Yesterday, while visiting our Chic-fil-a I had a run-in with another mom. This doesn’t surprise some of you. I’m not one to back down from a bully.
(If you read this on FB yesterday, you are going to want to skip ahead)
Here’s what happened…I let my children go to the play area while I ordered our food. My baby girl is as spunky as they come. When I sat down at a table next to the door for the play area (I like to keep watch on the kids while allowing them a little freedom but be close enough to help them if the need arises)I seem my two sitting on the bench in the play area and the Boy has his arm around the girl and she has a look of concern on her face. I didn’t want to make a big deal and our food had arrived so I told them to come eat. While we were eating I asked my son why they were playing. He said there are a bunch of wild kids in there and when we went into the playscape they jumped out and yelled at us in our face. The boy often plays with other boys his age and I doubt this would have concerned him but it scared our girl. Eventually the “Lord of the Flies” gang emerged…I would say one was five years old, one was three and the other one was maybe two and a half or three. They were a rough looking group for preschoolers. They were going back and forth between where their moms were sitting around the corner and where the door to the play area door is. The three year old began blocking the two year old into the play area by holding the door shut. The 5 year old had taken a drink or ice into the play area…there was ice all over the floor and the baby was trying to get out. I told the 3 year old to cut it out (stop holding the door). He did temporarily, then started right back up. The mom of the 5 year old came over to help him pick up the ice he just spilled and the mom of the 3 year old came over and began telling me to stop scolding her child because he didn’t know what he was doing, he’s only three. ??? (If your three year old doesn’t know the meaning of the word “no” then you need to get him in a developmental therapy program) I told her she needed to supervise her children. She started raising her voice…and I raised my voice…and I can be loud without knowing it (my family tells me). She tells me she has been supervising her child from over where she was sitting with her friends (when we walked in they were laughing and showing each other videos on their phones….I wouldn’t have thought they even had kids if it wasn’t for the kid’s meal bags on their table). I told her they scared my children to which she told me i should be in the play area with my kids if they are scared. (SO I HAVE TO MAKE SURE YOUR KID DOESN’T BULLY MY KIDS???). I told her my daughter is barely 2 years old and shouldn’t be scared to play. She told me that my child should only be playing in the little kid area not on the playscape because the area at the bottom is for little kids. I told her again that clearly the kids weren’t supervised because they were taking food into the play area and that is against the rules. Then I shut up because engaging a fool only makes me a fool. Other customers in the dining area were looking at us.
I admit, in that moment I lost Jesus. I really didn’t love that lady on any level. I thought she was a trashy, lazy person and a failure as a parent. I felt sorry for the little boys. They were filthy and one was dressed in pajamas. Even thinking about it now makes me so sad that kids are being raised by people who do not respect anyone else. I am also very thankful that although I may have lost Jesus, He never loses me. Also, I may not have totally lost Jesus….the Holy Spirit may have actually kicked in there because what I wanted to do was punch her in the face but I didn’t….I didn’t even stand up from sitting down. I didn’t cuss at her. I didn’t call tell her what I thought of her….so some self-control was exercised.
Having said all of that. The Chic-fil-a staff did NOTHING. They didn’t ask us to leave. They didn’t ask what was going on. They didn’t call the police. There were lots of people in the dining area and they were all looking so I know we were loud.
Last night, after stewing a little more, I messaged Chic-fil-a:
Me: At what point does the management ask a parent to supervise their child or leave the play area? ..yada, yada, yada about the incidnent…The staff/management did NOTHING to handle this situation.
Chick-fil-A of Kyle, Texas Thanks for the message Casey. I will coach our top managers on how to handle these situations. Thankfully it is very rare that this happens, but it can be very awkward for a staff member to step in and demand that someone parent their children. It definitely needs to be addressed if there is concern for safety. Did you notify anyone? Or did the staff not notice
ME: I’m not one to back down..yada, yada, yada about the incident… The staff definitely heard our conversation as I know other patrons did. I did not voice my concerns to management as by this time I was steaming and nothing I said at that point would have been edifying. I prefer to bring my children to Chic-fil-a because the food is better and the play area is usually much cleaner than the McDonalds next door. I”m struggling with the question myself of the corporate responsibility. Clearly the parents of these children should been supervising their children but it wasn’t happening. One of the boys kicked by 2 year old daughter. My son, age 6 told him to stop and then told me about it. I’m not sure what else I should have done except leave with a bad taste in my mouth. This is happening way more than you know.
Chick-fil-A of Kyle, TexasI’m sorry you had to deal with that! That is frustrating to say the least. Definitely a good topic of discussion for our staff, thank you for taking the time to message us.
While that was a “nice” response…I’m left wondering, at what point would a restaurant ask someone to leave?
I understand that kids can play rough. What is funny about it is every time something like this has happened it’s a white parent. Yes, I’m white. I’m not sure that being white has anything do with it but maybe we act a little too entitled…I’m veering off topic.
At what point should the management intervene and ask a parent to supervise their child or leave the play area?
Does a child need to be injured for a bully to be asked to leave? Does a bruise qualify or a bloody nose? I’m not sure what the law says but I would think that businesses would want all their guests to feel safe.
Any thoughts? Or experiences? Or advise on keeping our kids safe while playing children who do not have the same values or upbringing?