Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.
Children at Sunday Mass today were a bit rambunctious.
Nothing terrible, just more crying than usual. Parents at the weekly Mass that I usher are pretty considerate about bringing their uppity children to the back of church. Rarely must I walk to a pew and politely invite a parent and yelling child to join me in the rear because the tantrum has been going on for several minutes and now I’m getting glares with daggers from the parishioners as if to say, “Don’t just stand there, do something!”
Following Mass, I drove to our regular Sunday post-Mass restaurant for some cholesterol and arrived to a familiar scene and shrill. Outside the main entrance, a young couple was attempting to calm their young little guy who was unhappy. Very unhappy.
Inside, another little boy was crying, and crying, and crying, and crying, and crying, and crying, and loudly. He’s become a regular at this eatery and so has his melancholy behavior. Noticeable were the many annoyed faces of other patrons.
A certain dining establishment in Carolina Beach, North Carolina has had far too many similar experiences.
In this day and age of coexisting, everyone just getting along, linking hands and singing Kumbaya, Olde Salty's posts this sign for all who enter to see:
The restaurant policy sounds very much like my policy as a church usher. If a patron’s child is unruly, an Olde Salty’s employee will kindly, respectfully ask the parent to…..take it outside.
Unleash a whole bunch of angry backlash.
Stand back, everybody.
Blogger and former attorney/prosecutor KJ Dell’Antonia writes, “To put a sign that reads 'Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!' with that screamer of an exclamation point and those shouting capitals in the window of your restaurants is far more than a gentle suggestion. It's an admonishment, an advance assumption that those children will scream. It creates an immediate atmosphere of hostility towards families, and it is, in itself, rude. No one minds a reminder with a little humor: Screaming children will be placated with a cup of coffee and a free puppy. But an angry directive demanding your courtesy reflects an aggression that goes far beyond what's warranted. This is a sign that comes out swinging before the poster is even certain that another boxer is going to enter then ring.”
Strollerderby, the Mother of All Parenting Blogs writes, “The sign is rude – and classless.” A comment on the same blog reads, “I think the sign is lame, definitely rude, but incredibly vague. Where does the problem lie? Is that one small happy shriek from a two-year-old who just got peekaboo’d? Or lengthy crying? If my kid is saying something loudly and having fun and another patron can hear it, whether I it bothers them or not ? Or if they whine a little because the food is slow getting to the table? There aren’t and can’t be written rules on these things, and parents can’t anticipate (nor should they)or be responsible for every little irritation someone else experiences. The sign is just bad business and poor taste. An establishment that is rude to paying customers will have a problem on its hands.”
Another commenter writes, “I’ve decided to open up my own restaurant, called ‘Intolerance Cafe’. Not only will screaming children be kicked out, I will not tolerate: loud talking, cellphone use of ANY kind, cigarette smoke, whistling noses, chewing gum, chewing anything with your mouth open PERIOD, slurping, loudly sucking the last of one’s soda, overly exaggerated sighing, eye-rolling, snorting, sleeping, or any sort of personal hygiene at the table. I will also not tolerate whining, complaining about the food or the bill or where your table is situated, or rude demands of any kind.”
One customer accused the owner of discriminating against autistic children.
Obviously, the restaurant owner and anyone who supports her sign and policy is an evil, diabolical child hater.
Let’s go back to KJ Dell’Antonia’s blog. She concedes, “Like most parents, I don't tolerate screaming by my children at home, let alone in public. A restaurant is not a playground; there should be no excessively loud voices, and no leaving the table except to go quietly to the restroom. In other words, we don't accept bad manners, and screaming in a restaurant would certainly be rude to the other diners (and allowing a child who's too young to understand that to remain in a public place while screaming would constitute rudeness on the part of the accompanying adult).”
Well then, lawyer lady, you shouldn’t have any issues with the restaurant policy or sign.
More comments on the Strollerderby blog:
“Many people are tired of paying good money to have a ruined meal due to out of control children with rude parents. Leave your children at home if they do not know how to behave.”
“I’m a mom and I have two kids. This means nothing as far as restaurant etiquette. If your kids can’t behave in a restaurant, don’t take them there. If they misbehave, leave. Period. Why is this even an issue? It’s a short time that they’re small and you won’t be able to take them to eat out, but while you’re there it’s incredibly rude to subject the world to your mayhem. Get takeout.”
“I am a mother of a 16-month-old, and I believe that fussy children should be removed from a restaurant/store by their parents. Ever since my daughter was born, I have left the restaurant/store if she became fussy. I am not ashamed of her and I understand that babies cry, but I am respectful of others trying to enjoy their meal or shopping experience.”
“WHY should the rest of the world have to put up with your spoiled brat? How would you like it if I screamed obnoxiously, jumped up and down & threw food while you were trying to eat? Bet I’d get booted from the restaurant! I’ll bet parents on here getting their feathers ruffled are the very ones who let their kids run wild with no respect for paying customers. I wish more restaurants would adopt this policy.”
“Thank god someone has the good sense to finally clap down on the out-of-control kids with their airhead mommies who think everything their little brat does is ‘awesome’. The author is obviously one of these no-brain yuppy mommies. I’m from CT and some of my friends and I are considering flying down to NC just to patronize this restaurant and show our support. Hopefully this will start a national trend.”
For me, I concur wholeheartedly with Penny Nance, CEO of Concerned Women for
“I applaud the restaurant owner in
As a culture we certainly should be welcoming of children but in the same right, kids aren't running the show, nor should they. What happened to parental responsibility? Not only are the children often less disciplined these days, or so it seems, but the parents are right along with them. Today, I've seen parents who are so laissez-faire about disciplining their kids that they allow them to destroy the peace of everyone around them whether in church, the library or any other public venue.”
Has the policy hurt business?
Here’s more from WECT-TV:
CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
I am not a wine drinker. My wife is. So when we go out, Jennifer orders wine by the glass. Jennifer, you need to read this.
ANOTHER CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
Sacrilege! Deep-fried WHAT???
AND YET ANOTHER CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
This tax-increase proposal is especially foolish because it's obvious what people will do to get around it.
AND FINALLY, ONE MORE CULINARY NO-NO BONUS
Michelle Obama: Obesity is bad. Now, let's eat!