Thursday, March 14, 2013

How to Get your Children to Behave in a Restaurant

You are finally seated at your table in a restaurant and starting to relax for an enjoyable meal.  You hear the screams from the children at the next table.  Then there's the sound of the flatware being banged on the tabletop. Now the children are up and running around the restaurant.  Oh my goodness!  You try not to stare.  Has this happened to you?  I have certainly experienced this.  In fact, if that behavior is going on in a restaurant, you can bet it's happening right next to my table!  And...9 times out of 10, the parents are on the phone or chatting with their table guests and not paying attention to their children while all the shenanigans are going on.  I realize that parents need time out...especially the Mamas!  But I also think that more parents should make sure their children are behaving like civilized human beings in public.

An Italian restaurant in Washington state is concerned about the unruly behavior of rowdy children in their restaurant.  They offer discounts to the parents of well-behaved children!  How do y'all feel about this?

Listen to this...Lord have mercy,  McDain's restaurant in Monroeville, PA has banned children from eating in their establishment.  You can read more about this here.

Other restaurants around the country are posting signs reminding parents to make sure their children aren't screaming, running around the restaurant, or misbehaving in any other way.  I have to tell y'all that my Daddy never needed to be reminded about his children's behavior in a restaurant.  One wrong glance in the wrong direction and we were history!  Seriously!

 Find a Babysitter  recently wrote an article "How to Get Your Kids to Behave in a Restaurant."  It is a very interesting post...explaining steps parents can take to prepare children for "Dining in public" and reiterates that parents are ultimately responsible for teaching their children how to behave in public.

So, how do you feel about parents receiving a discount if their children "behave" or what do you think about restaurants posting signs with "rules of behavior" or even banning children?  


AngelaV said...

We have 3 children who are well behaved in restaurants. When they were toddlers they acted up some, but one of us would take them out.
I don't like the discount because that would indicate to me that they were watching us. I don't like being "watched" while I dine so I probably would not go back to that restaurant.

Ali said...

I'm relieved to see it isn't just here in England that discipline has gone the way of the dinosaur. We either behaved or got our backsides warmed. My children knew that bad behaviour meant no outings. End of story. I don't blame businesses for "banning" children under 16. Its not their job to babysit your children. Nor should other folks have to put up with loud, rude and disruptive behaviour. It was unacceptable at one time, why its acceptable now baffles me.

Ali x

Stacey said...

When our boys were little we would leave if one started misbehaving. It was an inconvenience to us but it does teach them that they can't stay in the 'good food' place and act that way.

I sound like a geezer saying this but each and every day I'm glad I didn't have a cell phone when I had little ones. I constantly see moms talking or texting while their kids are with them. That's just wrong.

Tammy B said...

My 14 month old niece is well behaved in a restaurant. I'm not sure how she will be in about 10 months. LOL! Whoever gets finished eating first, gets up and walks her around.

~BB said...

Miss Janice, as a mother of tow young boys, I couldn't agree with you more. I have seen so many parents ignoring their children at restaurants and the kids running buck wild, throwing food everywhere, screaming, etc. If that is how they are allowed to behave in public, one can only wonder what goes on at home..If you don't want to pay attention while out at dinner, may I suggest you get a babysitter. Anyways, I know my boys are not perfect either, however we actually engage them when we take them out and stress the importance of behaving well (and if they don't, well, we leave),but we usually go to pretty casual places with them. If we go somewhere fancy, we get a babysitter, since I'd rather pay extra for a sitter to ensure a quiet and stress-free time :-)

Monique Lehnhardt said...

I am frequently astonished by parents who appear to relinquish responsibility for the behavior of heir children in public. I once observed a young child in a store who destroyed a display and quite a bit of merchandise while the mother ignored him. When confronted by the sales clerk she showed no concern or made any offer to compensate the owner. In fact, she blamed the owner for having the display. And they wonder why kids are banned from some establishments. It is not the responsibility of the rest of us to adapt to your child's bad behavior.

Dee said...

I never awarded my children for good behavior, it was expected of them. There was plenty of bickering and arguing, being rowdy and boisterous at home, but it was not tolerated in public. It's the responsibility of parents to make sure their children are well behaved. My children are adults now and my schoolteacher daughter thanks us regularly for the way she was taught to behave.

Rose said...

Some really great comments here. I love the idea and my children know whats expected of them in public and I will take a discount anywhere I can get it LOL

Southern Bombshell said...

I distinctly remember working at a fine dinning restaurant on Fort Myers Beach in FL and having whispered conversations with my manager as to if it would be ok for us to tell the mother of the child STANDING on a neighboring table and REACHING INTO the beta fish centerpiece trying to grab the fish that perhaps she needed to get her child. It's the old one bad apple spoils the bunch. Yes some children are well behaved at a restaurant but most are not.

Sandee Royalty said...

When my son was little, we just didn't go to nice places with him. Babies and toddlers are better at family restaurants. As he got older, we were able to take him anywhere as long as I had something for him to draw or color or a book to read. One evening when he was a toddler, we took him to the country club for dinner because we just "had" to get out and do something. He ended up being fussy and choking on an oyster cracker and throwing up everywhere...Never did that again! lol

annie said...

I would prefer to see a call for the return of mannerly behavior in children.
I never had to worry about my children's behavior. Never had to lock up my Hummels or Lladro. They understood what were playthings and what were not.
They knew how to behave at the table.
I think the problem is allowing children free rein.Not enough parents teaching their kids .