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Subject: Shushing at the LGS rss

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Nathanael Robinson
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Something at my LGS bothered me this weekend. My son and I were in playing a game. There were many other people there, playing miniatures games and RPGs. The store can get loud, and even though its was quieter than normal, there was still lots of enthusiastic talking and periods of loud play. However, a group of kids, at the store for a weekly event, kept getting shushed. One of the store employees asked the kids to tame their enthusiasm. It seemed unnecessary to me: the kids weren't louder than the adults in the store, and the men playing next to us at the same table hadn't been bothered by the kids. From what I could tell, no one was bothered by them. Nevertheless, it set off other adults policing these kids. First it was a mother. Then another. Then a non-relative.

I was somewhat appalled that no only would so many adults got involved, but that the kids themselves were not welcome to be as jovial as the adults. Like I said, they were not the loudest people,and no one was disturbed. Indeed, I had a long conversation with a gentleman next to me, and we were only disturbed by the adults shushing the kids.
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Although the volume may be similar between adults and kids, some people are more sensitive to sounds that are loud and have a high pitch (i.e. kids being excited).
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Bill Cook
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If three separate adults felt the need to shush these kids, I suspect you are very wrong that "no one was bothered by them."
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Chris Mcpherson
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This is why I would never game at my LGS.

I choose to avoid everyone involved to make sure I can have a good time gaming.

Edit: after reading my post it didn't seem clear enough that the kids were probably not the problem, now it's clear.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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EMBison wrote:
If three separate adults felt the need to shush these kids, I suspect you are very wrong that "no one was bothered by them."

All three were part of the group playing (please forgive me for being vague). No one who was playing in a different group took notice.

ETA: I am reserving details so that no one might get a clear indication of who was responsible, and I have no wish to get the employee in trouble.
 
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Joseph Branco
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I find the same thing happens in many situations—restaurants, bookstores, church, etc. I find coffee shops are pretty bad. People in their early twenties talking about last night? Amps to eleven. Elementary school kids talking about dog breeds? SHUSH. So it’s not just gaming, for better or worst.

I think the post about loud and high pitch is right. There’s something about kids and their tone that just unnerves some people. Like a pet peeve or a trigger.
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Sarah Kelley
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You probably should speak to the employee or the owner if it bothered you that badly.

Alternatively, next time it happens, you could loudly speak up and say that they aren't being too loud for tables near them and it's all okay. That may soothe the fears of the adults, especially if others chime in and agree with you.

Did he really say, "Tame your enthusiasm"? That sounds way worse than "will you please watch your volume" or some such:/
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American in Chile
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The employee's actions are most likely what led to the other adults' actions. The employee's words gave the impression that the children were being a nuisance. The adults with the children would see it as their responsibility to ensure that the children did not bother people.

Parents either let their children run amok or try to teach them to behave. If the latter, they often take their cues from the reaction of adults around them. The employee, being a person "in authority," indicated that they children's behavior was unwelcome. Hence, the shushing.
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Jon Vallerand
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Schoolmarm5 wrote:
The employee's actions are most likely what led to the other adults' actions. The employee's words gave the impression that the children were being a nuisance. The adults with the children would see it as their responsibility to ensure that the children did not bother people.

Parents either let their children run amok or try to teach them to behave. If the latter, they often take their cues from the reaction of adults around them. The employee, being a person "in authority," indicated that they children's behavior was unwelcome. Hence, the shushing.


From my understanding of the OP, none of the three adults were parents of the kids in question.
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JVallerand wrote:
From my understanding of the OP, none of the three adults were parents of the kids in question.
Maybe not the parents, but he did say they were part of the same group.
 
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Nathanael Robinson
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JVallerand wrote:
Schoolmarm5 wrote:
The employee's actions are most likely what led to the other adults' actions. The employee's words gave the impression that the children were being a nuisance. The adults with the children would see it as their responsibility to ensure that the children did not bother people.

Parents either let their children run amok or try to teach them to behave. If the latter, they often take their cues from the reaction of adults around them. The employee, being a person "in authority," indicated that they children's behavior was unwelcome. Hence, the shushing.


From my understanding of the OP, none of the three adults were parents of the kids in question.


They were parents to some kids, but there were many there to whom they were not. There were about dozen total.
 
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Jon Vallerand
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Schoolmarm5 wrote:
JVallerand wrote:
From my understanding of the OP, none of the three adults were parents of the kids in question.
Maybe not the parents, but he did say they were part of the same group.


My bad, you might be right. Then, it might be a related authority figure, in which case I don't think anyone else should have any say over how they discipline the kids, barring extreme examples. Actually, if an employee at a public places asks the kids to keep quiet, I'd expect the parents/authority figures to continue enforcing that rules: it's part of teaching them respect for others.

Whether the employee was wrong is another question, but I think they'd rather err on the side of caution, in general.
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Nathanael Robinson
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JVallerand wrote:
Schoolmarm5 wrote:
JVallerand wrote:
From my understanding of the OP, none of the three adults were parents of the kids in question.
Maybe not the parents, but he did say they were part of the same group.


My bad, you might be right. Then, it might be a related authority figure, in which case I don't think anyone else should have any say over how they discipline the kids, barring extreme examples. Actually, if an employee at a public places asks the kids to keep quiet, I'd expect the parents/authority figures to continue enforcing that rules: it's part of teaching them respect for others.

Whether the employee was wrong is another question, but I think they'd rather err on the side of caution, in general.

The employee did not castigate the kids. He gave a little speech in a moderate tone. I did not catch every word, but he seemed to implore more than anything. I would have preferred he talk to the parents of the individual kids had their been real problems, but like I said, I found nothing alarming about their conversation, not being particularly loud and being in no way vulgar. However, two of the parents seemed to take it as a cue, shushing them to the point where they were speaking in whispers. Like I said, it was loud that day--the RPG players were having fun, the guys playing Guild Ball next to me were having a raucous time. I didn't see anyone noticing these kids--except for the parents and one adult within the group. And yes, I did say that the kids weren't bothering me, and our table was closest to them. It didn't seem to change the dynamic.

In the end, I don't think that a game store is a place to expect quiet. There are times when their are few customers and players, but when it's busy, people are talking, reacting, teaching, storytelling, ... . There's a lot of boisterousness. I think kids should be able to enjoy that part of the store's culture.
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lampeter
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JVallerand wrote:


Whether the employee was wrong is another question, but I think they'd rather err on the side of caution, in general.


I think some store employees are predisposed to over-correcting kids when they have had bad experiences in the past, but unfortunately they do set the tone. I doubt the "shushed" kids or their parents/caregivers will be overly eager to return to the LGS to play in the future.
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Sarah Bonilla
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We keep saying kids, but I think age range matters here. What was the estimated age range?

When I run my middle school game club, it is difficult to teach kids how to be part of a respectful gaming environment. When I have 3 games going on in the back room, I can't imagine being able to go back there and play a game with the students, because the noise level is out of control. I have to frequently tell them to keep the volume down out of respect for the players.

Additionally, when we do club lock-ins, one group is usually excessively loud and has to be constantly reminded that there are two other groups, but that's only 15 kids, max, in a library. So, again, different.

A bustling store, though, is slightly confusing. A daughter of one of our teachers at my school works at the local store and some of the kids apparently feel she is too hard on them. Knowing the kids I understand some of the employee concerns, but you've also created a play zone for them and the store itself sets the expectation for how people play.

If they were little kids, under the age of 10, there could have been different reasons behind it verses it being a group of Tween+.

I'll actually be running two age-based open gamings at my local shop this summer for kids and part of the goal is to teach them respect within the environment and with each other. But regardless of how the shop itself acted, there is also a need to teach kids proper gaming edict and how to behave in a gamer environment. So while it might not have bothered you (based on your standards and expectations), other people might be more sensitive (think of also people with anxiety disorders, etc.). Adults do have a tendency to create a din of noise in large groups, something they can push back.

BUT, all that being said, there will also be stigma against young people, especially in today's society where there are no societal expectations for how youth should behave and sometimes people feel it's their job to set a standard. Being a teacher, we work very hard to develop positive social skills with the kids, but even the best laid plans can't always compensate for lax behavioral consistency beyond our school walls.

Could have been a fluke reaction to something they saw that they felt wasn't alright that you might have been missing, but if it feels like a consistent problem, them maybe address it or find out the expectations for youth behavior in the store or request that they post expected behaviors (from everyone) for the gaming environment.
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Jeff Rietveld
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Bad Thoughts wrote:
JVallerand wrote:
Schoolmarm5 wrote:
JVallerand wrote:
From my understanding of the OP, none of the three adults were parents of the kids in question.
Maybe not the parents, but he did say they were part of the same group.


My bad, you might be right. Then, it might be a related authority figure, in which case I don't think anyone else should have any say over how they discipline the kids, barring extreme examples. Actually, if an employee at a public places asks the kids to keep quiet, I'd expect the parents/authority figures to continue enforcing that rules: it's part of teaching them respect for others.

Whether the employee was wrong is another question, but I think they'd rather err on the side of caution, in general.

The employee did not castigate the kids. He gave a little speech in a moderate tone. I did not catch every word, but he seemed to implore more than anything. I would have preferred he talk to the parents of the individual kids had their been real problems, but like I said, I found nothing alarming about their conversation, not being particularly loud and being in no way vulgar. However, two of the parents seemed to take it as a cue, shushing them to the point where they were speaking in whispers. Like I said, it was loud that day--the RPG players were having fun, the guys playing Guild Ball next to me were having a raucous time. I didn't see anyone noticing these kids--except for the parents and one adult within the group. And yes, I did say that the kids weren't bothering me, and our table was closest to them. It didn't seem to change the dynamic.

In the end, I don't think that a game store is a place to expect quiet. There are times when their are few customers and players, but when it's busy, people are talking, reacting, teaching, storytelling, ... . There's a lot of boisterousness. I think kids should be able to enjoy that part of the store's culture.

Some parents won't accept correction. We had an employee once ask a game-day attendee to stop his kids from running around - climbing our retail fixtures, making a lot of noise, bumping into game tables.
The guy took on his own tiny crusade to make sure others in the area knew that we like to "yell at our customers". Fortunately, most were just happy he took his kids to another store.
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Stuart Holttum
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There's also the possibility that the employee saw or heard something that the OP did not. Engrossed in a game - especially if you were not previously focussed on that group - it is easy to miss a behaviour that the disinterested employee saw or heard.

"Tame their enthusiasm"....was that definitely all about the volume? Or was there perhaps an element of them being especially "boisterous" with the shop's/another player's models?

Maybe the employee saw an attitude between two players that he wanted to shut down early? Younger people can be less able to distinguish between player and character. It may have been less the volume, more the content or the direction?

Who knows? I wasn't there. And unless the OP was watching them it is quite conceivable he missed something that the employee picked up on....and once the employee had made it a slight issue, the adults in the group upped their level of "policing".

Perhaps the best option (rather than canvassing BGG-ers who weren't there (hey, I was over 5,000 miles away when it happened!! ) would be to have a quiet chat with the employee....."I saw you step in to speak to those kids last week, but I was involved in my game so I'm not sure why - can I ask what made you speak to them?" ....and even make it less tense by adding "...I don't want to accidentally do the same thing myself!"
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JRietveld wrote:
Some parents won't accept correction. We had an employee once ask a game-day attendee to stop his kids from running around - climbing our retail fixtures, making a lot of noise, bumping into game tables.
The guy took on his own tiny crusade to make sure others in the area knew that we like to "yell at our customers". Fortunately, most were just happy he took his kids to another store.
Yeah, the ones who allow their little darlings to run amok.

And some adults simply don't want to be around younger people. No matter where they go, they feel it's not a place for children. This gives parents added incentive to keep their children quiet.
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