After raising four children I had a nagging regret that I didn’t put them into team activities where they would interact with others their age, their families and if they were sporting teams, travel to other areas to play in tournaments. The girls went to summer camps and were part of local groups but not sports teams. I always wondered if I should have pushed them into these activities. After a recent business trip out of town, I got my answer.
Work took me away from home for close to a week. We were in a mid-sized hotel. Our group was there as was a group from a hockey tournament. Most evenings we returned to the hotel rather late in the evening when most of the other guests were asleep, so I didn’t notice anything amiss. As we didn’t leave the hotel until the early afternoon we mostly took our breakfast at the hotel. Most mornings I used the breakfast room rather early. Then came the morning when I relaxed until a bit later, I was having breakfast when the hockey group started arriving. They swarmed the room, cut in front of others that were waiting for waffles to finish cooking, toasters to pop or for other guests to finish getting cereal or juice. They acted like they were entitled to be served first, sit at the few tables first and others did not matter. Manners were not shown as they sat at tables that were being used by other guests, without asking. Granted, some of the parents did try to manage children and keep them in one area. They seated them and got the food for them. This did reduce the chaos in the room, but a foundation of manners would have been a greater solution.
Our last evening at the hotel we arrived earlier than usual. I was shocked to see the antics of both the children and the parents. Several of my associates could not get to their rooms as the teams were having races in the halls while their parents gathered in the halls, wine glasses in hand. There were a few hover-boards being practiced. This was all on the lower level, I was on the second level. it was a tad better. Several rooms with the doors open and parent gatherings inside. Okay, they were parties with music, clanging glasses and loud conversation and laughter. I could get to my room, but the hall floor was covered with ice cubes. I am not sure what occurred before we returned to the hotel but with all the ice melting in the hall it was starting to look like a scene from Animal House.
After these few days, I think I am glad that the kids didn’t join teams and go on away trips. Had my kids been involved in that type of behavior, I would have been mortified and so ashamed. I don’t think they missed out on anything. They have grown into responsible young adults who know the difference between acceptable and not acceptable behavior. They have manners and it takes quite a lot to push them over the edge to where manners are tossed out the window.
The one part I forgot to mention is that one of my children was on the trip with me. On the way home, she said she was glad that she was not raised to think the behavior at the hotel of the kids was acceptable. All in all, I think I did something right