I have not posted in awhile. I fasted from all media while travelling that included an Alaskan cruise. It was a cool and refreshing break from the non stop heat wave Saint Louis has been having all summer. Each day on the cruise gave me plenty of opportunity to observe parenting behavior.
Honestly, most of the kids were awesome. They seemed to have learned things like how to sit through a long meal with several courses; how to say, please, thank you, and excuse me; and even how to tackle a place setting with 3 forks, 2 knives, and even more utensils above the plate. Plus, they were dressed for dinner every night since the dining room had a dress code. Where did they learn all this?
This kind of behavior is taught not caught. Some adult(s) had taken the time to let them know what was expected and probably even set up practice sessions. (In my family of origin it was my aunt who took it upon herself to teach me things like this since their was no money to eat out in my own family.) I imagine too that many of these families probably has established meal times where everyone sits together until all are done. Every meal time at home is a practice session for how children behave in public. Practice makes perfect.
By the way, we visited Seattle before the cruise. They had the most beautiful displays of flowers and fruit and vegetables at the Pike Street Public Market. Guess who got in trouble for touching the peaches? Truthfully, I thought to buy one and was testing it for ripeness BUT of course, if everyone did that you'd have bruised peaches and a lot more germs. There was no sign and I just didn't think about my actions. They were all deliciously ripe! A week later we passed the same peach stand and this sign was there. I hang my head in shame.