At what point to ask a mother to leave with her children?

After they run up and down the clothe couch that goes along the wall?

After they scream at the top of their lungs about a dozen different times?

After they punch the stuffed burlap coffee bags on the wall?

 

When? 

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My approach:

Don't ask them to leave...just shoot the little punks.

Problem eliminated.

Don't ask her to leave.  Ask her nicely to correct her children's behavior.  "Pardon me, Miss, could you ask your children to not stand and run on the couch?  It is hard on it and I want to make sure it is in good shape and clean for my other customers."  "Pardon me, Miss, can you ask your children to refrain from screaming as it disturbs the other patrons.  I'm glad that they are happy and having a good time but I need to keep everyones enjoyment in mind."  "Pardon me, Miss, can you make sure that your children to not touch the artwork on the walls?  Those are one of a kind and irreplaceable bags from origin countries.  No two are alike and I would like to make sure that all of my future patrons can enjoy the unique qualities they display."

 

When she doesn't correct their behavior and they perform the offending actions again, directly and politely correct their actions yourself.  "Hey kids, can you come here for a second?  When you run on my couch it gets it dirty and is hard on the frame.  If you do it again I will have to ask you all to sit in chairs and not get out of them for the entire time you stay here."

 

The mother will get the picture.  Only after her children violate the rules again do you ask her to leave.  She will most likely leave after the first time you ask her to correct her children's behavior.

 

Geoffrey - When I bring my 2 year old and my seven year old into your shop I dare you to shoot them. I have no doubt that you are bad ass and keep a gun with you just to be able to shoot children but I am calling your bluff.   When I complain to the owner of your shop that you were threatening to my children you might get fired.  And then I'll go on Yelp and tell everyone that your shop is not family friendly and is mean to kids and no one will go there any more.  Jeremiah is asking a real question that actually happens in a real cafe and is looking for real insight.  How is your response going to help him?  Really.  You are on a forum for professionals.  You should grow up.

So, you don't know anything about me, and you're telling me to grow up...

I do act in a professional manner, sir.

I also enjoy humor at times.

His post seemed more like a complaint rather than a true question. I thank you for giving this thread a negative tone now. I also hope you find a sense of humor one day.
Jeremiah is a well established man in the business, and having worked in Houston for many years, I'm glad to finally see his name in the greater Houston media for the elegance and quality of his business. So, that being said, I'm pretty sure he knows how to deal with children at his shop instead of asking a forum for advice on the matter...which is way I presumed he was merely venting.

If you think he was asking a serious question,fine. Answer it, post, and move on instead of insulting someone.





Mike Sabol said:

Don't ask her to leave.  Ask her nicely to correct her children's behavior.  "Pardon me, Miss, could you ask your children to not stand and run on the couch?  It is hard on it and I want to make sure it is in good shape and clean for my other customers."  "Pardon me, Miss, can you ask your children to refrain from screaming as it disturbs the other patrons.  I'm glad that they are happy and having a good time but I need to keep everyones enjoyment in mind."  "Pardon me, Miss, can you make sure that your children to not touch the artwork on the walls?  Those are one of a kind and irreplaceable bags from origin countries.  No two are alike and I would like to make sure that all of my future patrons can enjoy the unique qualities they display."

 

When she doesn't correct their behavior and they perform the offending actions again, directly and politely correct their actions yourself.  "Hey kids, can you come here for a second?  When you run on my couch it gets it dirty and is hard on the frame.  If you do it again I will have to ask you all to sit in chairs and not get out of them for the entire time you stay here."

 

The mother will get the picture.  Only after her children violate the rules again do you ask her to leave.  She will most likely leave after the first time you ask her to correct her children's behavior.

 

Geoffrey - When I bring my 2 year old and my seven year old into your shop I dare you to shoot them. I have no doubt that you are bad ass and keep a gun with you just to be able to shoot children but I am calling your bluff.   When I complain to the owner of your shop that you were threatening to my children you might get fired.  And then I'll go on Yelp and tell everyone that your shop is not family friendly and is mean to kids and no one will go there any more.  Jeremiah is asking a real question that actually happens in a real cafe and is looking for real insight.  How is your response going to help him?  Really.  You are on a forum for professionals.  You should grow up.

I was under the impression this was a discussion forum, Geoffrey. Sense of humor understood.

Mike, I agree 100% - angering mother bears is a fatal mistake for business.


Jeremiah, I think each of these examples of children's behaviour need to be addressed within the first few instances of the behaviour occuring. Remembering that they are children, usually a nicely spoken "I'm sorry, but you aren't allowed to put your feet on the couches in our shop" can be enough to deter them. They'll probably find being 'told off' by a stranger scary enough, and with any luck their mother will overhear you and reiterate. You know what they say, patience is a virtue...!

i think it depends on the mother. i've only had two mothers i've had to directly ask to leave in my shop - one of them was clearly mentally disturbed and the other was far too passive and unwilling to do anything to discipline her children.

 

the former i'd had previous issues with. her children were dry humping each other on the floor of my back room, so i said "ma'am, if you can't control your children i'm going to have to ask you to leave." she left. 


the latter's children were manhandling my pastries and pitching a fit about wanting them all. the mother was standing there, meekly rolling her eyes and not even responding to them, so i told her the same thing - "if your children can't behave and stop disturbing the other customers, i'm going to have to ask you to leave." she took them and left and i had to throw away some zucchini bread with fingermarks in it.

 

other than that, i've never had to do anything about it. oh and mike, you got trolled bro.

I think that shooting tends to bother the other customers and leaves a mess for someone to clean up.

I prefer tying them up to a sturdy chair and gaging them (no screaming).

 

Another attempt at humor for a serious problem. I am fortunate that I have not faced this situation (yet). I don't know whether I would actually give one warning, or would immediately ask the parent to remove the kids from the premises. I am leaning to the former, but you never know until you are facing the situation.

 

Since you are probably going to lose the parent as a future customer, I would make a "big deal" about asking him/her to leave. This sends a message to all of your other customers that you will not tolerate bad behavior.

 

Ron, the Country Guy

It's not a children problem. It's a parent problem. The children are a reflection of the parents.  It depends what kind of shop you want to run, but children should behave like "young ladies and gentlemen" if they are in a public place. 

 

How do you handle it? Politely address the parents... use humor if it's natural. But the best way is to create an environment where they know that behavior would not be tolerated, and unless the parents are total @holes, it will probably be a rare occurrence. 

 

 

It was both venting as well as a question. I am in TX so there would be less social qualms over my shooting them. And I have a mop bucket so cleaning up the mess wouldn't be that big of a deal. 

 

There is a afterschool childrens martial arts school in the same shopping center. They were coming in after their class. 

The mother was completely passive
I asked her once to have them not punch our coffee bags. That wasn't enough of a clue that she should have left because she stayed for about another half hour. 

Since it was the first time, I let it go on longer then it should. I should have asked her to leave soon after my asking her the first question. 

Jeremy,

Keep these kind of issues and policys as simple low profile as possible. Ask them to leave after the second polite warning. Offer to assist them with the kids toys etc. if necessary. No if's and's or but's. Make sure all this is as public as possible as soon as your customers are aware that this is how it works things will get much easier.

nuff said on this,

Joe

Truly one of my biggest pet peeves is parents who don't control there children. When the kid is squeezing ever pastry he can with his grubby little hands, or pulling glass bottles or ceramic mugs off the shelves repeatably. Thats when I want to shoot the parent more than the kid. You can tell the parent is just glad that there kid is destroying your stuff for once instead of theirs. I say first ask the child to stop, then the parent to control there kids, then tell them to get the hell out.

I have zero tolerance for a kid disturbing my other patrons the same way I have zero tolerance for an adult.  Annoying is annoying regardless of whether you are 6 or 60.  If you're making me want to leave and never come back, you are certainly doing the same for the other customers.  I'm not okay with that.  If you're a crappy enough parent that you can't even control your children chances are I don't want you to stay around and annoy the entire customer base and staff anyway.

 

Take the polite approach at first, but be obvious and stern, "Ma'am, your children are disturbing the guests and staff."  No need to be all, "Please correct the situation in this way, please correct the situation in that way."  That's stupid, time consuming and pointless.

 

Tell them to control their children (using those words works great) or get out.  Normally it's best if the latter happens.

 

-bry

...good suggestion....up until the "correcting someone else's children" part. I'd never recommend that and it's a recipe for disaster and awkward confrontation. I've got kids and I would much more likely to take offense at someone correcting them as opposed to an owner politely letting me know that the behavior of my children is affecting the enjoyment of other customers.

I would ask you (as a pre-emptive strike), do you have a corner with something for kids to do? Some kind of simple games? Anything at all to occupy kids? I know it can be a hassle, but if you can take some time and think through ways to short circuit the problem before it happens then I know that parents will be extremely grateful. I'm not suggesting you supply a toy box, but crayons and coloring books can go a LONG, LONG way towards helping.

 

 


Mike Sabol said:

Don't ask her to leave.  Ask her nicely to correct her children's behavior.  "Pardon me, Miss, could you ask your children to not stand and run on the couch?  It is hard on it and I want to make sure it is in good shape and clean for my other customers."  "Pardon me, Miss, can you ask your children to refrain from screaming as it disturbs the other patrons.  I'm glad that they are happy and having a good time but I need to keep everyones enjoyment in mind."  "Pardon me, Miss, can you make sure that your children to not touch the artwork on the walls?  Those are one of a kind and irreplaceable bags from origin countries.  No two are alike and I would like to make sure that all of my future patrons can enjoy the unique qualities they display."

 

When she doesn't correct their behavior and they perform the offending actions again, directly and politely correct their actions yourself.  "Hey kids, can you come here for a second?  When you run on my couch it gets it dirty and is hard on the frame.  If you do it again I will have to ask you all to sit in chairs and not get out of them for the entire time you stay here."

 

The mother will get the picture.  Only after her children violate the rules again do you ask her to leave.  She will most likely leave after the first time you ask her to correct her children's behavior.

 

Geoffrey - When I bring my 2 year old and my seven year old into your shop I dare you to shoot them. I have no doubt that you are bad ass and keep a gun with you just to be able to shoot children but I am calling your bluff.   When I complain to the owner of your shop that you were threatening to my children you might get fired.  And then I'll go on Yelp and tell everyone that your shop is not family friendly and is mean to kids and no one will go there any more.  Jeremiah is asking a real question that actually happens in a real cafe and is looking for real insight.  How is your response going to help him?  Really.  You are on a forum for professionals.  You should grow up.

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