Please Don't Make Your Server Be the Bad Guy With Your Kids

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Bringing kids to restaurants when they're young is what makes them great restaurant diners later. But making the server into the boogeyman when they misbehave isn't the way to do it. A veteran waiter wants you to stop doing this one thing when your kid acts up in a restaurant.

The moppet looked at me with a level of disdain that no five-year-old should have. I was the bad guy, keeping him from doing what he wanted to do. Instead of his parents, you know, just parenting, they used me as a scapegoat to make their child stop doing something he shouldn’t have been doing in the first place. Servers are not parents. Well,, but not necessarily to the children in their section.

I don’t have kids, but I imagine it gets exhausting always having to stop your child from doing dangerous things that they’re enjoying. “Dear, I know it’s fun, but you can’t jump from the dresser to the bed.” “Sweetie, I need you to stop running with the carving knife.” Surely, parents must institute a good cop/bad cop routine so they can take turns being the villain, and single parents probably never get the chance to deflect to someone else. But don’t do it your waiter, please.

I looked around to see what horrible man would do such a thing and then realized it was me that was supposedly going to oust a toddler onto the streets of Midtown Manhattan. Her tears immediately stopped and she looked at me like I was Cruella deVil about to turn her puppy into a fur coat. The father seemed immensely pleased with his decision.


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