To ask people to keep their DC to themselves

(50 Posts)
crazy8 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:54:17

Ok. I know I may upset people with the following but am I being unreasonable to ask people to not let their children play around my table while I am out having dinner with my DH and DC so that they can eat in peace while their DC amuse themselves at my table.

Was at a restaurant in Canary Wharf and the table behind us let their DC happily play at my table. Was actually looking to have a nice meal out. Was not expecting fine dining but a little bit of courtesy from the parents of the walkabout children would have been appreciated.

WelshMaenad Sat 29-Dec-12 00:55:19

Did you tell THEM?

Well, maybe yuo looked welcoming.


SantasRooftopFanjangHoHo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:56:37

YANBU! I have 4 dc's. I would never subject others to the rigours of putting up with them grin. No way should that have been allowed. Mine would have been told off and we would have left if they persisted, it's only fair.

LuluMai Sat 29-Dec-12 00:57:23

You mean you don't find my little darlings as endearing, cute and lovable as I do?! How rude! :-D

SantasRooftopFanjangHoHo Sat 29-Dec-12 00:57:30

Dinner at Canary wharf? How can they afford to take their kids with them hmm grin

crazy8 Sat 29-Dec-12 00:58:29

I didn't tell them as I didn't want to be rude! ( my problem - I know) I just think when you go out for a meal you should either ask your children to sit at the table or stop them going up to other tables and bothering people.

WelshMaenad Sat 29-Dec-12 01:00:18

You don't have to be rude, just say "excuse me, but we are trying to enjoy a quiet family dinner, would you mind calling your children back to your table please".


CoolaYuleA Sat 29-Dec-12 01:00:28

YANBU - I would never allow my DCs to do that. Hell I wouldn't even let them get up from the table in a restaurant unless they needed the loo or were en route to either the loo, something food related or a children's area.

It's just bloody rude!

nailak Sat 29-Dec-12 01:00:45

but did they look like they were bothering you, or like they were happily making friends with your dcs?

BadLad Sat 29-Dec-12 01:03:57

From what you have described, not unreasonable.

My toddler nephew is extremely restless, so SiL solves the problem by taking him outside for a quick walk. Once back, he has to sit at the table.

I'd have said "Oi fuck off ya little shits" grin

I'm joking!

VestaCurry Sat 29-Dec-12 01:05:43

We'd have delivered them back saying 'how delightful they are but could they go and entertain other guests so we can get on with our meal now'.

crazy8 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:10:49

They were definitely not delightful. The younger one looked like he had a cold. I think in future will use the lines by Vesta and Welsh. My DC were getting very annoyed by them.

Salmotrutta Sat 29-Dec-12 01:16:44

I'd honestly have just said "Ok, off you go back to mum and dad"

We got lumbered with two very "spirited" children on holiday once because their own mum and her partner seemed to think our DCs were delighted to be with them. They weren't.

I'd had enough after about two days and told them to go back to their mum.

Job done.

AmIthatTinselly Sat 29-Dec-12 01:21:10

Definitely not BU.

I think the point is not that you should have to ask the parents to call their DCs back, but that the parents should have enough manners not to let them go off bothering people at other tables in the first place.

You only have to read some threads on MN, though, to see that there are plenty of parents who don't think this is a problem hmm

LRDtheFeministDude Sat 29-Dec-12 01:23:14

I agree you should have said something. I have to say, being a broody fool, I am one of those people constantly cooing over babies and chatting to other people's toddlers and yes, if someone's children came up to me in a restaurant (obviously not a very adult one), then I would be quite happy with it. So I'm afraid the existance of people like me mean that people like you are probably assumed by many parents to be the same way!

I'm sure they wouldn't have minded if you'd just asked them to go back to their mum and dad.

YANBU, it is annoying.
When my DC were little we went to resturants with a play area (and sat near enough to keep an eye on them)
Then places that gave you crayons and colour in sheets.
Even now, my DS is not the type who eats for pleasure, it's just to refuel for him.

When my DC were very little (DS was 4 ,DD about a year) we stayed in a naice hotel on the M6 .
At breakfast, DS wanted to sit by the window where the ducks were.
There was a diner (older man) eating. I asked if he minded if my DC sat at the next table.
He said "I'd be delighted"
But if he'd said "I'm reading my paper/having a quiet think" I'd have put them at another table.
(And they were very well behaved)

Damash12 Sat 29-Dec-12 01:25:58

I'm totally with you, it's so wrong to let your kids wander off to another persons table and say nothing. My son is 4 years old and sits with us from start to finish, no running around, no going off to other tables. It's just bloody rude!

FestiveElement Sat 29-Dec-12 01:29:21

YANBU. But some people don't realise the world doesn't exist purely for the benefit of their offspring.

ComposHat Sat 29-Dec-12 01:33:49


I used to drink in a pub where the landlord's wee shite toddler son used to enjoy running around spitting in people's drinks. The barstaff (his mum and dad were rarely seen) used to turn a blind eye. He only stopped when a very meek and mild female friend grabbed him by his shirt and threw him across the table after he'd heartily flobbed in her pint.

TwoIfBySea Sat 29-Dec-12 02:01:19

Why take your child to a restaurant if you're not going to teach them manners? That is the whole point or else you'd be better off in McDonald's if it's a carry on they're wanting.

Whenever I've taken my dts out (11 today!) they've known not to run around (people are carrying hot plates and drinks after all) and to sit at the table. Some folk get awful huffy at the idea that not everyone is enamoured at precocious little darlings screeching and hollering. When they were younger if either of them misbehaved I took them out to wherever was quiet and stood until they'd finished. It gets pretty boring after about 1 minute for them!

I've had it where little ones have come up and tried to take food off my dts plates or tried to drink their juice! Parents completely ignoring them. Tempted to go up and offer my babysitting services for a fee!

znaika Sat 29-Dec-12 03:50:26

I have had this (only seems to happen in London) and it's highly irritating. I just say to the parents very politely that i'm more than happy to babysit their little ones but my rates for babysitting are 500 quid an hour, hope that's alright.

Chottie Sat 29-Dec-12 05:12:31

I would have been annoyed too. If this happens to me again in the future, I will ask them tell them to go back to their parents.

FellatioNelson Sat 29-Dec-12 05:32:06

YANBU. I hate this.

Salmo that happened to us one year as well. Two little girls of a bout 5 and 7 attached themselves to us because they took a shine to my DS who was 2. They wanted to play with him like he was a doll or something, and my older two DS's were quite happy to ignore them, so I ended up having to listen to them chirruping away all day while their mother topped up her tan and read her book. hmm

Because they were playing in the pool (loosely speaking, in other words they were in close proximity) with my older two, their parents went off to the adult pool for a bit of peace and quiet and said 'Oh, we are just going up there for a bit, the girls prefer it here, they are fine - they know where we are if they need us.' They were gone for hours. hmm But I am quite sure they would never have done that if they had not had me conveniently there for emergencies. They were clever enough not to say they were dumping them on me, but that was clearly what they were doing. Then they asked us if we were staying by the pool all afternoon, we said probably, yes, and asked if we'd watch the girls while they went into town. shock It went on all week, one way or another. The girls would follow us to the children's buffet lunch and everything, but it was hard to say they couldn't as it was an all-inc and they could come and go as they pleased, and sit where they wanted. Really pissed me off though. I did have to get a bit shirty in the end.

WaitingForMe Sat 29-Dec-12 06:26:15

YANBU. Weirdest assumption of interest in someone's little darling was on the maternity ward. I was trying to feed DS and a neighbours visiting six year old kept trying to talk to us. Somewhat incredulously DH told him firmly to go away.

Yes you saw my similarly aged stepsons visit, yes I clearly went on to have a child myself but now really isn't the time to foist your kid onto others!!!

TheNebulousBoojum Sat 29-Dec-12 06:33:07

Stop relying on telepathy and use your words.
YANBU to ask people to keep their DCs to themselves, but you didn't, did you?

exoticfruits Sat 29-Dec-12 07:16:18

YANBU - but you should have spoken to the parents at the time.

SunflowersSmile Sat 29-Dec-12 07:22:19

I would have done what someone up thread said and said 'off you go back to your parents'.....
If they didn't would say again more loudly looking anxiously in direction of parents.
Then if parents still oblivious would rethink tactics but would probably mutter crossly and be unwelcoming to children tell my children to ignore and get on with their food.

yohohoho Sat 29-Dec-12 07:23:30

Yanbu. This happened to us on a long haul flight. The parents were napping while their children wandered up and down. They were stopping dd (5at the time) and SHE told them to go back to their mum and dad as she was trying to sleep.

Xmaspuddingsaga Sat 29-Dec-12 07:37:29

OP YANBU it is a restaurant, you are eating. Felatio I am intrigued. These girls were 5&7 I would have happily left the dcs playing in a children's pool, while I sat somewhere else. As the mother said they know where we are if they need us.As a child on holiday we were not that closely supervised. Presumably these girls knew where the toilet etc was and it was AI so they could get themselves a drink or snack. I can't really see what it was you found so irksome about 2girls playing in the pool or have I missed something ?

yousmell Sat 29-Dec-12 07:40:41

I think you should have told the staff it was a problem and let them sort it out.

nagynolonger Sat 29-Dec-12 07:49:01

Not sure OP should need to ask. Surely parents/careers should be minding their own children. As others have said people are walking about with hot plates and glasses. If you want them to wander take them for a picnic.

Take books, colouring things and amuse them at your own table. No one minds happy chatter or even crying from others DC but they don't want to be unpaid entertainers/minders when they are eating.

If you want a peaceful meal out without your DC just pay a babysitter and don't expect other diners to do it.

In the situation with the two little girls at the pool you would just have to tell the parents. That is just taking the p***.

GiveMeSomeSpace Sat 29-Dec-12 07:56:53

OP - to be fair, if you didn't tell them, then you shouldn't really grumble. Politely speaking to people isn't rude.

There'll always be people out there that live their lives differently. If you tell them and they react badly or don't do anything about it, then that's rude behaviour.

MyBaby1day Sat 29-Dec-12 07:59:01

YANBU, I don't like that, you go in a restaurant to eat a meal not to play-a playground is to play in. I agree 100%.

LightTheLampNotTheRat Sat 29-Dec-12 08:06:14

YANBU. I glare. Have noticed that parents who previously were paying no attention to the fact their kids are hanging around other people act wounded when you glare at said kids. Maybe they think you want them there - but why?!

Really Xmas? You'd leave a 5 and 7 yo unsupervised round a pool?

ZebraOwl Sat 29-Dec-12 08:57:21


Children rampaging about restaurants as though they're playground drives me batty. As does their being allowed to be Incredibly Noisy because apparently their parents think whinging & shrieking & shouting & "singing" is the mealtime soundtrack everyone desires.

My brother & I were naturally quite Quiet And Well-Behaved Children, my sister was naturally far more energetic & I'm sure would often have liked to be doing laps of restaurants/making friends with other diners/generally not sitting quietly at the table. There was never any question of her doing that though, because there'd've been such trouble. We didn't eat out very often other than when on holiday (we were lucky enough to go abroad for a fortnight most years) but expectations about Home Manners were high & we were taught Outside Manners too. We were none of us horribly suppressed or unnaturally Good, but we all knew how to behave & [that] not doing so would've meant Consequences.

It's all part of people thinking the rest of the world should bend to them because they've got children & the strange reluctance to accept that they can't run their lives exactly as before. I would happily sit silently through (some!) Shakespeare at the age of 4 so was taken to the theatre (matinees, my parents weren't keeping me out to theatre hours!) on the understanding if I didn't behave I'd be taken out. My sister would never have managed the same at that age, so my parents didn't take her until she was old enough to enjoy a play without disturbing other audience members. I know there are parents out there who do this, but the ones who give me the catsbum face when I ask they stop their child constantly kicking my seat at the theatre because it is jarring my spine/think that there's no problem with their children playing so they block the door to the restaurant/generally give the impression we should be grateful their offspring are brightening our lives with their antics are the ones that really stick in the mind because of how cross they make me angry

Mrsrudolphduvall Sat 29-Dec-12 09:02:17

You should have spoken to the parents. No point going on about it now.

We had a child on Christmas Eve who kept running behind dh's chair in a restaurant, then lay prostate behind it kicking her feet on the floor. Parents oblivious. I tapped mum on shoulder and said it would be awful if dh accidentally grin pushed chair back on her.
Problem solved. Child scooped up and sat on her chair.

Dh was like you...seething but not doing anything.
Although I did think he was going to tell her SAnta wasn't real shock

FellatioNelson Sat 29-Dec-12 09:09:21

XmasPudding I t wasn't a children's pool as such it was the family pool, deep, full sized, but noisy/busy etc. The 'adult only' pool (i.e., quiet, no games, no splashing) was a good distance away, like 5 minutes or more walk!

FellatioNelson Sat 29-Dec-12 09:11:29

I don't think the issue is whether the pool was suitable for them to be left unsupervised in though (although imho it wasn't) it was the assumption that as I had a two year with me all say every day I really wouldn't object to having their two as well, so they could get some well earned R&R. hmm

Well IMO it's the difference between leaving them unsupervised and the children latching on to you off their own bat and the parents leaving them in your care which is very cheeky

Xmaspuddingsaga Sat 29-Dec-12 19:43:56

Sorry all been at work today. If children can swim then I think it's ok to for example go into the bar area whilst they are in the pool.
My Dad regularly left us in the kids pool (some of which was out of our depth) to dollengths in the pool next door.

MummytoMog Sat 29-Dec-12 21:04:43

This drives me nuts. Sadly, OH does it all the time. He's got this stupid sense of entitlement that the rest of the world must want to help him look after the DCs. I stop it when I'm around but I dread to think what the train journey to Edinburgh must have been like for the people in his carriage sad

We once went for dinner In which two children played volley with a balloon over OUR table then ran round it chasing each other in circles round the table knocking it.

All the while the parents sat and watched.


NotMoreFootball Sat 29-Dec-12 21:17:57

What parents would take their children to a restaurant then let them wander off bothering other customers. We eat out 2 or 3 times a week in all types of restaurants and I never see children wandering around the dining room and it wouldn't occur to my DS to get up from our table and walk over to random strangers! It's incredibly rude of the parents to let their children behave that way in the first place and they have no business taking them to restaurants if they are unable to sit at a table for the duration of a meal.

NilentSight Sat 29-Dec-12 21:19:01

You shouldn't have to speak to the parents hmm

Parents should know that they need to entertain their own kids - particularly the snotty ones grin

Never ceases to amaze me that some parents let their kids run loose around other people - and then spout that 'benign neglect' bollocks to justify lazy, selfish parenting wink

I think its that mind frame that everyone finds you dc as adorable as you that some people have.

I had a three hour each way flight once with the same family.

On the way the mum and dad and four year old sang nursery rhymes very very loudly for the whole three hours while the four year old kicked the back of our chair with bigot (unchallenged)

on the way back they sent there four and two year old to sit with us to entertain my ten year old which involved them running up the aisle and screaming booooo into our seating area for three hours.

No idea why the the word bigot is in there...

SDTGisAChristmassyWolefGenius Sat 29-Dec-12 21:32:12

Nilent - you are right that you shouldn't have to say anything to the parents, but evidence would suggest that, in some cases, you clearly do!

I hope I would say something to the parents.

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