If your children behave in public, this article is not directed at you. You have no reason to rise up and spew hatred at those of us who really don't want to deal with badly behaved children in public places, especially ones meant for adults. Your children are well behaved and we have no complaint with them. With you, perhaps, for dragging a child to a place not meant to be comfortable, interesting, or entertaining for children, but not with your well-behaved children.
I've had kids, I know what it takes to raise them, to teach them manners, to teach them how to behave in public. I know it takes sacrifices. It means not being able to do fun yourself because your kid needs you, or not being able to do fun stuff because you don't have anyone to watch your kid. It means eating in restaurants catering to kids instead of a nice 4 star restaurant. It means going to the movies for the kiddie matinees instead of the after dinner showings for the adult audience. It means watching kiddie movies instead of the raunchy, wild, violent, exciting movies. It means staying home a lot with the kids instead of being out and on the go.
You chose to have and keep the child. It's your job to take care of the child, and that does not mean dragging the poor exhausted thing to the store hours after its bedtime, or forcing the child to go to a restaurant that takes 30 minutes to serve a meal. It's your job to properly prepare your child for such things as air or train or bus travel, to entertain the child during those long boring drives or flights, and to make sure your child doesn't bother other people in restaurants, out shopping, during travel, or in places obviously not meant for children (day spas, adult fitness centers, business offices, factories, and so on).
I understand there are even greater challenges as a single parent (been there, done that) or when parenting a special needs child (ditto). Neither one of those is an excuse for being an absent parent or worse, an over-protective indulgent parent whose "perfect" child is almost always grossly disrespectful, disobedient, and disruptive, and prone to violence.
Over-protecting and over-indulging a child does no one any favors, the child least of all.
We, the abused public may suffer the child for an hour or so now and then, but that poor child will suffer for years.
In my experience, the over-protected, over-indulged child is abused as surely as the child sporting bruises and broken bones.
Have you ever played a board game? Monopoly, perhaps? It was fun because it had specific rules and a goal to let you know when you won or lost. You knew you were playing Monopoly and not Risk because of the rules. Games are fun because each game has its own rules. Society used to be fun because each segment had its own rules - how to behave in the movie house, the grocery store, Burger King, Nom de Gourmand, the park, a neighbor's house... It's not fun anymore because parents have stopped teaching their children these rules, and now it's like they've scrambled up all the board games and tossed the rules and expect the children to "intuitively know" how to behave.
I've actually had parents tell me their children would grow into their inner intuition and then they'd behave. They just had to grow up a bit.
Parents, I hate to tell this, but it doesn't work that way.
Having children is a lot of hard work. A lot of repetitive, boring, hard work where you, yes you deal with the brunt of your child's bad behavior. It's a lot of sacrifice, because children aren't born knowing how to behave. They don't have any "good behavior" instincts. And they will never "intuitively know" how to behave. This is what parents are supposed to be doing with their children: teaching them the rules of living in society. How to eat at a table with forks and napkins and indoor voices and "please" and "thanks you". How to behave when visiting a friend of the parents as opposed to how to behave when visiting a peer. How to cross the street safely (and by all the ghods, don't get me started on the parents who encourage their children to play in the streets - streets are for cars and crossing, they are not playgrounds!). How to ride a bike safely and legally. How to behave in a fine restaurant as opposed to a kid-friendly one.
there are rules and parents are severely handicapping their children by not teaching them those rules. It makes the game of life and living so much harder for those children who don't learn the rules.