For Katie Leach, a young mom in Nampa, Idaho, a “teaching moment” turned to drama while out dining with her almost–11-month-old son at Texas Roadhouse. The child, who, according to Leach, is “still learning” how to behave in public, was screaming gleefully in response to the patrons, waitstaff, and “Happy Birthday” songs throughout the evening.
About halfway through her meal, Leach says a note was slammed on the table in front of her by a woman she described to be in her 50s or 60s. The note read, “Thank you for ruining our dinner with your screaming kid. Sincerely, the table behind you.”
Leach approached the women, apologizing for the child’s behavior and explaining the she was doing her best to teach her son to be quiet. She said the women told her that their grandchildren would never behave like that.
The argument on behalf of Leach supports her right to be in a noisy restaurant with a noisy child.
One Facebook user, Jess Edwards, writes, “Why would anyone go to Texas Roadhouse if they want a quiet meal? Stupid lady, stupid complaint.”
The complaint itself holds a great deal of irony considering the disrespect shown by communicating through the passing of a note. Speaking to the woman instead of acting like a grade schooler would have been a more appropriate option, especially since a confrontation was inevitable.
“The loud music and random dancing wasn’t disruptive?” commented Facebook user Hayley Nicole Hampton. “Go somewhere else if you want it quiet or switch tables.”
On top of the complaint, the low blow that “their grandchildren wouldn’t have behaved that way” was completely unnecessary. Comparing children is a silly practice indicative of ignorance and immaturity.
The bottom line is that these women probably wouldn’t have been asked to leave the restaurant had they handled their complaint appropriately and conducted themselves as adults.
Even if these women acted as immaturely as it was reported, they had a number of key points.
Leach is justifying bringing her screaming child to a restaurant because “he is still learning,” but she knew well and good he wasn’t mature enough to understand the correction she was doling out.
“I understand kids go through stages, as i had 4,” said Facebook user Jamie Bendixen, “but if a child is in a restaurant, theatre, grocery store or anywhere public and is screaming, happy or angry, they should remove the child. How do you teach kids inside voices if you just sit their and hush them …”
The most effective means of discipline would actually be to remove him from the situation so he better understands that screaming in a public place isn’t appropriate behavior.
Figuring it Out
There is a middle ground in situations like this, though it may not be one either party would like to hear. Parents must know the limitations of their young children and set them up for success. If your toddler isn’t ready for restaurants, your toddler isn’t ready for restaurants. No shame.
For the patrons, let’s try to be a little more mature next time and speak face-to-face like adults instead of slamming down a passive-aggressive note. What’s more, no one needs to hear that your grandchildren walk around with halos above their heads.
There are legitimate teaching opportunities when it comes to children behaving in restaurants, just ask Supernanny, but those moments would take place with older children and — depending on the age — with a very short leash.
So, while Katie Leach is welcome to return to Texas Roadhouse with her family anytime, she may want to hire a babysitter until the screaming thing is under control.