Have 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.
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