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Should Restaurants Give Discounts for Well-Behaved Children?

One restaurant in Washington did, but some people say it just rewards people for behaving how they should.

An Italian restaurant in Poulsbo, Wash. made the news recently when it took $4 off the bill of family dining there because the children were well behaved.

According to Fox News, the mom posted the receipt on Reddit with a note that reportedly said  “If only all restaurants did this for people with kids.” She added that not only did she get a discount for her well-behaved kids, but the server also gave them a free bowl of ice cream to share. Fox News reports that the children were ages 2, 3 and 8. The mother reportedly said that she teaches her children that they don’t need crayons and iPads to prevent them from being an unpleasant distraction for other patrons – she encourages conversation between them instead.

The mother reportedly got some positive response to her family’s good fortune, but also those who complained that it was ridiculous to expect a discount just for behaving like you’re supposed to behave.

So what do think? Would it be a good idea for restaurants to give discounts to families with children who behave, or would that be unfair to people without children? Is it wrong to reward behavior that is expected anyway?

Harnett Hawkdriver February 11, 2013 at 02:37 PM
This question would not have to be asked if parents "knew" how to conduct themselves in public. Any manager should be open to demand correct behavior or refuse service. There are expected behavior norms for all public places. If you allow your kids act like your at Chucky Cheese when your at a "real" resturant then someone needs to demonstrate proper social habits to them.
Good Grief Y'all February 11, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Restaurants should do what works for them. On physical discipline, if spanking your child doesn't hurt you more to do it than it does the child to receive it, you probably shouldn't do it. When corporal punishment is carried out with anger, it's more about the parent's embarrassment and control than teaching the child a lesson or making them stop the bad behavior. Time-outs do work, so does distraction toward a new and more positive object or activity, for a toddler. Using the same discipline or punishment every time becomes ineffective. So do threats not carried out. There are also times, for a young child, when a spanking by hand and not an object may be necessary, but this should only be a last resort (and not done while angry) or when safety is the main issue. The last thing society needs is for more bullies to be created. When I see a parent snatch a child by the arm, hit, yell or curse at them in public, I wonder how much worse the child gets it at home. Love, patience, reason and time are the cornerstones of good parenting, in my experience.
Karsten Torch February 11, 2013 at 04:54 PM
The restaurant can do as it sees fit, IMO. That includes kicking people out with unruly children, or even banning kids under 10 (or some other arbitrary age, whatever) if it wants. That being said, it does seem kind of sad that rewarding expected behaviour is starting to be expected. I would agree with being able to charge more for bad parenting examples, but that's not always feasible. How can you really charge somebody over the menu price? So...you start to reward the behaviour that is desired. Simple psychology. Want the discount? Teach your kids how to act. Mine has been being taken to restaurants since she was very very little, and bad behaviour has never been accepted, so she actually behaves correctly in restaurants. Pretty simple, if you ask me. As for punishments, I think it depends on the kid. Mine you can spank until your hand falls off, she gets worse. You have to take things away from her. Me, when I was little, hated getting spanked, but you could take everything away from me and put me in a corner for hours, and I could successfully find a ball of lint to play with and entertain myself. Used to drive my dad nuts. So, I'm not against spankings, as long as it actually helps you achieve your goal in the end and isn't just a vent for your personal frustrations....
Rosemary Cantrell February 11, 2013 at 08:55 PM
Obviously a hot topic! In this case, the policy was not to always reward well behaved children. These children just impressed the manager and he chose to reward them this time. As a rule, good behavior need not be rewarded other than by praise. And it is certainly not the restaurant's responsibility to offer such rewards. At times, it is certainly appropriate for a restaurant to deal with unruly behavior that is disrupting other guests. Parents do indeed have a responsibility to teach their children appropriate manners and behaviors and to require good behavior in public. It starts at home by all eating together, practicing appropriate manners. Like others who commented, I have a very low tolerance for children who misbehave in public - and particularly parents who do not handle such situations promptly and appropriately!
Robbi McCaig February 12, 2013 at 12:54 PM
Are you kidding? This is a lawsuit waiting to happen. The parent/s of bratty children think their kids are angels. The decision to reward "good" kids is subjective and thus open to all kinds of charges. It would be kind of fun, though, to have the patrons of the restaurants vote on those families with those kids.

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