Is It Wrong to Kick an Obnoxious Kid Out of a Boise restaurant?

That's a tough one. As someone who spent more than 10 years in Special Education, I've been humbled by little peoples' challenging behaviors more times than I can recall. From managing run-of-the-mill toddler temper-tantrums as a preschool teacher, to helping teenagers deescalate from emotional crisis, I've been around the school yard when it comes to behavior management.

Kids & Curve Balls

Let's be honest: kids throw parents some of life's most wicked curve balls. Bedtime defiance, dental hygiene avoidance, and public meltdowns are a typical Tuesday for droves of us in the business of raising babies. It happens. Kids are kids.

No matter how diligent we are in our efforts to teach our babes healthy behaviors and good social skills, they come unhinged like anyone else. Sometimes it's an afternoon nap gone awry. Other times it's the bump in their sock that set them off. The catalyst for the meltdown is irrelevant. Once a kid skyrockets into meltdown mode, it's an all hands on-deck affair.

Meltdown: it's what's for dinner

In the context of a kid's world-class meltdown in a crowded restaurant on Friday night, it's even more intense. We get it. No one, no matter how many kids they've raised, wants to hear someone's three-year-old lose it and disrupt our first night out in months. But try thinking about it this way: neither do their parents. Adding insult to their injury are the judgmental sighs and high-brow stares they absorb during the episode.

Imagine doing your best to calm your child down in the midst of a meltdown. A few moments in, a restaurant manager approaches you and asks you to exit the establishment.

Humiliated, you begin the walk of shame towards the door when you're struck by the memory of wishing this same fate onto another struggling parent at some point in your past. Maybe it was before you were a parent. Maybe it was before your own kid put you through the ringer in public. Whatever the case, you get it now.

So parents, the next time you hear a kid losing it while you're out to dinner, maybe try a little harder to exercise compassion and understanding. Remember, today's it's their kid; tomorrow it could be yours.

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