Going out in public with children can go one of two ways: Unbelievably successful or incredibly stressful.
Parents already feel self-conscious because they don’t want to be “that” family at the restaurant with three kids acting out and a screaming baby. For those who do brave the outside world and try to do things as a family, we applaud you. Unfortunately, while a New Zealand mother was out to brunch with her four kids, she received insulting service.
After she was given her receipt, she saw that where her table number should have been was the comment, “Fam w/ the terrifying kid”. Once she read that, she and her kids left immediately without getting their food. She also noted that the server “intentionally overcharged” them.
When she talked to the staff about the ticket, they didn’t have much to say. She posted the ticket to Facebook and it immediately drew attention. She told the coffee shop that it had “just lost regulars” and that her daughter had never acted out while at the shop. She said past servers have even told her how cute her daughter is, and never given them problems.
After seeing the post, the manager of the shop flew from another city to apologize to her in person and give her a full refund. The mother appreciated the apology, but she is worried that others have been treated this way too. She said, “It’s more the concern for other families who may be struggling and get that type of reception and the damage that can do.'” The manager and his staff are still gathering all the details that went into the incident before making a decision about the server.
To avoid more incidents like this, instead of judging parents for going out with their kids, we should simply give them a smile and stay out of their business. No family is going to be perfect every time they go out. Sometimes kids throw a fit because they don’t have their favourite toy, or because they didn’t take a nap, or because it’s Wednesday. Children don’t come with an “out in public” switch parents can turn on and off. They need to be taught how to be polite and considerate of others.
The only way they’ll learn is if parents give them the opportunity. And parents should be able to do so without fear of judgement or criticism.