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From the outside ...

December 3, 2010 - Lee Smith
I'm not a parent, but from the outside looking in, I think I can help.

Lesson one: When you're out in public at a restaurant, repeatedly (for half an hour) telling your child to eat more isn't the most socially adept thing you can do. Your child's distaste for that third bite of taco is only outweighed by the disdain for you the crowd around you shares. This situation, of course, raises some questions: Why don't little kids eat, and how do they acquire nutrition without actually ever consuming anything? Also: Why try to force-feed one of these little mutants? Can't they — like you — eat when they're hungry? And if not, wouldn't a nice early lesson for them be: If you don't eat now, don't complain later.

Lesson two: Never take a child near a fast-food playroom if you expect them to first re-fuel their manic little bodies. They will not eat. They WILL stare longingly at the play area. They WILL whine incessantly. They WILL (rightly) believe you are a sadist. Parents probably hate the fast-food places for putting in the play areas. Yet there they go.

Finally: It used to be said that children were to be seen and not heard. That was asking a lot. It meant iron-fisted parenting that stifled the precocious, scarred the emotional tenderling and devalued the rational. However, with that all said, public screaming and squealing should not be tolerated. All parents should buy, carry and utilize heavy hunting socks. These can be neatly crammed into the mouths of young aural terrorists. The socks will wash for re-use.


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