Running wild

After his early morning surf, Chris was craving a burger big time, so we headed out to find one. Easier said than done here in Chennai. After driving by two, now closed, burger joints, we decided to take our chances at a resto-bar across town that had pretty good reviews. Although they didn’t serve burgers, they did have beef on the menu as well as a variety of interesting pizzas, one of which I am declaring the best pizza in the Eastern Hemisphere. It seemed like a pretty reasonable backup plan.

20111008-184955.jpgWhen we first arrived, it looked like a pretty cool place. It was one part trendy bar, one part extremely budget-friendly restaurant. They had good music playing and we immediately decided that unless the food was horrible that we would go back for sure.

A few minutes later it became obvious that the scene wasn’t as perfect as we had initially thought. We could barely hear each other speak over the din of the restaurant. As a troupe of kids raced by our table in a blur of arms, legs, and enviable ponytails, it was suddenly apparent where all of the commotion was coming from.

Over the past few months, I have noticed a really interesting trend when it comes to Indian parenting. It seems that many families take the less is more approach when it comes to keeping kids under control in public. From restaurants, to the zoo, Indian kids are running wild and I’m not quite sure what to make of it.

20111008-185006.jpgInitially, I was appalled by the lack of restraint. Then I began to notice that the older kids were perfectly well behaved, especially compared to many American children.

What gives?

The typical parenting schema here seems to be, let kids run free until they are maybe eight years old, then suddenly they will transform into perfect dinner guests. As counterintuitive as it sounds to my typical American sensibilities, it seems to work.

So are you and Chris going to go that route?

Nah. I don’t think that either of us has the patience to watch our child(ren) run the show for that long. Nevertheless, I am totally intrigued by the parenting norm here and it’s apparent success!

  1. Two closed burger joints! Ha, makes sense, I guess the burger business wouldn’t be all that lucrative in India. I love that you captured evidence of not one, but two separate children sprinting by the table in a blur. The idea of younger kids in India running wild all the time makes me laugh… especially in contrast to how you’ll sometimes see kids on leashes here in the U.S.

  2. Jena said:

    That is strange that they would allow their children to run around. Maybe it’s because they are Doctors, but my boss & his wife have a tight leash on their 7yr old. That is the most well-behaved child I have ever seen. In my life. For real.

    Over the summer he spent A LOT of time in my office. Pretty much every day from 1hr up to an entire day (his dad had Surgery, and so did his Mom)…yah, both are surgeons.. anyways, He came into my office at 8:50, and left around 3. He was incredible. I barely heard a peep out of him until about 1pm when he started to get bored & antsy.

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