On Saturday night two of my grown-up (read: responsible) friends took their 10-year-old son out to dinner with them at Piccolo in North Hobart.
Reportedly, as they walked in the door, the whole room looked up with concern, as would I have done if a younger person threatened to ruin my dining experience in an upmarket (read: expensive) establishment just by their very presence.
We are talking about one very civilized 10-year-old, not a screaming toddler. So civilized he ordered from the menu - no requests for chicken nuggets and chips here - he sat up straight, he ordered politely and he never made a fuss. Why not? Because he's 10, not three, and his parents have raised him to be a polite and well mannered young man.
So why shouldn't my friends be able to take their son with them to a nice restaurant for a nice meal, if he will enjoy the evening as much as they would? Their son after all, did not behave like a child. The were home at a reasonable hour, not sitting at the bar sinking gin and tonics (as I would have been) while their bored child played Gameboy. Society dictates that restaurants are the domain of grown-ups (as they are, most kids find them terribly dull) on a Friday and Saturday evening, but perhaps their is room in our restaurant circle for a few well mannered young guests, no?
Behavior is the key. I for one would be perfectly happy to sit at a table next to a young adult who was behaving like an adult. And I for one would expect nothing less from my (currently imaginary) children.
My friend tells me that during their very enjoyable evening a number of customers commented on their son's very good behavior, as did the staff as they were leaving. She also tells me this happens fairly frequently.
This I like. God knows I know bugger all about parenting, but I think my friends are definitely doing something right. And the world needs more little boys like this one, because good kids grow up to be good customers, hallelujah.
Oh Hi There! - Hello! Remember me? I used to blog around these parts. It's been a long time between posts because, but you see, I've been working on super amazing pro...
3 days ago