Take this Tantrum and Shove It

Since so many people are up in arms about the behavior of certain children in restaurants, why not continue the conversation? Dr. Phil polled the audience on his show yesterday and asked the following question:

If your child was throwing a tantrum in a restaurant, what would you do?

  1. Calmly ask them to settle down, 4%
  2. Ignore the tantrum, 1%
  3. Take the child out of the restaurant, 72%
  4. Firmly tell your child to stop, 23%

According to the results of the delusional people in his audience that day, 72% of them said they would take their child out of the restaurant. I call complete and total bullshit. Anyone who has ever worked in a restaurant, eaten in a restaurant, driven by a restaurant or heard of a restaurant knows that not that many people actually do that. These people answered that poll in the way they think they should answer it. They know what they should do, but what they actually do is a different story. It’s like when I am on the subway and have a nice cushy seat. When I see an old one-legged blind lady carrying ten bags of groceries I have two options:

What I should do- get up and gingerly escort the poor dear to my seat and then get off with her at her stop and make sure she hobbles home safely and then give her my cell phone number to call me if she ever needs a loaf of bread or someone to change a light bulb.


What I actually do- turn up the music on my iPod, close my eyes and pretend to be asleep.

The people in that audience only said that to make themselves look better because the three-piece pantsuit they bought for the show for 20% off at Chico’s wasn’t enough to disguise their ugly child-rearing habits. There is no way that many people do that when their kids make a scene in a restaurant. What usually happens is a lot of empty threats that the kid knows will never happen. “Billy, if you don’t stop throwing bread at the waiter right this second, I am going to take away your (insert name of popular toy here) and you will not get any dessert and when we get home I will hit your behind with a whoopin‘ stick and then, um…I will..uh, lemme see, I will…what was I saying? Oh never mind, you go right ahead, sweetie and do what ever it was you were doing. I’m a lazy parent and don’t give a shit about anyone but myself. I want another bite of fried chicken.” It’s true and we all know it.

And let’s discuss the 1% who thought it was okay to ignore the situation. What in the fuckity fuck kind of solution is that? It was edited out of the show, but I told Dr. Phil what I felt about that 1%. “Excuse me, Dr. Phil. There are about 200 people in this audience so that means there are at least two people in this room who think it’s okay to let their kid act like that in a restaurant. I want to know who they are and hear an explanation.” He ignored me just like those parents ignore their devil spawns, but it was a valid comment I made. I really would have liked to hear someone justify their reasoning behind that decision making process. I can hear it now. “Well, you see, Dr Phil, my child is very special and I like him to make his own decisions about his behavior. You see, I think it will only help him mature faster and not be so dependent on his parents later in life. And also, I do not ever give him processed chicken because he is only worthy of steak that comes from cows that grazed in fields of four-leaf clovers in the light of the silvery moon. That’s right, yes, uh huh.” Bullshit.

And let me just add, that it is not the waiters job to go to another table and ask the kid to be quiet. As soon as I do that, I get the whole “Don’t tell me how to raise my child” speech. I don’t want that speech. I already know how to raise children: you put a big pile of food in the bowl next to some water and leave some wee wee pads in the corner and call it a day, right? Or is that how to raise a dog? I always get those two confused.

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53 thoughts on “Take this Tantrum and Shove It

  1. Anonymous

    Thank you for posting this! I am very disappointed they edited out so much of what you had to say on the show. I work in an office and in a restaurant, and I see atrocious behavior from children almost daily. I know exactly what would have happened to me if I would have ever acted like that! No threats or toys taken away… I would have gotten either smacked on the lips or on the rear end. Period. Parents need to realize that their children aren't little princes and princesses that are entitled to do whatever their charming little selves desire. There's a time and place to be a holy terror, and that place isn't in public.Thanks so much for standing up and voicing your opinion.

  2. Haruka

    I loved you on the show and agree that parents are too lazy to actually parent these days. They're either too busy trying to be their kid's best friend, or they weren't done with their own childhood before they had them and are still trying to live like they don't have that extra person to take care of.

  3. in bed with married women

    "the three-piece pantsuit they bought for the show for 20% off at Chico's wasn't enough to disguise their ugly child-rearing habits."Damn, and even with the 20% off it was still kind of expensive. Chico's, I expected too much of you.

  4. S'A

    And I hate to be the one that breaks it to that one woman, but I bet her kid would rather eat processed chicken than steak. Mine always did! I'm 100% behind you on this issue.

  5. Anonymous

    THANK YOU! I work in an office and a restaurant also, and I absolutely agree! There is no way that many people actually take thier screaming kids out of the restaurant. In fact, so many of them aren't even apologetic, because it's so routine for them to hear thier kids scream like little animals. You were so dead on about the dog metaphor btw…because that's how parents treat thier kids when they don't correct thier behavior!! People with kids nowadays so often have no respect for others. It's just that now they can hide behind thier kids. people use kids as tax write offs instead of actually wanting children and raising them properly. They might as well sit a dog bowl in front of them for all they actually care. The only reason the processed chicken lady said that was because she knows it's what the audience wanted to hear she feeds her kids. How much you wanna bet she keeps a dish and leash at home? lol I am lucky my parents actually LOVED me enough to teach me how to behave in a restaurant. I know there are some parents out there who are actually parents who love thier kids, and I applaud them for it. It's unfortunate that it's actually something we have to applaud to encourage now instead of just calling it common sense. But whatever. Thanks BW for telling it like it is, and keeping the conversation alive. Cheers!

    1. The Prozac Queen

      I know this is old, but I saw that Dr. Phil episode on rerun…thank you for saying what most of us are thinking! I know if I acted up we’d have a combination-firmly being told to stop and if we didn’t, then taken outside (or into the bathroom). But then, my dad is a former drill sergeant. ) I’m not sure why parents are different now but I can totally see my boss going up to a family asking them to control their child. Luckily she hasn’t had to but it really sucks that this would be an issue,

  6. Practical Parsimony

    That was just hilarious. I saw a young woman with three small children, so frustrated at their behavior. She was talking to them, fussing over them, pulling them back where they should be, making eye contact…all the right things a mother should do. And, this was in Walmart where most of the parents let the children wander, scream, and get their own sugary cereal. I stopped her and commended her for actually being a parent and caring how her children acted. Parents who just ignore bad behavior never look stressed. She was so stressed. In restaurants, I threatened real things–t-you will not watch Romper Room, you will not go to the pool tomorrow, you will get a spanking right now…got the idea? No, we did not just start buying fast food. They got pb sandwich if it were noonish or I cooked if it were later. LOTS of mothers did that. My oldest is 43, a long time ago. My 43-yr-old does not allow bad behavior in a restaurant. You can actually tell how he was reared. I was not worried about their self-esteem. Yes, I would spank them. Yes, I would take things and privileges away. If we were in a restaurant, upscale or fast food and the three of them pulled shenanigans, I only calmly said, "Okay, no one goes swimming tomorrow if this continues." Okay, last thing–my son said to me when he was about ten and I had banned him from the skating rink the next Saturday because of his behavior. He said, "Mama, just spank me and let that be my punishment so I can go skating." See, you must use the child's currency and make believers of them. Hollow threats are not believed. He did not care if he were spanked as long as he got to be horrid.Okay, another last thing. They could redeem themselves because I did not really want them to miss pool or skating. Son would deal–I will be good all week and then can I go? Wow! I had a child who would jump at my slightest thought. Yes, you have to make him miss skating only once for this to work.

  7. Practical Parsimony

    Oh, another thing. When I was a child, I did not order for myself. My mother did. We did not waste the server's time or argue about what my mother ordered. She did talk with us before she ordered. But, she had complete and total veto power. We did not even swing our feet. If we needed something, we knew not to run for it, like kids do today. Just because we could reach it did not mean we could go get it. When I was three, Mama had another baby. So, we were close together. She developed a pretty good evil eye that really spelled trouble. We were never spanked over restaurant behavior because we just never misbehaved. I do remember her dire warnings of what we could and could not do while we were getting ready to go, in the car, and as we walked into the restaurant. Parents must spend lots of time talking. Parents today are too busy talking on the cell phones and having their own social life to rear children the world will welcome.

  8. Mary A.

    To me, those are not either-or questions. He shoulda had the audience put them in order.1. Calmly tell them to STFU2. Threaten a consequence if they don't STFU3. Take them out if they don't STFU4. Unplug DS for a week.

  9. California Girl

    Just had lunch with my two waiter sons & their father. Your appearance on Dr. Phil came up (because I brought it up even tho' I didn't get to see it as I was at work at a tv station & they won't let me watch the competition). Anyway, over the past year, I occasionally send them your posts because they resonate and I know the boys will laugh, sort of, after they gnash their teeth in agreement.They wanted to know how in the world you got on Dr. Phil and I told them the topic and they were off and running with their own stories. Next thing you know, my husband is asking them "What rules would you implement if you could have your own restaurant & run it the way you want?"One son said, automatic 20% tip on all checks, order via texting (which I guess is trending) so he doesn't hear "attitude" and no obese people because he hates serving unhealthy food in large quantities. The other said he'd have a staff of robots so he didn't have to fuck with anybody and tips would be calculated at the discretion of the waiter based on customer behavior. They both agree the family tables are often the worst. My one son works at the restaurant closest to a huge kid attraction here and at 6pm they are bombarded!I'd like to see the show so if you know it will be on Hulu or YouTube or whatever, post the link once it's available.Congratulations!

  10. Anonymous

    Ugh! That Momster with her "steak" comment fails to understand the "civil" in civility. I don't give a rat's hind end what her child eats, but if he is eating it in a restaurant, she better keep him quiet. She strikes me as the kind of mother you see in the supermarket who constantly asks her child, what do you want, what do you want? Kids need direction, they do not need to make a million decisions a day. She is raising the future entitled generation! Yuppie parenting at its worst. It bothers me the most in fine dining establishments. Just because the parents have enough money to order a steak for Junior, it doesn't mean I want to listen to their kid babble or, worse, scream, or listen to them disciplining him. My parents would never have taken me to a fine dining establishment until I knew what fork to use and how to conduct myself. That's civil, respectful behavior.

  11. Anonymous

    I was taking my son to restaurants since he was six weeks old, he is now forty and takes me. On the rare occasion that he was out of sorts while eating out, I was one of those parents that would leave the table with him until he settled down….worked for us every time. I have been a waitress for many years and now retired. My fantasy is the next time I am eating out and there is an obnoxious child in the room, is to have the waiter drop my check on their table as I leave, after writing, Thank You for my Dinner on the back of the check! Someday I will make it happen!

  12. Jennifer

    You only have to take them home ONE time and they get it. In fact, you only have to take the OLDEST one home one time, because the oldest one will tell the younger ones, "Mom's not playing, she WILL take your butt home and you'll go to bed with no chicken nuggets or ice cream, she did it to me once at Red Robin and she is NOT fooling with you." My kids are SO well-behaved that older people will come to our table and loudly praise them while shooting daggers toward the table of the bad parents with the screaming kids. I even had an old man loudly say once, "Your children are MUCH younger than THOSE children over there, but are SO much better behaved!" Oh, and always tip at least 25% when you have your crotch droppings with you.

  13. Anonymous

    It's called the escalating response…1) firmly ask child to stop. 2) Repeat request. 3) Take child out. 4) Leave restaurant entirely. Its a fact of life. You can't teach them proper dining behavior if you never take them out. Granted, they should be learning in the home, but hey, how often does our society eat out…oh yeah, all the time.Sorry, but you're not going to jump straight to leaving the restaurant. You're going to try to be a balanced parent. Deal with it.And for anonymous poster #1…ROFLMFAO…try to discipline a child in public and see the reaction you get…wow…the pendulum will swing the complete opposite direction. How effing dare you disciple your kid!?!?! *Rolls eyes*

  14. Anonymous

    I personally have a 2.5 yr old boy and HONESTLY I have and will continue to take him out to eat in public that is the only way he is going to learn how to act when in public situations!!!!!!!!! However I can also say again HONESTLY I have removed myself and my family if my son is causing a disturbance and acting inappropriately! This has been anywhere from a fast food place or a nice steakhouse or whatever! I will continue to do this and I think its unfair for people to be judged because they have children and this is putting the standard that all children are bad in public which is not always the case! It's to each parent their own discretion on how they handle things and all children shouldn't be treated as the old saying goes children should be seen and not heard they have just as much right to be in public as anyone else does! And as far as you turning up your ipod and pretending to be asleep that absolutely disgusting and I hope your parents would have raised you better than that! How embarrassing for them that you would act in such a manner as that! My son has only 1/2 of his brain literally and he has more sense than to do that to someone he will physically get up from a chair without being told or asked to do so when another adult comes in the room! How can u be so shallow to act and think like that…… Just remember you may be the one legged person someday and it would serve you right for someone to treat you that way!!!

    1. Ginger

      A. No one believes you when you keep saying HONESTLY in caps.
      B. No one cares about your son and his alleged half a brain.
      C. Humor and sarcasm is lost on you, isn’t it?

  15. Anonymous

    Holy crap, watching that episode was so annoying (not because of you Bitchy!) First, that stupid poll was completely idiotic! Of course people would say they would take their brats outside, but they almost never actually do!! I would say about 1 in 5 people who have misbehaving child actually even notice and far less remove them. Second, it is not a servers job to tell someone they need to control their kid. The person just takes it out on the server if you do say something. I might have a manager tell them to shut the brat up for another table, but otherwise them them yourself. Maybe if more people spoke up they would realize their kids are terrors. Oh, and as a server I don't care if you bring cheerios or whatever your kids eat in with you as long as you clean up after them if they drop them all over the floor OR tip way more; tips are TO INSURE PROMPT SERVICE not clean up your 2 year old's mess. I work in a high end steak house…no processed chicken served. I guarantee that crazy bitch would not order a $70 steak for her kid. People always order their kids mac and cheese when they come in and usually ask for a kids menu, shocked we don't have one. I have never seen a person shell out $70 for their kid to eat steak. Oh and most people paying that much for a meal would like it to be quiet, they don't want a screaming kid throwing things at them. Lastly, why should I have to get a new job because kids have become increasingly ill-mannered??? I work in a high end restaurant, not Chucky Cheese, because I don't want to deal with children. Oh and when an adult person is being excessively loud or inappropriate we ask them to stop and if they don't we ask them to leave!!

  16. Anonymous

    I'm not excusing parents who let their kids run wild, but I do have to comment on this. I have a best friend (who's a waitress with three kids) whose two year old son was "acting up" in a restaurant one night. She took him into the bathroom to talk to him. When she came out she discovered that someone had called the police! They said she'd dragged him into the bathroom by his hair. She doesn't even spank her kids. I think a lot of parents would discipline their kids in public are afraid to. She's not the only person I know who has had this happen to them.

  17. JTN

    It annoys me when people confuse public space with private space. I've found it more common now than even 20 years ago. People think if they go in a private business (mall, restaurant, store, etc) they can act or behave however they want without consequences. It is simply not true. A restaurant is (in many ways) not all that different from my living room. It is private space and if someone is allowed in, they are expected to play by the rules. You do not get your 1st amendment rights (or any others) in private space. You can act rudely and yap on your cell phone until your brains roll out of your head in a publicly owned space, but in private space, the rights of the owner are paramount.In other words, if a business owner doesn't want you there because you are disruptive, they can kick you out. People like to behave like knuckledragging narcisstic heathens in consumer private spaces because they play on the fears of the owner losing customers. What they fail to realize is there are plenty of customers like myself who intentionally bypass businesses that cater to f*cktrophies (Red Robin, I'm looking at you). I don't protest, I don't cause a fuss, but I also don't spend my money in places where I feel like I have to be fluent in dolphin because of all the kiddie shrieking around me. I go places where I can have a nice dinner without listening to children scream. The funny thing is, I don't blame the child. It is the parents who are the enablers of bad behavior and encourage it. Most are self-centered, self-focused jerks who think they 'deserve' to go out and its not their problem if their child is wrecking havoc… they want another drink and to talk to their friends in a place where they know the staff won't allow their children to literally set themselves on fire so its free babysitting. The kid pushes to see how far they can go and when they realize there are no serious boundaries, the sweet n low packets suddenly become the foundation of an art project. I'm all for kicking kids out of restaurants. If the parents want food from there, they can either a) carry out or b) hire a babysitter. In some ways, I yearn for the days when going out was still a special event instead of mundane because you knew it was a treat.

  18. Practical Parsimony

    "It's to each parent their own discretion on how they handle things and all children shouldn't be treated as the old saying goes children should be seen and not heard they have just as much right to be in public as anyone else does!" And, what about my right to eat in peace? Oh, yeah, your child trumps me. I forgot. Now, when parent is doing everything they can to remedy the situation, I am willing to overlook bad behavior up to a point. But, the parent who just ignores the child drives me crazy. I hate what they are doing to the child, also.When I go out with people with children, I think the children should be seen and not heard! Listening to a child who has to replay his whole day and week for me, and I am expected to be polite and listen is unfair to child and me. But, parents beam as though the child should hog conversation time. My children liked to entertain others with their exploits, too. However, at a certain point, I very nicely told the child "that's enough for now. We want to talk, too." "Each parent's discretion" ??? So, if you think that ignoring your child is the best thing to do, we should all just try to eat with screaming, demanding, running around? Hogwash. You think your little darling's rights trump mine? No way.

  19. Anonymous

    This really annoys me, when a parent ignores their child's behavior and doesn't discipline them. It also annoys me when they allow their child to ignore them without consequences. I saw one parent cave in when her child kept ignoring her.

  20. David Lightfoot

    As mentioned in my last post and e-mail, I did not see the show yesterday, but given your comment and perception of some of these parents, I've something to say to that woman and other parents who feel their toddlers are worthy of steak… um, AYFKM?If I remember correctly, I think I was about six years old when I had my first steak, and even then it was cut into bite sized pieces by my parents. And how old is YOUR child? If s/he is under the age of five, then no, they are not worthy of a restaurant's steak, especially if they JUST STARTED SOLID FOOD! I would have to be plumb out of my head to cook an entire steak and then feed it to my 2-3 year old! If you ask me, chicken fingers and fries or mashed potatoes and small vegetables (don't even think about broccoli and corn on the cob here; their mouths are way too small) would be just perfect for your little one.You people who are stupid enough to feed a child under the age of five a whole fucking steak are no better at teaching your children early healthy habits than those who make their kids live on McDonald's and Chucky Cheese and other such fast food with DEEP FRIED FAT!!!! If I were to put that shit with my potential three-year-old, I'd have hell to pay with my pediatrician when he discovers that my child weighs 75 pounds.You people (including Miss Princess whom you've confronted in the audience) sound like one of those parents who go on Maury Povich for a show about fat babies and scream at the audience, "WHATEVA! WHATEVA! I feed my baby ANYTHING THEY WANT, and y'all can't tell me NOTHING!" And that is exactly they type of parents who deserves to be roasted alive by society.If anyone who agreed with the brat ban on her met you, I guarantee they would slap you.

  21. Gallo

    so true!!!! where can we see your show taped, I could not see it. Can you post a video of it!?Is Dr Phil as annoying in real life as he is on TV. Did you slap his wife after the show? say you did!!!

  22. Anonymous

    Here is how I (a server) handle the problem parents.(but really, anyone could indulge themselves)I walk up to the table, give the child a big smile and ask, "Soooo, do you take after Mommy…..or Daddy?"A lot of times the kid will shut up out of shock, sometimes the parents will be embarrassed and take action, and sometimes one parent won't miss a beat….they answer the question with the other spouse's name!Try it…it beats doing nothing :-D~the Damn Yankee

  23. Mary

    Omg, bitchy I feel your pain. But wait till you hear about my pain. A surgeon, his partners,get together in my station, they only want me. Every two weeks. They love our restaurant. Very low key. Yeah,for them. Not us. His young partner and wife with the two kids come along at each and every "meeting". A nasty little boy who pinches the toddler whenever the adults are not looking…the baby screams with pain. The baby is constantly filled up with snot and drippy eyes and a red nose. He is the most unhappy little waif you ever saw. He could be the star of "Les Miz". That's the fucking prize I get when I waited on the single older doctor. OMG, the little bastard looks almost like that picture of one of your recent posts. UGH, going to make another drink! And the original doctor is such a gentleman. The screaming and bullshit at their table has empited our restaurant on several Tuesday nights. !

  24. Calif.Girl

    I saw you on Dr. Phil, & had to follow up – re: 72% of parents would take their tantrumed kid out of the restuarant. I don't believe that for a minute. What I Actually see – is dumb parents just sit there while Johnny screams, etc., & they don't have a Clue how to discipline him. I eat out a lot; & I seldom see parents discipline their Brats.If there was a restaurant here that banned kids under 6, I'd drive miles to go to it! So HangInThere, I agree with you 100%; & I'm gonna Bookmark you!Calif.Girl

  25. Anonymous

    Parents are too busy shoving food in their mouths and too lazy to get of their fat ass to do something with their kid. The other day I had a table: a mom, grandmother and 3 small children. The woman where very demanding and wanted something everytime I walked by the damn table. The two older children (around 4 or 5) were the most obnoxious little brats. They climbed up on the booth, jumped up and down screaming and left the booth looking like a tornado of Mac and cheese exploded on the floor, all while the mom and grandma ignored them. I was hoping one of the little snots would fall and get hurt, but then they would probably sue us.-Vanessa

  26. Anonymous

    I am a mother of two, and I agree with you. The poll was complete bs. I have NEVER seen parents take their children out of a restaurant for bad behavior. I refuse to take my children to nice restaurants until they are old enough to not cause a scene. I do take them out to dinner, but not to a 5 star restaurant. Before I had children, I always thought children under 5 shouldn't be allowed in such places. I still feel the same way. From time to time mine will test me, but are quickly put in check. You know what worked when I was growing up? SPANKINGS! As it did for a majority of people I know. One mention of a trip to the restroom would straighten a child up real quick. I have gotten many compliments on how well behaved my children are when going out to eat. That's because they know the consequences of their actions. It could be a spanking, no tv, or straight to bed. My older son(4) has walked up to another parent of a child throwing himself on the floor screaming and told her that she needed to get off the phone and spank her son. She continued to ignore her child, and talk on the phone. Children are not accessories. If a person cannot take the time to teach them and be consistant, don't have them. As for the woman that was on the show with her husband for their son's tantrums. She was delusional. I could go on for hours on this topic.

  27. Anonymous

    I am a mother and server. Other kids piss me right off! So do their parents! "What do u want to drink Johonny?" after 5 minutes of wasting my time….MILKSHAKE! oh YAY! Yay for me! FML

  28. Cindy

    I have raised three kids of my own, one is in grad school,one half way through university and one in middle school. They would ALL be appalled at bad behavior of children in a restaurant…why you ask? Because I never ever would have allowed it with them. My middle child was a handful as a toddler and he was taken many times, out of a restaurant (not a steak house either!!)I left the grocery cart TWICE in the store (after apologizing for leaving it) because he was tantruming….and you know what? I waited until he was ready, and I was ready, to try again.(we are talking months here, not moments)Once he was old enough to understand the rules going in (ie: do not ask for "such and such" or we will be leaving, etc) Knowing the rules beforehand, knowing the expectations and consequences beforehand, seemed to make a huge impact on the behavior. Having said that, he is 19 now, and I can assure you that we have had many many many dinners out, shopping adventures, and the like, and he has developed socially just fine…I took my kids to age and price appropriate restaurants as they grew up and it all seemed to work out.So, if you have 50 or 70 dollars to spend on steak for your child, why not invest in child care for the evening and save us all the annoyance of your child, and take him or her out somewhere that has crayons and slides for family dinner. I bet your marriage or relationship will appreciate the kid free zone too!

  29. Justme

    So, maybe it's just me but this is ridiculous!! I've never been to a restaurant where the kid is completely out of control! I don't know if it's because of the demographics of where I live or what. I have 3 grown boys, and as you may or may not know boys are a handful! However, I knew their limitations and they knew mine. We never went to upscale restaurants until they were at least 7 or 8. When we went to restaurants I gave them choices do you want a or b and that was before the waiter got there. They always were aware that they had to behave; however, if for some reason the two youngest would start arguing my husband and I would tell one more time and you're going to the bathroom. AND YES, Heaven forbid if they kept it up they got spanked! Gasp! But when they got back to the table with red eyes and runny noses they were nice and quiet. PROBLEM SOLVED! Next time I told them about the bathroom, they would calm down real quickly. Obviously, when there are children involved you know this table will probably be a little louder than the others, but as I do now (that I no longer have small children) I asked to be moved. I seriously never had that happen to me with my children to the point where I had to leave a restaurant or leave any place I was at. I know there limitations. But hey, what about the out of control adults who have to much to drink and start getting loud. Or here's my favorite the group of 20 somethings that go out and think it's cute to tell their jokes loudly, once again have too much to drink and take facebook pictures the whole time they're there?

  30. Marsha66

    I had never had a situation in a restaurant that was that bad until about 3 weeks ago. My husband and I were in a small independently owned restaurant in a sort of snobby subdivision around 8pm for dinner. The place was almost full and there was a little girl about 3 or 4 running up and down the isle that was right by access to the kitchen. She did this many times as she joyfully screeched, until finally an older gentleman who was dining with 3 companions of his age, put his arm out and said "you shouldn't be running". At this point the father decided to take notice of his daughter and the situation and proceed to yell at the man for telling his daughter what to do. My husband told the father to show some respect when he started swearing at the elderly gentleman (we were right next to them). He then proceeded to yell at my husband who got up from the table to put an end to all this when a waiter finally came over to try to diffuse the situation. I in no way believe it is the waiters job to take care of a problem like this but a manager sure should have before it went this far. People were leaving and we sure did not stay to receive our meal. It affects the business.By the way, I have 1 teenager and we raised him to behave in a restaurant and to eat food from a regular menu (opposed to kids menus). I may have had to go outside 2-3 times and once my husband had a talk with him in the restroom but he learned how to behave while in a restaurant.

  31. Dale

    @Justme – I've seen it twice (once from first person… I was a devil child), and both times the parent took the child out of the restaurant. What I have seen more often, though, is baby getting fussy or the young child getting antsy and the parents ignoring him. The child isn't quite crossing the line, it's not like they're having a small scale food fight or shredding napkins to make confetti, but still irritating. There's still squirming on the other side of the booth, or that constantly "waaah waaah waaaaaah!" that makes you want to order a medium well done rack of hellspawn, but it's not quite to the point where you'd go hunt it yourself yet.I do agree with you over the general noise issue. I think the reason children are singled out is that they're more common – you don't usually see groups of rowdy teens in upscale or formal dining restaurants, and it's fairly easy to ask to not be seated near a large table if you're worried about people getting drunk and obnoxious (plus many restaurants will cut you off if they think you're getting too drunk), but crying babies can be a weekly if not daily occurance.

  32. devium

    The weird thing is when they got to the part about ANOTHER person's child, a crap-load said ask their server to say something..?!?!? Now I do know you said it's not your place to tell a parent how to deal with their child… But if you are the server to the table with a child, that'll kill your potential for a tip. And to my knowledge in the states (I'm from Canada so wages for waiters/waitresses is different) you basically rely on your tips because your hourly wage is next to nothing. Like what the hell. Don't people realize that you are the waiter/waitress because it's a job, because you need money?!

  33. Anonymous

    First, I love you. I've crushed on you for about a year, but now I totally love you. I'm too lazy to stalk, though.Second, I'm so glad you did at least say something in front of the audience about that 1%. I'd expected Phil to at least say, "Who would do that?" And when they polled the audience about confronting parents, getting the waiter, etc, I did plenty of talking back to the TV. The only options on *my* radar are to just leave the restaurant (but leave a dang good tip, and I'm certainly not just giving lip service here) or ask for the manager. If they don't witness it first hand, they may not believe it's happening or think it's a big deal. My goal is not to get a meal comped but to see that they're aware that patrons with unruly kids do affect their bottom line.

  34. Anonymous

    I once took the 3 kids that I babysit to a restaurant. Their ages were 5, 6, and 7. Before we arrived I explained how they should behave, and they understood that I had high expectations. They were excellent. They kept their voices low, stayed in their seats, used their napkins, and were polite to the waitress. I saw these same kids at a restaurant with their parents and they acted like wild animals. It's most definately not the kids in most cases. It's bad parenting.

  35. Amanda

    Thank you for posting this OMG!!! Loved you on Dr. Phil.. I am a server in a fine dining restaurant, and I despise screaming kids! One time I had a group of 10 people, and half were children. All of a sudden, the kids started running around the restaurant, like it was a jungle gym! AND there were couples who were spending at least 150 dollars on their meals around them! The parents did NOTHING about their kids running around the restaurant, and when I confronted one of the parents, she laughed… I simply stated that it was not appropriate for their children to run around the restaurant, as one of the children could get hurt, and that there were other couples around them enjoying their dinner. The parents should take the child outside the restaurant or bathroom, and simply disipline the child..

  36. Anonymous

    I am the youngest of 4 sibs, very close in age. One rule we had growing up was the "standard drink order." Mom got sick of the "I'll have a coke." "I'll have a fanta." "Wait, I want a fanta instead."So she instituted "you're having coke, you're having coke, you're having fanta, you're having fanta." if we wanted something different, we had to speak up before our foot hit the pavement of the parking lot. Worked like a charm.

  37. Aimee

    I hardly ever watch Dr. Phil (yeah, right!), but I saw it the other day with you on it (which is what brought me to your blog). I thought you were very articulate and totally 100% right. The woman who argued that a noise ban would suffice seemed totally unhinged by the end (she said something like, Excuse me?? Are you telling me that my child cannot eat steak??). Touchy issue, but you handled it well.

  38. kittiefuk

    Yesterday, my co-worker had a child from one of her tables come up to her and ask if she could stay with her because she didn't want to go home with her mommy. Later in the evening, the child (who had been wandering quite frequently during the meal) wandered out of the restaurant into the mall that we are located in. My co-worker had to chase her down the mall and bring her back into the restaurant. The parents just sat there completely unaware that their child (under the age of 4) had just been retrieved from the mall corridor. I was disgusted.

  39. Stevie

    Ok so i watched the segiment on Dr. Phil and i think that you are ridiculous and the whole "brat ban" bullshit is stupid. You are only a waiter what the hell have you done with your pathetic life to make you think that you are someone to tell parents to take their children anywhere you are a waiter that is all so you need to learn your place in society you serve people for a living the children you are setting here trying to ban from your place of business are the same kids that you will be serving later on when they are older because you probably wont go out and try to find a real job yea being a waiter is work I've been there kids have never bothered me. But once you pass the age of 21 get a real job. The audacity of a waiter to tell parents such as myself, to take our kids somewhere else is crap. You don't know the struggles that I've have gone thru with my sons health when he was first born. My son deserves to eat anywhere with me, regardless if a "bitchy" waiter likes it or not my goodness your only a waiter know your place in society and that is serving me and my son when ever we choose to go to your establishment. That is how i feel I have worked to get to my status in society Im probably half your age and i resent that i have worked so hard to get where i am at to have a "waiter" tell me anything. People setting here on this site saying your so cool "bitchy" your so true bitchy blah blah blah need to quit sitting around the t.v. and get themselves a life aswell we all know that you run home from your ball busting jobs that leave you with little reward, tired and wore-out well maybe if you did something with your life earlier on your have a job that you enjoy you wouldn't be so stressed when you go out to eat. You know what you are trying to keep my child out of eating in public well i guess we can try and keep all of you cry-baby ass adults outta public. It would be easier to tell yall to leave than it would to try to make children do what they don't wanna. So u know what why don't yall stay home because i am taking my son out and if yall don't like they way he acts come see me and see if yall like the way i tell yall to grow up and act your age not your status my goodness hes a waiter and yall are flocking to him like hes some kind of a saint get over it HES A DAMN WAITER. Thats it nothing more sure he makes this snazzy web page about his bitches his moans his complaints and yall set here and feed into them like yall are social parasites. Get a real life.

    1. guest

      Everything that you posted is absolute and hypocritical bullshit. Did you take a good luck in the mirror before passin’ judgmental, you asshole?! It sounds to me that you’re inconsiderate little cunt who thinks that he’s all high ‘n’ mighty to post shit towards adults who can’t stand whiny kids. Hell, it’s ironic that you called ’em crybabyies when you’re one yourself.

      If anyone who should grow up, it oughtta to be you since you don’t know what former children have to go through when they here brats scream. Since you think that a brat ban’s stupid, you should get your ass kicked out of places that don’t allow screamin’ kids.

  40. Daria

    Stevie, go back to school and learn some grammar and punctuation. You have a high social station? Awesome. Then you have no excuse to let your kid run around like a crazy animal in public. You wouldn't want to be mistaken for entitled trailer trash, would you?Your kid had health problems at birth? Good for you for overcoming those like millions of others have. You get how precious his life is and have no excuse to let your kid run around like a crazy animal in public.You don't want to see any waiters over 21? You must love swallowing all the spit, urine, and cum you're served by those brats. When I see a young waiter coming at me, I ask for an adult.Lastly, "get a real job"? You win the award for not actually reading one single goddamn post on this blog before ranting like a moron. The previous Anonymous commenter got you exactly right. They must know you personally, and have my sympathy. Please, Stevie, look inside, figure out why you're so defensive and angry and address it before your kid pays the price for it. I don't mean "the price" as in, a beating from you for not getting perfect grades, but the social price. Kids who grow up overprotected and overindulged are woefully unprepared to go out into the world and take care of themselves. The first time some meanie cuts them off in traffic, doesn't rent their dream apartment to them, or doesn't hire them for a high-level management position straight out of high school, they melt down and run back to their parents to take care of them forever. But you'd be fine with that, wouldn't you, Stevie? If not, you can change that course by simply teaching your kid consideration. Sit down, shut up, and eat your food like a human.

  41. Anonymous

    Ugh. So annoying when this happens. My spouse and I have 2 kids, and we actually HAVE hauled them right out of the restaurant when they acted up. Most likely because we both worked in restaurants for years in our 20s. And I don't know why parents wouldn't do that. Is it embarrassing? Sure, but isn't it MORE embarrassing to sit there for an entire meal with a misbehaving kid? Does it suck to pay the bill/tip and leave before the food comes? Yeah, it does, but how much could you enjoy a meal when your kids are driving you and everyone else crazy?Anyway, I think that the lazy parents are misguided, because damn, do our kids behave excellently in restaurants now. Yeah, we go earlier in the evening and we don't go to super quiet or formal places, because even good kids can be louder than those places require. But the point I mean to make is that the 1-2 nights of pain saved us sitting through years of bratty kids. That seems like an easy/lazy solution to me!(PS: I am not trying to be smugparent, promise. I realize that we are also LUCKY that this worked with our kids' particular personalities. But you can't get lucky if you don't try. Ha!)

  42. Robert

    Late to the game but I HAVE to send a big LOL out to Stevie. I always find it amusing that the parent who goes on and on about their rights and the rights of their children make it crystal clear that they are the very special snowflakes that have absolutely NO concern about the rights of ANYONE besides themselves and their spawn.

    Good job Stevie! You are truly one of the one-percenters (of the Dr Phil poll).


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