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This is a question Driven to Madness

Captain Placid asks: What annoying things do significant others, workmates and other people in general do that drive you up the wall? Do you want to kill your other half over their obsessive fridge magnet collection? Driven to distraction over your manager's continued use of Comic Sans (The Font of Champions)? Tell us.

(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 12:11)
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Other peoples' children.
I've seen this in at least three countries, so I can't complain that it's peculiar to any one group. But...

Look, it's a restaurant, not a playground. Letting your kids race around the restaurant, even if it's a crappy diner somewhere, is worse than irritating to the other people there- it's teaching them to be self-centered little twats who can get away with about anything as long as the parents are otherwise distracted.

If a child is standing there chanting "MommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommyMommy" nonstop, ANSWER THEM. Tell them that you have to finish what you're doing first (and then make sure that you do get back to them when you're done) rather than just ignoring them, as eventually it will escalate to an ear-shattering shriek.

I get that you're proud of your child and want to give them the thrill of making their own choices, but a three year old should not be telling the woman at the counter what kind of bagel he wants, what kind of cream cheese, toasted or not, when there's a line of twenty people behind you. Ask them BEFORE you get to the front of the line.

Similarly, I get that your kid wants to walk on his own and that it's a pain to carry a struggling child. But there are times when it's the best thing, really- such as in a parking lot, in a hardware store where there are sharp things being wheeled about on carts, that sort of thing. Unless, of course, you're fine with said child being squashed, impaled, kicked, stepped on and so forth. Why not? You can always make another one, right?

I don't hate kids, I really don't. When my fist clenches to keep from delivering a mighty Dope Slap, it isn't to smite a bratty child- it's to resist beating the shit out of the so-called parents.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 16:32, 16 replies)
You know what?
Little Timmy might disturb your peace for 3.5 minutes, but you'll live.

And you can always slow down in the parking lot. In my experience, if someones going to walk out in front of me, it's much more likely to be an adult. I try to avoid hitting them too, out of politeness.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 16:49, closed)
I do my best to avoid collisions.
However, if I'm pushing a load of sheet rock thought a store and the kid decides to race in front of me,, there's a limit to what I can do. I am not Superman. Similarly, if said kid darts out from between cars playing chase with his brother it's going to depend on my reflexes to not hit him. What if my own kids were distracting me?

It doesn't take that much to watch out for your kids, but it does require that you pay attention to what's going on around you, not just what you want to be looking at.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 23:52, closed)
Which, in truth, describes
99% of normal people.

You make it sound like there are hordes of 3 year olds constantly diving out in front of your car.

I'm guessing what brought this on was a flight to Orlando in 1994, where you got sat next to a 4 year old who got bored and threw a felt tip pen on the floor.
(, Fri 5 Oct 2012, 9:08, closed)
Where I am now, there are loads of kids running all around.
But again, I've seen that sort of thing in the States as well, and the other shit in England and Germany besides. (Well, less of it in Germany, but still some.)

I can't say what brought this on at the moment, for a variety of reasons. I could rant like hell on this subject, but I would get into troubles with the Powers That Be. They check on things and get very touchy about what is said.
(, Sat 6 Oct 2012, 16:47, closed)
Your own kids must be thoroughly saintly....
... if you have never had any of those issues yourself.

The child who learns to order their own meal will then perhaps not be one of the very many adults who reach the front of the queue without knowing what they want, or even what is available. Similarly, carrying our kids is always the easy way out, but they need to learn how to behave in different situations and to be self-sufficient. Unfortunately, that can't be done without making mistakes.

And ignoring them when they are being rude and not waiting for the adults to finish speaking is one of the best ways to teach them that the world is not at their instant call.

It is unfortunate that you have to be present when these lessons are being learned but once upon a time it was you learning them and I find it incredible that you never needed to teach them to your own kids.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 18:13, closed)
You've saved me writing it.
(and almost certainly did it better too.)
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 19:24, closed)
I don't get any sort of impression that he ever learned the basic lessons of childhood.

(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 19:34, closed)
I disagree.
Teaching your kids not to be rude is the very least you can do for them. I let them make their own decisions, but had them decide before we got to the front of the queue. I taught them to plan ahead.

Ignoring a child is never acceptable. If they interrupted me I would tell them not to do so, and that I would get to them when I could. As I mentioned, I then made sure that I did so- as soon as I was done with whatever I had to pay attention to I would say "Okay, now what were you trying to say before?" And they would tell me, and I would deal with it then.

I taught them to deal with the world as it truly is, where good manners make a real difference and being an inconsiderate twat will make others hate you. Apparently your parents didn't do the same for you, going by your commentary.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 23:47, closed)
It seems to work.
You will find that ignoring misbehavior is a very strongly advocated technique.

My children are quite small still but are typically very polite because they have been taught| to be so. I am amazed that yours learned that without needing such teaching in real life situations. At four my daughter can decide and order for herself in a restaurant, because she has practiced doing so. If I always speak for her she will not get that practice. I'm not at all sure you can learn any other way.
(, Fri 5 Oct 2012, 11:09, closed)

(, Fri 5 Oct 2012, 18:56, closed)
Do you have children?

(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 19:02, closed)
Yes, three of them.
And I contained them in all of the above circumstances.

I never allowed them to run rampant through a restaurant of any sort, be it an upper class establishment or a Burger King. The situation I described of ignoring kids versus telling them I'd be with them in a moment? I did that with all three. Allowing them to hold up a line? No. I would let them tell the person at the counter, but only after having decided it well in advance. Running loose through any store? Not likely.

My three are very strong-willed people, with very definite opinions. But I kept a close guard on them until they were old enough to take care of themselves, and was very careful to teach them the fundamentals of civilized behavior. They are now in their twenties and are well mannered young adults. None of them has ever expressed unhappiness over my judgement in their behavior. They are all very close to me.

I tend to think that my methods worked pretty well- I encouraged them without giving them a sense of entitlement, and gave them a sense of structure in the world. They all seem pretty happy in general.

So how about you? Tell us about yours.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 23:39, closed)
I live next door to a family with 4 kids. The noise from their house at all times of day (3-4 am included) is fucking unbelievable. They've turned the street into a fucking shit-tip, they throw their crap into our garden, they're rude, ignorant little shits. When I've had a word with their mother, all I got was 'well they're kids innit?'.

Fuck 'em. No excuse for letting your kids run riot. I never did it with mine and they're both polite, well mannered adults. Let em get away with it and they'll carry on doing it into adulthood. That's why this place is in the fucking mess it's in, nobody gives a shit about anyone else.

Fire away...
(, Fri 5 Oct 2012, 14:05, closed)
You mistyped "dailymail.co.uk"

(, Fri 5 Oct 2012, 19:38, closed)
Even weaker trolling than usual.
Sad times.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 19:11, closed)
I like the way
he slipped in 'even if its a crappy diner' as though he's ever eaten anywhere else.
(, Thu 4 Oct 2012, 22:16, closed)

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