When it comes to banning, or at least putting an age limit on children in restaurants, I am all in. And not because I hate children, quite the opposite, I’m a big fan. But, during my years as a waitress, I had to deal with many instances in which I could honestly say that my dog is better trained than many children.
It’s not just crying, wailing children disturbing fellow diners. It’s also children running amok in restaurants with the parents looking on and doing nothing. As if their responsibility for the actions of their children stops the minute, they entered the restaurant. It makes you wonder what all those helicopter parents are teaching their children.
Danger, Danger, Children on the Loose
Kids running around in a restaurant is super dangerous. It often leaves it up to the wait staff to keep kids from playing, or even jumping on or off, stairs and furniture, endangering themselves and others, all while trying to meet the needs of diners. In many instances, customers have complained and eventually gotten up and left, while the parents were doing nothing to contain the chaos.
I don’t blame the children. I blame the parents. I’ll admit, it’s a pet peeve of mine when parents bring their children into situations they are not capable of handling. Often the children are overwhelmed, overtired, and overexcited. They are out of their usual flow. It’s not surprising they throw an Oscar-worthy scene that disrupts other diners. When parents set their children up for failure, and then they fail, is anyone surprised?
Children Can Behave If They Know-How
I’ve shared plenty of meals out with children who were polite and well-behaved. It is, quite frankly, a pleasure. And a stark contrast to the table behind us, where the kids are out of control and the parents at their wit’s end. You can see the “give up” on their faces.
The solution: parents should teach their children how to behave in restaurants. I don’t mean to criticize someone’s parenting style, but they need to respect the other diners and not think only about themselves. If you take the time to prepare your children for kindergarten, you can take the time to teach them how to behave in a fancy restaurant.
Kids Will Be Kids, But Will Parents Be Parents?
Seriously people, be considerate of others. And choose the right restaurant, there are so many options. Maybe the super fancy one or the bar (yes, I’ve dealt with misbehaving children in a bar) isn’t the best choice.
When it comes down to it, it’s not kids I mind, but parents who haven’t bothered to teach their children how to behave and mind their manners. Kids will be kids – you can count on that. Parents should be parents, but that is less likely.