Babies in Restaurants — New Rules!

by Dean Hervochon on April 13, 2011

I Love Kids! But….

I personally have no problem with babies in restaurants. I love kids.

We can’t take “bad baby behavior” out on the babies, can we?  It’s not their fault if they’re screaming, running around or are sitting in the path of destruction. They’re babies — and they don’t know any better. Plus, it’s not cool to call babies assholes, so we’re going to direct all of this at their stupid, selfish parents. Ya ready?

Don't Blame the Baby!

Parents: If you take your baby to a restaurant so you can go out and enjoy a nice calm, beautiful meal, I applaud
you. You need a break. Raising kids isn’t easy nor is it for the weak of heart (if you’re raising them right!). Just like when you get a baby sitter and go out, the last thing you want to hear is a kid screaming for an extended amount of time.  Sure, kids and babies cry and yell, but if they do it for any length of time, say for over 30 seconds, remove your kid from “the scene of the crime”. Take your kids out of the public eye. Take them to the restroom, take them outside, or take them back to the car. That’s the decent thing to do for the sake of others who want peace and quiet while they’re dining out.

Was that so hard? Most people I encounter who have a screaming kid do exactly this. Bravo for you people! That is Gay Guy Approved!

sign in window: screaming children will not be tolerated

This should say: "RUDE PARENTS will not be tolerated! For crying out loud (pun intended), don't blame the kids!

Other Diners: If there is a screaming baby, don’t get your panties in a wad! Kids scream and yell and cry and throw things! I once got splashed from a creamer capsule that was smashed by the kid behind me. No big deal. They’re kids and it was really funny to see how upset his mother got! (It was only cream, I’ve had worse on me!) But…if they keep crying/acting up/running around for an extended period of time, I’m advising you to get up from your table — stay calm! — and ask someone who works in the restaurant (preferably the manager) to “offer assistance” to the parents of the child. If the parents don’t take that as a hint, then the manager should suggest that “the offenders” would be more comfortable in the bathroom or in a more secluded place in the restaurant. If that doesn’t work, you need to ask to move — and do it in a classy, non-confrontational, non-huffy way. Don’t get all territorial and righteous and act like a baby. There’s no sense getting in a fight with rude people, I can assure you. If they can’t take the social cues coming their way from the manager, they probably have a sense of entitlement that you can’t cure in one dining session. Move away from the scene of the crime.

And don’t forget, we’re all in this together…

What’s your experience with kids/parents acting up in a restaurant?

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Francisco Mimo April 25, 2011 at 2:19 pm

I hate babies in restaurant, I don’t go to chucky cheese, so why are they in a romantic restaurant ruining my dinner with my date.

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Dean Hervochon April 25, 2011 at 2:21 pm

We all know your post is a lie. You don’t go out on dates. And now we know why!

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Alexia April 26, 2011 at 10:32 am

Speaking as a woman with lots of restaurant experirnce, you are right on target with your reccomendations.

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Dean Hervochon April 30, 2011 at 9:57 am

I appreciate the comment. Thanks! —dean—

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Shannon April 30, 2011 at 8:44 am

I agree with your comments. At home I have a “naughty/thinking carpet” so when there is acting out for attention at the table (unless there is a need I can meet) my 2 year old goes and sits on the carpet to think about her actions for 2 minutes (1 minute for per age in years). when the 2 minutes are up I go over and we have a conversation about good manners at the table for example and a hug and kiss and recently due to the increase in words “sorry Mommy” (I also apologize when I do something wrong) . I have used this method in a restaurant before and it was effective (probably because it is our method at home, consistency is key). It is about having the child recognize the difference between right & wrong, acceptable & unacceptable behaviour with a conversation that explains the rational. The carpet is the consequence and the apology teaches the child to be caring and responsible for ones actions. This can build confidence and trust instead of fear and shame. Hope this helps. I have been using this method since she was about a year and she gets it & understands. Don’t under-estimate what children understand and that modeling the behaviour you expect from your kids. This is just my opinion.

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Dean Hervochon April 30, 2011 at 10:00 am

Shannon, that was a great comment! I wish more parents would take heed of this advice. Kids need boundaries, jut like dogs do. They don’t care which role they take, they just need someone to take charge, or they will! Good job on that one! Thanks —dean—

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Lauren February 21, 2012 at 12:34 pm

I generally can’t stand kids in restaurants – especially my own. Because it seems like there is something in the air in restaurants that makes even good kids go all batty. That hasn’t stopped me from dishing out my share of hairy eyeballs at other parents. My kids get one chance and then they get to sit in the car with hungry mommy…. Who is not a pleasant person.
If we can’t get a sitter, we get take out. It just isn’t worth the stress.

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Mai July 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

I am mad at the parents of these babies!!! Every time I would go into a store or restaurant or even my doctor!!! I would hear babies cry and the parents just sit there texting on their phone. It drove me out of my mind! I remember when I was about 14 I was babysitting my younger cousin who was 19 mo at the time. He started crying and I completely lost it and yelled at him. He didn’t cry until for a few hours! :D

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