepted the compliments and praised the kids accordingly, but was it is sad that people have come to expect kids to be otherwise. (My kids are now all in their teens, except the oldest).

As for strange places people urinate, adult men seem to routinely expect to be allowed to pee in the woodshavings in my horse barn, and are offended when I say no, because I clean that bedding out! Sure I clean out horse pee, but it smells MUCH better than man pee.

My worst child-to-a-vet-appt story concerns the woman who brought her kid along saying brightly "She can't go to school because she has chickenpox! I figured you will have already had it-" "No, I haven't." I said coldly. "Oh...well, you'd like some time off, wouldn't you?" she said brightly. (No I f**king wouldn't, not if it involved chickenpox, bitch.)Fortunately I did not catch the virus from her poxy kid.

Ayla said...

Mine is 3 1/2 months old. I don't know anyone here I can leave her with that I actually trust to do simple things like change her damn diaper, so she comes EVERYWHERE with me, including doctor's appointments.

But...she's a quiet little girl, doesn't fuss much, and if she does, I take her outside, and calm her down, so the longest anyone has to put up with crying is thirty seconds. Usually she's calm in under two minutes. I've yet to hear a complaint or get a dirty look from someone because of her behaviour.

That said, I've also been known to scold other people's kids. I don't mean spanking or anything, but I've no problem telling someone else's kid that they need to stop acting like a brat. That hitting is not okay, that they need to sit down and play quietly. THAT is when the dirty looks happen, it's all "DON'T TELL MY KID WHAT TO DO, B****!"

Oh, I really am sorry, was I supposed to let your five year old throw trucks at my newborn? Because I'm sorry, that's not going to happen. I'm not one for interfering with other people's parenting styles, but seriously, whatever happened to teaching your kids proper social behaviour? I'm not that old, I'm 24, but if I pulled half the crap parents let their kids pull today in public, I could kiss whatever novel I was reading goodbye for the night, and that was a BIG deal for me. But then again, I grew up in Scotland, with grandparents and my dad, and not a single one of them would tolerate anything but my best behaviour ALL the time. My dad was only 18 when I was born, but there was none of this "Oh, I'm a single dad, and she doesn't have a mama so I let her get away with stuff," or "I don't want my kid to hate me when she grows up" garbage, I was expected to behave BETTER than my friends did, and be an example for them. Sounds strict and mean, except it wasn't, I love my dad to death, and there isn't a single thing I have to complain about the time I lived with him and my grandparents. They treated me with respect, and they expected it back. And that's exactly how my daughter's going to grow up: I'm her mom, not her friend. There's plenty of time for friendship when she's done college.

Liz said...

My infant and preschooler come to every doctor visit with me. My son always has something with which to entertain himself and the baby has food and toys. The only time my son is a bother is if he opts to bring his v-reader or his mp3 player. (He's a sing-outlouder.) But even then I keep the noise to a minimum and reschedule if the baby is over-wrought. I just find it good manners and common courtesy to the doctor, the staff, and the other patients.

grumpyvet said...

I once tried to ask an owner my standard wellness exam questions about her dog only to be met with an apologetic smile and an, "I'm sorry, but I can't hear you." Her pre-school-age kid was lying across a chair kicking and shrieking. I wasn't really sure how I was supposed to rectify that situation, so I think I just looked at her. Another child screamed at me and tried to grab the dog from my arms as I was gently examining the (calm and by no means in any distress pet). Mom did nothing. Another mom told her daughter that if she didn't plant her bottom in the chair, mom was going to take her to the doctor and he would give her a shot. That worked, so I was able to talk to the owner about the pet, but I'm not sure the pediatricians out there would love that parenting tactic. Don't get me wrong--kids are great. But when they scream over and AT me it makes my job that much harder...and makes me wish my boss would buy me that dart gun.

Anonymous said...

My mother was a super hero. Her super human talent was what my brother and I called the flying finger.
Whenever we crossed over the line of acceptable behavior, we would be quickly brought into line by
a sharp flick of her index finger and thumb. The flying fingers seemed to stretch across rooms, around corners, and across the dining room table. It was silent and swift, and effective. This afternoon I stood on a crowded city bus across from a mother whose 5 year old son was shouting,standing on his seat, bumping into a senior lady who was too polite to say anything. The mother did nothing to correct her child. In fact she kept smiling at him validating his unruly behavior. I just kept hoping the bus would stop short and send her little angle flying.

Thatgirl said...

I have two boys and I am an indulgent and affectionate parent, but I don't tolerate bad behavior at all. We don't spank our children but we have time outs and removal of privileges. Both of my children (7 and 5) will tell you, when asked that if I say I will do something then I am doing it.

However, as trained as my children are, they are still children and I make concessions for that by bringing things for them to do when we go places they will be bored. That is part of my job as a parent.

Anonymous said...

Kids need to experience the world to learn how to act in it. Most kids will rise to whatever expectations we set for them. My daughter is 5. Smart, curious, and stubborn. If she misbehaves she gets a warning and explanation for it, then if she acts up again there's a consequence. I don't spank. Withholding privileges or saying her behavior is unacceptable work for me. A raised eyebrow and a "Really? Want to think about that again?" is usually enough. . Because I follow through. So unless the place is just that not kid-friendly or kiddo is overtired or hungry (my job to control,) I don't have problems. Consistency, limits, and education work.

And on the rare occasions that they don't, leaving, loss of privileges, and vodka for mama do. :)

Anonymous said...

Over the years, I have seen lots of Family Practice Docs bring their small children in with them for weekend rounds. They leave the kids with the nurses at the nursing station.

Anonymous said...

DH and I don't have children yet, but the couple we are good friends with have a 4 year old and a 2 year old. They don't arrange for a sitter if we go out to a nicer restaurant for dinner. We've begun declining invitations, because it is embarrassing to be on the receiving end of the stares and comments from other diners. I completely understand that at 8:30pm other diners do not want a 4 year old crawling under tables and a 2 year old pitching a fit because they are both tired. I don't want that either! Yet our friends think that the best way to teach appropriate behavior is to take the kids out. I agree to an extent, but not to a place that is upscale and definitely not a family restaurant. "Discipline" has no effect on the two kids.

Anonymous said...

First time poster~ In my OB/GYN's office they put a sign up this week, if you bring your child to an appointment your appoinment will be cancled and you will have to rescheduled for another time, lots of ppl are pissed but after the little boy got hurt {no his mother was not watching him} they had to do something. I think this was the right move on thier part.

Anonymous said...

"Most" children are easier to discipline than you think, and you don't have to resort to corporal punishment. In fact, most children are quite a bit like dogs, inherently they want to make their parents/master happy and vie for your attention. In fact, my two Akitas are way harder to "train" than my boy.

As a previous poster pointed out, taking away Lego privileges will be a much harsher punishment than spanking. The parents however who don't remove a screaming child should be shot. I'm pretty much immune to crying (which is why my little guy has discovered it doesn't work) but I know not everyone else is.

To DH:

As for going out for dinner, I think the key is that, if you do want to bring the kid along to get them used to eating out, be sure to bring a family member/friend as well. That way if the kid acts up, someone can remove them from the restaurant while the other parent still gets to enjoy a nice meal with another adult (and the other parent gets a doggy bag). If you are really lucky the friend/family member will volunteer to take the kid for a walk around the block and you both get to eat. This is especially true of grandparents. I did this when my guy was an infant and it worked well. I did have to leave extra tips though, as the little guy was/is a messy eater (if eating with his hands keeps him happy I'm all for it).

Anon1233 said...

@Mrs J - drop in day cares are plentiful in my area. The docs I see serve adult insured patients which implies at least middle class and therefore should be able to afford someone to watch their child while at an appt

@Anon7:34 - Yes I am serious. Children may be part of society but that does not equal them belonging in every space no matter how well behaved. A waiting room full of sick adults is a place that children do not belong.

terri c said...

Wonderful post. I think some parents can't stand the idea of "making my child unhappy" for even a second and that prevents them from seeing the big picture of the world that child has to live in.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine who happens to be a pediatrician recently came to my office and vented because a parent didn't even bring his kid to said kid's appointment. Apparently he wanted to talk about putting his kid on ADD medication but didn't think the doctor would need to see the kid!

I have a little girl and I get plenty of compliments on her behaviour. Very few people see her misbehave because she is removed from the situation immediately! The only way for a child to be taught how to act appropriately in public is to take them out in public and TEACH them how to act. This takes work that a lot of parents don't want to do unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Parents that refuse to raise their children properly piss me off beyond belief. What makes it worse is when they try to fluff off the scorn of strangers by claiming the child has a condition that affects their behaviour, so they just can't do anything about it.
I have a 6 year old sibling with severe autism. It took some extra work, but he's learned how to behave in public. If he can be taught, so can your spoiled little spawn.
It's amazing how many of these people can breed in the first place considering they clearly don't have any balls.

Anonymous said...

OMG i'm gonna be giggling about: "1 (800) waa-waaa" for days!!

And entitled parents made me change my mind about becoming a pediatrician. Parents are the problem.

Anonymous said...

I am the mother of two perfectly imperfect children. Childhood is your one and only shot to learn appropriate behavior. Parents who do not appropriately discipline their children are not doing them any favors.

I agree with many of the other posters that teaching them every day as they experience new and familiar settings is critical. When we go somewhere, I put the car in park, review expectations (OK, guys...this is a quick trip to the grocery store. Mommy needs milk and bread only. There will be no treats (to prevent a bad case of the gimmies) and bad behavior means we're not going to the pool later this afternoon). When we're in the store, I use a warning system. First I'll use their middle name with a 'you're in hot water tone'. If it does not stop,I will repeat. Next, I count to three. If they are particularly fresh, they will go all the way to 2 and 1/2 and then quick-like straighten out. I rarely get beyond that, but if I get to three, they know what's comming. I immediately pull up stakes and exit the building and straight home for time out and no pool or whatever I told them before we went into the store.

What I HATE is that on those rare occasions when I have to pull them out, I get unwanted commentary from others monitoring the situation (my kids are usually wailing at this point)..."Oh, you really need to let them express their indivuality..." or some such nonsense. I provide my children with healthy ways to express themselves, but they NEED (not that I want, but they NEED) to know how to behave and CHILDHOOD IS THEIR TIME TO LEARN THIS. Believe me...I needed that damn milk and now I didn't get it...not in the plans. I never, ever spank or hit my kids, period. I never yell or berate my kids in public places and I find that rewarding good behavior works waaaaayyyy better than punishing bad behavior, "You did really well today...You know what mommy always says...good behavior has good consequences and bad behavior has bad consequences? Well...you get a good consequence...you can stay up an extra 15minutes tonight. Mommy really appreciated that" Still, kids are kids...wonderfully imperfect and prone to make mistakes just like the grown-ups. It just drives me NUTS that whenever I dicipline the kids in public, I ALWAYS seem to get some comment...UGH!

lovinmyjob said...

How many of the parents think that by taking their misbehaving liter to the appointment with them they my score so Ritalin or Aderall in the process? I've been jaded just enough to think that way.

Doctor Blondie said...

wait. Neurologists have stethoscopes?

Mary said...

My favorites are the moms who bring their kids with them to their Pap smears.

Kipper said...

A couple of years ago I broke my leg...on my first dinner out with friends, my little group was seated next to a family with several uncontrolled children including one who kept trying to mess with my cast. To my surprise, the mom's reaction was to threaten the kid "that lady is going to beat your ass". Excuse me?! How irresponsible do you have to be to actually think threatening 3rd party violence is a valid parenting approach?

Anonymous said...

I am an adult psychiatrist and strongly discourage the patients from bringing children to the appointments. There is often sensitive information that we need to discuss and even if the parents thinks the child is "too young" to understand the child should not be present when marital, ,sexual problems, etc. are being discussed.

Biggest pet peeve though -- when parents do bring the kid and since the kid can't be left in the waiting area, the parents will pull expensive textbooks off my shelves and tell the kids to look at the pretty pictures. I have to politely remind both of them that that is not appropriate!

Mrs J said...

Anon 1233: Still disagree, just because a parent may work and have insurance, it doesn't mean they can afford drop in daycare (and that is if there even is one or more)Especially singel parent's. I absolutely don't believe in allowing children free reign or to be anything but respectful at a Dr Appt,ect. but there are absolutely times when there is NO other choice. I do completely believe and think all Drs. offices, Vets, ect should have a sign up stating that the paren and child(ren) will be asked to vacate immediately if said children are out of control, screaming, ect. Being employed and having med insurance does not mean a person is middle class. I happen to work at a job I love that has decent benifits but not great pay. I am not middle class, but am very happy.

Also for those parents that have children with autism, downs, ect. I think we should be more patient with, however, I also truly believe that the parent needs to be aware and if the child is having too difficult of a time, parent should be rescheduling for a better time if at all possible, not for everyone elses sake but for the child's sake. I have a niece with autistic children, whom I wish would head this but her focus is "people just need to deal with it and understand the disability" Yes but momma needs to understand her child(ren) are not coping well and need to be brought back to their comfort zone.

Dalai said...

Hey, Dave...

What does ESAD mean? Extensively Salient Addition to the Discussion? Or did I step on some Liberal, unspanked toes?

Anonymous said...

Kipper, perhaps the mother was thinking that the best way to teach children is to let them experience the consequences of their actions. If they go outside without their mittens, their hands will get cold. If you mess with a stranger's cast, she'll beat your ass.

Anonymous said...

A relative of mine has a Down syndrome daughter, now in her thirties, who has never been properly taught to behave in public because her mother expects everyone to make endless allowances for her. The Down syndrome woman swears, bullies, steals, makes sexual advances to boys and young men, and has been banned from many stores in the town they live in. Although disabled the woman is perfectly capable of being taught to behave. However her mother just assumes any complaints are 'discrimination'. I don't think the mother is doing her daughter any favors at all in the long run.

MaryP said...

Because I run a home daycare, people tend to think I have endless patience for all children, no matter how they're behaving.

Wrong. I have FAR less patience with poorly-behaved children, because I know how *unnecessary* it is. I routinely take 4, 5, and even 6 toddlers all sorts of places, knowing that they will behave appropriately. (And on the very rare occasions they don't? We leave. Immediately.)

Dr Z is right about spanking: discipline does not begin and end with corporal punishment. I'm prohibited by law from hitting the children I work with, but that's fine, because I rarely spanked with my own children. (Five or six times for my first, once for my second, never for my third. I got better with practice! Which is not to say I don't sometimes itch to give a badly-behaved butt a well-deserved swat! Point is, I don't *need* to and in order to have well-behaved children.)

Beth said...

My Golden Retriever is an owner-trained service dog and goes everywhere, including doctors' appointments with me (because that's the law). I LOVE IT when people tell me "Your dog is better behaved than most children!" or "I didn't even know she was there, she was so good!"...as we're leaving restaurants, grocery stores, etc. My doctors and their staff get a little upset when I arrive for appointments WITHOUT her. My vascular surgeon only half-jokingly said to me, "Next time Kasey BETTER be with you."

It makes me feel very good when Kasey receives those compliments because it takes constant practice and gentle reminding of how she should behave while her vest is on.

Deborah said...

I have 3 kids. I don't have any childcare during the day, so I must take them with me to doctor's appointments. My oldest (4 years old) has ADHD and behavior issues, despite consistent parenting and discipline. My youngest (22 months) has just been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What you may think is poor parenting is sometimes something much deeper.

I go to these appointments well armed with distractions in the form of books, cars, snacks and dolls. But when I get to my appointment on time, sit in the waiting room for 20 minutes then spend another 30 in the exam room before I'm seen by the doctor, my kids are going to get stir crazy and all the goldfish crackers in the world aren't going to fix it.

Do not assume that all "bad" behavior is due to poor parenting. You don't know the whole story.

 
Locations of visitors to this page