to think it's unsociable to let kids scream their heads off in restaurants

(112 Posts)
sarahseashell Wed 03-Oct-12 12:35:33

... without even making some effort to suggest that they keep the noise down confused
I'm not talking about the odd noise but when mums happily chatting/ talking on mobile while their kids are screaming rraaaahhhhh stampeding over the chairs and generally ruining the whole thing for everyone else in there, why can't the mums just explain that there are some places it's fine to do that (eg park) and some where you could keep a bit quieter.

teaching their children to be inconsiderate IMO
<dons hard hat>

CailinDana Wed 03-Oct-12 12:37:53

YANBU to an extent but at the same time I think if you go out in public you have to accept you're going to come up against other people who won't necessarily fit your ideals. You just have to let things like this go, IMO. I would rather mums were happily chatting and kids were a bit loud and having fun than see a poor mum distracted by trying to keep a lively child quiet. Live and let live.

BupcakesAndCunting Wed 03-Oct-12 12:38:25


There was a screamer last night when I took my mum and DS out for dinner. His parents AND grandparents made zilch effort to quieten him, THEN he approached our table and started talking to us about five times. Wouldn't you say "Come on little FontaineBleu, those people are eating, come and sit back down" rather than smile benignly and continue eating your own dinner?

Broken Britain.

Alliwantisaroomsomewhere Wed 03-Oct-12 12:38:58

YANBU! I don't even let my DS and the children I childmind (either at school or sleeping at moment!!) scream at soft play! In fact, I dropped DS off at a party on Saturday in a village hall, and the girls were screaming as if their lives depended on it. If it were my kid's party, there would have been NO screaming! Talkly loudly, laughing, even the odd raised voice, and most certainly running around with a bit of over excitement thrown in, but that incessant bloody ear piercing screaming - NO NO NO!

MoreBeta Wed 03-Oct-12 12:43:59

YANBU - letting kids scream, run around and disturb neighbouring tables without stopping it is just downright rude. Those naice middle class parents with crystal children are the ones who get my hardest stares.

AlfalfaMum Wed 03-Oct-12 12:47:42

YANBU at all.
Our DD 3 was one off these types, and we abandoned a few meals before giving up on bringing her out for meals. She's ok now, but there is no way I'd have expected fellow diners to sit through her shrieks.

Lend us your hard hat sarah, I agree with you. I always have books , crayons, small toys etc to keep DS amused, in my handbag, and it's so frustrating watching him picking up the behaviour of some kid who's allowed to maraude around the restaurant when he isn't. You can't jsut tell a toddler "it's because I expect better from you" however close to the truth that is.

KillerRack Wed 03-Oct-12 12:51:17


If they are completely ignoring a child screaming then fair enough, but if you're just a bit intolerant than YABU.
Its interesting how loud tables of adults bellowing in restaurants aren't treat with the same distain.

marjproops Wed 03-Oct-12 12:51:47

YANBU. can understand if it's say, McDonalds or something, but not a restaurant. think rezzys should provide a play area for kids if anything, or these people who'd rather chat on their phones (while sitting at a table eating??? bad manners) than give attention to the kids shouldnt take them there. If anyones got boisterous kids maybe they should be taken to a park first and tire them out a bit and work up an appetite, then maybe theyd sit still. I mean, do they do that in their own houses? we were in a rezz once and there was one that ran around, stopped at our table and stuck their mitts in my grub!!! partner had right go at them but of course then the loving parents came and showed the 1 way street sign and FO. told managment but they wouldnt do anything so we walked out and said we werent paying for our meal!!!

babybythesea Wed 03-Oct-12 12:52:48

Can I just say, for those who hate screamers, have a bit of sympathy for those of us who have them and can't stop them?!
DD is a screamer when she gets excited.
So far, we've been lucky in restaurants and the like because she's not allowed to run around and therefore doesn't get excited and start screaming. If she did, we'd go.
But in places like soft play, she does.
I have tried everything - we've done time outs, I've tried ignoring it, I've tried rewarding when she doesn't, I've taken her home .... the reality is that when she's running around her laughing can tip into screaming. I hate it but I've run out of ideas that work. I don't think she even realises (she's 3).
Those who say "I don't let them" - what's the trick?

TheCraicDealer Wed 03-Oct-12 12:53:17

This is something I wonder about parenting, as I have no kids of my own- does it get to a certain point where you stop noticing how much noise your own kids make? That's the only reason I can think of why some people continue to work away at their dinner whilst their children are making merry hell in some restaurants I've been to.

On the other hand, I was once in Pizza Hut when a couple came in with their tiny, tiny newborn who started crying incessantly. They looked increasingly embarrassed before eventually leaving without even ordering drinks. I felt so bad for them, wanted to give them some of my deep-pan farmhouse.

Sallyingforth Wed 03-Oct-12 12:57:20

Yep. I had the same problem yesterday. Met a friend for a quiet lunch in a pub and had a family sit at the next table. The child definitely didn't want to be there and made his feelings known for an hour. The parents just ignored the noise and inconvenience he was causing to the whole room.

BeatTheClock Wed 03-Oct-12 12:57:38


I have endless sympathy with anyone dealing with screamers or tantrumers providing they are trying to deal with it.

Persistant loud screamers in say a restaurant need to vacate.

BlueberryHill Wed 03-Oct-12 13:02:14

TheCraic, you do stop noticing / tune it out to some extent, or you'd be forever stressed or hassled if you didn't. However, I don't think that your children should impact on other people in restaurants and stop them from enjoying their hard earned meal.

Children shouldn't run around in restaurants or disturb other people, we have the odd shout but ours are usually well behaved. We distract them as much as possible, we have 3 small ones so it does take some doing. If they are getting fractious we finish as quickly as possible. I have sympathy with other parents if their child is being difficult so long as they are making a good effort at distracting them etc.

sarahseashell Wed 03-Oct-12 13:06:10

I totally agree - tons of sympathy where the parents are making an effort/aware - just genuinely confused by those who make no attempt to even suggest to their child they might pipe down/stop running around/get off the table etc - to be fair to the children they are unlikely to think this for themselves so if it was politely pointed out to them they were told to shut up they might stop. I just can't understand being oblivious to the point of complete lack of concern for anyone else tbh

Iodine Wed 03-Oct-12 13:18:21

What pisses me off is when I go out for dinner at 9pm to avoid children and there are tiny toddlers in there crying and screaming because 9pm is too late to have a toddler out and expect them to sit nicely!!!!

The other night I was at nandos gone 10pm (we were on a long journey and needed to stop) and in walked someone with 2 toddlers. It's so cruel.

LaQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 13:18:53

YANBU. Poorly behaved children in resturants make me grind my teeth.

We had zero tolerance for our DDs being too noisy, wandering around, creating a nuisance in restaurants. We always worked at keeping them quietly occupied - but if that didn't work, we have frog-marched them out of one of two places, when they refused to behave. They learned that lesson very wasn't nice for anyone, we all left half eaten meals, but it was short term pain, for long term gain.

And, I have witnessed too many near misses, and one actual accident, where a waiter has been nearly tripped by a wandering toddler, while carrying hot food etc.

MummyPig24 Wed 03-Oct-12 13:22:52

I have been in both situations. I agree that it is irritating when parents make no effort to calm their children down. A few months ago ds had a fantastic tantrum in frankie and bennys, the table next to us moved! I took him outside, he is 4 so well able to understand that it was not acceptable, and all over the fact that dd sat next to daddy and he wanted to. On another occasion we went to a pizza express and the couple next to us gave us a vile look as we sat down and moved! The kids were positively angelic throughout the entire meal and I felt irritated that prow made assumptions.

freddiefrog Wed 03-Oct-12 13:25:09


I always picked my places when mine were at the screaming/yelling stage. The local Fun Factory place at 5:30pm was fair game for a bit of noise and running in and out of the climbing frame area. I never let them scream and run around annoying other diners and getting in the way of waitresses, but at the same time they weren't expected to be seen and not heard if you see what I mean

Floggingmolly Wed 03-Oct-12 13:30:24

Why should people who hate screamers have a bit of sympathy for those of us who have them and can't stop them, babybythesea?
Have you thought that the people doing the cats bum face at you may well have paid a babysitter so they could leave their own screamers at home, and are pissed off at having to eat to the accompaniment of screamers anyway?

Viviennemary Wed 03-Oct-12 13:32:24

YANBU. Until my children could behave properly they were not taken out to eat in restaurants. Or if they didn't behave they would be taken out of the way sharpish. I think it's totally inconsiderate and bad mannered to inflict your badly behaved children on other people who are trying to have a pleasant time and may have saved and looked forward to a special meal.

boredandrestless Wed 03-Oct-12 13:36:19

Similar to LaQueen I went for the short term pain, long term gain. My son has autism and loves to round around and be loud but if we eat out he is always complemented on being so good. We out a lot as it is a pleasure as he knows how to behave.

I too sympathise with parents trying, however not if they are meekly trying for the entire meal. A warning or two then OUT.

I always worry about the waiters walking about with food food and drinks trying to work while kids run around the tables. I have a huge skin graft scar from a burn so am well aware of the damage that can be done.

BeatTheClock Wed 03-Oct-12 13:40:34

'we have frog-marched them out of one of two places' Oh yes us too grin

The other thing I cannot stand are children wandering about bothering people at other tables. It's not cute. It's blimmin annoying. Especially if you have staple-gunned your own to their seats and told them to behave.

LaQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 13:41:59

I have zero sympathy for parents who keep repeating meekly 'Sssshhhh' or 'Or don't do that again' for the entire duration of the meal, while their child clearly totally ignores them.

If they're being a real nuisance, and you're too ineffectual to actually moderate their behaviour sufficently, then you should remove them from the restaurant - that at least you can do.

It's totally unfair to expect other diners to listen to your child's repeated pantomiming/screaming/banging/crying just because you want to finish your meal - and have been looking forward to it etc. Presumably, other diners in the restuarant have been looking forward to their meal, too. Exactly, why do your wishes supercede their's hmm

When our DDs were little I accepted that I might not get to finish every meal in a restaurant, until they learned to behave appropriately. Them's the breaks when you have little children....

Alligatorpie Wed 03-Oct-12 13:51:04

Like most other people, I have sympathy for parents trying to deal with toddlers who are throwing tantrums. But, parents who let their kids run riot in retaurants should be kicked out. I was a waitress when in uni I and the number of parents who would encourage their kids to play noisily or ignore them was unbelievable. They didn't seem to get that it would be very easy to drop a tray of drinks or hot plates on their toddler who was running around.
And it is incredibly disrespectful to people who are paying to enjoy a meal out.

SammyTheSwedishSquirrel Wed 03-Oct-12 13:51:40

OP you are so not being unreasonable. My husband and I were out just the other evening. Young child on the table behind us was screaming constantly (and not a baby). Eventually another customer turned round and told them to do something about it. So they gave him a mobile phone so he could watch some sort of crazy frog music cartoon thing AT FULL BLOODY VOLUME. ARRRRRRGH!

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 13:53:32

I agree.

I took my toddler out to a nice restaurant last night. We came with some small toys and pencils etc and all the adults played with and entertained him in turns. He wasn't silent but nor did I tolerate serious noise, and nor was he allowed to run about.

When he was 2 and found restaurants overwhelming, we just didn't go to them for a while. Other people pay good money for a nice evening out. My kid, my responsibility to ensure he doesn't make that impossible.

BeatTheClock Wed 03-Oct-12 13:55:04

Or the other day, a child at the table in front of mine turned round and fixed me with an unwavering deadpan gimlet stare for the duration of the entire meal.

Do turn round and look the other way, there's a dear.

Floggingmolly Wed 03-Oct-12 14:07:04

God, how unnerving, BeatTheClock! Still, at least their parents could eat in peace...

VonHerrBurton Wed 03-Oct-12 14:07:56

YANBU! DS wasn't a screamer but he was a PITA in restaurants btwn the ages of 2 - 4. Wandering around, climbing, going to the toilet (not going, iykwim, just looking for devillment!) fiddling... the list goes on.

So we stopped going to anywhere remotely nice. P Hut, McDs etc are fair game, I'm afraid but even upmarket-ish pubs and certainly restaurants were out til he learned to behave properly - 4-ish. I wouldn't want to endure other peoples' kids coming over to 'talk' to me over and over again whilst grand/parents say 'ooh are you telling the lady what we did today? He's very advanced, you know', I don't want them crawling, climbing and messing around - as for screamers....

If they're newborns it's a bit different though. You can always tell when it's a firstborn, the poor parents get so stressed.

MummytoKatie Wed 03-Oct-12 14:10:08

We have a naturally fairly calm, well behaved two year old so obviously it is easier for us than for most.

But there are a lot of things that we do that make it possible for us to go out with her. Enough toys to sink a ship is rule no 1 for meals out. Giving her lots of attention even if it means we are not enjoying our meal as much as we would a candle-lit dinner for 2 is rule no 2. Making sure the meal is when she is not too tired or hungry. Going places where we know the service is quick. Often going back to the same place and over-tipping so we get really good service. Letting her choose what she wants to eat. Choosing somewhere with an outdoor bit so if she does look at bit antsy we can take her out easily. Crawling around on the floor afterwards to pick up any food she has dropped.

None of this is rocket science. But we've been out with her at least once a week all her life (so probably 150 - 200 times) and if those I would say there are maybe 3 occasions when a waitress would say that our party was more trouble than a party of adults.

BeatTheClock Wed 03-Oct-12 14:13:32

Ah but I also do a good line in gimlet stares myself. We were locked in silent combatgrin

deleted203 Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:14

YANBU I hate it too. It's rare, having five DCs that we get to go out for a meal with just the two of us. If I've managed a rare night out, without my kids, for a romantic evening with DH I'm buggered if I want someone else's brat ruining it for us by running around yelling. It drives me mad. If your child can't behave in adult environments (such as restaurants) don't bring them out. And if they are affecting other people around them take them out of there.

babybythesea Wed 03-Oct-12 14:15:22

Why should people who hate screamers have a bit of sympathy for those of us who have them and can't stop them, babybythesea?
Have you thought that the people doing the cats bum face at you may well have paid a babysitter so they could leave their own screamers at home, and are pissed off at having to eat to the accompaniment of screamers anyway?

Did you not read the rest of it though?
We don't let her run around in restaurants, so she doesn't scream. I'm in the camp that takes a bag the size of the child with stuff to do. It hasn't happened yet in a restaurant, but I would be perfectly prepared to take her home if she did.
Anywhere where she can run around, she almost always screams. I have no idea what else to do to stop it. If you read the post, you'll see I talked about places like soft play, mentioned as one place where a poster above me doesn't let her kids scream. I'd genuinely like to know how to stop it. I've gone through everything I can think of. And she has to be able to run somewhere. I agree, a restaurant isn't the place, and it doesn't happen there for us because we don't let her get to that stage. She sits and eats. There isn't a second option. I quite often don't let her go to kid's play areas in restaurants because of her tendency to scream when excited - that is how strict I can be with her. But in soft play? What do you do to stop it, precisely, if your child is that way inclined? I was really saying that screaming, more generally than in a restaurant, isn't always the fault of the parent who tolerates it. Sometimes we just can't bloody stop it.

VonHerrBurton Wed 03-Oct-12 14:16:56

Wow, Mummyto considering your dd is 'fairly calm well-behaved 2 year old' that's a boatload of planning you have to do! No spur of the moment meals out for you then?! wink

Viviennemary Wed 03-Oct-12 14:23:12

I hate screaming kids. But I appreciate that in a park there might be screamers. Or at a soft play. Luckily I didn't have screamers. Not saying mine were perfect, they weren't but not that particular problem. DD was a determined and quite awkward little person when she was small, so not taking the high stand. Screaming in park or soft play not great but understandable. Screaming and tantrums in restaurants just simply not on.

YUNoSaySomethingNice Wed 03-Oct-12 14:27:51

YANBU not a tiny little bit. I find it really irritating and very rude. It is a bit different if the parents are trying and it is in a family restaurant.
I did not let my DC's be noisy in restaurants because it irritated me not to mind anyone else.

hazeyjane Wed 03-Oct-12 14:31:48

Ds (2.3) is a screecher and screamer and can only manage a short time in cafes, he isn't distracted by toys and isn't at the age to be entertained by colouring etc. I have got very good at drinking scalding hot coffee at high speed and swallowing a slice of cake in one mouthful - just the length of time it takes for me to give ds something to eat and drink, then we vamoose.

There have been times where we are eating out with friends, then dh and I have to take it in turns to eat while the other one takes ds out, otherwise it is just a nightmare.

I dream of the day when dh and I can go for a meal on our own!

VonHerrBurton Wed 03-Oct-12 14:37:20

grin at hazeyjane!

Don't worry, your time will come! That's what we found ourselves up against, of course we tried colouring and little cars - ds would rather crawl under the table....

He's an angel now in restaurants, btw, your little boy will be too, I promise.

YUNoSaySomethingNice Wed 03-Oct-12 14:37:22

Screaming in soft play areas is a bit irritating but I wouldn't expect a parent to do too much about it as it is a place for DC's to play.
My DC's were never screamers and were never runners either. I like to think this was due to my excellent parenting but I suspect it is more down to their personalities. They all did a good line in whinging though wink.
I just won't go to cafe's or restaurants where I think DC's might be running around or screaming. I don't find it relaxing and I can not block it out. I don't ever give the cats bum face because you never know the circumstances or the DC and the DC's parents. I would hate to judge a DC who was noisy due to behavioural problems.

LettyAshton Wed 03-Oct-12 14:41:05

I've just been looking but can't find the thread of some years ago on this subject where someone posted, oblivious to the mood of the other posters, that their dc had been running round a London restaurant waving a snake and banging a tambourine. The waiters were lovely and the other diners were all smiling. Yeah, I bet they were. Some people are seriously deluded about their dcs and truly believe the whole world enjoys them.

And don't get me started on Europeans loving children. Like hell they do. Many restaurants will impose a table charge on children... especially horrid noisy ones.

kerala Wed 03-Oct-12 15:11:08

Move to Italy. We went to a restaurant that opened at 8pm. About one third of the tables had kids on them - some really young not babies but 2 ish. All sat beautifully you would not have known there were children there. Couldnt help but compare with a similar set up in England eg Giraffe like a flipping zoo sometimes. Seems the parents have high expectations which the children meet.

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 15:14:17

they hit them if they don't behave kerala, as do the french.

Those are your high expectations.

Hullygully Wed 03-Oct-12 15:14:55

Noisy unpleasant children should be removed ditto noisy unplesant adults.

Jusfloatingby Wed 03-Oct-12 15:38:26

YANBU. Parents who sit smiling happily while their kids tear around the place annoying other diners in restaurants drive me absolutely mad. Some parents just do-not-get- that other people are not as besotted with their kids as they are and are not 'charmed' to see them running around shouting and screaming. They are just wishing someone would pick up the little brats darlings and GO.

lionheart Wed 03-Oct-12 16:06:24

Had to ask the waitress if she could do something to stop three children scooting around the tables in a large coffee shop (okay, it was Costa!).

Parents seemed to think this was okay and customers carrying trays of hot drinks should just treat it as an additional challenge.

I've seen children scooting around inside shops before but nothing like this.

RuleBritannia Wed 03-Oct-12 16:44:53


I agree. If a waitress is unable to do anything, I propose that the manager be asked to remove the offending family. All right, the parents are quiet and eating but I intensely dislike having to put up with unruly, uncontrolled children whose parents don't know any better. If the parents are like that, the children will never know any better.

What about a separate room for family (with children) meals? Like the proposal for airlines. The rest of us would be able to dine in peace and quiet then and be able to converse with no interruptions.

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 16:58:49

hazeyjane DS was like that at that age, I sympathise. We used to bolt cafe snacks, too, and didn't eat out that year as it was a total waste of money. Things settled down as soon as he was 3, and he's fine now. Hang on in there. grin

And parents who allow their kids to wreck other people's meals piss me off. It's unbelievably selfish. It's like people who do long train journeys and just ignore their kids and don't provide them with any entertainment - what do they imagine bored preschoolers will do?!

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 17:00:13

Oh, and the worst ever? Parents who smiled all benignly and fondly as their brat helped himself to my meal.

marjproops Wed 03-Oct-12 17:03:06

Yeah, and I bet if a waiter/ress dropped hot food/drink over darling child who tripped them up or banged into them the restaurant would be sued by dear parents. But not if the food/drink tipped onto another customer.

thebody Wed 03-Oct-12 17:08:28

Totally agree op, I have a good death stare and use it.

Work with kids all day and don't want them screeching in my ear when I am eating out.

Some parents don't seem to understand that actually no one else is terribly interested in their brat and don't want to hear it.

Annunziata Wed 03-Oct-12 17:10:35

He helped himself to your meal, perfectstorm? shock

YANBU btw.

A child asked me during the week why I didn't have any crayons for him to play with. Actually walked across the restaurant floor to get me! I was floored. Parents simpered. Eugh.

Shouting children is something I try to crack down on, but it's so hard to do. I do think some parents get immune to their own kids too.

LFCisTarkaDahl Wed 03-Oct-12 17:19:50

Yanbu if it's a proper restaurant.

I don't want to hear rugrats, some twat on his mobile, or a woman boasting about her handbag.

General background noise only or fuck off home.

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 17:24:42

Yep. Child I had never seen in my life was darting around all over the place while parents smiled fondly, wandered over to my table, eyed up my plate and then helped himself. They then looked horrified all right... when I told him off! Not aggressively or angrily; just removed his hands, took the food out of them, told him it was very bad manners and that he wasn't to do it again. They didn't approach me or anything though. I was half expecting them to.

Still makes me angry remembering it, and it was years ago. Just the way they were letting him down, as well as interfering in others' enjoyment. I was looking after a friend's child at the time, same sort of age, and I will never forget her huge eyes as he did it. She was just speechless with astonishment. She was brought up by actual grownups, herself (and is now an utterly delightful 17 year old). She (and by extension he) were old enough to know and behave better.

LettyAshton Wed 03-Oct-12 17:57:36

I'd've asked the parents to buy me a new meal, perfectstorm. No way I could continue eating a dinner some smelly brat had had their paws in - yeeuuch.

ravenAK Wed 03-Oct-12 18:02:30

I stopped going to 'proper' restaurants whilst mine were at the screaming stage (& almost fell out with a friend over it - we used to go for cosy curry evenings with our newborns & I put a stop to it when they became Terrible Twos).

I think it's OK if it's a family orientated chain at lunchtime AND you're trying to do something about it.

Past-their-bedtime screamers when other people are out for a date/work jolly/with mates...not so good.

CouthyMowWearingOrange Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:17

YANBU. I have 4 DC's. I would take them outside and explain to them that they have to use an 'indoor' voice when in a restaurant.

I HATE my own meals being disrupted by screaming, I wouldn't allow my DC's to do so to other people.

Yes, 3 of my DC's are older, but I wouldn't put up with it from 20mo DS3 either.

If he gets too bored, I take him outside to run around. Then he comes back in and is quiet again.

hazeyjane Wed 03-Oct-12 18:24:22

I am keeping my fingers crossed! Our dds (5 and 6) are lovely to take out, and have always been happy to sit and colour and love eating out, but ds has sn, he has no speech at all and tends to get a bit overwhelmed in cafes etc but the girls still like to go to a cafe as a treat, so we work out a way to keep everyone happy! I worked as a waitress for years and was amazed at what some people would let their kids get away with.

Glittertwins Wed 03-Oct-12 18:32:13

I've done the frog marching outside too. Actually it was more hefted out like a sack of potatoes albeit a noisy one. 2 minutes later with a sharp telling off outside, DD quietly walked back inside with me and ate her lunch. The bar staff actually stopped me and asked how I did it. DD was 2 at the time.

VeritableSmorgasbord Wed 03-Oct-12 18:33:32

I had one screamer.
No way would i have ruined someone's meal by not taking him out of the restaurant to calm down.
Jesus some of you are deluded about how intrusive a screaming/tantrumming child is regardless of how much of a phase it might be.

WithoutCaution Wed 03-Oct-12 18:55:39

We've walked out before ordering when we saw several screaming kids running round a restaurant before. Have even cancelled our order and been refunded due to not wanting to spend the evening being forced to listen to screaming kids even told the manager that that was the reason we were leaving when he refunded us...

Have witnessed a waitress fall over a child who insisted on playing infront of the doors into and out of the kitchen. The staff couldn't get him to move as he was being a complete brat and the parents didn't give a shit. If the staff were allowed to physically move said brat he wouldn't have been kicked as the waitress fell over him nor would he have been covered in soup.

His parents were furious with the poor waitress and ended up with a free meal thinks the parents should have compensated the poor waitress and the rest of the customers who had to put up with their brat

Annunziata Wed 03-Oct-12 18:55:42

That's shocking, perfectstorm! You should have said something, surely one of the staff saw. I would have replaced your meal anyway.

LaQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:44:22

I remember reading a thread on here, not so long ago, where a couple had taken their toddler to Raymond Blanc's place (can't remember...Manoir, somefink) - and according to them, the staff were utterly thrilled to act as impromptu child-minders, while the couple looked on fondly...

This child was wandering round the restaurant...and apparantly, was just enchanting to everyone in there, the staff just luffed him. He was no trouble, and actually improved the other diner's experience...

Having worked as a waitress myself, I just wondered how many of the staff spat in the couple's food, before serving it with a smile hmm

chipsandmushypeas Wed 03-Oct-12 19:47:22

Yes, all well behaved children are hit hmm

LaQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:47:30

And, of's requires so much less effort and allows you to feel a righteous glow if you just blame other diners for being grumpy, mean-spitirited cows... rather than making an effort, and being consistent and actually raising your child to behave appropriately in a social situation.

LaQueen Wed 03-Oct-12 19:50:09

Chips hmmm, yes...because all parents of well behaved, nicely mannered children routinely beat them and strike terror into their hearts hmm

Or...or...maybe they just make a real effort, and show some consistency and firmness with their child, even if that means missing their own meal - and don't put their own selfish wishes above those of a restaurant full of diners.

chipsandmushypeas Wed 03-Oct-12 19:54:25

My comment was a hullys post laqueen should've quoted, sorry

perfectstorm Wed 03-Oct-12 19:54:38

Problem was, I was looking after another child, and I didn't know how to handle a confrontation with the parents in a way that wasn't likely to kick off at that age. I was only in my early 20s myself, they were quite a bit older, and I didn't want to get into a row while minding another child. I was so bloody angry I barely trusted myself to look at them, let alone ask if they could control their son.

The cafe/restaurant was a conversion of a rambling house in Shrewsbury with several rooms, so the staff weren't there when he did it, either. A passive aggressive request for a new meal because the brat had messed with mine would have been a great option, yeah. But not one I thought of at the time, sadly! Oh well. Only 14 years too late. grin

I do wonder how their kid grew up, though. The one I was minding on that day is so, so lovely. I know it might sound OTT, but I genuinely think parents who don't twig that the world doesn't revolve around their treasures may have kids who also struggle with that concept.

MummytoKatie Wed 03-Oct-12 19:55:42

Vonherr - you've got me - I'm not the spontaneous type! My version of "look before you leap" is more like "look, look again, go away and have a think, look a bit more, write down a list of pros and cons, look again, complete risk assessment, look one more time, do pathetic leap"

But what we do isn't that hard really. Especially as we go out a lot so I hardly ever get round to unpacking the "meal out toys".

Actually the only spontaneous thing I ever did was marry dh. Aged 20 and together 17 months at the time. I reckon that balances out the fact that it takes me months to commit to buying a new handbag.

chipsandmushypeas Wed 03-Oct-12 19:57:09


Mintyy Wed 03-Oct-12 20:00:54

Op - did you think anyone would say Yabu?

Do you understand the concept of the Am I Being Unreasonable topic?

It is for posting on when you are unsure if you are being unreasonable or not.

ilovesooty Wed 03-Oct-12 22:03:10

I thought it was likely that some people would say the OP was BU. There was a recent thread about intrusive children in restaurants and another about screamers at soft play where the responses were much less uniform.

Viperidae Wed 03-Oct-12 22:16:52

I never tolerated it with my children and don't expect to for other people's.

I am heartened at the fact that everybody seems to agree as I've seen some appalling indulgent justifications of bad behaviour on here sometimes.

scorpionne Thu 04-Oct-12 01:35:28


Taking toddlers to restaurants is hard work. They don't necessarily enjoy the food and they don't want to sit still while you chat to the other adults after the meal. But, we still took our dcs, because we wanted them to get used to it and even enjoy it as it's something we like to do. Now they are 11, 9 and 6 and love eating out with us.

It's just common sense. When they are small, you think about what kind of food they will eat nicely and plan where to go. Or bring some extra food if it's a restaurant serving adventurous dishes only. But there's usually something on the menu for kids. You need pens and paper, books, small toys. You can't expect them to sit for too long. Maybe someone will take them for a short walk outside. Bribe them with dessert if necessary! There is really no excuse for having them charging about screaming!

We recently went for a meal with SIL, her DH and their 4 dcs. It was horrendous. Her dcs were running everywhere, didn't really eat anything as she had given them so many snacks beforehand (they need to be hungry if you want them to eat!) made a huge mess with the food, ripped up napkins and broke 2 glasses and the parents made no attempts to stop them. I tried to stay out of it but at one point told one of the dcs to "sit down and eat his dinner" - and he did! Not a pleasant experience. SIL made some comment about how they "just weren't at the stage yet where the kids could behave nicely in restaurants" and I thought (but didn't say) well they never will be unless you teach them! She told me we were lucky that our dcs sit nicely and eat, and I replied that it didn't just happen by accident!

catwomanlikesmeatballs Thu 04-Oct-12 01:51:32

yanbu, there's no excuse for parents to have no respect or consideration for other people. Those who can't appreciate that other people are spending money for an enjoyable meal, not to listen to their screaming kids, should be thrown out and have it made very clear how unwelcome they are. Businesses that refuse to tolerate lazy parenting and the annoying kids they produce will benefit from a reputation as a brat free zone.

Note, not child free, those of us who are arsed parenting properly, bother to socialise, educate and know when to leave, shouldn't be punished for the failure of a minority of rude, selfish idiots.

Darkesteyeswithflecksofgold Thu 04-Oct-12 02:04:38

About seven years ago we had two policemen come round and ask us if we had heard any screaming outside as there had been quite a serious assault.
I told him i was very sorry to hear that but also had to tell him that children and young people scream on our estate quite a lot so if we had heard anything we would have just thought it was normal and that nothing was amiss.

musicalendorphins Thu 04-Oct-12 02:45:14

YANBU. If a person can't control their child, for whatever reason, they probably should not take them to a restaurant. I know I wouldn't.

I was in a coffee shop (type that does panini's/quiche etc) yesterday with DD (just 1), my friend and her DD (17 months) and my DM.

We are all very hot on children behaving in public and yet we STILL got treated to a couple of cats bum faces!

DD was in a highchair, my friend's DD had to sit on a chair because the other high chair was occupied by a four year old (?!) Who was wedged into it and complaining the whole time that she wanted to sit on a chair.

They did not scream, they did not shout. They did "talk" to each other and "show" each OTHER their raisin toast, and occasionally their "talking" was a little louder than quiet (but def not shouting) bcos they are too young to have complete control - they don't talk properly yet. Each time they were louder than liked we shushed and distracted. After she had finished my friend's DD got up (wouldn't have in a high chair) and bimbled round OUR table. We were deliberately in a corner, she didn't go anywhere else, wasn't in anyone's way and was quiet.

My DD did bang her cup on the table ONCE (because I whipped it away immediately).

Neither child cried. They were actually really well behaved.

But that didn't stop the two ladies next to us ruining OUR meal by constantly giving us filthy looks, before eventually pointedly picking up their coffee cups and debunking to the farthest away table... Which had been empty (like nearly every other table) when they came in after us and sat down next to us!

The waitress who cleared their table after they moved gave us a sympathetic grin and afterwards took great pains to proclaim how well behaved and pleasant our children were.

I can only conclude that the ladies in question believe that children should never be allowed in any eating establishment.

We take our child out regularly so that eating out is the norm, and behaving becomes engrained. It would seem that even though they didn't scream, shout, run around or tantrum some people will always have an issue.

bbface Thu 04-Oct-12 07:54:10

If I had a screamer, I wold not inflict that on other patrons. I simply would not go out for lunch etc until she or he had gone through the stage.

I have a two year old. I will not allow him to scream or bang tags or basically make things unpleasant for other diners. If he gets worked up, I quickly get the bill and we leave.

My aim is for my child to grow into a considerate, polite and oughful individual. If a child thinks his parents are cool with him screaming and running riot, then that is how he will develop. And they become the rude adults, who than have rude children, and so the cycle continues.

Posted too soon (damn phone!)

Had they misbehaved they would have been OUT. I hate when children are allowed to run amok or scream and shout.

I am not PFB with her at all - my expectations of how children behave in public are high and I do not tolerate any behaviour that will disrupt other people.

So it would seem to me that some people are just intolerant of children - what else can it be when they get annoyed to the point of moving by two well behaved BABIES who do nothing more than babble to each other (and even ate nicely!)

Sirzy Thu 04-Oct-12 07:55:47

Yanbu. If parents take their children out they need to be prepared to make the effort to keep them children calm, quiet (ish) and happy.

Even worse than the screaming is the children who are allowed to run/walk around annoying other people and getting under people's feet.

If Ds starts screaming/tantruming he gets one warning to calm down and I try to distract. If that doesn't work then we go outside until he has calmed and we have had a chat.

MorrisZapp Thu 04-Oct-12 07:56:13

I have a toddler, and I no longer go to restaurants. It's paying for stress. Why bother?

When he's a bit bigger, we'll dip a toe back in. But until then its hardly a great sacrifice just to do without restaurant food, or go when we have babysitters.

Meglet Thu 04-Oct-12 07:59:07

Mine can be a handful at the table sometimes. But they are never allowed to roam and get in the way of waiting staff or pester other diners. As a LP I tend to have to suck it up and accept that eating out with young children isn't always plain sailing.

We usually eat out at 5pm ish so it doesn't intrude on proper grown up evening dining. And I ask to be seated away from other diners just in case the kids muck about.

I don't mind other loud children though, if mine are behaving themselves then a riot could break out and I'd still be happy.

Hullygully Thu 04-Oct-12 08:46:25

No not all well behaved children chips, but an awful lot of French and Italian ones I have observed.

whiskyplease Thu 04-Oct-12 09:16:05

I remember the HV who ran the baby-weighing clinic in our village saying to the mother of a persistent screamer "if you don't stop him, how will you know if something is really wrong?" That was a long time ago, but I think it still makes sense.

Soditall Thu 04-Oct-12 09:28:15

I hate this with a passion.

I know it can be hard for the parents involved and if they're tending to they're children brilliant.

The parents I detest are the one's that ignore they're children's awful behavior and almost expect other diners(complete strangers to them)to parent they're children.

And I say this as a mother of 5 children and 2 of our children are asd.

Yet we still manage to not ruin others meals.

mrsminerva Thu 04-Oct-12 10:53:55

I'm with the French and the Italian parent on this one Hully.

hazeyjane Thu 04-Oct-12 11:51:15

Can I just say though, that whilst I agree that if your child is screaming the place down, running amok etc, then yes you should leave, there is a bit of the 'well my children can behave so everyone's children can behave' about this thread, and the thing is some children are just a bit more erratic or screamy or difficult to control, and it isn't all down to lazy parenting.

As I said earlier in the thread, on one of the few occasions that we took ds and the dds for a meal in a restaurant (for a friend's birthday), we took it in turns to take him for a walk, but we still got a couple asking to be moved and giving us filthy looks whilst ds ate his lunch (and I wasn't just imagining it because I tried to apologise to the lady, when she looked over and shook her head, they then asked to be moved to a different tableblush),it is difficult because i think we have got used to him sometimes screeching when he is frustrated and can't communicate what he wants.

LettyAshton Thu 04-Oct-12 12:02:15

It does depend on the restaurant and time, as well.

Some years ago dh and I went out for a meal at a very well-regarded and expensive restaurant - had babysitters, dressed up, looking forward to it and so on.

At the next table were a family and the children were in their pyjamas . Not only that, they were wandering round, or playing on electronic games, and I remember the absolute FINAL STRAW was when the parents started singing "Heads and Shoulders Knees and Toes". angry

Miggsie Thu 04-Oct-12 12:25:40

My pet hate is when a group of parent come in, park their entire set of kids at one table and retire to another part of the restuarant so they can have a child free meal - sadly the rest of us didn't.

DH and I left a restaurant and refused to pay when we got a crowd of badly behaved kids next to us.

AllPastYears Thu 04-Oct-12 12:37:19

"At the next table were a family and the children were in their pyjamas . Not only that, they were wandering round, or playing on electronic games, and I remember the absolute FINAL STRAW was when the parents started singing "Heads and Shoulders Knees and Toes". "

So Letty, tell me a restaurant and time where that would be appropriate - unless they'd booked the whole place!

minipie Thu 04-Oct-12 12:43:06

the thing is some children are just a bit more erratic or screamy or difficult to control, and it isn't all down to lazy parenting

I agree, some children will act up in restaurants despite the best parenting in the world. But, I think that if you are unlucky enough to one of those, then you shouldn't go to restaurants (except the most family friendly ones). Harsh perhaps but I think it's just one of the sacrifices involved in having children.

perfectstorm Thu 04-Oct-12 12:47:54

DS went through a phase when he was overwhelmed by restaurants and behaved appallingly. We stopped going out for meals for a year. It was a pain, but it wasn't forever. Now, with appropriate toys and attention, he behaves beautifully. We've eaten out twice this week, once in a smart restaurant, and he was angelic.

Agree that when they aren't able to behave, you eat at home. It's antisocial to do otherwise - eating out isn't an essential activity.

perfectstorm Thu 04-Oct-12 12:50:16

Having said that, I've also noticed several people who ask to be moved as soon as we sit down, and they see the party have a small child. It's understandable, but he actually behaves rather better than some men opposite having a business dinner did this week. In fact DS asked us quietly why they were being so noisy, he thought you weren't allowed to be like that in a restaurant?

Better manners in general would be a good thing, I think.

It's age, isn't it.

hazeyjane Thu 04-Oct-12 13:03:49

Sometimes (rarely in our case!) there is a situation though when eating out is necessary, if there is a group of you going out for a meal for an occasion for example. I think sometimes people can be a bit cat bums mouthy over just a bit of noise or mess. I'm not talking about eating out in the evening.

dikkertjedap Thu 04-Oct-12 13:07:52

YANBU and it is equally unsociable for people to have very loud birthday parties or other type of parties in a restaurant with other guests ...

dikkertjedap Thu 04-Oct-12 13:08:12

and here I mean noisy adults ...

bubalou Thu 04-Oct-12 13:17:59

I haven't read the rest of the comments but I hate this too. Nobody minds small babies - there's not much you can do but our local pizza hut is the worse - I have seen it all.

Kids running round playing tag, drawing on walls with crayons and throwing tomatoes from the salad bar at each other!

Yes I am going to be judgey pants to these people - control your kids!!!

Jusfloatingby Thu 04-Oct-12 13:36:55

I know it must be annoying when you get dirty looks from other diners the minute you walk in to a restaurant with your children.

But those diners have probably had their fill of rude, ignorant or just downright gormless parents who allow their children to shout, scream, run around, bang into people's chairs etc and just smile fondly before turning back to their meal.

It's the usual story of everyone in a group being tarred by the behaviour of an annoying minority.

5Foot5 Thu 04-Oct-12 13:40:08

Miggsie "My pet hate is when a group of parent come in, park their entire set of kids at one table and retire to another part of the restuarant so they can have a child free meal - sadly the rest of us didn't."

Yes that has happened to us!

We went out for a Chinese meal recently and were shown in to an alcove off of the main dining room. There was our table, another table with a couple on and then a larger table with eight little girls having a birthday party. The adults with them had taken a table well away in the main part of the restaurant. Now the little girls weren't badly behaved and their was no screaming, but they were certainly boisterous, excited, quite noisy and did a lot of getting up and down and messing around. It seemed a bit off to me that their adults got to eat in peacse while we had our meal disturbed.

OP YADNBU. I think many parents ignore their children while they chat to each other and of course the kids get bored and play up. We always made a point of including DD in any conversations and making sure she was enjoying herself too and we never had any problems.

I think some people expect the worst when they see a child in a restaurant though. We were once staying in a slightly pretentious hotel in the Lake District when DD was about 6. The manager was clearly a bit ungappy about having a young child in his dining room and claimed the only free table was at 6:30pm when the restaurant opened then put us right in the corner. When he saw for himself that our DD was a perfectly civilised diner who new how to behave in restaurants he was all over us. Bit of a Basil Fawlty actually

sarahseashell Thu 04-Oct-12 14:13:41

mintyy yes I am surprised that it seems fairly unanimous that IANBU given the number of times I have seen this sort of thing - perhaps it's just that none of them are mnetters grin

I agree that the ones who disregard other diners are making it harder for everyone else - it is horrible when you've turned up with your bag of toys and restaurant-friendly-ish child and you get catsbummouth from people.

I am shock about the child taking food from a plate, the ones scootering around coffee shop and the one playing by the doors to the kitchen shock shock

The ones prompting me to make this post were waking a baby on another table, standing on chairs, running round and making a racket screaming etc while their mums were happily chatting, seemingly completely oblivious. I did do hard stare and probably tutted grin

minipie Thu 04-Oct-12 14:26:17

Or maybe it's just that nobody thinks their child is that child sarah wink

PropertyNightmare Thu 04-Oct-12 14:57:17

Yanbu. A tantruming or screaming child should be removed from the venue if it won't shut up! Many times dh or I have taken ours outside for a walk in this situation (even if you do have to leave your meal for a bit!). It is basic courtesy to do so.

"I know it must be annoying when you get dirty looks from other diners the minute you walk in to a restaurant with your children.

But those diners have probably had their fill of rude, ignorant or just downright gormless parents who allow their children to shout, scream, run around, bang into people's chairs etc and just smile fondly before turning back to their meal."

In our case we didn't walk in - we were already in, deliberately sat in a corner away from others just in case, and despite there only being two other tables occupied, and nine available these two ladies CHOSE to sit at the table right next to us, then gave us filthy looks because our babies were babbling, followed by moving to a table they could have sat at to start with as it was empty when they arrived.

Surely if a person has "had their fill of rude, ignorant or just downright gormless parents" (none of which I happen to be) then THEY ought to have chosen to sit at one of the other eight tables away from us - rather than sitting at the one directly next to us?? Call me weird - but I would think it's logical that if you don't want to possibly be disturbed by children you don't sit as close as you can get.

Or maybe they just enjoy having something to turn their noses up at?

I don't care whether other people have had "their fill" - that doesn't give them the right to haul their judgey pants up about my child when she has NEVER misbehaved in a restaurant, and wouldn't be allowed to remain in one if she did.

sarahseashell Thu 04-Oct-12 19:29:47

yes sounds like they just wanted something to moan about coola

YANBU at all - I recently had a very hot drink tipped all over me by children running round and round a restaurant. i actually think they were playing tag.
When it happened the staff etc all bustled around and one of the mothers rather vaguely offered to buy me another. No apology. No 'ooo, you've been covered in half a pint of hot liquid'. No offer to pay a cleaning bill.
I'd have more sympathy with a screaming baby, for a bit anyway grin

janelikesjam Thu 04-Oct-12 21:02:02

Why should you have to don your hard hat, OP?

Why would anyone disagree with you? shock.

It always amazes me when people let their babies bawl and children shout/scream in restaurants, shops, everywhere - disturbing everyone - while blithely carrying on with their own business. Bad manners and lack of care for children simultaneously.

(p.s. btw not talking about a little spirited behaviour smile)

BrianButterfield Thu 04-Oct-12 21:07:44

I had a pre-emptive catsbum the other day too! I took DS (13 months) out on my own for a sandwich and coffee in a very casual cafe in a local council-run building. I sat him in his highchair with a little toy on a table as far from everyone else as I could, and then an older woman came in, took the table next to me and looked at us with great disdain and pursed lips. He was making no noise at all! I noticed it because usually he gets smiles and hellos from people.

QueenStromba Thu 04-Oct-12 21:41:07

I see your crap parents in restaurants and raise you crap parents on planes. At least in restaurants or even any other form of public transport you have the option of leaving or moving to another area but on plane you are stuck with the crap parenting for the duration. I once snapped at the parents of a child who were making no effort to keep the child quiet on a London to Dublin flight. I could have coped with it if that wasn't the last flight of a 36 hour journey. The mother was indignant but the father agreed that I had a point. They made an effort then and the child was quiet for the rest of the flight.

You'd love my DD on a plane - she sits and plays quietly with her toys, then goes to sleep lol! Mind you we've been flying regularly since she was 3 weeks.

Sirzy Thu 04-Oct-12 22:19:02

Worse than the noisy child on a plane in the family who decided not to change the shitty nappy of their baby on the plane. 4 hours of that stink was horrendous!

Not surprisingly the baby was also screaming for a lot of the flight!

bubalou Thu 04-Oct-12 22:20:44

When I worked as a waitress's at a rather 'family orientated' restaurant we had a woman an her friend come in with 3 children. They were shits from the start but after having complaints from other tables I had to politely ask her to keep the children sat down for their safety. Hot pans, people carrying trays with drinks on etc. 5 minutes later and her shit head son - about 7 years old was running round again pretending to shoot stuff with his fingers & knocked over a tray with a glass on it and it landed on him! He wasn't hurt, the glass hit the floor & smashed and I had to clean it all up.

His mum was outraged that a tray with a drinking glass had been left on - an empty table, on the other side of the restaurant to him! She complained and the manager had to give them their meal for free!

angry sill makes me angry - it was about 8 years ago!

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