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#1 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 08:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been on another mom website for years and while I got into arguments I never felt like leaving until today.

 

There was a post about not letting your child wander in a restaurant.

I probably wouldn't let my son do this in MOST situations, but the responses, which are 99% against the idea under any circumstances are absolutely breaking my heart.

"Your child isn't so sweet and precious that you can't expect others to be angry at them for saying hi and ruining their meal."

The story said that there was only one diner in the entire restaurant.

 

 

This is not the first time this kind of attitude toward children has been displayed.

 

My friend was very rude to my son a while back and I vented about it and got eaten alive with the same kind of responses.

 

Children are people, whether they're toddlers or not and they deserve respect the same as any other person.

 

I have and have always had an opinion that young children are special and innocent and wonderful. If someone can't control themselves enough to be polite to a child, even if the parent is parenting wrong, then that person is in the wrong no matter what the child did or the parent did.

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#2 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I wanted to say that I've also encountered this attitude in person when my son has said hello to people.

 

He wasn't out of line in anyway and yet they acted irritated or made comments about him being a difficult child.

 

WTF?

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#3 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 08:45 PM
 
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If you let your child wonder around the restaurant, do not be amazed when other people are upset. Many of us paid $$$ for a babysitter to have a precious night out with our husband only to have it ruined by an unruly child. Many a wait stuff spilled things and fell because of wondering toddlers.

 

 

 

 

I do not know why someone would be rude to a kid who said hello to someone . Perhaps they have mental issues or some autism disorder or perhaps hey were not in the mood for an intrusion during their dinner. Who knows. Why was your kid  wondering by himself between the tables? It is not safe.

 

Everyone is wonder full and special but life is not fair and world sometime  will be rude to your child just like it is sometime to mine.

 

No-one should be rude to the child ever. It is not child's fault if his parents can not parent and set boundaries.

 

I think people should be polite to a child, and simply say, "Hello little one, where is your mommy?" with a smile.

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#4 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 08:57 PM
 
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I let my daughter wander if the restaurant isn't too busy and she sticks close or if I can wander with her. She took off running at California Pizza Kitchen this week so I corralled her back into her chair, but at other times I've let her roam around if she's finished her food and others are still eating. If she gets more than one table away one of us will follow her, though. I would not let her badger others, get into their food, or disrupt wait staff, but I do think it's nice of other people to say hi to her. I think there's a big difference between a kid who's being unruly and one who's just being friendly. 


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#5 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 09:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My child was not the one wandering around. As I said, in MOST situations I would not let him wander around.

 

It was another woman and she let her son do it to keep him occupied because the food was taking a long time and the restaurant was empty except for one other person who was eating alone.

In that situation I don't find her choice so outrageous.

I do, however, find the response of the other patron outrageous. 

 

If I let my kid mess around in random places without watching, that would be a different situation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

If you let your child wonder around the restaurant, do not be amazed when other people are upset. Many of us paid $$$ for a babysitter to have a precious night out with our husband only to have it ruined by an unruly child. Many a wait stuff spilled things and fell because of wondering toddlers.

 

 

 

 

I do not know why someone would be rude to a kid who said hello to someone . Perhaps they have mental issues or some autism disorder or perhaps hey were not in the mood for an intrusion during their dinner. Who knows. Why was your kid  wondering by himself between the tables? It is not safe.

 

Everyone is wonder full and special but life is not fair and world sometime  will be rude to your child just like it is sometime to mine.

 

No-one should be rude to the child ever. It is not child's fault if his parents can not parent and set boundaries.

 

I think people should be polite to a child, and simply say, "Hello little one, where is your mommy?" with a smile.

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#6 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 09:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

I let my daughter wander if the restaurant isn't too busy and she sticks close or if I can wander with her. She took off running at California Pizza Kitchen this week so I corralled her back into her chair, but at other times I've let her roam around if she's finished her food and others are still eating. If she gets more than one table away one of us will follow her, though. I would not let her badger others, get into their food, or disrupt wait staff, but I do think it's nice of other people to say hi to her. I think there's a big difference between a kid who's being unruly and one who's just being friendly. 

This is EXACTLY my opinion.

 

There have been two times when my son was close to me, not wandering, not running, not being loud and simply smiled and said hi and people acted annoyed.

I find people like that (who seem to be a majority) to be jerks.

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#7 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 09:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue_Spiral View Post

 

Children are people, whether they're toddlers or not and they deserve respect the same as any other person.

 

I have and have always had an opinion that young children are special and innocent and wonderful. If someone can't control themselves enough to be polite to a child, even if the parent is parenting wrong, then that person is in the wrong no matter what the child did or the parent did.

thumbsup.gif  I wholeheartedly agree with this!!! I've also noticed the attitude that you describe among friends (not just about restaurants - like "OMG my kid is such a brat I have to get away" over completely normal age-appropriate behavior, or disrespecting/dehumanizing them in general) makes me so sad. greensad.gif

 

I am not a "children should be seen and not heard" person - and, in fact, my kid's friendliness has brought more smiles and started more conversations than anything else.  Obviously, if someone seems not in the mood, I'll steer him clear or apologize (I'm usually right behind him).  That said, I can't see how a smiling young child saying hi could "ruin a meal" shrug.gif  Seems like it could save it, if anything, if it's already that miserable.

 

We also don't take our son to swanky 5-star restaurants - more family friendly neighborhood places, where even if you are on a nice date, you simply run the risk of brief, friendly encounters with a child (oh the horror!). 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post
I would not let her badger others, get into their food, or disrupt wait staff, but I do think it's nice of other people to say hi to her. I think there's a big difference between a kid who's being unruly and one who's just being friendly. 

 

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#8 of 12 Old 06-23-2013, 09:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for sharing my opinion lol. It's so relieving to hear from rational people!

 

The restaurant in question was Applebees. A "family friendly" restaurant and nobody was around but one single woman.

 

People were saying things about her child running wild and misbehaving because he "bothered" a stranger. Made me sick.

 

If it had been any other person besides a 3 year old I bet anything the woman would have had a multitude more patience. There is such a child-hating attitude these days, even among other parents. It's horrible to me.

 

They made assumptions that the OP was irrational and obsessed with her child, that she would have sued if the child had gotten hurt, etc. but the child was clearly being watched.

 

If my child is doing something wrong, or I can see he is not welcome I also steer him away or distract him, or ask him to stay near me, etc. 

 

There is this bizarre and inconsistent idea that I see among mainstream moms that in some situations you are supposed to completely ignore your child and let them do whatever the hell they want and you are a "helicopter parent" if you don't, but then in other situations you have to watch them obsessively and if they dare to move or speak you have to spank them or remove them from the room.

 

I have dealt with this in person as well as online. I will never fit in with the mainstream because I guess I'm just too..... well, they would say I'm stupid but I think I make a hell of a lot more sense than them.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pickle18 View Post

thumbsup.gif  I wholeheartedly agree with this!!! I've also noticed the attitude that you describe among friends (not just about restaurants - like "OMG my kid is such a brat I have to get away" over completely normal age-appropriate behavior, or disrespecting/dehumanizing them in general) makes me so sad. greensad.gif

 

I am not a "children should be seen and not heard" person - and, in fact, my kid's friendliness has brought more smiles and started more conversations than anything else.  Obviously, if someone seems not in the mood, I'll steer him clear or apologize (I'm usually right behind him).  That said, I can't see how a smiling young child saying hi could "ruin a meal" shrug.gif  Seems like it could save it, if anything, if it's already that miserable.

 

We also don't take our son to swanky 5-star restaurants - more family friendly neighborhood places, where even if you are on a nice date, you simply run the risk of brief, friendly encounters with a child (oh the horror!). 

 

 

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#9 of 12 Old 06-24-2013, 11:40 PM
 
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"I let my daughter wander if the restaurant isn't too busy and she sticks close or if I can wander with her"

 

And here where the problem lays.

 

You think restaurant is not too busy, but  it still has customers and staff.  To you, it is adorable girl wandering around in half empty place. To the wait staff, it is occupational hazard. Many a wait staff tripped over a wandering toddler and now one wants to be the person who spilled something hot on the child.

 

Restaurant are not made for wandering. Restaurant are for eating and sitting and talking.

 

There place that have play rooms and food such BK, McD and Chucky Cheese.

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#10 of 12 Old 06-25-2013, 05:07 AM
 
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I do see the point about restaurants and we avoid them because it isn't worth it for us. Why pay good money to deal with an impatient toddler, wait forever and a day and go home cranky? I'll just steer clear of that side of the issue but if DH and I did have a rare date night then a friendly kiddo saying hi wouldn't phase us in the least. Even a tantrumming toddler or crying baby would simply get the BDTD smile and nod to mom. We may be on a date but we're still parents.

But anywhere else, a child of any age should be welcomed with courtesy. Before I had kids I was absolutely clueless about how to talk to them and wasn't particularly fond of them. That didn't mean that I would be rude, just a little uncomfortable but I'd smile and say hi and make a comment to mom/dad about how friendly or cute their child was. I didn't find that overly taxing and now that I know a bit about kids, I'll gladly have a conversation or pay them a compliment or something. I wouldn't dream of being offended or put off by a friendly baby/toddler/child. If they sought me out to say hi or whatever then that's a compliment, much like if a stranger makes small talk while waiting in line. I TOTALLY see the ignore/hover thing with many (though certainly not all) mainstream parents. Some of my best mommy friends are mainstream but they have struck a nice balance when it comes to supervising their toddlers and providing space when safe and appropriate to do so. On the other hand, there's a family in my extended family where the 1.5 year old is either shadowed from within arm's reach (and I mean indoors at grandparents' house) or plunked down with a tablet and movie and have a pacifier thrust upon him the second he makes the slightest not happy noise.
Absolutely kids need a chance to interact to practice social graces and we need to teach them through modeling appropriate behaviour. How is that supposed to work if a simple hello is thought of as rude?!
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#11 of 12 Old 06-25-2013, 08:27 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

"I let my daughter wander if the restaurant isn't too busy and she sticks close or if I can wander with her"

 

And here where the problem lays.

 

You think restaurant is not too busy, but  it still has customers and staff.  To you, it is adorable girl wandering around in half empty place. To the wait staff, it is occupational hazard. Many a wait staff tripped over a wandering toddler and now one wants to be the person who spilled something hot on the child.

 

Restaurant are not made for wandering. Restaurant are for eating and sitting and talking.

 

There place that have play rooms and food such BK, McD and Chucky Cheese.

 

I think there is a big difference between children running wild in a restaurant (like they would in a play room) and a toddler waddling about attended by a parent.  Even in restaurants with close quarters, I've always been able to pick up my child or pull them to the side to let wait staff through.  I wouldn't let him wander without supervision, because he might well be tripped over (unless he was quite close to the table - again, within intervention distance).

 

Tiny kids have a need to move - it's certainly preferable to them being strapped down and screaming - that's much more likely to disrupt other customers.  It's a balance of needs - toddlers need to explore, wait staff needs to be able to do their job.  With caution on the parent and the employee's part, we can meet in the middle.  I don't think we need to be banished to some awful, germy fast food joint for my kid's childhood culinary experiences. disappointed.gif

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#12 of 12 Old 06-26-2013, 10:23 PM
 
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http://suite101.com/article/child-friendly-culture-a54356

 

 

this is little more than a quick blurb, but it reminded me of this thread smile.gif


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