I went to Red Mango today for some delicious refreshment while I listened to an evidence lecture, and encountered easily the crappiest family in Davis County. (Yes, a family can be crappy, and this one certainly was.)
Now, don't misunderstand me - I know I was at a frozen yogurt shop, not a library. I wasn't expecting total silence, and in fact that was part of the reason I went there. I enjoy a certain amount of white noise when I study, and stayed there quite happily for two hours as the radio blared, patrons went in and out, ate and had normal volume level conversations.
But this family was the ultimate.
Three boys, all under the age of 6, all extremely likely to be felons someday. Two vacuous "cool parents." For fifteen solid minutes, these brats screamed at the tops of their lungs and chased each other around the store, knocking over chairs and generally harassing every other person in the joint.
Their terrible parents did not care, and in some ways seemed to encourage this bad behavior. Then, naturally, the oldest little monster pushes the 3 year old into the wall, where he smacks his head so hard that I heard it over all the other noise. He starts screaming even louder, and without stopping to punish the older two - or even pausing to tell them to stop screaming/running/assaulting their brother - the "mother" picks him up and carries him outside, exercising the first semi-sound judgment of the afternoon.
Now, folks, I know it's hard to be a parent. I know that I have no spawn of my own, and therefore probably shouldn't judge. But here's a thought - if your kids are being absolutely awful, MAYBE YOU SHOULDN'T BE BUYING THEM ICE CREAM.
I don't know, might send a mixed message.