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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I agree.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

grin at hazeyjane!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Those are your high expectations.

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

Noisy unpleasant children should be removed ditto noisy unplesant adults.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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