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Mom Explains Why Kids Aren't Invited to Restaurants—'We're Over It'


1 week ago 15

Date nights can be tough with children in tow, and one couple has gone viral on TikTok after describing the frustration of dining out with young kids.

In the video, Sarah and her husband, Nate, recalled a recent dinner with their two children, whom the video's caption called "the worst dates ever." After vowing to never "take kids out to dinner anymore," the parents detailed their ordeal—which started with a spilled glass of milk that led to tears.

Their other child "complained 'cause it was too sunny and nice outside" as they dined on a restaurant's patio. And that wasn't the only complaint. One child ordered a burger without cheese and then cried about the burger's lack of cheese.

"We're just not taking them anymore," said Sarah, who uses the handle @thesarahjeanshow on TikTok. "We're not. We're over it."

The video, which Sarah posted on June 2, has received more than 800,000 views on the platform. Newsweek has contacted @thesarahjeanshow for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

The dining experience ended when their daughter requested the bill, even though the parents were still finishing their drinks.

Dining out with children can be a stressful experience for parents. A study published in 2020 by researchers from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota Medical School explored how parental anxiety and stress levels were heightened during family meals.

Higher anxiety about mealtimes often results in parents giving their children more control over their eating behaviors, leading to more stressful dining experiences. The study underscores the need for supportive environments that ease parental stress during meals.

Research from Loughborough University in the U.K. further examined the emotional dynamics of family mealtimes. The study found that parents often experience a mix of positive and negative emotions during mealtimes. Negative emotions, such as stress and anger, were linked to coercive feeding practices, while positive emotions were associated with promoting autonomy and providing a healthy food environment.

mom and daughter restaurant
A stock image of a mother and child in a restaurant. A video of parents explaining why they won't take their children out to dinner again has gone viral on TikTok. nicoletaionescu/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Sarah and Nate's story is not unique. In the video's comments section, parents shared similar tales of dining disasters.

"We have a sign that says 'there's no such thing as fun for the whole family' because of nights like this," one user wrote.

Another added: "Hang in there! My kids are in their 30's and finally restaurant ready!"

According to a 2019 list of the most kid-friendly restaurants in America published by OpenTable, a restaurant-reservation company, New York and Florida had the highest number of kid-friendly restaurants.

Conversely, supporters of child-free restaurants argue that it provides a peaceful dining experience for adults seeking a break from the usual family chaos.

Balancing the needs of families and other diners is a challenge for the restaurant industry. As the debate continues, the key lies in understanding and accommodating diverse preferences while maintaining a welcoming environment for all.

For parents like Sarah and Nate, the lesson from their recent experience is clear: Dining out with young children requires careful planning and realistic expectations.

One user commented, "Feed them at home then just get them dessert at the restaurant!"

"You, my friend, are the smartest of them all," Sarah replied. "This is brilliant! My kids would love it and it would be cheaper than a meal. Gold stars for this idea."

If you have a family dilemma, let us know via [email protected]. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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