A user asked, Am I wrong for yelling at a kid for crawling under my table at a restaurant?


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After a long stressful week, the Original Poster’s (OP) friend Jack and OP like to go to the local pizza place. It’s not fine dining by any stretch of the imagination, but there are booths and tables of people sitting down.

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OP sees a large table near them of like ten people, a few couples, and bunch of small kids between like 4 and 8, the kids are running around the restaurant being loud while the adults are drinking wine and eating their pizza.

What Does OP Do?

Hidden little girl under the table
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OP ignores the commotion for like 20 minutes when suddenly, OP feels a hand on his leg, and one of the little kids is crawling under Jack and OP’s table. 

OP Snapped

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OP wasn’t thinking and snapped at the kid and said, “Get away from our table!”

What Did The Kid Do?

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The kid ran away and burst into tears. One of the parents at the other table came over and started tearing into OP about how cranky and mean OP was and how dare OP yell at her kid, who was playing.

OP says, “Meanwhile, she and the other middle-aged forty-something parents are letting their kids run amok and be loud and obnoxious while my friend and I are trying to enjoy a night out.”

What Did OP Do?

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I ripped her a new one and said, “How entitled do you need to be to think it’s ok to let your kids just crawl under other people’s tables?” She called me a jerk and walked away in a huff.

What Do People Have To Say?

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“Not wrong. Her exhaustion/boundaries/parental philosophy create no obligations for you. Your personal space was invaded; you reacted to repair that.”

She cannot Control The Kids

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“Agreed, Not a jerk. Her inability to control her kids does not mean you have to parent for her in her place.

If the kid was walking up to OP and trying to talk, yelling wouldn’t be necessary, but this kid crossed boundaries that should have been learned multiple years ago.

Not A Jungle Gym

Photo of unhappy upset sister brother dressed denim shirts biting fists hand arm isolated yellow color background.
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“Not wrong. You are not a jungle gym; your table is not a play place.”

Not A Jerk

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“LOVE this. I waited tables in college and was appalled by how parents allowed their children to behave (definitely a nicer place, too!).

OP, you are not a jerk, even a little bit. I once had a kid crawl into my stall while I was putting in a freaking tampon. I clamped my knees shut and said he had to leave my stall NOW while I leaned forward to unlock the door so he could walk out.

When I exited the stall after several minutes (hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with seeing the easily four years old kid and whoever was with him), I was stunned to encounter his mother and grandmother glaring at me. They didn’t say a word. I washed my hands and exited while they continued staring me down.

I think some people can’t cope with their kids being corrected when they have failed as parents to teach them reasonable boundaries.”

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