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Would it bother you to see a parent with a coffee cup following a laughing running toddler (20m) around a restaurant? We get him to sit as much as possible, (he "must" sit while we're actually eating) but we take turns following him around while we're waiting for the meal to come, between courses, or when waiting for the bill. People mostly seem to smile but I worry that we might be disturbing people.
 

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I worked in restaurants for years, and the issue I had was that I would be very busy running around and I wouldn't see the child until too late. Hands full of hot things... as long as your dc isn't in danger or putting someone else in danger, I wouldn't worry <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Not to be mean, but I think it's rude- unless you're at a really kid friendly family restaurant with a lot of kids in it.<br>
If it's too hard for him to sit and wait, maybe getting up with him and taking him outside could work.<br>
What did when my kids were little, was call ahead with our order (even if we were eating in) so there would be very little "wait time" to sit through.
 

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Children running around in restaurants is so dangerous for both the child and the wait staff and disturbing to the other guests. If he refuses to sit, please, please, please take him outside or to the lobby, if the restaurant has one.
 

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I would rather he be running and laughing than sitting and whining/screaming. And I'm sure you're smart about it and don't let him run where the wait staff are trying to carry trays. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
When I'm with wiggly kids at restaurants, I often take them to an empty/closed section of the restaurant to run. Or outside is a good option as well.
 

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Honestly, take him outside or play in the car until the food comes, order ahead or get takeout. I have 2 young children and I hate to see kids running around a resturant. Remember that the other patrons are paying good money to be there and eat their food and they may not want to be part of your childs entertainment.<br><br>
Others have already touched on the danger issue, I've seen trays of food/glassware go over just because it happens, they don't need little children running around.
 

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I'm also in the 'this is dangerous and not fair to others' mode. We took our littles back out to the sidewalk if they were that antsy and gave each other a signal to come back inside when the food was served.
 

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I think it's potentially dangerous too. There are sharp and hot things being carried around restaurants, and toddlers are small enough to get underfoot (as we all know).<br><br>
We used to take turns out in the lobby with dd when she was wanting to move around. Plus, there was a period of time where we mainly just got take-out.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Mothra</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Children running around in restaurants is so dangerous for both the child and the wait staff and disturbing to the other guests. If he refuses to sit, please, please, please take him outside or to the lobby, if the restaurant has one.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod"> I have been a waitress on and off for.....ummmmm....a long time. I would be so afraid of spilling food on your son! Please take him to the lobby. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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dd is usually good, and will st for a looooong time with crayons and paper, water, fruit, but if she gets restless dh takes her outside. Same with ds. I think it is dangerous, rude, and not the proper place for play activity.That said, we made sure dd knew we sit in resturaunts from an early age. No forcefully, just reminding each time she wantd to run around and not letting her or taking her outside.
 

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we also make sure to get crayons, water and fruit from the waitsatff early on.
 

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Depends on the restuarant, honestly.<br><br>
I have a diner in town that my boys and I frequent. All the waitresses know us & my two yr old walks/runs around the circle (the diner is a round setup, with the counter in the center), none of the waitresses mind nor do the regulars.<br>
Sometimes there are grumpy old ladies and strangers who give a weird look or an evil eye (or at worst, make snide comments...), but they are also the SAME ones who shoot me dirty looks and make nasty comments if my 2 yr old is crying and hollaring because I WON'T let him down to run/walk. There is *nowhere* outside to take him, either - the diner is right off of the main highway through town and there is no safe place to stand, no less walk. There is no lobby and the diner is usually pretty quiet, so there is little chance of any "accidents" by dropping trays. Either my older son or I is always right there with the little one and he never approaches other diners, he just walks around and around and around, giggling.<br>
I'd rather have him walking and giggling then stuck in the booth, fighting with me and his brother, crying hysterically. Any GOL or strangers who have such a major problem with it can either get over it or leave. It's *my* hometown diner, where I spend my money every other week, know the waitresses (actually, "our" waitress even came to T's baptism party) and it is a "Family Diner"... that means kids. Kids are not silent little beings who sit nicely and eat quietly (well, unless you live in Stepford...). If one goes to a "Family Diner" then one should expect children and child like behaviors (including giggling, walking around, running and even crying at times).<br>
You know, in the years I've been going there, I've never actually had a problem with strangers - just 2 or 3 little grumpy as hell old ladies.... I wonder about that. Do they forget what little kids are like? Do they still believe that old adage that children should be seen, but not heard? It is a family diner, after all - not a hoity-toity "restaurante".<br>
I mean, this is a place that removes the ketchup and sugar and puts in plastic ashtrays in after 9pm on Friday and Saturday nights, so that when the drunks come in, they can't do any real damage, so... a wandering tot during the daytime shoudln't rile feathers.
 

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Yes, it would bother me. I agree with what others have said about safety, etc. There is a regular adult restaurant here in town that gets overtaken by the tot set during lunch and weekends. I now avoid it like the plague because of all the kids running around, squirming on the floor, bouncing on the booths, and talking to patrons behind them. Drives me insane, even though it generally seems to be understood that this is how the restaurant works. I personally choose not to put myself and dd in that environment.
 

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Personally it wouldn't bother me or my dh for that matter. I always enjoy it when little toddlers/kids come up for a chat or a smile and it's also free entertainment for MY 19 month old! I do agree that it could be dangerous though if the place was really crowded or busy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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LOL... we may RUN INTO each other while chasing our little guys around sometime! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> We do the same thing. People ARE indeed annoyed... we just pretend they are not knowing all the while that they'd be REALLY annoyed if it was a screaming unhappy toddler we were trying to chase around. And HEY it's a free country- toddlers need to socialize too! If the restraunt staff hates us- then we don't go back! lol
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Leilalu</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">dd is usually good, and will st for a looooong time with crayons and paper, water, fruit, but if she gets restless dh takes her outside. Same with ds. I think it is dangerous, rude, and not the proper place for play activity.That said, we made sure dd knew we sit in resturaunts from an early age. No forcefully, just reminding each time she wantd to run around and not letting her or taking her outside.</div>
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That's great that you do not have a high needs toddler! Unfortunatly WE DO! And up until just the last few weeks if WE wanted to go out to dinner HE had to come to and it's just not fare for us to NOT go out EVER in TWO YEARS... so chase him around is what we did. He's now doing really well staying with his Gram or his Great Gram or Grandpa so we can have a "run free" dinner every once in a while.
 

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doesnt bother us. i am sure you are being observant and keeping your child safe. there is a difference between going with your child to explore his surroundings and letting him loose.<br><br>
tabitha
 

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it bothers me, to be honest.<br><br>
the whole "better running around happy then sitting down screaming" doesn't make sense to me- how about neither? Obviously if I go to a very child-oriented place I fully expect to see both, but out to eat? no. And while it's excellent that he sits during the meal, it's sort of teaching him that restaurants are an okay place to run around in when he's allowed to do so while not eating.<br><br>
normally I wouldn't say anything, but hey, you asked! lol
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">there is a difference between going with your child to explore his surroundings and letting him loose.</td>
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I think this is the key. Hey, if mom is trailing the toddler around, making sure he's not in danger or people's way, then that is cool. I think what a lot of people are reacting to is the tendency of some parents to just let their kids loose all over the restaurant so that they (the parents) can sit and enjoy their meal. But that is not what the OP was talking about at all!<br><br>
It's hard work taking a toddler to a restaurant, but I think it's a good idea. They will gradually learn how to behave, and eventually you'll have a civilized little dining companion. But if you stay home until they are five, they may not learn.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">the whole "better running around happy then sitting down screaming" doesn't make sense to me- how about neither? Obviously if I go to a very child-oriented place I fully expect to see both, but out to eat? no.</td>
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Well, I guess I assume that 20 month old children will either be active or cranky. If you are very lucky, they will sit quietly at the table, but there's not a lot you can do to control their behavior - you can only make sure that they are safe and as non-disruptive as possible. I mean, you can try to help them sit quietly by providing plenty of snacks and table activities, but for a lot of kids, these things will only work for so long at that age (we are talking about a not-even-two-year-old here).<br><br>
And short of fine dining experiences (which I rarely go to because of $$$), I expect to see kids at restaurants. I guess I'm thinking Applebees/Red Robin's/the local Mexican place/pizza place situations, since that's the type of place we typically go when eating out. I know that busy families like/need to eat out at casual dining restaurants as much as I do.<br><br>
I don't have kids yet - shouldn't I be the one who is suppopsed to glare and mutter "my child will NEVER act like that!"? :LOL
 

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I do not expect my 3-year-old to sit still at the table that long. We always ask for a table far away from everything and let him run around, as long as he is safe and it doesn't get out of control. It doesn't matter how many toys we bring, he burns through them in two seconds and then needs to move.<br><br>
Of course, we live in Italy where people adore children and they expect the kids to run around. It will be different when we move to the States I am sure.
 
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