Uproar over café’s ‘unruly’ kids ban
Australian café owner bans unruly kids and claims business is ‘better than ever’.

The owner of a café in Australia became the catalyst for a debate after posting on the Facebook page of her business. The post, later removed, said that if parents are looking for a place for their kids to run rampant and annoy other customers then her café is not child-friendly, however, well-behaved kids who are happy to sit with their parents are welcome, according to the Independent.

That’s a pretty good way to set up two camps of opinion!

Arrogant or ingenious?

One camp labelled Jodie Morris’ post as “arrogant” and suggested that it was an attack on parents which would drive people away.

The second camp supported her comments, adding that it’s extremely rude of a parent to allow a child to misbehave in public.

Morris was forced to clarify: the original post had been in response to a one-star restaurant review, but that as owner she had experienced kids emptying condiments into the fireplace, parents changing nappies on chairs, kids in nappies sitting on tables, children running around the restaurant and jumping on the furniture.

Ms. Morris, who is a parent, has said that despite the criticism, her business is doing “better than ever”.

We asked our Parent24 Facebook friends whether or not they insist on good behaviour from their kids in restaurants. Here are some of their responses:

•    Stephanie GD: Depends which restaurant we go to. If its child-friendly , then nope he’s not allowed to misbehave but if he wants to stand or walk around the table then that’s cool.
•    Linda: We tend to go to kiddy-friendly restaurants. The kids can play until where I can see them until their food arrives, then they sit and eat their meal and can go and play afterwards.
•    Stephanie S: We tend to pick child-friendly restaurants like spur with the kids and leave the kids home when we go to "fancy" restaurants.

We’ve had this discussion before, too. The problem seems to be different interpretations/applications of the term“child-friendly”. One family may find it acceptable for their child to run at the Spur, while another family may insist on a no-leaving-the-table rule. It was generally accepted that unruly behaviour would definitely be unacceptable in a fine dining establishment, although some even went as far as to say there should be no kids at a fine dining place.

One person’s “unruly” may not be another person’s. Running around and bothering other diners is different to a baby crying, for example.

What do you think makes a restaurant “child-friendly”, and what is unacceptable behaviour from children (and their parents!) in a restaurant?

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