Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Unruly Children and Oblivious Parents

Unruly Children and Oblivious Parents

Because I work in the insurance industry and handle liability claims, I’ve had an abundance of experience investigating circumstances in which unruly children become injured at a retail establishment while their parents blithely ignore them. Of course, when their youngster sustains an injury, the parents always blame the property owner or retail establishment. Unfortunately, juries often side with the parents and perpetuate the theory that any property owner should ensure the safety of even the most obnoxious visitor.

One must ask, what has happened to parental responsibility? From my humble perspective, if you cannot take your children to a public place and ensure they behalf with a modicum of civilized behavior, keep them at home. I can assure all that my parents could take any of their offspring anywhere and know they would behave. That is the result of discipline – something woefully missing in many households.

These are examples I’ve either seen or been told by friends who manage retail establishments:

·      a doctor’s wife visited a women’s clothing store with her child that was eating a piece of pizza. Despite the caution that food and drink are not allowed, said parent brought the child into the store and then thought nothing of it when the little darling wiped his pizza encrusted face on a $160 jacket.  And the parent never considered offer to pay for the item or that her child was a brat.
·      Another parent brought a mentally challenged child into a clothing store; while the parent shopped, the child spent his time popping zits all over the full-length mirror outside the dressing rooms. Did this parent consider the sensibilities of other shoppers? Did she ask for a paper towel and a bottle of Windex to wipe away the goop? No.  Really. How self centered!
·      Parents routinely allow their little darlings to run wild at dining establishments while they sit, sipping their adult beverages, no doubt expecting the wait staff and management to watch their children – not caring that they are disrupting the dining experience for others. And this was in a bar!

Dear parents – if your child cannot behave, leave him or her at home. If you cannot afford a babysitter and do not have the where-with-all to discipline your children, stay home.  And if you do take your child out and he or she misbehaves, leave.  If you take your kids out to dinner, they should sit quietly at your table with you. If you take them to a store, they should be under your supervision at all times and you should be responsible for their actions and any damage they cause. This is common courtesy.  Do not abrogate your responsibility. Or don’t have kids!

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