Eating out with young children is honestly more of a hassle than it’s usually worth, if you ask this mom of two preschoolers. You can’t enjoy your meal because you’re dealing with entertaining kids, or cutting up food, or you’re getting up to take one to the bathroom or whatever.

It’s not that I have an issue taking care of my kids, but if I’m going to pay extra to have a nice meal served to me, I would like to, you know. Enjoy it.

That said, my making the decision to do takeout until my kids are more self-sufficient and someone telling me I have to are two different things – but the latter is exactly what this unpopular opinion suggests should be the norm.

Children shouldn’t be taken to restaurants until they are capable of sitting throughout a meal without disrupting others.
byu/Jamie_inLA inunpopularopinion

If you’re curious how many agree (or disagree), these 17 Redditors are sharing their thoughts.

17. There’s definitely a sliding scale.

Seems like a super popular opinion.

If a kid is screaming and crying we just get our food put in boxes and leave

We dont let the kids be little crazy a$ses at the table or leave their seats

But if a toddler forgets and talks or laughs too loud every once in awhile or squeals every now and then people can deal with it, as long as they are behaving well in general.

16. This is exactly me.

Once my kids hit about the age of about 18 months we said goodbye to dining in til they were about 4 or 5. It just isn’t very relaxing. We would save it for date nights or when either my husband or I went out separately with friends.

I don’t get mad if I see other parents out with their kids. That’s their choice. Good for them. For me personally, just a better experience when the kids are a bit older!

15. Servers have choices, too.

This is why I’ve always worked in fine dining restaurants in large expensive cities whenever possible.

There aren’t as many families living in cities like NY or SF, and the price tag for a night out is often a deterrent for families with small children. Not saying people with children don’t have cash to burn, but they are usually budgeting for kid stuff during those years. Plus there isn’t ever a kids menu, at places like that, and most parents don’t want to drop that much money on food their kid might not even eat.

We would occasionally get children during Nutcracker season at this one spot I worked, but they were all well behaved, and passed the screaming toddler age- because you don’t take kids that young to the Ballet and thus we never had them in for pre show dinner.

14. There could be kid hours.

My son was always very good in restaurants. However, we’d always go at times when there was hardly anyone else there to cause minimum disruption if there was ever an issue.

I don’t think there ever was, though.

13. How else can we teach them how to behave?

Can’t believe this is unpopular. But the only way to teach them is to take them out. You have to be willing to walk out AS SOON AS the get antsy and won’t settle right back down.

We did this with triplets-only had to walk out a couple times with my triplets. One of us took kids to car other got food to go. Went home and served the kids sandwiches (only the one or ones who caused the issue) while we ate the nice dinner. This cured them right away.

It isn’t hard but parents have to be willing to stand firm.

12. Parents have to do their part.

We took my nephew when he was very little but he was also well-behaved. Towards the end of the meal he would sometimes get restless so I’d either pick him up and walk around the restaurant or take him outside.

If he wanted to walk I would hold his hand and walk him around inside and out until the others were ready to go. He never screamed or threw fits in restaurants.

Maybe he was exceptionally good but it really was not that hard to be attentive to his needs and not be disruptive to others.

11. We want to see some effort.

I’m in the boat of as long as the parents are making an effort to keep the kid under control, then I’m fine. Kids will be kids and as long as the parents aren’t just letting them run wild, then I understand.

10. Kids will be kids.

I agree, it’s up to the parents. We deserve to go out and eat with our kids if we want to, but if not, that’s fine too.

Kids can be obnoxious but it doesn’t mean they don’t deserve nice things like going out to eat at a special place with their family.

9. As long as they stay in their seats.

Talking isn’t a problem, kids talk, they’re loud, sometimes little ones squeal when they are happy…

But getting out of their seat and running around, climbing over or under booths, having tantrums and loud enough that the cooks in the back can hear them over the sound of the dishes and hoods…

That sh%t shouldn’t be happening anywhere.

8. Now there’s an idea.

Restaurants use to have smoking and non-smoking sections; they’ve needed kids and non-kids section for years.

Unless it’s not a kid friendly restaurant. I think the worst situation I ever had involving kids, was a parent who let her two kids take all the salt and pepper shakers off the table, and throw them into the fireplace… while the other kid was climbing on bar stools and sticking his hand into the olives…

The mother only spoke mandarin and we had a very difficult time getting them to leave! They weren’t even dining in, they brought outside food and just sat themselves.. was a whole debacle.

7. I think we can all agree this is wrong.

I went to a literal pub once and someone brought two screaming toddlers on Friday night with about 100 adults downing beers and shots.

Went to an expensive Hibachi grill and someone brought their baby who was also promptly frightened into screaming by the fire. So yeah…. Agree 100%

6. Some people ruin it for the rest of us.

I had a kid, not even a toddler, probably 4 or 5, standing a table and throw crayons at me. The parent just ignored it and kept talking to me. Next it was chips he was throwing. Still not being corrected at all. I told him to stop and his mother got loud and rude at me. I was so glad when she stormed out.

Some people are unbelievable.

5. It does seem controversial.

For every person telling me that this isn’t an unpopular opinion, there is a comment telling me that I am a child hater and that children should be allowed to be children and society should be accepting of it

4. Or making silly comments.

This is honestly how I sometimes feel about public bathrooms. I feel like there needs to be public bathrooms specified for the use of adults with their small children.

I like to be able to shit without children screaming bloody murder in the bathroom.

Or peeking under the door at you. I was once on a long road trip. Guts had been gurgling and angry for a bit. We stopped at a Whataburger where there was only one stall in the bathroom (but it was still set up like it should’ve housed more stalls, so a stall within a private women’s room). Since the restaurant was relatively empty aside from one other family with a 3-4 year old, I decided to try to relieve my poor bowels.

I settled into the stall prepared to relax and wait (since road trip + foreign bathroom meant things would be a bit slower). Not two minutes in, the little 3-4 year old girl comes into the bathroom BY HERSELF. Obviously, there’s nowhere for her to do her business so she starts trying to open my stall door. I said “I’m sorry, this is occupied.” She waited a couple more minutes, then started CRAWLING UNDER THE STALL DOOR.

I shielded my parts and told her to please give me privacy. Once she was on the correct side of the stall again, I realized my bowel movement wasn’t happening and I gave up.

I couldn’t believe that those parents would let their small child go to the bathroom by herself. Sure, there should’ve been another stall for her to use, but jesus. If she doesn’t know not to crawl under stall doors, she’s too young to go by herself.

3. You can’t make a blanket statement.

I take my daughter with us to restaurants whenever we go, she’s 2. We have always held her to the same standards for restaurants as we do at home. She’s not allowed to get down and run around or scream during meal times. We have never ever had a problem with her at restaurants, she sits there quietly and happily with a crayon and a cup of water. I know I’m her mom and you may think I’m biased, but to be completely honest, I am so proud of her because of how well behaved she is.

My best friend on the other hand, is the parent that everyone f**king hates. Her 3 year old is an absolute terror at restaurants. The entire time, the child is running around screaming and laying under the table, it is absolutely maddening. I hate going out to eat with her because her child sets and example for mine, and my child behaves worse when she is around.

Anyways, my point is that not all children are the same, and it makes me really upset to see parents allow that kind of behavior in public because it gives a bad name to all kids.

2. Maybe HER children.

My husband and I went out on a date night. I think it was Applebee’s or Chili’s or some similar place where families dining there is to be accepted. However…the kids at the booth behind us were throwing things and climbing over the top.

We asked to be moved and the wait staff was very accommodating and nice about it. But when we walked by the other table, the mom said something about people who hate children.

Sorry lady, don’t hate children. Just your children on that particular night.

1. Know your audience.

Was at a bar with some friends and my one friend says “f** k.”

Couple comes up and asks him to watch his language because their kid is with them.

We just stared at them and said you brought your five year old to a bar.

You’re going to hear some bad words.

There are just too many variables as far as reasons people ending up needing to eat out with small children, and honestly, they’re not responsible for your comfort.

What are your thoughts? Drop them in the comments!