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The “Well Behaved Kids” Discount

Yes, it’s a real thing. Recently a couple in Canada were dining out at a Mother’s Day brunch and their check went viral after a “well behaved kids” discount was tacked on the bottom.

I think a discount at a restaurant for children being well behaved through your meal is ridiculous. This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a restaurant give a discount for well behaved kids too, but after this last check went viral on Reddit I had to comment.

It raises a concerning question: Do parents really need an incentive to encourage proper behavior in a restaurant? After all, isn’t good behavior and manners something we should all be instilling in our children anyway?


The fact that servers and waitstaff have experienced so many poorly behaved children in their establishments is very worrisome — but I’m not surprised, as I’ve seen a rapid decline in children’s behavior. Unfortunately, parents have lowered the bar and it’s about time we stepped it up again.

After viewing the comments on Reddit, so many of you were happy to see this couple receiving a discount for their well-behaved 1-year-old daughter, but it then brings up the question: Should a family with misbehaved kids receive the opposite? A surcharge? And why is it so unusual to see a well-behaved child having a peaceful meal with family? This just isn’t right.


Parents, I want you to try an exercise next time you visit a restaurant with your little ones. If their behavior is poor, remove them from the situation. Give them fair warning that if they can’t behave and use their manners, they don’t belong in a restaurant. Eating out should be a privilege… and it shouldn’t be a chore for you.

They shouldn’t have full reign of the restaurant. They should stay seated throughout the meal, interact appropriately with those they’re dining with, and eat the food that is brought to them. It’s simply not okay for your child to run around and act like an animal. If it means bringing something to occupy them, like a coloring book, so be it. As long as your child knows what is appropriate behavior and what’s not. In all honesty, their behavior at home during mealtime and their behavior at a restaurant should mirror each other. If they are allowed to get up from the table at home, then they will surely do it when you’re out. If they don’t have to eat nicely at home, then why would they when you’re out?

Your children will behave appropriately if you :

  • Raise your expectations
  • Show them how to behave
  • Enforce it and don’t tolerate anything less.

It’s time we raise the bar!

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Speaking of Marriage

Winifred M. Reilly, M.A., MFT

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