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Badly behaved grandchildren

(38 Posts)
Aveline Sun 09-May-21 13:58:05

I'm feeling very sad. I was so looking forward to lunch with DD, DiL and DGSs. However, the boys aged 10 and 8 behaved so badly during the meal that it was an endurance trial rather than an enjoyable event. We had a booth in an outside space at a nice restaurant with very nice staff. The food was lovely. However, the boys talked and shouted all the time, spread toys all over the table and played on their phones. I asked them to be quiet at one point so the poor waitress could hear the order but this resulted in a huge huff and retreat under the table.
I know DD is embarrassed by their behaviour but can't seem to do anything about it. SiL winds them up though.
I know I can't do anything about it really. Just wanted to vent. I've loved those wee boys since the minute they were born which makes my disappointment worse. Will just have to suck it up.

GrannyGravy13 Sun 09-May-21 14:04:48

I guess that due to several lockdowns they have not been eating out much.

Dining out which is a treat for adults can seem like an endurance test for children.

Callistemon Sun 09-May-21 14:07:35

SiL winds them up though.

I don't know what to suggest Aveline, your poor DD is fighting a losing battle by the sound of it.

She really needs to have a conversation with her DH and put it to him very strongly that he may find it amusing but others do not and that it's not acceptable behaviour when they are out. They are of an age when they should know when and how to behave but it has been a difficult year for them.

Unfortunately you can't really say anything.

Calendargirl Sun 09-May-21 14:09:41

If it was the first time you have met up for a long time, you must have been looking forward to it and I can understand how disappointed you are with their behaviour.

As GG13 said, they have probably not eaten out for the last year, and behaviour and manners have slipped. They were probably over excited as well.

Try not to dwell on it, I think as things get more ‘normal’, it will be better.

Katie59 Sun 09-May-21 14:12:26

Next time choose a pub with a play room, when we have family get together the kids sit at one end, get fed first, when they have had enough leave until they are called back for dessert.
That way no stress, adults enjoy, kids enjoy, meals out are not the time to teach table etiquette
Our local pub has a playroom and a carvery, everyone can have exactly what they want, doesn’t break the bank and everyone enjoys it.

NanKate Sun 09-May-21 14:16:38

I feel for you Aveline

When we took our boys 10 and 8 to a ‘posh’ restaurant I warned them beforehand that I would expect good behaviour from them which meant no running about, shouting or eating with fingers. The youngest took his Lego and we gave him a brand new Lego pack which he loved making up and kept him quiet. We gave the eldest some metal hoops etc to untangle, it gave us all some fun. The eldest chatted to us all and I said as his behaviour was good he could order anything he wanted from the menu. When the youngest got a bit narky my DS took him outside and told him it was a special occasion for my birthday and if he wanted to be invited again he had to behave himself.

My DS is a single parent, so I’m not sure how it would have been if my ex-DinL had been there though.

So overall my advice is talk to them in advance and I am prepared to use bribery 😉

ExD Sun 09-May-21 14:19:21

My three were just the same, and my daughter in law made no attempt to control them. I used to dread being asked out for a meal.
As they grew into adults they turned into civilised people - however, they are just as hopeless with their own children (my great grandchildren) and I am once again dreading having to eat in public when restrictions are lifted.
There's nothing you can do without interfering.

Callistemon Sun 09-May-21 14:21:32

Good idea, Katie59

Chestnut Sun 09-May-21 14:22:54

It's so difficult when someone else's children behave badly because there is little or nothing you can do. My view is that children need to learn there's a time and place for being noisy and exuberant, and that is not in public places. When other people are around they should show some control and that applies to waiting rooms, restaurants and on public transport. Many years ago children did mostly behave, now they often don't, which is entirely down to modern parenting. Children are now put first, their needs, their desires etc. and adults' needs are secondary. Children know exactly what they can get away with and they will always take this to the limit. Unless the parents make it clear that they are expected to behave in pubic places they probably won't.

M0nica Sun 09-May-21 14:39:33

Our mode for well behaved children in restaurants and pubs is mix children and adults and include the children in all the conversation.

I have seen so many family outings where children sit one end of the table, adults the other, who neither look nor talk to the children, and then are surprised when they make a lot of noise, and run around.

A family meal, should be a family meal with the whole family engaged together in everything from choosing what to eat, where to eat and so on.

Aveline Sun 09-May-21 14:45:49

M0nica that's what I'd like and expect too. As to providing toys, today the boys could hardly have had more toys strewn across the table!
I do think that it's not too early to learn the social skills of restaurant meals but those boys just have no chance of that. I won't organise anyore meals out with them for a while.

Hithere Sun 09-May-21 14:56:22

1. callistemom for the win- boundaries should be enforced by both parents to work

2. Very nice restaurants - maybe to adult standards but not kids? Maybe next time, pick a family friendly place where kids can be themselves (behaving appropriately too)
Or go to a park where the kids can run and spend all that bottled up energy

3. While I understand you, disciplining their children while parents are present is questionable

Aveline Sun 09-May-21 15:14:38

Hithere by 'very nice restaurant' I didn't mean it was posh it was a nice friendly informal sort of place with lovely staff. That made it worse somehow. It could hardly have been more child friendly. I hate to think how it could have gone in a more formal establishment!

trisher Sun 09-May-21 15:24:40

Aveline so sorry for you. "retreat under the table" got me. I remember my eldest GS doing this when he was about 4, but at 10 and 8 they should know better. Could you book 2 tables next time? Let SIL wind them up as much as he likes at one while you and your DD have a lovely quiet lunch at the other one?

EllanVannin Sun 09-May-21 15:36:39

As a family at home we all ate together at every meal, mum dad brother and myself so were led by example and corrected if wrong. No shouting matches ensued and we copied our parents.
On eating out, dad used to take us to the Adelphi when it was really something, we acted the same as we did at home. I used to think it was a palace in those days----not as it is now so I've heard, since the rabble came along after the 60's.

3dognight Sun 09-May-21 15:41:23

Aveline, sorry you’re experience was not what you expected, perhaps next time just sneak a girly lunch with your daughter!

What about a barbecue in your garden for your lovely family, when you are sure the weather will stay sunny, put up a little tent for the boys, they can play in there, or give them a plant sprayer each to ‘water the garden’.

I daresay much fun will be on the cards!

They are only young, and will soon be teenage boys. Make the most of it while they are still children smile

Aveline Sun 09-May-21 15:45:09

We quite often have barbecues in DDs garden. The boys usually disappear inside to watch TV or play on their devices. There's nothing I can do really.

FindingNemo15 Sun 09-May-21 15:47:57

We have been in this situation and I found it embarrassing. Same thing DD tried to correct them and SIL made matters worse. The table looked like a bomb site and to add to it they picked about with their food and hardly ate anything.

Amberone Sun 09-May-21 15:49:59

^I have seen so many family outings where children sit one end of the table, adults the other, who neither look nor talk to the children, and then are surprised when they make a lot of noise, and run around.

A family meal, should be a family meal with the whole family engaged together in everything from choosing what to eat, where to eat and so on.^

Monica Totally agree.

Aveline Sun 09-May-21 16:10:07

That's what me and DH and DD were trying to do! Sadly SiL and the boys just wouldn't/couldn't seem to get it. The boys were sitting in the middle between us all.

Hithere Sun 09-May-21 16:11:57

Ah, the "fun daddy" dynamic - donr get me started

M0nica Sun 09-May-21 16:17:19

Aveline, in their own garden with toys and stuff inside, I think that is inevitable.

jacksmum Sun 09-May-21 16:25:15

Such a shame it seems so many youngsters are not taught table manners these days,

Shelflife Sun 09-May-21 16:48:05

Our children embarrassed us one afternoon when we took them out for lunch. Arguing, pushing one another,
generally causing a scene! After repeated requests for them to behave I took them both outside and told them in no uncertain terms that we were not prepared for their behaviour to continue. They were warned that if they did not behave we would leave our meals , pay the bill and go home. I had no fear of reprimanding them in public! If their behaviour had continued we would indeed have gone home ! Back in the restaurant all was calm , the children were perfect. We all had a lovely meal and so did our fellow diners !! We didn't refer to the incident but on returning home praised them for good behaviour. They are now in their 40s and still remember the day mum gave them a good telling off in public! I feel sorry for parents these days who are afraid to pull their children into line for fear of damaging their self esteem. Our children were 5 and 7 at the time.

Jaxjacky Sun 09-May-21 16:48:22

I understand your disappointment Aveline, fortunately my DD, also a single parent, as some else noted, employs similar tactics as I used to with her and her brother at that sort of age. Phones are away at meal times, our 8 year old doesn’t have one anyway, the 13 year old does. But when they’re not yours it’s difficult, hopefully your discomfort was noticed.