restaurant rules

Restaurants and Kids: Think Twice Before Mixing

Dear Mr. Dad: I’m a server at an upscale eatery and am constantly amazed at parents who bring their loud, unruly children into the restaurant and let them run wild. We’ve had kids trip servers, knock over bottles of expensive wine, disturb other customers, start food fights, and worse. As a parent myself, I would never let my kids get away with this kind of behavior, but since we’re in a customer-is-always-right business, I’m not able to tell people what I really think about them and their lousy parenting. A few years ago, you did a column that gave guidelines to parents. Would you please give us a refresher? I want to laminate them and give them out to every parent who comes in with a child.

A: In what must be one of evolution’s little quirks, most adults have a pretty high tolerance for their own children’s noise, rudeness, and bad behavior. But when someone else’s children do the same thing, the standards are a lot higher. That said, parents are responsible for their children’s behavior in public places and if they can’t control them, they should take those kids and leave. And if they won’t leave on their own, someone needs to show them the door—especially if they’re in a place where other adults come with the expectation of enjoying some peace and quiet.

Just to be clear, I’m not suggesting a total ban on kids in nice restaurants. While you and servers around the country can undoubtedly come up with story after story of screaming, obnoxious brats, I’m sure you’ll agree that those children are in the minority and that most are either well-enough behaved or marvelously angelic.

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Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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