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Should restaurants ban children during peak hours?

  • Lazy parents/obnoxious brats beware!

    If my husband and I are trying to enjoy a quiet evening out at a good restaurant, the last thing we want is to have to tolerate some obnoxious chiild or group of children screaming and running around, while THEIR parents text, talk, enjoy their meals. Have some damn common sense and courtesy for others! Not everyone thinks your precious brats are adorable! And YES, we raised our children!

  • Depends on situation

    It depends upon the type of restaurant. If casual or family dining then no. But, parents should remove misbehaving children and leave if necessary. If fine dining, then yes. Need to define an appropriate age limit. Maybe 10 or 11? At which a child should be able to act appropriately.

  • Say no to kids

    Why should I have to pay to witness your lack of parenting skills? Your inability to control your child is demonstrated by your shrieking child that you ignore. Trust me, I'm not able to ignore it. I left my dogs at home because they wouldn't be able to behave in the restaurant either.

  • It's not fair to other paying guest

    When I chose to go out to dinner, I expect and am paying for the right to enjoy my meal with my dining partner and not be distracted by a crying child. If I chose to go to Chuckie Cheese's then I know there will be lots of children and loud noises. It is the same way in movie theaters. They used to have a room at the back of theater that was sound proofed so parents could take a loud child in there and not disturb others.

  • Where do you draw the line?

    A restaurant is defined as "a place where you sit down to eat meals that are cooked for you." With this in mind: Where do you draw the line? Are you going to say that children are not allowed in Pizza Hut or McDonalds during peak hours? Would those businesses be happy to lose their target market? It would do more harm to businesses than a few loud children could ever do.

  • If a child cannot act appropriately, then they shouldn't be out in public

    There will always be family-oriented, child-friendly restaurants. If I go to Chili's or Olive Garden, I can expect to hear and see young children because those establishments cater to families specifically. However, with all the hundreds, if not thousands of dining and entertainment options available to families, why can't adults have a spot to go and have a nice meal? A place that ISN'T a bar or a strip club?

    To be honest, anyone who cannot act civilized, adults or children, should not be allowed in a restaurant.

  • Some children are quiet.

    People generally know if their child is noisy or gets on a crying jag when in public. Those people who bring noisy kids in could be asked to leave but an overall ban on all children seems a bit much. When our kids were small, we knew enough to stick to McDonalds, Applebees, and Taco Bell.

  • Context is everything!

    It all depends on the nature of the restaurant and the nature of the child, and what "peak hours" means. An outright ban would be stupid. Parents have the right to take their kids out in public, but also the responsibility to know what context is appropriate given the nature of the kid. I think restaurant owners have a right to expect parents to know what their kids are like and what they can handle, and should be empowered to responsibly take action if things go awry, which could include asking patrons to leave (temporarily at first, possibly for the rest of the meal as needed) if other patrons are being disturbed. If a particular patron continually exceeds the limit, then an individual ban may be necessary--just like if it were an adult who picks fights with other patrons or destroys property.

  • Not a reasonable expectation

    If my son (3 soon to be 4y/o) acts up in a restaurant, I take him away from the table and go to a lobby or outside. Usually he calms down pretty quickly. I explain to him that we can’t ruin other people’s good time and that he needs to calm down before we can go back in. I also tell him that if it happens again we will leave. Then, the important part: I FOLLOW THROUGH!!! I have left a restaurant mid-meal. Either my wife or I take him out and the other stays to deal with packing up the rest of the food & taking care of the check. After a few mid-meal exits, he got the idea and is now a reasonably well-behaved little boy and we can take him to most any restaurant. This is because we don’t tolerate unacceptable behavior (age appropriate of course) while out in public or at home. We make the expectations & consequences clear to him and we follow through. I think that’s a big reason kids misbehave: the parents don’t follow through. I can’t count how many times I’ve heard mom or dad say “if you don’t stop we’ll leave” over & over while the kid throws a fit and they never actually leave. It makes for a very crappy time. Hence, why we actually DO leave. It’s amazing what a little discipline can do.

  • Where do you draw the line?

    A restaurant is defined as "a place where you sit down to eat meals that are cooked for you." With this in mind: Where do you draw the line? Are you going to say that children are not allowed in Pizza Hut or McDonalds during peak hours? Would those businesses be happy to lose their target market? It would do more harm to businesses than a few loud children could ever do.

  • Redundant . . .

    A restaurant banning children during peak hours would not only lose the child/children as customers, but the entire family. If all of these "family" restaurants banned children during the times when business is supposedly at its peak, these families might start to come an hour or two earlier or later than they used to. Since the majority of people who go to "family" restaurants are FAMILIES, wouldn't this just shift the peak hours to a different time, therefore recreating the problem over and over? If a child is so misbehaved they can not be controlled physically, emotionally and vocally that is a separate parenting issue altogether.

  • It is discrimination.

    If you ban all children claiming some of them misbehaved before, you would be discrimination against families and taking away their right to choose the restaurant they want to go, and putting well behaved children in the same bag with spoiled brats. How can you think it is fair for adults to be discriminated just because they have children?

    Posted by: Rafe

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