I watched a program last night wherein it was reported that a local council had banned children from drawing in chalk on the footpath outside a local cafe. The cafe had been providing the kids with chalk in an effort to keep them busy and happy while their parents got their cafe experience. After the report, a presenter commented, “Would they rather kids happily drawing with chalk or whingeing and whining in the cafe because they don’t want to be there?”
Frankly, I think the council is being ludicrous but that’s not the point. The point is kids don’t like cafes (hell, in general I don’t like cafes, they’re pretentious, boring and overpriced). You can tell kids don’t like cafes because of the frikkin’ whingeing and whining. Sooo, here’s an idea; instead of treating your kids like they’re accidental attachments to your formerly kid-free, cafe-hopping existence, consider them beings you brought into the world because you were ready for a change in lifestyle. Get your coffee to go, walk your kids to the local park (take your friends with you if you like)and set them loose on the playground while you get your caffeine fix.
There will be three advantages to doing this. Firstly, your kids will get some running around and exercise into their day which will wear them out a little, thus making your life easier when you get home. Second, the childless people in the cafe will dislike you less. Lastly, you’ll get brownie points for being a good parent.
Try it out, see how it goes.