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gulfporter

Screaming Toddlers in Restaurants

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Parent too cowardly to defend child on the spot; takes revenge from behind computer screen.

Owner exhibits lack of self control by allegedly yelling at a child.

Sounds like bad behavior all around. I mostly blame the parent though. I have a toddler and all it takes is a little foresight, consideration, and flexibility to keep him happy as a clam.

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Owner sounds like one of those loons in Phoenix that Gordon Ramsay dealt with.

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I took my kids to restaurants (admittedly not truly upscale ones) from the time they were a few weeks old and could tolerate grains of rice dropped on their face while being snuggled in a Huggie on my chest, at the local Chinese restaurant. (I wasn't that good at using chopsticks in those days!)

 

Aside from being cheaper and easier than finding a babysitter, I felt it was a great opportunity to teach my kids how to be civilized and consider others in society, but, of course, with a baby or very young child, it is the parent who has to be responsible for making sure the child is soothed or removed till they are calm again (and to make sure the child is not taken at all if he/she is ill, or desperately needs a nap and you know your child will not just sleep through dinner).

 

So, it was raining outside (oh dear, but you know what, a few cold splashes of rain on the child might actually have had the desired 'shush up please, child' effect) but what about hustling the child to the washroom for a minute instead then? That mother was rude beyond belief in my estimation. That doesn't perhaps justify a complete stranger yelling at the child - but it worked (element of surprise often does with kids). I call that a win - at least this once. Had I been that mother, I think I would have thanked her profusely.

 

The owner had a lot of other diners to consider too. She may have lost her cool in the moment but tell me, what else could she have done if the parents would not remove their child from the situation after being asked politely? 

 

And, definitely, had that been me and my child the LAST thing I would have done would have been to publicize my own terrible and selfish behavior on social media afterwards. Shows a total lack of consideration for others and that has unfortunately become too prevalent in our society these days. Mind you, I tend to be TOO considerate of others rather than the other way around, but this mother was, in my opinion, way out of line.

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Pro move for owner is to calmly ask the family to leave, and when they don't, call the cops and charge trespass.

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I don't fault the owner.  If parents ignore a screaming child for a prolonged period, and are unwilling to discipline an out of control child, then I believe the owner is entitled to shout at the child because said child could probably not hear a normal voice over the screaming.

 

Ordinary activity by children, babbling, giggling, singing and etc., is okay but when a child screams, throws food (which ended up in my hair) kicks and in gerneral is totally out of control it is the RESPONSIBILITY of the parent to do something and if they are unable or unwilling to do so then a server needs to act.  The parents refused to take the child out of the diner and did not seem to care that OTHER PATRONS were being affected by the noise. Another patron posted that it was totally the fault of the parents.  The food had been delivered to THE TABLE but the parents continued talking and did not feed the child who was obviously frustrated, seeing the food but getting no attention.

 

Doing a rather informal "count" on social media, the Pro-owner posts outnumber the  against posts by a factor of hundreds. 

Many of those posting are regular customers of the diner and were totally in favor of her actions. 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Perhaps us folk North of the 49th parallel really are that much more polite/easy going, maybe this is 'normal' and 'acceptable' in the States; I would bet with great certainty that the restaurant owner (and any supporters) would be in the vast minority up here.

 

It's called tact, lessons that women desperately requires.

 

To reiterate, I am not defending the actions (or in this case, inaction) of the parents, I am pointing out that yelling at a 2 year old is absurd (I have a 2.5 year old, and no matter the circumstance, yelling is something that never occurs, he is far more aware when a different, and often quieter, tone is taken).

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Marcy's a marketing genius; her behaviour has garnered massive publicity that money can't buy.  :biggrin:

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~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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Perhaps us folk North of the 49th parallel really are that much more polite/easy going, maybe this is 'normal' and 'acceptable' in the States; I would bet with great certainty that the restaurant owner (and any supporters) would be in the vast minority up here.

 

 

 

Just not necessarily true, especially these days. I am from 'north of the 49th parallel' and my opinion seems to vary considerably from yours. I also have lived in the US (and still do to some extent). This could just as easily have happened in Canada - and indeed I have seen incidents which have come pretty close to turning out similarly up here too. Had the parents responded as they should have, the owner's response would never have been necessary.

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It's called tact, lessons that women desperately requires..

Are you kidding me? wow.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

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A simple typo, no more, should read woman, perhaps emphasis THAT.

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I can clearly remember dining with friends when children at a table next to us were making the dining experience miserable for everyone in the restaurant. Finally another patron asked management to step in. When the manager came over and spoke the parents, they immediately told their children that they were at fault in a tone that put all of the blame on the children and took no personal  responsibility at all.

 

I worked at the Happiest Place on Earth for a year and a half and I remember "snapping" and making a one-sentence statement to the parent that violated my training. I was wrong but dealing with self-centered entitlement-mentality adults can get to you. 40 minutes of not dealing with a child is just wrong. Maybe she shouldn't have yelled, but it sounds like the parents needed to hear it and it's a reasonable possibility that calm speech might not have gotten through.

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Porthos Potwatcher
The Once and Future Cook

;

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For me, the two most important words in this scenario are "forty minutes."  Think about that.  Forty minutes.

 

Had this entire incident occurred over, say, ten or fifteen minutes, I'd be firmly on the side of the mother.  But forty minutes?

 

Sorry, but this mother is totally to blame for "traumatizing" her child.

 

I raised three children and, at one point, each of them was an infant, baby, toddler, whatever, sometimes in great moods, and sometimes not.  I can't imagine letting them disrupt other people for that long.  I'd have given my crying child maybe ten minutes in this restaurant before I would have asked for our order "to go" and l would have taken it and left.

 

The fact that the owner had to say anything at all tells you how inconsiderate and self-absorbed that woman must be.  I'm sure that, at the five minute point, the other patrons were glaring at her to do something.  By thirty minutes, I'd bet a lot of money that some of the other patrons had left.  The woman had many options as to what to do and chose to do nothing but sit there and let other people bear the brunt.  The owner was exasperated at the position into which this woman placed her, and I would have been, too.

 

As far as "cursing at a 2-year-old" goes, nowhere is there any indication that the owner was using profanity directed at the child.  Certainly true that, in her FB response, the owner did resort to that sort of gutter language, so I suppose it's possible that she directed some at the child, but I read the mother's account, and she didn't mention profanity, which I believe she certainly would have, had it happened.

 

And, speaking of profanity, anybody else here remember a time when folks had a great many "ing" adjectives we could use?

 

Rather than just the one.

  • Like 9

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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40 minutes of not dealing with a child is just wrong. Maybe she shouldn't have yelled, but it sounds like the parents needed to hear it and it's a reasonable possibility that calm speech might not have gotten through.

 

We know that "calm speech" didn't get through because the owner clearly states that she spoke with the parents several times, and they did nothing.  Inexcusable.

  • Like 6

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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I won't argue that the owner was right to yell at the kid, I wasn't there, but the sort of parent that already believes that the entire world thinks their precious little snowflake, and everything said snowflake does, is as wonderful as the parents think it is will respond with equal offense regardless of whether you yell or ask politely and quietly. Either way, you've suggested their perfect little angel is less than perfect and questioned their parenting ability. Doesn't matter if you actually did either of those things, that's how they'll see it. It's really a no win situation so at some point you just have to do what's best for your other customers.

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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And let's not forget, it wasn't just Mom, Dad was there, too.  

 

Two adults, one child.  Hmmmm.....lots of options available to responsible parents. 

 

One parent could have easily taken the child outside for a walk (I believe umbrellas exist in Maine), or to their car, or home (or hotel or vacation rental since I believe they were vacationing).  While the other parent waited on getting the order to-go.

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Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't even dare take my kids out if they were not capable of behaving and in turn, not disturbing others around us.

 

Quite frankly, that the owner (or patrons for that matter, had this occurred and I was eating there after 20 minutes I am sure even I would have said something!) took so long to address it is curious, perhaps it took that long for her to boil and in turn, explode....

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You dont let your kid scream for 40 minutes. The 75 other people eating there at that time came for food and an experience, NOT to hear a kid scream for 40 mins.

You can not enjoy your PAID meal when a kids screaming!

Look my son is autistic and I had plenty of screaming when he was younger, I would have taken him out of there within 5 mins.

 

The parents were abusive for not letting her have her pancakes

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Wawa Sizzli FTW!

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 I'll fess up.

 

My parents taught my brother and me table manners and we dined out regularly at an early age. Perfect young children we were because I do remember getting compliments from people and desserts on the house. But one night the planets oddly aligned and my brother and I, for the first and only time, were just way too loud and disruptive. After issuing warning my father walked us out of the restaurant, gave us a swat on our behinds and a good talking to then made us apologize to the owner and diners around us for ruining their dinner. We died from embarrassment. The owner wanted to give us ice cream later and Daddy said "No, we didn't deserve it." He was right.

 

It never happened again and now I have no problem correcting other peoples children or shaming the parents when they refuse to discipline their "no-necked monsters", a favorite term of mine that parents seem to take offense to, Once a kid was bounding around a dining room almost tripping a waitress carrying food. I corrected the no-necked monster and the mother said "How dare I call him that!", I said "How dare you let him act that way in public. Shame on you." People clapped as the ill-mannered family quickly finished and left.

 

I'll support the owner on this one.


Edited by Susie Q (log)
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My parents taught my brother and me table manners and we dined out regularly at an early age. Perfect young children we were because I do remember getting compliments from people and desserts on the house. But one night the planets oddly aligned and my brother and I, for the first and only time, were just way too loud and disruptive. After issuing warning my father walked us out of the restaurant, gave us a swat on our behinds and a good talking to then made us apologize to the owner and diners around us for ruining their dinner. We died from embarrassment. The owner wanted to give us ice cream later and Daddy said "No, we didn't deserve it." He was right.

I agree with this - my two children were taken to restaurants hundreds of times, almost from birth, and I remember taking them outside on the rare occasion when they were disruptive or unsettled. It is not hard to do this, but in this case it was beyond the intellect of the parents to reason that 40+ minutes of crying was unacceptable.

I would not have lasted anywhere near that long before strenuously advising the parents to adjust the behavior of their errant offspring and conjecturing that leaving the scene might be a valid strategy.

Simon

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I, and seemingly most people, side with the owner, and to be perfectly honest, I can't understand for the life of me how anyone would side otherwise.

 

I mean come on, as others have pointed out, 40 minutes? Nevermind disrupting the meals of dozens of others, where is the discipline from the parents? If I was acting like an entitled shit, or on the flip side, was miserable and screaming, my parents would have done something about it, either way. I'm from Maine, a little rain never hurt me - pretty sure if the parents decided to take the little one out for a bit, it would have been possible.

 

You have a screaming and undisciplined child, ruining the meals and time of many others. That's inconsiderate, and probably teaching the little one it's ok to just keep screaming. It's only a matter of time until someone reaches their boiling point.

 

Little surprised at how big this story got. To me it's a no-brainer.

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Cheese - milk's leap toward immortality.

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I want to add to this conversation that there are times when people on the other side of the disruption need to be a little more understanding as well. Yes, a baby crying  or a kid screaming or a person with a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to control or to understand some of their actions can be disruptive and there are setting where the parents need to deal with the situation but a lot of people are instantly annoyed or rude in those situations. If the parents are attempting to solve the problem, relax a little and allow them to do so without making them feel like they should never leave the house with their child.

 

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It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I want to add to this conversation that there are times when people on the other side of the disruption need to be a little more understanding as well. Yes, a baby crying  or a kid screaming or a person with a disability that makes it difficult or impossible for them to control or to understand some of their actions can be disruptive and there are setting where the parents need to deal with the situation but a lot of people are instantly annoyed or rude in those situations. If the parents are attempting to solve the problem, relax a little and allow them to do so without making them feel like they should never leave the house with their child.

Probably shouldn't answer for other people but I can't help but feel that most folks agree with this. I know I do.

Within reason.

But we are not talking about that. We are talking forty minutes of disruption. That is some people's whole meal.

At some point, the responsibility shifts to the parents.

I think I'll save at least a little bit of my sympathy for a single mother working as a waitress whose tips might have been negatively impacted from irritated patrons leaving early.

  • Like 4

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Yelling at a two year old is not likely to have the desired effect. Yelling at the parents, however, I am fully on board with. They should have left after the first five minutes or so and got the kid some food somewhere else. I wonder what's up with that poor kid that it was screaming for 40 minutes - my kiddo is autistic and experienced some severe meltdowns when he was younger, but there's no way he could have sustained it for that amount of time.

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"There is nothing like a good tomato sandwich now and then."

-Harriet M. Welsch

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40 minutes of a screaming child is too much for anyone to handle.  The child's parents need to act like parents.  After about five minutes I would ask the parents to take care of the child.  If they refuse or did not handle it ask them to leave.

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