On Mother's Day, a family dining at a Japanese restaurant in Calgary, Canada, received a $5 discount because their kids were well-behaved. So now we have restaurant staff joining in the mommy wars?
Photo credit: Terry J Alcorn/ E+/ Getty Images

On Mother's Day, one Calgary family enjoyed lunch out, only to be surprised at their bill. They'd received a discount for having well-behaved kids. looseONthegoose shared a photo of the receipt on Reddit entitled, "Out for Mother's Day brunch today with our one year old daughter, when we received our bill." Apparently the tot was exceptionally quiet and tidy, and it caught the attention of the wait staff.

We're all doing that anyway

This isn't the first time such a discount has made news. Maybe these discounts will encourage parents to do their best to help their children behave respectably. Maybe now parents will have the motivation to keep Junior from causing a scene. Maybe now parents will encourage their children to be polite in restaurants. What's that you say? We're all doing that anyway?

I have a preschool boy… he is extraordinarily high-spirited. There is no end to his energy. Hours upon hours at the bounce house won't even wear him down. So imagine trying to take him to a restaurant. Asking him to be still and quiet for an hour. He lasts about two minutes before that energy starts forcing its way out like a shaken-up soda can. It would certainly be much easier for me if he was more reserved, but no. He has a cheerful "Hello!" for every stranger who passes by our table. He has an exciting story that cannot be told in hushed tones. Everything about him is louder than life, and I, this silence-loving introvert, am learning to love his… zeal. Let's call it zeal.

Some kids are just loud

Anyway, I highly doubt our family could ever earn the "Well-Behaved Child" discount, not because we have a bad son, but because he's just excited about life. And that's not something I want to discipline out of him. Of course, I do my best to help him know how to show respect to others, and that includes others in restaurants. But for my son, it's a huge struggle, so during this phase, we rarely sit down at a restaurant. To be quiet and still goes against everything that he is. And often when he's the loudest is when I'm being a great mom. A mom who is setting a boundary and sticking to it. A mom who cares enough about her son to lead him. A mom who darn well deserves a discount as her child is having a meltdown.

Parents don't want more scrutiny

And the mom whose child was a perfect angel for the entirety of dinner? That's her reward.

If we only define a "well-behaved child" as one who doesn't make noise and can sit in one spot for an hour, what does that mean for kids like my son? And what does that mean for mothers such as myself who have high-spirited kids? These discounts are a slap in the face for people like us. I don't go to a restaurant to be judged on my parenting. I'm already doing my best. And the mom whose child was a perfect angel for the entirety of dinner? That's her reward. Restaurants, please don't start judging parents in such a tangible way. I, for one, am not interested in getting graded when all I wanted was to enjoy lunch.

More on kids' behavior

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Help, my kid won't stop talking in class
How I'm teaching my kids to manage their emotions

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