The Rules for Eating Out, Part 3: Children

Well, based on the comments I’ve received both on here and through my e-mail, I, for literally only half a second, considered not posting the rest of the series.


8 thoughts on “The Rules for Eating Out, Part 3: Children

  1. I honestly AGREE 100% with all of these and I do not have children. I feel customers expect everything to be free these days, which truly irks me. I also feel some parents need to discipline their kids by not letting them run around all over as if they were at Chuck E. Cheese’s or something. When babies cry, that is irriating, which the parent should go in the bathroom to quite the baby down. Who thinks it’s pleasant to have a crying baby around while you are eating?

    Changing a baby’s diaper at a table is just disgusting and is putting other people’s health at risk. ANY sane person should know better to go to the bathroom to change a diaper just as a person would go to do #1 or #2 in a bathroom.

    Getting drunk with your kid should be against the law. That’s just wrong.

    As I stated before, I agree 100% with ALL of these points. I honestly cannot believe there are people that would change their baby’s diaper at the table. That’s just nasty.

  2. DO NOT STOP POSTING!!!!!!!!! The people who read these things who got offended ARE the trashy ass jerks who do it & think that it’s ok. & for them: SCREW YOU!!! I love this totally TRUE stuff!!

  3. When people go out to eat, they have the expectation that they’re spending their hard-earned money to relax and have a good time. Parents who bring ill-behaved children to restaurants are inconsiderate and selfish oafs. A dining room and a play room are not one and the same.

    It’s great for parents to want their children to have the experience of dining at places other than Chuck E. Cheese. I remember when I was as young as 5 years old, my parents taking my brother and me out to eat at nice places; we even wore ties and jackets at some of them. I think those experiences led to my appreciation to this day of eating out, and helped to educate me on proper dining etiquette. But my parents made it known to us, through their examples and from what they told us, what type of behavior was expected.

    It’s a sad fact of life these days that there are parents who have relinquished their parenting role, and allow their kids to do whatever they want to. Mind you, it’s not easy for parents to control their children, but it’s a responsibility that comes with the territory.

    The website,, has a page of resources on the topic of dining with kids that provides helpful advice to parents.

  4. Hey. Don’t leave us teachers out of it too. We aren’t your kids’ babysitters. We definitely don’t want to deal with them being yard-apes at home either, only to come in the next day into my classroom and think they can do whatever the Hell they please.

  5. This is beautiful.

    We have littles; we don’t go out to eat often. When we do, we usually end up at places where there is no wait staff. It can be exhausting to keep things running smoothly and the kids from going insane, but we keep it short and sweet and we always clean up after them. Honestly, it’d have never even occurred to me to think the kids would get anything free …

    The worst thing that happened is when the baby decided to abandon her spoon and try to drink her tiny baby bowl of ice cream, which slid all over her face and neck and clothing. When I took away the ice cream, she screamed like she was being murdered and I carried her to the bathroom as quickly as I could, but her screams, man, they reverberated. We were mortified and haven’t been back since.

    It’s a risky business, eating out with babies/toddlers, they’re not quite domesticated and you never know what will happen. But damn, we are SO much more considerate than the people you describe that I’ll be a little less frightened next time.

  6. I love your rules and i follow all of them. My daughter is only 3 years old but knows how she is to behave at a resturant.
    My question is and i am sorry to have to ask such a thing. But how do you feel about children ordering for themselves. We are trying to get our daughter to order for herself, and yes she has manners and can talk so other people can understand her. Do you find it rude to have to listen to a child?
    My only bad experience i had dining out with my child was not the childs fault but the fault of an under experienced waitress. We were at a resturant and we had a friend with us as well. Tables were crowded with all sorts of things like menus and advertising placards etc. and the waitress placed a pint of beer in front of our (then) 1 year old child. The little one immediately grabbed it and tipped it over. We all mopped up the beer and the waitress brought out another one and placed it in the exact same spot that she had placed the first one. I ended up grabbing it before it even hit the table and moved it to where DD could not reach it. We just couldnt believe that the waitress would repeat the same mistake twice.

  7. As a newish parent with an infant and inlaws with a penchant for going out to eat twice a week and demanding baby time I absolutely have to agree with you.

    It’s positively abhorrant to see parents with their children out and about and out of control in establishments which such behaviours are unacceptable.

    Every single time we go out people tell us what a lovely child we have because he’s (for the most part) pleasant and keeps the volume at an acceptable level. We don’t let him sit anywhere that he can wreck anything, we don’t allow him to make a mess and if he becomes unconsolable, he and I leave and sit in the car to take care of it.

    I do have to confess that I’m guilty of sneaking a breastfeeding in here and there from time to time though. If we’re sitting somewhere relatively secluded and I happen to have a blanket or a jacket to cover up with, he eats too.

  8. I have waited tables for more years than I care to remember. I have certainly had my fair share of children at my tables. The thing about children is that people seem to think servers “hate” them. We don’t hate them. We just want guests to teach their children a little respect. As far as children ordering for themselves…that’s great, but if your child is not ready for the task then you should do it for them. There is nothing more irritating to a server then standing in front of a child who will not decide what they want while their station is filling up in the background. It’s also not acceptable for a child to scream, “I WANT PIZZA!” fifteen times at the server before they have even said hello.

    Children have accidents. You all know that and I know that. It’s unavoidable. If you child spills a drink, so what! Stuff happens! However, don’t let your child run around the restaurant like they were born in a barn or tear-up every sugar packet at the table. Throwing things is unacceptable as well especially after the first 50 times. If your chosen establishment has tables that are already set-up with wine glasses, don’t let your children play with them or fill them up with coke or milkshakes and then get upset when your child spills them all over the place. You wouldn’t do that at home, so why would you do it in a restaurant. Breast feeding a child at the table (in my opinion) is certainly okay with a blanket even in the center of a restaurant as long as one is being discreet and not attracting attention to themselves.

    I know I sound like an old crab when I say this, but things certainly have changed since I was a child. I know my brother and I never acted like most of the children in restaurants nowadays. We would have been marched to the bathroom and gotten our butts nice and tanned before we came back to the table and we always knew that it was a very real possibility. Children now don’t even respect their parents, much less the server.

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