rules for eating out with your kids by Better Home and Garden...?

Celia - posted on 05/26/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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So one of the commandments (there were 10) was the no breastfeeding at the table. Thats what started the hate mail against the magasine and the author but what do you guys think about the rest of the rules AND the no breastfeeding at the table rule that was removed?



http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/the-...





**EDIT**



They edited the article and removed the section about breastfeeding. This is what it said:



"THOU SHALT NOT BREAST FEED AT THE TABLE

Yes, I have seen table-side breast feeding at a four-star restaurant. If at all possible, take it to the ladies room. (Note: most upscale restaurants have really nice restrooms!)"

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Katie - posted on 05/26/2010

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Having managed a restaurant before my son was born I can actually really appreciate this article. As much all of the "commandments" seem like common sense to me, common sense seems to be less and less common these days. When I was little going out to dinner was a BIG deal. My brother and I would sit quietly at our table and colour. Climbing under tables and through peoples legs, or having a food fight wouldn't even have crossed our minds because it simply wasn't allowed. Working in the food service industry I have seen things that have blown my mind. For example.
1. People changing their childrens' dirty (poopy) diapers on a table, with no change pad, in the middle of a Friday night dinner rush. And then leaving the diaper poop side DOWN on the table for the waitress to dispose of!
2. People who have let their children run around to the extent that they had to be asked to retrieve them from the kitchen 5+ times in less then an hour.
3. Parents who have let their children play with candles on the tables resulting in small tablecloth fires.
4. Parents letting their children remove all of their clothes and run amok through the restaurant.
5. A mother bringing her sick daughter out to lunch with her and staying to chat with friends for a half hour, even after her child had vomited in our umbrella bin.

Now, granted my son is only 5.5 months old...I haven't reached the point in my parenting career where my child/children is capable of acting out beyond fussing and crying through a meal. And I do think that in a family restaurant people should be going in realizing that there is a solid chance that FAMILIES will be eating there, babies included. There is a line though, a baby crying is one thing. A kid being a kid and getting a bit rowdy is one thing. BUT! When your child is effectively ruining the dining experience of every single person in the building...It's time to go!

Johnny - posted on 05/26/2010

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Oh, and I absolutely hate it when people let their kids run around in any restaurant, aside from those like Chuck-E-Cheese or our local "kid cafe" which are designed for that. There is no excuse for that sort of poor discipline and it sets a bad example for my kid who is wondering why she can't do it to. It really irritates me.

Charlie - posted on 05/27/2010

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We have a very classy restaurant here , one of those super ritzy , all organic joints with a BIG sticker on the window saying " breastfeeding welcome here " , i love it !!

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La - posted on 05/27/2010

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I tried to read the article and they have deleted the whole post. Does anyone have a copy of the "10 commandments" by chance?

Jodi - posted on 05/27/2010

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Well, even my MOTHER set fire to a menu in a restaurant......



Seriously, in that time before she would admit she needed glasses (you know, probably where I am at now....) we went to dinner and the table had candles. She was holding the menu and moving it to find the place where she could read it (like, at arm's length) and it caught fire on the candle because that's how far away she needed it to be able to read.



Honestly though, most those commandments are based around discipline (or lack thereof). It's not rocket science, but unfortunately some people will never "get it". I just think it is sad that there seems to be a necessity to write an article like this.



And changing diapers on a table, Katie? Ewwwww, seriously? That's just disgusting.

Becky - posted on 05/27/2010

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I agree that most of the list is just common sense, although apparently that isn't so common anymore from what Katie described! OMG to all of those!! (although I'll admit to playing with candles at a family celebration when I was 12, and one of my younger cousins followed my example and set the napkin on fire! I wouldn't let my kids do it though!) Our 2 are 2 years old and 8 months old and we take them out. Usually it's to a more family-friendly restaurant, but we have taken them to fancier restaurants a few times. Never a 4 or 5 star though. Heck, we don't even go to those unless it's a special occasion, and in that case, we'd be getting a babysitter! I agree that you do not need to bring your stroller into the restaurant - the only time I even bring mine in is if we're eating at a restaurant in the mall and we've been shopping, and then I leave it by the door. And I completely agree that children should not be running through the aisles. That is so dangerous! what if your child gets something hot spilled on him?! Our two both go in a highchair - it's the best way to keep the 2 year old contained. He's pretty well behaved in public, but if he started throwing a tantrum, I would take him out.

But, I absolutely would, and have, breastfeed at the table. I don't see why I should have to go sit in the smelly bathroom and miss out on the conversation - and wait to eat - because my baby needs to eat. I use a cover, so no one can complain that they're going to see my breast. Not that they should anyways, but really, no one has any excuse for complaining, and I'd make it clear how I felt about it if someone did!!

Lucy - posted on 05/27/2010

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Seems like a good list to me (except the breast feeding problem) but it seems kind of a shame that a list is necessary!

We have always taken our kids to restaurants, posh and otherwise, as I actually think it is an important social skill for them to learn how to behave in different contexts, and places that are not specifically designed for kids.

If you don't expose kids to environments where there are certain expectations of them, how are they to learn? My two ( who are 2 and 4) LOVE eating out, especially Italian (they are addicted to olives) and really enjoy the whole social experience as well as the food. They learnt from very early on in their lives that dinner is a time to chat, socialise and enjoy the company of friends and family, without shouting, fussing and running around! We are often complemented by other diners on how well our children behave, which makes them (particularly our 4 year old daughter) beam with pride and behave even more nicely next time.

Although we have been to them occasionally, I'm not a big fan of "family" restaurants that provide soft play activities, balloons, and tolerate shouting and running about. I especially hate it when a restaurant has a nice main menu and then a children's menu that is just a list of junk with chips. I think all this just gives in to the idea that children should be allowed to behave as they please in public and can't be expected to learn any better.

As for the breast feeding thing, everybody else sits at the table to eat, so why shouldn't baby?

Sharon - posted on 05/27/2010

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Honestly - common sense is just disappearing every where.

I see it all the time at my work. I told one of my co-workers "I feel like I'm working in white trash hell." after hearing some woman scream at her two year old "SHUT THE HELL UP!! JUST SHUT THE HELL UP!! Don't you tell me no, I'll pull your damn legs off." WTF?

Yesterday we had a lost kid. Kid was running full speed through the store screaming "MOMMY!!!" I stepped into the aisle and blocked them, they paused just long enough for their mom to catch up with them. Apparently she had left the 4 yr old alone in the toy department while she went to look at cothes.

[deleted account]

It depends on the kind of restaurant. I think it's great that there are so many family friendly restaurants these days and mom's should be supported while breastfeeding at the table when eating at them.



There are also some restaurants where I go to get away from kids (not just my own, but everyone else's kids too). I don't really want to see other peoples kids there whether or not they are breastfeeding. I just like to get away from all that family reality every once in a while. Strollers, BF at the table and all that other kids stuff spoils my night of escapism.

Shelley - posted on 05/26/2010

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Great list!
Breastfeeding thing i don't have a problem with others doing it but i always prefered to move away never in a bathroom maybe go to the car but thats just me.
I go out alot with my girls 1 and 2 1/2 they are happy to sit and draw or read a story untill their meal comes then they are expected to eat and take part in conversation when appropriate and stay at the table untill we are ready to leave i take my own portable high chairs that can be fixed to the chair if they do get loud it takes one look from their father and they behave my 1 yr old often just falls asleep in her high chair. We almost always get compliments about our kids one old man even came over and said when i saw you bring these kids in i was about to complain but my wife stoped me i'm glad she did as these kid's were so well behaved. i don't think we do anything special we just always sit at the table and expect them to show age apprpriate table manners.

Jenny - posted on 05/26/2010

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Yep, great list with BF removed. I also would save plush restaurants for dinner with my partner. Not my scene when out with the kids.

When dining out I breastfed at the table many times. The table is where we eat is it not?

?? - posted on 05/26/2010

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A sense of entitlement would be my guess Joanna.

There are people out there who believe the world, and the people who work in the world, are there to serve them as long as they have the money to pay for it.

Being a decent human being doesn't matter if you have enough cash to cover the inconvenience.

Joanna - posted on 05/26/2010

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See, I can't imagine anyone being disrespectful enough to do the things listed int he commandments, let alone the atrocious things Katie mentioned. It's just beyond me! I get embarassed when my 2 1/2 year old lets out a long whine, so I can't even imagine how someone wouldn't get embarassed by their child running through the kitchen or starting fires. What's wrong with some people?

Charlie - posted on 05/26/2010

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We take Cooper out for dinner making a little noise and being a child fair enough but if he starts screaming or trying to run around i just ask for a doggy bag and we eat it at home or down the beach .

Charlie - posted on 05/26/2010

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If im going to a fancy restaurant , sorry kids your going to grandmas so i can spend the extra cash on dessert seconds mmmmm.
There is no excuse for letting your kids run amok anywhere where other people are enjoying the services , inappropriate behavior is inappropriate behavior .
Im glad they got rid of the BF part too , if they wont eat their dinner in the toilet neither should a baby i dont care where the establishment or how fancy their toilets are !

Kylie - posted on 05/26/2010

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Those commandments were written by a women with no children...I think it's laughable. I take my kids to restaurants a fair bit and they are pretty well behaved but they are kids they make mess and squeal..if we are waiting a long time i take pics and breastfeed at the table..we usually bring coloring books and little cars.
We usually go early and to family friendly restaurants and a few times waitperson asked me if they could hold my baby so i could enjoy my meal..which i declined but it was no big deal.
What a useless article..people need to be more tolerant, kids are a part of life..deal with it.

Johnny - posted on 05/26/2010

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I agree with the list, especially their choice to remove breastfeeding from it (it's time to grow up people!). But, I would never take my daughter to a fancy restaurant, I wouldn't be able to enjoy myself, it would annoy the other patrons, and it would be a waste of money. When I go to places like that, it is to get a break from my child, so unless the child is over 6 and extremely well behaved, they'd better be elsewhere. Now, my parents took me too all sorts of fancy restaurants when I was growing up (starting when I was around 8 or 9), but I was never allowed out of my chair unless I was going right to the bathroom or the door, I was not allowed to play with toys (I read books), and I always had to use an inside voice. Now, being a timid, quiet, wallflower of a child, it wasn't generally an issue. But occasionally, despite the fact that I was making nary a peep, another loud-mouthed patron would complain about my presence. There are people who will find excuses to complain about anything, and those people should just stay home and leave the rest of us to enjoy ourselves.

Celia - posted on 05/26/2010

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I've never been to a 4 or 5 star with my child and I really wouldent want to! I'd rather go with his dad! :p
If I did I would be fine with every rule except the breastfeeding at the table as everyone probably already knows... lol
I do find it odd that these rules even were posted as they all seem like common sense... other than the breastfeeding.

Sharon - posted on 05/26/2010

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Honestly.. I don't want to see your infant at our local 5star place. I'm there for the ambience and good food. Not squealing babies. Even if its for a second before you get them feeding.

Its about the elegance and atmosphere, NOT kids.

But if you're at mc'd's go for it. If you're at applebees, the outback, dennys, - go for it. those are basically family friendly places (i.e. places that supply crayons & paper for kids)

?? - posted on 05/26/2010

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I think all of these "rules" come down to 1 simple thing - respect for the environment and people around you. Common sense... it's a beautiful thing.



I agree with the strollers, it's a pain in the ass trying to navigate the tiny walking aisles most restaurants provide between tables let alone having to dodge waiters, waitresses AND strollers. I usually leave my stroller by the door, within eyesight and out of the way.



We order apps at the same time as our meal and ask for it first, and we always order something that we can feed to Gabe (and any other kids with us) too. It keeps him occupied as well.



My server is there to serve me, not babysit. I get pissy if the server spends more time paying attention to the kid than she does getting the glass of water I asked for 20 minutes ago.



I've never seen $23 on a price tag for any kids menu. Ridiculous.



I'll take as many damn pictures as I like, thank you very much. I ALWAYS make sure my flash is not or as lil as possible in the direction of any other diners and I have a pretty good camera that takes high ISO & blur reduction so if the flash comes on it's cause it needs to be, otherwise the flash is automatically off.



I hate noisy toys.



I always leave the restaurant as soon as I realize that my son isn't going to be easily settled.



I'm at a restaurant to eat, not play, unless there is a play area for children, my son is sitting in his seat until we are done eating. It's the dinner table, same rules apply at home as they do anywhere.



Food fights, there is only once in my entire life that I have ever seen a food fight and it was an organized event.



As for breast feeding at the table, it's never been an issue to me. And everytime I've been out and I've noticed a woman breast feeding at the table, the only reason anyone else saw her at my table is cause I always let out a sigh and "aww" when I see it, so they ask what I'm aww'ing about. Otherwise no one has ever said a single word about any women breast feeding in any restaurant I've ever been too, ever.

Joanna - posted on 05/26/2010

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I have no problems with any of these. It wasn't too long ago I was one of the easily-annoyed-by-children patrons, so I understand what limits to set.



And unfortunately that means we currently don't get to eat out with our 2 1/2 year old. She used to be a joy, but now after 10 minutes she doesn't want to sit still so we always end up leaving grumpy with an empty stomach.



Edited to add, I have no problems with mothers breastfeeding at the table (covered or uncovered), because I simply look somewhere else if I don't want to see it. Simple solution.

Caitlin - posted on 05/26/2010

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If I was at a fancy pants restaurant I would maybe think it was a bit out of place (mostly because I wouldn't bring my baby to a fancy pants restaurant - it's not really the right place for a baby in my mind). If I was at a diner or something of the sort - I wouldn't really care... I mean, if the mother is trying to be discreet, i'd much rather a mother breastfeeding her baby than the baby screaming their lungs out when they are hungry. The bathroom isnt' the right place to breatfeed a baby, I don't think a mom should be banished there to feed her child. I know our steakhouse around here (one of them) I'd bring my daughter there to breastfeed her - They have a sitting area with couches as well as just toilets, and is kept very nice and clean, so I would prefer to go there to feed my child than to do it at the table, for my comfort and other people as well.



I kwno there are going to be a lot of people saying "You should be able to feed your baby where and when you want" This is going to turn into another "breastfeeding in the pool" discussion i'm sure.





Last year, Chateleine magazine published an article by a mom (and one of their writers) who resented not being able to send a peanut butter sandwich with her son to school because there were kids in the school with peanut allergies. I guess my point is these aritcles will always piss someone off, but some people feel this way, and always will..

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2010

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Simple, just go to a family friendly restaurant :) I mean honestly, isn't it all just common sense?

And if you have kids who are prone to food fights, you have issues with discipline of your children, I can't even see why that SHOULD be a commandment!!!

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