Kids and Restaurants: Where Do You Stand?

Two years ago, I wrote this post, in which I stated that some establishments should be "child-free zones."

I'm older (sigh...) and wiser now. I also have two more kids than I did when I wrote it. I have much more parenting experience. I've taken my children a lot more places, and have felt the visceral need to get out of my house and interact with the world a lot more deeply than I did when I was the mother of one fairly portable 5-month-old.

So, where do I stand now on this issue?

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6 Responses to “Kids and Restaurants: Where Do You Stand?”

  1. # Blogger Jesser

    Tabby has experienced quite a bit of "fine dining" in her 27 months. There were a few months that we did not take her because it wouldn't have worked, but when she was small and slept the whole time and now that she is capable of sitting down and interacting with us or coloring, we do it again. I think some people bristle at the suggestion rather than examining if the exact situation is working or not. I really feel I am cognizant about how she is behaving and she knows what we expect when we are at ANY restaurant, nice or otherwise. We also only take her when there are extra adults and I plan like mad with snacks and activities.

    So there I am, defending my position. ;)  

  2. # Blogger kenju

    While I have been in my share of nice restaurants, in which children were too loud, demanding and messy (and they bothered me) my attitude about that has softened since I became a mother and grandmother.

    I understand the desire (and need) to out for a nice meal, and have to take the children with you because a sitter either isn't available or costs too much to pay them and eat dinner. However, I would appreciate it if parents would go to family-friendly places like cafeterias, and the ones you mentioned, rather than to go to expensive places and run the risk of torturing the adult diners, who do, after all, deserve a reasonably quiet place to dine when they are spending a bundle.

    I also suggest that people with children do not linger after the children have become too tired to sit in high chairs or boosters. Better yet, don't come to the restaurant unless you know your child has had a good nap and can sit quietly and entertain himself for the duration of the dinner.

    Having said that, I do have tremendous compassion for parents in that situation, and I try not to give signals of my frustration.  

  3. # Anonymous Anonymous

    What do we consider to be 'fine dining'? My husband and I(including each of us solo), have taken our 4 y/o twins out since they were 8 weeks old. They LOVE restaurants and are usually remarkably well behaved. I have had to leave or sit in the car with one or the other occasionally. But I am prepared to do so. And I feel if you take children out you need to be prepared for that eventuality.

    So what kind of restaurants are off limits? Clearly not Friendly's but we go to 'nicer' places too. I guess my limit is a place that has no children's menu or where the price/plate is very high, or is known as romantic. We have taken them to your fav restaurant though, they loved it, of course!

    We bring toys and activities, and we have family dinner every night so they know what dinner time behavior is, even when not 'out'.

    I don't know I guess if you are the kind of parent that actually parents, you can take kids almost everywhere.  

  4. # Blogger Andrew

    Shouldn't the question be: Where do you sit? Answer: At home if you want to avoid annoying kids. Unless you live with annoying kids, then you're screwed.  

  5. # Blogger Sugar and Ice

    I don't even know if I have an opinion on this. Any place we frequent would be considered family friendly, and any place we attend on rare occasion that wouldn't be wouldn't be a place I'd even want to bother with if I had to bring the kiddos.  

  6. # Blogger Kristi

    Kellie-Think 2 Vine or Bamba Bistro for my classification of "fine-dining." As for my favorite restaurant? Definitely not "fine-dining." I would take the kids there.  

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