Parents Behaving Badly: Babys in Restaurants


Are manners dead? Ask any restaurant employee, and they will grudgingly tell you ,Yes.

How many times do you ask yourself, what if my mom was watching me right now? Would I be acting like this? The answer is probably not. In a self consumed world, manners have been tossed out with the trash.(along with tipping properly) Let me set the scene all too familiar.

You are out on a Friday night with your wife and 2 kids, and that BABY. You live on a fixed budget, and most restaurant employees can see you coming a mile away. They immediately hate you. You are the worst draw in the cards possible. Not only are you 5 times more demanding than a normal group of guests. It is not all your fault, we understand, but McDonald’s has a playland for a reason. I walk up to your table and immediately we are sucked into your own version of parenting, and it sucks. Upon asking you what you want to drink, the conversation begins. You know the 5 minute one on one with your kid about what he or she wants. In years past, parents either knew what their child was going to drink, or what they would let them drink. Time lost: 4 to 5 minutes. What you ignore are the 5 other tables of people, who also came to enjoy their Friday night, their service level just went down exponentially.(along with the server tips) Cost for you being there already -5$. The drinks are delivered and promptly spilled by your child. Time lost: 2 minutes. Instead of letting your server attend to the other guests, you must order immediately, because the kids are hungry. Fair Game, we understand, problem is you have no clue what you want to eat. After picking through the children’s menu, you decide on the chicken fingers, but of course you must know how they are prepared, and “how dare we not have applesauce on the menu?” Your kid has apparently been let out of its bubble for the night, and will absolutely die if hit by a particle of trans fat or a piece of bread that is not gluten free. At this point your server tries to escape. haven taken your order, they run to enter your food. They want you gone, Now. A smart server will not even walk near you again until your food is delivered. They commence damage control and apologies to the other diners that you have caused them to neglect. Yes, it is your fault. Your food is blasted out to you. You immediately need 5 other things that were never mentioned, because “there is no way Jr. is going to eat that” without it prepared just like at home.(which, by the way, is where you should be anyway) In the past, parents would strictly monitor their child’s behavior at the table, seeking to teach manners to their young children. No longer is this the case. The public establishment you have entered, now becomes your dining table at home. Food flies everywhere, but in your child’s mouth. The surrounding guests now shrink from you in terror. The young couple on a date next to you, immediately write off ever having children, and he is not getting any tonight. You sit blissfully unaware of the total circus you have brought to town. I say circus, because it is time to bring in the elephant. What is the “elephant”? It is your uncontrolled child that is now freely roaming the restaurant, being artfully dodged by the servers delivering martinis, and scalding hot food. “It doesn’t seem to be much of a problem.” you think. See you get pretty good at dodging the little elephants that are brought in, because your scene is all too common. The server walks by trying their best to ignore you, and attend to the other, very uncomfortable, guests. You need the check now. Thank God! You pay, and pack up the circus tents for the trip back home. The server arrives at your table to find a disaster area that FEMA would be best suited to handle. A mass of baby wipes , napkins and bits of chicken fingers, topped of by a cascading flow of Cheerios now being crushed on the recently swept floor. Cheerios? Hmm..never saw those on the menu. Come to think of it, I have never worked at a restaurant that had Cheerios on the menu, but they are always there. The server looks down at the check. You have run up a 65$ tab. Your tip is 8$. After all, you are supporting a family, and the whole world must suffer your pain. Cost to Server:-4$ plus the -5$ from earlier, plus 8. Grand total -1$ for the server(who works for tips only).

Why write such a story you may ask. Put simply. why don’t you just come in and rob me at knife point for a $. I would respect you more. Your piss poor parenting skills are better displayed at McDonald’s where they are paid an hourly wage to deal with your traveling disaster. Those children were your choice. Must we all suffer because you refuse to deal with the fact your decisions have put limitations on your social capabilities. There are such things as baby sitters still, aren’t there? So, In closing, get a babysitter or stay home. Don’t be this family. EVER. If you think you are this family, please apologize ahead of time. The server will try and get you through the dinner, while minimizing the damage you are doing. Tip over, not under. Anything under 20% of the total tab and you should be ashamed. The server is not raising your kid, and in some cases, they are raising their own, and you are taking food from their kids mouth by feeding your own.

Tune in next time for “Fat Women and Diet Coke:It is not diet, if you drink 10 of them.”

8-24-08..Just wanted to add an update from today for people like Karen. This morning a server during brunch was not so lucky with an unattended little “Elephant”. She now has cuts form the broken glass she was carrying and torn ligaments in her knee. She will be out of work a minimum of 3 months to rehab. Lucky there is disability insurance for her. Unlucky that it only pays the 2.13 and hour wage plus a little more . nowhere close to what she could make actually doing here job in a safe environment. It will be hardly enough for her to live on. All thanks to an inattentive parent. And please no more of this you don’t have kids, so you don’t get a vote crap. I know stupid when I see it.

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~ by gotea on August 19, 2008.

5 Responses to “Parents Behaving Badly: Babys in Restaurants”

  1. I tend to agree that social etiquette seems to have deteriorated but why are young parents so lenient with their children nowadays? If they do not teach them manners now then where, when and from whom are the young ones going to learn from. Modern society has outlawed reprimanding and disciplining and this is a big mistake!

  2. Do you have any children? That’s what I thought! Try not to talk about something you clearly know so little about…Your assumptions only make you look like the ignorant individual you truly are, not to mention your evident and complete lack of compassion and decency. Are manners dead, you ask? Perhaps the more important question you should be asking yourself is IS MY MORAL VALUE SYSTEM DEAD?

    And to you, Novice101, you ask about teaching manners…You will remember making this idiotic statement the first time your own child humiliates you in public, EVEN THOUGH you have done everything you know humanly possible to instill manners, respect and responsibility…Kids will be kids in spite of everything we do at times…What is most disappointing is not their behavior but the behavior of horrible people like yourselves…Good luck in life; you will need it!

  3. Karen. Thanks for your passionate response. Yous say,”Kids will be kids in spite of everything we do at times”. I say spare the rod spoil the kid. It is that kind of quitter attitude that allows parents to explain away the lack of child discipline, and say there is nothing I can do. My moral values and upbringing would have never tolerated the behavior I am describing. That is why people like novice101agree. I assure you this is not just my opinion. It is a widely held truth in my industry. If there were not people doing a good job at parenting, then the rotten apples would not stick out. The rotten is all too common. It is due to lazy parenting.

  4. Your response would be true for many BUT NOT EVERYONE…which is something you obviously have yet to learn…It is like everything else in life, there are always exceptions….You and “novice 101” which you consider to be a formidable pair ( I do not) seem to think that the simple solution is to have a no tolerance rule…I (along with thousands of parents)wish it were that simple…I urge you to not go around painting everyone with the same brush for some of us are consistent, model expected behavior, have a strong faith, and NEVER throw in the towel, as your assumptions seem to suggest…We raise well-rounded, respectable and faithful children who SOMETIMES do not behave perfectly as you and novice expect them to do…

    Lazy parenting? I assure you that they exist as well as those who are devoted to their children and to raising them in a way that will not only help them be successful human beings but contribute to their world in a positive and THOUGHTFUL manner…

    I think the best thing for me to say to you, my oblivious “expert” is that I hope you will take a moment to respect and regard those parents who do everything they know to be right, read almost every book they know to read, and model what we feel should be citizen-like and admirable behavior because one day you will remember us…believe me when you first hear the word “daddy” or “mommy” you will remember us….when your child (whom you have adopted a no-tolerance” rule with nor have spared the rod on, throws a tantrum in a public place that you feel the next acrobat she/he will attempt is spinning her head, you will remember me 🙂

    Farewell and good luck trying to prove your point 🙂

    P.S. Read the article, “Parenting, A Lost Art” I read that article and kept it taped on my refrigerator door EVEN before I had ANY children…I NEVER speak specifically about a topic until I feel I have some level of authority for which to support my OPINION…

  5. Actually, you have proven my point. Some parents are oblivious.

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