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to think that child friendly restaurants should not mean play zone

(62 Posts)
shallowkittie Mon 31-Mar-14 08:44:39

Post Mothers' day meal and I will never go somewhere again that promotes itself as 'child friendly' even though I have 2 DC's under 5.

When did it become acceptable to let your kids run around as though the restaurant is a play zone. It's not the first time this has happened but it was so busy yesterday and the noise level was unbearable. Can't restaurants be child friendly without turning into giant creche's?

Minnieisthedevilmouse Mon 31-Mar-14 08:48:20

It's always been that way. It's why many hated British restaurants. And kids were banned in the other half. Dunno why. Lazy arse parents I guess over last fifty years.....

PickleSarnie Mon 31-Mar-14 08:50:50

Totally agree. I was out the other day at the cafe attached to a farm park and just behind me were two children each with a phone in front of them watching peppa pig with the volume turned way up. I get enough fecking peppa pig at home without having to listen to it whilst paying for lunch.

JonathanGirl Mon 31-Mar-14 08:51:18

Totally agree. I don't let my DC leave the table (unless they need the loo), or for something else specific like going up to the counter to decide which cake they want.
Much harder enforcing this when there are other children charging round, coming up to our table, playing hide and seek...

DrankSangriaInThePark Mon 31-Mar-14 08:54:27

It's dangerous, apart from anything else.

Hot gravy dinner on Junior's head and the parents letting him run riot would soon be shrieking for compensation.

thebody Mon 31-Mar-14 08:56:04

that's why Mother's Day meals should be cooked and eaten at home.

eating out on Mother's Day is bloody awful.

mrsjay Mon 31-Mar-14 08:58:22

I agree with you my children are older but whenever we went out for mothers day when they were little we would go child friendly seemed to be a giant klaxon for parents let your kids run around daft, TUT for a start it is dangerous busy waiters with trays of food on an obstacle course of hyped up 4 year olds, does my head in, it is possible to go our for something to eat and for your kid to sit ont heir arse for an hour angry

mrsjay Mon 31-Mar-14 09:00:44

I remember once going to the local brewers fayre trying to eat my dinner and i had a little girl showing me her toy i was looking intently for 5 seconds and then she started poking me her parents were grinning like loons at their precious, I ended up turning my back to her while declaring I think MUMMY wants to see your toy

Sirzy Mon 31-Mar-14 09:32:14

I never go to places which proclaim to be family friendly if that means they have soft play inside or anything else along those lines. As long as somewhere has a children's menu (and a decent one at that) then that is family friendly enough for me.

We went out yesterday to a very nice restaurant with 3 children in our party (2,4 and 5) and most other groups had children with them of varying ages yet there was no issue with behaviour from any of them even tough everyone was having 3 courses (set menu). One child was walking around but with his mum and not being allowed to get in people's way (he did come and give me a daisy but only after I had said hello to him as he walked past one time)

Some places do seem to attract those who think family friendly means "don't bother watching your children just sit and enjoy your drink"

shallowkittie Mon 31-Mar-14 09:32:24

I actually think those restaurants that offer more things for kids to do actually make the situation worse.

Restaurants offering activities for kids almost seem to put an invisible flag up for some parents that says 'please let your kids ruin everyone else's meal out'

mrsjay Mon 31-Mar-14 09:35:28

as the dds got older we did avoid them but i do like pub grub everybody eats it so i did see it for years last night we went out at 7 30 was very civilised

wheresthelight Mon 31-Mar-14 09:36:20

Yabu! It's not the restaurant that is at fault, it is the lazy idiot parents who cannot control their brats!!

devoniandarling Mon 31-Mar-14 09:36:32

I would never let my children run riot in a restaurant. However we do take them to restaurants with play areas and will often request that we are seated near to the play area. They are allowed to play until the meal arrives and are then expected to sit and eat with table manners.

We also go to restaurants with colouring packs. Or occasionally take small colouring books with us. Never would my children think they can run amok in a restaurant.

It's lax parenting.

mrsjay Mon 31-Mar-14 09:47:34

tbf the OP didnt say the restaurant was at fault

ResponsibleAdult Mon 31-Mar-14 10:01:52

Lax parenting. Child friendly should be taken to mean concessions have been made to children, be that baby changing facilities, steps in the toilets, colouring books and pencils at the table, maybe a selection of picture books, perhaps a slide or swings if there is a beer garden.

It shouldn't mean the venue is child dominated by playing, shouting or running children. That is what a park, nursery, soft play centre or play group is for. I know, I have spent years in those parks, nursery, soft play centre and play groups.

I once met a friend for coffee in Waterstones. It was a regular place for her and her children apparently. She liked it as she could have a leisurely coffee, but the two children were in a confined space that she didn't have to tidy up or supervise too closely. Her children were naked apart from nappies or pants. They ran around the otherwise quiet shop, shouting, dropping food, taking books off the shelves and generally making a mess.

She informed me shortly afterwards that other customers had complained about the children's behaviour in a bookshop and she had been asked to take her custom elsewhere. She couldn't work out why confused.

PoppySeed2014 Mon 31-Mar-14 10:06:57

Can't stand children running around in restaurants. I was in a ( not particularly child friendly) pub with 4 other parents + 3yr olds. The other children would not sit still and caused havoc (and got a lot of glares and tuts) as they ran around and made a lot of noise. My dc sat at the table, ate lunch and did some colouring. The other parents asked me how I managed it - just wasn't sure how to say "stop letting your children run around! Set expectations. My dc have never been allowed to do anything other than sit at the table and join in, so that's normal for them. I have NO doubt that if I let them get down and run around for a bit, they'd want to do that all the time."

silverten Mon 31-Mar-14 10:13:10

Child friendly should be taken to mean concessions have been made to children, be that baby changing facilities, steps in the toilets, colouring books and pencils at the table, maybe a selection of picture books, perhaps a slide or swings if there is a beer garden.

It shouldn't mean the venue is child dominated by playing, shouting or running children. That is what a park, nursery, soft play centre or play group is for.

Hear, hear!

I love to eat out. I like to relax and enjoy a quiet meal. I have two children:

a 4yo who can manage to sit and eat nicely provided she's been run well beforehand, but only up to an hour tops, and she's playing up at the moment because of the 4mo who sleeps unpredictably and won't be quietly BF so we can finish our coffee. He shouts instead.

Guess what?

We don't go out for meals at the moment. No one wants to listen to my children whining. I don't want to listen to my children whining...

shallowkittie Mon 31-Mar-14 10:17:02

I think sometimes it is the restaurants fault. Why don't they intervene when it's getting out of hand? If it was a group of rowdy adults running around they would surely? But also the mere fact of having a toy bucket or anything away from the table it is setting itself up for SOME people to get the wrong idea.

I have seen some restaurants that have a small soft play area but it gets the kids so hyped up, I am not sure it makes the parents life easier TBH.

fluffyraggies Mon 31-Mar-14 10:21:02

So, who are the parents who do think it's ok then? Every one here saying 'not me' grin Surely no one can have the excuse of not realising its them?

It's simple - if you don't make your kids stay at the table when you eat out, the chances are your DCs are pissing folk off.

mrsjay Mon 31-Mar-14 10:23:41

they might read the thread title and slink away grin a lot of parents do think the world revovles (sp) around children and will stick to their convictions that it is ok for little X to run about

tallulah Mon 31-Mar-14 10:35:45

Sadly it's nothing new. My DD's 5th birthday was at a wildlife park and we had tea in their cafe. I was horrified when my friend's 2 children got down from the table and ran about chasing each-other while all the other kids (including my 3 aged 5, 3.5 and 18 months) sat at the table.

My DD is now 28.

We did call the boys back and made them sit down but it was obvious that this was what they were allowed to do usually.

fluffiphlox Mon 31-Mar-14 10:37:39

I'm in France currently and our meal was blighted the other night by the behaviour of two Scottish families (and yes I hope you recognise yourselves). Two sets of parents and six children. We are sitting in a booth at right angles to the far end of their table (we're a couple - now and always child free thank goodness). They then sit themselves so that the two dads are facing one another at the opposite end, two mums are opposite one another and six children sit together near us. The adults then proceed to have adult conversation and appear to be oblivious to the racket four of the six children are creating. Cue hard stares from French man in next booth (to no avail).
They were up and down from the table, under the table at one point, shouting, squealing and mucking about with the food and at such a decibel level that we abandoned our meal earlier than intended. I would have loved to have said something but didn't. It really is up to the parents to recognise when their children's behaviour is affecting others. These couples seemed completely inured to the din. Naice middle class families too.

MiaowTheCat Mon 31-Mar-14 11:20:56

Family friendly = you expect things like high chairs to be available, obliging staff happy to pop some more tap water in sippy cups, kids menus, baby changing, possibly a play area or some naffo "help our dubious cartoony mascot find their lunch" drawing pad maze things.

Somewhere along the line it's been bastardised into family friendly = let them run utterly riot cos everyone else will entertain 'em. There's a place for letting 'em run riot - it's called soft play (and one nearish to us does actually really decent food).

We had the prats who did the bringing toys in to entertain their kids at a family meal a few months back - they brought a toy drum and toy piano. Wankers.

shallowkittie Mon 31-Mar-14 11:24:39

OMG Miaowthecat?
A toy piano!!

MiaowTheCat Mon 31-Mar-14 11:29:38

Worst bit was - it was a toy piano that WE have at home and it irritates the tits off me there - and I had to listen to the bastard thing for the entire (eaten very fast) meal we were having out as well!

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