Restaurants aren't daycare, says service industry
A family enters a Vancouver Denny's on Monday. It's the kind of a kid-centric eater recommended for families by Ian Tostenson of the B.C. Restaurant and Foodservices Association, as opposed to more bar-like establishments. (KEVIN HILL/ 24 HOURS)
"Remind them what the rules are." – parenting expert Kathy Lynn
If you’re about to bring your children out for a nice meal there’s a few things you should know, says a parenting expert.
Screaming brats having tantrums can ruin anyone’s meal and if you want to avoid being the object of scorn by other diners author and speaker on parenting Kathy Lynn said planning is a big part of an uneventful dinner.
One server who didn’t want to be identified told 24 hours parents allowing their kids to run around getting in the way of staff seems to be an increasing problem.
Lynn said there is solutions and precautions parents can take.
“Number one, they shouldn’t be running around, that’s just bad manners,” Lynn said. “Before you bring kids into a restaurant, or anywhere where they have to stay quiet, that you make sure they get some exercise.”
She said having the children run around a park or something else before bringing them to dinner is a good idea.
But she said it doesn’t end there she said parents need to talk to kids about what is expected of them before going out, and parents need to stick to their guns on expectations.
Head of the British Columbia Restaurants and Foodservices Association Ian Tostenson said parents also need to consider where they are taking their kids.
“I think if it’s more of a bar focus type restaurant it’s not a great environment for a child to be in,” Tostenson said. “You’ve got TV screens and people are enjoying their wine and beer, it’s not exactly a kid-centric place.”
He said taking the kids to restaurants expecting kids to be among the customers is a good idea as they have more appropriate menus and offer perks like crayons.
Lynn said she often watches other families if she’s at a restaurant and when parents are more engaged with their children, such as including them in conversations, at meals they tend to behave better.
But she said there’s always one action a parent should take if their child is being a brat or having a tantrum during a meal.
“You pick them up and you leave, you walk out,” Lynn said. “Nobody needs to be subjected to this, including the child, frankly.”