How would you ask a parent to remove a child from the common guest areas?

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Madeleine's picture
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Child would not sit down for breakfast. Cried and screamed and lay on the floor. At that point everyone else had already eaten so the 'show' was just for mom and us. We discussed this over dinner tonight and wanted to know how you would approach the parent when the child was completely disrupting everyone's breakfast?

We would happily have made up a tray to take back to the room.

Both DH & I left them alone once we realized the kid was not going to shut up and neither of us could stand it any longer. Even in the office I could hear the kid shrieking.

 

(Please no comments on how you don't take kids and how kids are so rotten these days and parents are so permissive and kids don't belong at a B&B. Just how to handle this in the future.)

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seashanty's picture
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  how long did this go on?

i'm sorry to say that a parent (s) who allow this expect you to suffer along with them and ark's way sounds best. i'd have to practice it since i'd be fuming and suffering and maybe stumbling.  in this situation, direct is best.  you tell them their child is disrupting breakfast, etc please remove him/her ... would you like a tray?  how are you supposed to answer phones and do all you need to do with this going on? ugh.

Madeleine's picture
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All the other guests were gone or I would just have 'handled' the situation by getting out a tray to take their food to their room. How long it went on was about 20 minutes. I had to leave. DH tried to stay but he had to leave, too.

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Had a few instances of guests turning up with very young babies this Fall ...... having "agreed" to our terms and agreements.

The most recent.  Full house.  Car drives up an hour before check-in with baby asleep in back.  Parents REFUSE to crack a window, use a cell phone or communicate in any way because the baby is asleep.  I assume they are looking for a room and try to indicate that I have NO rooms available and even if I did my set up is not infant friendly.  I have errands to run before check-in starts ..... I REALLY REALLY need to leave the house.  Guess what - they are my booked in guests.  The other room I am expecting are the new Grand-parents.  They were here for 4 days and had the heat cranked up to 90 degrees the entire time.  The baby was adorable ..... but I'm a small operation and have to make choices about who I can best service.  As an example my radiators are super efficient ..... and super hot.  They are not suited to an infant learning to crawl.  

Madeleine's picture
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We are remodeling again this year to get all the 'kid friendly' rooms on one side of the house. No babies, no toddlers screaming from the rooftops in the middle of the house any longer.

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

We are remodeling again this year to get all the 'kid friendly' rooms on one side of the house. No babies, no toddlers screaming from the rooftops in the middle of the house any longer.

Good idea! Hope it goes well. And you're re-papering too?

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Madeleine's picture
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No. Paper is coming down and not going up again. There will be limited paper in the house by this spring. Basically still in all the stairwells because suitcases.

Joey Camb's picture
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don't get her started on the papering!

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

One of two ways, actually depending on the situation.

If no one else was around or disturbed, I would do as I do with all children having a tantrum... egg them on, saying that they should be louder. (Especially with young children, the more energy they expend without the wanted attention, the faster they stop.)

If others were around, I would ask the parent if they would like me to put their breakfast on hold their breakfast while they dealt with the problem. So they realize that we find this inappropriate and that they need to remove the child from the situation.

People do things in certain ways because they have learnt that it leads to reward. People asking for discounts, screaming children, anorexics and even those who lie about allergies. We all have an inclination towards the best return. At that point, you need to look at what you are teaching the person and if you want to be part of that. For the people who give us a long list of allergies and things that they want a certain way, we either give in or we simply say we don't do that. With children it is a lot simplier, they learn to cry to get what they want. Parents have to stop placating them so that they learn that they can't have everything that they want or they end us with entitled children. No need to punish all parents because this one hasn't yet managed to teach their child the lesson. Let them teach the child, it's their job. And we can stand back and support them, but suggesting that they take this lesson out. (Which is what parents are really supposed to do, no matter where you are, you stop, take the child out of the situation so that it is private and then let them cry it out until you can walk back in to normality.)

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Sorry no pulling punches...I would have just told the mother. "your child is disrupting our breakfast, will you please take him to your room?" I can give you a breakfast tray to take with you. 

Tom
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That is the way to do it: you define the space as public/private; in the public space it is your rules, in the private space, parents can decide how to handle it.

That said, we have moved away from having children with guests unless it is a) when we are essentially empty, so no other guests are there to be bothered, b) a family group at the inn so the child is related to everybody, or c) phone discussion with parent prior to booking sets out our expectations, ... and we have a family friendly room - already has an extra bed, our largest room, and no other guest rooms adjoining on same floor, above or below.  Talking has worked well.

Essentially our child policy has become similar to or firmer than our dog policy.  This is based on 4 years of experience where I find" well mannered" guests (defined as no disruption of inn routine or quality of service to others) percentage as: dogs, 98%; adults 95%; children 85%.

 

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Madeline, I would hope parent would have acted differently had there been other guests in the room.  

I probably would have offered frozen waffles or a cookie to distract him.  I'm wimpy that way.

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When things like that happened while I was waiting tables, I would put the check on the table and offer to go containers, in the *innocent* assumption that the parents would remove the child if only they could. So, probably would go ahead and make a tray and tell mom that junior seems like he would be way more comfortable in his room so I made this special tray just for them.

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Boy, you just had to add those 'don'ts'  lol

Really I just don't know, but I wish someone smart would come up with the perfect line and share it with the rest of the world!!

At least in our business we do have somewhere to send them unlike restaurants.  I do recall one restaurant who put up a sign about unruly kids which went too far and was sued by a family with a child with a disorder.  

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Where I waitressed years ago, the sign above the fireplace read, "a child out of seat is a child out of hand."

 

OnTheShore's picture
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copperhead wrote:
I do recall one restaurant who put up a sign about unruly kids which went too far and was sued by a family with a child with a disorder.

I once saw a sign in a "family" restaurant that said "crying children are like good intentions ...

they should be carried out."

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