Image credit: Reddit user LooseONthegoose
The chances are, if you are the parent of a child, from the age of toddler upwards, at least once (but possible many more times) you have been in a public place when your child has gone into meltdown mode.
Am I right?
And, look I know there are parents out there that will harp on (loudly) about how their child has been taught good manners, and how they are so respectful of other people in restaurants, and how everyone else should just stay home if their child can’t behave, yadda-yadda-yadda…but you know what? Shit happens! It’s not ideal for anyone involved but it happens. We deal with it as quickly and as quietly as we can, and we move on!
A toddler, or preschooler having a bad day (because they are tired, or hungry, or working through the motions of asserting their independence, or experiencing something they need a little help with, or any of those other challenging things that little people can unleash upon their parents at the most inopportune of moments) is NOT a bad child! Similarly, the parents of a child who is behaving in this way (which is of course developmentally correct for that age-group) is not a bad parent.
With this in mind, it is little wonder that a gesture by a Japenese restaurant in Canada has parents divided.
When Daley and Alicia Walsh took their almost 1 year old daughter Evie out to the non kid-friendly venue to celebrate Mother’s Day (reportedly taking their own high chair and cleaning up after their daughter), they were surprised to find that their bill had been deducted $5 for their child’s good behaviour.
The internet was equal parts touched by the gesture, and outraged that parents should have their parenting skills judged by waiting staff.
But whether it was intended as a well-meaning pat on the back, or a very clever marketing strategy, the Carino Japanese Bistro in Canad is not the first to have discounted a bill for the same reason.
Earlier this year Reddit user Farthoven posted a similar image of a receipt in which he was credited $4 for ‘well behaved kids’ saying “If only all restaurants did this for people with kids.”
Can you imagine if all restaurants really did do this for people with kids?
As well-intentioned as the gestures may have been, it is difficult not to see the flip-side of such an action, and I can’t help but feel that parents are under enough pressure without feeling like they are under constant scrutiny from strangers with regards to their parenting.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think implementing something like this is restaurants would be a good thing or a bad thing?