My husband and I have been discussing this topic at length since it was brought up a week or so ago.
We are the parents of a 3-year-old, an incredibly well-behaved 3-year-old that we would take anywhere.
That being said, we would not take her to a fine dining establishment, and we would support a ban on children in one.
I agree that we as parents need to teach our children proper etiquette and manners, but the point is MANY PARENTS DON’T! And why should the patrons in a restaurant suffer because of lack of parenting?
My husband and I were celebrating a milestone, at a very upscale restaurant, and for the whole meal we were so fortunate enough to listen to a 4-year-old screaming because they didn’t serve Mac and Cheese, his younger sister running around the restaurant and yelling. When we asked the server about having the family asked to look after their children he replied that they had been, but that they were also paying customers.
In today’s day and age, where parents spend less time parenting and teaching and more time friending and hanging with their children, it is harder and harder to go any restaurant without dealing with this. I sure as heck don’t want to pay $150 for a meal that I have to listen to the above happen.
That being said, I have no issue with children in restaurants if it is a family restaurant. I’m not talking McDonald’s, and other fast food places, I’m referring to places like Kelsey’s, or East Side Mario’s, where they actually have a children’s menu, and crayons for children. When I go to a place like that, I expect children, and am not upset when they become upset. It happens.
With so many places to eat, I wonder why parents take their small children to upscale dining establishments.
I know occasionally for many parent’s, myself included, that childcare can be an issue, especially when in another city visiting. On these occasions we just haven’t gone, we are upfront and honest with the people who invited us, that we don’t think it’s appropriate for our daughter to attend this function as she is only 3. That we wouldn’t want her to disrupt any of the other patrons. Simple.
I applaud restaurants for setting age limits, if they don’t, and ask families to leave because of unruly children, they are automatically the ‘bad guy’, not the family with the children. By setting an age limit, there are no bad guys, children just aren’t allowed. If parents don’t like it, then don’t frequent that restaurant on Date Night. It’s simple.
Just my two cents.
What Do You Think?