7 Things Kids Do in Restaurants That Are NOT Acceptable

kids in restaurantsI was prepared to make a lot of changes and sacrifices when I entered motherhood, but one thing I wasn't about to give up was eating in nice restaurants. I refused to be limited to those establishments with super-sized options on the menu, and since their earliest days, my children have dined alongside us in a plethora of restaurants that have actual table cloths. 

So I get all sorts of agitated when restaurants talk about banning kids, or people ask to be moved just because they see a sippy cup on the table. My kids are not always perfect, and yes, we've had to leave mid-meal more than once. For the most part, however, they know how to (and are made to/threatened to/bribed to) conduct themselves so that we and everyone else around us can have a nice meal. Some children, however, clearly can NOT, and I'm appalled by some of the things their parents let them do in restaurants, which really ruins it for the rest of us.

More from The Stir: I Let My Kid Play With My iPhone in Restaurants & I'll Never Stop

In case there's any question, here are seven things children should NEVER be allowed to do in a restaurant.

1. Scream

Once the screaming starts, parents should be headed toward the nearest exit to try and calm the child. Waiting it out or negotiating is not an option when you're packed in a room with strangers trying to eat.

2. Have their diaper changed on a table

It happens ... and it shouldn't. NO exceptions.

3. Play electronics loudly

We are all for giving our kids an iPad, iPhone, or iAnything that will keep them occupied during a meal. BUT they must keep it on mute or the volume very low depending on the atmosphere of the restaurant.

4. Run around the place

If it's Chuck E. Cheese, that's one thing, but if it's a sit-down restaurant, then children should be doing just that -- sitting down. Anything else is not only rude but dangerous.

5. Throw food

Shouldn't have to add this one, but some parents really are clueless.

6. Make a huge mess

Okay, sometimes it just happens (without #5), but if it does, parents should make an effort to help clean it up and not just leave it for the staff. And whatever you do, do NOT let them use salt and pepper shakers and sugar packets as toys!

7. Interfere with other diners' meal in any way

Now, if the mere sight of children brings on indigestion, then I have no words for people like that. But if children are crawling over the backs of booths, kicking people's chairs, or in any other way creating a true distraction, they shouldn't be there.

What are the worst things you've seen children and their parents do in a restaurant?

Image via Julie Ryan Evans


a mom's life, discipline


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Pinkmani Pinkmani

The diaper changing idea is extremely disgusting. Not only because of the smell, but also because of germs. If you change the diaper at the table, and then you don't wash your hands. You could have e. coli (or any other bacteria) on your hands that you spread onto the ketchup, A1 sauce, salt/pepper shakers, menu, pen used to sign receipt, etc.

ALove... ALovelyWife

If the child(ren) aren't taught not to scream, play electronics, run around, throw food, or interfere with other family member's meal times during dinner at home, they will do these things in public. Teach your children to be respectful during "home" dinnertime and explain that they also need to be respectful during "away" dinnertime. 

I also agree with you, Pinkmani. 

GoDod... GoDodgers

One time my then two year old son dropped his car under the table at Ruby Tuesday's. He went under the table to pick it up...and came back up chewing a piece of gum. Then he swallowed it before I could get it out of his mouth. We laugh about it now, but it was not funny then. :)

Rushn311 Rushn311

I would NEVER EVER let my  kids do any of those  things. I think my son has once or twice stood  up and looked at the other people behind us and I put a stop to that right away. Not acceptable.

kissa... kissandtell

I remember one time me and my hubby were dining at Denny's and this little girl came up to the table we were sitting at, reached up and grabbed some french fries right from under my nose and ran back to the table where her parents were sitting in a blink of an eye. Of course they weren't paying attention. My hubs found it hilarious but I was shell shocked.

allie... alliesmom112

I never let my dad do that. If she does make a mess she is responsible for cleaning it.

allie... alliesmom112

We will also leave if she acts up any way.

allie... alliesmom112

Diaper changes on the table is just yuck!

mlber... mlberry4172

The hardest for me was/is getting the toddler aged to stop staring at other people while they were eating! Drives me crazy, and imagine the poor people having to hear, "turn around",

"what are they eating?"

"I don't know, don't worry about it, and leave them alone!"

We had to leave a cheddars once becuase our then 2yo was being a pain. It was a cheddars so you know he was being pretty bad!

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