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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>

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

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

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

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

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

He helped himself to your meal, perfectstorm? shock

YANBU btw.

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

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

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

Yanbu if it's a proper restaurant.

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

General background noise only or fuck off home.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Yes, all well behaved children are hit hmm

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Op - did you think anyone would say Yabu?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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