So now it takes a hotel manager to raise a child?
I spent a night in a hotel recently. The next morning, I endured the unhappy providence of sharing the breakfast room with a three-generation family group, including a grandmother and grandfather, an unwashed mother in short running shorts who had just been using the hotel’s stationary bicycle because the treadmill wasn’t working, and two lively girls under 10 years old. They were planning to resume driving to North Carolina and were consulting a map to find an alternative route, as the main interstate had been closed for several hours due to a serious accident. After settling on a back-up route, the mother went to take a shower, leaving the girls with their grandparents.
I know all this because they conducted their conversation so loudly that I could hear them all the way across the breakfast room, despite having sat as far away from them as possible.
The girls had obviously learned by example. They were loud and unruly, exacerbating their elders’ disruption of breakfast.
Every once in a while, the grandfather would tell them to be quiet, but he took no enforcement action, and they ignored him. Duh.
Finally, he told them that he wasn’t going to tell them to pipe down again, and, if the hotel manager came over, the girls would have to deal with him.
Huh? Why would the girls obey a hotel manager when they won’t obey their own grandfather, who was given temporary oversight by their mother? The manager has no enforcement authority. And the concept of shame was at least as alien to the children as it was to their mother.
Parents: It is YOUR job to discipline YOUR children–not a hotel manager’s, not a village’s. That responsibility includes granting appropriate enforcement powers to grandparents or any others whom you ask to baby-sit. YOU brought children into the world; it is YOUR responsibility to keep teach them to make it a better–or at least not a worse–place. Don’t burden society with unruly brats while you’re waiting for someone else to do your job for you.