kids

Cafe owner says she will give parents "five lenient minutes" to discipline a child before she'll do it for them.

The owners of a British cafe have been forced to delete their Facebook page after they posted new plans to give parents of screaming children “five lenient minutes” to discipline the child before they would do it themselves.

Er, ya what now?

The post, which is now deleted as well as the Facebook page, read;

“Can we make ourselves perfectly clear to all parents who are too scared to discipline their children about tantrum screaming. [sic] We will give you five lenient minutes to ask the child to stop screaming and then we will ask the child ourselves. If that means you too are having a tantrum about our having to speak to your child and hurling threats about not returning – that’s really okay with us. We have a duty of care to the rest of our customers.”

According to the BBC, the cafe owner, Kim Christofi spoke about her Facebook post on radio, and said: “You’ll get a family arrive and for some reason the child will start screaming, throwing a hysterical tantrum.

The now deleted Facebook page of South Kiosk at Martello Park. Image via Facebook

"We hope the parent will step in, but in the latest incident that didn't happen and the child was really embarrassing herself.

"The parents left me no option but to have a quiet word. We ask them 'would they stop screaming, would they like a drink and colouring book?'"

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It's not just the stereotypically hoity toity British who are convinced kids are the worst thing you can find in a restaurant after a fly in your soup.

Flynn's restaurant in Northern Queensland made headlines late last year when the owner outright banned children under the age of seven from dining there.

Owners of a US restaurant saw fit to hand out rule cards to parents who patronised their business.

A family restaurant in Rome banned children earlier this year. Perhaps not so family after all.

Here's the thing though.

No parent wakes up on a Saturday morning and thinks to themselves, 'what shall I do today? It's sunny outside isn't it. I think I might go to a local cafe and have my child throw a tantrum.'

There is no parent in the world that thinks ruining the morning coffee of fellow cafe patrons is a fun thing to do.

"God knows, I have to pick my battles sometimes." Alys with her children. Image supplied.

There are plenty of parents out there, though, who think to themselves, 'what shall I do today? I'd really like to go to a cafe with my children and enjoy some family time together, but I'm worried that my two-year-old might disturb everyone else and I can't deal with what other people might think.'

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There are also plenty of parents out there that are totally respectful of other cafe patrons. When my children throw tantrums, as they've been known to do on occasion, I very often physically remove them from the situation. It helps to distract the little one out of her tantrum, and with the older one, it helps him to learn that there are consequences to his actions (ie: if he throws a tantrum, he won't get the cupcake at all and we will have to leave).

But there are plenty of parents who are picking their battles, as I myself have been known to do. You can't look at the parent of a screaming child and draw the immediate conclusion that the tantrum is symptomatic of shitty parenting.

It might be the product of over stimulation, or tiredness, or hunger, or a developmental issue, or an illness or any other reason for which children express themselves.

What makes me so frustrated about the British cafe in particular, and about the general discourse about crappy parents you'll see across the media, is that the assumption is that a parent can't be bothered disciplining their child.

Surely, the most empathetic response, the most human response is a smile and a nod or a friendly gesture, a token effort to say to a harried parent, 'it's all good. You've got this.'

And I'll tell you what, a business that responded like that is a business that would get my money and my recommendation.

Kids though. They are the worst kind of embarrassing.

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