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How Does Your Familiy Handle Going Out To Eat? - Page 3

post #41 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
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.
It was 25 years ago so I imagine things have changed The only buffet we have in this area is the "Chinese" buffet and it is definitely. not. good.

Totally OT....but funny. My dh travels a lot for work and often has to eat with others. He had never been to a buffet-like restaurant until a coworker took him to a Golden Corral. He was trying to tell me over the phone where they went to eat and he kept insisting it was called "Golden Trough". I just could not believe a restaurant would be named that. He insisted it was so and that it was a clever name seeing as it was a buffet. So I googled "buffet" and found the real name. I still giggle every time we pass one while travelling.
post #42 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christi View Post
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.:
We actually have made a rule that we do not eat out with other families with kids. It gives dd ideas that would have never occured to her.
post #43 of 77
We've worked hard on building up to getting Abby to sit at the table and act polite so that we can ALL enjoy our meal. When she was about 2, we would get a highchair, but keep her in the booth with one of us until food was served. Then she was expected to "sit" for a relatively short period compared to a full meal. If she got rowdy before we ate, we did the walk, go outside, check out fish, etc.

Now at 3 she can sit nicely in a high chair or booster and talk with us (this made a big difference too, when we make a point to include her, she behaves better.) She knows that if she does not respect our expectations, we go to the car, (the other parent gets our meals to go) and sit in our seats while waiting for the other parent.

She also understands now that any jumping, running, yelling or crying happens away from the booth. If she is getting antsy, I usually take her to "change" her in the bathroom, so that she gets a trip to the bathroom and a chance to run around a bit before being subjected to restaurant expectations again. Now that she is older, she will ask to be "changed" even when she is dry, because she knows what it really means.
It is kind of a nice code of "Mommy, I am about lose it, can you please help me get some energy out!"

It took a lot of work and a year of interrupted meals and leaving early, but NOW we can enjoy a 60-90 minute meal together as a family.
post #44 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennisee View Post
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.
Okay ... but, also according to the OP, the kid *was* in fact jumping up and down, not simply standing still in the booth. I think the manager's request was phrased that way to avoid saying "Hey lady, tell your kid to knock it off" -- he probably thought that making it about the booth rather than the kid's behavior would soften his comment some.
post #45 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeBeans View Post
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.


As attached parents, we should know what our children are developmentally capable of handling. IMNSHO it is selfish for parents to drag children to restaurants if it is not also pleasant for the children and the other people in the restaurant. That means the children need to be able to be safe and respectful while enjoying themselves. Standing on furniture that is not meant to be stood on, running around in places that are not meant for running around, etc. is not respectful behavior for people of ANY age. It is different than, say, dropping some food on the floor, adjusting positions frequently while (mostly) sitting, banging forks on the table, even crawling under the table (although the ick factor gets me there). It is also not respectful to expect a child to sit perfectly still and quiet for an hour. If we expect respect for ourselves and our children, we also need to be respectful of others and teach our children to be the same.
post #46 of 77
To the OP, I think the manager was well within his rights given that he is the manager, responsible for the property and the experience of his customers. Your friend reacted abruptly. Not knowing her daughter, I don't know if she had any choice but to leave, but she could have done so nicely (you could have taken the food to go, she could have maybe offered an apology, etc.)

We go out to eat fairly often. We make use of the highchairs & boosters provided and expect the kids to sit while we are at the booth. Energy is either focused on things at the booth or taken elsewhere like pp have mentioned (walk to the bathroom, time outside, look at the fish/pictures/whatever).
post #47 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmommy View Post
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).
I bet it is cause it is new or maybe location. The Golden Corrals in the cities I have lived have been *mad houses*! We live in a very buffet crazy place (people like to eat alot for cheap); we don't avoid them entirely, but I don't at all find them restful places to eat.
post #48 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ilovelife View Post


As attached parents, we should know what our children are developmentally capable of handling. IMNSHO it is selfish for parents to drag children to restaurants if it is not also pleasant for the children and the other people in the restaurant. That means the children need to be able to be safe and respectful while enjoying themselves. Standing on furniture that is not meant to be stood on, running around in places that are not meant for running around, etc. is not respectful behavior for people of ANY age. It is different than, say, dropping some food on the floor, adjusting positions frequently while (mostly) sitting, banging forks on the table, even crawling under the table (although the ick factor gets me there). It is also not respectful to expect a child to sit perfectly still and quiet for an hour. If we expect respect for ourselves and our children, we also need to be respectful of others and teach our children to be the same.
Thank you for so eloquently putting into words exactly how I feel about it.
post #49 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper View Post
We actually have made a rule that we do not eat out with other families with kids. It gives dd ideas that would have never occured to her.
I don't think this is rude or unreasonable at all. We go out with friends who have the same rules we do. We can play with bouncing, jumping kids at the park - no biggie.
post #50 of 77
Hmmm, I haven't really thought about a little one standing in a booth as being so bad - maybe mine is just small, but if he sat down, his head would be bumping into the table. If he stands, he is about the same height as I am. We sit when the food comes, but I have never been in a booth that was so delicate . . . now I'm worried w/so many in opposition!

I think if it can handle adults sliding in and out it will be able to handle a kid. But obviously the op is not comfortable w/the situation, nor was the manager, who was basically telling the woman to control her kid. I probably would have wanted to leave out of embarrassment, and although she is "angry" w/ the manager, I suspect she was embarrassed as well.

Not that she should be: if the place was empty and the food hadn't come, my 18 mos ds would probably be standing in the booth next to me, being spotted by me, waving a spoon around (or walking around outside the building, or walking around looking at pics on the walls, or washing our hands in the bathroom - probably all of these things in rapid succession). We don't go out often, but I have always been more worried about the mess we leave behind . . .
post #51 of 77
I used to bus tables - the little messes really aren't much of a problem - it is appreciated if you will put the sugar packets away though
post #52 of 77
Jumping toddler on furniture isn't only going to tear the vinyl but springs. It isn't my furniture, it wasn't design for jumping, is my responciblity to teach my kids to respect other's property.

I would also worry about my jumping 2 year old bugging the people in the next booth.

I don't disagree with the mother leaving but how she left. If I knew my 2 year old couldn't sit I would leave. It would be to much of me to ask my child abilities. I would ask them to make my order to go or see if a walk outside would help. My dh and I have on many occassions taken our children for a walk while we waited for food.
post #53 of 77
I think some of the disagreement is coming from how people are picturing "jumping" and "running around." Some people seem to be picturing children jumping as vigorously as if they were on a trampoline, cutting off old ladies as they run around, and screaming at the top of their lungs--which would be completely inappropriate. I'm picturing the way my DD used to bounce at 2 years old. It was all knees and very gentle; her feet never left the surface she was standing on, and I could barely feel it sitting next to her. It honestly surprises me that people would have considered us rude, and now I'm wondering how many people were silently tsk-tsking us.

Maybe my perception is colored by living in a small town? There is one restaurant here, and we eat there often. My DD will stand in the booth to look around and say hi to the people behind us. She will walk over to the corner to look at the singing Santa and the plants. People here not only don't have a problem with these things, but they comment on how nice it is to have kids around. They engage her in conversation and help her turn on the Santa. I've never gotten the impression that her presence was unwelcome.
post #54 of 77
I'm curious as to how people define "family-friendly" restaurants? I don't think not letting a child run around and/or scream and/or jump on things means they aren't family-friendly. I also think we all need to remember how lawsuit-happy Americans can be and how extremely aware resaturant owners are of this fact.

Another question: if someone's toddler were running around (or even NOT running around but just standing on a chair or in a booth) and the toddler fell and cut her/his head and required stitches, would you hold that restaurant responsible? I would not and I know many of you mamas would not, but we all know that there are people who would, indeed, expect that restaurant owner to take responsibility for that injury. My biggest fear is that my toddler could walk up behind someone and that person, like a waiter with hot food, would not know that she's there and suddenly turn or stop and some kind of collision would take place. If she got hurt that would be MY responsibility but I'm sure the waiter would feel just awful if something happened even if it wasn't his fault.

I think taking toddlers to restaurants can be a tricky decision but one that needs to take into account the other people including the restaurant owner and the other patrons. We may think certain toddler behavior is cute and adorable but others may not. If another patron would ask you to keep your toddler under some kind of minimum control would you consider that an anti-child comment? The other side of that situation is that the patron might consider you an irresponsible parent. Jennisee, standing in a booth and saying hi IS wonderful and I would love it. But I would not love it if your dd was running around and screaming while you watched and took no action because that's just natural behavior for her age.
post #55 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
I'm curious as to how people define "family-friendly" restaurants?
I think of such a restaurant as one that makes an attempt to attract families. They have a kids' menu, high chairs and booster seats, seats that are sturdy and stain-proof, and a relatively short wait for food. They expect that a toddler may stand in a booth, that a child may sit on his or her knees, that a baby may drop food on the floor, and that the kids may not always speak in a quiet whisper.

Quote:
Another question: if someone's toddler were running around (or even NOT running around but just standing on a chair or in a booth) and the toddler fell and cut her/his head and required stitches, would you hold that restaurant responsible?
That would depend on a lot of factors. If "running around" means "walking around," then I would question why the child fell. If the child slipped on an unmarked wet floor or tripped on a hole in the linoleum, I would hold the restaurant as responsible as I would if an adult fell.

However, if "running around" means "running quickly instead of walking," then I wouldn't hold the restaurant responsible. I'm not really sure what that has to do with this thread, though. The child in the OP wasn't running and no one on this thread has advocated letting children run. I feel like the running part is being used as a straw man argument. My issue is with the idea that a 2 year old shouldn't be allowed to stand.

Quote:
If another patron would ask you to keep your toddler under some kind of minimum control would you consider that an anti-child comment?
It would depend upon what the specific behavior was and how they phrased the request. "Could you ask your child to stop throwing salt at me," makes perfect sense. "Would you shut that brat up? I'm tired of listening to her talk about Dora," would be out-of-line.

Quote:
Jennisee, standing in a booth and saying hi IS wonderful and I would love it.
That's great, but people in this thread have said that a child standing in a booth is rude and destructive.

Quote:
But I would not love it if your dd was running around and screaming while you watched and took no action because that's just natural behavior for her age.
Again, I don't understand where this part is coming from. If you read my posts, I advocated for no such thing.
post #56 of 77
Ok, this JUST happened to me today and my family. We were at a very busy restaurant and ds asked to go there. We are seriously watching our money and this was very much a treat. Well it turned out at least for the first half to be a 'treatment'.

A woman was there with her two kids, the eldest being around 4 and the youngest around two. She had an elderly women with her also. The whole first half of our 'treat' was ruined by two screaming kids walking/jumping on the booths, and their horseplay was interjected with absentminded, "Honey, don't do that" "Get down", not even looking at her kids when she was saying this. Oh and when they were finally leaving, she just smiled indulgently at them as they were creating havoc around them.

Even my ds, 5.5 said after they left "I'm so glad they are gone! It is so much nicer now that we don't have to see that!" When they left, you wouldn't believe how much quieter the whole restaurant was! They were more than half the noise there and they were packed. I felt worse for the woman who had to sit next to the jumping/screaming kids as it was one long booth and they finally just up and paid for their meals and left.

This was just nothing but bad manners and sloppy parenting. And how tedious to sit through! It was good for a laugh though, but what a shame that our once in awhile treat had to be like this - with just putting up with the baloney until they left. What about MY families rights not to have to put up with that kind of behaviour? Oh had to edit to add while it might be 'normal' for have an active toddler and not to expect them to sit though a restaurant meal, it is also very 'normal' to have one that will. We've been going to nice restaurants from day one and 99% of the time ds is fine and when he's being rambunctious just a gentle word or two will bring him around. I know LOTS of other kids like this too, so it isn't that he is one in a million. I do think that, however, it IS unreasonable to ask your kids to behave in restaurants if they are not used to it in the home. If they are allowed to walk over kitchen tables at home (oh yes I've seen this), and on and on I think Yes it is an unreasonable request, and in which case you stay home.
post #57 of 77
No one on this thread is advocating for screaming and horseplay. Not one person. My opinions are being twisted into straw men, and I think I should bow out.
post #58 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montessorimom8 View Post
What about MY families rights not to have to put up with that kind of behaviour?
While I totally agree with your post overall, and I am very pro-removing children if they are getting squirrelly at a restaurant, I did feel the need to point out that there is no "right" to not being around noisy and rude people. This goes for people on their cell phones, deaf elders who speak too loud, and young people talking about their nocturnal adventures at the booth next door.

However I really do agree and I think it is annoying your treat had that ambiance to it.
post #59 of 77
Quote:
Originally Posted by verde View Post
I'm curious as to how people define "family-friendly" restaurants?
Well, there are "family-friendly" and there are "Kid-Friendly"...those are not legal terminology by the way, just what *my* definitions are

Family Friendly to me is like a PP suggested, they have high chairs, booster seats and a Kid's Menu and generally the kids are not expected to run and jump around without Management getting angry at the Parents.

Kid Friendly- Is Chuck E Cheese, Joe's Crab Shack, Rainforest Cafe (you may have to google these restaurants if you are not familiar with them)...these are taylored to kids and Kids ARE expected to jump, run around and such.

Many may not consider CEC a "restaurant" but I do. Joe's Crab Shack has an Interactive Playground attached to the restaurant and Rainforest Cafe is just a whole new experience (interactive animals) for kids in itself.
post #60 of 77
We only take our young spirited kids to restaurants together (dh and I) so that one of us can take them for a walk between the time that we order and the time the food arrives (it's pretty unnatural to have to sit at a table while someone cooks your food, we don't do it at home!) and again (the other parent takes a turn) after we are done until the check is paid. We consider that to be fair to the other patrons of the restaurant...or we just don't go out.

I dream of opening a great restaurant with an outdoor playground (supervised with a GD caregiver of course!) so adults and kids needs can all be met.
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