We encourage children in our cafe BUT

(1000 Posts)
childfriendlycafeowner Fri 14-Jun-13 20:07:50

I hope you don't mind us asking any readers for their opinion on child behaviour in public places.

We run a small cafe in a small town, and we love doing it (opened up 4 months ago). The previous owners did not encourage children and families, we do, we bought high chairs and do what we can to make families feel welcome. But today two girls came in with a baby and a toddler, my guess is the toddler was 2. From the moment she arrived the screamed, not crying because she was upset but screaming because I guess she liked the sound of her own voice. We made comments to the mum in the hope she would take the hint that the child was disturbing all the other customers but her comment was "she is a little tinker isn't she" The other customers threw their food and drinks down their necks and left as quickly as they could, some complaining as they left. She did go quiet for a little while but she was screaming for probably at least half of the 1 hour plus that she was in the cafe.

When the lady came to pay we said to the lady that we are very sorry but unless she can stop her little girl disturbing all our other customers and driving them away perhaps she could sit in our outside seating area with her or not come in. We felt terrible to say this but it really was a terrible din that upset many people.

Are we being reasonable or unreasonable. Would you tolerate your child no matter how young being so disruptive to other people in public

totally reasonable

<dislaimer - i have no kids and my tolerance levels for screaming is v low>

Morgause Fri 14-Jun-13 20:11:09

YANBU - if I went into your cafe looking to buy a meal and the child was screaming I'd turn round and go out again.

noisytoys Fri 14-Jun-13 20:11:13

YABU. The mum probably went home feeling terrible. She was a paying customer too. If you came across as family friendly (to all families) you would be more likely to get more customers. The lady you rejected is likely to tell everyone she knows to stay away from your cafe. Word of mouth can be very damaging.

CharlieUniformNovemberTango Fri 14-Jun-13 20:11:37

I wouldn't let my kids scream in a cafe at all.

But, sometimes I think parents develop a deafness and tune it out so she may not have realised quite how bad was?

Mintyy Fri 14-Jun-13 20:12:37


tmae Fri 14-Jun-13 20:13:22

No YANBU! It is incredibly rude of them to let their child scream and not care! It has always been something that I cannot stand, it is so selfish and inconsiderate. If I were one of your customers I would be incredibly glad that you told them not to do that again!

It is more important that the majority of your customers are happy instead of those two girls.

IfIonlyhadsomesleep Fri 14-Jun-13 20:14:26

Very reasonable. I also have low tolerance for people whose children make excessive mess on and under their table and who make no attempt to clear up a bit. I don't think it's a waiter or waitress' job to deal with ridiculous carnage. And I have three untidy eaters!

BlueberryHill Fri 14-Jun-13 20:14:43

I wouldn't let my child scream in a café like that she was being unreasonable. It may put me off going back in there, not your fault obviously. I think what you said was OK, she may not like it but she shouldn't inflict that noise on other people.

Mrsrobertduvall Fri 14-Jun-13 20:14:49

I avoid like the plague child friendly places for that very reason.
Assuming the child had no SN, there is no reason for a child to scream and ruin it for everyone else..mother should have removed child as it was obviously not the best place to be. Maybe child was tired...needed to be at home.

Can you imagine a cafe full of screaming children?

BlueberryHill Fri 14-Jun-13 20:16:01

I might that other screaming children might put me off, not you saying something to her.

BlueberryHill Fri 14-Jun-13 20:16:32

Doh, should be meant not might

HibiscusIsland Fri 14-Jun-13 20:17:00

YANBU. If the toddler was crying that's one thing, but ear splitting screams for fun for 30 minutes is too much. I'd take mine outside until they stopped.

OutragedFromLeeds Fri 14-Jun-13 20:17:08

It's a tricky one.

You will get the 'what if she had SN' comments and they have a valid point.

Chances are she didn't have SN though. I wouldn't personally allow my DC to make so much noise.

Was what you said unreasonable? Yes, because it was too late by then. You should have asked her to move outside or leave at the time if it was truly that bad. Making that comment when she was on her way out was unnecessary and probably not good for business. You've lost the customers who left because of the noise (who may not come back) and also annoyed a mother with young child (who no doubt will tell others).

KingRollo Fri 14-Jun-13 20:17:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpooMoo Fri 14-Jun-13 20:17:55

How do you know how old the baby was? If he or she is little then what can the parents do? They are probably hating the noise too! My 7mo was screeching yesterday when we went out for lunch (experimenting with her voice!) but I couldn't stop it, just distract her with food. We wanted to eat, we didn't stay long anyway. YABU - they won't come back and they'll tell their friends/family you AREN'T a welcoming cafe.

Sirzy Fri 14-Jun-13 20:19:04


If her child wasn't behaving/was disrupting others then the polite thing for the parent to do would have been to eat and go rather than allow it to continue.

Phineyj Fri 14-Jun-13 20:19:04

YANBU, it's not that the child was screaming but that the mother apparently didn't think that was a problem. A child friendly cafe has opened near us recently and I had lunch there earlier this week (with my baby and a friend and her baby). If we'd had to put up with that we'd have left - for one thing it would probably have made our babies cry!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 14-Jun-13 20:19:42

YANBU. FWIW dd (3) gets distressed by other children screaming (that particular high pitched shriek they do for fun because they can) and I have had to leave playgroup etc previously because of this. It is not just adult customers who don't like it.

It is very easy to tell the difference between obnoxious joyful screaming and a tantrum. I would hope that you would be sympathetic if it were the latter, but then former is unacceptable.

LilQueenie Fri 14-Jun-13 20:20:04

was this terrible two's bhaviour that all kids go through? I would say kids are not always going to be quiet and well behaved. Was the mother trying at any point to calm the child. I think you are a bit unreasonable. People need to be more chid tolerant. I would not have asked her not to come back in. It could have been a one off.

RubyOnRails Fri 14-Jun-13 20:20:09

I'd never tolerate my own child screaming for half an hour at home, never mind in public. My son tried this carry on at the doctors the other day. I whisked him out told him off outside surgery and led him back in..good as gold.

HibiscusIsland Fri 14-Jun-13 20:20:36

"The mum probably went home feeling terrible." She must have been pretty thick skinned to not realise the effect her child was having, so maybe it will do her good to have a think about it

Only half an hour? Fuck that! I can't cope with more than half a minute of children shrieking. (Not crying, that's different)
If my son had behaved like that as a toddler I would have packed up and left out of consideration for other patrons and the staff. If a child had behaved like that when I was running a cafe I would have given it five minutes to see if the parents acted or if the child stopped, and if not, I would politely ask them to move outside.

MrsMook Fri 14-Jun-13 20:21:02

YANBU. I wouldn't let my DCs scream. We've left a pub before now (fortunately before ordering) as it was clear that DS (then 18m) was going to be nothing but a nuisence to us and to others.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Fri 14-Jun-13 20:21:30

You were a bit unreasonable not dealing with it sooner for your other customers benefit.

I would have handled it differently. I would have asked her to take her toddler out when it was apparent she wasn't going to deal with it <not caring if she paid or not> if I hadn't done that I wouldn't have said anything while she was paying, but if she came in again I would have 'warned her nicely' that if her DD was screaming she would have to sit outside

Sirzy Fri 14-Jun-13 20:22:41

People need to be more chid tolerant.

So people have to happily accept listening to someone elses child scream for half an hour?

Sorry PARENTS need to teach their children how to behave in public, not expect everyone else to tolerate their childs bad behaviour.

If parents are making every effort to calm them/distract/remove whatever then fine. If they are ignoring and letting them disrupt others that is wrong.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 14-Jun-13 20:22:42

OP just to double check - was it the baby screaming or the toddler? My answer was assuming the latter.

jammiedonut Fri 14-Jun-13 20:26:15

It's tricky, but I'm sure if you had a childless couple who were being very loud you would have had the same conversation and asked them to keep it down too? If not then Yabu.
You've every right to ask them to be quiet, and I actually think you went the right way about it, but maybe telling her not to return was a bit strong as you have no idea if this child is usually a terror or not. Perhaps in the future have a stash of small toys/ colouring books & pens to placate children if you see they will become a problem? I run a restaurant and have found this is usually the only way around this particular problem as the tired frazzled parent has usually learnt to tune their children out and have no idea of how loud they really are. That and being as accommodating as possible to guests that might be annoyed at the noise (offering to move tables etc).

kaumana Fri 14-Jun-13 20:26:30

YANBU If my child started doing that I would leave even if it meant I didn't finish my coffee/ sandwich etc.

If I was in on my own I would leave as quickly as possible and more than likely would not return.

FamiliesShareGerms Fri 14-Jun-13 20:26:34

I can see both sides of this.

I think if this situation occurred in the future you should say something sooner than right at the end of their visit. I would be embarrassed if someone said this to me, but i would feel even worse if I had been there for an hour before the problem was mentioned. I could have tried to address the problem if I had been aware. I would feel that people had been talking about me behind my back for an hour.

So YWNBU to raise an issue that was having a detrimental effect on your other customers, but YWBU to leave it so long to talk to her about it.

aftermay Fri 14-Jun-13 20:26:52

YANBU. You allowed her to stay for as long as dhe wanted and discussed it with her in private. A completely reasonable request. Good luck with your cafe. It can't be easy in these economic circumstances.

miffybun73 Fri 14-Jun-13 20:27:30

YANBU, if I was the mother I would have left if I could not stop my child from screaming for even 2 minutes.

Nanny0gg Fri 14-Jun-13 20:27:35

People need to be more chid tolerant And parents need to be more 'people tolerant'.

It wasn't softplay or the park, it was a café where people were paying to have something to eat and drink and maybe read, or socialise in a pleasant setting.

I don't go into a café (whether it has high chairs or not) and expect to have to listen to a toddler being allowed to scream for that length of time by its over-indulgent mother.

RikeBider Fri 14-Jun-13 20:28:15

30 minutes is far too long for a child to be screaming! I wouldn't be tolerant of a baby screaming for 30 minutes either.

I'd have intervened earlier and maybe asked if she would like to move to an outside table.

A box of books/toys or crayons sounds like a good idea too.

Orangebirdonatable Fri 14-Jun-13 20:29:14

I don'tlet my dds scream in public, we go outside if one of them is upset or screaming. And if i went into a cafe and heard another child screaming, I would not want to stay.

But, i can see how difficult it would be to approach the parent. I guess it depends on how it was wordered.

Smartiepants79 Fri 14-Jun-13 20:29:20

Perfectly reasonable.
A 2 year old should not be making that kind of noise in a confined, public place.
I suspect you would not have felt the need to say what you did if the mother had made any attempt to stop the noise.
Half an hour of meaningless shrieking is a long time.
I have a 2.8 yr old and a 6 month old and I'm a teacher and my tolerance only lasts about 5 minutes.
Distraction with food or toys is usually enough to stop them long enough.
Being family friendly means you provide highchairs, kids food, bottle warming and colouring NOT that you have to put up with atrocious behaviour.

Orangebirdonatable Fri 14-Jun-13 20:29:47

Wordered??? Worded!

CombineBananaFister Fri 14-Jun-13 20:30:10

It depends on what the mum was doing IMHO-the child is not to blame. If she was just allowing the screaming with no intervention then I think it's fair to say something. If she was desperatly trying to do something about it then fair enough-we've all been there and hoped the ground would swallow us up.
Can't stand parental apathy in an environment where some degree of quiet is required. Screaming is not children being just a bit noisy - different though if special needs are involved.

GiveMumABreak Fri 14-Jun-13 20:31:02
LilQueenie Fri 14-Jun-13 20:31:55

are you seriously telling me that toddlers automatically do as they are told when they are at the age of pushing boundaries and being loud. Its what they do and they cant help. Its nature. It takes time for them to understand. How old was the child? Bearing in mind some children DO look older/taller than they really are.

childfriendlycafeowner Fri 14-Jun-13 20:32:19

Yes it was the toddler, we did say to the mum she was very noisy but she just laughed, I think she was immune to it. We felt terrible to say what we said, she was not apologetic, just angry and accused us of not being child friendly, , but do we need customers like that? I don't think so.

justmyview Fri 14-Jun-13 20:32:55

Bottom line for you, it's a business decision.

Most of us like cafes to be child-friendly.......for our own children, .........not necessarily other people's (especially if they're loud & badly behaved)

I think you can be child-friendly by offering high chairs, changing facilities, colouring sheets (with sharp pencils!) & good menus eg healthy meals for bigger children and tiny snacks for little ones - near us, the place with the best reputation for children thrives on the fact they have, not one, but TWO children's menus & everyone seems to think that's brilliant. It's also quite clever, because it's hard to justify taking your own snacks if the cafe sells a "tiny plate of breadsticks, cheese and fruit" for 50p

Being child-friendly doesn't have to mean tolerating loud, uncontrollable kids, or inflicting them on other customers. Maybe you need to be a bit tougher, especially if they're lingering for an hour and a half over one cup of tea (and brought in their own snacks) - are these really the customers you want to encourage?

Good luck

ihearsounds Fri 14-Jun-13 20:34:23

No I nor anyone else does not have to be tolerant of children.
I, nor anyone else should have to listen to a child screaming.

Word of mouth works both ways.. What about customers who want some peace and quiet. They are also going to say oi don't go that place because of the screaming kids. And this, btw includes parents avoiding because of screamers.

The customer was in the wrong. She should have tackled the screaming and if that meant she left, well so be it. She walked in with a screaming child, so not like ordered food and then started screaming.

EugenesAxe Fri 14-Jun-13 20:35:31

The lady you rejected is likely to tell everyone she knows to stay away from your café. Word of mouth can be very damaging.

Her friends will either be more inclined to patronise your café because this has also pissed them off for ages, or they will be like her, in which case no loss.

Not every parent in a town is friends with every other. There are many and varied parenting styles. YANBU and you will not lose significant levels of business, unless what you are serving isn't tasty or reasonably priced!

cranverry Fri 14-Jun-13 20:36:02

YWNBU. A 2 year old screaming for 30 minutes would have seen me leave too. And I have a 15 month old and just turned 3 year so used to young ones making a lot of noise.
I think you'll need to decide though whether you are family friendly as you will get more customers like this who think there's nothing wrong with letting their toddler scream and scream.

Raaraathenoisybaby Fri 14-Jun-13 20:36:02

Hmmm. On the one hand if you invite families in by providing highchairs you have to tolerate some low level chaos - and so do your child less customers by choosing that cafe.

But....a cafe is a public place like any other and parents need to......well parent!

Sirzy Fri 14-Jun-13 20:36:28

are you seriously telling me that toddlers automatically do as they are told when they are at the age of pushing boundaries and being loud. Its what they do and they cant help. Its nature. It takes time for them to understand. How old was the child? Bearing in mind some children DO look older/taller than they really are.

Nobody has said that, but that doesn't mean parents can ignore things. It isn't a problem with the child but a problem with the parents.

at 2 my son could sit in a cafe without causing any problems 9 times out of 10. When he misbehaved he was quickly removed before being allowed to distrupt others if distraction didn't work!

justmyview Fri 14-Jun-13 20:38:25

My DD has always behaved in cafes. Not saying that to be smug, but please don't think you have to accept all children in order to be child friendly

ProphetOfDoom Fri 14-Jun-13 20:40:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flicktheswitch Fri 14-Jun-13 20:42:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Not unreasonable at all. I have never let my child be so disruptive in a public place, not to mention such a small space.

Family friendly doesn't mean you should tolerate that.

When my child has done something similar in a public space and shown no signs of abating, I have removed us to show some consideration for other diners. I believe that is the decent thing to do.

expatinscotland Fri 14-Jun-13 20:43:57

YANBU, I'd have thrown them out faster.

edlyu Fri 14-Jun-13 20:44:08

Not for one minute would I tolerate screaming for no good reason.

And I would judge a parent who allowed it to happening in an otherwise quiet space.To my mind its on par with playing rock music in a library .Just because one person likes it the rest of the population must suffer -and preferably pretend to actually like it.

Its because of this sort of behaviour that children arent welcomed into more places in this country. angry

<climbs down off soap box >

edlyu Fri 14-Jun-13 20:45:39

Oh and YANBU grin

Roshbegosh Fri 14-Jun-13 20:46:24

You need to be careful though, a yummy mummy journalist started a nasty campaign that ended up closing a lovely cafe near me in North London. The cafe was small and could not manage three of those monster buggies in the way and one of the Mum's made it a personal campaign. Headline on the front page of our crappy local rag. Sadly bad child behaviour is commonplace around here and I used to wonder how the waitresses never drop a pot of tea on a child as they ran riot all over the place. Don't start a war with the yummy mummies, at least not around here.

MalcolmTuckersMum Fri 14-Jun-13 20:46:59

I've travelled a lot in European countries known for their child-friendliness and I have never ever heard a child do that high pitched scream that children do here - and to which their witless parents seem unaccountably deaf. My DS did it once and only once. It's pointless, not funny and unpleasant for everyone else - why on earth would you NOT discourage it?
YANBU OP - but I'd have done it earlier.

UptheChimney Fri 14-Jun-13 20:48:09

it's not that the child was screaming but that the mother apparently didn't think that was a problem

For me, that's the point. That a parent doesn't appear to make an attempt to teach a child how to behave in social shared areas.

It's a long time ago for me, but I was always concerned if my DS became anti-social in that way. That was 20 years ago. What annoys me now is that some parents just don't appear to do anything about a screaming child.

fastyspeedyfast Fri 14-Jun-13 20:48:35

Not unreasonable, and I'd step in more quickly and forcefully next time. Something like, Ah he's having a tough day, isn't he? But he is screaming very loudly and disturbing our other customers. Perhaps you can walk him outside for moment to calm down?

An occasional yell or shout is normal childhood behaviour, and a bit of loudness is fine when its talking/laughing/playing. Continued screaming in a public place is not on.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 14-Jun-13 20:49:25

YANBU ... I hate this. Having a child does not give you the right to dominate a whole cafe with your child's obnoxious screaming.

To those saying "what could the mum do" - get up and leave. Others do not want to listen to it.

ArtemisatBrauron Fri 14-Jun-13 20:50:47

malcomtuckersmum if there was a champagne emoticon, I'd be sending it your way. You said it better than I ever could.

justmyview Fri 14-Jun-13 20:52:30

How about a friendly "if you'd like to take him for a walk around the block, I can give you a fresh cuppa when you come back in" - that way you seem like you're friendly and obliging, but you still get the message across

YANBU. I'm sure nobody expects a 2yo to behave perfectly, but the parents should at least try to encourage them not to shriek like that in an environment where others are trying to eat or drink in peace.

deleted203 Fri 14-Jun-13 20:54:21

YANBU. But I'd have said something a lot sooner, I'm afraid. Five minutes screaming and I'd have been over there saying politely to mother, 'I'm sorry - but if your child cannot stop screaming then I shall have to ask you to take her outside. You are disturbing the other customers'.

Manchesterhistorygirl Fri 14-Jun-13 20:55:40

Mother of a two year old screamer checking in. YANBU! I can't stand the stupid screechy noises he's into making and am always at him to stop it, it's rude and bad manners.

shellandkai Fri 14-Jun-13 20:56:26

Hmmm I see 2 points really 1 yanbu because if you asked the parent to calm the child down or do something about and her reply being that I find what she said would annoy me. Me being a mum to a 2 yr old my son tends to make plenty of noise sometimes I find it quite embarrassing especially when I'm getting dirty looks from staff or customers and I do try to calm him
Down but like I always do she should of at least apologized for the disruption it has caused!

cuppateaanyone Fri 14-Jun-13 20:58:15

If I brought my DS who is almost 3and he started behaving like that we would have left ASAP, communal spaces are for everyone to enjoy and you have a business to run.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 20:58:30

Yanbu At all, you are a business not a children's centre, the mum was not parenting effectively, as a result disturbing the ther customers and loosing extra business. Being child friendly des not mean having to ut up with badly braved Chidren and ineffective parenting

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 20:59:43

Yes if my dd or ds behaved like that we would neck our drinks ad leave pretty quickly

ProphetOfDoom Fri 14-Jun-13 21:00:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floggingmolly Fri 14-Jun-13 21:01:04

I think you're interpreting the term "family friendly" a little loosely there, noisytoys. What's acceptable about a two year old squawking like a parrot for half an hour solid? It would be unacceptable in most places, playgroups included.
That you imagine it was fine where people are paying to have a meal beggars belief.

adverbial Fri 14-Jun-13 21:02:16

I think if you're welcoming children into your cafe then you have to expect, that on rare occasion, this may happen.
I would have taken my child outside personally. But I cannot say if you were being unreasonable without hearing the mother's side, and because I do think the way you broached the subject when they were leaving, was badly done.

carabossse Fri 14-Jun-13 21:05:25


Customers in your cafe with children probably don't want to see other kids behaving in a way that their own kids aren't allowed to. I say this as a mother of a 2yo. The screaming is something I don't allow so I can't let ds see another child do it for half an hour and expect him to understand.

Customers in your cafe without children don't want to hear it either, but they'd prefer a more effective approach "perhaps you'd be more comfortable outside?" Or whatever.

froubylou Fri 14-Jun-13 21:05:29


If people want to take their children in public places then the child must behave appropriatley for that place. Manners and discipline and respect is taught at home.

My DD is now almost 9. We can and have taken her everywhere from nice reasturaunts to the local pub. She knows how to behave and has done since she was old enough to understand what the word 'No' means. She was only 2 when we went on holiday abroad for the first time and we managed to eat in nice places every evening without disturbing anyone.

And if she hadn't behaved we would have left.

We have just left our local pub and gone to a different one as a woman had 2 kids running all over and causing a riot. One was maybe 14 months, the other maybe just 3? Unsupervised around a large busy with friday teatime drinkers pub. Not a soft play area.

And I'm 13 weeks pregnant so although my DD is that bit older I will be going through this stage soon. And unless my new DC behaves as well as their older sister we won't go to places like that until he/she can behave.

Even though other parents can sometimes sympathise the only thing more annoying than a screaming for no logical reason child, is a child screaming for no logical reason that isn't actually yours!

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 14-Jun-13 21:06:09


It's a very difficult line to tread between being child friendly and pissing off everybody else in your cafe. I think you handled it as well as anybody could.

hmc Fri 14-Jun-13 21:06:26

YANBU - when my kids were tiny and did this I would take them outside to calm down, or just bail out and leave if it got too bad. Consideration for others etc

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 21:07:42

justmyview I'm not sure your 20:38 post could have sounded much more smug!

Reading this it was the one that really stood out, you say DD, so do you just have one child? From my experience it really should be very easy to time trips out around a sensible pattern to suit them.

Throw more children in the pot and it can change pretty quickly, once there are others to try and suit too.

But it was the part about accepting all children that stunned me, so your superior DD is ok to accept but not a child that may scream, for whatever reason we don't know.

It also does seem a common parenting idea to ignore a lot of behaviour rather than engage certainly with screaming etc, so maybe the is what the parent thought she should be doing?! Was she having a tantrum about not wanting to be there, and so by leaving she had won?! Who knows?

Actually I hate screaming, and if it was any of my children I would not tolerate it and would remove them.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 21:09:25

It would ave even different if t mum was struggling, and made an effort to discipline her child, but she did not and even found it endearing. Te op was very reasonable, se dd not ask her to go, but politely suggested te terrace outside

DontmindifIdo Fri 14-Jun-13 21:09:45

I think it's worth working out in your town, where the money in the day is. In our town, there's a lot of yummy mummies, there's money to be made from families, far more than from retirees and the few unemployed people who'll be in your cafe in the day. But in some towns there's a lot of working from home people (who'll pop out for a coffee/lunch for a break), or retired people, or lots of offices close to town for staff lunches, who might make you more money than young families.

If you are goign to be 'family friendly' then you will get the occasional badly behaved child, they might drive away the other customers. It's a case of what's worth it to you.

(If you are going the 'family friendly' route, a good trick to get the word around might be to contact your local branch of NCT and say you wanted to be clear you're breast feeding friendly/offer a discount for members for a set amount of time)

Jan49 Fri 14-Jun-13 21:12:09

It sounds like you spoke to her when she was leaving so what was the point unless you were sure she was going to be a regular customer with a child who always screamed? If what you said to her was, if you come again, you need to sit outside, which just means she probably won't come back. Or maybe it's her only visit to your town and she'll never be there again anyway. I think it would have been good if you'd said something much earlier, maybe suggesting she sat outside and you'd bring her drink out to her as you say there is outside seating.

As a parent I would have left quickly if I couldn't quieten the child, maybe taking the screaming child outside and leaving the other adult and baby in the café, and coming back in if the toddler calmed down.

Wallison Fri 14-Jun-13 21:12:14

are you seriously telling me that toddlers automatically do as they are told when they are at the age of pushing boundaries and being loud. Its what they do and they cant help. Its nature. It takes time for them to understand.


But the only way to get them to understand is to tell them to stop doing it/distract them etc. That is a parent's job. And if that doesn't work, then you leave, because disturbing other people is rude and anti-social, even if you don't disturb them on purpose and your kids need to learn this too and again as a parent, teaching them that is your job. OP I would say that you were definitely not BU but if you want to be family-friendly then you do need a strategy for dealing with situations like these. A gentle nudge towards the outside seating area, or if that doesn't work a firmer hand guiding them towards it is what you might want to aim for.

Floggingmolly Fri 14-Jun-13 21:15:44

hmm at KingRollo
It would take me half an hour minimum to finish up and leave, but I wouldn't be hanging about.
That would be about 25 minutes too long for those around you, I'm afraid.

wanderingwillow Fri 14-Jun-13 21:19:58

YANBU. I've had to leave a cafe in the past because my DS was getting antsy. At the end of the day, your DC's happiness comes before yours, and I can never understand why people are okay with letting their DC's becoming distressed or shouting in cafes/restaurants because it must be annoying for them too!

You are running a cafe, not a crèche. You can be welcoming to families but you don't have to be tolerant of thoughtless behaviour from parents.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Fri 14-Jun-13 21:20:44

Yanbu. No-one wants to pay money for food and drink and have the experience ruined by a screaming or noisy child.

BoysRule Fri 14-Jun-13 21:23:57

Really tricky one. My 11 month old shouts all the time and is impossible to stop - we still try to eat out but we do make a sharp exit when he gets bad as I am ultra paranoid and know it is annoying. It drives us mad at home too.

If the child was 2 then she is old enough to be told and to understand that screaming is not acceptable. I can never understand it when parents let their children scream. There really is no need.

MrsOakenshield Fri 14-Jun-13 21:31:25

yanbu. Of course all children play up at times, that in itself is not a problem - it's how the parents handle it that can be. When I know we're going to be in a cafe I always have a load of little, noiseless toys, pens and paper and books to keep DD occupied. But if that wasn't working and for whatever reason she kicked off I would firmly tell her off, then take her outside (if there is one) and finally leave if she wouldn't stop. If I could I would take my purchases with me, but if not - well, abandoned beverages and food are part and parcel of teaching your child how to behave in certain public situations. No-one is perfect all the time. But it sounds like this woman wasn't even bothering, and didn't care about anyone else around her.

(I also agree with the poster who said this kind of screaming upsets their child - DD isn't great with sudden loud noises and this kind of thing would upset her and probably trigger her off too! despite the fact that she can be the most awful screecher and squealer you've ever heard )

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 21:35:11

But MrsOakenshield it would be fine if she triggered your DD too because as you have explained you are so capable of dealing with it so effectively so why worry! confused grin

Greydog Fri 14-Jun-13 21:36:36

YANBU - who wants to put up with that? I'm with the poster who avoids family friendly. Too often it's an excuse for parents who really don't care about anyone except themselves. A toddler who was messing about in a National Trust cafe last year ran into me, when i was carrying a tray of food including hot drinks. God only knows how I didn't drop it. And his doting mama just said " he's a live wire"

maddening Fri 14-Jun-13 21:38:39

The only things you might be able to add is colouring books and crayons and some toys - then parents of cheesed off toddlers have a nice distraction if they forgot to pack themselves.

MrsOakenshield Fri 14-Jun-13 21:39:27

sorry, not sure what you are getting at, ThoughtsPlease - I would be narked if someone failing to deal with this caused us to have to leave because my child was now screaming - which I would do. I am simply saying, as many others on this thread have said, that if your child kicks off and you are unable to calm them, as often happens despite your best efforts, you have to leave. Do you not agree? Do you think a screaming child should stay, disturbing everyone else? hmm back at you, in that case.

childfriendlycafeowner Fri 14-Jun-13 21:39:29

We would like to thank you all for your comments. We look forward to many more families coming to our cafe and hope we can make them all feel welcome and at home.

Have a good weekend everyone

MrsOakenshield Fri 14-Jun-13 21:41:42

maddening - yes, good point for the OP - though if you are providing pencils, make sure they are sharp enough to use - many's a time a helpful server has given us paper and pencils for DD, only for us to discover that every single pencil is so blunt as to be unusable!

Thesebootsweremadeforwalking Fri 14-Jun-13 21:43:14

YANBU at all. I have left cafes quickly if DS got out of hand at that age, and will do so when DD hits that age.

I loathe watching badly behaved kids in cafes, partly because it is hard to explain to DS why he's not allowed to scream/ run about while other kids do, but also because I don't really want to be around other people's badly behaved kids.

I agree with Jan49 -- when she was leaving was absolutely the wrong time to speak to her. The very best you could hope for is that she had no idea how disruptive her DD was being, in which case she'd be very embarassed and either get over-defensive or slink away so embarrassed that she'd never darken your door again.

I think better would have been to approach her when the DD had been going for five minutes or so with a solicitous "your daughter doesn't seem very happy; is there anything we can do to help?" From your point of view it might be worth having some paper and crayons behind the scenes either for all children (actually, this is something that I would love cafes to do; there was a lovely cafe near us that did it when DC1 was tiny but these days it's only restaurants) or specifically as an emergency measure for disruptive children. The parents needn't know that "would little Jimmy like some paper and crayons?" is code for "FFS, woman, have you not NOTICED that your child is shattering the eardrums of nearby customers?"

BoysRule, not all 2yo are "old enough to be told and to understand that screaming is not acceptable". My DD2 is two and has a hearing loss and associated severe language delay -- she has very little conception of volume at all and certainly wouldn't grasp the idea of an unacceptable noise. The difference is that if she were kicking off I wouldn't subject other people to the noise longer than necessary (if I knew she was going to settle down in a couple of minutes they'd just have to lump it, but otherwise I'd move on as quickly as possible). I am going to have flashbacks to a ferry journey we were on recently where (obviously) we couldn't get off and I was aware of seemingly every eye on us as I desperately tried to get her to quieten down for the entire journey, though.

Pixel Fri 14-Jun-13 21:44:50

YANBU (from 'family friendly' ex pub owner). People seem to interpret 'family friendly' not as highchairs/changing facilities/child's menu/willingness to warm bottles, but as 'let your child run riot, scream and break stuff while you pretend you haven't noticed'. Glad I'm out of that!

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 21:46:00

MrsOakenshield I posted earlier in the thread that if it was one of my children ultimately yes we would leave, I appreciate that you may not have read that though.

Actually I think it is odd that a screaming child would cause your own child to scream uncontrollably, but you did sound a little smug about how you deal so effectively with your own child that I was surprised that simply another child screaming would cause yours to and you to not be able to stop them, really? confused

MrsOakenshield Fri 14-Jun-13 21:51:43

gosh, another hmm!

A screaming child would upset DD, possibly not to the extent of her really getting going, but enough to put an end to the trip? yes, quite possibly. And I never said I could always stop DD screaming, I simply said what steps I would take and that ultimately (and it wouldn't take long to get to this point) we would leave. Is that smug? I'm sorry if it came across like that.

ladymariner Fri 14-Jun-13 21:54:20

YANBU, absolutely not......drives me insane when someone lets their child scream and does nothing to stop it. You were far more patient than I would have been.

MrsGeologist Fri 14-Jun-13 21:58:08

YANBU. On more than one occasion I've had to leave a restaurant or cafe because one of the kids were kicking off. I can't stand listening to my own children screaming, the other customers will be able to stand it even less and it's just one of those things you have to accept as a parent, that sometimes you just aren't going to be able to have a nice little sit down and have something to eat and drink. Sometimes you just have to throw whatever you've got down your throat and beat a hasty retreat.

You should have probably told here beforehand though OP. you don't even have to be rude, something as simple as, 'would your DC like some crayons and paper to help them relax/calm down.'

Relax being a euphemism for 'shut the fuck up.'

If they don't, then just politely say that the noise is upsetting other customers and could they move outside if they can't get their DCs to be quieter.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 21:58:55

Exactly pixel, tats te normal interpretation of being Chidren friendly, nt lowing your Chidren to run riot and behave badly whilst the arents do nothing

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 22:00:18

Gosh another what? confused confused

I am still confused how another child screaming would cause yours to scream so much that you couldn't stop them, when there is no other reason for your child to scream other than the fact that another child is screaming. confused confused confused

It's not like you take two children and tell one they can have some chocolate, but the other can't and has to sit and watch the first one eat hers. That to me is an example of understanding how the actions of one child can affect the behaviour of another.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:00:32

Sorry iPad typing is not good

stealthsquiggle Fri 14-Jun-13 22:01:54

YANBU. Not in the slightest. If either of mine had come close to doing that they would have been outside very quickly. I cannot stand squealing /shouting children in public places. There is just no need (SN aside, and IME most parents of DC with SN are extremely conscious of an impact on those around them, which it doesn't sound as though this woman was)

cees Fri 14-Jun-13 22:05:16


I couldn't stand my kids screaming like that. I think you were right to say it to the mum. My sister has selective hearing where her ds is concerned, it wrecks my head. He will scream and bloody scream and all she will do is shrug and say 'oh well' and if anyone else tells him to quieten down she gets all defensive instead of sorting him out before my ears start bleeding.

She wants to come stay for a week after I have my baby in July, one thing is for sure that is so NOT happening.

stealthsquiggle Fri 14-Jun-13 22:05:51

Our local pub has a sign that says something to the effect of "families, dogs and muddy boots welcome. Your children remain your responsibility - childcare is not included in the price of your pint"

Works for me.

MrsOakenshield Fri 14-Jun-13 22:06:48

I'm leaving this thread, you're talking gibberish now.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:07:35

Op stealth as gotte right sign for you

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:08:02

Meant the right sign for you

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 22:09:31

MrsOakenshield sorry you don't understand what I am saying, not to worry hey!

exoticfruits Fri 14-Jun-13 22:10:36

People are not tolerant- I wouldn't stay if a child was screaming. The mother hasn't a choice, she either stops it or takes her outside. YANBU.

kaumana Fri 14-Jun-13 22:13:38

thoughtsplease My son has acute hearing, if we had been in this scenario we would have to leave as it would have been distressing for him and he would have been upset.

Why you can't see that a screaming child impacts on other children?

landofsoapandglory Fri 14-Jun-13 22:14:26


I agree with Pixel, just because your have high chairs etc doesn't mean children can scream, run riot and behave badly whilst the parents sit there and ignore them.

Well done you for speaking up.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 22:23:01

kaumana I didn't say that I couldn't see how a screaming child can upset other children.

You have described a particular issue that this would have been for your son. This will not be the case for a large number of children.

I am saying, and I stand by this for the majority, that I am confused how a random screaming child can actually cause another child to also scream uncontrollably that the parent would then have to take that child out.

raisah Fri 14-Jun-13 22:25:39

totally reasonable, I am surprised that you didnt refuse to serve her. I would have left your cafe because my ds has sn & is very sensitive to loud noise so would have become v agitated near that girl.

A point to consider is that she could have been suffering from a social communication condition.
The girl could have be on the autistic spectrum &
unable to be in control of her responses. My nephew is like this, he just screams continuosly in unfamiliar social situation so his parents dont go out anywhere with him.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 14-Jun-13 22:27:57

People need to be more chid tolerant
Bollocks! Parents need to be more considerate. If you take your child to a restaurant, and it screams for half an hour, you need to stuff a cake in its gob or take it outside!

ouryve Fri 14-Jun-13 22:30:31


I have two screamers and would be out like a shot if they were screaming in a confined public space, even if it meant asking for doggy bags. Their noise is usually communicating something and it's not fair on them or others to completely ignore it.

The child could've had an underlying reason for her behaviour such as autism or ADHD. I doubt most parents WANT to hear their child screaming, but a parent who sounds as tolerant as that may be used to it due to accepting the child's diagnosis? Just a possibility. She could also spoil her child and there be no underlying reason for it beyond that.

Unfortunately not every book can be judged by its cover because not all things are visible to Tom, Dick and Harry.

Personally I can't stand people who pull their faces at children being children in public places. That annoys me much more and I think they need to take a reality check!

Wuldric Fri 14-Jun-13 22:33:33

I spend a lot of time in France. The French love children but they would not stand for this sort of behaviour. It's abominable, disruptive and unpleasant for other customers.

kaumana Fri 14-Jun-13 22:34:23

My son is 14, he would be extremely upset in not being able to finish his coffee/lunch.

He would be SCREAMING in his head < shut the feck up> not hard to imagine a toddler feeling the same!

HollaAtMeBaby Fri 14-Jun-13 22:35:24

YANBU. That earsplitting sound of a toddler "finding her voice" in a public place makes my hand itch to dish out a sharp slap (disclaimer: I have of course never actually slapped a child, and never would).

ouryve Fri 14-Jun-13 22:35:55

A point to consider is that she could have been suffering from a social communication condition. The girl could have be on the autistic spectrum & unable to be in control of her responses.


Both of mine have ASD.

If they find an environment uncomfortable, we don't go back. There's a lovely fish restaurant in Whitby that we love, but haven't been to since DS1 was 4 because it's clanky, with lots of hard surfaces and set him off squirming. We ate quickly and left before he exploded. They're both pretty capable of loud, but a crying baby sends DS1 into overload.

brdgrl Fri 14-Jun-13 22:38:35

Parents need to be more considerate. If you take your child to a restaurant, and it screams for half an hour, you need to stuff a cake in its gob or take it outside!

Amen. I am the parent of a toddler now (and was a nanny and an auntie for years before that). Some parents simply do not want to take responsibility. (There was a thread on this topic recently, with a mum who refused to take her children out when one misbehaved, as it would make them sad. Holy shit.)

And before I was a mum to a toddler, I was a single person who liked to work and study and visit with friends in cafes. Loved kids...but if the cafe, or the parents in the cafe, didn't rein in badly behaved or over-exuberant children, my time was spoilt...I would go out of my way not to inconvenience or spoil another patron's time, so why should I tolerate being inconvenienced or disrespected? I'd much rather spend my money in a cafe whose managers were not afraid to step in and say something when people/parents have forgotten their responsibilities.

Feelslikea1sttimer Fri 14-Jun-13 22:39:00

I have t read the whole thread so apologies if I am repeating someone else...

People are talking of special needs, we have an autistic child who lacks communication skills but loves the sound of his own voice and screams!

If we go out somewhere, we always sit near the door or ask if there is a escape route we can use, if he decides to start shouting or screaming of course we are aware and also aware other people don't want to listen to it... So if me and OH are out together then one of us will take him out.

We generally get very kind reactions from people who don't expect us to, but we feel its good manners.

YANBU to say something, they should respect that other people may wish to eat lunch in peace and continuous screaming is not acceptable at 2 years old when they are big enough to understand!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 14-Jun-13 22:40:17

thoughts please

In my case a deliberately screaming child would cause dd distress. If screaming didn't stop then dd would begin to cry/shout because she wanted the screaming to stop. The only way I would be able to calm her down would be by removing the source of the distress.

I refuse to believe this is that uncommon?

VashtaNerada Fri 14-Jun-13 22:44:14

Jumped to the end which I don't normally do but was so shock at people talking about 'bad behaviour' in a toddler. This wasn't a teenager! There's very little you can do if an extremely young child is noisy. Telling off would almost certainly make it worse, distraction sometimes works but not always. So the mum had a choice of leaving immediately the child made a noise or finishing her food first. YABU.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:47:17

Michelle all well and good, but it's up to te parent to discipline their child. There is no need for your Chidren to cause a nuscence whist you sit back and do nothing! Yah saggy te voice of reason

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:48:30

I have a dd with ASD ad if she starts having a meltdown, weary and placate her if not we are out

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:49:01

We try

RikeBider Fri 14-Jun-13 22:51:12

Or giving it 10 minutes and if the child didn't behave then leaving.
Or asking for her food/drink to be boxed to takeaway
Or going and sitting outside with the screamer.

She had lots of options other than inflicting a shrieking child on the rest of the cafe.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 22:51:39

Vashta how come tey manage in Europe, you won't find this. My 16 month ds certainly understands no!

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper Fri 14-Jun-13 22:52:59

I think this is a hard one. I'm not usually one for the maybe game but maybe she finds it hard to quieten the child down so when you approached she said the stuff about her being a little tinker because she can't really turn around and say "yes she's a little shit today and I can't control her. Let me have my fucking coffee before I go back home to this hell!". She might have seen your cafe was "child friendly" and thought "finally, a place where I can go in and the fact I struggle to control her won't matter just this once. Maybe I can feel normal again for half an hour with my coffee and relax".

I know I'm struggling atm with these new tantrums and I've asked for help from my HV. She can't come for another month. I'm not going to stay in for a month so at some point I'm sure one of these tantrums from hell will happen and I won't be able to get her to stop until she calms down herself. If I've just paid for food or a drink, I won't be abandoning it because that will be my one treat out I can afford that week.

Massive ramble but my view is, don't advertise as child friendly if you aren't friendly to all children and parents including ones who may be struggling but hiding it behind a smile.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 22:54:03

ItsAllGoingToBeFine can I ask how old your DD is?

And also why would it cause her 'distress'?

And actually going back to the OP I can't help thinking that it might have all be a little different if the customers had not been described as 'two girls came in with a baby and a toddler'.

VashtaNerada Fri 14-Jun-13 22:55:22

I have a 16 mo DS too piglet! But sadly not such a prodigy smile. I'm assuming this one was just two as I wouldn't refer to a nearly 3yo as a toddler, and I do think that's very young.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 14-Jun-13 22:58:05

This wasn't a teenager! There's very little you can do if an extremely young child is noisy.
Well for a start you can NOT take them somewhere where they are likely to upset others. If your child is prone to half hour screaming fits, then don't take them to places where they can cause a disruption to others. You don't NEED to be in a café.

ZolaBuddleia Fri 14-Jun-13 22:59:15

Half an hour to go? If you have a screecher who won't shut up the food needs to go into the handbag (perhaps with the exception of soup) and everyone is out of the door straight away.

Urgh, hate indulgent parents.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 23:00:36

Exactly saggy, if my ds just would not stop despite my best efforts, I would finish up quickly and go, not fair on other people, they do not have to tolerate the fruits of my loins grin

VashtaNerada Fri 14-Jun-13 23:02:05

Thoughts yes I was surprised by "girls" too. I wasn't sure if it was a patronising oversight or if they genuinely were children. In which case I'm starting to feel even more supportive of this very young mum with two children!

kaumana Fri 14-Jun-13 23:02:45

thoughtsplease As we say in Edinburgh, "Stirring it much"

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 14-Jun-13 23:03:01

You could always take them to the park, or soft play. Where screaming is the norm?

VashtaNerada Fri 14-Jun-13 23:04:55

(I suppose if it was actually half an hour and the mum was sitting there with her meal all finished just taking her time, that would annoy me. I'm just surprised by the people who think two year olds are easy to control!)

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:06:05

kaumana no just an observation.

Vashta I suspect they were young yes.

Zola you think the mum was indulging the toddler?

VashtaNerada Fri 14-Jun-13 23:07:23

I'm fence-sitting somewhat and have finally concluded that I could only really decide if I was actually there. Which totally ruins the fun of AIBU!!

Lazyjaney Fri 14-Jun-13 23:08:16

Every person who was in the place while the child was screaming would have had a miserable time, and many will not come back for a long time if at all, the cost to you of that toddler was far greater than you think.

Next time 10 minutes tops then out.

ladymariner Fri 14-Jun-13 23:08:33

kaumama exactly.....

Justfornowitwilldo Fri 14-Jun-13 23:08:42

People who sit in a cafe for '1 hour plus' with a child screaming for half of that time are inconsiderate. Most people are tolerant of small children, it's entitled arses like this that make them intolerant.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:08:57

Vashta oh yes you are failing if you cannot control your two year old, or just give in and leave which is probably what the two year old wants anyway.

ladymariner Fri 14-Jun-13 23:12:35

In which case I'm starting to feel even more supportive of this very young mum with two children

How about feeling supportive of the cafe owner who is watching the rest of her clientele leaving in droves because of one badly behaved screaming toddler?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 14-Jun-13 23:14:09

We all know that 2yos can be difficult. We have all been in the half hour tantrum situation. BUT, we don't all inflict it on others. If they wont stop, then leave.
Why should the 30 or 40 other people in the café have to put up with it?

CrabbyBigBottom Fri 14-Jun-13 23:16:27

I cannot fucking believe that there are people on this thread that are saying it's fine to sit in a cafe with a screaming child for half an hour, ruining everyone else's experience of the cafe. How bloody selfish do you have to be to have so little consideration for others?? shock

Take your screaming child away somewhere where they are not deafening and annoying other paying customers!

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 23:16:46

Yes thoughts that's what te average parent of toddlers o young children does, not sit back and do nothing whist teir child screams and screams

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:20:47

We don't really know how many other customers there were, how many left rapidly and complained as the OP states.

Were there 30 or 40 other customers at the time?

I suspect the number was far fewer, and that actually not many made a hasty exit or complained, I wonder how many stayed?

As others have said without being there hard to tell, realistically people also have different ideas of what constitutes screaming loudly for 30 minutes.

And as the customers are described as girls with children I really cannot help feeling that this has some bearing.

pigletmania Fri 14-Jun-13 23:22:41

Screaming loudly is just that, a loud annoying noise for alf an hour

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:23:50

piglet it was meant to be a little tongue in cheek!

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:26:13

Actually I think people's tolerance for noise from children and what they consider within a normal range is different.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 14-Jun-13 23:28:20

The number of other customers is irrelevant. Purposely inflicting your screaming child on any other person in a place ehere you don't have to be is just selfish.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:33:31

Saggy you mentioned the 30 or 40 other customers.

As I said though I'd be interested to know how many there were, and how many it actually bothered. That to me, without being there to judge, would give a better indication of whether it really was unacceptable.

If the vast majority found it annoying then yes, but if the vast majority didn't then perhaps it wasn't as bad as the OP has stated.

BrianTheMole Fri 14-Jun-13 23:36:24

I remember going to a posh restaurant once where, at the table next to me, a small child was screaming and the mother was (probably at the end of her tether), ignoring the child. After about 5 mins a staff member went and asked if she could do anything to help and offered to take the child outside herself to distract her. Obviously the mum didn't want her to do that, so started settling down the child herself. I think the restaurant had a rather nice and unfailingly polite approach. Personally though, if my kids were screaming the place down and I couldnt settle them quickly, I'd take them out myself rather than subject everyone to it.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Fri 14-Jun-13 23:37:34

I was generalising.
So, if there were 10 people in the café, and only 4 of them were bothered, does that make it all right? Do those 4 not get to enjoy their food in peace, purely because 6 people don't care?

Lazyjaney Fri 14-Jun-13 23:38:53

"If the vast majority found it annoying then yes, but if the vast majority didn't then perhaps it wasn't as bad as the OP has stated"

Of course the vast majority of people don't mind a child screaming for a half an hour in a confined place, do they?

Oh, wait....

kaumana Fri 14-Jun-13 23:44:11

OP Please ignore thoughts she is obviously looking for attention just like the toddlers she is defending.

I came to Starbucks once, and as I was in the queue, I noticed a mum with her two children. A baby in a pram and a toddler. The toddler was yelling. Mum (nanny?) was texting. Toddler kept screaming, red face, tears literally popping out of her eyes. Mum was still busy on the phone, did not even look at her dd. So I left.

blueemerald Fri 14-Jun-13 23:49:21

If the child had any kind of special need surely the mother/accompanying adult would have said so when the OP spoke to her? A lot of the suggested disabilities (ASD, ADHD) are invisible, particularly to those who are unfamiliar with them, and I can't imagine anyone with a child with special needs not explaining that when spoken to, very politely, by the cafe owner.

Children scream, it happens; but what would annoy me would be the mother/accompanying adult making no attempt whatsoever to distract/placate the child and then laughing when asked about it.

OP, the mother may complain about your cafe to her friends but if I had been there and seen you tackle her I would be recommending your cafe to my friends.

Blu Fri 14-Jun-13 23:49:54

YANBU. Family friendly doesn't mean parents can allow babies or kids to inflict misery on everyone else.

DS was a complete pain In cafes and restaurants. So we didn't go out with him after he was 5+ and semi-tamed. Gong out was not our divine right to the extent that we could take responsibility.

ThoughtsPlease Fri 14-Jun-13 23:58:09

kaumana how does that work then, the OP has asked for opinions, if someone asks for more information to offer an informed opinion that is attention seeking is it? Very odd.

Should I just agree do you think even if I am not sure that I do?

Defending toddlers? Really? Those little people who are perhaps a little confused about this big world they find themselves in and need some guidance?

And I will say again that no I do not believe that it is ok for a child to scream so much that they upset lots of other customers, but let's be honest other adults sometimes annoy other adults when out, but perhaps other adults don't mind their 'annoying' actions, but who is right? There is a degree of tolerance and personal judgement.

kaumana Sat 15-Jun-13 00:00:35

Yawn ..

ThoughtsPlease Sat 15-Jun-13 00:02:08

Yes you do sound rather boring.


i have a 4&5yo who over the years have loved the sounds they can make, i have never and will never tollerate screaming screeching or excessive noise when other people are around. No you cant always use words to control a toddler but you can remove them.

MrsMook Sat 15-Jun-13 00:21:36

DS (2 1/2) has just discovered the joy of shouting in a public place. So far we can turn it into a whispering competition. He's also into the joys of sloppy raspberries and blantant theatrical ignoring (blocking him from view with my hand and turning away) deprives him of the attention he seeks, so he stops as he wants an "eurgh" reaction. There are ways to address toddler behaviour that is anti-social.

After the removal from the pub episode last year, we had to accept that for a while, our choices for eating out were limited and that the priority was quick service.

Young children won't learn how to behave in public if they go unchallenged. IME people are normally forgiving when they can see parental effort being made, even if the sucess is limited (cue evacuation mode).

Blu Sat 15-Jun-13 05:08:57

YANBU. Family friendly doesn't mean parents can allow babies or kids to inflict misery on everyone else. Though plenty of parents seem to think it does.

DS was a complete pain In cafes and restaurants. So we didn't go out with him after he was 5+ and semi-tamed. Gong out was not our divine right to the extent that we could take control of every one else's experience.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 07:47:01

'Family friendly' means that you are friendly to all families and you don't let one dominate and spoil it for everyone else- otherwise 'everyone else' votes with their feet.

ZolaBuddleia Sat 15-Jun-13 08:49:39

Yes, ThoughtsPlease, OP has said that the child was screaming just because she liked it, rather than being upset, so yes, letting her carry on is indulging antisocial behaviour in a place where there are others.

Nothing wrong with a good screech outside, of course.

catgirl1976 Sat 15-Jun-13 08:58:21

My DS is 19 months

He looks like a 4 year old as he is huge - off the scale on the height and weight charts

I often worry that when he does normal 19 month old things (and sometimes, emitting high pitched shrieks can be one of them - although we do try to shush him) that people think he is a badly behaved 4 year old

I think YABU - you can't always make a 2 year old stop shrieking and you don't know the child was 2

What would you have done about a crying 6 week old?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Jun-13 09:00:52

thoughts please dd is 3. Surely anybody would find constant high pitched shrieking in an enclosed space distressing? If you force a young child to stay in a situation that distresses them, then yes, they will tend to kick off.

amandine07 Sat 15-Jun-13 09:10:17


If it was that loud it must have been bothering the vast majority of people in there.

The main point is whether the mother made any efforts to stop her child from screaming or took them outside to calm down.
Young children will shout & scream, that's just a fact- it's how it gets dealt with.

I don't have kids of my own (yet), but I couldn't imagine putting up with all that and not saying or doing something if it were my own child.

Maybe it's different once you have your own, the sound of them screaming is somehow not as bad as if it were somebody else's child? hmm

aftermay Sat 15-Jun-13 09:10:33

By this logic then come one, come all. Why not let a 14 year old be obnoxious. Maybe it's just the hormones and 'can't help himself'. There must be some common sense and decency 'rules' and not screaming your head of should be one of those. If you are too young etc and can't help it, then a responsible adult should help you out by removing you from that situation. Even if it means they have to gulp down their latte.

JakeBullet Sat 15-Jun-13 09:10:47

As a parent in that situation I would have move outside, there is no way I would have stayed put. I would have asked for containers to take away any food I ad ordered but no way would I have remained while my child was causing such a level of noise. That would be for my OWN sanity, never m d anyone else's.

PavlovtheCat Sat 15-Jun-13 09:11:48

Yanbu, I would be horrified if my children behaved like this for so long, family friendly means that there are highchairs, low salt food they can chose from, some books and toys etc, you expect a few more crumbs on the floor and a bit more disruption in terms of laughing, noise, getting down from the table, and maybe a bit of wingeing. It does not, IMO, mean that it's ok for your child to scream the entire time. If ds wakes grumpy, like he does some times, a d we need to eat, we buy a sarnie, if we have not taken snacks. If we are attempting to enjoy a nice lunch or breakfast as we do, and a child kicks off, they are taken outside, and if they cannot be calmed, we leave. If we are already eating we eat up and clear out, normslly with my dhmtaking ds out. Usually with an apology to the other customers/staff having to put up with the screaming.

We always sit outside too, if st all possible, and try to find places with outdoor space for that reason. Although that's not always possible.

We actually stopped going out for more than a coffe/ cake somewhere outside for about a year when dd was 2 ish as her concentration was not enough to sit still for more than 20 mins.

PipkinsPal Sat 15-Jun-13 09:15:37

YANBU, you may have a family friendly cafe but that is for all families and not just the one. I like to go to a cafe for something to eat and drink and a chat with friends. I have hearing problems and if it is too noisy I cannot hear the person in front of me speaking but all I can hear is the background noise. Wearing my hearing aid in noisy environments is impossible. It is really offputting if a child is making a din whilst their parents have the ability to shut it out.

amandine07 Sat 15-Jun-13 09:19:31

I was in a restaurant a few months ago with a friend who's son is just starting to walk. There were 4 of us and he really started playing up as the mains arrived.

The waitress asked if she could take him, and then proceeded to walk him around the entire restaurant, into the kitchen and on to the terrace area- so we could get some peace & eat & talk!

That in my mind was a very child friendly approach, however I will say that it was quiet & there were only 2 other tables occupied. Definitely wouldn't have happened in a busy period!

Anyway, it was lovely to see & it calmed him down.

BlueberryHill Sat 15-Jun-13 09:23:34

If you cannot stop your 2 yo from shrieking, then you take them outside.

A previous poster said that it may be her only coffee and cake out that week so she wasn't going to leave until she had finished it. What about other people, that may be the only half an hour peace or coffee that they have that week, why should a parent who doesn't do anything to distract / stop it happening / shove cake in front of their child spoil it for others.

I have a 6 yo and 2 yo twins, we take them out and it is really hard work to keep them occupied, so we pick somewhere that serves food fast, not quiet places where all you hear is the chink of cutlery and we occupy them with colouring, books, comics. We take out a child / miss dessert if we think they have hit their limit timewise. It is just normal courtesy for other diners. It also teaches our children how to behave in restaurants / cafes etc, shouting and running about are for parks / playgrounds etc not in cafes.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 09:24:15

There would be hell to pay with some parents if the waitress took over- and imagine if a waiter dared do it!

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 09:25:23

You take a child of any age outside if you can't calm them and come back when you have.

Sirzy Sat 15-Jun-13 09:33:30

*I think YABU - you can't always make a 2 year old stop shrieking and you don't know the child was 2

What would you have done about a crying 6 week old?*

If you can't stop a 2 year old shrieking you remove them from the situation.

If you have a crying 6 week old who won't calm then you take them outside to calm them (a walk around may help anyway!)

The age of the child is irrelevant, no other diner should disrupt others. There is nothing wrong with respecting others whether that is a table of rowdy adults being asked to calm down a bit or removing an over noisy child.

YANBU. I took DS (3) to a cafe yesterday with MIL, and he was grumpy, hot, thirsty and tired, so started to kick off. I told him in no uncertain terms that if he didn't stop shouting, we would leave and he wouldn't get anything nice to eat.
He stopped once he had something to drink, but if he'd kept going there's no way we would have stayed. It's just rude!

aftermay Sat 15-Jun-13 09:34:49

Exotic fruits - quite, can you imagine the outrage if an adult touched your child's hand without a CRB check and a detailed map of how they'll spend the time smile

aftermay Sat 15-Jun-13 09:35:49

Saying that, we've also been at restaurants where the kids were shown around, fish tank, behind the bar. They love it.

BlueberryHill Sat 15-Jun-13 09:39:13

Italian restaurants with wood burning ovens and pizza making are also good.

catgirl1976 Sat 15-Jun-13 09:40:00

If my DS is making a noise in a restaurant of cafe, we try to shush him and if we can't one of us will take him outside

But I can imagine a situation where, if you were on your own, starving and knackered you might just think "fuck it. I am going to ignore you and finish my coffee and cake"

Not saying it's right, just that I can maybe understand how it would happen.

Regardless the OP is not very family friendly, as they didn't offer to assist / distract, just practically barred a mother and probably made her feel pretty shitty

aftermay Sat 15-Jun-13 09:42:16

Oh come on. It's not the OP's job to assist and distract. She has to actually run the cafe. She didn't berate the mum on front of others. She asked her to come back when she can better look after her DS.

Sirzy Sat 15-Jun-13 09:44:31

Which is selfish of the mother. Sod other diners for a second but if she does that then she is putting her happiness before her childs and no parent can think that is right surely?

Sirzy Sat 15-Jun-13 09:44:59

And she wasn't on her own, she was with a friend so they could have stepped in to assist.

pudcat Sat 15-Jun-13 09:50:17

YANBU you made kind comments to the parent/minder/nanny to let her know that the child was making too much noise and disturbing others but she took no notice. Therefore you had every right to ask her to sit outside if she came again. Why is it these days that so many folk think that it is a child's divine right to do as they wish? Children need to be shown how to behave and to respect others. Let them scream to their heart's content in their own home, but not in a restaurant or other public building.

whosiwhatsit Sat 15-Jun-13 10:01:49

Just before moving to another country we took our best friend out for lunch at a nice cafe to say our goodbyes. A family at the next table had a toddler there who screamed the entire time we were there and neither parent bothered taking the child outside. So much for a nice goodbye meal and chat with our friend, though of course it cost the same as a nice meal out in a pleasant atmosphere would have. I don't find this kind of behaviour acceptable at all and no yanbu.

IWillDoItInAMinute Sat 15-Jun-13 10:06:26

yANBU - I have 3 DCs and I would be blush if they acted like that in a public place.

I haven't read the whole thread but one of the best places we used to go to <sighs as we moved away> had a small area which contained a few books/ easily cleanable toys. It made us feel really welcome and I saw many a waitress swoop in with a book/toy to distract a child.

Just an idea...

catgirl1976 Sat 15-Jun-13 10:10:46

I agree it isn't the OP's job to distract a toddler BUT If the OP is touting her cafe as family friendly, what family friendly services are they providing other than buying some high chairs?

Just wondering. Are there crayons or toys or balloons or things to colour in? Is there a little play area?

The OP says they "do what they can to make families feel welcome" and I am just curious what that actually involves

ariane5 Sat 15-Jun-13 10:12:20

YANBU. Ds2 has a habit recently of repeatedly smashing his beaker onto things very hard. He started recently when we went for a cup of tea and it very quickly became annoying.he thinks its hilarious but I took it off him as it was clearly annoying others.

He screamed so we left.

Corygal Sat 15-Jun-13 10:16:05

YANBU. Don't think otherwise.

wannaBe Sat 15-Jun-13 10:19:13

I went into a café recently and there were two toddlers racing up and down the entire length of it. Their mothers just sat there occasionally saying "oh, you should be sitting down, come back, ha ha ha ha ha you little monkeys...." angry these little brats children continued to race up and down laughing and cackling as they went. Absolutely not acceptable and I think that people need to be more aware that the world doesn't revolve around their little darlings and that I you as a parent don't teach your child acceptable behaviour they will never learn.

Chandon Sat 15-Jun-13 10:19:34

Our local caf says " we welcome wellbehaved children"

That is quite a good way to do it I think. It aso reassures me as a customer that the place won't be taken over by kids.

Some people think that if a place is family friendly it should put up with sreaming wild tots smearing their cupcakes onto the sofa.

I think having an adult atmosphere, but accepting children and having high chairs, and a clear sign on the door, is the way to go.

AlwaysWashing Sat 15-Jun-13 10:20:27

N at all U
I wouldn't let my 2 year old or my 6 month old do it. I have a really low tolerance to noise anyway so "feel" it probably before it's registered with other people.
Neither of my 2 are screamers, probably due to vigilance and redirection but if a meltdown occurs in a cafe or supermarket etc out we go until it's over. If I have to leave my meal/shopping then that's what happens because they're my DC, my responsibility and I want them to know that I mean what I say.
I hate having to listen to other people's DC shrieking and having threats of no tv, no pudding, no toys ect screamed back at them or worse still just ignored ( though I can imagine that short of time a Mum might just put her head down and scoff her cake & coffee or finish her shop)

Chandon Sat 15-Jun-13 10:21:58

I would steer away from crayons and play area's as it is not your job to entertain customer's children ( just BRING some crayons, or toys or whatever). If you go very childfriendly, you will get a softplay atmosphere and childfree customers will steer clear.

edam Sat 15-Jun-13 10:24:12

YANBU but you should have spoken to her earlier, when her child was annoying other customers, not leave it for half an hour. And at that time you should have approached her nicely, asking if there was anything you could do to help - even if not, it would have acted as a prompt to her to do something about it.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Sat 15-Jun-13 11:16:43

YANBU. Far too many entitled parents out there who seem to think it is acceptable to inflict their child's noise on other people. There is tolerance and then there is balance and then there is selfishness.

To quote Spock: "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one"

Latara Sat 15-Jun-13 11:30:00

YANBU. It wouldn't have annoyed me but it would annoy friends of mine who may avoid the cafe in future. I think Edam has the right idea. Approx 2 years is old enough to start learning about how to behave in public.

Wheresthepopcornagain Sat 15-Jun-13 13:28:34

You alienated the customers and the mum which is not going to do you any favours. You're either child friendly or you're not and it sounds like not.

SybilRamkin Sat 15-Jun-13 13:32:52

YANBU, I'd have done the same.

aFishCalledWanda Sat 15-Jun-13 13:39:29

I don't think you were being U, but I feel so sorry for the poor mum. my dd1 threw terrible tantrums from aged 2 right up until she was 5. It was so awful trying to go out anywhere, it got so bad that most of the time I only ventured 10 minutes down the road to the supermarket. On the few occasions we did go to a cafe it was awful, the looks and comments we would get because she was screaming. I would try and calm her down but would end up shoveling the food down our necks and leaving quite fast. What we didn't know back then is that she's Autistic. Of course now looking back it makes sense, but going through it at the time was awful. I think YANBU, but perhaps have a bit of sympathy for the mother.

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 13:45:09

You cannot really predict when a child will throw a tantrum though and we all did it didn't we

She did not think in a pre meditated way, now....its time for x to scream, so lets go into this cafe and disturb everyone....

You also have no idea how long they will last for. At any moment she may have calmed down. One hopes they do with cake and a drink. and Distraction. Most parents do not actually enjoy it when their child cries. They are smiling and trying not to snap and praying the child shuts up.

My advice is - to not encourage DC in your cafe any more.

They are by their very nature un predictable.

So you will have more DC crying and causing a fuss.

Put a big sign on your door though so you don't have to embarrass the poor mums as they walk in by turning them away.

" No Dogs, No Children".

CelticPixie Sat 15-Jun-13 13:48:54

YANBU at all. But so many parents today seem to think that their children can do as they like and really take exception when they are asked by members of staff to control them. There was and incident near me where the father of a family attacked a member of staff and trashed a pub after the family had been asked to control the children who were running around and generally getting on people's nerves.

These people would be the first to complain if hot food or drink was spilled on their previous little darling as well.

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 13:53:37


Totally agree.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Jun-13 13:56:57

razzle dazzle but the child in the OP wasnt screaming because she was upset, she was screaming for fun...

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 14:00:51


How can any by stander possibly ascertain that?

Incredible powers of perception and psychology...

There are places with a distinctive child friendly atmos, and those aimed more at business lunches, workers, couples.

The op is not child friendly she needs to re work her strategy, remove the signs of children and aim at business and couples.

Wallison Sat 15-Jun-13 14:06:50

I don't see the contradiction in wanting people to behave themselves while still being child-friendly. Child-friendly does not mean "let your children run around screaming and doing what the fuck they want regardless of the other people around them".

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Sat 15-Jun-13 14:06:56

Oh Razzle, do have some common sense and don't sound like one of those entitled parents that 95% of us on the thread can't stand

amazingmumof6 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:11:36


that mum was very selfish!
(dare I use the word entitled?)

if my kids did that I would go as far as to beg you to tell them to shut the fuck up keep quiet, they sometimes take it better from strangers.

don't feel bad, people hate being criticized about their kids' bad behaviour, but some are just blind to them.

Smartiepants79 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:11:54

Sorry, but as I already said being child friendly does NOT mean that you want to listen to half an hours worth of a screaming, screeching child.
NO WHERE wants to listen to that.
I think that it is very possible to tell if a child is upset/having a tantrum or screeching for fun (which children do)
A tantrum is a very different thing, which I would have a lot more sympathy for.
I think it also makes a huge difference if you can see the parent is doing their best make the child stop.
The OP indicates that nothing was done to stop the noise.
That is unacceptable in my opinion.
Yes children scream,screech and tantrum but that doesn't mean you spend the next hour ignoring it.

amazingmumof6 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:13:05

outraged or anyone else, what is SN, , please?

Ashoething Sat 15-Jun-13 14:14:58

YABU-and rude. You are also misleading customers by saying you are child friendly. Whether or not the mum should have tried to stop her child from screaming is irrelevent-some times kids scream. Often for no reason. Give the parents a break.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Sat 15-Jun-13 14:20:01

ashoe - Yes, they do often scream for no reason. But if you are a good parent, and you are in a confined public space with a toddler that wants to do nothing but scream and has done so constantly for 15 minutes, you have the courtesy to realise that there is a time and place, think of other people and take your screaming child out. Expecting other people to put up with your screaming child is FAR more rude than asking a parent to try and control their child which is disturbing other people. The OP has made it clear this wasn't a baby crying for a while but SCREAMING for at least 30 minutes.

Flicktheswitch Sat 15-Jun-13 14:20:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:20:42

dd1 was fine when taken out but dd2 went through a stage of being a nightmare - I had to remove her from a cafe on more than one occasion and take her outside leaving drinks and cakes.

I would take her home, one for that way she would learn we couldn't go into cafes and secondly it wouldn't be fair on all the other customers, they have paid to drink and eat their not to listen to screaming and shouting.

One day dd2 asked if we could go to the cafe as the other children and mums would be there? i told her we didn't go any more as she all ways screamed even at 2/3 she knew and understood this and said she wouldn't. I said ok but if you do scream we will leave - she never played up or screamed again. Children can learn good behaviour

Flicktheswitch Sat 15-Jun-13 14:23:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Sat 15-Jun-13 14:25:31

Yanbu purely because you say mum made to attempt to even try and quieten the child, I have a dd with sn and would have tried, im not saying it would of worked but I would have tried at least!

MNEdBlackpoolWiganandSalford Sat 15-Jun-13 14:29:54

no attempt. Not to attempt.

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:30:52

exoticfruits agree entirely

family friendly is for all families not for one to spoil it for the other families

xylem8 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:31:33

I remember when my eldeat was about 13m he would do that screaming thing.When we were in Sainsbury's I remember a woman commenting on how rude he was.But honestly what do you do to stop it?

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:34:14

But honestly what do you do to stop it?

you take them and sit in the car and don't speak to them

you take them home

you make the time boring

they then stop and you carry on doing nice things

they then learn not to do it as the time is boring and they are not having fun

Flicktheswitch Sat 15-Jun-13 14:35:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 14:36:55


Common Sense should have come from the cafe owner, who perhaps could have tried to actually engage with the mum, talk to her, even briefly and then tried to distract the child.

Actually my DC have always 95% of the time been very well behaved, I have always watched my DC like a hawk and I am one of those parents who says what she means.

On the extremely rare occasion my DC have played up and I have threatened them with leaving, I have left.

That can make it harder for parents like me, to go somewhere where a child is indeed screaming, as it is so easy to think....I can control mine, mine are soooo fantastic....why cant she control hers.

Instead I have tried to think, no - Village and all that....I do not know her back story, I do not know what is going on...maybe she just wanted the loo and felt she had to come in and buy a drink!

Its so easy to stick the knife in, be judgey and mean and nasty.

So much harder to have a small modicum of compassion and as I said perhaps she the so called child friendly op, could have got some games out to help ease the situation.

The child was a toddler after all. The very age where they are pushing boundaries and playing up.

Perhaps OP would like parents to fill out a form before they come in on how they will handle it should their child decide to kick off?

You are going to be tolerant and helpful or you arn't.

Op is not.

amandine07 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:38:18


I agree with you, totally spot on!

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 14:40:44

Personally I would not go to Sainburies cafe to expect quiet adult time.

Threads like this always make me sad, it shows how many people want to stick the knife in, so little compassion.

Distraction usually always works with DC, a stranger smiling at them, making a funny face, talking to them, completely takes the wind out of their sails...My Father kept a screamer quiet for a whole plane ride once, just by making a few funny faces every now and then, moving his glasses up and down his face.

It brought us all some peace and quiet. Took two seconds.

Far more productive than a dirty look.

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:45:40

As people get older they also can become very fretful over a lot of noise and they can't cope with it - this is why it is often old people tutting about young children making a lot of noise screaming and shouting as it is more stressful for them.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 15-Jun-13 14:46:19

YANBU I attend very child centered and child friendly conferences with small children/babies in attendance where at the start they tell you that they expect some normal child noises but if the baby/toddler is making too much noise you should leave and attend to their needs and come back when they/you are ready probably in this case when the child turns 5. It is not acceptable to have a 2 year old behaving that way in a cafe and the mother can meet her friend in a place where that behaviour is less likely to happen like soft play, playground at home etc. where the child can be entertained.

childfriendlycafeowner Sat 15-Jun-13 14:47:32

Sorry I don't think I made myself clear at first. This child was not having a tantrum, or crying, she was shreaking at the top of her voice, as she was playing with the toys her mum brought for her. She was not unhappy or bored, she was just enjoying making a terrible terrible noise. As for engaging her, that is for her mum to do. When you are a husband and wife team trying to run a cafe alone, you cannot also be child entertainer. She had toys she was not unhappy she just loved making a noise

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:48:03

Razzle - your father need to get himself round to Ops cafe and entertain the children then that come in to the cafe and scream

xylem8 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:49:25

1 go into Sainsbury's because I have to shop! I can't leave my trolley filled with frozen goods etc for half an hour, to sit in the car or go home or do the other things you suggest

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 14:51:37

so the only place and time your dc sreamed was in sainsbury then?

pudcat Sat 15-Jun-13 14:57:26

Razzle The OP was being tolerant. She mentioned to the Mum who just said her child was being a little tinker. She did not ban them - she asked if they would like to sit outside next time. I for one am fed up of being told to show compassion for parents of misbehaving, noisy, out of control children. She may have a back story as you call it, but then the other customers who wanted a quiet drink might have as well.

Ashoething Sat 15-Jun-13 14:58:54

That's fine op-if you don't want noisy kids in your café then don't advertise yourself as child friendly.Simples.

Ashoething Sat 15-Jun-13 15:01:07

Do all the people moaning about wanting quiet time in a café not realise that there are actually plenty of places you can go that don't include kids-like naice restaurants or bars? Its amazes me the amount of posters on here who appear to have no social life that doesn't include their kidsconfused

VashtaNerada Sat 15-Jun-13 15:05:13

Very well put Razzle and your Dad sounds lovely smile

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 15:16:38
ThoughtsPlease Sat 15-Jun-13 15:25:38

As the OP states, I am wondering why the previous owners did not encourage families and children, perhaps it didn't fit with the other type of customers.

But if the other customers are regular, then yes I can see how they may now be bothered by the change in dynamics of the cafe by now welcoming children.

I wonder how many other children were in the cafe when this took place.

The way that I have read it, the OP has now said that actually the child was being loud, I'm not quite sure how the OP could have ascertained that she wasn't unhappy or bored and this was the cause of being loud.

And just for the record again, if any of my children were screaming uncontrollably for 30 minutes then yes I would have left the cafe, but now it seems the child was shrieking, which to me I actually read as being loud, as opposed to screaming uncontrollably.

I agree with those that have said perhaps the idea of being so child friendly, when perhaps it is not, and the other customers are not used to loud children, should be re-considered.

arabesque Sat 15-Jun-13 15:25:56

I am laughing at the suggestion that the OP should have distracted the child. Should she distract every noisy child that comes in also? When will she find time to run her cafe and actually make a living?

OP you are not not not being unreasonable.

greenfolder Sat 15-Jun-13 15:33:27

our local coffee shop owners are fab at this family friendly bit. they have high chairs and a buggy park, so the place is not cluttered up. they encourage groups of mums to meet but don't let them take over, so when it is busier, they will expertly move people on.

I have seen them deal with a smilar situation. it went roughly like this
"dchild is a little noisy, would you like a biscuit to distract them?" "i'm afraid dchild is a little noisy for our other customers, would you like me to pop lunch in a box/takeaway cup?"

they are also really good in that if someone makes a move to leave quickly because dc are playing up, they give them a voucher for a free hot drink next time they come in.

arabesque Sat 15-Jun-13 15:36:44

Razzle when I go to a cafe it's to have a relaxing cup of cafe and maybe a chat with a friend, it is not to entertain someone else's child so their parents don't have to.

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 15-Jun-13 15:49:34

bloody hell. We've a reputation for being proper miserable bastards regarding children in the UK and this thread proves it!!
I've an 18 month old and she's just found her voice. She does this shrieking thing. Not in anger, distress or discomfort. Because she likes the sound it makes.
Should I avoid all cafés, restaurants and public spaces until she's 5?

arabesque Sat 15-Jun-13 15:54:48

If she's doing it constantly, over a sustained period of time, then you should leave the cafe stepaway. Why should one child be allowed to drive other customers to distraction? There's nothing 'miserable' about expecting a reasonable level of peace in a cafe. No one's saying children shouldn't make any noise, but constant screaming or shrieking is a different matter. Maybe the reason people are 'miserable bastards regarding children' is because parents in the UK have no idea how to behave when out with their children.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 15:55:45

I'm going to go against the grain and say yabu.
Not because I think kids should be allowed to send shock waves of noise through people's souls in cafes and so on, but because most parents don't allow this behaviour so you're not going to come up against it very often. I think was a bit of a one off.
That mother is going to tell anyone who will listen how intolerant she thinks you were. Word of mouth in a small town is everything.

pudcat Sat 15-Jun-13 15:59:43

well said arabesque.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 16:00:26

And I have to day...the very fact that it was happy racket, rather than a shout of distress or anger, says to me that maybe the other customers were being a bit lemon faced.

I get it - some happy racket is really fucking nerve shredding, but people are far less likely to avoid a cafe in future owing to one annoying customer, than they are to avoid it because they told your toddler to shut up.

arabesque Sat 15-Jun-13 16:00:46

To be honest pictish if I heard that story I would be thinking 'Thank God, a restaurant manager who actually does something in these situations'. It is amazing the number of restaurants who think it's okay to take your money but to do absolutely nothing about customers who are disrupting other customers.

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 15-Jun-13 16:01:07

I agree 100% Pictish.
Children shriek occasionally.
They make far more noise than children.
Normal children do not eat in silence.
When my daughter does this screaming thing it's intermittent, not continual. She did it yesterday and the cafe owner chuckled (whilst I shoved a croissant at her, to distract her)
I don't think it's right just to sit there and ignore the noise.
But if the Mother has offered food/drink/toys etc and the screaming continues, she's got 2 options: leave her food untouched and leave or eat it quickly and leave.
Personally noise doesn't bother me, unless it's a very quiet venue where you expect to have a chat. Most child friendly cafés I've been in are noisy places with or without screaming toddlers!

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 15-Jun-13 16:03:14

'Make far more noise than adults.
We are most definitely uptight about noise in the uk.
I went to Portugal recently and kids were up till late evening, very far from silent. And restaurant staff were happy to engage with them.

WouldBeHarrietVane Sat 15-Jun-13 16:06:40

YABU - if someone told me they'd experienced this then I would conclude your cafe was not child-friendly.

LineRunner Sat 15-Jun-13 16:09:25

The worst café experience I ever had was with my quiet toddler DD, where the woman at the next table screamed into her mobile phone for over 20 minutes about a hair appointment. The café was the size of my front room.

The owner didn't ask her to shut the fuck up.

I never went back.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 16:09:44

There was a group of mums from the tots group I used to (and still do) socialise with after the griup. We would take the kids for lunch at a local cafe - we have a choice of about 4.
There were maybe five mums with kids, and we would have a big table, and even without any screeching or crying, it could be noisy.

In one cafe someone complained, and we were asked to try to keep it down. We duly responded and shushed the kids, even though they weren't really doing anything wrong. We finished quickly and left.

From that day on we never chose that cafe for our lunches. The same scenario in the other ones got a favourable response and we felt very welcome, so that's where we spent our money.

Just saying.

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 16:12:45

Op, myself and my family have vast experience in the cafe/restaurant/pub business.

"When you are a husband and wife team trying to run a cafe alone, you cannot also be child entertainer. She had toys she was not unhappy she just loved making a noise"

As said before it is the nature of the beast.

You are not child friendly. Children are un predictable.

You handled the whole situation very badly from start to finish, you sound like you are still learning.

Simply do not aim yourselves at children. End of. You have lots of good advice up thread about working out what your market is.

FWIW I am currently looking into another venture that would be very much aimed at people with children.

It would be very obvious to other customers that its a child friendly place. Rather like this place.


You would not enter these portals wanting some peace and quiet.

You are at fault, you are not child friendly.

You have no idea what that woman was thinking you saying ..." ohh shes a tinker" does not indicate to her that you are un happy with noise levels.

That indicates....we are child friendly, we do accept children make noise, please relax.

Inside she was probably thinking - thank goodness I can relax here.

RazzleDazzleEm Sat 15-Jun-13 16:14:14

Sorry I forgot to add, after the kind " isnt she a tinker" comment I imagine she was then totally flooredand devestated by your end comments.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 15-Jun-13 16:21:44

razzle the tinker comment was made by the mother not the OP!

Also there is a world of difference between an upset/tantrumming child and one who is shrieking non stop like referees whistle for fun. The former deserve some understanding. The latter (as in the OP) deserve no understanding.

The former are also much more bearable than the latter.


pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 16:25:00

I'm coming from a cafe owner pov on this one. I think it would have been better for business to have sucked that one up.

As anasides, I remember a thread on here where the OP was stuck in a train carriage with a kid blowing into a recorder. confused

That ought to be against the fucking law!!

wintertimeisfun Sat 15-Jun-13 16:27:24

at the guess the posters who say YABU are the ones who do this exact thing in a cafe. equally annoying are the parents who let their young kids pick things up in antique markets and play with them/damage them and say nothing/do not supervise, some people are just different types of parents. tbh i wouldn't care if i had offended her as i wouldn't want her back in my cafe, sounds like the type that would probably let her kid run around once it found its little legs. fwiw i always left a cafe when dd kicked off. i used to take a book ie sticker book with me to entertain her so she didn't get bored and was less likely to drive us all nuts smile

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 16:34:45

I have said yabu, and my kids are pretty good - can generally take them anywhere, and that has always been the case. Good behaviour in public places is important to my husband and I.
However, as a cafe owner, you can't choose whch members of the public come into your establishment.

Telling the mother of a noisy, but happy toddler, that she is not welcome, was a poor business decision.

wintertimeisfun Sat 15-Jun-13 16:37:52

i agree with you pictish i sell childrens books (among other things) and have to grit my teeth and look away when parents let their kids who have dirty hands (having just eaten a bacon & egg roll, etc) touch my books, and quite roughly sometimes too as it often ends up in a sale although when it doesn't, the book(s) they have touched are often pretty much buggered

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 15-Jun-13 16:40:25

I think this is one of those threads where Mumsnet differs wildly from the real world! Real children make noise. Oh, and it's very very hard to train babies aged 2 and under to be silent. You can try. And if you do have a quiet one, it's luck, not superior parenting. (I can say that as the Mother of a beautifully behaved teen who was the noisiest baby on the planet and I have two other children, including a toddler, who is not the quiet, shy type)

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 16:45:28

Yes...she will tell all of her parent pals what was said to her regarding her child.

The customers who complained, won't boycott your cafe because there was an annoying kid in one time. The mother you sent packing will though, and if she is eating out with friends or family, they will all go elsewhere from now on in.

It's a small town and you cannot afford to throw custom away like that.

VashtaNerada Sat 15-Jun-13 16:49:29

I said YABU Winter and mine aren't shriekers. Have been in a restaurant with one on an adjacent table and although it was irritating, I felt sorry for the parents and wouldn't dream of expecting them to abandon their meal. It's one of those things, sometimes life's not perfect.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 16:50:50

Haven't read the whole thread (I know, sorry!) but if she made no attempt to distract or quieten her child then the mum was unreasonable. If she was trying her best but the child was having none of it, then it's just one of those things, I think.

Nothing more irritating than parents who are oblivious to others when it comes to their children.

McNewPants2013 Sat 15-Jun-13 16:54:36

When I go to child friendly places I expect there will be children who are not going to behave, that's why when I go out I prefer to use unfriendly children places.

Wishihadabs Sat 15-Jun-13 16:55:18

The poor, poor mother. What a terrible thing to say. 2 year olds are unpredictable and virtually untrainable. I have had both types of toddler a noisy whirlwind who would no more sit quietly than fly to the moon and a placid little thing who sat in her high chair beaming at the world, we could and did take her everywhere.

With the first I don't think I ate lunch inside for the first 4 years of his life, unless like your customer I was meeting someone with a much younger baby. I am sure your customer would have rather been anywhere other than in the cafe, but she had arranged to meet her mate so what could she do ?

Wishihadabs Sat 15-Jun-13 16:58:19

Ours are 9 and 7 now and can sit through a three course meal

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:01:20

I don't think yabu at all. I also don't agree with those saying that you have necessarily "thrown away custom". What about the customers that were annoyed by the noise? Don't they count at all? Being child friendly doesn't mean that children should be allowed to come in and do whatever they like. Imo people in cafes etc are incredibly patient and kind when it comes to children. I was out with a friend of mine who is lovely but incredibly thick skinned, her child is very screamy. People were hugely tolerant but did start to look slightly pissed off when he began throwing his toys at other diners! Even then no one complained! I think the screaming must have been pretty bad for people to actually say something.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:08:26

The customers who were annoyed by the noise know that if they go back another day, the chances of that same kid being there at the same time as them again, are pretty much nil.

No one is put off returning to a cafe because there was a screechy toddler there the last time. Particularly in a small town.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Sat 15-Jun-13 17:10:56

The poor, poor mother. What a terrible thing to say

What??? She lets her child scream and shout, doing nothing about it and she's the wronged one? On which planet??

virtually untrainable Bull. You don't just let them do as they please.

she had arranged to meet her mate so what could she do ? Send her a text to say DD is being a little madam - we'll have to meet at ours or another day.

For the love of toasted tea cakes - you can't let a child scream like that in a cafe.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:11:11

I am put off- I would avoid it!

Mintyy Sat 15-Jun-13 17:11:11

Oh I definitely would boycott a cafe where children run riot or make a lot of noise.

As a cafe owner you have a very difficult choice to make. Some say that cafes would be mad not to embrace the day time crowd who come along with toddlers and babies in tow but, actually, round here there are plenty of adults who work from home and like to go out to cafes for lunch/a break. So there are non-parents/carers who could provide a decent turnover.

I wish there were more places I could go where there is a good chance of not having to listen to noisy children. You can't even escape in the pub nowadays!

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:11:55

Being told your toddler is not welcome will mean that customer will never return. Small town or not.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:12:15

Possibly not Pictish. I just don't think this mother was in the slightest bit bothered (by the sounds of the op) that the child's screaming was annoying other people. I think that is very selfish and I think that half an hour is a long time to put up with that kind of screaming. I don't think most people would just sit there and let their child do that. Yes, kids do that sometimes, but you don't just sit there ignoring it. I wouldn't anyway.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 15-Jun-13 17:12:33

It is my experience in the most child friendly countries that there is a level of behaviour expected and tolerated from local children. Children can be children and engage and interact but they are not allowed run riot is scream the place down.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:12:42

I wouldn't have inflicted a screaming DC on others - I don't expect to have them inflicted on me.

pigletmania Sat 15-Jun-13 17:12:52

Razzle shock being child friendly does not mean that Chidren running riot ad shrieking all over the shop, it's up to the parents to take RESPONSIBILITY for their children, not sitting back and doing nothing. Being child friendly means providing facilities for children, accepting tem into your establishment, not putting up with bad behaviour. No op is not a chidrens only cafe, but she is child friendly. She was polite to the mother, and suggested alternative seating because te child's screeching was getting on patrons nerves

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:13:00

I don't think they want that customer to return!

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:14:32

Neither would I in their position. I never go out to cafes with my friend with her screechy children anymore. I cannot stand it. She is a lovely person but it is unbearably embarrassing.

pigletmania Sat 15-Jun-13 17:14:38

Exactly neuneu, there should be a level of behaviour that is expected according to age. Te mum in question should have tried to placate her child, if not take her outside for a bit if not leave

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:14:51

I think OP, that you need to decide who your demographic is, because you can't have it both ways.

Child friendly, or relaxing haven.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:15:06

If the customer never returns it is a good thing! Quite true- child friendly countries expect a certain level of behaviour - we would be much more child friendly in UK if parents could be relied on to control or remove their children.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:15:09

'No one is put off returning to a cafe because there was a screechy toddler there the last time. Particularly in a small town.'

I would be and I'm in a small town, because I know if I go in there again and there's another toddler playing up, the proprietor won't do jack shit about it.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:15:59

Of course you can have it both ways OP- don't get fobbed off by selfish parents.

pigletmania Sat 15-Jun-13 17:17:15

Exactly exotic, just that parents should take responsibility for their chikdren

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:17:16

I wouldn't return if I knew the owner wasn't going to do anything about it.

piprabbit Sat 15-Jun-13 17:17:25

If my children screamed for 10 minutes, I would have paid and left as soon as I could (and possibly sooner than that). I would be embarrassed and want to spare everyone my child's anti-social behaviour. I'd also explain to the child that there wouldn't be any more lovely trips to the cafe until they learned to behave.
I wouldn't have sat around for an eternity sipping my coffee and having a jolly time while wondering why all the other customers were leaving so quickly.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:17:36

You say that, but I don't swallow it. In a small town your choices are limited, and nah - you're not going to write off a cafe forever more because there was a nippy kid in there on one occasion.
You may insist otherwise but in the real world, you wouldn't.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 17:17:41

I wouldn't go back to a cafe where there were screaming children (if the parents were doing nothing about it, that is) - it would make me wonder what else the owner would put up with.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:18:00

My son is 4 and has serious behavioural problems. We don't take him to cafes, restaurants aside from McDonald's, food courts, etc. because he is highly disruptive, very hyper and unable to sit still and screams blue murder.

It's not acceptable to inflict that on other people in a small area like a café.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:19:14

It is the same sort of attitude that ruins school plays- they just won't do the decent thing and take the child out! It is also the reason that so many places won't have children. They spoil it for all.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:19:29

I wouldn't go back to a cafe where there were screaming children (if the parents were doing nothing about it, that is) - it would make me wonder what else the owner would put up with.

You say that cos it sounds good, but you don't mean it. You might well grumble about it, but you'd still go back again.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:20:15

'You say that, but I don't swallow it.'

So I'm a liar then? Thanks for that. There are two places we avoid and have done for years, yes, in this tiny town, due to dire service just once.

But if it makes you feel better to assume I'm a liar, have at it.


exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:20:31

In a small town you will not lose custom- everyone will be thrilled if you do something!

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:20:57

That is exactly it exoticfruits.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:20:58

I see you are a liar, too, Sir.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:21:47

Yes...you're lying. Or rather, embellishing for effect.
You wouldn't boycott a local cafe because on one visit, someone had a screechy kid.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:23:32

I wouldn't just grumble- I would avoid- a small town doesn't mean you put up with everything! In my experience small towns have lots of charity shops and lots of coffee shops. If there was only one I would go home!

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:24:25

Yes...you're lying. Or rather, embellishing for effect.
You wouldn't boycott a local cafe because on one visit, someone had a screechy kid.

PMSL, so you've known me personally and IRL the past 6 years in this dinky town with less than 10000 people so this is a fact, or I'm a liar.

BANG goes your credibility!

'I disagree with you, so you must be a liar.'


There are two cafes we have never been in again, and they are thin on the ground here. One of those had a kid like it the OP's 'customer' in there. Once.

Haven't been back since.

Wishihadabs Sat 15-Jun-13 17:24:47

I don't think we realy know what the child was doing OP says "probably at least half of the hour she was there" which could mean anything also OP states "eventually she did go quiet for a little while". What is not alluded to is when in this sequence of events the order was taken or how quickly the food arrived.

Try this scenario woman with toddler lets call her A arrives to meet woman with younger baby B at 12:30pm for lunch. The toddler usually eats at 12 but B is finding it diffcult to get out of the house so had suggested 1pm.12:30 is a compromise. B is late so A orders a coffee while she waits. Toddler is hungry. B arrives at 12:45 peak lunchtime for the cafe, she sends the waitress away cos she ccan't decide. Their order is finally taken at 1:10pm an hour and 10 minutes after toddler's lunchtime.IIt's busy so the food only arrives at 1:30pm by which time the toddler has gone beyond hungry and is being disruptive. A throws the food down her neck, pays the bill and leaves, on the way out the cafe owner tells her if she can't keep her toddler quiet she should have come.

TBH over an hour seems a very long time. I suspect the service was slow or they would have been out of there much quicker.

Agree with others either you are child friendly (super quick service) or you''re not I suspect the later.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 17:24:56

Nope, not a liar Pictish. However, if it pleases you to be factually incorrect then go ahead. As I said, if the parents weren't doing anything about it, and the parent was just shrugging their shoulder then I would wonder what else they would tolerate and I would think twice about going. Honest, truly, cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:25:04

I don't know how you speak for us all pictish. hmm

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:25:39

I go into cafes all the time. Most of them have children in them. I have met my parents for coffee for in the same cafe for about 5 years, there are TONs of children there, rarely, if ever do I hear children screaming in the way described in the OP. Of course they don't have to choose. A few parents are selfish and don't control their children. They don't care if that impacts on other people I wouldn't them returning if I had a cafe. Most parents aren't like this at all.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:26:04

No you wouldn't.

I know I'm annoying you all now, but you're saying stuff you don't mean, for the purpose of illustrating a point on this thread.

People do not boycott local cafes because they didn't like a customer once.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 17:26:08

Second parent in that should have been owner - if that makes sense!

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 17:26:40

Yes I would.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:28:18


expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:28:41

'I know I'm annoying you all now, but you're saying stuff you don't mean, for the purpose of illustrating a point on this thread.

People do not boycott local cafes because they didn't like a customer once.'

No, actually, it's pathetic, to assert again and again that because you don't agree with what a poster is saying, they are lying.

People can and do boycott cafes, restaurants, pubs that have shite customers in them. In small towns, in lots of places.

Wishihadabs Sat 15-Jun-13 17:29:54

Come on OP how quickly did you get this toddler's food out and how long after did the mother leave ?

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:31:06

And you're not Pictish???

How do you know that this woman's friends don't ALL find her Dd very screamy and also find it annoying! The fact that she didn't apologise to the cafe owner for the noise shows that she didn't see anything wrong with it at all. Some parents are selfish like that.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:31:19

If the cafe is otherwise acceptable, and there just happened to be a screechy annoying kid in there once, you would go back.

Get sarky and defensive about that as is your want...but you would.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:32:58

I agree - some parents are complete arseholes, but encountering one in good local cafe on one occasion, would not put you off going back.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 17:33:46

No I wouldn't.

You can say I would for as long as you like, but I wouldn't if I felt that the owner didn't give a shit what the customers were doing.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:34:15

I don't go back to cafes for all sorts of reasons- maybe people would call them silly but I do have choice! I am quite happy to be in cafes with children- I just expect the parent to impose appropriate behaviour and remove if they can't.

Altinkum Sat 15-Jun-13 17:35:05

Yanbu, I work in a restaurant/cafe also, it's gets really noisy and a screaming kid on top of the general noise, would be unbearable not only for customers, but also, for the staff.

After 10 mins or so, I'd have asked her to leave, as one unhappy customer, is nothing compared to 100.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:35:53

So do I exotic.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:36:10

And if the parent doesn't do either I would expect the cafe owner would say something.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Sat 15-Jun-13 17:36:17

Sorry, pictish, I usually agree with you, but I can also honestly say that I have not returned to a specific cafe where I live following an occasion where the staff did nothing about children running around, almost tripping up an OAP in the process, or screaming. I found it hugely annoying and decided not to risk it again.

Cherriesarelovely Sat 15-Jun-13 17:37:23

Just saying that they are not necessarily doing themselves any harm by putting off one selfish customer that seemed to show no awareness of how irritating her Dc's behaviour was to others. Not a great loss!

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 15-Jun-13 17:38:23

Pictish, you are right.
But this is Mumsnet, so you are wrong!
Meanwhile, back in the real world..

Altinkum Sat 15-Jun-13 17:38:51

Our cafe in a general day will seat over 1000 people in that day, on a busy we can easily serve over 2000, we have had customers leave because of a really loud women, whose voice was unbearable, in the end we had to ask her to tone it down or leave, as people would leave their meals and just walk out.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:39:31

Most people are able to overlook one unpleasant encounter with a loud toddler, if the cafe is otherwise acceptable. Even if it really annoyed them at the time.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:39:46

'If the cafe is otherwise acceptable, and there just happened to be a screechy annoying kid in there once, you would go back.

Get sarky and defensive about that as is your want...but you would.'

So it's sarky and defensive to explain to the truth: NO, I didn't go back. EVER. Because part of what makes a café acceptable is its atmosphere. If I go in there and the proprietor lets kids scream away and does FA, then it is and was a dealbreaker.

But carrying on saying I'm lying to try to prove whatever point it is you're trying so desperately to prove.

I'm not lying. I never went back.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 17:40:43

Okay, so now we're at 'most' people. Except people like us, SirC, I guess.

exoticfruits Sat 15-Jun-13 17:44:10

I might possibly go back- but it would take a while-and I would take a good look before I sat down!
I would prefer the owner not to be wet!

Wishihadabs Sat 15-Jun-13 17:46:02

On god this brings it all back. Ds was noisy and worse boisterous at 13m till about 3.5 , there realy was very little I could do about it. Books/toys etc kept him quiet for about 10mins max. Hardly enough to order and eat a meal, nevermind have an adult conversation. Attitudes like those on this thread (bad parents, just don't give a shift, selfish) are the reason that I never took him into cafes in that period. I can now see how right that decision was.....not only did I save a fortune, I also weighed less than I did when I conceived him by the time he was 15m old.

I doubt this would have happened had cafe owners/customers been more tolerant and I had spent my time sitting about eating cake. Nowadays when I hear/see a toddler being a toddler I generally give them a friendly smile and am relived its not me responsible for them.

pictish Sat 15-Jun-13 17:47:29

exotic that is fair enough. I see that as a far more realistic thing to say.

Wishihadabs Sat 15-Jun-13 17:56:26

FWIW as I said up thread he is now 9 and has beautiful table manners.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 15-Jun-13 17:57:20


I had 3 under 15 months including very active twin boys,never subjected others to behaviour like that.How utterly selfish.

4x4 Sat 15-Jun-13 17:57:48

When we travelled to NZ/Aus over the summer I was really impressed that lots of quite trendy smart cafes ( the sort that had wine and food not just tea and cakes ) had a corner or toy boxes for children.
I'm not suggesting McDonalds play area but perhaps a nice heavy wicker basket with some ebayed quality toys/board books could be the kind of thing that stops the screamers from pissing off customers and makes the parents return

amazingmumof6 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:01:07

<hands leg-o-lamb to expatwink >

I've been called a liar before, just because the other person was unable to agree to disagree.

brew time? smile

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:16:15

stepawayfromthescreen We've a reputation for being proper miserable bastards regarding children in the UK and this thread proves it!!

other countries are not miserable then but some places ban the children and make others happy smile

news.discovery.com/human/life/shopping-center-bans-screaming-children-130220.htm shopping center bans screaming children in Australia

eatocracy.cnn.com/2012/02/22/kids-in-restaurants/ restaurant bans children under 6 in USA

www.today.com/id/39075518/ns/today-parenting_and_family/t/restaurant-parents-no-screaming-kids-allowed/#.UbyhDxafdz8 ban on screaming children USA

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:21:26

as for boycotting a cafe - there is a lovely cafe on the outskirts of town where my dd2 refuses to go on a friday after school - as to many times there were shouty screeching toddlers in there and it drove her nuts!

Though I live in a town where the local paper had a cartoon recently with walkers knowing where they were as they could smell the coffee - we have more coffee shops per miles than any other town in England - I reckon grin

BubaMarra Sat 15-Jun-13 18:25:51

YABU, you did it all wrong. You ended up with annoyed customers AND an upset mum. You handled it badly and it is this that makes you UR (and not the fact that you didn't want to tolerate toddler's screaming for half an hour). The mother is unreasonable as well, but that is not the question in op.
If you market your cafe as children friendly first you need to understand what comes with children and how much of that you want to tolerate. Then, and more importantly, you need to learn how to handle challenging situations, and your way was not the right way because you ended up with all the parties upset (mum, other customers and yourselves). You need to decide weather you are in the business of making profit or making a point. You better grasp the skill of handling difficult situations especially as you are new place.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 18:31:10

Child friendly does not equal come and do exactly as you and your children please. It means we provide things such as highchairs and food that help to make your visit more pleasant. However, during your visit you should try to consider others and encourage your child to keep noise to a minimum. The owner, who sounds very reasonable and tolerant, did speak to the customer during her visit about it and offered her an outside seating area next time, but got a shrug of the shoulders in return.

DiseasesOfTheSheep Sat 15-Jun-13 18:32:17

I notice you don't offer any suggestions on how the OP could have handled it better, buba?

I agree that it sounds as though it ended up as a lose-lose situation. I think the owner of the child was BU to allow it to scream for half an hour - as a fellow customer I would not have appreciated that - and I think the OP was justified in some intervention, but perhaps their intervention was ill thought through. But in situations like this, I think you always end up upsetting the parent if they don't see an issue with disturbing others...

Sirzy Sat 15-Jun-13 18:33:58

Why do some people seem to think child friendly means "children can run wild and shout and scream"

amazingmumof6 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:34:23

I would not call myself a miserable bastard regarding children.

I have 6 kids, and trust me at times they are far from angelic.
I would have certainly tried to control their behaviour or remove them from that particular situation OP described if no luck.
that is how you teach them what is acceptable or not, right or wrong.

first explain, then warn, finally act.

unless for a good reason like being hurt or ill (or tired or scared) no crying is acceptable for longer than 5-10 mins.

if a child doesn't understand "no" the parents are not teaching them well enough, which is sad and worst for the child who will not learn about boundaries.

(if a child doesn't accept "no" that's a different problem, but also one to be dealt with - not merely to be ignored or justified)

our children go to church with us every Sunday and know how to behave, well most of the time
because we taught them.
literally from day one (we took DS2 to even song the day he was born - I'm off to polish my halogrin )

a child wailing in a cafe for 30 mins driving away customers while the mother is unable or unwilling to act is unaccaptable

amazingmumof6 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:36:11

PMSL @ "owner of the child"!grin

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:37:19

Diseaseofthesheep greenfolder Sat 15-Jun-13 15:33:27 she gave exaples of how to handle it and keep both sides happy

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 18:42:55

The owner did have a quiet word with the customer and offered her alternative accommodation in their outside area the next time she visited. Sounds like reasonable examples of how a difficult situation should be managed. Quite frankly, telling someone that their child is a bit noisy for other customers and offering to put their drink in a takeaway box is really just a sugar coated wat telling them to 'fuck off', isn't it? You'd have to be quite thick not to see that for what it is.

missmarplestmarymead Sat 15-Jun-13 18:43:18

the mother was at fault and if she was either too stupid or too wrapped up in herself or her child to realise that it was upsetting others then she should not be made welcome.

if I go out for a cup of coffeee or to see a film, I do expect it to be ruined by parents who think it is perfectly fine for the rest of us to be driven mad by ear splitting shrieks and if they can't quieten them then, for the greater good, leave.

It is everyone's right to delight in their child shrieking but do it at home. it really is as anti social as people who allow their dogs to shit in a beauty place without clearing up.

usualsuspect Sat 15-Jun-13 18:43:41

If I saw the cafe owner telling someone with a crying child not to come back, I wouldn't use that cafe again.

amazingmumof6 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:43:54

disclaimer: all my statements are based on assuming the child is healthy.

I have no experience or knowledge on how to deal with children who are disabled or severely ill - I can only assume their parents and carers still have to teach them "no" according to their specific circumstances.

missmarplestmarymead Sat 15-Jun-13 18:46:45

I spent last Saturday at a wedding in which none of us could hear the service for the roars of a child of about two. Gormless, selfish mother simpering away in a sort of 'oh dear..what can I do' way while she held the sacred vessel.

Appalling, selfish, ignorant and anti social.

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:54:28

usualsuspect - but in the Op's case the child wan't crying or upset

ivykaty44 Sat 15-Jun-13 18:58:16

simpering away in a sort of 'oh dear..what can I do' way it is at that point I go and get the child and leave the room and miss the service but then at least everyone else doesn't miss the service - the mother then comes out and looks a bit of a twat for the rest of the day, but that can't be helped its not the childs fault or the other 110 guests fault

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:00:21

DD was yelling in a cafe today. She wouldn't listen to no and we couldn't take her out as I was in queue getting food and she needed to eat.

She doesn't really understand no.

Its great to read these threads and know people are thinking.of me as a feckless gormless idiot.

One lovely woman offered to let.me.go ahead of her to get DD's food but her lovely daughter (aged 30 plus) then said I couldn't.

Maybe she was a MNer.

hazeyjane Sat 15-Jun-13 19:01:40

If I saw the cafe owner telling someone with a crying child not to come back, I wouldn't use that cafe again.

Same here, Usualsuspect, and I wouldn't use it if they told someone not to come back because their child was screeching, screaming or squealing whatever the reason may be.

BubaMarra Sat 15-Jun-13 19:02:24

There are some brilliant examples upthread of how to handle these challenging situations. If they didn't want/couldn't apply any of these strategies (which are classics in that business) they should have said what they said much sooner, not when the mother was on her way out because it looked like they were pissed off with her and just wanted to unload their frustration. It was pointless at that time.
Yes, they offered her to seat outside on her next visit or not come in. Not really good for a business not at all.
Hospitality industry is all about sugarcoating.

hazeyjane Sat 15-Jun-13 19:03:07

Fanjo, if I ever have a cafe your dd and my ds can yell and screech together!smile

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:05:08

People always include an SN disclaimer but then loads of people say "even if they have SN you can tell them not to shout".

Just hope cafe owners don't start grumbling at us as we leave now too

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:06:37

Hazey...that would be a great cafe!

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 19:07:48

I don't think of anyone who does whatever they can to quieten or console their child as a feckless idiot. Good lord, DC1 was a bloody nightmare as a child (actually, it was much worse than that but I won't go into details, suffice to say we've had a challenging time with him over the years sad), and so we used to have to manage his behaviour with lots of interaction, toys and books, or sometimes we would have to avoid cafes altogether or keep visits to a minimum.

Crying/screaming/hungry/thirsty children will be tolerated by most people, but what does irritate others is when the parent does sod all about it and just smiles or shrugs. Then, and only then, do they become gormless idiots.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:10:49

Dd wont interact or look at toys or books if she is yelling. So I guess I must simper like a gormless idiot.

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 19:13:58

Buba - the owner spoke to the parent during the visit as well as on the way out. Sugar coating is fine, but being told you're disturbing other customers and given your drink in a takeaway box is hardly a good example of handling a challenging situation. It's rhetoric, pure and simple, and rather patronising rhetoric at that.

missmarplestmarymead Sat 15-Jun-13 19:14:58

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

stepawayfromthescreen Sat 15-Jun-13 19:15:06

don't worry Fanjo, in real life people are more tolerant and empathetic than they are on MN!

hazeyjane Sat 15-Jun-13 19:15:21

But SirChenjin, the child in the op wasn't upset, she was

shreaking at the top of her voice, as she was playing with the toys her mum brought for her. She was not unhappy or bored

I have a friend whose older dd (with sn) shrieks and squeals when she is very happy, we swim together and the sound reverberates around the room! There is nothing the mum can do about it, I would hate to think of someone like her being told not to come back because of the noise her dd made.

hazeyjane Sat 15-Jun-13 19:18:30

missmarples, I think it would be huge shame if people with sn and their families felt like they couldn't go to a cafe sometimes (is it just cafes,or are there other places - shops, libraries, restaurants, any indoor space?), don't you?

SirChenjin Sat 15-Jun-13 19:19:00

Yes, that's right - and yet the parent continued to let her scream for quite a considerable amount of time, even after that owner had a quiet word with her about it. You would have thought that the penny might have dropped and she might have thought about finishing her coffee and going for a walk or something. Being in a small cafe is very different to being in a large swimming pool.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:19:46

Missmarple..I will not hide my DD away.

She has as much right to go to a cafe as you.

To suggest otherwise is extremely offensive.

She is also not my "misfortune".

What a disgusting post.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 19:19:49

Well, my son is one of those with SN who screams.

I don't take him a lot of places. Life's a bitch.

No wonder people make establishments 'No children'.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 19:21:01

I don't feel he has a right to make other people miserable, no, even temporarily. Because that is what he does.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:21:21

Seriously.."joyfully share in my misfortune"!?

What the actual fuck.

AmIthatSpringy Sat 15-Jun-13 19:21:36

YANBU. If mine were screeching for over an hour, I would have left as quickly as possible. It's time some people realised that others don't think your child is half as cute as you do.

And I would be less likely to go back to your cafe if I knew they were screeching children in there.

expatinscotland Sat 15-Jun-13 19:23:03

So there you go, OP. Get rid of the highchairs and stop encouraging children and families.

Heartbrokenmum73 Sat 15-Jun-13 19:23:48

For those of us you with noisy children I'd like to quote the always fabulous Dylan Moran here, talking about how he responded to someone on a plane asking him to 'make his child be quiet'. "Oh, I'm sorry, I'll just knock him out, shall I?" (or words to that effect).

Ffs, what is WRONG with people? Small children (toddlers especially) are generally noisy, grubby little monsters who are into everything. Sometimes you can 'control' them and sometimes you can't and sometimes you're simply not up to it (physically or mentally). I have three and none of them are perfect (and I wouldn't want them to be either, for that matter) and I've had times when I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me/them. Such is life.

I've seen adults behave in MUCH worse ways - what's their excuse? Been at a christening where someone was texting throughout/making calls - in the church! Been a funeral where someone thought a body-con dress, leather mini-jacket and wedges were appropriate attire. Heard the foulest language possible directed at children/the elderly/the disabled. Give me a noisy toddler every time.

FanjoForTheMammaries Sat 15-Jun-13 19:24:59

It makes me sad that you feel like that expat.

I know you don't need my sympathy though, so feel free to tell me to shove it smile