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September 05, 2008

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rarepair

I would be delighted to have dinner with you and your children in any restaurant, MOYC, because you get it. It sounds to me like you're a loving and attentive parent and I'll bet you're kids put a sparkle in the eyes of their teachers.

Absolutely, children should be welcome almost everywhere (I really do draw the line at topless bars and cock fights). BUT JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER HUMAN ON EARTH, they need to abide by the rules of the venue they are in. And that's where we parents come in as teachers. My husband and I used the same techniques as you when El was a toddler. I don't get parents who abandon the obligation to teach and practice courtesy in a public place and I see it all the time. It's as equally unfair as a 'Children and Non-Children' section.

Love all the young families in LH! LOVE all the kids - I'm surrounded by them each and everyday - my daughters friends are forever at my house, I'm with the 600 plus kids at LHE almost every day. And I do my best to lovingly and consistently teach any of them on 'my watch' courtesy - in public places, at home, to each other. The scene described by Carol with the dozen kids running wild is completely unacceptable. And ultimately detrimental - to the kids.

As to the pincher. Perhaps a well choreographed plate of hot pasta 'accidently' spilled in his lap next time you see him out might be the ticket LH. Food for thought.

meredith

"I'll go you one further.. how about putting all the elderly people in their own room? How about all the people who don't look exactly like you? How about dividing us up by median income? Seems we are entering some dangerous territory here, because we've lost our ability to speak in common sense terms."


You're right! If I want a romantic dinner, I have to stay home. This seems fair to you, yes?

Lisa

This, unfortunately is a debate that will last lifetimes. I am "getting old" too, but I am in a position of having an adult child living in LH as a young married homeowner, as well as having a preschooler whom my husband and I take to dinner frequently. Seems to me going out to eat is more part of our culture these days than it was 40 years ago, and is not necessarily a "treat" as much as just eating dinner. We try to stay away from quiet restaurants or Lower Greenville on "date night" with our son, but the neighborhood places seem as though they should be family friendly. As for kids' behavior, my goodness, if anyone really thinks parents have complete control, I believe that is a very naive notion. I was a young parent with three very well behaved children. I could confidently take them anywhere in public. I was complimented on what a "good" mother I was. Hah! I thought I knew so much by the time my fourth child was born. Ever hear that God has a sense of humor? I'll leave it at that.

Teach Your Children

Lisa, I don't think anyone is asking for perfection in controlling their children's behavior, but only a good hearted attempt at it. For example, once I was hit in the back with food by a neighboring table's screaming children engaging in a food fight. Proper behavior for eating out in a public place? No. Did the parents try to stop it? No. I really do not blame the children as they obviously have not been taught proper behavior in public. I do blame the parents for not attempting to put a stop to it. Thinking a child's food fight is "cute" in a public venue when it attracts the attention of surrounding tables is beyond me. Fortunately the restaurant was not full and we were able to pick up our plates and dinner ware and physically move to a quieter location and enjoy the remainder of our dinner. And yes, we left a large tip for the hassle we caused the staff in relocating.

Our restaurants should be community oriented and no one should discriminate against anyone; however, everyone should be courteous and considerate of one another. If a child is loud, obnoxious and misbehaving, a responsible parent will deal with it accordingly. An irresponsible, lazy parent will not. It is possible for everyone to enjoy the same restaurant with common courtesy and responsibility. After all, we want to keep our Lake Highlands dollars within Lake Highlands. Telling someone to move on to another location won't serve that purpose very well.

I do appreciate your God's sense of humor reference. How true!

An LH mom of two boys

7-8pm in a crowded restaurant with hungry kids and a long line is a recipe for disaster. We take our well behaved kids (ages 6 and 4) to Mi Cocina every Friday night but we go at 5:30 and we never have a problem!

Triple Wildcat

There are several issues at work here. The overriding one is that there aren't enough quality, family-style restaurants in Lake Highlands. Mi Cocina isn't really a kid-friendly restaurant. Picasso's is, so if you go there, buyer beware.

But for the people who say, "I've taught my toddler to behave well in public." - You're kidding yourselves. You just happen to have a mild-mannered kid. With some kids, it doesn't matter how many times their parents scold them and discipline them, they just aren't going to sit still in a restaurant. It's just something they have to outgrow - and most of them do. Sure, there are some parents who don't give a whit and let their kids run wild. Those are the people who deserve the dirty looks.

But some kids are simply uncontrollable, no matter how hard the parents try. You can't reason with a 3-year-old, and sometimes resorting to harsh discipline or corporal punishment creates a bigger scene than if you let the kid take a few laps around the table.

I used to be one of those people that looked down at parents whose kids were loud or couldn't sit still. Now that I've been through that with a toddler of my own, I understand what they're going through. It wasn't because we didn't try to make our child behave. We just avoided going to non-kid friendly restaurants for a while and waited for him outgrow this behavior. He's now a well-mannered, well-behaved kid.

JP

carol--
you are NOT getting too old. i am in complete agreement with you and all those who agree with you. my husband & i are one of the new cute, young LH families but our child has 4 legs, floppy ears, and chases squirrels. we don't take him to mico though, no worries! i do look foward to the days of babies and toddlers for us and i only hope that we will have the same decency, respect, and common sense that we hope for from current young parents. thanks for the hot topic!

CBS

seriously, Mi Cocina for a romantic dinner?!! The place is a step above fast food. (very glad to ave them in LH!!) I think your expectations are out of line (at least partially). No excuse for kids going unchecked, but MiCo is a known family spot, it should be expected. If you are at the French Room you have every right to expect a subdued atmosphere...but not at Mico, sorry.

chris

I think all kids should be relegated to eating at the playland at McD's. That would pretty much solve everything. We get peace and quiet and you get value meals!

KevinH

Mariano's, two blocks south on Skillman, is a great option with a much better atmosphere.
http://www.marianosrestaurant.com/

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