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Your opinion: Parents must remove screaming kids at restaurant

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The owner of a coastal North Carolina restaurant is fed up with screaming children who bother other diners.

So Brenda Armes has posted signs at Olde Salty restaurant in Carolina Beach that read “screaming children will not be tolerated.” She told WECT-TV in Wilmington that the signs have worked by attracting more customers than they turn away.

Customer Gary Gibson agrees, saying he likes the signs because a meal isn’t enjoyable when kids are screaming.

But a mother of two, Ashley Heflin, says parents can’t help it if their children scream.

If a child is screaming, Armes says a restaurant employee will ask the parent to take them outside. They won’t be asked to leave the restaurant for good.

-AP story, photo: Daily Mail

What is your opinion? Does the restaurant have the right to ask screaming kids to leave?

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Comments
  • comment avatar Amber Johnson September 9, 2010

    The DoDo, one of my favorite restaurants in Salt Lake City, has the following sign posted on their door:

    “No crybabies.”

    Instead of offending me, I always chuckled and figured it was geared to not only crying children but also whiny customers.

    I don’t think the NC restaurant is too off-base because they’re not asked to leave for good, though their actions would certainly deter me from taking my young children there. When I go out to eat, I don’t want to be bothered by tantruming kids (least of all my own). My kiddos are generally well-behaved in restaurants but the few times they’ve acted up, I’ve always taken them out. Letting a kid cry it out is simply not appropriate in a restaurant.

    But a restaurant that has an official policy about it? I simply wouldn’t go.

  • comment avatar DA Sue September 9, 2010

    Yes they must. It’s like removing them at church. People are there to relax and enjoy.

  • comment avatar JoAnn September 9, 2010

    This has always been a non-issue for me, because I have no problem leaving with a screaming child. In fact, I’m mortified if it happens, so I try to leave the scene immediately.

    Thankfully, we’re out of this stage, but I’ve been there, done that. If my daughter has thrown a fit, we’re out the door. We have a game-plan in place. I grab her and bolt, and if it’s a full-on meltdown, my husband packs up the food and whatnot (and face it, there’s usually a lot of whatnot) and joins us outside. If it’s not a full-on meltdown, and I get her calmed down, we join the rest of the well-behaved customers inside and finish our meals.

    I’ve never understood people who just sit there and let their children scream. It’s just not enjoyable for anyone!

    I would frequent a restaurant with this policy, because it doesn’t offend me in the least.

    But, that’s just me.
    🙂

  • comment avatar Nathan Pralle September 9, 2010

    Properly implemented, I’d love a restaurant with this policy. This is, as I can see it, intended for those parents who simply ignore and/or do not seem to notice that their little brat is screaming and causing a fuss and disturbing others. Like JoAnn, if my kid melts down, I’m mortified; you can bet my wife and I are jumping on it like a hot potato and working our best to calm him and if we can’t, we remove him from the place until he is finished and pleasant again. But we care.

    There’s an increasing number of parents who simply DO NOT care or CANNOT control their children and those are the ones being targeted by this policy, and I think the restaurant is right on.

    • comment avatar Fred M Pohl November 14, 2013

      I agree If your kids cant act civilized ina public establishment STAY THE HELL HOME!!! Why should everyone have to put up with it for who? and for what? I’m sick and tired of unruly screaming misbeahving kids and thier linguini for brains parents with no common senes and being ignorant of the whole situation Thinking “Its all about us”NOT!!!! You parents may have more issues on your hands in later years when your unruly kids become tommowrows juvinile delinquents I knew better my father would take the belt to my hide in a minute

  • comment avatar Lydia W September 9, 2010

    I think they have the right to make that rule. It of course means those of us with young children wont be eating there…but they can make such a rule if they choose.

  • comment avatar Nicole C September 9, 2010

    I would personally leave a restaurant myself if my son started to behave that way, so I say go for it. Besides, on the rare occasion that I do get to go out with DH, I don’t want to have to listen to someone else’s child screaming all evening.

  • comment avatar Kathy September 9, 2010

    I used to live/work in a town where one restaurant had this sign outside that said “NO SCREAMING KIDS” and I LOVED the place before I had kids (good food AND the NSKIDS rule) and now when I go there I make sure to keep the kiddos quiet and bring a bag of “tricks” with me to keep them busy. It’s worked every time!

  • comment avatar Nina September 9, 2010

    Ouch! Screaming kids hurt my ears too, but what about giving the child something to do while he or she is confined to a seat with nothing that is of interest? Many times it is the boredom that is screaming out, and the child’s lack of ability to express it appropriately. A bag of fun stuff may work just as well as the no screaming policy, and be a better public relations policy for the restaurant’s reputation.