My noisy kids in restaurants(209 Posts)
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DH and I are at an utter stalemate on this issue.
We have 2 DS, 4 and 2. DH insists on going to 'fancy' restaurants for evening meals, although this isn't really ideal for the children. I'd prefer lunch times at more family friendly places but I compromise.
I try to avoid screens so I'll pack treats/ crayons/ stickers and chat with them, so although the kids are never loud ie never shout or scream,so they will chat at little kid volume which is higher than adult volume. E.g. Recently DS4 and I were chatting about swapping faces, he found it hilarious for some reason and started giggling loudly and describing his life as my mum.
DH got extremely angry at this lack of manners and stormed out. He feels at a nice restaurant to correct thing is to hand them an iPad each and let them be quiet so as not to disturb other diners.
I think the right thing (if we must go to fancy places) is to teach them to eat at nice restaurants by conversing with them, and diners would rather hear a 4 yo giggle a bit than listen to an entire meal of Peppa Pig, however low the volume.
AIBU? What would you rather hear?
No dc all if I was eating out later than 7 pm tbh..
Neither. If I’ve paid good money for a fancy restaurant (and a babysitter) then I don’t want to hear your children. Depends on how nice and expensive the restaurant is
Say no to your DH.
Neither is appropriate.
I'd rather hear a child laughing than some tinny cartoon. But i'm with you op, I'd rather not hear your kids at all if I get a child free meal out somewhere expensive or fancy! We eat out with our two (also 4 and 2 )fairly regularly and mainly go to family friendly places, out for a curry, pizza at nice local pub, that sort of thing. We usually go early and are out before 7-7.30. Never use a tablet/phone etc, always have stuff to do with us. Tbh we're only there for an hour or two and the kids are very good.
Frankly your DH sounds like an arsehole. Storming out like that is appalling behaviour.
As for your question, sometimes IPads are necessary (in case of ASD for example), but not ideal. You're meant to be having conversations with them. That's the whole fricking point of taking young children to restaurants. And it sounds like they weren't at all badly behaved.
So no, YWNBU, but I'm not sure you're asking the right question tbh.
I would much rather hear a child's laughter than some iPad video or beep-boop gaming noise. Your DH is being totally unreasonable – how does he expect them to learn 'restaurant manners' (i.e. sitting at table enjoying the meal and each others company) if he won't let them?
How fancy we talking?
Honestly if I’m paying £75/£100 a head I don’t want children there full stop.
I'm with you op. Communication is really important!
@user1469914265 bit harsh and totally unnecessary language.
Agree that neither you are both unreasonable. Teach them restaurant manners in places where it doesn't matter if they mess up or misbehave. In fancy places give them iPads with headphones.
If it's a fancy restaurant then no-one wants to even be aware that your kids are there. You're both unreasonable.
I'd rather a child talking and giggling with parents over a whole meal of that blasted pig - every time. I'm with you OP. Also with you on the evening meal issue, 4 and 2 is far too young for that.
I think it is unfair on everyone to take young children out to eat in the evenings.
Early doors in child friendly restaurants gives you the opportunity to reinforce appropriate behaviour without pissing other diners off.
As if someone regularly takes a two year old toddler out for the evening in a fancy restaurant and then goes home to negotiate bedtime.
I have a four year old and a two year old, there's no way we'd take them out for evening meals - they are in bed by 19:30. Why would you want tired, moaning children there, or worse, children that are over tired and completely mad?
I honestly can’t believe the vitriol for children some posters show.
I’d rather hear a child laughing or chatting than an iPad but if it’s quiet it wouldn’t bother me. I’d NOT be impressed with shouting, tantrums or loads of crying at an evening meal somewhere ‘fancy’. My son is a bit temperamental so we don’t take him anywhere other than family friendly places but other children can cope just fine and it’s good experience for them.
I dine reasonably regularly in very fancy places and there are often children there and I’ve never been disturbed unpleasantly.
We take our DS to plenty of nice and fancy restaurants but only for lunch unless we are staying in a hotel in the U.K. and then we would eat early evening, not after 7. Abroad we’d be out after 9 but that’s totally different!
If the place is expensive then you have to think that a lot of the diners are on special nights out, dates etc and it’s not nice to spoil that. I think you need to put your foot down on the late meals full stop rather than debate the tablet/talking issue. We take the tablet but with headphones, we would talk to DS as well but also would remind him to keep the volume down (although a lot of adults talking does drown him out so it’s not a huge problem), never let him get down etc. He has been very used to eating out so does behave well. But still I wouldn’t take him out on a weekend past 7. Except in touristy parts of London or abroad where kids are out later!
But I agree that late evening dining with small children is unfair to them as well as everyone else.
Your DC are still very young. We generally avoided fancier restaurants with the kids were that kind of age and would opt for lunch out over dinner. I do think sometimes people expect kids to behave like little adults when in fact they are just kids and it is boring for them, sitting around for 1-2 hours. We would have ipads/ screens for when they started getting a bit restless, but we'd start off trying to encourage conversation.
I'd remind them to keep the volume down a bit but like everything, you have to teach kids to be sociable and how to behave at a table - it's not something they just know how to do. Your DH isn't exactly setting a great example by getting angry and storming out - not great manners from him, given his expectations on your kids.
Mine are now 8 and 5 so I expect them now to be able to sit at a table and have a conversation over a meal, although still not overly late - I would usually go past 6/7pm. I feel more confident now going to fancier places.
I occasionally go out to eat in the evening with my DD3. If we do we get the earliest table possible so we're generally out by the time people start to turn up for a naice meal. She doesn't run around or scream but does need taking for the odd walk!
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