A Taste of Peace

By now most poeple have heard about what A Taste of Heaven, an Andersonville cafe, has done to deal with some of the more problematic children they’ve encountered. A sign reading “Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when coming to A Taste of Heaven” serves notice that rowdy and out-of-control kids – and their parents – will need to be a bit more aware of how they’re acting in a public setting. I think it’s a good idea that someone stepped up and spoke their mind on this matter. Granted, most kids I’ve come across in restaurants, stores, wherever, are well-behaved. But once in a while you see a few, those that are completely unsupervised, and you wonder “Where are the parents?” and why haven’t they either 1) left the store and taken their kids with them or 2) taken their child and told them to sit down and be quiet.

While it’s not always easy to anticipate how a child is going to act in any given setting, it’s the kids whose parents make no attempt to control them that creates a need for signs like these. I’m curious to see where this trend is headed…

18 Comments so far

  1. Katie (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 12:01 pm

    I thought the concept was very interesting. I’m sorry that the need for that kind of sign would be there. However, there was one mother who responded in an msn.com article with something along the lines of “The store down the street gives my kid free treats just for coming in. That calms my child down.” Demanding free cookies is not the solution to children acting out of control in public. Then again, I think this is where the trend is going. If you’re not willing to cater to whatever me and my child want to do, we will not patronize your establishment.

  2. steven (unregistered) on November 11th, 2005 @ 12:32 pm

    And some parents do think that way, and they have every right to do so. But if your child is acting like a monster? Sorry, I’d ask them to leave my store too.

  3. barb (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 7:51 am

    Hats off to a Taste of Heaven!!!! I am a mother of two and would not dream of letting my children exhibit the kind of undisciplined, uncontrollable, disruptive behavior far too often seen in public places. It’s a good bet that if children are disruptive in a restaurant they are disruptive everywhere – home, school, everywhere. These are the children who misbehave in class and take up the teachers’ teaching time, who act out in supermarkets, department stores, movies, etc. (where their parents are often seen just watching with that “what can I do” look on their faces). More often than not tantums and other inappropriate behavior is as a result of good parenting skills lacking on the part of parents who themselves are undisciplined, and more often than not these are the children who end up as problem adolescents/adults. I feel that the owner was most polite, did not indicate that he did not want children in his establishment, but only asked that parents control their children out of respect for his other customers. Hopefully more establishments will follow suit.

  4. steven (unregistered) on November 15th, 2005 @ 8:05 am

    If I had acted out like that as a child, a smack on the ass was not far behind. Do parents still do this, or is it considered cruel, or abuse, these days?

  5. mark (unregistered) on November 18th, 2005 @ 1:13 pm

    While I understand this issue from the perspective of the owner, I

  6. Al Lageschulte (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 7:47 am

    I read the article on MSN about ‘A Taste of Heaven Cafe” in Chicago. I just want ot say, CONGRATULATIONS! Do not take the sign down. I believe that parents should be responsible for their childrens actions. All these so called doctors that claim if you disiplin your children you will cause them eternal brain disorders of what ever, do not have a clew. It is the children of today that are shooting other children and adults and sometimes even thier own parents. Go back 30 or 40 years when parents used to let their children know who was the boss and see how many serious incidents there were that involved children. Parents need to step up and take care of their children, especially in public places.

  7. JS (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 8:13 am

    When I was growing up, we were not allowed to get up from the table in a restaurant until it was time to leave (except for restroom breaks). We didn’t run around and cause comotion. Yelling or causing a scene was grounds for removal from the restaurant and Lord knows, we didn’t want to go outside to discuss our behavior! My parents were neither cruel or strict, but we knew what was right! We all managed to survive growing up and become decent adults. I was allowed to be creative and express myself but there was a time and a place for everything. Parents today are using creativity and expression as excuses to not discipline where it is necessary. I applaud this owner for making a statement to these parents.

  8. Edward Wollman (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 8:54 am

    Thank you, Taste of Heaven. Raised two very active children and enjoyed many a public place with them. Somehow they picked up that there were limits and that behavior inconsiderate of others had consequences, both at home and in public. Kids learn quickly if parents are active in guiding them. Will visit your Cafe next time I am in Chicago. Know I will see kids there whose parents exercise their parental responsibility.

  9. Vince (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 9:13 am

    Way to go Dan McCauley! I’ve raised two children and was adamant that they be well behaved in all public venues, that’s just good parenting.
    I hope the next guy steps up and says “if you don’t take that ball hat off, you won’t be served in our restaurant”
    Again, Bravo Dan McCauley.

  10. Michelle (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 11:02 am

    I agree with this owner. I worked at a builders supply store where many times children were allowed to run wild and could be found doing many life threatening things like climbing up the merchandise racks, pushing their siblings too fast in a cart and overturning it, beating each other with lumber, just to name a few. The parents were right there watching them do it. Owners are not admonishing people whose children are having a bad moment or children with disabilities. It is the thoughtless parents that don’t think they are responsible for contolling their kids behavior that this is aimed at. I personally do not feel that I have to be subjected to someone else’s bratty kids behavior and have quite often told the child to cut it out or have actually pulled a child to the side and told them to stay right there and shut up until their parent comes along. If parents don’t like it, too bad, leave the monsters at home.

  11. Dawn Clark (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 12:20 pm

    Kudos to Taste of Heaven! It is unbelievable the way that “parents” allow their children to behave. Where as I understand there are some children that have special needs, the majority are just brats that really need to have someone put their foot down and be taught to behave respectfully. I cannot tell you how many times a movie has been spoiled, conversations interuppted and just plain old ear drums going into shock from someone’s child acting like a regular heathen. I would hope that people in L.A. would take a page from your book!

  12. Dottie (unregistered) on December 7th, 2005 @ 12:57 pm

    Dan McCauley is to be praised. I will make a point of eating at his cafe the next time I’m in Chicago. I wish more business owners would establish groundrules for polite behavior in their establishments. I am tired of spending money on food and beverages only to be unable to sit and savor it due to unruly children – or loud talking adults for that matter.

  13. Erin (unregistered) on December 13th, 2005 @ 1:09 pm

    THANK YOU a Taste of Heaven!! Those of us who are capable of having children but have chose not to are ECSTATIC that someone is pointing out that we ARE NOT automatically charmed by a strangers’ children. Albeit obvious, those of us who wished to be annoyed by unruly children would start our own day care center.


  14. Jo London (unregistered) on December 21st, 2005 @ 11:07 am

    Maybe it’s because I’m British but I am really surprised that no-one is looking at why so many parents especially mother’s look for respite in cafes or anywhere that they can find other mothers…society is full of lonely people…child rearing no longer happens in groups and many parents feel isolated…the coffee house has become as the owner of starbucks put it the thrid place.
    The shop owner is entitled to ask parents to get their children to behave-no question there, however there will be times when a child is upset or sleepy or whatever and they may be simply too young to understand reason. We-every single one of us were children once and for all those people who are saying their children are always well behaved…I doubt it…you have probably had to work at teaching them appropriate behaviour. There needs to more family orientated places for parents to go grab some me time…perhaps when there are more of those then places like Taste of Heaven can be left for those people who would rather not have children in cafes…how sad the world is becoming…So to the parents too..do teach your children how to behave..let’s work together to make sure that every place is child friendly..

  15. Deb (unregistered) on January 4th, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

    Having read about this in the LA Times this week(thanks to a friend bringing it home to me) I wholeheartedly applaud this establishment and will definitely hunt it down when I am in Chicago!! Way to go!

    I think there is a huge difference between a child who will, occasionally, act up, get tired or grumpy and throw a fit at times. I think what the owner is trying to convey and what I think most adults are trying to say is “Hey, get a hold of your kid and try to control him/her” I am appalled at how kids are allowed to behave these days. I could never have gotten away with anything like the examples I have read or heard of. My daughter, who certainly had her moments, would not have been allowed to run around the shop screaming and showing out. Oh no. If you are lonely and need to have a village help raise your child – do it elsewhere. Hey, I am for being asked when I go in a restaurant “smoking or non-smoking, kids or no kids”. I hate being seated next to a kid that shows out the entire dinner and ruins your dining experience. Again, I am talking about the norm not the occasional outburst all kids have.

    We seem to have become a society where no one can say anything about our children, regardless of how correct they are in saying it. Teachers get flack for reporting unacceptable behavior, etc. We look for excuses for our children. What have we taught them?

    All you whiny mothers who feel put upon because your kids are being asked to behave – start your own kid coffee shop. OR I am all for a kids-free coffee shop, etc. What is wrong with that? When I want to stop in, relax and unwind – the last thing I want is Timmy whining and mommy begging him not to. I do not want Timmy running all around the shop and screaming like a banshee. Take Timmy to the park and let him do that.

    Again, WAY TO GO – leave that sign up and I would support any business that wants to have “rules” of these sort.

  16. jenniferRoche (unregistered) on January 4th, 2006 @ 11:34 pm

    I just read an article in the Library Journal that had a photo of a sign on a business door that read:

    Unattended Children will be Given a Cup of Expresso and a Free Puppy.

    That seems to be a lot more intelligent way of dealing with the issue than the Andersonville guy used.

  17. JANET FREE Restaurant Owner (unregistered) on January 7th, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

    I own a restaurant.
    I had an incident this morning. So I came home and typed in to search for something on this subject.” What to do with screaming children in restaurants” And the article about Dan McCauley, & Taste of Heaven came up. So here is my incident this morning at my restaurant and my opinion to Dan’s policy in his restaurant.
    I put a women and her two children in a booth in the back of my restaurant because I could tell the little boy was horrible when he came in. He was about 4 yrs. old.Usually when they get in a booth, the parent can control them a little better. Wrong on this one.
    I then sat another couple who frequent my restaurant often in the next booth. I told them if the children did anything to let me know. I have dividers between the booths that are wood lattice. Thank God or that boy would have been in the mans lap! We were busy and I again sat someone back in that section. When I was back there I noticed the boy was between the large window and the divider with his sippy cup ( A little old for that, but…) it was dangling into the next booth, then he dropped it. I could see look on the couple

  18. Ana Menendez (unregistered) on January 8th, 2006 @ 9:59 am

    Congratulations, to A Taste of Heaven. Being the mother of 2 young children, I totally respect their right to ask parents to control their children. My daughters have always been taught to be respectful while in any public place. Unfortunatly there seems to be a growing trend, to ignore chlidren that are out of control, I would be completly mortified of my kids acted up in public. Now that they are getting older my children notice other kids acting up, and it even bothers them to see an out of control child. Keep that sign up and stand your ground. It is time that as a society we expect people to be responsible parents.

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