Father Is Angry Because A Server Disciplined His 4-Year-Old For ‘Exploring’ A Restaurant

Most parents feel embarrassed when their children misbehave in public, but sometimes you encounter couples who pay no attention to the antics of their toddlers at restaurants and other venues.

A couple recently visited a restaurant for dinner, and they brought their 4-year-old son along. Like most toddlers, the little boy was not content to sit still, and he got up to play around in the restaurant. When a waitress told the child to go back to his seat, the father got irritated.

The father decided to make the incident public by posting the story on an advice columnist’s website. He explained the details of the story in a post to Nicole Cliffe’s Care and Feeding advice column.

The father didn’t give his real name. He said that he and his wife decided to take their son to a somewhat nice restaurant that was neither fast food nor upscale dining.

He describes his decision to let his son roam the restaurant as letting him explore as if this was perhaps a way for the child to learn about new experiences at a type of restaurant he hasn’t been to before.

He felt that the waitress was out of line when she asked the kid to sit back down. He believed the waitress’s actions were disciplinary, and she didn’t have a right to do that when the child’s parents were present.

He stated that he retaliated by only tipping 5 percent, and he also complained to the manager. The manager gave no indication that he would reprimand the waitress.

Although his wife agreed that the waitress was out of line, people’s opinions on Facebook indicated that the waitress did not act inappropriately and that the couple was at fault for not keeping their toddler under control.

One Facebook user pointed out that children that age are capable of remaining seated throughout a meal, and the parents are usually at fault if the kid runs amok. Another comment stated that adults in public have to take responsibility for small children who could be in danger in a public place.

When the boy runs wild in a restaurant he’s in danger of hot items being spilled on him or other mishaps.

Another respondent pointed out that a child that is not capable of behaving well in public should not be brought to a nice restaurant where they can disrupt the dining experience of people who are paying for an above-average venue.

The idea that a small child should be allowed to freely walk around to explore a restaurant is foolish and poor parenting. In light of this fact, it seems like the waitress had no other choice but to step in and act in the best interests of a child who is disturbing guests and putting himself in danger.

The advice columnist responded to the father’s letter by saying he was in the wrong on the issue. She advised the father that his son was not ready to visit a moderately upscale restaurant if he was incapable of remaining in his seat.

Her advice was to take the child to fast-food places to teach him how to behave until he’s capable of acting appropriately in a nicer restaurant.

She suggested to the father that, if the situation occurs again, the parents should take the child outside where the boy can vent his excess energy instead of letting him run amok in the restaurant. She also urged the parents to go back to the restaurant and apologize to the staff and give the waitress a fair tip.

Do you believe the waitress was out of line, or do you side with the father? Let us know in the comments, and send a link to your friends so that they can partake in the discussion.


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