Eating out with children

I recently noticed this article about a restaurant who were criticised and even threatened for banning “small, screaming children”.

Apparently, there are parents everywhere who are outraged by both the ban on children and the way it was worded. 

I am not one of them. 

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t go to this restaurant even if it wasn’t as far away as Nova Scotia. But that’s because it’s a lobster restaurant, not because they don’t want screaming children in there. 

I take my children to restaurants. Actually, they’ve been to some rather nice restaurants. This morning I even took the two girls out for breakfast on my own. 

But if they start screaming, we leave. Well, we would. They’ve never started screaming because they know better than that. 

And also because if they’re not behaving themselves before we go out, we simply don’t go.

We had an incident recently where we had a restaurant booking but Libby was being a nightmare. Cancelling was the only option, I wasn’t going to ruin everyone else’s meal. 

And just because I have children, that doesn’t make me more tolerant of other people’s children if they insist on allowing them to run around a restaurant shouting and screaming. That’s not okay. 

I understand that occasionally, children can have a bit of a moment. If that’s all it is and then they calm down, that’s fine. 

I also understand that children can have total, complete and utter meltdowns where they do nothing but scream. That’s fine too, but if you were looking for a cue to leave the restaurant, that was it. 

And I understand that some children have special needs or disabilities that makes it impossible for them to be quiet in a restaurant. And I wouldn’t expect them to be quiet for a moment, that’s totally fine. 

What annoys me is the people whose children can, and should, behave well during a meal. But they are so wrapped up in their own little world that they zone out to the chaos that is being caused. 

Even in restaurants where there are toys for the children to play with and they are free to run around. Even, heaven forbid in soft play, it drives me mad when people don’t keep at least a cursory eye on their children. 

And don’t get me started on the snot. I can’t count the number of times I’ve dragged my children out of a play area because snotty child whose mum is too busy nattering to wipe its nose is about to touch one of them. 

But after all that, I do have to put in a good word for the children. The majority of them behave perfectly well and probably brighten everyone’s day by being there. 

Which brings me neatly on to the groups of people, usually in suits, who consider themselves to be better than the rest of us. They go for lunch to “put the world to rights”. 

These people are loud, rude to the restaurant staff, obnoxious and usually sweary. They are also the type who look at me like I’m something they’ve stepped in because I dare to eat out with my perfectly pleasant and polite children. 

Give me a room full of screaming, snotty kids any day over these people. Actually, I’d rather have dinner with my dog. 

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  1. monsterid April 21, 2015 / 6:10 am

    Thank you Jessie I’m glad you enjoyed it 😉

  2. April 21, 2015 / 7:11 am

    Nice balanced post, and I am with you. My children were children and have had their moments but they knew how to behave in pubic and how not to. For allergy reasons ( back in the 80’s we were aliens!!) we did not do it very often anyway but when we did they sat and behaved. If their was an outside play area then they could run and make happy gleeful noises.
    If they misbehaved and “mums look” did not work they were taken calmly and quietly to the toilet and spoken to there out of ear shot of other people.
    I as a now usually childless adult would not go to a place aimed at parents and young families but accept that parents have the right to take children to nice places as children have to learn.
    As for the loud “look at me I am on my mobile” suit wearers I am also with you

    • monsterid April 21, 2015 / 7:18 am

      Thank you Elaine. I do understand that people without children may not be delighted to see mine but as you say, they should have the right to go to nice places as long as they’re not upsetting anyone.x

  3. April 21, 2015 / 8:47 am

    We have a couple of restaurants where we live that clearly state they do not allow under 5’s. At least you know where you stand and to be honest we are always with our 7 month old so it just means these places don’t get our custom. It’s more comfortable for everyone concerned if you know a place is ‘child friendly’ and if Baby E was unsettled and causing a disturbance we would leave. Partly for others benefit but more importantly for Baby E’s comfort.

    • monsterid April 21, 2015 / 9:02 am

      Yes I agree, it’s much better to know where you stand. I also agree wholeheartedly with your decision to leave if little one isn’t having a good time.x

  4. Izzie Anderton
    April 21, 2015 / 11:29 am

    I’m with you on this and had a similar attitude to eating out with my daughters at a restaurant. If they misbehaved – we went home – end of story. Luckily they learnt from an early age that playing up was not going to be an option while we dined out.

    • monsterid April 21, 2015 / 11:44 am

      Ah that’s good to hear Izzie, it’s nice to hear from somebody with older children who adopted the same attitude and it worked 😉

  5. monsterid April 21, 2015 / 3:12 pm

    Yeah I agree, if it blows over quickly then no issues. If it doesn’t we would always leave, even in a family friendly place. We do take our children to nice restaurants because I want them to learn how to behave there, but we would always leave if there was an issue. Thank you for taking the time to comment, I really appreciate it.x

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