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Were we being unreasonable?? Genuinely don't see the problem...

(622 Posts)
Alexandriaaaa Sun 13-Nov-16 19:16:54

We are away for a few days with DD who is almost 2.

She has had a very busy day today. Swimming, walking, soft play etc. She's tired tonight. Hotel has a family restaurant so we booked a table for 5pm so the three of us could eat together. DD had a kids meal. Busy, noisy restaurant, kids everywhere.

DH and I were feeding DD her food and having the odd mouthful of our food in between. When DD was finished we continued eating. She was colouring in but she got bored and started to moan and cry. Didn't want to sit on either of our knees, wanted to get down and explore, so I gave her my ipad and put peppa Pig on YouTube. She sat quietly in her high chair for ten minutes while we finished our food. Literally ten mins, no longer than that. Volume was right down, but the restaurant was pretty noisy so I can't see that it would have made any difference anyway.

I saw a wee boy at a nearby table craning his neck to see Peppa. He asked his mum could he come over to watch. I tried to catch her eye to say that was fine if he wanted to. But she said to him (I don't think she knew I could hear her) "no, we don't watch tv at the table. it's bad manners and a bad habit and that little girls parents shouldn't be letting her do that

Not so nice really. I'm not bothered TBH, I just don't really see the harm in it, it's not like it was disturbing or affecting anyone else, or like she was plonked in front of it and ignored for the duration of our meal. But is it bad form?? Were we unreasonable??

MagicHatching Sun 13-Nov-16 19:19:23

She was a massive dick to say that. But I personally wouldn't do it. Just never have. People who do it constantly I think it's a mistake and their kids will never learn to sit and enjoy a meal etc. Easily becomes a go to for a lot of parents I know. BUT if I just once saw someone doing it I wouldn't judge and I certainly wouldn't dream of passive aggressively saying something to be deliberately overheard.

Whatsername17 Sun 13-Nov-16 19:20:36

I think it would be bad form if the kids were sat around the table watching/playing on I pads and not interacting at all. But, when you use it as a means to an end with a young child then no, not bad form at all. It gave you chance to finish your meal and the rest of the diners an undisturbed meal. My 5yo would get colouring out now, but at 2 I'd have done the same.

vvviola Sun 13-Nov-16 19:20:39

No, I don't think you were unreasonable. But it can be very frustrating when you have had the "no, no iPad at the dinner table because we are all out for dinner together" conversation and the kids at the table next to you are watching something that is "the best programme ever". grin

She was a bit rude (if she knew you could hear), but I wouldn't dwell on it. Horses for course and all that.

(We're a "no iPads at the table unless there is a very long wait for food or it's going to be a long evening" family. Colouring books usually work for us, but I will admit my iPad is usually in my handbag in case of utter meltdown!)

Alexandriaaaa Sun 13-Nov-16 19:22:46

Yeah we don't make a habit of it by any means. It's very much the nuclear option because it's a failsafe. She's had attention and entertainment danced upon her all day. I just don't see the harm in letting her watch for ten mins so we could finish off our meal.

Spottytop1 Sun 13-Nov-16 19:22:57

I think it is a difficult one. Personally I think phones, iPads etc when eating out is bad manners. My children were always taught to sit at the table, engage in conversation or just wait. Younger ages coloured in or looked at books.

So I do think it's not really acceptable BUT I see lots of people doing it when we eat out as a family. I think it's sad as it takes awAy from quality family time and also prevents children from learning how to sit and behave appropriately when out.... but each to their own as people have very different views on what are acceptable behaviours.

HelenaWay Sun 13-Nov-16 19:23:18

I wouldn't allow iPads at the dinner table. Sorry.

ConvincingLiar Sun 13-Nov-16 19:23:20

It probably wasn't intended for you to hear and it's her standard explanation of why it's not allowed. She went over the top but it's a valid belief, just as your choice to allow it is equally valid. Let it go.

Purplepicnic Sun 13-Nov-16 19:23:28

I think at age 2, there's not much else than an iPad that will shut them up. Conversation or colouring is more for older children. You were fine, it was ten minutes!

SantanaLopez Sun 13-Nov-16 19:23:40

I don't YABU and if she didn't think you could hear, she wasn't really being BU either.

Sierra259 Sun 13-Nov-16 19:23:40

It's something I try to avoid if possible, but think it's far preferable to having a screaming/crying/misbehaving child disturbing everyone else in the restaurant. She was a cow to say that - a simple "No" to her son would have sufficed!

triphazard Sun 13-Nov-16 19:25:16

I imagine she was just groaning inwardly at having to deal with her child wanting to do something she would not allow and hoping it wouldn't kick off any whining or tears.

I think it is good she gave her child a logical explanation as to why he couldn't do it, even if it is one you found annoying to hear. So yes, you AB a bit U.

Alexandriaaaa Sun 13-Nov-16 19:27:05

Ok. I'm not really bothered about what a random woman I'll never see again thinks of my parenting. I was more wondering if it was generally frowned upon.

Selfimproved Sun 13-Nov-16 19:27:22

We never watch Ipads/ phones when out. I feel really strongly about it- but the other parent was very rude to say that. Maybe they are great at table manners, but you will be a better parent at something else (e.g. not being a rude person and setting a good example).

We parents need to support each other more - we know how tricky it gets sometimes.

basketoffreshveg Sun 13-Nov-16 19:27:42

I don't think you were unreasonable at all OP. But I don't think the other lady was either.

We were always permitted to read or colour as little children in restaurants - much better than children crying or getting fractious. The other lady has a different view though and that's Ok too smile

Ameliablue Sun 13-Nov-16 19:29:14

I don't think either party were in the wrong. She wasn't being rude to you, she just has different rules.

Geretrude Sun 13-Nov-16 19:29:34

I don't see anything wrong with an iPad once she's finished eating. You're basically asking a two year old to sit there quietly doing nothing while you eat. Christ, I'd be bored!

YouTheCat Sun 13-Nov-16 19:30:09

I'd rather see a child watching something on an ipad for a few minutes than listen to whinging.

RestlessTraveller Sun 13-Nov-16 19:30:25

I agree with her completely but I certainly wouldn't have voiced it in that manner. She was rude in that case.

Diamogs Sun 13-Nov-16 19:31:01

Mine are teens so irrelevant but why is an iPad seen as so much worse than colouring books?

ChampsMum Sun 13-Nov-16 19:31:17

No YABU you actually sound very kind! The child's mother had no right saying what she did.

I allow my 5 year old son to have his iPad at the dinner table as long as he is going to eat his food. Nobody has the right to judge other people's parenting!

RagamuffinAndFidget Sun 13-Nov-16 19:31:24

I don't get what the difference is between colouring/reading and watching something on an iPad/phone.. Lots of people saying they'd allow the first but not the second and I don't really understand why.

Buzzardbird Sun 13-Nov-16 19:32:05

No, completely acceptable when on holiday or in restaurant as long as they have finished eating. Would everyone prefer she cries whilst you and your partner try to eat your meal?

Have always allowed this (but we take headphones) and DD has never attempted to follow this rule at home. She knows it's for when the colouring has finished and parents are still eating.

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Sun 13-Nov-16 19:32:46

It was about her, not you.

She didn't think you would hear her and gave an explanation to her ds that he would accept.

Butterymuffin Sun 13-Nov-16 19:33:21

I don't use screens in restaurants either, but IMO there is still quite a difference between using one quietly for 10 minutes at the end of a meal with a tired child, and plugging kids in as soon as you sit down for the duration. Or them using devices really loudly without headphones. So your 'offence' was at the shallow end of the offence pool smile.

On the other hand, commenting on other people's choices like that is rude. I would have kept my thoughts to myself in case you did hear, even if I thought it was unlikely. I also try not to criticise other adults' parenting choices to kids unless they involve something actually dangerous (running around car parks, for instance).

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