Someone turned to Reddit to get people’s perspective after they’d yelled at a child for crawling under their table at a restaurant. A verbal altercation with the child’s mom ensued. Now the person’s wondering whether they were wrong for yelling. Here’s the story:
They Go For Pizza After Work
The Original Poster (OP) explains that, after long and busy working weeks, they like going to a local pizza joint with a friend. The place isn’t fancy, but there are booths to sit at and enjoy a meal together.
There Was a Noisy Family
When they arrived at the pizza place this time, OP noticed a big table of about 10 people not far from where they were sitting. The party was made up of a number of couples and their kids, who looked between 4 and 8 years old.
The Kids Were Running Around
The children definitely weren’t sitting down eating dinner at the table, though. They were running around the restaurant loudly while the parents sat having their dinner and drinking wine.
He Ignored It
Tired after another busy week, OP chose to ignore the noisy kids and try to enjoy their meal. They managed to do so for about 20 minutes…
A Kid Crawled Under the Table
Suddenly, OP felt a hand on one of his legs. Looking down, he saw that one of the little children had crawling beneath their table.
OP Snapped At the Kid
OP wasn’t thinking at the time and promptly yelled at the child to “get away from our table.” The child started crying and did exactly as they’d been told. Unfortunately for OP, the child’s mom had seen the incident and started giving OP a piece of her mind.
An Argument Ensued
The child’s mom walked over and laid into OP, saying they were mean and cranky and that her kid was just playing; how dare OP shout at her child. While this was happening, OP noted how she – and the other forty-something parents with her – were still letting their children run wildly around the restaurant.
OP Was Indignant
OP was unapologetic. Frustrated by the parents’ apparent unwillingness to control their children, he said “How entitled do you need to be to think it’s ok to let your kids just crawl under other people’s tables?” To this, the mom issued another insult and then walked off.
Reddit Was On His Side
While you’d usually assume the stranger who yelled at someone else’s child in public would be viewed as the guilty party, most people on Reddit thought OP was in the right. People thought the parents/mom should have kept better control of their kids; that OP was simply respecting their boundaries.
One said, “Her exhaustion / boundaries / parental philosophy create no obligations for you. Your personal space was invaded, you reacted to repair that.” Another added that “Her inability to control her own kids does not mean you have to parent for her in her place. If the kid was just walking up to OP and trying to talk, yelling wouldn’t be necessary, but this kid crossed boundaries that should have been learned multiple years ago.”
Other Moms Agreed
Even other moms chimed in with their support for OP. One said, “40 something mom to a 4& 2yo here. Ooooooh hell no! That is outrageous behaviour. You were perfect.”
The Restaurant’s Not a Play Space
One of the most upvoted responses to OP’s story was simply, “You are not a jungle gym, and your table is not a play place.” Another Reddit user agreed with these sentiments, but suggested “table” should be replaced with “restaurant.” They wrote, “*restaurant is not a play place. There are hot and sharp stuff a lot there, I’ve seen kids run and hit a server carrying 3 plates of food. Guess where the food went.”
What Do You Think?
What are your thoughts on this situation? Was OP wrong for yelling at the child? Should they have dealt with it better, or responded more calmly? Or was he justified for shouting? And, as people on Reddit seemed to think, was this really the fault of the parents letting their kids run amok in the restaurant? Drop a comment to let us know!
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