Darla Neugebauer: You’ve Got A Friend In Me

30398105_StillHave you ever gone into a restaurant establishment expecting that the money you’re about to shell out is going to be totally worth the experience, only to have that experience ruined by a bratty kid whose behavior is only personified by non-attentive parents?  Well, Darla Neugebauer wasn’t paying for that experience; she was providing that experience and watching it excruciatingly shoved down the drain at the hands of a child’s tantrum or rather, lack of home training.

While not all patrons were appalled by the actions of Darla, owner of Marcy’s Diner in Portland, Maine, several people have expressed their disdain for the way she handled a screaming child in her restaurant recently.  According to Darla’s account, the child screamed at the top of her lungs for an annoying amount of time, which could have been five minutes for all I care, because when children are misbehaving in public it requires immediate attention from parents.  No matter what the age of the child, a restaurant is not the place to practice ignoring bad behavior.  Not everyone around you is a parent and not everyone around you is as equipped with the nerves to handle your screaming child as you are.  So be respectful.

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Image processed by CodeCarvings Piczard ### FREE Community Edition ### on 2013-12-14 04:47:55Z | http://piczard.com | http://codecarvings.com

Many are scowling the abrasive reaction to the child, but let me tell you something from my point of view as a parent of five.  There are times when you have to be the loudest in order to restore order.  Think about it.  When you have an unruly crowd the best the way to regain control, is gain their attention by being louder via a microphone/megaphone.  The police do it all the time.  In my house, I am the police.  I don’t have a megaphone/sound system to gain the attention of my children when they get out of hand (all five of them) so sometimes, I have to yell.  Does it scar my children?  No.  They don’t cower in fear or wet themselves in shock.  Hell, half the time they don’t even care.  They just want me to say my peace so they can modify their behavior enough to go back to their play.  I couldn’t even bring myself to form the words that would classify what Darla did as child abuse, and if my child were out of hand in her restaurant I’d probably thank her for her help.  It takes a village.  She did not harm the child.  The child will not need psychotherapy as a result.  Nor will this experience cause the child to have an aversion to pancakes for the rest of her life.  Kudo’s to Darla for standing up for proper parenting at a time in which she was placed in a position to act as a responsible member of society.  So many times we see the behaviors in children that we know will lead bigger problems in the future and we are afraid to speak up.  We take a, “not my monkey, not my circus” attitude and hope that it goes away.  But in ten years, when we’re being held at gun point by the same little punk that doesn’t want to get a job, we want to scream, “Where in the hell were their parents?”  Well, where were you when their parents could have used some unsolicited yet very helpful advice?  The world isn’t going to change with just a few of us; it’s going to take all of us.  I’m not telling you to go out and beat other people’s children, but hey, speaking up will not cost you a red cent.  And so what if the parents are pissed.  Guess what?  Now they’re thinking about their child’s behavior.

Darla if you’re reading this, you have my sympathy for having to deal with parents that have children for no other reason than to look at them and dote on them.  For those of us trying to raise children who will become good and productive members of society, we would not blame you for imposing a, “No Children Allowed” policy in your store.  Trust me, we understand.  And we also know how to find babysitters.  Here’s a list of restaurants that enforce that policy in case you were wondering.  No Children Allowed

You can watch Darla’s controversial reaction in her own words here

Controversy At Marcy’s

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39 Responses to Darla Neugebauer: You’ve Got A Friend In Me

  1. al alano says:

    I have to agree with Darla Neugebauer. If the parents are not removing the tantruming child from the establishment,nor are they giving her the pancakes. The problem is not the child its the parents responsibilty to remedy the situation. They chose not to. So the owner did.Kudos to Darla!

  2. antnee68 says:

    Everything you’ve stated is right on the money. I don’t want to pay money to eat at a restaurant where lazy parents aren’t taking care of their kids by letting them scream, cry, throw tantrums. We always took our kids out of public places when they had a meltdown or just didn’t feel good. Parents should be respectful of everyone around them and realize it’s not just about them and their children. Sadly, many don’t.

  3. buffalosoldierpj@gmail.com says:

    do that shit to my Kid and you will have Pancakes shoved up your A$$

    • raisinemreal says:

      I’m pretty sure that when someone does correct the child that you’re not correcting in public, you will be taken aback so far that you won’t remember how to shove pancakes up someone’s ass. How do you do that by the way? I would think they wouldn’t hold together very well. I’m just sayin’…. Thanks for reading. 🙂

    • Riley says:

      Keep your kid and home and you put up with their screaming tantrums. You don’t belong in a social setting anywhere, any time.

    • L.Johnson says:

      Now we know why the child acts that way-apparently the parents are 99.5 % the child is that way

    • You talk tough, but I’m pretty sure Darla could take you. In any case, how will your sitting in jail on felony assault charges help you or your child? Being a loudmouth phoney tough guy isn’t what it takes to be a good parent. God help any kids may have.

    • A. Bert says:

      Considering your response I find it hard to believe your Kid would get away with that behavior around you… I also believe you would not just sit there, trying to enjoy and eat your meal while these two ignorant parents let their Kid scream and cry endlessly and you not say something!

    • Maman says:

      Most businesses are private establishments. As a Mother and highly rated retired educator, the proprietor was more right than not. Note that selfish adults and future delinquents often share too much leeway as children, poor manners and subpar literacy. It is better to discipline, at least verbally, a child than to let misbehavior spiral out of control and have that same child become a victim of more unruly thugs or abusive police. (By the way, we have many military and law enforcement personnel in my extended family for generations, including a 19th century Buffalo Soldier.)

    • jonah says:

      You had better take care of the situation yourself. because you try to shove them up my ass, you’ll be the one shitting pancakes.

    • Dawn Name says:

      Wow, please never inflict your horrible parental skills and obnoxious kids onto the rest of the population. PLEASE STAY HOME!!! Everything is NOT all about you!

  4. Morgan says:

    I love this article! It states everything I also said in a post on Facebook. Your kid’s behavior is a reflection of your parenting and if your kid is screaming her head off in public, you are doing something really wrong. These people fail as parents. I would be totally embarrassed to be in their shoes, right now. They need to stop focusing on someone yelling at their kid and focus on where they are going wrong with their kid. BTW, I have 4 kids and they knew better than to act like this in public or at home. They also have manners which these “parents” seem to lack.

    • raisinemreal says:

      Thanks for reading Morgan. I was actually on the diner’s Facebook page when someone posted a screen capture of dialogue between two of the family members involved stating that child was “special needs”. Well, I had two brothers that had “special needs” and we still ate peacefully in restaurants because we were afraid of my mother.

  5. Kristin says:

    If our children had a meltdown we took them immediately out of the of the store, restaurant or where ever we were, until they could behave properly in a public place. That is how a they learn. I see parents all the time worried about their own self, rather than parent their children. It is inexcusable to have everyone in the restaurant or store have to listen to your kids tantrum.

  6. Deirdre says:

    There wouldn’t be a “No Kids” policy at Marcy’s. It’s a neighborhood place where people of every age are known by name and welcomed. I was in for lunch on Monday – with a camera crew out front and CNN on the phone (twice) and a 45-minute wait for a booth and Darla grinning – and the counter guy told me that plenty of families with kids had been coming in; they were delighted to see them, as always. I think Marcy’s should print up t-shirts that say “This Has To Stop!” and call it a day; let the brouhaha die down and just continue to serve the best turkey sandwiches in Portland, in peace and quiet.

    • raisinemreal says:

      Thanks for reading Deirde and thanks for the first hand account of how well Marcy’s is doing. I had a feeling patronage would be way up over this one. It seems Darla has more supporters than she does haters. I love it.

  7. nancyjsmith says:

    i agree when you have a child who can’t be calmed down then remove her from the situation.When i go out to eat i don’t want a screaming kid who can’t be quiet.It’s not the kid’s fault it the adults with her. They should of paid attention and fixed the bad situation. when do you teach them when there to set in their ways. My children knew if they misbehaved by throwing food or throwing a tantrum their would be consequences. People always remarked how good they were when out.

    • raisinemreal says:

      You know, as a parent, when my children were smaller and we went out to eat, I made sure to bring special items like their favorite sippy cup, or snacks in case they didn’t like what was served. Parenting is not just about the immediate actions we take them, it’s also about anticipation of our child’s needs. Especially if they’re special needs. Thanks for reading.

  8. Does she have the right to scream at a child? Not only “yes”, but “HELL YES!!!”

    • raisinemreal says:

      I’m not so sure it’s so much about having the right as is it about doing what’s right. And in this situation it seems that the majority feels like Darla was right and had the right. Thanks for reading William.

  9. David says:

    As a single parent of kids in the 70’s and a grandfather now, there were always rules about behavior – at home, with guests, out and about. If it’s not yours don’t touch unless you ask and told okay, don’t talk to strangers, don’t interrupt adults talking (we had a sign if it was important), use your manners ( Ma’am, Sir), use all your table manners when out in public. The problem now is parents only occasionally enforce their rules so the kids are always pushing the button to test them. In this case the parents evidently just ignored everyone else’s rights to a quiet breakfast. This kid will never learn to respect others unless the parents do. I respect the owners right to control the situation when the parents don’t. Good for her.

    • raisinemreal says:

      David, one of the most important things I’ve learned about child behavior is that children crave boundaries and limits. And when we stop providing them, we are doing them an injustice. Thanks for reading!

  10. Elizabeth M Guyton says:

    When my ex-husband & I were married & my daughter about 3 y/o, we once had to take her to the nicest restaurant in town for a business dinner as the babysitter cancelled last minute & we couldn’t get another one. I kept her entertained until dinner arrived & the only noise she made were giggles & laughter so that wasn’t too bad. After the meal however, the adults wanted to linger to talk business & I was beginning to struggle with her as she was tiring & also getting restless having sat so long in the high chair. Suddenly the waitress appeared with a dish of ice cream topped with whipped cream & a cherry. She said a fellow diner had sent it over. I asked her to thank the diner & apoligize to him for my daughter disturbing him. She came back in a few minutes & relayed that the diner said my daughter hadn’t disturbed him & his wife at all. That they had enjoyed watching her & her interactions with me, but could see that she was getting a bit restless so they thought this might keep her happy until the adults were ready to leave. I thought this was so kind & thoughtful & have since done the same thing in other restaurants. I hate going out to eat (especially for a celebration dinner) only to have it spoiled by misbehaving children, whining, crying, & running wild around the tables. My mother could shut us down by just a look & my daughter said in later years I could do the same. I never hesitated to get a “go-box” & leave if my daughter misbehaved & I couldn’t get her to quiet down. I say kudos to Darla & I wish more restaurant owners would take note. To the parents I say, “I raised my children to behave, you do the same.”

    • raisinemreal says:

      Elizabeth you have embodied my feelings on this matter to a tee. I have five and I wish one would start to misbehave in public. They all know my “Try Me” stare and they respond accordingly. Plus, they all get the infamous lecture before we even leave the car. “You don’t want anything, you don’t need anything, you don’t ask for anything.” Thanks for reading!

  11. Christopher says:

    Reading all the comments in favor of what she did is actually nice to see in this day and age of one heck of a messed up society. Nothing annoys me more in public than the parent(s) who ignore their child’s poor behavior, whether it’s at a park, sports event or out shopping, wherever… To those opposed – take the time to remedy the situation then instead of ignoring it. Just yesterday, while I was out getting groceries, I overheard a mother ask her child to behave “really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really….really good” and she might get a toy on the way out of the store. WTF? This child was 4-5 years old, so I don’t know how adding so many “really’s” to that conversation was going to accomplish anything. I don’t want to judge anyone in those situations because I don’t know what got them to where they are today but it’s not child abuse to let your child know who the PARENT is. I have 5 children of my own and I know it’s not always easy but it doesn’t mean you just stop parenting when they misbehave or in that case, scream for 40 minutes! OMG! A few minutes of it, I’ll give them that, after that, it’s all on the parents for lack of addressing the situation. So kudos to Darla – I give you credit for holding out, oh – about 30 minutes longer that I would have, before taking action.

    • raisinemreal says:

      Christopher, I really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really…….really enjoyed reading your comment. Great laugh right there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for reading. 🙂

  12. Lizzy says:

    Kudos to Darla!

    While probably not the way I would have approached it, I can understand Darla reaching the end of her tether. How many customers did she have complain to her or how many simply left? In a small, busy diner the noise of people just talking must reach fever pitch at times and then add to it a bawling child, I probably would have been tearing my hair out.

    For all those supporting the parents, please do not eat out with your kids. Spare the rest of the dining public. There is nothing more frustrating than seeing parents completely oblivious to what their children are up to while they sit and chat or sit with their noses glued in their cellphones.

    I have had food smooshed into the back of my head by a child whose parents couldn’t get a flying fig about what they were up to. Don’t let your kids stand on seats. People are going to be sitting on those and I don’t want foot dirt all over my nice clean clothes. Don’t let your kids play with food and hurl it around the place. Not only is it disgusting but people have to clean it up when you’re gone. Show a little courtesy to other human beings.

    Finally, if you don’t want strangers telling you to keep your kids under control or telling your kids to be quiet, teach your kids how to behave in a public space. And remember one thing, servers and restaurant owners are not just dealing with this once a day but probably several times a day and I would suggest after two or three it gets old very quickly.

    Self-discipline is taught to a child through encouragement and example. Your child will thank you by the success of their life. What a wonderful gift to give.

  13. You think you teach shit here? You are a joke. What have you taught here. Children should be seen and not heard and that this bitch is your hero. You are taking one side of a story to assuage your unfounded feelings of superiority with regards to child rearing. Look above at the self-righteous notes of agreement you generate. So, now you have those of your ilk, bobble-headed idiots in near complete agreement. Congratulations. Screaming at a two your old is one thing that will get your throat cut if you scream at the wrong kid, but when she slammed her hand on the counter that is called ASSAULT. I’d beat her with her old man. Look it up assmunch.

  14. Rick Krasco says:

    I work for a major airline in Boston. Unfortunately, I see this behavior of parents and little ones all too often. Entitlement ( the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.
    “no wonder your kids have a sense of entitlement”) is the issue.
    M. Scott Peck writes about this beautifully in his book ‘People of the Lie’.
    However, the end result is, a parent can’t be something they are not.
    My heart breaks for these children brought up in unhealthy environments.
    Doesn’t matter who is at fault; it only matters to admit there is a problem.

  15. DJ says:

    I am a mother of two myself who are both grown. If either of them had behaved as this child did — or many many of the children I see in restaurants (and theatres!!), they would have been taken out of the restaurant and/or home. It makes me angry to see these parents letting their children scream and tantrum non-stop – just because they don’t hear it – and inflict it on everyone around them. Eating out and going out costs too much these days anyway, to have it ruined by bratty parents (not kids – parents) who think their darlings can do no wrong. How do they learn anything??? I applaud and admire this owner for doing what she did and I certainly would go to her place of business if I lived in the area.

  16. Bridget says:

    I read about the parents in this case ordering 3 large pancakes for this kid and not giving them to her which is why she was pitching a fit! I work in retail as a cashier and once a customer handed me an empty candy bar wrapper and said he ate it without paying for it during his shopping trip. He explained he was a diabetic and needed sugar because his BS was low. I scanned the wrapper and he said having low blood sugar is identical to going into shock. For diabetics and non-diabetics alike, low blood sugar can make them sick! I also read “Flowers in the Attic” and it wasn’t like Darla went all the Grandmother on the kid and yelled, “I will whip you until the blood runs out on your skin if you don’t stop this yelling!”. Next time, I would hope these 2 people order from the kiddie menu for their daughter and if the kid has a fit to remove her.

    • raisinemreal says:

      Sound thinking Bridget. From my experience, it’s imperative that we attend to our children’s basic needs as quickly as possible at that age. Cries for hunger and discomfort that go ignored can lead to some serious trust issues later on that can affect a growing child’s behavior. Thanks for reading.

  17. Bridget says:

    Thank you. I do hope these parents take into account their daughter’s needs and if she is in a place or situation that makes her feel uncomfortable, they remove her. Kids and adults get frustrated if their physical and emotional needs aren’t met.

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