Me and My Big Mouth...up on a soap box
The kids and I were out to dinner at a burger joint yesterday evening... Red Robin. They had spent the day playing with their dad and we all met up together to organize calendars for the week like we usually do.
Near the end of our meal, an older couple was seated in the booth behind us. The man was maybe 60-65, and was ranting and raving about some kids not holding the door for him somewhere, or blocking it. He went on and on about "kids these days having no respect" and proceeding to pepper his language with $hit, g-ddamn and mother f--ckers, in reference to "kids these days." All this was quite loud and the Absent-Minded Professor and Mayhem could hear it. Their eyes got huge. Excuse me? I'm raising two children, and neither of them can be described with those words!
Finally, I had enough. I moved Mayhem out of the booth (I was inside toward the wall because she's a lefty), went to his table, and apologized in advance to his dining partner. I assume it was his wife.
"Look," I said, "I work with kids too. I know they can be challenging. Right now I'm trying to have a nice dinner with my own children. Have you ever stopped to consider that maybe, just maybe, 'kids these days' have no respect because people like you and your FOUL MOUTH are the ones setting the example? My 10 year old and 7 year old just heard every obscene word that came out of your mouth. I hope you don't kiss your mother with that nasty thing."
And then we left. I didn't stick around for his reaction.
I agree that many kids don't treat adults with respect. However, when they are put down, degraded, belittled, and not taught how to treat others, how can they be expected to? When people like the man at the restaurant act that way in public, in a place that caters to families, they show impressionable young people a way of behavior that is contrary to what parents are trying to teach. Three minutes of foul, rude ranting can undo so much!
I told my children that it is OK for that man to feel the way he feels. It's NOT OK for him to talk that way in public with little ears around.
OK, I'm done now. Stepping off my soap box.