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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:
pigletmania · 14/06/2013 22:49

We try

RikeBider · 14/06/2013 22:51

Or giving it 10 minutes and if the child didn't behave then leaving.
Or asking for her food/drink to be boxed to takeaway
Or going and sitting outside with the screamer.

She had lots of options other than inflicting a shrieking child on the rest of the cafe.

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 22:51

Vashta how come tey manage in Europe, you won't find this. My 16 month ds certainly understands no!

AmyFarrahFowlerCooper · 14/06/2013 22:52

I think this is a hard one. I'm not usually one for the maybe game but maybe she finds it hard to quieten the child down so when you approached she said the stuff about her being a little tinker because she can't really turn around and say "yes she's a little shit today and I can't control her. Let me have my fucking coffee before I go back home to this hell!". She might have seen your cafe was "child friendly" and thought "finally, a place where I can go in and the fact I struggle to control her won't matter just this once. Maybe I can feel normal again for half an hour with my coffee and relax".

I know I'm struggling atm with these new tantrums and I've asked for help from my HV. She can't come for another month. I'm not going to stay in for a month so at some point I'm sure one of these tantrums from hell will happen and I won't be able to get her to stop until she calms down herself. If I've just paid for food or a drink, I won't be abandoning it because that will be my one treat out I can afford that week.

Massive ramble but my view is, don't advertise as child friendly if you aren't friendly to all children and parents including ones who may be struggling but hiding it behind a smile.

ThoughtsPlease · 14/06/2013 22:54

ItsAllGoingToBeFine can I ask how old your DD is?

And also why would it cause her 'distress'?

And actually going back to the OP I can't help thinking that it might have all be a little different if the customers had not been described as 'two girls came in with a baby and a toddler'.

VashtaNerada · 14/06/2013 22:55

I have a 16 mo DS too piglet! But sadly not such a prodigy Smile. I'm assuming this one was just two as I wouldn't refer to a nearly 3yo as a toddler, and I do think that's very young.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 14/06/2013 22:58

This wasn't a teenager! There's very little you can do if an extremely young child is noisy.
Well for a start you can NOT take them somewhere where they are likely to upset others. If your child is prone to half hour screaming fits, then don't take them to places where they can cause a disruption to others. You don't NEED to be in a café.

ZolaBuddleia · 14/06/2013 22:59

Half an hour to go? If you have a screecher who won't shut up the food needs to go into the handbag (perhaps with the exception of soup) and everyone is out of the door straight away.

Urgh, hate indulgent parents.

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 23:00

Exactly saggy, if my ds just would not stop despite my best efforts, I would finish up quickly and go, not fair on other people, they do not have to tolerate the fruits of my loins Grin

VashtaNerada · 14/06/2013 23:02

Thoughts yes I was surprised by "girls" too. I wasn't sure if it was a patronising oversight or if they genuinely were children. In which case I'm starting to feel even more supportive of this very young mum with two children!

kaumana · 14/06/2013 23:02

thoughtsplease As we say in Edinburgh, "Stirring it much"

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 14/06/2013 23:03

You could always take them to the park, or soft play. Where screaming is the norm?

VashtaNerada · 14/06/2013 23:04

(I suppose if it was actually half an hour and the mum was sitting there with her meal all finished just taking her time, that would annoy me. I'm just surprised by the people who think two year olds are easy to control!)

ThoughtsPlease · 14/06/2013 23:06

kaumana no just an observation.

Vashta I suspect they were young yes.

Zola you think the mum was indulging the toddler?

VashtaNerada · 14/06/2013 23:07

I'm fence-sitting somewhat and have finally concluded that I could only really decide if I was actually there. Which totally ruins the fun of AIBU!!

Lazyjaney · 14/06/2013 23:08

Every person who was in the place while the child was screaming would have had a miserable time, and many will not come back for a long time if at all, the cost to you of that toddler was far greater than you think.

Next time 10 minutes tops then out.

ladymariner · 14/06/2013 23:08

kaumama exactly.....

Justfornowitwilldo · 14/06/2013 23:08

People who sit in a cafe for '1 hour plus' with a child screaming for half of that time are inconsiderate. Most people are tolerant of small children, it's entitled arses like this that make them intolerant.

ThoughtsPlease · 14/06/2013 23:08

Vashta oh yes you are failing if you cannot control your two year old, or just give in and leave which is probably what the two year old wants anyway.

ladymariner · 14/06/2013 23:12

In which case I'm starting to feel even more supportive of this very young mum with two children

How about feeling supportive of the cafe owner who is watching the rest of her clientele leaving in droves because of one badly behaved screaming toddler?

SaggyOldClothCatPuss · 14/06/2013 23:14

We all know that 2yos can be difficult. We have all been in the half hour tantrum situation. BUT, we don't all inflict it on others. If they wont stop, then leave.
Why should the 30 or 40 other people in the café have to put up with it?

CrabbyBigBottom · 14/06/2013 23:16

I cannot fucking believe that there are people on this thread that are saying it's fine to sit in a cafe with a screaming child for half an hour, ruining everyone else's experience of the cafe. How bloody selfish do you have to be to have so little consideration for others?? Shock

Take your screaming child away somewhere where they are not deafening and annoying other paying customers!

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 23:16

Yes thoughts that's what te average parent of toddlers o young children does, not sit back and do nothing whist teir child screams and screams

ThoughtsPlease · 14/06/2013 23:20

We don't really know how many other customers there were, how many left rapidly and complained as the OP states.

Were there 30 or 40 other customers at the time?

I suspect the number was far fewer, and that actually not many made a hasty exit or complained, I wonder how many stayed?

As others have said without being there hard to tell, realistically people also have different ideas of what constitutes screaming loudly for 30 minutes.

And as the customers are described as girls with children I really cannot help feeling that this has some bearing.

pigletmania · 14/06/2013 23:22

Screaming loudly is just that, a loud annoying noise for alf an hour

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