Just because someone has kids doesn't mean they can't enjoy going out for a meal at one of their favorite restaurants, but at the same time, they shouldn't hold it against their server when their children act like total nightmares.
A Reddit thread recently asked servers to share the worst examples of parents letting their children get away with something at a restaurant. These parents didn't even try. Instead, they egged on their children's' bad behavior, which caused the staff untold headaches and drama. These parents ought to be put in time out for what they let their kids do! All posts have been edited for clarity.
Baby, Drop The Knife
“A family came in and they had a baby with them, I’m guessing she was just shy of 1 year old.
I had to stop this baby from putting a knife in her mouth, TWICE. The second time I went over, I just took it away. The dad, who looked frustrated, and the mom, who looked oblivious, didn’t stop her, and neither did any of the child’s siblings. They didn’t say anything when I took the knife away either.
I should’ve taken the whole the baby away instead.”
Their Dad Was In Complete Denial About Their Bad Behavior
“I have had parents change their children’s diapers ON THE TABLE, but what got me was when a toddler took off his pants and diaper and just walked around the restaurant naked. The mom noticed but didn’t do anything about it. She just let him wander with his junk out.
There was also a guy that would bring in his two young girls periodically, and we all hated them. Their mom left suddenly, so I know he wanted them to be happy, but he let them do whatever they wanted. They would fight loudly with each other every time over every single thing; they would yell at us when their food wasn’t out a minute after ordering; they would run into the kitchen to yell about their food; they would cry if one of them got a slightly larger cookie than the other. But the reason I hate them is because they once wrote their names on the bathroom wall in crayon, and when the bartender asked why they did it, they claimed it wasn’t them. It was their names, and they were the only children in the restaurant at the time, but their father said that he didn’t think it was them. And then the next time they came in, they did it again.”
Even The Cops Didn’t Want To Put Up With Her Bull
“One mom and her two kids were eating at our diner, and both of the kids were misbehaving. They were running around, stealing other people’s fries, yelling, and just annoying everyone there.
The mom didn’t even notice them; she just kept texting or playing on her phone. Other customers started to complain, and the manager had to come out to ask them to leave. That’s when she called the cops, claiming the staff was harassing her.
The police came, took our side, and then forced them to leave. The manager later asked the officers to involve child services in the matter. A couple of days later, the husband came in and apologized on behalf of his wife and her behavior.”
They Were Damaging Property, But Their Mom Couldn’t Care Less
“When I was a waitress, this couple came in with their two kids (aged about four and five). The kids took the silverware and were scratching our wooden tabletops with it. I came over and asked the parents to stop them, and the mom said flippantly, ‘Oh, it’s okay. They’re allowed.’
NO, they are not. This isn’t your house!
I also watched a kid walk up to our flower pot and dump her entire ice cream, container and all, in the pot. I opened the front door and said, ‘HEY! Pick that up!’ The kid shamefacedly picked up the gross, smooshed up ice cream and put it in the trash can that was, I kid you not, five feet away.
About 10 minutes later, the mother came into the restaurant, already furious. ‘Did you yell at my daughter?!’
This little old lady sitting at a table got up and got right in her face. ‘Don’t you talk to her like that!’ Then she just went off on the mom about her bratty kid throwing ice cream in our flowerpot. It was amazing! I thought I was about to see a senior citizen throw fists with a soccer mom!”
She Only Served Them Once, But She’d Never Do It Again
“Two younger moms part of that religious cult where women don’t typically work and wear blue jean skirts, all women tend to be on the heavier side, have long hair, no makeup, don’t talk if their husbands are present, but man, will they sound off on you and get super bossy when they’re alone were regulars at my restaurant along with their families. Like almost every single day regulars, and these people were always demanding.
It was a lunch shift, and they came in with their two very young boys. I’d guess they were no more than a couple of years old at the time. As I was taking their order, the boys each took a sugar packet from the caddy, ripped them open, and poured them in the napkin basket. The basket held the big rectangle napkins and sani-hand wipes. They were my first customers at that table, and the boys ruined that basket and all its contents.
The moms caught me staring and told the boys in a meek tone to stop making a mess. No one tried to grab the unused packets, no one tried to grab the basket from them, they just watched as the boys continued to grab more, and tore everything open. Then they looked back at me like, ‘Why are you still here? Enter my order.’
I walked by later on, and the women were laughing, and the boys were coloring on the booth with their crayons, the moms periodically just verbally telling them to stop. I noticed the sugar caddy was empty and the war zone from all the fallen sugar packets and wet naps all over the table.
For some reason, and I can’t remember where they got it, some older people came in and had a mini-birthday party, but someone gave these little miscreants chocolate cake. After the family left, it looked like someone had diarrhea and it exploded all over the whole booth.
I refused to wait on that family ever again. I had to clean that booth entirely by myself – and it took me forever.
Oh, and they tipped me $1. A freaking dollar. I distinctly remember them saying they wish they could have tipped me more, and promised to come back when they had more money to give me a little more – never did. They sat there nearly my entire shift, too. They were my official first dose of server frustration in my early waiting career stint.”
It Was An Antique, But That Didn’t Stop This Kid From Ruining It
“I worked at a place that had a ‘Wild West’ vibe to it. One of the decorations we had was an old vintage piano that they had managed to keep in good condition over the years.
One day, I was working the breakfast shift, and all of a sudden, I heard the piano playing loudly. There were signs on the piano telling people NOT to touch it, so I quickly ran over to see this little kid SMASHING THE KEYS! He was legitimately hitting the keys full force.
I tapped the kid on the shoulder and politely told him to stop even though I was furious because it was a beautiful instrument. I looked over to the child’s parents, and they didn’t even look at him or me. They just kept eating. I’m pretty sure that kid damaged the action on the keys, and it can’t play anymore.”
The Parents Thought Letting Him Run Around The Restaurant Would “Tire Him Out”
“This kid’s parents had been letting him tear around the restaurant to ‘tire him out’ while they were eating. I made several comments to them about it not being particularly safe for him to be running, full speed, around a busy restaurant on a Friday night, but they blew me off each time.
So a little later, I was carrying a tray jack in one hand and holding a large tray full of food and drinks with the other. As I was approaching a corner, he came, full speed, around the corner, and all I had time to do was flinch in a manner that wouldn’t lead to me dropping a tray with a 40-pound load on top of this little prick. The flinch happened to put my knee in line with his face and he hit me. I didn’t drop anything, so I just continued to the table, dropped off the food, and then went to find a manager to go talk to the inattentive parents.”
“Play Stupid Games, Win Stupid Prizes”
“Years ago, I had guests who ignored their kids and just let them run around like maniacs through our space. Two of the kids decided playing on the railing to a three-step incline would be a good idea and as I was in the middle of dropping food to the table, one of the boys slipped off the railing and face planted. This little brat split his head wide open; it was freaking gnarly. I’m not talking just a cut either; his skull was cracked. There was blood everywhere, and it was pandemonium. The kid was freaking out and screaming, people at different tables jumped up, and one person got sick. The family scooped him up and started running for the doors as no less than five people called 911.
The best part? I froze. I saw it all happen. I was at this family’s table. And the dad, this crazy sucker…he was in the middle of asking me a question about the food in my hands when the kid bashed in his face. The dad looked over at him, then back at me, then he jumped up and got in my face to yell at me, ‘WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY KID!?’ It was absolutely insane. After that, it was all a bit of a blur. One of the adults stayed behind to settle the bill. I’m sure he was ok, and to my knowledge, nothing ever came of it, lawsuits and the like.
Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”
If They Weren’t Kid Friendly Before, They Certainly Are Now
“On Superbowl Sunday, a man ran inside, and when I ask how I could help him, he replied that he was checking if our restaurant was kid-friendly. It wasn’t. I work at a dive bar near a college that is chaotic, but we do have a small kids’ menu and one highchair. Since it was dead due to the game, he decided it would work.
So this guy, his wife, and two kids came in and grabbed a seat. It started off well enough as they ordered drinks and then food. The kids were chatting me up and asking me crazy questions, but I indulged them. However, as the family waited for their food, the kids started getting antsy, started screeching, then started fighting each other with silverware. Okay, fine. If the kids hurt each other, that’s not on me.
So I dropped off the food, and when I came back to check on them, it was complete chaos. One kid was licking ketchup off of a plate, the other was under the table slinging noodles everywhere, and the parents were happily eating away without a care in the world.
I pre-bussed as soon as they finished a plate and even stole the ketchup to minimize the damage, but the kids moved on to dumping odds and ends into their to go cups and then proceed to poke holes in the cups.
There was crap everywhere, and to make matters worse, they stayed well after the bill was paid, letting their children scream and play in the slop pile they created on the table.”
The Baby Was Fine Half The Time, But The Other Half Was A Different Story
“Way back when I waited tables, I had a family of regulars that came in every Sunday after church. About half the time, there were no problems, but the other half, their toddler would throw a tantrum in her high chair and turn into a tornado of eggs, oatmeal, and anything else she could grab.
I honestly couldn’t believe the parents.
They didn’t take the kid outside and just ignored the kicking and screaming, and they didn’t stop the kid from chucking food all over the place. It took a good ten minutes to scrape all the gunk up off the floor after they left, it looked like a bomb went off and you could see the debris circle around the high chair.
I always wanted to strangle the little turd, but eventually, she grew out of it.”
They Let Their Kids Treat The Table Like Their Own, Personal Jungle Gym
“I worked at a little place on a pier with outdoor tables. The tables were big, heavy, and made out of cement.
Some parents were letting their kids treat the open table next to them like a jungle gym, crawling over, under, and around. As if that wasn’t bad enough, one of the children had a knife in their hands. Instinct took over, and I walked over, took the knife out of the kid’s hand, then handed it to the mother. I didn’t say a word or make a sound, but my point was received, and she just responded with ‘Sorry.’
I didn’t even speak, I just turned and walked away.”
Who Encourages Their Kid To Steal Like That?
“I had just started to walk away from one of my tables when I got the feeling I’d just dropped money, but I couldn’t find it. As I was looking for it, I commented to a fellow waitress who was passing by that I felt as if I dropped money. Eventually, I figured the best thing to do was to step down into the aisle a little so I could get a broader view.
As I turned around to look back at the area, I saw the parents pointing to a small bundle of cash under the table beside them (the one I had been standing at while I searched) while their kid was crawling on the floor toward it. Mind you, this kid was probably 8 or 9 years old, old enough to know that taking someone else’s money is wrong.
I immediately dashed there and snatched up it before he could reach it, making a small comment about having thought I had dropped something. Then the kid snapped his fingers in disappointment while the parents said something along the lines of, ‘Be faster next time,’ and ‘You should have waited until the waitress wasn’t there to grab it.’
I was floored! Luckily, they immediately left the place, but that was the craziest thing I ever saw a parent encouraging their kid to do. Parents and kids have been rude or messy, or a mix of both and all in between, but to encourage your kid to steal?”
Maybe Hold Off On Bringing Your Kids To The Movies
“I’m a server as a movie theater. You come and sit down with recliner chairs that have tables attached to them. You press a button when you wish to be served or when you need something. We have a full menu that you’d typically see at a normal restaurant and the prices are average (like 12 bucks for a burger and fries).
I served a father and his three sons. Per our policy, I told them about the button when they would like something. They ordered food and things were fine for a bit. About halfway through the movie, I looked at the monitor and saw they pressed their button so I went to them. The youngest child shouted, ‘I want skittles.’ I looked at the dad to confirm. The dad had no clue his kid hit the button and apologized, telling me to not get skittles. About seven minutes later the button went off and the same thing happened – the dad was a little annoyed with his kid now. This happened four more times with the dad getting more ticked off each time. I was starting to get angry as well.
At this theater, a server normally has more than one theater to attend to, and I had to respond to the button. This put me severely behind for my other theaters. The button came on one more time and the father snapped, ‘GIVE HIM SOME SKITTLES SO HE WILL SHUT UP’ loud enough for a majority of my theater to hear.
Needless to say, I was not tipped well by that customer.”
These Soccer Moms Couldn’t Give Two Craps About Their Daughters’ Rudeness
“A bunch of stupid soccer moms and their stupid soccer daughters from some stupid soccer team came in around lunch one day. There were around 10 girls, between 10-12 years old, and their moms (so 20 total).
The moms and girls got separate tables, and let me tell you, these girls acted like a bunch of 3-year-olds. Screaming, swearing, getting fingerprints on the glass, spilling drinks and not cleaning them up, leaving chips all over the table, and just being a mess in general.
The moms, of course, were just minding their own business, not paying attention to their daughters’ rude behavior. It took like 15 minutes and three of us to clean up their booth when they left.”
They Gave “Bad” A Whole New Meaning
“A family brought some extremely loud toys with them to a nice restaurant (Macaroni Grill/Cheesecake Factory Style). Patrons around them complained because they had three kids who each had one or two extremely loud toys (a car with a police siren, a kid’s megaphone/microphone, a kid’s boombox with animal sounds).
My manager came over and offered to relocate them, they refused. He gave them a free appetizer but said they would have to put the toys away. The kids proceeded to draw at least five pictures of my manager getting murdered by jungle cats, tanks, a game of hangman, death incarnate, and some other random stuff.
When the family left, they left the pictures on the table. My manager proceeded to show every employee in the restaurant all the while laughing himself to death.
We ended up getting the drawings framed as a Christmas present.”
Their Blood Pressure Still Goes Up Thinking About This Family
“There’s one particular family that would regularly come to my old workplace. They had been customers from the start, so my boss was a pushover and let them get away with things. They would constantly ask for the cheapest things on the menu, even the kid’s menu for themselves and then challenge the cost at the till. They would take anything for free if they had the chance. They would take advantage of everything and especially my boss.
The toddler was spoiled and regularly got his filthy pasta sauce grubby hands all over the salt and pepper mills, sugar bowls, menus (would scrunch them up too WHICH I DESIGNED AND MADE). They’d let him throw his crayons on the floor and not pick them up. They’d let him stand on the chair and even sit him on the table.
The last straw was when we were in the middle of the lunch rush, and all five of them were squished at a table for two. The mother proceeded to put the toddler on his little scooter thing and encouraged him to scoot around the busy cafe. No. I have hot drinks, hot soup, cutlery, and plates to carry and avoid this little brat. And if I crashed or spilled something on him – guess who get into trouble!! I’ve since left, but my blood pressure still rises thinking about that family.”
After The Second “Accident,” That Family Was Banned For Life
“I am a server at a pasta restaurant. One Sunday morning, I was serving tables with one of my best friends. It was just us two and our manager because we typically don’t do much business for Sunday lunch. We had a family of regulars who had been troublesome in the past. They always sat outside, and the week prior, the 6-year-old kid whipped his junk out and peed on the ground. We politely asked them to make sure it didn’t happen again and washed the ground with a hose. They came in a lot, and luckily no other customers were outside at the time.
So the family came in, and I looked at my friend and said, ‘I’m not serving them. You take them, and I’ll close lunch for you.’ He agreed. He dropped off bread and water at the table, then he started a conversation with the parents and made some small talk. That’s when he started to hear something. Then his leg got warm. This little kid whipped his junk out and was peeing on the ground again. This time, though, it wasn’t just on the ground, it was on my friend’s pants and shoes. My friend ran back in with the most confused and angry look and told our manager. The manager ran outside, saw a puddle at the table, and told them to leave and never come back.
The mom later wrote a horrid review online about how we weren’t family-friendly, and kids have accidents.
But your kid PEED ON OUR STAFF.”