In most cultures I know, a kid is born into a society that is set up a certain way and must adjust to it and respect its rules. In kid-obsessed America, in turn, the world is adjusted to the kid with all the disastrous consequences.
In respectful societies, politeness is required from everyone, no exception. Children, from the youngest ages, are taught and trained the rules of polite behavior in the society. Wherever they are, they must adjust to the customs and rules in force in that society. When, for example, a kid is taken shopping, it must respect other customers. There is no running wild, yelling, screaming, or bumping into people allowed. Any unacceptable behavior would be curbed and punished by a parent, a relative, or an older kid, and in these rare cases of parental failure, the disruptive kid would be removed by the staff, to an immense shame to the parent.
The same applies to public transportation, street, theater, cinema, philharmonics, opera, museums, and a plethora of other culture-related places. The same applies as well to cafes, restaurants, other people’s homes when visiting them, parties, gatherings, waiting rooms, and many more. All of these places have their rules that apply to both adults and kids the exact same way. When yelling is forbidden or inappropriate, it applies to adults and children alike. When sticking one’s snotty finger into a cake is a serious faux pas, neither an adult nor a kid should do it. If holding silverware wrongly is bad manners, there is no exception for kids. When a child is too young to be physically able to comply with certain rules, it should not be taken to a place where these particular rules are in force. Too young to eat politely? It should not be fed publicly. The vast majority of children in respectful societies are able to comply with all the rules of politeness at a much younger age than their American counterparts.
In kid-obsessed America, people fail to adjust the kids to the world. They adjust the world to the kids instead. The results are deplorable. They do not teach children how to behave politely in public places or in other people’s homes. They do not require polite behavior either. Instead, they adjust the places to the kid. Certain businesses are the best examples.
I was shocked when I entered a car dealership in New Jersey to see a huge playground right in the middle of the building’s large open space, with no soundproof walls, actually, with no walls at all. There were kids there making outrageous noise and their parents doing nothing about it. To make it worse, the place was situated right next to the employees’ cubicles. I was appalled to observe how disrespectful it is of a business to put up a facility that encourages disruptive behavior and to expose customers to it. However, to expose office employees who cannot leave like offended customers can, and make them work in these conditions is much more disrespectful. They have to think, focus, write, and answer phone calls in this atrocious noise environment. It is very unprofessional to neglect the customers, the employees, and adjust the business to the rude kids’ whims. The kids should be adjusted to the situation that requires respect for the customers and for the people working there. They should be required to stand still and quiet next to the parents in respect of other people, or be removed immediately.
I saw the same idea in many banks, in many locations, distant from each other, which leads me to believe that it takes place all over the country. The only difference was that the playgrounds in the banks were smaller. Regardless of the size, however, the behavior they encourage is unacceptable for a place like a bank. Both customers and employees have to focus when thinking about money transactions, listening to or giving financial advice or reading an agreement they are about to sign. It is highly disrespectful of a bank to adjust its premises to rude, disruptive kids while it should respectfully serve the customers and require the parents to adjust the kids to the world, in this case to the purposes banks exist for. It is also shocking that the customers brainwashed by the kid-obsessed culture do not protest and do not require order to be imposed.
Play areas with toys exist also in waiting rooms in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms. This is even more unacceptable than placing them in businesses like car dealerships and banks for a simple reason: sick people go there. Wherever sick people are, silence should be strictly required and enforced. It is unacceptable to encourage kids to yell and scream in medical facilities where people are in pain, and the play areas certainly encourage this kind of rude behavior because it is a given that American kids are not trained to play respectfully, i.e. quietly. More than anywhere else, the kids should be adjusted to the world they are brought to in such places. They should be taught not only basic respect but also compassion for suffering people.
The idea of playgrounds in bookstores is equally appalling, although for a different reason than the same idea in hospitals. Bookstores as well as libraries are places that by definition should cherish an intellectual atmosphere, silence, and reflection that is associated with books. They should require respect for reading and knowledge and instill this respect in the younger generations at the earliest age possible. Silence should be strictly enforced, which applies to both adults and kids. All kids should be adjusted to the rules that for generations applied to bookstores and libraries and unconditionally required all people to be quiet and respectful in the facilities. Playground type structures that encourage rude, noisy behavior should never be placed in venues associated with knowledge and reading.
Kid-obsessed Americans have this ridiculous idea that a kid should be kept entertained in public places. This is wrong because in this kid-worshiping society kids’ entertainment is always associated with making outrageous noise. Kids should be above all taught, trained, and required to respect. A respectful kid is able to stand or sit (if there are no adults standing) still and quiet in a waiting room, a bank, or a bookstore for as long as the parents require and need to do their business. There is nothing wrong in bringing a book or a quiet toy, but the emphasis should be put on proper training that teaches the kids to stay respectfully still and quiet in public places regardless of having any entertainment. Moreover, the above examples clearly show that having entertainment for kids does not lead to their respectful behavior. To the contrary, it leads to disrespect and unacceptable levels of noise in places where silence should be a rule.
It is different in Europe, where places like restaurants, gyms, and beauty salons with playgrounds exist. These, unlike the businesses in America, are geared and marketed towards people with kids, which is what distinguishes them from other restaurants, gyms, and beauty salons marketed to the general public. These businesses found their niche and cater to a certain clientele, providing additional services, i.e. babysitting in a separate room while the parents are having an adult conversation over dinner, are exercising or having their manicure or hair done. These places clearly advertise their goal and services, and it is impossible to confuse them with general ones. Catering to people with kids does not mean that kids can be rude and wild. I know a case of kids being removed from a restaurant for people with kids for acting as rudely as an average American child. They were adjusted to the world and removed for violating the rules of politeness.
People should never adjust to kids on public transportation. They should never give up their seats for a kid (unless the kid is disabled). The kids should be adjusted to the world which requires respect for adults, especially the elderly, and give up their seats for adults. Passengers should strictly request the kid to stand up or for the parent to remove it from a seat whenever there is not enough space for adults. If parents want to bring kids on public transportation, they must adjust them to the world.
Drivers should never be required to watch particularly for kids released wildly on roads just because their parents are too lazy to supervise or train them. The kids should be adjusted to the world in which roads are for vehicles, and they should either watch for cars approaching or stay within the parents’ property. Most societies in the world are set up this way and only in kid-obsessed America signs “Caution: Children at Play” exist as proof that Americans adjust the world to the kids.
The kids should be adjusted to the world and strictly be required to respect the rules. The world should not be adjusted to the kids and by no means should it be adjusted to their rudeness, disrespect, and lack of manners. Kids adjusted to the world grow up to be polite
adults as one must never forget that ill-mannered kids (the ones to whom the world was adjusted) grow up to be ill-mannered, entitled adults. Customers should not hesitate to require to impose order and remove rude kids. They should also not be shy and boycott the businesses that adjust to kids’ rudeness. They then should inform the manager or CEO why the company lost their business. There is nothing that gets the business’ attention better than loss of money other than bad publicity, which usually also results in loss of money.