Forum: Arts / Debates

Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?
By Spiorad Comments: 2156, member since Sat Jul 22, 2006
On Sat Feb 08, 2014 10:04 AM
Edited by Spiorad (163536) on 2014-02-08 10:06:42 fixed spacing to make easier to read
Edited by Spiorad (163536) on 2014-02-08 10:09:04

So I have someone as a friend on my facebook who is a mom of 2 boys. The older one is autistic and practically every second post is "I AM MOMMY OF AUTISTIC BOY, HEAR ME ROAR!!!"

Her latest post was about this story: . . .

to summarize: It is written by a restaurant owner who was told by one table that the child at another was being very noisy. He heard the screaming, went over and the mother just says "Do you know what it's like to have an autistic child?" This makes him think of his own children and instead of saying anything he pays their meal and goes on his way. He ends the post with saying "Sometimes doing the right thing does not make everyone happy -- just the people who need it the most."

So in response to this my FB friend wrote:

"Sometimes people just don't understand that ASD children will never learn to cope with public situations unless you take them into public. I take my son with me everywhere children are allowed. He usually not quiet. He makes messes more than a "normal" 4 year old. He has meltdowns regularly. I figure if people don't like it they can leave. I'm sure as hell not going to. My son has just as much right to be anywhere he wants to be as the rest of the population. You think your meal is disturbed by the "loud kid" at table 9? Think of the parents trying desperately to teach their child to assimilate. Ever think about giving a kind word of encouragement over passing judgement? The ignorance is real for sure."

Now, I agree with some points and have issues with others. I agree that it is great that parents are trying to show their kids how to assimilate and all of that.

However, this:
I figure if people don't like it they can leave. I'm sure as hell not going to.My son has just as much right to be anywhere he wants to be as the rest of the population.
Really, and I mean REALLY irks me.

Now, I am using this line to represent this sentiment in general. She is not the only person who I have heard this from and every time, it grates at me.

So this long ol' post has lead to this question:
Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?

Especially in this case when something is "wrong" with the child, society seems to demonize anyone who wouldn't just brush it off. I don't think that is right. Sure, a lot of people are more understanding and willing to put up with more if they are made aware of the situation, however, I don't think they should be looked down on if they aren't.

I really want to ask this woman if there is ever a point where she would say "ok, I've put these people through enough, it's time to leave." Or is it that because she has a "special" child, everyone else be damned?

I often hear people say "Well I'd trade my childs/godchilds/niece/nephews etc. condition to you in a heartbeat if that's what you want!" but that is just so ridiculous and unreasonable that it just makes me feel like "Ok. You are obviously not going to be a reasonable, rational, person. Time to just let you have your tantrum and then leave."

Personally, I try to not complain at all. ESPECIALLY if I see the parent is TRYING to do something about the noise. Whether it be trying to distract the kid with toys, games, coloring etc. or by actually removing them until they compose themselves. My main issue, and I think that this is the case for most people, comes from those parents who DO NOTHING.

I feel like there SHOULD be a line. Even for people who are trying to "assimilate", as this person said, their children, there has to be a line.

She ended her post with: "The ignorance is real for sure."

But this "I am going to do what I want, screw everyone else." mentality does absolutely no good at all. For either side.

So what do you all think?
Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?

If the child has "special" needs does this affect your opinion or affect how long/what you are willing to put up with?

6 Replies to Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?

re: Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 15032, member since Thu Feb 14, 2002
On Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:23 PM
Sure, your kid has the right to scream and be as messy and upsetting as they want.

And business owners have the right to kick you out when you are disturbing their other patrons.

I'm sure it's difficult to raise a child with special needs, but it does not give you any right to impose that suffering on others. If you can't reasonably control your child in public, then you need to leave. Quite frankly, no one else knows your story and no one else cares. That's not a bad thing - they're not judging you, they don't give a crap; they want to go about their business without being disturbed.

I do not have much patience at all. I certainly would not have more patience for a special needs child. If your kid can't behave in public, he shouldn't be in public. I don't want kids and I don't particularly like kids. I tolerate well-behaved children, but there's absolutely no reason why I should have to put up with someone else's child screaming and kicking up a scene. I know it happens and I don't mind a tantrum every now and then that a parent is in the process of controlling - scoop up the kid, take 'em outside until they calm down - I get it. That's cool. Kids will be kids and even the nicest kid will throw a fit on occasion. As long as you're parenting, I won't be too upset.

Your kid screaming for an entire meal with the blessing of the restaurant owner? Yeah, never dining there again. Hooooly crap would I be pissed!

I work at a car dealership, and your child throwing a tantrum in the showroom could mean the difference between my making or losing a deal. Not a lot of patience there...

On a brighter note, most parents I've seen do control their sproglets, thank heavens.
re: Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?
By YumYumDoughnutPremium member Comments: 8689, member since Sat Jul 10, 2004
On Sun Feb 09, 2014 12:43 PM
Personally for me, I would draw the line after a certain " time". Some people may disagree with this, but I would love to have quiet adult surroundings after 9/10 PM in the evenings.

I've seen parents bring young children to a rated R movie at 10 PM, and the child just totally melts down and cries the whole time. That really bugged me because a kid shouldn't be brought to a Rated R movie, and he was probably so tired and melted down.

I feel that I can tolerate noisy kids if the parent is actively trying to keep the situation under control. If there is a group dinner and a kid is throwing a huge tantrum, I would hope an adult would take the child outside for a bit until they calm down. What I hate are parents who let them scream, kick, and hit other people and they claim it is just because " oh, boys will be boys" * giggle giggle*.
I know stations aren't always able to be controlled, but the PARENTS actions in general bother me way more then the kids. Kids are kids, I can handle them no problem.

So in a nutshell, noisy kids are alright for me as long as the parents try to control the situation as much as they can, and they aren't out past 10 PM or a super high end adult dining venue.
A candlelit $300 dinner just isn't romantic with a kid screaming the whole time you know?

You know what bothers me more then noisy kids? Super drunk adults who yell and think they are being funny but they are just being annoying morons.
Give me a noisy kid over a drunk adult any day.
re: Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?
By Damhnaitmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 691, member since Sun Apr 22, 2007
On Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:40 PM
I agree that there is a line. I dated a man once with an autistic little brother, and while he was fairly composed for the most part, there were moments when he'd be loud in a restaurant or similar setting.

However, I think a line should be drawn for quieter occasions. I agree with late-night dinners such as YYD suggested. I also feel like movie theaters are not the place to take loud children, autistic or not. Nothing irks me more than when I'm sitting and watching a movie and a 4 year old behind me keeps asking her mom "Who's that? What's happening? Why doesn't that other man act nice?" through the whole movie. Crying, coughing, those are things that can't be helped and you should remove yourself or the child doing so until the fit is over. But if your kid is one of those kids that need to ask about every movement happening in the movie, wait until it's on DVD/Blu-ray.

Restaurant noises don't bother me as much unless there is screaming. Crying I can handle, but if there's a fit it's time to remove the child temporarily. Otherwise unless it's a very expensive, fancy restaurant, noisy children don't bother me too much.

Basically, if the public area is a quiet setting like a movie theatre, art gallery, or expensive restaurant, then yes there is a line that needs to be drawn.
re: Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public? (karma: 1)
By Nyssasisticmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 3644, member since Sat Sep 20, 2003
On Wed Feb 12, 2014 02:29 PM
I think there is an appropriate place and time for kids. I regularly take my kids into public where the places are family friendly (grocery stores, the mall, etc). I also am in the process of teaching my kids how to assimilate (read: not act like holy terrors) in public, especially in places where people can't easily move away.

A few things that have worked for me:

When I take my kids out to eat, I start short and easy: fast food places often serve food quickly, so my kid doesn't have to sit and twiddle their thumbs for 45 minutes waiting for a meal. Examples: Chick Fil A, Burger King, and McDonalds.
Once we get to where they can handle that (eating politely, not getting up and running around, not throwing a fit when they don't get dessert, etc), we move on to a casual dining place, but is definitely geared toward sit-down dining. If we have a waitress, they learn to address her politely and sit quietly while they're waiting for their food. Once again, the atmosphere is slightly more formal, but does allow for some wiggle room. These are good "training restaurants" so the kids get the feel of a sit-down place without the pressure of absolutely having to be perfect. Examples: Cici's, IHOP, Steak and Shake, etc.

Right now, that's where I stop with my girls (ages 21mo and 4, currently). They can both sit long enough to get through a decent length meal, but asking them to much more is a little difficult. We don't do any other sit-down down dinners with them unless we're celebrating with extended family because it's just not fair to them.

Digory, who is almost 6, however, can (and has) been with us to some pretty high-end places, and that is because we've worked with him throughout the years to teach him how to behave when he's dining out. I would never imagine throwing him into a situation that called on his 6-year-old self to adapt to an environment he's never experienced before and then punish him for not performing up to par.

I suppose my point is that manners are a learned thing. There is absolutely a time and place to dine out with a child that has a hard time behaving- I do it with Charlotte all the time- and eventually, once you successfully teach that child how to behave in a situation where the pressure isn't as prevalent, you can "level up" to a new experience.

I understand that it's HARD to deal with a kid with disabilities. Going shopping with Charlotte is still hard, but that's why I try to make my trips shorter (when possible) and try to understand WHY it's hard for her to keep her cool when we're in a store. You can't avoid life when you have a disruptive kid, but you certainly CAN make it easier on yourself and others.

In that spirit, however, I do ask that anyone reading this have mercy on the moms that put themselves through ordeals like that. It's gotta be hard on them, as I know I'm stressed after one of my kids has a meltdown in public. Just know that, for every mom that demands that you MUST kowtow to their child, there's a trillion more of us doing our best to accommodate you as well, and that we're really all working together to make the world a good place for all of us.
re: Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Wed Feb 12, 2014 02:44 PM
I am very torn on this. I have a special needs niece and nephew...from each brother. One has developmental disabilities and the other is autistic. Both are fairly well behaved in public. My niece had somewhat of a nervous breakdown 3 years ago and has never been the same, and has a lot of anxiety right now in crowds but they can usually get her out before she causes a scene. My nephew is sweet as pie, but he has echolalia which means he mimics everything like a parrot but he is well behaved in public. Kids like them are not a problem, and I understand kids with issues. However, I have a much more difficult time being understanding when on an airplane. Taking a kid that has special needs that could be screaming and totally out of control where it is going to affect that many people in a confined area where nobody can leave bothers me. Then I think to it fair that parents with special needs kids can't fly?? I don't know. I'm sorry that anyone has to deal with so much. Raising a kid is hard enough without extra challenges.
re: Where is the line, IS there a line, should there BE a line in regards to noisy kids in public?
By RifleBuddy Comments: 306, member since Tue Aug 26, 2003
On Wed Feb 12, 2014 06:41 PM
I think that Nyssasistic has it right - it's all about starting small and going with what your child can handle. In regards to the mother mentioned in the article, she sounds very selfish - if your child can't handle it, why prolong the experience?