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Jules Allen: Why Kids In Cafes Don’t Always Mix

Jules Allen: Why Kids In Cafes Don't Always Mix

Witnessing mothers practice their displays of over-indulgent ‘public parenting’ as their children whinge about the fact that their milkshake doesn’t have enough ice cream, I find myself reassured that I will never be out of work. In a decade when these little angels turn age 15, their mothers will be tearing their hair out, wondering why their beautifully sculpted children, given everything they wanted simply, aren’t coping with life.

Firstly, when did the cafe replace the local playground as the go to place for mothers to meet? Secondly, why does this recent phenomenon seem to be gaining momentum? At what point is any of this ordeal pleasurable for anyone?

The kids last about three seconds before the complaining begins and the mums eventually resort to curt, underhanded attempts at discipline them, until they eventually give up, leaving the children to run riot.

As I overhear one mum claim that outsourcing breakfast at least three times a week for the children is an absolute must, I am brought undone. Really???? Since when is stuffing your kids with an eighth of a plate of $18 pancakes and a triple strength milkshake, in a flavour they clearly didn’t order, a replacement for a bowl of cereal?

My personal favourite is when the kids have discarded 90% of what is put in front off them and are bought off with a bubba chino or hot chocolate (extra marshmallows please).

When the high dose of sugar fed to the children inevitably takes its toll, mums are left with no choice but to apologise to their friends for not being able to stay longer and leave the cafe owners to clean up the destruction caused. Or, in the case of the women next to me, opening the cafe doors and allowing the kids to launch on to the wilds of the pavement, glancing every now and then to make sure they are not playing chicken with the traffic. Scarily, a near fatal causes them to bail in haste. Too late, cafe experience for all is ruined!

How did we end up here and how can we not see what’s been created? I do my best not to judge when it comes to parenting as I am well aware how damn difficult it is, but the cafe phenomenon is breaking my resolve.

This brutal over indulgence in no way serves a child and as much as their obnoxious behaviour frustrates me, I am well aware of who the real culprits are.

If you want to do justice by your children, start by saving your three time a week breakfast, bubba chino and coffee money and put it towards taking the family on a trip to Cambodia to work in an orphanage. I guarantee this will be your first step in avoiding my services when they get older!

Written by Jules Allen

Jules Allen is a former MasterChef contestant and a single mother with four children who has been a foster mother to 29 children over the past 15 years.

Jules considers herself as an ‘earth mother’. With four kids: two sons, Jay and Ishy (16 and 17), daughters Elisha (21) and India (18). Her family is a blend of her own, adopted and foster children.

The importance of good food in healing damaged lives is paramount to Jules, and she does this by raising awareness through school talks around the country and encouraging the next generation to do what they can to make a difference.

Jules is an ambassador for Meals On Wheels - an organisation legendary across Australia for its work in providing nutritious meals on a daily basis to those in need.

Her contribution to foster care and child protection, her charity work for many organisations, including helping rebuild Women’s and Children’s refuge in the Soloman Islands, and her ambassador roles for National Adoption Awareness, Foster Care Australia, the Pjama Foundation and Brookfarm, were recently recognised by the ABC’s Australian Story, who featured an in- depth story on Jules’ dedication, commitment and contribution to many deserving charities.

She has just launched her Waccii Nurturing Tea company, with all profits supporting Waccii (Women’s and Children’s Care Initiative Incorporated).

Jules Allen is a contributing Parent expert for The Carousel.

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