Parental responsibility dictates that children are instilled with proper manners and etiquette when dining out. In public settings, including restaurants, youngsters must be instructed on how to behave appropriately. This contributes to a pleasant dining experience for everyone and aids in the development of children’s social skills and their ability to interact with others respectfully.
A man who snapped at a kid crawling under his table asked the forum, “Am I wrong for yelling at a kid for crawling under my table at a restaurant?”
Here’s what happened:
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The original poster and his friend Jack like to go to the local pizza place after a long, stressful week. It’s not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but there are booths and tables of people sitting down.
A BIG GROUP AT THE NEXT TABLE
“I see a large table of around ten people, a few couples, and a bunch of small kids between 4 and 8. The kids are running around the restaurant being loud while the adults are drinking wine and eating their pizza,” informs OP.
OP SNAPPED AT ONE OF THE KIDS
OP ignores the commotion for around 20 minutes. Suddenly, he feels like a hand on his leg.
One of the little kids had crawled under Jack and OP’s table. OP wasn’t thinking, and he snapped at the kid and said, “Get away from our table!”
The kid ran away and burst into tears.
THE PARENT CAME OVER TO ARGUE
One of the parents at the other table came over and started tearing into OP about “how cranky and mean he was and how dare he yell at her kid, who was just playing.”
Meanwhile, the other middle-aged forty-something parents let their kids run amok and be loud and obnoxious while OP and his friend try to enjoy a night out.
OP ANSWERED BACK IN THE SAME TONE
OP ripped her a new one and said, “How entitled do you need to be to think it’s okay to let your kids just crawl under other people’s tables?”
She walked away in a huff.
So, OP asks, “Am I wrong for yelling at a kid for crawling under my table at a restaurant?”
Not wrong is the popular opinion.
YOU REACTED WHEN YOUR SPACE WAS INVADED
“You are not wrong.
Her exhaustion/boundaries/parental philosophy create no obligations for you.
Your personal space was invaded, and you reacted to repair that.”
THE KID CROSSED THE BOUNDARIES
“Agreed, YOU ARE NOT WRONG.
Her inability to control her kids does not mean you have to parent for her in her place.
If the kid were walking up to OP and trying to talk, yelling wouldn’t be necessary, but this kid crossed boundaries that should have been learned multiple years ago.”
YOU WERE PERFECT
“A 40-something mom to a 4 & 2yo here. Oh, hell no! That is outrageous behavior. You were perfect.”
THE FAULT LIES NOT WITH THE KID
“You were not wrong. I would have apologized for scaring the kid to tears but ripped the adult a new one. I’m not saying OP should have apologized to the kid or even owed the kid an apology. I just would have felt bad that the kid wasn’t being minded by ‘adults’ and ended up crying.”
YOUR TABLE IS NOT A PLAY PLACE
“You are not wrong. You are not a jungle gym, and your table is not a play place.”
MY KIDS WOULD NEVER BEHAVE LIKE THAT
“I went to lunch with a bunch of my friends who had small children, and I had no problem telling their kids to sit down and behave themselves when their moms were letting them run around the table or stand and look over into someone else’s booth. They were so busy talking that they didn’t notice. I would never let my kids act like that.”
RESTAURANT ARE NOT SAFE FOR KIDS
“God, yes. A restaurant is not a safe play place. It’s not a place to play unless it has a place specifically for kids. Too many plates of hot food, glassware, and hot drinks. Servers can’t magically see everything on the floor before them when they have their hands full of food trays.”
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