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To get pissed off at children running around in restaurants?

(1000 Posts)
CelticPixie Sun 07-Apr-13 20:29:29

We went out for lunch today and there was a large group sat behind us. It was obviously a family celebration with parents, grandparents, kids etc. A little boy from the group who must have been around two was running around our part of the restaurant screaming and shouting and getting under the feet of waiting staff carrying hot food etc. He also kept approaching people at other tables and kept asking them if they were having their dinner and what they were having. At no point did his parents do anything to stop him and they just kept on smiling at him, but it was obvious that he was getting on everyone else's nerves.

Its a family friendly place and there were lots of other small children in there but he was the only one running about and being a nuisance. I will NOT allow my DDs to run about and disrupt others people's meals and it pisses me off that other people have so little consideration for anyone but themselves. If mine wants to go to the loo one of us takes them, if they are bored we take them out to the play area. It's really not hard is it?

Tigresswoods Sun 07-Apr-13 21:46:12

The key thing for me in your OP is "my DDs" I have a boy. My friends have girls. He's a nightmare in restaurants. The girls aren't.

That said, we don't now take him out due to this.

Repeats MN mantra, this too shall pass.

DialsMavis Sun 07-Apr-13 21:47:08

If they can't behave they shouldn't be there though, you take them outside repeatedly until they behave or you don't eat in naice places until they can behave properly

ATouchOfStuffing Sun 07-Apr-13 21:47:35

DD is 20mo and is usually really good - she sits on a normal chair (she is too big for a lot of highchairs and grows extra legs if you try to get her into one) and only gets down to walk with me if she holds my hand or to sit on my lap. She is pretty good at entertaining herself but if the food takes 30mins or more to come out we have a grumpy curious toddler. If food is going to take a long time people with kids should be warned. The only times I have had issues is when we have been waiting for ages and she has other kids running about to make her want to join in.

notnowbernard Sun 07-Apr-13 21:48:50

There's always a whiff of smuggery to these threads...

usualsuspect Sun 07-Apr-13 21:50:03

I was just thinking that,notnowbernard.

DialsMavis Sun 07-Apr-13 21:51:53

It's not smuggery from me! My DC have behaved appallingly in public at various times throughout their lives wink

SantanaLopez Sun 07-Apr-13 21:52:37

It's not smuggery to say that children should not run about in restaurants.

Loislane78 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:53:23

Was at a nice hotel/restaurant this weekend with 8 mo DD. She was well behaved but the minute she started getting restless over breakfast (morning nap time), we immediately took her out. Same for lunch and early dinner. Obviously can't reason with an 8 mo and its good she gets used to eating out but I don't want to piss everyone off, people are tolerant to an extent, and expect the same in return.

notnowbernard Sun 07-Apr-13 21:54:50

I think the vast majority agree children should not run around in restaurants. Goes without saying, really

But the expectation that (v) small children should 'behave'... What does that mean, exactly?

notnowbernard Sun 07-Apr-13 21:55:46

FFS how does an 8m old 'behave' well?! <baffled>

DoJo Sun 07-Apr-13 21:55:56

HollyBerryBush If a stranger came up to me and instigated conversation whilst I was trying to enjoy a meal in a restaurant with my family then I probably would ask them to leave me alone, and in fact have done so with an overly chatty waiter once who kept interrupting a romantic meal to tell us about his band. There are times when it can be appropriate to approach someone you don't know and times when it's almost guaranteed to be unwelcome. Even your example is of a bar, which is generally accepted to be a more relaxed and gregarious environment than a restaurant. Part of understanding social niceties is knowing when your interruption might be welcome and when it definitely won't and until your children know the difference then you have to make it clear by limiting their ability to get it wrong and impinge on others' enjoyment.

bankofmum Sun 07-Apr-13 21:55:59

On a similar subject, my gym which has a really nice restaurant area has a soft play room which the children extend to the whole bar/eating area (bring out the soft blocks and run all over the place). As some compensation they have an adult only area but this is frequently ignored or parents sit in the adult only and their kids run back and forth. When I challenged someone she said it was ok as her child was well behaved and she had been a member for ages! If you ask staff to challenge them they have to wait for someone who has been appropriately trained. How much training do they need to say Get your kids out of the adult only lounge?

karatekimmi Sun 07-Apr-13 21:56:41

earlybird I think it was you who said why don't manaent say anything - my DH works in a family friendly pub where they have sizzling hot plates for most meals and has asked parents politely to keep their kids from running in front of the kitchen entrance from a health and safety point of view and has had women go batshit crazy at him( don't you tell me what they can and can't do - he can do anything he wants to!!!) and men squaring up to him and trying to physically intimidate him.
But you know they'd be the first ones to complain!! FYI there is a massive outside play area for kids to go mental running round!!

abbyfromoz Sun 07-Apr-13 21:57:08

Dials- i would have just told scooter kids to cut it out... In a nice way 'cut it out!....little darlings...please'hmm
If their parents said anything about you telling them off i would say 'oh i was just concerned for their safety....'

That being said DH lets DD run a muck! It's really embarrassing as he has no awareness of social courtesy.

Loislane78 Sun 07-Apr-13 21:58:03

Fair point, when I say behave (bad choice of wording), I mean not crying/shouting cos she's upset ie. doing something excessively loudly that might upset other people nearby.

jamdonut Sun 07-Apr-13 21:59:22

Presumably it means she was sitting quietly,not creating. It is possible for an 8month old to do that.

Goldmandra Sun 07-Apr-13 21:59:34

I would be annoyed if the children were old enough to know how to sit still. 2 year olds are not.

Whatever the age of the children, soup and coffee are still hot and they could still get terrible scalds.

If a child can't sit still for a long time an adult should take them out for a walk around every now and then so that they can stretch their legs safely and in a way which doesn't impinge on other diners.

I love small children and think two year olds are about the most interesting people you could meet but there are times when I have been eating out at which having to interrupt my conversation to answer repeated questions from other people's pre-schoolers would have irritated the hell out of me.

If people want to take their children out to eat in restaurants they should teach them how to behave in them. If they want them to be able to behave like they're at Charlie Chalk's they should go to Charlie Chalk's.

I've seen a child get covered in hot food whilst working in a bar next to a restaurant. It was horribly upsetting for all concerned.

SantanaLopez Sun 07-Apr-13 21:59:47

I read behave as sit as quietly as possible.

DoJo Sun 07-Apr-13 22:00:31

notnowbernard To me it means that their parents do not need to intervene to stop them from being annoying - whether that's sleeping in the case of an 8 month old or sitting quietly in the case of an older child. It's not necessarily a judgement thing - a newborn can behave in a way that makes it inappropriate to have them in a library, but describing it as such doesn't imply a judgement of the child itself.

notnowbernard Sun 07-Apr-13 22:00:38

Lois if I was next to an 8m old in a restaurant who started crying/shouting I really wouldn't give a shit

Most people would take the baby out if it was really going for it... I feel quite sorry for people who get wound up by. A baby hmm

EverybodysSootyEyed Sun 07-Apr-13 22:01:11

not sure it's a gender issue - ds has always been a dream in restaurants but dd is a terror.

we eat out a lot less now!

5eggstremelychocaletymadeggs Sun 07-Apr-13 22:04:04


And tigress I have four boys and none of them have been allowed to run around in a restaraunt! We have always eaten out with them from a young age if they needed to run about they were taken outside. We took small toys (quiet ones) and books, drawing stuff to entertain them if necessary. chatting etc fine, bit running around is not OK, its dangerous in a restaraunt.

YouTheCat Sun 07-Apr-13 22:06:03

I don't mind if kids make a noise, try to chat or whatever really but I hate seeing kids running about anywhere where hot food/drinks are being ferried about. It is dangerous and parents who allow it are bloody stupid.

I was in a restaurant (Italian, local and welcoming to families) and some parents were just sitting drinking their wine without a care while their 2 year old ran amok.

Floggingmolly Sun 07-Apr-13 22:08:31

Smuggery? hmm. No, my kids didn't always behave in restaurants, but they were removed for the duration of the tantrum, and they weren't allowed to pester other people who just wanted to eat in peace.
I don't have perfect children, but I certainly don't sit and watch them making a nuisance of themselves; deluded that other people find them as enchanting as I do.

CelticPixie Sun 07-Apr-13 22:11:44

Karatekimmi, interesting point. I actually know of someone who's husband was charged with GBH and criminal damage because he'd attacked a waiter who'd told them to keep their kids under control in a restaurant ( it wasn't a family friendly cheap place either) and he then also proceeded to smash the place up. People are incredibly precious about their kids.

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