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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>

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

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

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

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

CoolaSchmoola Thu 04-Oct-12 07:45:32

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

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

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

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

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

Neither child cried. They were actually really well behaved.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CoolaSchmoola Thu 04-Oct-12 07:54:40

Posted too soon (damn phone!)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I hate this with a passion.

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

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

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

Yet we still manage to not ruin others meals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It's age, isn't it.

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

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

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

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

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

and here I mean noisy adults ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes that has happened to us!

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

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

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

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