Saturday, July 17, 2010

Definitely Not Fun

Wow, what a week. As it is summer vacation for kids, my colleague and I both had new clients who brought along their children to appointments. Didn't think that was an issue until they got here.

Some of them were literally hell on wheels...who decided that emptying my bookshelves would be a cool thing to do or screaming at the top of their lungs when they didn't get their way...

The best part, in both cases, the parents did nothing. As my new office is much smaller, sound and disruption feels more magnified and of course there is the touchy subject of how to tell parents that their kids' behaviour is not acceptable in this environment. Luckily, after the 4th outburst, one parent snapped out of it and took action.

I will not be sterilizing my work environment or turn it into one giant playroom. In fact, I was so traumatized by the whole ordeal I am considering referring them to someone else should the next appointment be as crazy as the last one.

It is also tempting to cancel them altogether and not let them come back. No amount of money is worth that level of outburst, disruption and minutes off my life. Seriously, I wanted to give them back their money if that could have helped.

And this may mean I will no longer take on young families who have to come as a group as clients. There are other places with adequate staff and space and are better suited to large families than what I have set up now. That is just a limitation I have in my current situation.


  1. Wow! I'd say that was quite the day you had. I have dogs and not children and would never let my dogs be out of control in any situation. I agree that the behaviour was unacceptable and not just for the environment of your work office but for any place! I see that everyday in places like the grocery store, the building I work in and so many other places. You wonder if parents have just given up or what. Sorry if I offended any parents out there but have things just gotten worse over the years?

  2. I know how you must feel. It is unfortunate that those parents don't try to do something immediately though.

    I take my children everywhere I go and they are "mostly" good. There are times when they're so hyper or bored that they simply cannot control themselves & do run around and speak loudly even when I remind them to calm down repeatedly. Those parents in your office may be so used to their kids' screaming that they simply don't hear it any longer. I know I block many loud sounds my kids make at home.

    BB (before baby), I used to stare at mothers with screaming & crying kids wondering why they don't just make the children stop. AB (after baby), I feel sorry for the other moms having to deal with screaming kids while they're trying to buy groceries...

  3. Hi Sue;

    I know in the one case the mom has just given birth not long ago and was completely exhausted.

    The other case, maybe they are so used to loud outbursts that they are immune to its effects on others who are not used to it.

    I was too scared to kick and scream growing up as I knew I would get into big trouble for embarrassing them in public.

    I don't feel kids are that scared of their parents or teachers or any adult anymore.

    In my area, parents are encouraged to let their kids "express themselves" as to allow their "natural creativity" to come out.

    There is a huge difference between creativity and acting out.

    Hi Sandra!

    I have come up with what I feel would be a good solution. I am going to suggest the idea of making a house call to them.

    They won't have to load and move all the kids and I don't have to worry about them getting hurt in my space.

    If they don't go for it, then I'll refer them out to another office more kid friendly.