Restaurant Manners

Amanda - posted on 04/03/2011 ( 20 moms have responded )

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A few months ago I took my family out to our favourite sit down restaurant, and a family really annoyed us, but I thought I would let it go, as I had never seen parents behave this way before. I truly thought it was just a fluke. Until last night when I took my family to eat at Applebees in Niagara Falls.

First dinner out we sit down to start to enjoy our dinner, when I hear Alvin in the Chipmunks movie, I looked around the restaurant, thinking I must be crazy because there is no way this restaurant installed televisions. Only to see a family of four, 3 tables away using a portable dvd player blasting away to keep their 6-9 year old child entertained while eating. I was in total shock, my 2 year old starts to beg to go watch the movie. I say politely but loudly enough for the other family to hear. “We do not watch tv while eating in a restaurant because its rude to the other customers”. This family clearly didn’t get my point and I was lucky enough to listen to the annoying voices of the Chipmunks while trying to enjoy my dinner. Ironic part is the tv did not help these children to behave as they were crawling all over the floor, and wouldn’t sit down longer then 5 minutes even with the moving interrupting everyone else’s meals.

Last night at Applebee’s another family used their mini laptop, to entertain their one year child while they ate.

Since when did parents start taking Tvs out in public to baby sit their children???

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Mary - posted on 04/03/2011

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I can't believe that some of you haven't encountered this before. It's not just portable DVD's, either....kids as young as 4 or 5 are whining for Mommy's phone to play games or watch youtube clips, or (if they are really lucky) an ipad.

It's not something I'd do with my two y/o. Luckily, she's usually pretty happy to scribble with crayons in the coloring book I always have with me while we are waiting for our food. Sometimes, if the wait is long, or she's in a mood, I do need to get up and take her for a walk (she loves going to the restroom to wash her hands - pure joy when you are 2!).

It is hard...most kids today are so used to modern technology and electronics...my daughter understood that Daddy's iphone could play Elmo songs shortly after she turned one. Any time he answered his phone in her presence, she immediately said "Play Elmo, Daddy!" She knows that Mommy's bag is the place to go for her water cup or goldfish. They don't miss a trick, from a very young age. I can see where some parents, who have utilized one of their "gadgets" to entertain a child in say, a lengthy wait at the doctor's, or while getting a car serviced, are then sort of screwed when they are somewhere like a restaurant. Coloring on that kid's menu is just not that appealing when they know they can play DoodleJump on Daddy's phone.

It's not that I condone it, it's just that I can see where a couple, desperate for a relatively peaceful meal out, where they can talk to each other, might cave to avoid that meltdown that would almost inevitably occur if they told Jr he couldn't watch Shrek on the ipad he knows is in Mommy's bag.

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Amanda - posted on 04/05/2011

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well, my kids are insane it's hard to keep them still and quiet through a meal....BUT they are 1 and 2. at 6 and 9 there is no reason for them to be running and crawling around, there's no reason they should need a DVD player to keep them occupied (providing they don't have other issues). we've never taken a DVD player, occassionaly we play music (quietly) on our phones for the kids, we do what we can but i have no doubt that our kids are sometimes annoying to others but we do our best and the way i see it (and i know this is not popular opinion but i'm going to say it anyway) if you don't want to put up with things like that don't go to a family restaraunt, which, applebees is. TGI Fridays even has TVs in some of thier booths. i'm suprised that you could hear thier movie, our applebees (and every one i've been in) has TVs and they have them on pretty loud, that and everyone else's conversations around tend to drown out most everything.

Celeste - posted on 04/05/2011

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Yeah, I've heard of it before. It's not something I'd do because I'd be afraid it'd be disruptive to other customers.

However, I do let my 8 year old daughter listen to my IPod. She has sensory issues and music helps her not to have a meltdown with the loud noise and I'd sure hope no one judges me!

Becky - posted on 04/05/2011

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I have never seen someone watching a movie at the table in a restaurant! But, you do see kids - and adults - playing on their phones or texting during the meal, which to me, is equally rude to your dinner companions, even if it is "just" your family. But, not as bothersome to other restaurant patrons.
I will pull my phone out sometimes when we're waiting and the kids are antsy and let them look at the pictures on it. There aren't many, so it's not a very long distraction. But that's it. We don't play video games or text at the dinner table at home, and we won't in a restaurant either! (we do watch TV though, but we'd never bring a portable one out to eat)

Ez - posted on 04/03/2011

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WTF! That's just insane. Although I don't know why I'm surprised. We went out for dinner the other night, and while my 2yo sat in her chair drawing and eating, the table with 3 older boys (I'm guessing 10-12yo) behind me was pissing me off. They all had iPhones or a DS, with the volume cranked, and then they kept getting up (meaning having to push past my chair) to look at each other's games and scores. It was irritating as hell :-/

Johnny - posted on 04/03/2011

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That's nuts. When we go to a restaurant we bring books and coloring. Sometimes I do read aloud to my daughter, but in a quiet inside voice that would be the same as a regular conversation. My niece did try once to use her IPhone to entertain my daughter while I went to the washroom. But she learned pretty quick that it was a bad idea when my daughter freaked when it was time to put it away.

I do have a portable movie player. I bring it when I have a chiropractor or massage therapy appointment. I can't get babysitting for those. I put my daughter in the chair in the corner, put on the player on very low volume and it keeps her quiet for the entire appointment. I keep the volume low enough that you can only hear it if you're holding the player. I can't even hear it lying on the table. It's not as if I can just hop off the table to "parent" her or keep her entertained in the middle of an appointment, so I find that the player keeps her busy with videos the entire time. At first I brought a lot of books for her, but she'd always be asking me to read them and interrupting the therapist, so the video player works better.

The therapists have no problem with it, they all allow moms to bring their kids. In fact, when I first came without her and explained that I'd have to wait to make a second appointment until I could get babysitting again, they told me to just bring her along and not worry about it.

But in a restaurant? No way. Never even occurred to me. We do not watch tv while we eat except on family movie night when we eat on a blanket on the living room floor.

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Yeah, that's absurd. If you want to watch a movie while you eat.... do it at home.

My 3 year old behaves WAY better than that. He IS 3 (well, 2 the last time we went out) and of course gets restless at times, but he is fairly easy to distract QUIETLY.

Amanda - posted on 04/03/2011

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Yeah both restaurants had no issues with it at all. Crazy, I guess no one really complained so what are they to do.

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And the restaurant let them do this?! You'll always will come across ignorant parents, but the restaurant should have some standards - like 'No TVs allowed'.

Amanda - posted on 04/03/2011

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Omg thats crazy Heather, I also pick up my children and go for a walk or a little talk in the bathroom (depending on age). I remember as a child, there was no way I was going to misbehaviour at an "adult" restaurant or I knew my parents wouldnt take me the next time!

Lady Heather - posted on 04/03/2011

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Oh wow. Yeah, we have paper and crayons and if she's freaking out and we're both with her, one of us takes her out for a little walk (unless it is -30 or something). We didn't even keep her crying at a restaurant when she was two months old. Just one of us would take her for a walk until she was quiet or asleep or whatever. It still pisses me off when little kids are screeching like mad at restaurants. There was one last week who just wouldn't stop and he wasn't even a baby. He sounded like one. My daughter is all "Awww, baby." He easily had two years on her. HA. And he's surrounded by 6 adults and they are all ignoring him. omg. I HATE IT.

But tv? Really? Really. These must be the kids that end up with the tv-induced ADD. Sounds like they already have it.

Bonnie - posted on 04/03/2011

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That is crazy! I have never seen or heard of this before. I would rather kids be noisy or crawl around on the floor than hear a portable dvd player blasting a movie. I would have definitely complained to the manager.

Stifler's - posted on 04/03/2011

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I can get over little kids but when it's adults being so freaking loud everyone can hear the details of their conversation like seriously, is it necessary?!

Amanda - posted on 04/03/2011

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Omg yes loud talking! My oldest two are loud talkers, and I am always reminding them that they are in a restaurant, to use their smaller voices. LOL Adulting speaking loudly annoys me to no end. Children I can forgive as they are still learning table manners.

Stifler's - posted on 04/03/2011

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I also hate when people talk really loud so you can hear their entire conversation with their friends (especially when they're bitching about someone) or they're on their phone and everyone can hear them talking. It happens a lot when you go out for coffee more than dinner.

Amanda - posted on 04/03/2011

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I know thats why I thought the first time was a total fluke. I understand the portable dvd players for the car, even at a friends home who dont have children (and give your child headphones so everyone else doesnt have to listen), but a costly restaurant, thats just insane to me. I always thought dinners out is a time for families to catch up and enjoy eachothers company. Silly me! :0)

Stifler's - posted on 04/03/2011

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Bahahahahahaha! I've never seen this done before. I hope I never do. If you want to be loud, go to McDonalds. Don't ruin my expensive meal!

Katherine - posted on 04/03/2011

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I have NEVER heard of this. I mean you go to the necessary means of keeping your child happy, but to annoy everyone else is an entirely different matter.

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