Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tourists, Alcohol and Children

Why do parents on holiday drag their children along to every single social evening? I realize it can be very difficult when there is nobody to baby sit, but why cannot people stay in while the children are asleep, organize their entertainment for early evenings instead of late nights and put up with the fact that they are parents now and must make some sacrifices?

No longer at liberty to enjoy as many drinks as they might like, they are also no longer free of responsibilities and able to indulge in disco entertainment well into the early hours of the morning. The present trend, however, is to continue doing all the things they did before the children came along, and to avoid missing out, take the kids too!

When you have children, you need to keep earlier hours to suit their routine, not yours. So many times on the Costa Blanca we see exhausted children being hauled into bars and restaurants after ten o'clock at night. Tired from their day on the beach, all they want is to drop onto their cots and sleep until the morning. However, because Mummy and Daddy fancy drinking about eighteen pints of lager between them, the poor kids have to try to make themselves comfortable across a couple of dining chairs in some strange restaurant, or sleep sitting upright in a dining chair or the seat of a pushchair.

Where is the parental responsibility that at one time produced Mums and Dads who would consider going home at nine o'clock so their children could get proper rest? Why is every corner of our town filled with screaming, sun burned, over tired children, accompanied by parents too drunk to remember what the time is, let alone whether their children should be in bed?

One of the ugliest scenes I saw this summer was is that of a drunken mother staggering down the seafront with two children running to keep up with a lurching pushchair, a baby trying to sleep inside it, the others not much older, dummies in their mouths, sobbing with exhaustion, and the father bringing up the rear, complaining at the price of his last pint. They made a degenerate, depressing picture and made everyone who saw them feel tainted by association.

It is very true that parents deserve a well earned rest, as well as the children. As parents, however, what we deserve is not always what we get, due to the difficulty of having to provide our children with their requirements first, as priority. Those who do not feel they can give up their leisure hours when necessary should consider remaining childless, in my opinion.

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