When you go out for dinner do you expect a quiet environment?  It is an interesting concept to me because I’m under the impression that when I leave the sanctity of my home, out in the world it is whatever goes.  You are a part of society and in society, there are all kinds of people, some loud, some quiet, some big, and some small.

This Monmouth County restaurant is exercising its right to say that small children are no longer welcome inside.  Notice I say that it is their right because even though I don’t agree with the policy, it is 100% their call.  As a side note, I hear their food and cocktails are fantastic.

I’m talking about Nettie’s House of Spaghetti in Tinton Falls.  If you show up with your little ones you will be turned away and they have their reasons.  They put the declaration on social media which does give a fair warning.  It reads, 

Between noise levels, lack of space for high chairs, cleaning up crazy messes, and the liability of kids running around the restaurant, we have decided that it’s time to take control of the situation.

They are drawing a line in the sand starting March 8th.  I get that they are sick of Cheerios being tossed on the floor and kids not using their inside voices but we were all little once.  However, as someone who has been a server, I can honestly say that some children way better behaved than their bratty parents.

Also, shouldn’t there be a general understanding that people need to be patient because a child is going to be a child? On the flip side, mom and dad need to be on high alert for their kid's behavior and if they are misbehaving you have to take them outside to correct the situation for a little “time out”.

The solution of not having kids under 10 is not so bad when it’s one restaurant, but if others follow suit are parents supposed to go to the expense of a babysitter every time they want to eat out?  Eating out is already more expensive than ever.  For a family of four to eat out and cover a babysitter you are looking and hundreds of dollars.

Maybe it is time for understanding and compassion all the way around as well as personal responsibility. Also, going out to restaurants is one of the ways children learn how to function in society. They learn social cues and eventually how to politely order.  

If we did this on the other end of the spectrum and said no one over 75 can eat in a restaurant because they move slowly and may require special accommodations people would be all up in arms.  The point is, we should make everyone welcome in a public setting even if extra patience is required.

Lots of people disagree with me, in fact, most of the 3,000 comments on Nettie’s social media are in support of their decision.  I do appreciate the decision being put out on social media so there shouldn’t be that embarrassing moment of getting turned away at the door. Here is the full official post:

My kids are past the 10-year mark so it won't affect me personally and I'm glad because I need their spinach fettuccine with roasted garlic in my life. I'll be interested to see if the press this caused helped or hurt. Either way, Mangia!  You can read more about it from Eater New York here.

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