Not the game, the parents

My four-year-old is playing T-ball this year through a community-based program. He loves it, but I don’t love the aggressive parents who shout out unkind things about the children or insist that their child be given an extra turn because “he is better than all the others,” etc. Come on, they are four! We talk about kindness and good sportsmanship at home, and even four-year-olds understand this, so I find the behavior of the parents especially appalling. I don’t want to pull my son out of the program, but don’t know what else to do so he isn’t hurt by this.

 Call the director of the program, explain the situation, and ask him or her to please attend a game and monitor parental behavior and even post good sportsmanship rules or send home flyers with the children about the importance of supporting all the children. It is difficult to ask the coach to do this since his or her job is supposed to be working with the children, not serving as the bouncer who has to deal with rude parents. Going right to the director is the best recourse. It is likely that other teams experience the same thing, not just your son’s team, so it would be a good thing to alert the director now in hopes that the rest of the season is a supportive one and a happy experience for the children.

 

When servers in a restaurant lists the specials, they rarely say what the price is so even if a special sounds great, I hesitate to order it because sometimes the specials are very expensive. Is it all right to ask what the price is?

Yes, it’s fine. They should state the price, but when they don’t, it’s totally appropriate to ask. It’s not embarrassing to do this. You are being given choices without necessary information and that is no way to make a decision.

 

We were at a wedding last week and as guests were leaving the reception, some picked up the centerpieces and took them. Was this correct?

No, it is not appropriate to walk off with the centerpieces unless there has been an announcement that the person with the penny under his or her coffee cup or something similar is the recipient of the centerpiece. The bride and groom may be planning to give the flowers to a nursing home or hospital, or to someone who couldn’t attend, so they are not up for grabs any more than a place setting would be!

 

Do you leave a tip for the owner at a bed and breakfast?

No, but if the owner has staff who make beds, clean the bathroom, or perform other services for you, you would leave a tip at the rate of about $1 to $2 per person per day. Leave it in an envelope with the helper’s name on it, if you know it, in your room, or leave it with the owner to deliver to the helper when you depart.

Questions for Catherine? Send them to [email protected]

 

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