or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › How Does Your Familiy Handle Going Out To Eat?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How Does Your Familiy Handle Going Out To Eat? - Page 2

post #21 of 77
When we go out to eat we generally target places that are marketed as being family friendly, and try to go during off hours. And we NEVER EVER go during a time that they might be tired. We always talk about expectations before we get out of the car and try to phrase them in a blanketed (everyone, not just kids) and positive way (in other words I don't say "we are not allowed to stand up on our seats" I say "we're expected to sit down while we're in there" - no sense in sticking an idea into their head that they might not have come up with on their own ). I frequently ask for a booth, if they have one in a less busy spot, great. When we're around alot of people the kids want to talk, and inevitably there are some old people there that want to chat with us all through the meal, and I like my privacy and bieng able to focus on my kids. We always order drinks and an appetizer first so they don't have to wait so long while everyone around us is eating. And the biggest thing that we do is interact. I know it sounds stupid, but when I chat with them just as I would an adult with me, or point out funny/cool/weird stuff to them, it makes it alot easier.

Fwiw, I wouldn't let my dc jump on the seat. I would think it's just rude, and probably not too safe.
post #22 of 77
We go to fairly loud places, go early so that we get seated right away, bring snacks/toys, order right away, eat sort of quickly, then let the kids run around outside for a bit before getting back in the car.

It works great so far. We've gone out to eat every Friday night with another family for the past 5 years -- there are 3 kids total (soon to be 4!) and it's never been a problem. All 3 kids are fine with sitting and eating/talking for <30 minutes and then getting to play with each other.

I wouldn't let my son jump on a restaurant seat -- it's disrespectful of the owner's property, and it could disturb the people around us (especially if the booths are connected -- the person on the other side would probably not appreciate the bouncing). I would have been mortified too if my friend responded to a polite request the way the OP's did.
post #23 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy View Post
Here is how it would go:

Manager:
Please don't let him stand on the booths [I will make up some lame excuse that is clearly not true] - - Um we just had them covered an a 20 pound baby jumping on them will clearly tear them to shreds.

Me(more likely DW): Jet, please take off your shoes. (to manager) There ya go, have a nice day.

If he pressed further, we would probably leave.
---------------------
My suspicion is he did not actually think the child could break the seat, but he thought he could/should/would say something to exert his authority on my child. It isn't really his fault, society has conditioned us to think that we MUST CONTROL our kids all the time. Arbitrary controll struggles are something I avoid with my children.

There is nothing better than short circuiting their lame excuse for trying to control the situation... The shoe removal says: "I don't believe you have a real reason to make this request so I will call your bluff."

And for the record, any restraunt or manager that has anti-family policies deserves to throw away food and lose business. (I am assuming a place with red sparkley booths is supposedly "family friendly"). Any manager worth his own spit knows any time you confront people you risk losing business, and no matter how sheepishly or polite you are when you are making a rude statement, it is still rude. His statement was "Control your child" not, "save our booth".

I agree, and I like the suggestion about taking shoes off.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Weeelll, I make my kids sit, because I don't enjoy eating with a jumping 2 year old with me, and frankly, I don't go out to eat with others who let their 2 years stand on chairs. Only because *I* dislike that atmosphere when trying to eat. I actually hate buffets, because I want to sit and talk, not take turns running for food. We do try to go to places that serve quickly, and we do often order an appetizer - I've been pregnant or lactating for a great % of our marriage, so I'm always as starved anyway. (Maybe we'll share and appetizer then share a meal.)

Personally, I think your friend was very rude to speak for you, and if it was me, I would have stayed an ate with my own kid.
Well, I suppose if I yelled and slapped my almost 2 yr old every time she stood up, she might stay sitting down, but otherwise, not gonna happen. I don't let her run around the restaurant though. And whnever she starts to get out of control jumping (as in more than normal bouncing aro7und, I have her sit for a hwort time, or I redirect her. BUt sitting thru the whole meal doens not happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
When my DD was 2, I wouldn't have been able to make her sit down in the booth--and the manager specified sitting, not just no jumping--without physically restraining her and causing a loud tantrum. I also would have had no choice but cancel our order and leave.

I just don't get the "toddler shoes" thing either. I haven't met many 2 year olds with track cleats. I would be more concerned about adults with sharp things in their pockets--pocket knives, pens, wallet chains, cell phone antennas, etc.

As for the jumping, if it was heavy-duty, out-of-control jumping, I could maybe see how the manager might be concerned, but for normal 2 yo bouncing, I think the manager would probably be overreacting. A lot of people do have unreasonable expectations of toddlers and expect them to act like quiet little adults.
This. I could take her shoes ooff, if that was an issue . (I've never encountered a booth that was covered in any material easy to tear).

I get a booth whenever I can.

The last time we went out, we sat in a booth. Took turns getting food from the smorg. She ate, and also stood up & crawled on me. Tried to get out of the booth. No luck, so crawled under the table to go see Grandma, and try her luck there. Couldn't get out that way so back to me.

She wasn't bothering anyone else, or doing any damage to restaurant property. She also wasn't doing anything dangerous.

So yeah, I'd have been choked if the manager complained. She's 2 for crying out loud. Normal 2 yr olds don't sit quietly with their hands in their lap for any length of time.

She wasn't running wild, or causing any disturbance. I dont' blame her for wriggling AT. ALL. For one thing, there were no boosters, so she couldt sit comfortably, and she hasn't gotten the hang of kneeling yet. (I think she finds it uncomfortable. I do, so I can see why). There were highchairs, but she doesn't use a highchair anymore.
post #24 of 77
30 minute meals?!

We do 90 minutes at least.
Home or out.

How do you digest?:
post #25 of 77
I agree with the PP that there would be no way I could get my DD to quit jumping without a tantrum. We've pretty much given up on any restaurant that doesn't have some nice outlet for her energy (fountain to splash in, patio to run around on, etc). I don't think it was at all unjustified for your friend to cancel her order. She knows her child best, and assuming things about her child's behavior is wrong on anyone's part. She shouldn't have canceled your order, I don't think.
post #26 of 77
It sounds like some people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner accept that they're not old enough to sit through dinners out and just don't go or only go to extremely family-friendly places, and other people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner think that everyone else in the restaurant should just have to put up with it because that's what kids do.

I guess I just don't agree -- I consider other people's enjoyment when I'm out, not *just* my kid's need to explore. Yes, I let him do plenty of exploring in other situations, and I certainly don't expect 2-year-olds to sit with their hands in their lap, but, as George Costanza said, "We live in a society, people!" If I was in a booth and the kid directly behind me was bouncing excessively (thereby bouncing my seat too) I'd be annoyed, and if the parents acted like I should just put up with it because they wanted to honor their child's desire to bounce at that exact moment, I'd be doubly annoyed.

And to me it doesn't matter whether the kid's shoes could or couldn't actually harm the booth's cover -- the point is that that's not a respectful way to treat furniture -- I really don't see the big oppression in having a "seats aren't for standing" rule.
post #27 of 77
I do think your friend over-reacted...as to how our family deals...DS#2 brings his backpack full of things to do...my boob generally pacifies DD () and DS#1 is pretty much self-sufficient at restaurants.

On the rare occasion that one of our kids are just willfully disobeying and causing all kinds of hell (like freaking out, screaming, yelling NO or whatever) after attempting distraction, hugs, jumping jacks outside or whatever, we let them know that the consequences of their behavior will be removal to the car. If they continue, the consequence is that DP or I will sit with them in the car while the rest of the family continues their meal inside. I can only think of 2x we've had to do this....to our kids, it's the WORST THING EVER to know their other family members are doing something that they cannot!

That said, we are also a family who doesn't allow excessive jumping in restaurants, crawling under table, etc. But then again, DS#2 wants to be JUST LIKE his big brother so he generally imitates him at meals so we haven't really had those issues since DS#1 was really little..thank goodness!
post #28 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by limabean View Post
It sounds like some people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner accept that they're not old enough to sit through dinners out and just don't go or only go to extremely family-friendly places, and other people whose kids need to bounce and run throughout dinner think that everyone else in the restaurant should just have to put up with it because that's what kids do.

I guess I just don't agree -- I consider other people's enjoyment when I'm out, not *just* my kid's need to explore. Yes, I let him do plenty of exploring in other situations, and I certainly don't expect 2-year-olds to sit with their hands in their lap, but, as George Costanza said, "We live in a society, people!" If I was in a booth and the kid directly behind me was bouncing excessively (thereby bouncing my seat too) I'd be annoyed, and if the parents acted like I should just put up with it because they wanted to honor their child's desire to bounce at that exact moment, I'd be doubly annoyed.

And to me it doesn't matter whether the kid's shoes could or couldn't actually harm the booth's cover -- the point is that that's not a respectful way to treat furniture -- I really don't see the big oppression in having a "seats aren't for standing" rule.

Since I mentioned bouncing, I assume this was directed at me. My child was NOT bouncing enough that the people itn the next booth would be bothered. There's no way she wouldn't have had her feet on the booth at some point, as there was no booster seat. And before you try to tell me it wasn't meant for children to be there, they DID have highchairs.

And I flat out disagree about it just being rude to stand on restaurant furniture. Now she wasn't standing much. She'd stand up tp change position, I'd pull her back to sitting or kneeling or on my lap, but I couldn't always stop her from standing.

Mostly she would crawl off my side of the both, go under the table to Grandma, crawl up & sit there, (stand up to turn arond to sit down) then crawl back over to me, up beside me, stand up & turn around, and U"d usually sit her down gain for a few minutes.

The only people this could possibly have bothered were my parents and I, and we were fine with it, so it's really nobody's business.

I have never personally seen furniture in ANY restaurant that a toddler would damage climbing on. Not saying it doesn't exist, but I've certainly never seen it.


Luckily, the staff weren't anti-children, they were actually really nice. And I picked up as much as I could of food my daughter dropped, and left a big tip, like I always do. (even though it was smorg)

As to the op, if management couldn't deal with my child standing up at all, then I'd have to leave. Either she's gonna wriggle & bounce some, or she's gonna scream & cry the whole time. So it's obviously not the restaurant for me to be in, so yes, I'd leave.
post #29 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by au lait View Post
30 minute meals?!

We do 90 minutes at least.
Home or out.

How do you digest?:
*burp*
post #30 of 77
Interesting thread. I have a 2 y/o that is difficult to take to restaurants too. Like a lot of PPs, I also choose kid-friendly and buffet-style restaurants and bring tons of toys/distractions. Still, that generally doesn't buy me enough time to eat a full meal. I have to give her a lot of lee-way or face a major disturbance that would result in our leaving prematuring. While I wouldn't let her do any all-out jumping on a booth, I do let her stand (no shoes - more out of concern for getting booth seat dirty than anything else). I don't let her leave the area of our table, but I do let her crawl under it. I'm not sure how that could really disturb anyone but our own party. I also let her stack the little jam containers and such on the table. Again, I've never considered this disrespectful to others. If she starts to cry or complain loudly about anything and I can't reign it in within about 20 seconds, I take her outside until I can settle her.

I try to pick up as much as possible after DD, but there's inevitably going to still be more mess than I'd like to leave for the waitress. So, like another pp, I also tip well.

When I find some time, I think I might start another thread just asking what other people would consider disruptive or disrepectful behaviour from children in other public places. Because I sometimes wonder if I am walking a fine line in some public establishments, like stores, and wish I could step back and see it from another point of view.
post #31 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelcat View Post
Since I mentioned bouncing, I assume this was directed at me.
I was thinking of the OP's post -- I should have used the word "jumping." I guess I was thinking of how my seat would bounce if the kid in the booth behind me were jumping up and down.

Quote:
She'd stand up to change position, I'd pull her back to sitting or kneeling or on my lap...
There's a *gigantic* difference between this and what the OP described, which was the mom letting her kid jump up and down, and then getting huffy with management when he asked her not to let him do that.
post #32 of 77
But, according to the original post, the manager didn't ask that the child not jump up and down (although maybe that story is changing?). If he had, this would be an entirely different thread. He asked that the child not stand because toddler shoes somehow cause damage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dubfam View Post
The manager came over and asked VERY nicely if we would please not allow our kids (hers was the only one, but he was being nice) to stand on the booths. He explained that they had just been recovered, and that toddler shoes very easily rip the vinyl.
If I was in a restaurant that purported to be family friendly, as I've always known "diners" to be, I would also have been surprised to find out that the seats are made of fragile material and that toddlers aren't allowed to stand in booths. I'm not saying that the guy was a jerk, just that I understand the woman's frustration and decision to leave, and I feel bad that she is being bashed on a public board for it.
post #33 of 77
A little ot, but I'm amazed that people have listed buffet style restaurants as a good thing. We avoid them like the plague. A buffet style restaurant was the only one we've ever had to leave due to unreasonable...energy levels :
post #34 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaggyDaddy View Post
Here is how it would go:

Manager:
Please don't let him stand on the booths [I will make up some lame excuse that is clearly not true] - - Um we just had them covered an a 20 pound baby jumping on them will clearly tear them to shreds.

Me(more likely DW): Jet, please take off your shoes. (to manager) There ya go, have a nice day.

If he pressed further, we would probably leave.
---------------------
My suspicion is he did not actually think the child could break the seat, but he thought he could/should/would say something to exert his authority on my child. It isn't really his fault, society has conditioned us to think that we MUST CONTROL our kids all the time. Arbitrary controll struggles are something I avoid with my children.

There is nothing better than short circuiting their lame excuse for trying to control the situation... The shoe removal says: "I don't believe you have a real reason to make this request so I will call your bluff."

And for the record, any restraunt or manager that has anti-family policies deserves to throw away food and lose business. (I am assuming a place with red sparkley booths is supposedly "family friendly"). Any manager worth his own spit knows any time you confront people you risk losing business, and no matter how sheepishly or polite you are when you are making a rude statement, it is still rude. His statement was "Control your child" not, "save our booth".
:

You're kidding?!??!!

"Family friendly" should mean that a child can do anything they want, anytime, anywhere, regardless of the other diners and the physical property of the establishment???

You bet she should "control her child."

Sheesh.
post #35 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lilmonsters View Post
A little ot, but I'm amazed that people have listed buffet style restaurants as a good thing. We avoid them like the plague. A buffet style restaurant was the only one we've ever had to leave due to unreasonable...energy levels :
Not to mention icky food....... My grandfather used to eat at one every single day and made us all go there any time we visited. I remember crying at the table because I was SOOO HUNGRY but could not choke down the warm, congealed mac-n-cheese and glazed swedish meatballs. Maybe they have improved over time?
post #36 of 77
I get really irritated by parents who think that the world should cater to their two year olds' energies.

If your two year old can't sit politely (and this is not a surprise, many if not most can't), the answer is to NOT TAKE YOUR TWO YEAR OLD INTO SIT DOWN RESTAURANTS, not take your two year old there, let her disturb everyone and damage property and then act offended if people object.
post #37 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3lilmonsters View Post
A little ot, but I'm amazed that people have listed buffet style restaurants as a good thing. We avoid them like the plague. A buffet style restaurant was the only one we've ever had to leave due to unreasonable...energy levels :
Really? At the Buffet we go to every Sunday (Golden Corral), we experience the total opposite...it's very subdued, not too loud, not too quiet. Kind of a low hum. Probably because it's still pretty new (not quite a year old).

The food is always very good, fresh vegetables and fresh fruit. The selection is outstanding. DS thoroughly enjoys going there. Otherwise, we wouldn't eat there obviously.

Another point to consider on how a restaurant runs is based on Management. It always goes back to Management.
post #38 of 77
When my son was younger, we simply didn't eat out much ... or if we did we sat outside on the patio so he could walk around a bit. Most of the time when we did go out, someone ended up playing with my son out in the car. He isn't a big eater, and would only last so long playing with little toys at the table. I would NEVER let him jump around, or even wander around a restaurant .. I don't think it's safe for him, and it's rude to other patrons. So we'd leave and play outside or in the car once he couldn't sit and play.

Now he's 4.5 years old, and we can pretty much eat out anywhere, anytime. I do still bring things for him to play with, but I also make him sit in the booth or chair until we are done. He's developmentally able to do that now, and going to preschool has really helped since they were expected to sit at the lunch table.

As far as your situation, I would have been embarassed by your friend's behavior as well. I certainly understand not being able to get your kid to sit down, or sit still at 2 years old (mine sure wouldn't have!!!) but that does not mean you can disturb other patrons, or ruin restaurant property.
post #39 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
I remember crying at the table because I was SOOO HUNGRY but could not choke down the warm, congealed mac-n-cheese and glazed swedish meatballs. Maybe they have improved over time?
Wow I'm sorry to hear that. I can't vouch for every region obviously, but the Buffet restaurant we frequent is nothing like you described.
post #40 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
I absolutely believe a toddler jumping could tear the vinyl on those shiny seats, so let's not cast aspersions on the manager, mmkay?

As it is, we have a very difficult time with our 2.5 year old, getting him to sit down. We ALWAYS request a booth because it's easier to get him to sit snuggled next to one of us than in his own chair or booster.

We do NOT allow him to behave like a maniac. Kids will be kids, but we need to teach him to be respectful of other people's space esp in a place like a restaurant. So the meal is mostly creative redirection for him

He is not allowed to get down and run around, not allowed to squirrel around under the table, he's not allowed to turn around and stare into the table behind or next to us, and he's not allowed to stand/jump up and down.

We have been going to restaurants with him since he was a baby and have always enforced basic courtesy rules, while being respectful of his needs as well. If it's clear he CAN'T stay still, one of us will take him outside to burn off some steam. Running around outside is acceptable. Running around inside is not.


I totally agree!!! I have a friend who has always let her daughter run around. I don't like going out with her. My son doesn't understand why he has to sit down when she can run around. I have worked in restaurants before and I never liked it when children are obnoxiously running/screaming/jumping around. Think about the other people who don't want to hear it. Imagine if you wanted to have a nice dinner with out your kids for once, and someone's child next to you isn't exactly being quiet. It is the last thing that I want to hear.:
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Gentle Discipline
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Gentle Discipline › How Does Your Familiy Handle Going Out To Eat?