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Woman at restaurant tells family that their four kids are being too loud; AITA?

Woman at restaurant tells family that their four kids are being too loud; AITA?


Nobody signs up for a relaxing dinner with a background playlist of screaming children, but part of being a healthy adult is learning how to share public spaces with...the public...

So, when conflicted restaurant patron decided to vent to the moral compass of the internet otherwise known as Reddit's 'Am I the As*hole' about an awkward interaction she experienced with a loud table, people were ready to roast her.

AITA (Am I the As*hole) for telling a family sitting beside me at the restaurant that their kids are loud?

I (27F) accomplished something awesome at work and I wanted to celebrate. So I went to my favorite restaurant restaurant to treat myself to my favorite meal.

It was all great at first. I had my laptop and got some work done as I waited for my food. I had just started eating when a family of four with kids around the age of 4 and 2 sat at the table beside mine. I was surprised because It's not an environment known to be hospitable to kids overall.

Initially, the kids were quiet. It got progressively worse as they sat there. The little one was crying, the older one was shouting. And they went on and on. My sound cancelling earbuds didn't help me much. So I asked to move to a different table.

The restaurant isn't very big so I could still hear them crying and shouting. I barely enjoyed my food and was really angry because I very rarely get to have time for myself and I really wanted to enjoy this.

As I was paying, I told the father that I hoped they enjoyed their meal, because I barely could. He got mad and said I had no right to say anything about them, and went on to say he had barely had the time to eat out as a family and that I was being rude for no reason.

I said sacrificing social events is part of parenting and that their kids were particularly loud. The argument went on for a bit more but the couple seemed terribly pissed at me. Was I the AH?

Here's what the jury of internet strangers had to say about this restaurant situation:

wanderingstorm said:

NTA but I'm sure your words fell on deaf ears (pun intended). It's becoming increasingly common for parents to not only bring their children to not-child-friendly locations but also to let them act ridiculous while there. And they won't care that your day or experience was ruined.

CuriousCuriousAlice said:

NTA, you could’ve been more polite, and that’s the route I would’ve taken personally, but there is a limit. While it’s reasonable in a clearly family friendly restaurant to hear children, even that has an expectation of some respectful noise level.

The wait staff really should’ve been the ones to politely ask them to rein the situation in so other guests could enjoy their meals, but they failed to do that and frustration is not an uncommon outcome. Next time I would try saying something to the staff first, and more politely to the family if that didn’t resolve it. It won’t work but it’s worth a try.

completedett said:

NTA I am a parent of 5, when your kid starts acting like that you leave. It's such selfish and entitled behaviour to disturb everyone else's peace.

Pleasant_Bread_4662 said:

NTA...if my brother and I acted up or were loud our parents took us outside for a chat. If it happened again we left and it was again explained to us that our behavior was inconsiderate of others.

We learned very early that our behavior in public, especially in theaters or restaurants needed to be different than at home.

OG-ProblemChild said:

YTA. Your in public, you dont get to control others. I don't have kids and find them annoying in restaurants too but it's part of going out. Besides, if it's the type of place you have a laptop open and earbuds in I don't think we are talking a fine dining establishment here. People with kids get to exist too.

CelestiallyCertain said:

YTA. You’re in public. Children have every right to be in public spaces just like adults do. No, being a parent doesn’t mean you live in a cave and never go out in the light of day.

Saying adults with children are no longer allowed to come out in public is just ridiculous. You don’t own public spaces. You don’t get to decide who is allowed somewhere.

The kids are two and four. Could the parents have done more to try and control them? Sure. It’s how you handled it that makes you an AH. You would have been better off complaining to management.

They likely would have comped your meal for the inconvenience and annoyance. Your arguing with parents aren’t going to change the fact the kids are 2 and 4, and acting like typical 2 and 4 year olds.

To be blunt, it’s more likely the family of four is paying much more to eat at that restaurant than a single person is. That $200-300 bill (assuming ~$50/plate) is bringing in a higher tip and profit than your bill.

While the opinions were fairly divided for this one, most people agreed that this woman could've gone about this confrontation in a different way. Everyone knows loud kids in public can be irritating demons from the underworld, but shaming parents who are clearly trying their best is also not a productive move.

Sources: Reddit
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