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‘Horrible’ kids’ behaviour forces cafe to close

By Charlotte Harper - 26 October 2015 16

Heather's House of Cakes

A family-friendly Belconnen café has shut its doors after seven months in business to rethink its structure because of “horrible” behaviour from kids and their parents in and around the café’s playroom.

Heather’s House of Cake set out to provide an environment that would appeal to parents with babies and young children, but not all families respected the space.

“We have had some horrible things left for us and done to our property that isn’t acceptable, hence why our current setup and policy is under review,” Heather Martin writes on the café’s Facebook page.

Martin includes a link to a story about a Sydney café that closed its playroom last week with her post announcing the closure, saying their story was “all too familiar”.

“We find ourselves being forced into the same agonizing situation of making the decision to close the play area within our café,” she writes.

“We love all our customers, young and old, and as a mum/step mum to 8 kids I have always wanted to create a space where everyone can find a “happy place” to treat themselves and their loved ones.

“We have had many disgusting instances and have currently closed the café while we weigh up the options on how to progress from here.”

Sydney’s Black Mocha Café no longer offers a kids playroom. According to their Facebook page the café had been subjected to children ripping books, breaking toys, drawing on the walls, chewing and tearing open sugar packets and emptying them onto the floor, tables, chairs and carpet as well as grinding food into the carpet, books, walls and toys.

Kids had used furniture as trampolines and kicked fixtures and fittings.

Parents had allowed and even encouraged children to run and screech unsupervised around the cafe jumping on the furniture, screaming.

Children had knocked over hot tea and coffee, washed their hands in other patrons’ water glasses and taken food off other patrons’ plates.

Parents had brought in takeaway food and used the café’s cushions as plates.

They had changed nappies on lounges, table tops and the carpet in the kids playroom and placed dirty nappies on top of dining tables or simply left them behind in the playroom.

“This behaviour is upsetting the rest of the customers and staff. It is also a disgusting spectacle and we are sorry that innocent café patrons have to witness it,” the post reads.

“As a result the café will no longer welcome children and parents who display deplorable manners. We feel that it’s the parents’ responsibility to keep their children reasonably quiet and well-behaved during their visit to the café. But when parents can’t be bothered to do this, there comes a point when the café has to act in the best interest of its patrons as a whole.”

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16 Responses to
‘Horrible’ kids’ behaviour forces cafe to close
london 4:21 pm 30 Oct 15

I wish supermarkets could do the same. Why can’t parents control their kids outside the home?

We all realise shopping is difficult and not always pleasant but it’s made far worse by screaming. misbehaving children.
For goodness sake parents, take control before it’s too late or make other arrangements.

crackerpants 8:54 am 30 Oct 15

I thought I’d feel defensive reading the comments, but as a mum of 3 young kids (7, 5 and 2) I completely agree. In fact the absolute last thing I would choose to do with my 3 boisterous kids is to go to a playroom, or indeed anywhere where I need to spend the entire time pulling them into line. It’s exhausting. And that’s before I need to start working around other parents’ and kids’ grotty behaviour. I’m shocked by some of the behaviour above – which is further incentive to avoid those places. If I do take my kids to a cafe as a treat, we’re there 20-30 minutes before they start getting ratty and then we head outdoors (a playground or home) to blow off steam. Places like the arboretum are fantastic for that reason – a quick cuppa, then straight outside.

You can be damned if you do and damned if you don’t though – I’ve had stern glares from older folks when I’ve had a squeally baby in a supermarket, and been censured for disciplining my kids (verbally) in public. Ultimately, as a parent, you’re surrounded by people who know your children and your circumstances better than you do, but I have to say that my experiences have been mostly positive. People often offer to help when they can see I’m having a really hard time, rather than finger-wag. And if I’m having a hard time, it’s because I’ve overstepped our limits in trying to get a lot done with tired kids in tow.

Ghettosmurf87 8:33 am 30 Oct 15

HenryBG said :

I, and some people I know, can non-supervise our children with 100% confidence that there will be no misbehaviour.

*Other* people I know, on the other hand, are raising revolting little monsters, incapable of discipline, and they fall into two broad categories:
– low-class bogans who demonstrate poor behaviour to their children all the time, and it rubs off
– lunatic lefties who’ve decided that saying “no” to a child will damage its self-esteem.

The latter category are especially interesting – I was recently left in charge of a revolting little monster (it’s got “special needs” – maybe “autism spectrum”, blabla, poor excuses for failed parenting) for a couple of hours, and I tried inculcating some discipline into it. It is amazing how much you can achieve in a short period of time with a child that is being comprehensively &^%$#ed up by its dopey parents.

Showing your colours there Henry. Plenty of spoilt brats of the rich, conservative right out there too. They don’t say no to their kids for fear of self-esteem issues but instead deny them nothing and tell them they are never wrong as they continue to strengthen their entitlement complex for the born to rule class.

It’s easy to make “broad categories”, but there are plenty of terrible parents across the spectrum of society who are raising little terrors that will cause society more harm than good.

tiffwat 8:20 am 30 Oct 15

The poor control of the parents is pretty bad and I do feel sorry for the owner- but the demographic they are selling to are parents who think eating seriously sugar laden cupcakes and feeding them to their kids is a good idea.(I was given some- so I am speaking from experience- they were sickeningly sweet).

HenryBG 11:38 pm 29 Oct 15

viking princess said :

Why is it that parents apparently assume their children are behaving themselves while they don’t supervise them? .

I, and some people I know, can non-supervise our children with 100% confidence that there will be no misbehaviour.

*Other* people I know, on the other hand, are raising revolting little monsters, incapable of discipline, and they fall into two broad categories:
– low-class bogans who demonstrate poor behaviour to their children all the time, and it rubs off
– lunatic lefties who’ve decided that saying “no” to a child will damage its self-esteem.

The latter category are especially interesting – I was recently left in charge of a revolting little monster (it’s got “special needs” – maybe “autism spectrum”, blabla, poor excuses for failed parenting) for a couple of hours, and I tried inculcating some discipline into it. It is amazing how much you can achieve in a short period of time with a child that is being comprehensively &^%$#ed up by its dopey parents.

TB 7:39 pm 29 Oct 15

It’s sad but like most people here said, there’s nothing you can do to change it. Few clubs in ACT I know do have playrooms and are supervised by their staff while parents dine or drink in a separate areas away from the playroom. Despite of the fact that there is a signage telling parents to supervise children in the playroom, parents still leave their kids in there to go and dine, wine and play poker! Staff not only supervises but also controls the kids should their behaviour becomes uncontrollable. They report any mishaps or continuing misbehaviours, to parents and even to the manager and possibly security guards, if necessarily. The restaurants like House of Cake do not have a staff/resources to supervise kids in the playroom at all times and that’s where the problem stemmed from. It’s unwise to have a playroom without supervision from staff as there is a potential risk of accidents and civil court cases. But it is also not a good hygiene with messes left lying around otherwise health inspection will fine the restaurants. Restaurants such as House of Cake that close for this reason, will leave parents no choice but to go elsewhere or clubs. I sympathise not only the restaurants owners that are affected by this, but also those civilised parents/children who had to miss out and left with no choice but to go elsewhere.

viking princess 4:13 pm 29 Oct 15

Why is it that parents apparently assume their children are behaving themselves while they don’t supervise them? Is it naivety on their part, or dumb ignorance. Do they think little Billy or Jilly are angels or don’t they give a stuff about how their children impact others? I think we all know the answer! As for changing babies on tables and leaving dirty nappies lying around, no need to wonder why their children are out of control, is there?

Grow up parents, take responsibility and ensure everyone has a nice time when they are out for a coffee!

My sympathy to any business who has to suffer like this.

tooltime 6:01 pm 28 Oct 15

wildturkeycanoe & belray +1,

When did this behaviour become okay? We all understand that all kids great and small need to rip & tear, but a cafe or restaurant isn’t the place for that…nor is any public venue really.

dungfungus 6:13 pm 27 Oct 15

belray said :

If you want an example of parents not giving a toss, go to the Gungahlin Raiders Club for a meal one Fri or Sat night. It sounds like a playground and has multiple kids running wild. I personally have nearly lost a round of drinks, because some brats were playing chasing in the bar area. Where were the parents? Sitting in the bistro having a relaxing drink – completely oblivious to what their offspring were doing.

At least in NSW, you can go for a meal and a drink and escape the mayhem by going into the bar area (no under 18s allowed).

One of the reasons I refuse to go to Voices in The Forest (apart from sitting on the grass) is the reports of children being welcomed and subsequently getting out of control.
I see that the next offerings will include separate entertainment for the children. That will be interesting.

belray 1:23 pm 27 Oct 15

If you want an example of parents not giving a toss, go to the Gungahlin Raiders Club for a meal one Fri or Sat night. It sounds like a playground and has multiple kids running wild. I personally have nearly lost a round of drinks, because some brats were playing chasing in the bar area. Where were the parents? Sitting in the bistro having a relaxing drink – completely oblivious to what their offspring were doing.

At least in NSW, you can go for a meal and a drink and escape the mayhem by going into the bar area (no under 18s allowed).

GardeningGirl 11:45 am 27 Oct 15

Zan said :

I am surprised that nobody has made any comment on this article. It seems that people are not interested in the behaviour of children who are not disciplined. Imho these undisciplined children turn out to be the undisciplined teenagers in the future creating problems with lack of self control on the roads and in areas where bars/drinking establishments abound.

People seem to be more interested in the money being spent on something that may be of benefit to future generations.

+1

Grimm 9:19 am 27 Oct 15

Unfortunately, it’s not just the children who need a good 5 across the eyes.

You wonder what these peoples houses look like if they think it’s ok to be leaving dirty nappies around the place.

wildturkeycanoe 6:37 am 27 Oct 15

Zan said :

I am surprised that nobody has made any comment on this article. It seems that people are not interested in the behaviour of children who are not disciplined. Imho these undisciplined children turn out to be the undisciplined teenagers in the future creating problems with lack of self control on the roads and in areas where bars/drinking establishments abound.

Unfortunately there is nothing anybody can do to change this. If a passer by chastises the misbehaving children, the parents get all PC and stop the intervention because “Nobody disciplines my kid except me.”. If you challenge the parents lack of discipline, they turn into the same bratty, brawling children that they have spawned, thereby proving the theory that the apple never falls far from the tree.
Apart from evicting offenders from the cafe there is little anybody else can do because this is what society has deemed to be acceptable behavior for civilization – disrespectful, selfish and full of attitude kids who can’t be told how to behave due to their “human rights”, traumatizing everyone around them and growing up to reflect the worst of what they see on television and the internet.
Call me old fashioned again, but there is nothing wrong with a bit of discipline even for the trashy parents who haven’t got the slightest regard for public hygiene and etiquette. They are the ones setting the standards for future generations and by their actions degrading what is to come into a foul-mouthed, abusive and disgusting era.
Rollersk8r – What do we expect? We’d expect a public place where children play to at least have parents who have taught their offspring some basic rules for socializing such as not stealing, not touching what isn’t theirs and having a little self control. If the mums and dads want to set the kids free to run riot whilst they have a cuppa, there are centers catering for that where the meals areas are separated from the running and crying. Obviously Heather’s House of Cake will have to re-think the strategy and I hope that the message gets through to the obnoxious parents who stuffed it all up for everybody else. Alas, I doubt that it will change anything. Their brats will continue to misbehave wherever they go until intervention occurs around 16 years of age, when a visit to court determines whether or not they continue on their path to self destruction or they see the light and have a complete change of their ingrained behavior patterns.

Zan 5:16 pm 26 Oct 15

I am surprised that nobody has made any comment on this article. It seems that people are not interested in the behaviour of children who are not disciplined. Imho these undisciplined children turn out to be the undisciplined teenagers in the future creating problems with lack of self control on the roads and in areas where bars/drinking establishments abound.

People seem to be more interested in the money being spent on something that may be of benefit to future generations.

Rollersk8r 3:22 pm 26 Oct 15

Absolutely not excusing the behaviour – but what do you expect? A cafe catering to kids isn’t going to be treated with any more respect than a public pool or play centre.

If I had a cafe I wouldn’t want it overrun with small kids, nor would I want the mobs of older schoolkids who sit for hours and don’t buy anything.

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