Indian parents need to learn to discipline their kids and prevent them from making a nuisance of themselves in public spaces. Compared to the other children I see around me in the US, kids here are generally well mannered and if they raise a ruckus, the parents are embarrassed and make them keep quiet. Or they remove the child from the area. Why can't we do the same?

Dear Indian Parents: Control your Annoying Kids

Disclaimer: This is merely a trend I’ve noticed with Indian parents and their kids. Obviously there will be exceptions. Keep that in mind before leaping on me!

Recently, Anupa and I decided that it’s been a long time since we had Indian food. In particular, I had a hankering for dosas. Luckily for us, there’s a place called “Dosa Hut” just a few minutes drive from our place. I thought it was okay – spacious, good dosas, and a buffet for those so inclined. But one thing ruined all of that.

Noisy, bratty, kids.

Normally in India I wouldn’t notice this, because they’re everywhere. But after staying a while in the US, it’s particularly jarring when I visit an Indian establishment. Children are everywhere in the US, but they’re hardly ever noisy. The few times when it happens, people get pissed off. Remember – your kid is not my problem. If they’re making a racket, please get them out of the restaurant by force if you have to.

There was this horror in Dosa Hut who kept running up and down the place screaming his lungs off. The parents were nowhere to be seen. Towards the end he came and lay down flat in my seat while I’d gone to get some napkins. I had to manually push him off.

What kind of parent doesn’t bother about whether or not their kid is inconveniencing others? Raising children is not some community project. There is a reason why you are parents and I’m not. Oh, you say he’s just a kid? Well he’s your kid, not mine. Ergo, your headache.

But here’s a twist and I’m not sure what to make of it. These same parents would never let their kid run wild in an American restaurant! I’ve never seen an Indian kid wreak havoc in a Chick-fil-A or a Dunkin Donuts. I wonder why? Can it be because they know it’s a wrong thing to do and that only Indian customers will “put up with it” and that they can’t be bothered to reign in the apple of their eye?

We see this same class of behavior when people return to India and start throwing rubbish on the streets. They would never do it abroad – they know it’s wrong. But they also expect other Indians to tolerate their bad behavior and this enables them. In other words, they are little more than children themselves.

So remember that while you may be immune to your little darling making a racket, the rest of don’t have to tolerate it. If you can’t control your child running wild, leave them at home and don’t spoil it for others.

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