Help a Mom: How to respond when adults use foul language around kids
Posted October 1, 2013
I received this email from a local mom this week after a nice evening went downhill thanks to some women who couldn't keep their language family-friendly at a local family restaurant.
Here's what this mom wrote:
My husband, eight-year-old son and I went out to dinner at a local family restaurant Friday night. The group of females behind us were being extremely loud and were using very foul language. After enduring this for a few minutes, my husband politely went over to their table and asked them to please tone down the conversation and reminded them that our child was with us. He was by no means rude in his request to them. However, as we continued to eat they continued their loud conversation and then turned it into "why" we were bothered by such language and the fact that my child wouldn't care about it some day.
As we explained to our son in the car as we left, it was not about the fact that they were using foul language, it was about the fact that they were showing disrespect for the people around them in doing so. So, with this said, I'd like to hear from other moms about how they would have handled the situation. Would they have also asked the group to tone down the conversation (it was after all a FAMILY restaurant)? We teach our son that this language is not acceptable and explain that there will be others who say these things in public. We also teach him that using this type of language shows disrespect for oneself and for others if used in public.
I have to say, hats off to this dad for attempting to solve the problem and kudos to the parents for explaining to their son why what the women were doing in public was so disrespectful and thoughtless.
I've been in similar situations though not right next to a group such as this for an entire meal. It usually happens walking by somebody in a store or, once, waiting in line to buy something and overhearing a short and angry phone conversation. My husband and I've been known to mutter "earmuffs" under our breath - a reference to the Vince Vaughan character in "Old School." His character has trained his kids to cover his ears when curse words are about to fly.
That scene cracks me up, but it hardly solves a problem like this.
In this situation, I think the family did the right thing. They attempted to address the issue and then talked to their son about why what happened is wrong. The only other thing they could have done, perhaps, is talk to the restaurant manager to either have the women change their table or move to another table themselves.
You can't change or control other people's behavior no matter how nicely you ask.
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