Yesterday I heard a news story about a Calgary restaurant that rewards its patrons for well-behaved children. The discount is $5.00 and is taken off of the bill, so it is discreet, it’s not like it’s announced to the entire restaurant. The reviews on this have been very mixed. Some say it is a wonderful idea and they applaud the restaurant. Others say how do they decide what a well behaved child is, while others ask what about special needs children. Is it fair to say they are not well behaved? One person’s comment referred to her brother who is a special needs child that doesn’t look like one would expect and so he would be assumed to be a child who is misbehaving and that is not fair. I am divided on this, when I first heard about this I thought that sounds great, but the one comment about special needs children made me divided. Is it fair to those children’s parents to not be considered because their children will be considered to be misbehaving? Then I thought maybe I am thinking about this too much, I mean if that is the case the restaurant would be understanding no? I mean it is insensitive not to be. The other side of me likes the idea, I mean I would appreciate the discount. $5.00 off of my total bill would be nice, I mean who doesn’t like a discount. And this whole concept then led me to consider how my own children behave in restaurants and in public as a whole, I mean would I qualify for the discount? I remember when 2 was younger about age 2 and under, taking him to a restaurant was truly a skillful endeavour. We would enter the restaurant 1, 2, myself and their father. We would sit and immediately ask for bread and order salads, and his entrée because if he had to sit for more than 60 seconds trapped in that high chair without any food he would start to get fussy. See, the outing would only be effective if he was constantly eating. So he would get his bread and then we would keep his food consistently coming. Unfortunately as he was only 2, his little stomach could only hold so much and by the time his stomach was full we would have only made it through salads and appetizers. So the entrée was always to go and that is how eating out was for those two years. But after that I cannot recall it really being an issue having my children in restaurants. Yes there were many a dinner where I was eating, while balancing a child on my knee breastfeeding. Or taking turns holding the baby so that the other parent was able to eat. But my children were never screaming in a restaurant or running around….for me that just didn’t have a possibility of happening. I am fully aware that this is an experience for many parents as I have seen it many times but I personally have never experienced that. Also in public my children don’t usually act up, sure there are times when they do something questionable but it is momentary and from the stories that I have heard about children acting up I don’t really know the meaning of the concept of children acting up. I have never had to leave a destination because of my child’s behaviour, nor have I ever had to look at strangers apologetically because my child has been crying or screaming for so long that I am getting uncomfortable stares. So I suppose that I have been lucky in that regard and I am very sorry to all those parents that can relate to those scenarios but I am happy that I am not a part of that club. From what I have heard it’s not a very fun club to be a part of. I have received many compliments on my children’s behaviour actually and I take the compliments graciously even though for me I don’t see it exactly the same way. I see some of the things that my children do in public as acting up but others tell me that it truly is not. So in the end I am very grateful that I have well behaved children and only wish that the wonderful behaviour that they exhibit in public, they would carry over when they are at home. But I guess one can’t have everything and it is better that my child has a tantrum in the confines of my home then in the middle of a department store, restaurant, or some other public place. Just another day in 7th heaven. Until Next Time, Be Well.