It’s important not to snap into judgment on how people parent their children.
While we might not agree with their methods or techniques, parents ultimately know what’s best for their children.
So, as long as they are treating their children with love and respect and not harming them in any way, it’s probably wise to keep our mouths closed.
That being said, there is a limit to the old saying, “Kids will be kids,” so if children are misbehaving, they deserve to be told so.
Redditor buizel123 was hoping to catch up with a friend over a quiet dinner.
Unfortunately for them, they arrived to find their restaurant of choice overrun with unruly children.
Eventually, the original poster (OP) finally had enough and found themself scolding a child, only to find themself the victim of the wrath of that child’s parent.
Wondering if they were out of line, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for yelling at a kid for crawling under my table at a restaurant?”
The OP explained why they felt compelled to scold a child while out at a restaurant.
“My friend Jack and I, after a long stressful week, like to go to the local pizza place.”
“It’s not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but there are booths and tables of people sitting down.”
“I see a large table near us of like ten people, a few couples and bunch of small kids between like 4 and 8, and the kids are running around the restaurant being loud while the adults are drinking wine and eating their pizza.”
“I ignore the commotion for like 20 minutes when suddenly, I feel like a hand on my leg, and one of the little kids is crawling under Jack and my table; I wasn’t thinking and snapped at the kid and said, ‘get away from our table!’ and the kid ran away and burst into tears.”
“One of the parents at the other table came over and started tearing into me about ‘how cranky and mean I was and how dare I yell at her kid, who was just playing.'”‘
“Meanwhile, her and the other middle-aged forty-something parents are letting their kids run amok and be loud and obnoxious while my friend and I are trying to enjoy a night out.”
“I ripped her a new one and said, ‘How entitled do you need to be to think it’s ok to let your kids just crawl under other people’s tables?'”
“She called me an a**hole and walked away in a huff.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for scolding the child who crawled under their table.
Everyone agreed that OP had every right to yell at the child, who crawled into their personal space, and all of the parents were the ones who were truly at fault for allowing their children to run amok in the restaurant.
“You are not a jungle gym, and your table is not a play place.”- Narkareth
“Look at my username, now, I am going to say you are NTA.”
“People should not let their kids be crawling around on the floor under their OWN table; nonetheless someone else’s!!!”- Lovebeingadad54321
“People who don’t scold their kids shouldn’t be surprised when their kids get scolded by strangers, especially if they are just letting their kids go around and invade people’s personal space.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong, and the mom and all the rest of those parents are all major AHs.”-KingdomKey10
“Someone’s gotta teach the kid they can’t do whatever the f*ck they want, and it apparently won’t be their parents.”
“Invading a stranger’s personal space and touching them is a big enough deal to warrant being told off immediately and harshly.”- mutualbuttsqueezin
“On behalf of all restaurant workers everywhere, thank you for yelling at the mom.”
“It’s been years since I worked in a restaurant, but the rage from watching people let their kids run around unsupervised never really goes away.”
“Her exhaustion / boundaries / parental philosophy create no obligations for you.”
“Your personal space was invaded, and you reacted to repair that.”- SatisfactoryLoaf.
“I would yell loudly, ‘Whose kid is this!’ Because it’s not mine!”
“People need to watch their damn kids when they take them out in public.”
“I mean, that’s a kidnapping waiting to happen right there.”- ShadowFallsAlpha
“NTA, you are a stranger to that kid.”
“The kid should not have been going under random tables, and the parents obviously weren’t watching the child.”
“He also could have been hurt under your table.”- zzgarden
“If you don’t want strangers shouting at your kids, don’t let them climb under strangers’ tables.”
“These parents baffle me.”
“It only takes one creep to decide to leave the restaurant with your kid or someone to kick them and cause them injury accidentally.”
“I like kids so much I made my own, but that doesn’t mean I want someone else’s, or even mine for that matter, climbing about under the table whilst I’m trying to eat.”- Royal_Case_4776
“Her child is not entitled to invade your personal space and physically touch your person any more than you would be entitled to do the same.”
“She needs to get a grip.”
“She didn’t want her kid yelled at; she should’ve been parenting her own child.”- United-Loss4914
“If she has opinions on how strangers are allowed to interact with her kids, she shouldn’t have allowed her kids to run around and interact with strangers.”- JeepersCreepers74
“My girlfriend is a cook, a server at a restaurant broke her leg (knee or ankle, I can’t remember) because a kid was zooming around and tripped her.”
“She was out of work for weeks.”
“The parent came over to her while she was crying on the ground and tore her a new one for not being more careful around her kid.”
“F*ck parents who let their kids run wild like this.”- chewwydraper
“NTA, as a former server, I hate these families.”
“They think that because they are giving their money to a restaurant, they have complete run of the place.”
“If you can’t keep your kids at the table and relatively calm, there’s McDonalds down the street.”
“I am not a babysitter, and if I kick your kid because they are screwing around the kitchen doors, so be it.”- DarkestDanielle
“As the parent of a small kid between 4 and 8, I say you’re responsible for your kid’s behavior in a public place.”
“If you’re going to a restaurant, then bring a tablet or crayons or whatever to keep your kid(s) occupied.”
“You don’t let them become a problem for other customers or for the staff!”
“The mom was way out of line.”- jmbbl
“When i was younger and used to try to crawl under my own family table, my mom would give me sh*t and tell me that this isn’t a playground and that the floors are dirty and I shouldn’t be putting my hands on the ground when I’m about to eat.”
“NTA at all, kids especially need to be taught proper public behavior.”
“That parent shouldn’t have given you sh*t for not managing her own child.”- theres_a_cab_outside
“This is a restaurant, not a playground ffs.”- DarkLeviohsa
“Isn’t little Johnny cute?”
“With his pizza sauce cheesy hand all up your pant leg!”
“That’s just so precious!”
“Let me get my camera.”- Hazelsmom64
“I would have apologized and kept my kid seated.”
“If they want to let their children run amok, they need to stay home.”
“And yes, I have children.”
“Sometimes it isn’t the day to eat out as a parent.”- Jujube1974
“Parents that let their kids do that sh*t in restaurants super suck.”
“If it’s a sit-down place, sit them TF DOWN, if only for the safety of the restaurant staff!”
“If you want them to run around, go to Chuck E Cheese or Dave & Buster’s.”
“Those parents sound like gross, entitled a-holes.”
“You wouldn’t have had to say anything to their little snowflake if they were properly parenting them.”
“One time when I was a teenager, I was trying on clothes in a changing room, and I felt something brush against my ankle.”
“I looked down to a hand, and before I could register, I swung and kicked- with a swimmer’s leg- and as I made an impact, realized it was a -maybe seven- year old boy, and I gently punted him in the face.”
“I heard him run off screaming, assumably to wherever his parents were.”
“I grabbed my sh*t and left to find my mom and never talked about it because I felt awful hurting him on instinct.”
“That kid under your table is lucky all you did was yell.”
“The world is not his playground, and privacy is important for everyone, especially strangers.”
“He put himself in a dangerous situation trusting the personal space of another human outside of his mother’s field of view, and hopefully that lesson carries.”- wtfwronghole
In the privacy of their own homes, children can behave as they so please.
But in a restaurant or any shared or public space, children must be mindful of the others around them, and it’s their parent’s job to teach them to do so.
Some might even say that the child who crawled under the OP’s table got lucky when it came to the consequences.