Greater Tolerance for Family Dining

Written by: Shannon Brown

It’s Friday night and your husband suggests grabbing dinner at a place neither of you have been. While he dreams of the beer menu, you might be hit by another thought: Will my child(ren) behave? And now a new concern blindsiding parents these days: Does this restaurant even allow children?

An anti-child trend in local restaurants has owners implementing a controversial “No Children Under Six” rule. The owner of McDain’s restaurant in Pennsylvania, where the “no children” rule exists, says loud kids in a restaurant is “the height of being impolite and selfish.”

Yes, I will be sure to explain this to my toddler so he will feel shameful and stop immediately! As the cynic in me subsides, I am forced to recall my pre-kid days (not easy!) and remember how I felt hearing screaming children as I tried to enjoy a meal.


As parents, we become more tolerant, but we still don’t like hearing other screaming children while we eat. This goes for “happy” screams, too. I know—the horror of someone being annoyed by your happy child squealing with delight for an hour. While you see hearts, others fantasize about earplugs.

After both sides of the argument sink in, I’ve concluded we all need to be a bit more tolerant. If your child is screaming in a restaurant, take Precious outside. If you’re dining in a restaurant and the child next to you starts screaming, realize the parents (for the most part) are mortified, too. Give them a chance to remedy the situation. Unfortunately, the intolerance of many has forced restaurant owners to make the bold move of not allowing children. Common courtesy goes both ways.

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Posted on December 20, 2011 at 10:10 AM