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?

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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Comments

  1. Anand Patnaik says:

    This article doesnt take into consideration one very important fact. That indian kids are genetically predisposed to loud and unruly behaviour. I know so many indian parents who literqlly bust thrmselves all day in trying to discipline their kids but to no effect!
    It has been proven that indian kids are naturally prone to loud n unruly behaviour.
    Talk to any child psyhologist. They will reiterate this.

    Reply

    • In reply to Anand Patnaik

      Seriously? I’m raising half-Indian kids, so I get exposed to each world. I really think it comes down to different parenting styles. Most American kids learn independence and discipline from day one, and don’t have the confusion of different styles of parenting from different generations under one roof.

      Our Indian family is amazed our kids go to sleep by themselves, dress themselves, and That we “can” limit their screentime. They assume there is something different about our kids. And there is not. It’s that we started working on these things when they were babies and have the expectation that they can do it. Same goes for behaving in public. It’s not that a child is more unruly because of their ethnicity- it’s that they know they can get away with it.

      Reply

  2. Working at car dealership my Indian customers let their kids run around in cars and do whatever they want. The parents seem afraid to offend the kids or something. They totally spoil their kids. But I maybe that’s the right way to give children self esteem and confidence. Who am I to say who is right or wrong?

    Reply

  3. WantQuiet says:

    I just got done shouting at an Indian parent from my balcony. He lives on the lowest floor of the apartment building and let’s his children run wild on the communal lawn pretty much all afternoon till 8 PM, sometimes later. I have a right to open my doors to let some air into my apartment without having to put up with his children’s shouting and screaming every single day. The community has a park area where they can play whenever they want. If his excuse is that he’s letting them play right outside the apartment building in order to to keep an eye on them, well then he should go with them to the park area and keep an eye on them THERE.

    He motioned with his hands that he “got it” and they went away after a few minutes. Time will tell if this behavior has ended or whether I’ll have to bring the rental office into the matter.

    Reply

  4. AnonymousSomething says:

    I don’t get it. They are so bad. Not even in a delinquent sort of way, but like in a bratty and Denis the Menace sort of way. They are always being loud and jumping on cars, riding their bikes towards oncoming traffic — one of them even tried to open my passenger car door while I was driving through my neighborhood. Just utterly unruly and their parents don’t do anything about it. Has nothing to do with predisposition — their parents just facilitate and spoil the hell out of them.

    Reply

  5. Craig Stoneburrowes says:

    I live in a condo complex in Toronto which is predominately populated by south east Asian people. There is no doubt that their children are being let run wild at all times. I live on the 4th floor and I am never able to sleep with my windows open as the children and their parents are in the common area below until midnight, sometimes 2 am, speaking very loudly and,no exaggeration,the children are screeching their heads off the whole time. There is absolutely no demonstration of any consideration for people who don’t live this way. As a Canadian, I am so proud of how welcoming our country is. On the other hand, I am called a racist if I make any distinction as the one stated above. Sad, indeed.

    Reply

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