Keeping Your Cool, Even When Children Are Screaming!

So my wife and I were sitting in Friendly’s this evening (in case you don’t know, Friendly’s is a restaurant chain that specializes in ice cream) and we were pleasantly suprised by the service, as previously that Friendly’s was full of teenagers texting their lives away. They must have fired that bunch because the people here were friendly (ironically) and the service was good.

But I’m not here to blog about that, merely to set the stage for what happened during the meal. See, we were seated in front of a man and his 5-6 year old daughter out for a meal and an ice cream.

Out of nowhere, she starts screaming that she wants to see a movie when she gets home. The father, resolute, remained calm and said that they would when he was done eating. Immediately, the child got louder, and shrieked higher, hoping to get a reaction out of him. The father remained calm, and told her that her behavior was inappropriate, and that if she kept it up, she wouldn’t get her movie.

On and on this went for about 10-20 minutes, and the girl’s shreiking was starting to get on my wife’s nerves, as it would anyone, really. I smiled at her, and calmly reminded her that if we allow this girl to affect our emotional state, what would our lives look like when we had children of our own?

I wanted to go over and high five that father for doing the right thing: keeping a cool head, and not letting the child’s tantruming get the better of him. The result: once the girl saw that her father wasn’t budging, she cut the crap. She calmed down, and they actually left the restaurant with smiles on their faces.

I guess the point I’m trying to make is to consider how we allow others to affect our emotional state. I could have been bothered by this kid’s screaming and what have you, but what good would that do me? What if the father let his daughter change his mind with her tantrums? All he would be doing is reinforcing her bad behavior.

Think about that when a relative or co-worker is trying to influence your feelings with snide remarks or rude behavior. Are you going to let them get the better of you? Or are you going to keep it cool, like this kid’s dad, and not let it get to you? Comments and ideas welcome.