I'm just going to come out and say it ... my kids are really well-behaved. I never have to worry about how they will act in public, or at home for that matter. Sure, they make mistakes. But all it typically takes is a gentle reminder not to do something, and they don't. I very rarely have to raise my voice at them. They are respectful and kind.
We have never been involved in a lot of activities outside the home, but Eli and Brynne are now old enough that they want to be involved in things. Eli is in Scouts and will soon start a bowling league. Brynne plays sports. They both go to Sunday School.
It seems that everywhere we go there are disrespectful, mouthy, horribly behaved kids. And I mean the majority of them! Tonight I almost had all I could take! First, at Brynne's volleyball game, the girls were mouthing their coach, mouthing their parents during the game, acting selfish and loud. It was embarrassing! I was embarrassed that the other team was witnessing our girls act so badly! Of course they lost. They deserved to lose, in my opinion. Thankfully Brynne stuck out like a sore thumb, playing her best and paying attention.
I got out of there as quickly as I could to go to the last 30 minutes of Eli's Scout meeting. And it was just as horrible. The boys wouldn't sit down and listen. They were running all over the place. We were trying to make water bottle holders and they were so loud that they couldn't hear instructions. Then there was one of our regular moms there with her two small children, one of whom screamed the entire time they were there! I almost grabbed Eli and just bolted out the door. He was sitting on the bench with his hands over his ears. It was chaos!
We couldn't wait to get home to the peace and quiet of our home. By the time I got home Kyndal had already had Brynne take a shower and they were sitting together in a chair watching The Voice. Eli was asked to take a shower, which he promptly did, then went in his bedroom to play. The girls and I finished the show and then Brynne went quietly to bed, without arguing or complaining. Kyndal and I were able to sit and watch another show.
I don't want to shelter my kids or keep them from doing activities they enjoy, but I have to wonder whether it's worth it for them to spend time with such unruly children and parents who are usually worse. It makes me want to bundle us all up in the house where we are sheltered from the chaos of the world. I know that's not what we are called to do as Christians, but really.
Parents please discipline your children; please teach them manners; please teach them to be respectful. At the very least, ask them to dial it down a tad.