Forums  •  Classifieds  •  Events  •  Directory

 
Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast

I don't understand why......

  1. #17
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southside
    Posts
    660
    I think there are some things you stand firm on and some things you give in on. Asking a 14-24 month old to sit still in restaurants is not something I would stand firm on. It's about picking your battles.

    It's also important to remember that some things are simply a question of development. Sure, some people like Milkmonster might succeed in getting their children to sit quietly but is it really worth the effort, the headaches, the tears when most kids will end up being able to eat out in restaurants by the age of 3 anyway?

    Hitting another child, being a bully, having a tantrum are all things I would not back down on but continually taking a child out to a restaurant so it learns to sit still is not.

    I'm curious about the nationalities involved in this thread. I have noticed that Chinese parents demand their children sit still in restaurants and expect them to behave like mini adults even if it means giving them game boys etc to keep them quiet whereas most Western parents let their children behave like children a little longer.

  2. #18
    Konradsmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    HK
    Posts
    195
    I think its a matter of getting to middle ground ( being able to sit still for some time like 15-20 minutes outside ) from the extreme ( not being to sit still for 2 minutes). I don't think anyone here is saying that we expect them to sit still for hours, although there are some lucky parents whose kids can do that.

    Taking them out more is an attempt to get them more exposed and used to a new environment, its not as if parents are torturing children by taking them out - we're not sticking them in hot water to make them get used to heat.

    And its always recognised that different nationalities have different ways of dealing with these issues, there is no right or wrong way, different cultures, different views.

    Aussigal's last paragraph is a bit of a surprise to me - I would never think that any nationality's way of bringing up children is any more superior than others - thanks for having a go at chinese parents. And actually , many chinese kids do turn out alright.

  3. #19
    sherwes is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Pokfulam
    Posts
    358
    I agree with Konradsmom - there is a middle ground here. I believe that it is unreasonable to expect a 12-24 month old to sit still in a restaurant for long periods of time. What is not unreasonable is expecting them to sit still for 10 or 15 mins while you feed them and eat your meal also. I haven't reread this thread but I don't think anyone is suggesting that you should expect a child just to sit unentertained for substantial periods of time.

    My 12 month old loves coming out to restaurants with us. he gets to try different food, be in different surroundings and loves "talking" to the waiters and other patrons. Of course he has a finite attention span so we always make sure he is occupied either eating, playing or interacting with us. It is a really fun experience for all of us albiet not a leisurely one. When my son has had enough we just leave...

    As for the comments about the faulty memory of in-laws - I have to laugh. They must have really forgotten what is it like to have young children! I wonder if when we are 50 we will tell everyone how our children were little angels, never had tantrums and always ate all of their vegetables....

  4. #20
    Neha is offline Banned
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Mid Levels, Hong Kong
    Posts
    1,337
    There is nothing wrong in trying to get kids a little discipline. It is not a chinese thing . nobody expects them to mini adults

  5. #21
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Southside
    Posts
    660
    Kondradsmum I didn't say that one culture was better than the other. Cultures are different, expectations are different. That's life.

    But I'm not sure how you can deny that it is more the Chinese culture that values things like being quiet, obedient, not talking back, following the status quo. These are all qualities that have been held in high esteem in China for 100's of years and it seems that very young children are expected to behave in such a way.

    This notwithstanding, my last comment was not an attack on any culture, it was a genuine question. I was surprised that you seemed to disregard all previous comments and agree with Milkmonstersmum approach of continually taking your child out until they get used to it when everyone else had said give them time. My western friends are far more relaxed about such matters than my chinese friends.

    Neha in my opinion this is not a question of discipline but of development. I studied child psychology at university and a 14 month old cannot be reasoned with. If you are trying to raise a compliant child then by all means go ahead and insist they learn to sit still. I'm sure if you force a child to do something enough eventually it will do it. I on the other hand am happy to wait until my child understands that they are in a restaurant and that certain behaviour is expected of them.

    I would expect my 3 year old to behave in a restaurant but not my 16 month old no matter how frustrating I might find it.

  6. #22
    norah is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Central, HK
    Posts
    7
    My 2 year 9 month toddler boy is like this, it drives me crazy. Eating out is utterly ridiculous, like with the ohter moms, I eat my meal alone whilst hubbie runs around like a lunatic outside with the toddler, then we switch. It is embarrassing and all the locals stare at us, and I look over in envy as their toddlers are eating their dim sum......with chopsticks. It makes me feel inadequate and like a failure.

    So now he doens't come with us at all, we made a decision, too stressful. The only time it works is in big groups, when there is a buffet because then the food is instant, no waiting after ordering, and buffets are always held in large areas with places to run around. So whilst I am entertaining the toddler outside the buffet area, my husband can at least have company with other friends around. It becomes too lonely if it is just mum, dad, and toddler.

    Good luck. I am told that by the age of 4 they calm down. We all just have to be patient. :)

  7. #23
    MilkMonster is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    402
    hey mommies :)
    i am 1/2 chinese 1/2 japanese, hubby is chinese - both of us are Canadian born and raised and english is our first language. i guess we fall into the asian parent category because we're not Caucasian, but we are really Canadian...

    We don't have a helper so in our case, bringing the kids around everywhere we go and requiring them to sit while we have a meal out was really important to us. I agree we must pick out battles and this was one that hubby and i both agreed is important for our family. our main goal actually was just a 30min stretch - no one gets up. in most cases eating out took longer than that, around 45mins.

    i also agree that all kids are different and are capable of different things but this great forum allows moms to get a different perspective and creative ideas that have worked for other parents. i don't think it's about getting everyone to agree on a right way.

    i also would like to clarify that it's not like our son would be screaming and crying while we would be eating and ignoring him and no, we don't watch tv or offer video games to pacify our kids. we would talk to him and read him a book but like everyone has said, it definitely is a challenge for a 14mth old to sit and stay entertained. our main objective was to get him to sit through a 30min meal. we took the challenge and our son gradually learned that eating out with the family could be fun and that once we were all sitting, we would all stay there until the meal was done. once he was ok with 45mins, we wouldn't be rushing out of the restaurant anymore and would stay longer, 1hr, 1.25hrs, 1.5hrs i mean if he was happy, we were happy and we would enjoy the meal together.

    Some parents enforce sitting, while other let their children leave the table when they are done. i don't think it's a racial thing, (i am mostly inspired by super nanny jo frost and she is quite strict I think ;) I got the idea to eat out more after watching her program and a family with a 16mth old was having the same problems as we were so we followed her suggestions. In any case, it's a choice we've made as parents and should respect each other for the choices we've made as well as support other parents who want to find ways to make life with kids a little easier even if that means challenging kids to go beyond what the books say is their developmental ability at a given age.

    Thanks for sharing everyone and if things do calm down by age 4, then all of us will be very happy parents eating out as happy families in just a few more years ;)

  8. #24
    MilkMonster is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Sai Kung
    Posts
    402
    Sorry left something out...

    there definitely would be moments of crying and screaming but we would just firmly say, it's dinner time and you have to sit, then offer a different toy. i would bring a bag of toys out, crayons, books, and only give him one at a time to make them last longer.

    once he started getting really cranky and no toy would work, we would start to pack up and get ready to leave. we definitely weren't torturing him and the entire meal was very child-centric and still is.

Page 3 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Scroll to top