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Children watching Peppa Pig on phones in restaurant

(741 Posts)
SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:01:20

We went for lunch with friends yesterday at the Fifteen restaurant near Newquay. I only mention the place because it has an amazing view of the beach and the sea, which made it all the more surprising that as soon as we sat down, my friend and her husband handed their children (both NT, aged 4 and 6) two phones. For the duration of the meal, the children sat zombie-like and watched Peppa Pig on the screens.

I will admit, I judged.

The parents did not speak to their children and the children were just glued to the screens. My three children aged 8, 5, 3 are not angels but managed to sit through a short meal (main course and then ice cream, no staters, no coffees) without needing screens. I talked to my adult friends and kept an eye on my children, pointing out stuff that was happening outside, large boats passing by, surfers, dogs etc.

Am I am a Luddite? Or am I right to think unlimited access to screens during a meal out is not right?

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Batgirlspants Wed 12-Apr-17 11:03:30

I completely agree with you op. What's wrong with bloody conversation. I have 4 kids and we managed meals out without screen time.

hooliodancer Wed 12-Apr-17 11:03:52

Did they have the sound on? I hate it when people do that, and others are disturbed by the noise.

Crispbutty Wed 12-Apr-17 11:04:12

Before the meal arrives, in between courses, after the meal while adults are chatting, absolutely fine if it means peace for other diners too.

When meals are on the table I would expect phones to be put away.

LadyCassandra Wed 12-Apr-17 11:05:37

You are judged. Fifteen is not cheap and if I was spending that kind of money I'd be doing the same to keep them quiet so I could enjoy and talk to my friends. Whose idea was it to go there with kids?

PinkHeart59156816 Wed 12-Apr-17 11:05:53

Maybe the children aren't good at sitting still? And the parents thought better they watch Peppa Pig and be quiet than ruin the meal for other diners.

I'd rather that than parents that sit there with the child making noise/being a pain in the backside and they do absolutely nothing which means it ruins mealtime for other paying diners.

I wouldn't of judged.

MrsJayy Wed 12-Apr-17 11:06:19

You are going to get mixed responses on this I partly agree with you though screens are great in moderation wish they were about when my kids were younger but giving kids screens when they could join in with meals is teaching them to zone out I see a lot of no interacting with children these days and It doesn't seem right

treaclesoda Wed 12-Apr-17 11:06:44

I'm with Crispbutty.I don't see any difference at all between this and giving the kids colouring in to do, or a puzzle sheet. The only thing is that I'd expect the volume to be switched off.

But when food is on the table, I'd expect them to be put away.

twinklehickorymoomoo Wed 12-Apr-17 11:07:31

Same as crisp butty. With all the best will in the world, a 2 year old has a very short attention span, especially when they are made for running around and being inquisitive. We will go as long as humanly possible without screens, but if a meal is taking a particularly long time to come out and we've exhausted all of the colouring sheets, I spy and other games/conversations then we may resort to 10 mins of screen time. I'd rather my kids didn't have a melt down because they are bored and hungry and disturb the other diners. Phones are never out when they are eating.

SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:08:00


Surely there is some middle ground between 100% screens and ignoring children to run around and disturb others?

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SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:09:24


They did not have the sound on. So the children just sat wordlessly, staring at the mute screens. For the whole lunch. The parents did not speak to them once.

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PinkHeart59156816 Wed 12-Apr-17 11:10:06

I think as long as when the food arrives the Peppa Pig is put down, fine by me!

SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:10:37

Their youngest child is closer to 5.

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VladmirsPoutine Wed 12-Apr-17 11:10:48

I don't think they did anything wrong. They know their own children's threshold better than you do; whether or not they are NT is neither here nor there.
As long as everyone, including other diners, had a pleasant lunch that's really all that matters.

SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:10:55

But the screens stayed out whilst we are!

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SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:11:01


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SolomanDaisy Wed 12-Apr-17 11:11:38

Judge away. You know nothing.

scoopmuckanddizzyrollytoo Wed 12-Apr-17 11:11:59

me and dh have 3 kids, didn't go out at all when younger as we have no babysitting support at all, we do go out now and am happy for kids to use phones etc.. I spend every day all day interacting with the kids so for a couple of hours to let me and dh have a bit peace and a chat, no probs. Not while eating food however 😀

Imaginosity Wed 12-Apr-17 11:12:13

I'd have no problem with this. Great your children are able to stay relatively happy while out for a meal but not all children are the same as yours. My children join in lots of things but sometimes I want to be able to enjoy something without trying to keep them calm and quiet and screens certainly help. I wouldn't have my children watching screens 24 hours a day but no harm using them at certain times.

AnnPerkins Wed 12-Apr-17 11:12:42

If we're with another family with children there I wouldn't take anything.

If it's just me, DH and DS we might take a comic or tablet or 3DS for DS. But only if we're planning on a lingering over a couple of glasses of wine and chatting-type meal. DS likes to chat and enjoy his surroundings but not for as long as DH and I like to.

SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:12:47


I wonder how children will learn to do anything without screens?
You seriously think children eating pasta and watching Peppa Pig with the sound down is fine? At what age would you then remove the phones? And then how do you get the kids to behave if they are reliant on screens?

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MrsELM21 Wed 12-Apr-17 11:13:18

Not ideal, but have you thought that perhaps the parents were worried about their children disturbing you so just overcompensated a bit?

Itaintme Wed 12-Apr-17 11:13:58

Oh what a better parent you are. Did you do that loud parenting thing so everyone knew how superior a parent you were?

MrsJayy Wed 12-Apr-17 11:14:39

I think you have friends who parent very differently to you and I think this has really surpised and irritated you they wanted to eat and chat in peace you were expecting something different which is fair enough, is ignoring their kids normal for them?

SilverLeafClover Wed 12-Apr-17 11:14:49

I understand allowing screens of the service is slow or whilst adults are finishing, but people are seriously arguing that it is fine for small children should have screens throughout the meal and that parents do not need to say a single word to their own children during a meal?

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