Should restaurants allow children to play loud games on their devices?

Who is at fault for allowing loud and unpleasant sounds to permeate the space - is it the restaurant or the parent?

by: Tessa Purdon | 13 Jun 2017
 

We all know that our cell phones and tablets have become somewhat of an extra human limb and it’s no surprise that parents of small children often make use of digital devices when they’re going on road trips to keep their littlies entertained or when eating out at restaurants.

I don’t have children of my own but I know that they can be really busy or demanding and I’m pretty sure it allows you parents to reach some level of ‘peace’ where you can actually speak to another adult or even just enjoy the meal that you’ve ordered.

ALSO READ: Toddlers + touch-screens = little sleep?

We were alerted to a thread on Twitter yesterday that made us think about the issue of children on loud devices in restaurants. Should the restaurant management step in or is it up to the parents to deal with the situation?

One commenter in the thread tweeted, “Restaurants should ban all devices, period. Imagine human conversation might make a comeback no more pictures of food”. In my view this is extreme but I do know how much a noisy Peppa Pig theme song on repeat can ruin a restaurant experience.


We chatted to Parent24 Editor, Sophia Swanepoel who says, “Devices can be a great tool to keep kids entertained at a restaurant, so mom and dad can relax a bit. However, parents have a responsibility to teach their children how to behave in restaurants: to not be nuisance, run around and bump into others, to chew politely, to thank the waitperson. These days, that includes keeping digital levels at a low or wearing headphones. It’s just good manners."

While we completely agree with this view, it's often not the case - which results in a few steely glares from other tables, in the hope that someone from the restaurant staff will ask the offending table to keep things down a bit.

Sophia says, "Similarly, the restaurant management has a responsibility to make families feel welcome but also to protect fellow diners from rowdiness. It’s entirely fair of them to ask parents to turn the volume down if it’s disturbing the ambience or other diners. Overwhelmed parents may not notice how noisy their children are, however, and I suggest management uses a gentle approach! Unless the family really doesn’t make any effort and responds rudely. In which case you should bring them the bill early!”

What are your feelings about children playing on loud devices in a restaurant setting? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!

Read more on: restaurants and bars
 

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