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. Totally agree…you know how you were brought up..so you will know…would you post this on my FB Timeline please ?

    Reply

  2. What do you mean? Indian kids are well mannered and never behave rashly in front of their parents – only outsiders. Parents do make them keep quiet when they say anything at all and remove the child from the public if they insist on doing their own thing. Unfortunately, they only do it to adult children and not to the younger ones. :P

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  3. Kids are unpredictable. It would be unreasonable to expect them to have exemplary behavior when most of us cannot manage it even as adults. However, I would give points to any parent who was actively TRYING. Just last week, me and my husband had to take turns carrying our 6 month old daughter outside the restaurant because she was being uneasy. And we still got the stink-eye because folks got to hear her cry for the time it took for us to react to her crying.

    I totally understand you not wanting to be disturbed by misbehaving children. But what I am seeing now-a-days is absolute intolerance to any minor disturbance and complete lack of empathy for the parents.

    Reply

    • In reply to Clueless

      I agree – I would not fault any parent who is attempting to do something about their children making a racket. In the example I gave above, we didn’t even know who the parents were. They were nowhere in sight! It’s the attitude of not giving a damn that I have a problem with.

      Lots of Facebook comments on this post went something like this: “Children are like god and we should let them be wild” or “We Indians enjoy lively environments”! That’s what pisses me off.

      Reply

    • In reply to Clueless

      Exactl theproblem is not kids. It’s adults who cannot understand that most times kids behavior has nothing to do with how the parents raise them.
      You pushed a kid out of your seat. Wow. How well mannered. Your parents must have discplined you real well.
      Don’t be too soon to judge your own pepole and think everything “white” is glorious. That actually is the real indian problem.

      Reply

    • Charlie says:

      In reply to Clueless

      As a parent, i can empathize. A six month old baby would be very unpredictable. I applaud you and your husband for making the effort and I apologize that others gave you the “stink eye.”
      But their attitude may be coming from some long standing social norms here in the US. For instance, let’s say you were dining in an upscale restaurant. Some would take offense because their thinking would be, “why would they bring a baby to a place like this knowing how unpredictable they can be. Don’t they know people come here to relax, have a peaceful meal, enjoy their 30th wedding anniversary,etc.” That could be a reasonable reaction. Also, many people dont go to upscale places very often and may have saved a while to enjoy a special evening together. So when a crying baby disrupts it they are let down. So if the restaurant you visited was like that, then it may have been better to leave baby with grandparents and enjoy the evening together free from those distractions yourself. I’m sure you and your husband deserve it.

      However, let’s say you were in a more common restaurant were many people bring their young children to enjoy, like a Chinese buffet or other “family” restaurants. I happen to know many of these places put families with small children near other families with small children. And smaller dining groups closer to other smaller groups. All in an effort to minimize frustrations very similar to your situation.
      So if you were in a restaurant like that and people were giving you the “stink-eye,” then I would think they should’ve been more understanding. Especially since you and your husband were making an effort to minimize the distraction.
      The word restaurant has its original meaning as “rest or restore.” People dont just go to these places to fill their bellies. They choose certain places over others for the experience the want from the establishment as well. Not only for the cuisine but for the atmosphere. Whether it be for the ambience or for how loud and ruckus it can be.
      However, ther’s no substitute for not understanding a young couples struggle with a small baby. Especially if we went to a place where young couples with small babies frequent.
      On the other hand, we must understand that unpredictable infants can dusturb diners in settings that are meant to be more relaxing and tranquil.
      In either situation, if the young parents were trying, perhaps offering to assist or even some commendation for their efforts would go a long way to help ease the tension the young couple already feel. This might help the baby calm down a little as they pick up on their parents anxiety. It also can help those who are offended by the infant since being helpful and understanding does more to help the situation than anything. And then perhaps the other patrons with the “stink-eye,” might be a little ashamed that they didn’t have the maturity and understanding to do the same themselves.
      But, as the complaints here are saying, many Indian parents are not making the effort. Truthfully, parents from all heritages need to ensure we all are doing our best to raise the next generation to love and respect our fellow man.
      Sorry but have time to edit my comment.

      Reply

    • In reply to Clueless

      Unfortunately, people cannot understand that there is not much you can do to calm little babies. Babies or very small kids are too young to understand good and bad. I would tolerate it if such kids made noise in a public place, even if it caused inconvenience to me. But, I cannot tolerate noisy kids who are big enough to understand things.

      Reply

  4. OMG! I hate my meals being ruined by noisy, uncontrollable (or rather uncontrolled) children. It’s especially annoying when this happens in movies. Some people are so insensitive to the surroundings that they’l just sit in while the child is screaming.

    I get that you can’t expect children to be Buddhas but like you said, what’s unacceptable is the parents’ attitude to assume that their kids should be equally tolerated by everyone around. You’re right. It’s a very Indian expectation.

    Reply

    • In reply to madetomisfit

      And don’t even get me started on airplanes…

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        If you really can’t travel in a plane with kids, maybe get your own jet. But kids are humans too and they too have to travel and they won’t behave well when in a flight for 23 hours.
        I am just waiting for you to have your own child and eat your own words.

        Reply

      • In reply to Indian

        There is a reason why I don’t have children, and never will :)

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        So you are basically preaching people to discpline kids with 0 experience of your own. And bragging about it. That’s like going for a job interview and saying I have no experience in whatever you are talking about, but I will make sure I add my worthless cents to it.
        Your parents were also indian
        . Stop being so high and mighty

        Reply

      • In reply to Indian

        I’m not telling parents how to control their children. I’m just telling them to do it. How they achieve it is not my problem.

        Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        Who the fuck are you tell anyone anything. Your inconvenience is not their effin problem as well. If you want a law that prevents a kids from making noise in public places, talk to your rep instead of being a keyboard Nazi.

        You dont have the guts to call out on the parents in restaurant (your excuse is -they were no where to be seen) instead found it convenient to push him off. You become arm chaired intellectual on cultural subtleties and raising kids on your blog.

        You claimed that you would nt have kids. Thats a wise decision. Otherwise you would end up imposing your inferior self complex on them and constantly brainwash them to behave like American kids.

        If you have a problem with kids in public places – stay home. If it does nt workout get a restaurant or a plane .

        Cultural transformation needs time. Cultural understanding needs empathy. You lack the key ingredient to be a basic human being.

        Reply

      • In reply to brad

        Brad!! You are the man! That is a nice reply… Bhagwat really being a misbehaved child here…. Where are Bhagwat’s irresponsible parents, disowned their child.. LOL

        Come on dear bhagwat, why are you so intolerant and a cry baby.. its really only kids.. The kids and parents you are referring to are immigrants and new to the country.. they may not be aware of American way, even if they are aware, there is no tutorial on how to raise your kids at home for new immigrants.. Indian and American culture is totally different and there is nothing right or wrong about either culture…. Adapting to a new country, new culture takes time… I know its annoying the way Indian kids behave in public, but did you do anything to correct this other than writing this in a blog… If you were so concerned, you could have tried to find the parents and educate them how to discipline the kids to adapt in an American way… you did none of that OR complaint to the management.

        And the way you have put this up on your blog, doesn’t really send’s out the message in a positive way. It seems your purpose of this blog is to embarrass Indian Community and i think you succeeded in doing that. This is doing more bad than any good!

        Grow up man, have some empathy and love!

        Peace Out

        VJ

        Reply

      • Charlie says:

        In reply to Indian

        I can appreciate your point. Im a parent too. But many people who’ve raised children make the same observation as Bhagwad.
        The bottom line is when children, irregardless of their heritage, are not trained to behave in a public, they DO NOT behave in public.
        When parents ignore their childrens disrupting behaviour it infuriates other diners, movie patrons, etc. As humans, we have certain duties to one another. One of those duties is to ensure that we allow them to enjoy the same experience,dining out etc., they have paid good money to enjoy, as we are. And if our children’s behavioir disrups the enjoyment of that experience, then we are viewed as people who don’t care about others. It’s not as result of, “kids being kids.” It’s a result of apathetic parents who could care less about their surroundings.
        I am not Indian. I was raised in the projects where parental morale was severely low. I’ve seen first hand what a lack of parental, especially fatherly, discipline can do. It’s spawned a generations of criminals. Two of my own siblings have served hard time. One of them murdered while in prison.
        Now, I’m not saying I see that trend with the Indians here in America and I don’t remember seeing any Indians in the projects either. But one thing that is definitely common is the attitude the parents from both groups have in common is the apathy of how their childrens action affect others.
        Showing respect, or observing this duty, is a societal norm that is deteriorating very rapidly. It’s disturbing.

        Reply

      • In reply to Charlie

        These indian kids mostly grow up to be very successful in their lives. And close and loving to their parents.
        I am not speaking about in existent parents. But some kids are just out of control. I have nephews raised by the same parents one of them is raising hell and other is a very calm kid.
        It’s really high time that adults STOP blaming parents for misbehaved children. If parents tell them to stop running they don’t.
        There are some very strong “western” parenting books that say ignoring a child’s tantrum is the best way to discpline the child. Even in public. If that means someones flight gets affected get a jet. Really.

        Reply

      • In reply to Indian

        After reading your comments and noticing how defensive you are that got me thinking that if you’re the type of person who feels people should be civil to ill behaved kids than that’s fine but you do understand that not everyone adores ill behaved kids (regardless of age) and that not everyone wants to be “extra” nice or “exceptionally” nice to them if you know what I mean? Even if we have to all give them proper treatment doesn’t mean everyone owes these kids special or preferential treatment.

        To be honest when I’ve noticed Indian families with young kids in public places I’ve noticed that most of the Indian or ethnic Indian kids weren’t being a “handful” so that got me thinking that since you’re Indian you do understand that people can be more at ease with better behaved Indian & ethnic Indian kids instead of Indian & ethnic Indian kids who are challenging to deal with. If you were to remark me that some non- Indian & some white kids are prone to misbehaving you’re right just like some non-Indian parents & some white parents are to blame for their children’s poor behavior. Finally regarding the parents I will agree that some parents are not to blame for their kids’ poor behavior but the parents who are to blame for their kids’ poor behavior I can’t say I feel bad for them if they are criticized and in some cases punished for their children’s unacceptable behavior (especially if they refuse to come to their senses).

        Reply

  5. Smita Bhushan says:

    I am glad someone wrote about this. I am appalled more by the actions (or lack of it) of the parents than such kids. I have contributed in a teeny weeny way by raising up a well behaved daughter. Its another story that she usually gets labeled as ‘bechari badi seedhe hai’ by such parents!

    Reply

    • In reply to Smita Bhushan

      Yeah, it’s not really the kid’s fault – it’s the parents I go after. My god, sometimes they just let their children run absolutely wild screeching at the top of their lungs all over the restaurant. It’s appalling!

      Reply

  6. I was such a noisy bratty kid myself.
    I used to scream and yell and roll on the floor to get my way.
    My parents still talk about how much I used to trouble them.
    And I used to listen guiltily.
    But now I am like, why dnt you just pick me up, toss me into the car and driven home?
    I couldn’t have been that strong at that age, right?
    So you cannot blame me for all these.

    Reply

  7. Should we get started about the annoying habits of NRIs :) ?

    But I agree with you. Nothing pisses me off more than out of control kids running about. Never liked kids…never plan to have my own.

    Reply

  8. “In India Sab Kuch Chaltha Hai.. Adjust karo” .. is the damn mentality of all US return guys and parents of US return guys. And thats so damn annoying.

    Everytime I see my US returned relatives throw garbage out of the car window ,while still raving about about clean Seattle is, I feel like throttling their neck and throwing them out of the car

    Reply

    • In reply to OS

      Lol, my wife has noticed the same thing. But why do you think they do it? Is it because they feel India’s already so dirty it doesn’t matter? As in, would they throw garbage on a clean Indian road?

      Or is it because they feel they don’t need to “behave artificially” in their home country?

      Reply

      • In reply to bhagwad

        1. 100th Monkey Theory .. In India, We see people leaving their food trays on the table while leaving self service restaurants, I leave it too. But I dont leave it so in US/ Europe, coz I see people depositing it in the tray collectors.
        2. Thought that there are people who would clean up after us. People should understand and respect “Dignity of labor”

        Thanks for the reply :)

        Reply

      • In reply to OS

        Well, that’s an understandable mistake. But throwing stuff on the road is I think fundamentally different from leaving plates and trays on a table.

        Reply

  9. yes!! you are right, parents have to change their mind set,otherwise change can’t take place.i like your thoughts.thanks for posting such a post .
    Visit Vivahsanyog

    Reply

  10. I dealt with such idiot parents on a plane trip.. its because there’s no qualification required to be a parent

    Reply

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