Wednesday, December 15, 2010

One Reason You May Have A Dirty Kid

Yesterday I was in the bathroom at a restaurant changing my daughter's diaper. While I was on diaper duty a woman came in with her son (or random kid she was responsible for, I didn't ask) and started the following interview with him:

Random lady: Do you know where we are

Random kid with lady: Yes

Random lady: Where are we?

Random kid with lady: A restaurant

Random lady: And do we crawl around on the floor in restaurant?

Random kid with lady: No

Random lady: So when we leave this bathroom are you going to be a big boy and sit at the table and stop crawling around on the floor?


Random kid with lady: No

Random lady: Then we are not leaving this bathroom

I don't have all that much experience with children but here is what I know. Their options must be limited at all times. If left to their own devices with too many choices they will do things like crawl around the dirty floor of a restaurant while you are trying to eat. For this reason, it is ill advised to ask them a question like "are you going to keep crawling around on the floor?" You may as well ask them if they want to keep playing with an electric socket or running out in traffic because all of these things are unacceptable. When behavior is unacceptable, the appropriate parental response is to remove it from the child's available options. So parents who don't want dirty, electrocuted injured children don't ask them what they are going to do, we tell them what they are going to do (and not going to do). For example, random lady should have said 'you are too old to be crawling around the floor in a public place so when we leave this bathroom you will place your backside on the bench and it will not move until I tell you it is time to leave.' See how easy that was. Parents should take a lesson from trial attorneys, don't ask a question youdon't already know the answer to.

1 comment:

  1. OMG, I can't stop laughing. "dirty, electrocuted injured children" - I am picturing the Nepali kids at my graduation party, dancing off the restaurant's blinds!