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We encourage children in our cafe BUT

999 replies

childfriendlycafeowner · 14/06/2013 20:07

I hope you don't mind us asking any readers for their opinion on child behaviour in public places.

We run a small cafe in a small town, and we love doing it (opened up 4 months ago). The previous owners did not encourage children and families, we do, we bought high chairs and do what we can to make families feel welcome. But today two girls came in with a baby and a toddler, my guess is the toddler was 2. From the moment she arrived the screamed, not crying because she was upset but screaming because I guess she liked the sound of her own voice. We made comments to the mum in the hope she would take the hint that the child was disturbing all the other customers but her comment was "she is a little tinker isn't she" The other customers threw their food and drinks down their necks and left as quickly as they could, some complaining as they left. She did go quiet for a little while but she was screaming for probably at least half of the 1 hour plus that she was in the cafe.

When the lady came to pay we said to the lady that we are very sorry but unless she can stop her little girl disturbing all our other customers and driving them away perhaps she could sit in our outside seating area with her or not come in. We felt terrible to say this but it really was a terrible din that upset many people.

Are we being reasonable or unreasonable. Would you tolerate your child no matter how young being so disruptive to other people in public

OP posts:
stealthsquiggle · 14/06/2013 22:01

YANBU. Not in the slightest. If either of mine had come close to doing that they would have been outside very quickly. I cannot stand squealing /shouting children in public places. There is just no need (SN aside, and IME most parents of DC with SN are extremely conscious of an impact on those around them, which it doesn't sound as though this woman was)

cees · 14/06/2013 22:05


I couldn't stand my kids screaming like that. I think you were right to say it to the mum. My sister has selective hearing where her ds is concerned, it wrecks my head. He will scream and bloody scream and all she will do is shrug and say 'oh well' and if anyone else tells him to quieten down she gets all defensive instead of sorting him out before my ears start bleeding.

She wants to come stay for a week after I have my baby in July, one thing is for sure that is so NOT happening.

stealthsquiggle · 14/06/2013 22:05

Our local pub has a sign that says something to the effect of "families, dogs and muddy boots welcome. Your children remain your responsibility - childcare is not included in the price of your pint"

Works for me.

MrsOakenshield · 14/06/2013 22:06

I'm leaving this thread, you're talking gibberish now.

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 22:07

Op stealth as gotte right sign for you

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 22:08

Meant the right sign for you

ThoughtsPlease · 14/06/2013 22:09

MrsOakenshield sorry you don't understand what I am saying, not to worry hey!

exoticfruits · 14/06/2013 22:10

People are not tolerant- I wouldn't stay if a child was screaming. The mother hasn't a choice, she either stops it or takes her outside. YANBU.

kaumana · 14/06/2013 22:13

thoughtsplease My son has acute hearing, if we had been in this scenario we would have to leave as it would have been distressing for him and he would have been upset.

Why you can't see that a screaming child impacts on other children?

landofsoapandglory · 14/06/2013 22:14


I agree with Pixel, just because your have high chairs etc doesn't mean children can scream, run riot and behave badly whilst the parents sit there and ignore them.

Well done you for speaking up.

ThoughtsPlease · 14/06/2013 22:23

kaumana I didn't say that I couldn't see how a screaming child can upset other children.

You have described a particular issue that this would have been for your son. This will not be the case for a large number of children.

I am saying, and I stand by this for the majority, that I am confused how a random screaming child can actually cause another child to also scream uncontrollably that the parent would then have to take that child out.

raisah · 14/06/2013 22:25

totally reasonable, I am surprised that you didnt refuse to serve her. I would have left your cafe because my ds has sn & is very sensitive to loud noise so would have become v agitated near that girl.

A point to consider is that she could have been suffering from a social communication condition.
The girl could have be on the autistic spectrum &
unable to be in control of her responses. My nephew is like this, he just screams continuosly in unfamiliar social situation so his parents dont go out anywhere with him.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 14/06/2013 22:27

People need to be more chid tolerant
Bollocks! Parents need to be more considerate. If you take your child to a restaurant, and it screams for half an hour, you need to stuff a cake in its gob or take it outside!

ouryve · 14/06/2013 22:30


I have two screamers and would be out like a shot if they were screaming in a confined public space, even if it meant asking for doggy bags. Their noise is usually communicating something and it's not fair on them or others to completely ignore it.

Michellephant · 14/06/2013 22:31

The child could've had an underlying reason for her behaviour such as autism or ADHD. I doubt most parents WANT to hear their child screaming, but a parent who sounds as tolerant as that may be used to it due to accepting the child's diagnosis? Just a possibility. She could also spoil her child and there be no underlying reason for it beyond that.

Unfortunately not every book can be judged by its cover because not all things are visible to Tom, Dick and Harry.

Personally I can't stand people who pull their faces at children being children in public places. That annoys me much more and I think they need to take a reality check!

Wuldric · 14/06/2013 22:33

I spend a lot of time in France. The French love children but they would not stand for this sort of behaviour. It's abominable, disruptive and unpleasant for other customers.

kaumana · 14/06/2013 22:34

My son is 14, he would be extremely upset in not being able to finish his coffee/lunch.

He would be SCREAMING in his head < shut the feck up> not hard to imagine a toddler feeling the same!

HollaAtMeBaby · 14/06/2013 22:35

YANBU. That earsplitting sound of a toddler "finding her voice" in a public place makes my hand itch to dish out a sharp slap (disclaimer: I have of course never actually slapped a child, and never would).

ouryve · 14/06/2013 22:35

A point to consider is that she could have been suffering from a social communication condition. The girl could have be on the autistic spectrum & unable to be in control of her responses.


Both of mine have ASD.

If they find an environment uncomfortable, we don't go back. There's a lovely fish restaurant in Whitby that we love, but haven't been to since DS1 was 4 because it's clanky, with lots of hard surfaces and set him off squirming. We ate quickly and left before he exploded. They're both pretty capable of loud, but a crying baby sends DS1 into overload.

brdgrl · 14/06/2013 22:38

Parents need to be more considerate. If you take your child to a restaurant, and it screams for half an hour, you need to stuff a cake in its gob or take it outside!

Amen. I am the parent of a toddler now (and was a nanny and an auntie for years before that). Some parents simply do not want to take responsibility. (There was a thread on this topic recently, with a mum who refused to take her children out when one misbehaved, as it would make them sad. Holy shit.)

And before I was a mum to a toddler, I was a single person who liked to work and study and visit with friends in cafes. Loved kids...but if the cafe, or the parents in the cafe, didn't rein in badly behaved or over-exuberant children, my time was spoilt...I would go out of my way not to inconvenience or spoil another patron's time, so why should I tolerate being inconvenienced or disrespected? I'd much rather spend my money in a cafe whose managers were not afraid to step in and say something when people/parents have forgotten their responsibilities.

Feelslikea1sttimer · 14/06/2013 22:39

I have t read the whole thread so apologies if I am repeating someone else...

People are talking of special needs, we have an autistic child who lacks communication skills but loves the sound of his own voice and screams!

If we go out somewhere, we always sit near the door or ask if there is a escape route we can use, if he decides to start shouting or screaming of course we are aware and also aware other people don't want to listen to it... So if me and OH are out together then one of us will take him out.

We generally get very kind reactions from people who don't expect us to, but we feel its good manners.

YANBU to say something, they should respect that other people may wish to eat lunch in peace and continuous screaming is not acceptable at 2 years old when they are big enough to understand!!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine · 14/06/2013 22:40

thoughts please

In my case a deliberately screaming child would cause dd distress. If screaming didn't stop then dd would begin to cry/shout because she wanted the screaming to stop. The only way I would be able to calm her down would be by removing the source of the distress.

I refuse to believe this is that uncommon?

VashtaNerada · 14/06/2013 22:44

Jumped to the end which I don't normally do but was so Shock at people talking about 'bad behaviour' in a toddler. This wasn't a teenager! There's very little you can do if an extremely young child is noisy. Telling off would almost certainly make it worse, distraction sometimes works but not always. So the mum had a choice of leaving immediately the child made a noise or finishing her food first. YABU.

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 22:47

Michelle all well and good, but it's up to te parent to discipline their child. There is no need for your Chidren to cause a nuscence whist you sit back and do nothing! Yah saggy te voice of reason

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 22:48

I have a dd with ASD ad if she starts having a meltdown, weary and placate her if not we are out

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