Are Well-Behaved Children in Restaurants the Exception?

Photo: Reddit .

The latest restaurant receipt that’s making its rounds on Reditt and other social media channels is one that includes a $4 “well behaved kids” discount. According to the Daily News, Laura and Chris King took their three young children into an Italian restaurant in Poulsbo, Wash. When their check arrived, they noticed the discount applied to their bill. The family posted a photo of the receipt on Facebook, and someone reposted it on Reddit, where it went viral.

I think it’s great that the restaurant, Sogno di Vino, let the King family know how much the employees appreciated their well-behaved children. It helps parents who do the consistent work of reinforcing manners when outsiders let parents know they’re doing a wonderful job. The restaurant did a very nice thing.

I have to wonder, though, if well-behaved children in restaurants are so rare these days. When our boys were younger, we often were complimented on how well-behaved they were when we took them out. We still get the occasional compliment, but I think that at ages 10 and 13, servers just expect kids to be well-behaved (or to have their faces down in their iPhones, but that’s a subject for another post). We now get the compliments from their friends’ parents and their teachers about what wonderful manners they have when they’re away from us.

But, I can’t believe that my husband and I here in New Jersey and the King family across the country in Washington are the only two families raising well-behaved children. In fact, I know we’re not.

I dine out frequently, and it’s the rare ill-behaved children (or should I say ill-behaved parents) who catch most people’s attention. We’ve all been out to eat and been distracted by young children who are running around, throwing a tantrum, or tossing handfuls of Cheerios on the floor. But does that happen every time you go eat to eat? Of course not. You most likely remember the ones who misbehave and most likely don’t notice the kids who do behave.

I don’t doubt that since this “well-behaved discount” has gone viral that there will be more instances of restaurants doing it. But, should restaurants do it? Sure, if they want to.

Should parents expect it? Absolutely not. Getting a little discount like that or even simply a comment about your well-behaved children is nice, but it shouldn’t be the motivating factor in raising well-behaved kids.

Do you think that the King family is the exception or do you think that diners simply tend to remember the ill-behaved children?