Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.
Family Parenting Column by Jodie Lynn
Every time we go out to dinner, there always seems to be a family where the kids are loud, crude and out of control. They are either running around spilling things, throwing food, complaining or arguing amongst themselves. Should we ask the waiter or the manager to mention this to the parents or should we say something ourselves? My husband wants to go directly to the parents and tell them to get a handle on the situation. I think we should approach our server and ask that they talk to the manager. What is the best approach in this situation?
If you are going to a restaurant that caters to kids, this is going to happen more times than not. In today's economy, we frequently go to places that serve dinner to the kids for free or there is a family coupon. So, of course, there are going to be children there. Sometimes if we really like the specials for dinner, yet kids are acting rough and loud, we will order it but tell our waiter that if the kids acting so badly do not settle down, we may have to leave. This gives the server the perfect opportunity to politely say something to the adults of the rowdy kids. Sometimes it works and other times, we get up and leave. - C. and T. McKenzie in Dallas, TX
Usually the waiter or server is not permitted to make remarks to a family about the behavior of their kids unless it is a situation where immediate danger is present to the child, people around them or patrons close by. It is probably in the best interest of everyone to talk with your server about the situation and hopefully it will be handled either by the manager or the owner. Approaching the parents or adults may only add fuel to the fire, should anyone become offended. You might also try to go out to eat at an odd time as opposed to the normal dinner hour. This might help to eliminate the chaos that often goes hand in hand with a restaurant that is kid-friendly and a tad more lenient. Or, perhaps order drinks and maybe an appetizer and try to take your time eating it. By the time you have completed, you should have had enough time to scope out the area for louder-than-usual kids and either pay your bill and leave or decide that the families closest to your table are doing a fairly good job of handling their little ones. Last but not least, order and take your meal with you. On the way out, look for a suggestion card and fill one out.
CAN YOU HELP?
School will be starting soon and I finally found a job. My two kids will be going to an after school program. However, there is not a health professional on hand during these hours should there be any kind of an accident. If something does happen, is the school responsible for getting medical attention for the kids and perhaps the impending bills?
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