For those of us who enjoy a nice evening out, most of us are looking for safe ways to go out for an occasional dinner or event now that pandemic restrictions have lessened.
That also includes parents who might want to bring their kids for a family night out.
Some parents and individual patrons have a better understanding with one another than others, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Wrong_Ad_3951 ran out of patience with one mom while trying to enjoy a meal at a nice restaurant.
But after seeing the mom’s reaction, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she overstepped.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for asking a mother to leave a restaurant with her crying child?”
The OP and her boyfriend went out to dinner.
“So I (23 [Female]) was at a restaurant with my boyfriend (24).”
“The restaurant isn’t a Michelin-star-esque place, however, the place does serve well-prepared food, so you can likely guess that the majority of its patrons want to be able to able to enjoy their food.”
“So while my boyfriend and I were there, there was a family about 2 tables over from us.”
“This family consisted of the parents (who I’d say were in their late twenties to early thirties) and their three children (the oldest couldn’t have been older than 10, while the youngest was around 2).”
The meal didn’t quite go as planned.
“While my boyfriend and I were enjoying our meal, the youngest child began SHRIEKING, for a reason that I can’t fathom.”
“When I say shrieking I’m talking about the ear-piercing type that is physically painful.”
“This went on for about 10 minutes, and by that point, I was getting annoyed, since I’d paid to enjoy my meal, and the child wasn’t shutting up.”
The OP decided to do something about it.
“I walked over to the family’s table and asked if someone could take the child outside until it calms down, since people are trying to enjoy their food.”
“The mother got really p**sy at me, saying that her son is only a child, and that I need to show some compassion.”
“I responded by telling her that I’ve paid to enjoy my meal, and that if she isn’t going to get her child to be quiet, then she needs to do everyone in the restaurant a favor and take the child outside.”
The mother complained to the restaurant.
“After I sat down, I saw the mother calling over one of the waiters.”
“She proceeded to tell them that I was rude to her and that I was making her uncomfortable.”
“One of the other patrons told the waiter that wasn’t the case, and that she’d been allowing the child to cry while others were trying to eat.”
“The parents left eventually, but not before shooting me an evil look.”
Not everyone appreciated the OP’s approach.
“I told my friend about this, and she told me that I should have been kinder and more considerate to the family, since being a parent is difficult.”
“I told my friend that they chose to have kids, and, as such, they need to parent them better.”
“My friend didn’t seem to like what I said in the slightest.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some agreed with the OP’s approach.
“NTA. Not to mention the kiddo might have been overstimulated and going outside may have helped calm him down. I can’t imagine just sitting there letting my kid cry like that. Sounds like you were respectful in making your request too, OP.” – mmmbop1214
“Once when I was a kid, my parents and I went out to a restaurant for lunch with an old friend of theirs who was in town visiting. This friend was a balding, old, skinny man with zero f**ks.”
“Another family with a smaller child was seated at a table nearby ours. At one point, the kid started screaming, like in the OP. The family friend piped up and yelled, ‘Hey, someone shut that kid up!’ And someone did shut that kid up!” – goldanred
“‘You should [blank] because being a parent is difficult.'”
“Is this what they mean when they say a thought-terminating cliché? Like any possibility of addressing the actual problem is just derailed because, ‘It’s so hard you just don’t understand until you have little ones of your own dear.'”
“Yes, parenting is difficult. One of those difficulties is you sometimes have to interrupt your meal to do some parenting, so the rest of the restaurant doesn’t have to deal with the screaming.” – saltoftree
Others agreed and said the parents could have handled the situation better.
“NTA While being a parent IS difficult, there are still courtesies that need to be followed. Those courtesies include removing a child from a public place if they are not behaving, crying, or screaming. Funny enough, this also teaches the child that their actions are not acceptable and that they will lose out on the fun if they don’t behave properly.” – halfwaygonetoo
“I have a 2.5-year-old who used to act out in public. Every time he did, we left the place, because we’re considerate of our surroundings and the other people around us.”
“He doesn’t act out as much anymore because he knows that acting out = leaving.”
“Parents need to take accountability for their kids!” – Inner-Membership-175
“We did the same thing… We’d get one parent to get the food to go, go home, and eat it. That was the only consequence, and we always told them, ‘We aren’t punishing you, we just want to be nice to the other people.’ I think we removed each child (3) no more than 3 times.” – crazykaty19999
But a few said the OP could have used a little more tact.
“ESH. Yes, If your child is having a moment, you should absolutely remove them from the situation as a courtesy to those around you.”
“Having said that, your recourse was to speak to someone that worked at the establishment and allow them to handle the situation. Parent shaming did not work well for you, but having a member of management speak with them probably would.” – gwacemom
“As someone who works in public service ’10 minutes’ usually translates to 90 seconds.”
“If a dog has been in a locked car for ’15 minutes,’ that means 5. If a person has been talking loudly on the phone for ’20 minutes,’ it was 3.” – daughtme
“ESH. Them for being inconsiderate. You for approaching them directly: this was between you and the restaurant.”
“If the establishment you’re using does not enforce policies you find acceptable, ask for a refund and leave.” – Canevar
The parents did not appreciate the OP approaching their table, but most of the subReddit sided with the OP. Though there’s nothing wrong with a family going out to a restaurant, there are certain protocols they should observe, noise levels being one of them.
But a few Redditors did question the OP’s decision to approach the family instead of an employee at the restaurant, and they wondered if this really went on for 10 minutes or if it simply felt like an eternity.
That all being said, the other guests at the restaurant likely appreciated the OP stepping up so they could go back to their quieter dining.