Banning Children in Restaurants

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Banning Children in Restaurants

Chilipepper Chilipepper
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According to the article, individual restaurant owners are banning children under six from their establishments. Reason cited is that the screamers are ruining the visit of the other patrons.

Why isn't this law?? I've left places because people force their screaming kids onto others. Do they feel that since they have to live with it, others must be miserable with them, too?

While working at a retail store, I lost about $200 worth of business (and commission) because the other shoppers didn't want to listen to another shopper's baby screaming its head off ... and that shopper didn't buy anything, so there were no sales at all for that hour she was in there.

My mother took us out of places if my brother or I had started the noise. She did not believe in forcing us on others. I'm sure others here were also raised that way. Parenthood means being responsible to others over their child's disruptions.

Thoughts, discussion, etc?
07/12/2011
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MaryExy MaryExy
I think it would depend on the restaurant. As a general rule, I think it's best to say kids that aren't old enough to eat regular food shouldn't be going to restaurants. Nicer restaurants I expect to not take kids, since they can easily disrupt the mood with crying or playing. I like McDonalds when it has a separate kids' section around the playground... Something like that would be a good compromise for large chains, like Chilis (even if there's no playground.) If you're bringing your kid to a restaurant, I don't see how sitting in the kid area is a problem, unless they'd restrict alcohol there.
07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
I have opinions on this but I cannot possibly express them without breaking the rules, so I will just bite my tongue.
07/12/2011
MaryExy MaryExy
My concern against it: I've seen plenty of quiet, well-behaved 4-year-olds and plenty of tantrum-throwing 8-year-olds. There's no telling what ages will behave well.
07/12/2011
PiratePrincess PiratePrincess
I think there should be more pressure on the parents to take care of their children rather than on the establishment to enforce it. I've seen young children who are perfectly well behaved and would do fine at restaurants. My parents always took us out of a store if we started to cry or get upset. More parents should do that.
07/12/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
As a mother of two, I do take this personally. I hope that I didn't overstep the boundaries here. I'm trying to act maturely about this; but there are some MAJOR problems with this mentality. And I hope that we can discuss this without a major flag festival.

So the solution is to segregate people because they have children? Like it's a social faux pas? How many more ways are we going to find to discriminate? Is this along the lines of the government here trying to pass a bill that would allow businesses to turn away open homosexuals (that did not pass)? Or are we going back to the 60s and acting like we did for race segregation? Do people with children need to sit at the back of the bus or the back of the plane now too? Or are parents with small children who might misbehave not allowed to enjoy a meal that the mom (or dad) didn't have to prep, cook, and clean up themselves? Most parents of small children are wise enough to know (and usually can't afford it anyway) not to bring their infants and toddlers into fine dining establishments. I'm sorry, but I'm not going to pay $75 for a steak dinner for me, Mr, and the kids. Restaurants like that are reserved for special occasions and date nights.

I understand what it's like to have your meal ruined by a screaming kid. I've had it happen when it WAS my kid and when it WASN'T my kid. First of all, it's embarrassing as FUCK to have your kid not behave in public. You're not happy about it. As a parent, you're trying to figure out the best way to handle the situation without making an even bigger scene.

For example, Do I just try and get her to calm down at the table or do I remove her from the table and have her screaming all throughout the restaurant? How am I going to get her to stop screaming? If I spank her, someone might call the cops and she's just going to cry harder. (I don't spank, FYI, just throwing out the options.) I can threaten to not have a privilege. I can hug her and soothe her and get her to quiet down (which, actually usually works well unless she's misbehaving for disciplinary reasons). I'm apologizing to everyone in the restaurant already. I know that all you're thinking is "fucking shut your kid up." So overall, my night is already fucked. Not only am I the most hated person in the restaurant, but I can't even enjoy the pasta I ordered because I'm having to deal with my child.

This doesn't happen every time we go out to eat. Maybe three times in the last year has either of my children misbehaved in a restaurant. So, now I'm not even allowed to bring them in on the OFF CHANCE they MIGHT misbehave?

I just *LOVE* how people without children think that if a child misbehaves it's because there's a lack of structure or discipline in the house. Excuse me, but you don't live with me. I'd also like to know what makes you, the childless one, a better parent than me? (Sorry if that seems rude, but I have a lot of friends who have no children who seem keen on offering me advice. Perhaps the outside view is needed sometimes, but if you don't have children of your own, I have a hard time knowing how you could possibly know what will work for my children, who you don't even know.)
07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
As a mother of two, I do take this personally. I hope that I didn't overstep the boundaries here. I'm trying to act maturely about this; but there are some MAJOR problems with this mentality. And I hope that we can discuss this without a ...
here here, I am the mother of an autistic child, at any age in any situation he could go from perfect quiet well behaved child to monster in 5 seconds. I hate it just as much as the people staring at us, but those stares and comments or even walking up to us do nothing at all to help my son calm down, you will only escalate the situation.

My son goes with us everywhere, he doesn't eat normal food even at 5, and I don't want to sit around a mcdonalds playground just because hes a kid when he doesn't eat it and I want a nice dinner. We carry a bag of tricks with us everywhere, books, toys, video games etc and even then I do not have the magic answer to solve every problem with him. If he gets out of hand we will leave somewhere, but sometimes I know you just need to ignore him for a few minutes and let him deal with his emotions then come to us for his comfort. I'm not going to ruin my extremely rare dinner out or a much needed shopping trip just because my child is whining or having a momentary tantrum.

Trust me, me and my husband don't want to be around that just as much as you, but we have a responsibility and leaving everywhere every single time they disrupt someone teaches him nothing and just lets a kid know the world revolves around them. I'm not going to teach my child that, he is part of a family and sometimes other people in the family need to do something and you just have to learn to deal with it.
07/12/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Wondermom
here here, I am the mother of an autistic child, at any age in any situation he could go from perfect quiet well behaved child to monster in 5 seconds. I hate it just as much as the people staring at us, but those stares and comments or even walking ...
Trust me, me and my husband don't want to be around that just as much as you, but we have a responsibility and leaving everywhere every single time they disrupt someone teaches him nothing and just lets a kid know the world revolves around them

THIS! OMG THIS!

The point I forgot. If we're not paying attention to them at the moment, that means that we are trying to teach them something at that particular moment in time. Often, that we are not going to be controlled by the screaming.
07/12/2011
KinkyKrissy KinkyKrissy
At first I read this and thought, why not? Then I thought about it more and read what other people posted. I think if they do pass some sort of law on it, it should be based on how unruly and loud the child is. Here's what happens from my point of view: When I hear a child scream or shriek, I get a pretty much instant headache and instant tension and stress that really aggravates my back and neck problems. If I do get a migraine and then get nauseous from it, I hope you can understand how a shrieking child can make me upset if I am at a restaurant, especially a slightly nicer one.

That being said, I do not think people should ban kids from being in restaurants. As stated in other posts, not all 4 year olds throw constant temper tantrums. There are some really amazingly well behaved kids out there. Some 4 year olds act more polite, quiet, etc. than some 10 year olds. In the case of a restaurant, maybe if a child is screaming for more than 5 or so minutes, they should be asked to take their child outside or something to try and calm the child down or ask what the problem is (insert parenting skills here). Although I am not a parent so I cannot truly understand, I can only imagine how embarrassing it can be to have a child misbehave like that in public like a restaurant setting.

If you are in a store or the mall or something, I think it's easier to just walk out for a moment or ask the cashier to watch your planned purchases for a few minutes to take the child outside and calm them down. I can understand how that can make people lose business and upset other customers, and honestly, I don't think it's fair if you are trying to shop and have to listen to a kid screaming like a banshee the whole time you're in there. If it's disrupting other people and it can't be controlled, take it elsewhere to try and figure it out or come back another time. While I know it's a pain to have to leave and come back, if you go shopping with someone else, maybe you or the other spouse can watch the kid outside while the other finishes up shopping.
07/12/2011
mandiegk mandiegk
Quote:
Originally posted by PiratePrincess
I think there should be more pressure on the parents to take care of their children rather than on the establishment to enforce it. I've seen young children who are perfectly well behaved and would do fine at restaurants. My parents always took ...
I completely agree with this. I'm not really a huge fan of children at all, but I am not opposed to being in a restaurant or a store with children if their parents will remove them from the situation if they become a nuisance. It's the parents who completely ignore their child's screams or let them use restaurants and stores as a playground that bother me. I just don't understand how you can continue your conversation without even glancing at your child when they are screaming like someone is trying to murder them. Unfortunately, there is no way to weed out the problems before seating them so now everyone with children has to suffer.
07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
Quote:
Originally posted by KinkyKrissy
At first I read this and thought, why not? Then I thought about it more and read what other people posted. I think if they do pass some sort of law on it, it should be based on how unruly and loud the child is. Here's what happens from my ...
I know there are some parents out there who make no attempt to control a situation, trust me, I would love to make them leave as well because they are throwing my kid off. But often it is just impractical or impossible for people to come back another time or be outside (ie in severe cold areas in winter or heat in the summer) and then there are the single parents or parents with multiple children. One child can't learn that they have control over the whole group just by throwing a tantrum.
07/12/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
But removing your children doesn't always help. I realize that you're upset, but I am too, and so is my child. In situations like HHSM, where the child is autistic, any interaction with the child's tantrum just escalates it. The same is true in my 5 year old. If she's about to throw a tantrum, she cannot be disciplined in the moment. It has absolutely no bearing on her. She doesn't GET it. All she knows is she's unhappy and now her parents are yelling at her. I've had a simple "go to your room to cool down" turn into a full-blown episode complete with her becoming violent, and I am just simply trying to get her up the stairs.

I reiterate, I'm NEVER violent with my children. This is not learned from me, or her caregivers. This is how she reacts to situations where she feels out of control.

Us who have children could, in the same spirit, ask you to only go places where the minimum age requirement is 21. In other words, go to a club or a bar if you don't want to be around children. What? You don't want to be told where you can and cannot shop or eat? Well, neither do we.
07/12/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
This is along the same lines of the breastfeeding thread. Neither side can fully appreciate the other's.
07/12/2011
Chilipepper Chilipepper
Very good points from the other side of the equation, and I appreciate your individual perspectives and experiences, especially with autistic children.
07/12/2011
ss143 ss143
Being a mother of a 7 year old and a two year old I am not going to get into a big discussion on this topic for fear of seeming to be rude or accidentally breaking terms of conduct. However what I will say is wouldn't a better solution be designating times for families or people with kids? Not all families go out to Mcdonalds or burger king some do enjoy or want to teach their children what its like to eat at a restaurant. I think a better compromise for the situations is to say no kids after 8 for example so if you want to dine without hearing children go to dinner after said time and that way everyone wins and no one feels excluded.

Having children is the most challenging complicated ever changing job one can have but it is also the most rewarding in my eyes. Anyone who thinks is cut and dry and oh so simple has another thing coming to them if/when they have kids
07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
But removing your children doesn't always help. I realize that you're upset, but I am too, and so is my child. In situations like HHSM, where the child is autistic, any interaction with the child's tantrum just escalates it. The same is ...
Us who have children could, in the same spirit, ask you to only go places where the minimum age requirement is 21. In other words, go to a club or a bar if you don't want to be around children. What? You don't want to be told where you can and cannot shop or eat? Well, neither do we.

exactly, I already avoid movie theaters, because my child is always with me I cannot go anywhere that is 21+ or into an R rated movie (nor would I with my child anyway) and I refuse to be pushed out of a restaurant or the store just because I have a kid. I have already fought this type of discrimination over nursing in public, thankfully in my state I had the law on my side but it still hurts and you can bet your ass I never went to that place again and never will.
07/12/2011
Darling Jen Darling Jen
I agree that I definitely see the concern and frustration. I have not only witnessed but experienced the devastation of an otherwise lovely time for the customers as well as the business by boisterous or destruction children. Ugh. They annoy me greatly but their parents just downright piss me off cause, really, it's their fault and not the children.

But I also see a major flaw with trying to make an "age rule" too. Cause, like MaryExy said, there are plenty of small children that are very well behaved and many older kids that are the worst I've seen. Not always does age have to do with it. In fact, I say it's up to 90% the parents and not the kids.

I think it'd be much more reasonable and enforceable to put more emphasis on the responsibility of people bringing in children. Maybe it should be posted as a rule of the establishment, just like "children under 12 need to be accompanied by an adult". It could be something like "adults are responsible for the behavior of their children and will be asked to leave if multiple complaints are made and not addressed".
07/12/2011
ss143 ss143
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
But removing your children doesn't always help. I realize that you're upset, but I am too, and so is my child. In situations like HHSM, where the child is autistic, any interaction with the child's tantrum just escalates it. The same is ...
"Us who have children could, in the same spirit, ask you to only go places where the minimum age requirement is 21. In other words, go to a club or a bar if you don't want to be around children. What? You don't want to be told where you can and cannot shop or eat? Well, neither do we"

Cheers at this statement
07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
Quote:
Originally posted by ss143
Being a mother of a 7 year old and a two year old I am not going to get into a big discussion on this topic for fear of seeming to be rude or accidentally breaking terms of conduct. However what I will say is wouldn't a better solution be ...
we are a family of night owls and insomniacs, with a very different schedule than most families, we also look to shop at the not busy times so I avoid when most families are out. So we will be the family at 3am with the annoying kid or in the grocery store at 4am. We avoid public places in normal hours where kids will be out because where kids are, crowds are and that is a whole nother issue. So if a store or restaurant went no kids after 8 (which honestly by 8 me and my husband are barely even thinking of what to have for dinner let alone eat it) they would lose our business.
07/12/2011
Kindred Kindred
It's discrimination, plain and simple. I am admittedly a parent, but I believe I would have the same opinion if I weren't. You are attributing poor restaurant behavior to all children, which is neither fair nor true. The problem is that the bad experiences are always the ones that stand out. If you think about how many times you've actually eaten out relative to the number of bad experiences, I bet it is a fraction at best.

Another area that I have experienced similar discrimination is with dog breeds. Many cities/counties have enacted laws discriminating against certain breeds such as pit bulls, Rottweilers, etc. These laws were passed because the actions of a few were unfairly attributed to the breed as a whole.
07/12/2011
KinkyKrissy KinkyKrissy
Quote:
Originally posted by Wondermom
I know there are some parents out there who make no attempt to control a situation, trust me, I would love to make them leave as well because they are throwing my kid off. But often it is just impractical or impossible for people to come back another ...
Very good points about the weather, I didn't even think of that and I can't imagine how horrible it would be to stand out in the cold or heat especially! When it comes to children with developmental disabilities such as autism, it is even more difficult because the situation can like you said, change from one extreme to the other in almost no time. This I also didn't consider. I understand it's difficult to teach any child, especially those with developmental disabilities, that they cannot control the situation by getting upset. I have seen and read accounts of children that would attack other people in my learning and behavior class. One child would bite, scratch, attack everyone. The child injured strangers, family, etc. They had to wear shin guards and other gear to try and prevent injury. This child also tried to escape always. He would run through doors, climb through ceilings and air ducts. Today he is doing so much better, but it takes so long to get to that, and even then it is something that cannot always be controled or help. It is a different type of challenge when you have a child with special needs, but it is a different kind of reward in a way too. Simple things that other parents may take for granted take on a new meaning. Nothing can ever be completely controlled as I'm sure you know
07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
It's discrimination, plain and simple. I am admittedly a parent, but I believe I would have the same opinion if I weren't. You are attributing poor restaurant behavior to all children, which is neither fair nor true. The problem is that ...
You are right, infact most of my bad experiences in restaurants have not come from other peoples children, but by idiotic immature young adults or the people who insist on talking on their cellphone so loud everyone gets to know who cheated on who.
07/12/2011
Darling Jen Darling Jen
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
It's discrimination, plain and simple. I am admittedly a parent, but I believe I would have the same opinion if I weren't. You are attributing poor restaurant behavior to all children, which is neither fair nor true. The problem is that ...
I know this is slightly off topic but...

I SO agree with you on the issue with dog breeds! I have never, ever had a frightening experience with any rottweilers, pit bulls, or dobermans. It makes me sad for the dogs cause ultimately they end up suffering.
07/12/2011
ss143 ss143
Quote:
Originally posted by Wondermom
we are a family of night owls and insomniacs, with a very different schedule than most families, we also look to shop at the not busy times so I avoid when most families are out. So we will be the family at 3am with the annoying kid or in the grocery ...
I agree we are a bunch of night owls to so I can empathize I just think that that might be a better alternative than saying no kids anytime for any reason. In general I think its wrong regardless I should be able to nurse or feed or go with my kids anywhere that is age appropriate- no strip clubs bars or casinos. its just sad and disheartening that people find so many things to complain about when there are bigger things to worry about. As long as our species thrives and continues we will always have children and trying to wrap them up in a bubble to not"bother" any one is unreasonable and unrealistic.

07/12/2011
Wondermom Wondermom
Quote:
Originally posted by KinkyKrissy
Very good points about the weather, I didn't even think of that and I can't imagine how horrible it would be to stand out in the cold or heat especially! When it comes to children with developmental disabilities such as autism, it is even ...
Thank you its hard but I do want people to know we do make sure he is not harming anyone or destroying any property, that is our line for leaving, but if hes just having a yelling tantrum or crying, I'm not going to leave. I have had to be the mom carrying a screaming kicking child out the door of a store, and its no fun to be treated like you are a horrible parent when you are trying everything you can to calm them down, all while being beaten up by your own kid. I have had to develop a thick skin in the past 5 years.
07/12/2011
MaryExy MaryExy
I've worked in an ice cream place and I have babysat the same kids for several years (youngest was 2 or 3 when I started, oldest is now turning 9), and I've seen/dealt with a good few crying fits and tantrums in restaurants, stores, etc. I do agree that a law banning all children under a certain age from being seen in public is a bad idea, but at the same time I think there should be an emphasis on how to handle kids in public. I agree with taking a kid out of a place until they calm down, or ignoring them for a minute or two when you know that usually calms them down.

Some places aren't really made for kids, though, and I'd be a little confused by seeing a kid there, even if they were perfectly well-behaved (food is all rare meat and sweetbreads, the atmosphere is very intimate and set for more romantic outings, there's no such thing as soda or sweet tea, etc.)

I say a separate kids' area as a suggestion, to give parents with noisier-than-average kids (or kids that have their bear-days) a place where it's not frowned upon when the kids start screaming; when a kid is chill and will willingly sit for 40 minutes or longer to eat and talk, I don't see why they should be made to sit somewhere designated for kids when it's the same menu. But that way there'd be an option to have a quieter atmosphere for those who really want it (I know some parents want a quieter atmosphere, but if your kid generally screams no matter what, I don't see the logic in taking them out on a quiet dinner outing...?) If a kid usually behaves and then all of a sudden starts acting up every 5 seconds at the restaurant, I'd rather have the option to move to a kid area than feel the need to leave the restaurant entirely, especially if food is already ordered...

That being said, if I worked in a nicer restaurant and had to choose between kicking out a very loud, rude adult and a kid that threw tantrums every 5 seconds, the adult would definitely go first; adults should know better. Sadly there are too many adults that act worse than the typical kid...

Oh, and I don't think kids should be banned in stores, especially groceries and pharmacies. If the kid starts crying, worst case the parent should take them outside for a minute (I'd expect to see this somewhere like Banana Republic). Groceries and pharmacies, it's easy to skip the aisle with the kid or be through it in 5 seconds.
07/12/2011
BBW Talks Toys BBW Talks Toys
Quote:
Originally posted by Darling Jen
I agree that I definitely see the concern and frustration. I have not only witnessed but experienced the devastation of an otherwise lovely time for the customers as well as the business by boisterous or destruction children. Ugh. They annoy me ...
DJ, I love you darling, but you're wrong when you say it's all the parents' fault. It's not always. I agree it is in many cases, but not always.

My daughter, 5, has always been taught how to behave in a restaurant. She's always being told to be more polite. She is always being corrected and taught. She still acts out. Not for lack of discipline. She gets disciplined. Frequently. I know I'm a good, attentive mother, but sometimes kids are obstinate and choose not to behave. With my daughter, often times, the consequences do not phase her. She doesn't UNDERSTAND what's happening. It's compartmentalized into a part of her brain that just phases out and she looks at me blankly.
07/12/2011
sexyintexas sexyintexas
Bowing to BBW...How many teens have you seen in a restaurant showing their asses? Plenty. Where do you draw the line. Kids act up sometimes, that's what they do. So do adults. I have scene adults have a drink, become obnoxious and act like a fool and they are in their 40's. As a parent, my money spends just as well as anyone elses and I will do whatever is in my power to stop a loud child, but it is not anyone elses decision where I can and cannot eat with them.
07/12/2011
ToyTimeTim ToyTimeTim
I can see both sides of this coin and can only say that when my kids were/are being loud, I took care of the problem, sometimes at the table, sometimes outside. Whether I come back in depends on how my kid reacts. I can tell you 99% of the time we go back in and all is well. Call me old fashion but I am the parent and they WILL listen to me, one way or the other. Oh ya, never had to lay a hand on my kids to get them to behave.

I do understand that not all parents have kids that are so easily controlled, to them I send hugs and love.

It is the parents that let there kids do anything they want that I have a problem with.

Should kids be banned from restaurants? I would say it depends on the restaurant. Furthermore, the ban should be on anyone, parent, kid, teenager etc.! I have left due to adults more than kids.
07/12/2011
KinkyKrissy KinkyKrissy
Quote:
Originally posted by BBW Talks Toys
But removing your children doesn't always help. I realize that you're upset, but I am too, and so is my child. In situations like HHSM, where the child is autistic, any interaction with the child's tantrum just escalates it. The same is ...
Understood and well put. I obviously don't know the solution and am merely stating how it affects me personally and some ideas I had. It's hard to take everything into consideration, especially when I am only 21 years old and do not have children myself. I hope you realize nothing I said was meant to be offensive I can't know everything parents go through so it's hard to know what will and won't work since I can't possibly know how both sides really feel unless I am told like the opinions and ideas posted here. It's not something that's easily solved or can be seen in black and white, that's why it's controversial. It just sucks that so many people do see it as a black and white issues and do things like ban children under a certain age. I mean at a super fancy restaurant I can understand, but otherwise it's just not right and it doesn't solve the problem.

The after 8pm or whatever time rule might be an interesting idea. Most children are in bed by a certain time I assume, so perhaps something like that would be more effective?
07/12/2011
Total posts: 82
Unique posters: 31