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Twilight1
07-13-2011, 03:55 PM
My only issue with this is that some kids (like my youngest) are special needs and will be louder. I find some people just lack basic compassion. People eat out because sometimes they were out and it is the most convenient option. Fast food is not something we eat often in our house and Cracker Barrels and places like it are awful clog artery options. No I won't bring my kids to a 5 star restaurant but someplace actually healthy may be where more 'adults' go might be our only healthy food option.

My clue... if they offer my kids a colouring book/ toy, then they are a place my kids can go.

taf2002
07-13-2011, 03:57 PM
100 to one? Really?

Wellllll, maybe an exaggeration. :)

AliasJohnDoe
07-13-2011, 04:02 PM
I don't really get this example. Do parents walk into restaurants and ask to be sat somewhere different than everyone else so that their kids can do "kids" things? :confused:

I've noticed many parents who have family get togethers at their house usually seat the children at a "childrens table" away from the adults. Usually in the next adjoining room, away from the adults. It's more fun for the kids and better for the adults to have conversation. As they get older(around 10), they join the adult table.

I understand why adults want to be seated away from children.

skatingfan5
07-13-2011, 04:25 PM
I'm another childless person who doesn't have a problem with the restaurant having an ban on children under age 6. A close friend has a son who just turned 6 last month and meeting her for dinner when she brought him along when he was younger than 5 was often a less than enjoyable experience. He was always sliding down under the table and then crawling away (he refused to ever be put in a restaurant high chair) -- it's a wonder that he never had a wait person drop a tray on him. Once he managed to crawl halfway into the kitchen. :eek: His mother seemed helpless to control him and frequently just gave up and left with him (kicking and screaming). I guess I could have just refused to meet her when she couldn't get a sitter (she "warned" me when she would have her son with her), but I rarely got a chance to see her (controlling and abusive husband, but that's another story), so I usually said yes. I did draw the line ever going back to one of the more "up scale" restaurants in which there had been a scene of epic proportions when he was 3. Now that he is older, his behavior is no longer a problem but for several years it was sometimes a real nightmare. :yikes:

genevieve
07-13-2011, 04:35 PM
I think it's kind of sad that a rare moment to see a friend in a desperate and lonely sounding marriage would be gauged on how well her kid behaves.

Aceon6
07-13-2011, 04:42 PM
I think it's kind of sad that a rare moment to see a friend in a desperate and lonely sounding marriage would be gauged on how well her kid behaves.

Well, to be fair, when my friend's kid is acting up, I rarely get any time with her. It's as if I'm an observer to their meal.

As to the topic, many Boston restaurants don't have bans but have "family friendly" hours or days along with kid appropriate menus at decent prices that are more than chicken fingers, grilled cheese, and pasta. The kid menus stop at a certain hour, usually 7:00, and anyone seated after that hour gets the regular menu. This seems to work well.

genevieve
07-13-2011, 04:45 PM
I was responding specifically to skatingfan5's post above mine.

skatingfan5
07-13-2011, 04:49 PM
I think it's kind of sad that a rare moment to see a friend in a desperate and lonely sounding marriage would be gauged on how well her kid behaves.I said that I usually said "yes" despite the fact that the meals out often ended with her having to leave with her son having a tantrum. And, yes, it was very sad and it was hard for me to hear her relate the latest about her marriage, especially when she had backed out of divorcing the jerk several times. There was seemingly little I could do to help her, because she was set on doing things her way, even it it has seemed to me, as an outsider, to be impossible to continue that way. I guess I'm not much of a friend, am I. :(

FigureSpins
07-13-2011, 04:59 PM
I don't really get this example. Do parents walk into restaurants and ask to be sat somewhere different than everyone else so that their kids can do "kids" things? :confused:

Sometimes. I've overheard people request tables near the open kitchen, so their kids could watch the chefs making pizza. That was at Bertucci's, where the restaurant gives little kids a ball of raw dough to play with, which keeps them entertained.

I don't have a problem with families or kids in general. After the 10th toddler shriek, it gets on my nerves and I'll give the parents a look of concern. Always gets an apology and a shush. If a child starts acting up, I will mutter "Time to go" under my breath. (Especially at a store) Once I asked a waiter to move our family to another booth because the kids behind me were jumping up and down on the seat. The parents apologized and I accepted it without lecture. Those kids' butts were GLUED to their seats for the rest of the meal, and the waiter gave us free desserts for speaking up. Unless someone says something, the waiters don't feel they should intervene. If another patron complains, they have a valid reason to address the issue without being told that the waiter is overreacting.

I've asked for a "quiet table" when I wanted to have a quiet lunch with a friend. While it's a crapshoot that they won't seat someone loud later on, we can chat for at least a little while without issue. I had dinner with a friend who had just suffered a miscarriage and I specifically requested that we be seated away from children, saying it was "personal." Not a problem for the restaurants. I've turned down seating near the rowdy bar area, asking if we could have a different table and no, I don't mind waiting.

As a parent, I think that making a kid leave the restaurant or store or bank or anyplace because they're misbehaving is the way to teach them not to do it in the first place. A little depravation on the parents' part will pay off in the long run.

My kids' only restaurant vice is that they liked to check out the bathrooms "by themselves." It's a novelty to be allowed to cross a crowded room and they each have had one restaurant trip where they wanted to exceed their quota of trips. Other than that, they don't leave the table unless it's a restaurant made for kids. We always had an "activity bag" in each car with things they could use at the table to entertain themselves.

skatingfan5 - we had a restaurant near our old house that had great food, was kid-friendly and affordable. They had a big bin of toys and each child was allowed to play with them, one at a time, at their table. Kids had special place-settings (plastic dishes, smaller utensils, no knives, crayons and coloring placemats) that were unique and made them want to stay. Best of all, the menu included "make your own pizza" where the waitress would escort the child to a little counter where they could roll out the dough and put on sauce, cheese and toppings. Kept them busy for a good 15 minutes until the waitress sent them back while the pizza was baking.

Look around - there are far better places to meet your friend than in a high-end restaurant. Check the local parents groups for suggestions. Or, bring a box lunch and have a picnic at a local playground. Sounds like your friend could really use the visit.

antmanb
07-13-2011, 05:04 PM
I've noticed many parents who have family get togethers at their house usually seat the children at a "childrens table" away from the adults. Usually in the next adjoining room, away from the adults. It's more fun for the kids and better for the adults to have conversation. As they get older(around 10), they join the adult table.

I understand why adults want to be seated away from children.

I don't think a family dinner at home is comparable to eating out at a restaurant.

susan6
07-13-2011, 05:14 PM
They finally asked us to watch our language and our conversation topics. We told them to put their children to bed like a real parent. :lol: Liquid courage, hehe We weren't saying anything too bad but we were not going to sit there with our mouths shut all night because they decided to bring their children to eat at 10pm to a nice restaurant.

People who are tipsy and loud think they're being awesome, much the same way that parents with loud, misbehaving children think that they're being adorable. Most of the time, neither assumption is true.

As for the ban on kids under 6....there are a wide range of parenting abilities and a variety of problems kids can have. I spent a weekend with a friend of mine who has a 6 year old and she was very well behaved; when she did act up the parents immediately reacted and explained that her actions were not acceptable, or took steps to calm her down and had toys and paper for her to draw on. But on the spectrum of kids and parents in restaurants, that's on one end (two parents, one child, strict rules enforced). It's the families on the other end of the spectrum (two parents, four kids, dad heads to the bar, mom is left with the kids, no rules) that ruin everyone's dinner.

When a family walks into a restaurant, there's no way to predict which part of the behavior spectrum the kids and parents will exhibit, so its understandable that some restaurants just want to avoid the possibility of problems altogether.

skatingfan5
07-13-2011, 05:16 PM
Look around - there are far better places to meet your friend than in a high-end restaurant. Check the local parents groups for suggestions. Or, bring a box lunch and have a picnic at a local playground. Sounds like your friend could really use the visit.As I said in my initial post, her son's behavior hasn't been an issue for the past year (since he turned 5). Now we meet for lunch more often than dinner, because going to lunch from her office isn't the hassle that escaping from her husband in the evening is. I'm very relieved that it seems that the divorce is finally going to happen this summer, but I won't believe it until she actually files. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping things go her way this time.

FigureSpins
07-13-2011, 05:16 PM
At home and in restaurants, people have kids' tables because they don't have tables or rooms big enough to seat everyone together. Yes, it allows the parents to linger and the kids to get up and run around when they're finished. At least at a home, there are some limits.

It's not the ideal solution in a hall or restaurant because the kids are unsupervised. I found two of my cousins' boys playing catch in the lobby of a catering hall last month. One was on the balcony, throwing a ball down to the brother on the ground floor. Past a crystal chandelier. Fortunately, it was a small nerf ball, but still, wrong. At the same party, two sisters (7 and 9 years old) were outside by themselves on the sidewalk. I told them to go ask their parents if it was okay and they were told "no." The kiddies table often means out of sight, out of mind. Better to have kids where you can keep an eye on them. I usually seat families together and set up a separate "busy table" for the kids after dinner.

FigureSpins
07-13-2011, 05:18 PM
Now we meet for lunch more often than dinner, because going to lunch from her office isn't the hassle that escaping from her husband in the evening is.
Great solution! Hope your friend gets out from under this cloud.

genevieve
07-13-2011, 05:32 PM
I said that I usually said "yes" despite the fact that the meals out often ended with her having to leave with her son having a tantrum. And, yes, it was very sad and it was hard for me to hear her relate the latest about her marriage, especially when she had backed out of divorcing the jerk several times. There was seemingly little I could do to help her, because she was set on doing things her way, even it it has seemed to me, as an outsider, to be impossible to continue that way. I guess I'm not much of a friend, am I. :(
Not trying to say that you're not a good friend - and it's really hard to watch someone in a hard situation that you can't change for them. :(


Now we meet for lunch more often than dinner, because going to lunch from her office isn't the hassle that escaping from her husband in the evening is.
Sounds like a great solution, and I hope her divorce comes through.