Here's to Etiquette and the Return of Inside Voices
Okay, I'll confess right up front: I don't have children. I love kids, but I don't have any of my own--at this time. Nevertheless, I have to applaud the owners of businesses that serve food and beverage to the masses who are asking parents to rein their children in when they patronize certain establishments. See this article for more detail.
I'm sure raising children today is no piece of cake, but between the cell phone gabbers and the screaming children, etiquette and manners seem to be going to hell in a hand basket in this country.
Having said that, though, I know my siblings and I were raised to be aware of our settings and to behave accordingly in those settings. My parents didn't tolerate running all over the store, touching everything, and screaming at the top of our lungs or crawling under the dinner table at home or in restaurants. In fact, my father often and repeatedly told us when we would get out of line, "Keep it up and you're going to the car." It took being banished to the car once with Dad and we straightened up pretty quickly.
To this day, my siblings and I can't go into a store or gift shop without first putting our hands in our pockets (the result of Mom's continual admonition: "Don't touch anything" because she didn't want to have to buy whatever we might break.)
And we never got away with being allowed to disrupt church and run around in the foyer of the church either. (No small feat, given how noisy Mormon worship services can be.) My Dad would pick us up out of the pew, take us out, hold us, and stand in a corner with the misbehaving child facing said corner until said child calmed down. We quickly learned that that wasn't any fun and we'd rather sit quietly in the worship service with whatever quiet diversionary activity my Mom had schlepped along (i.e. a picture book or a piece of paper and a pencil), then stare at a wall.
In other words, my parents didn't reward bad manners and tantrums.
So, here's to the businesses that are asking all of us--adults and kids--to use our inside voices and to behave ourselves when we're out in public.