A woman has called out parents who let their children watch TV shows on phones while out at restaurants.

Sharing on the parenting forum Mumsnet, the mum said she did not think children needed to be glued to their phones while out for dinner and admits she ‘judged’ her friends for doing so.

The woman explained she had gone out to lunch with friends, and their children, to a slightly pricey restaurant with an amazing view of the beach.

“Which made it all the more surprising that as soon as we sat down, my friend and her husband handed their children (aged four and six) two phones,” the mum, who was there with her own three children, wrote.

“For the duration of the meal, the children sat zombie-like and watched Peppa Pig on the screens. I will admit, I judged.”

She went on to say that her children, aged eight, five, and three, sat through the short meal “without needing screens”.

“I talked to my adult friends and kept an eye on my children, pointing out stuff that was happening outside, large boats passing by, surfers, dogs,” she wrote.

“Am I right to think unlimited access to screens during a meal out is not right?”


Some people agreed that kids should not be watching things on phones while out at restaurants. But most actually thought it was completely fine, as long as the phones were put away once food was brought out, and the volume was down.

I think whatever works to get you some peace and quiet to enjoy your meal!

Share your comments below

  • Hopefully when the kids are older they can put down the devices, young kids can’t sit for long without entertainment


  • Everyone parents differently. Some people will buy some peace and quiet by giving a screen. I do this when I’m at the physio as there is nothing in his office to entertain a 2 and 4 yr old (ok well there’s a heap of entertaining things but nothing they should be touching). However, I also have a rule that we must be in the car for more than 30 mins before they get to watch a DVD. Until then they can look out the window. They never get a phone etc when out and about as we don’t carry one. Not that we would give it to our kids. But as I said each to their own!


  • Better than having screaming kids running around. Personally my kids can sit through ameal without devices but if your kids can’t then do what you can to keep the respectful for the rest of the diners.


  • My youngest has Down Syndrome and gets extremely unsettled and fearful in an unfamiliar surrounding like a restaurant. To be honest the best what I can do is bringing her tablet to play, as it’s something that is familiar and calms her down.
    We shouldn’t judge, but in the end we all judge to a certain extend. It all depends what we do with these thoughts we have.


  • We have a no device rule when we are out eating at cafes and restaurants. There is so much to enjoy that we just don’t need devices.


  • Its each parents choice, I usually try to take my kids to family friendly restaurants, but unfortunately this is not always possible, now they are alittle older 5/7 they can sit and draw/colour but I have used my phone on the odd occasion in the past, no one should judge.


  • I don’t think she should judge, I mean if the other parents didn’t give their kids a screen to watch would the kids have been crying and misbehaving essentially ruining the meal? And if they did, I am sure that this lady would complain about that too. Parents have to do what they have to do, you may not agree with it, but parents need to support each other, not tear each other down


  • I don’t think they should be offered but I will give my phone to my screaming toddler so I can have a meal in peace. In the end, don’t judge how someone else parents their child, you never know maybe they were heading off a screaming fit.


  • My niece and nephew have the same rules with the own children. They were banned from TV before they were given devices. They are not allowed to take devices into cafes etc. Besides being courteous, they are distracted and their meals go cold, then they don’t want to eat them.


  • Maybe they were trying to be mindful of the other diners and them having an enjoyable meal, I take things for my younger ones to do while out, they like drawing in my notebook the whole time not really much difference


  • I don’t think it’s good to judge. Obviously it’s not the best option, but maybe the parents just wanted a peaceful meal with friends.
    I know when I go out, I never plan to give my kid a device but I have used it when my kid got bored of just sitting and looking at the surroundings, not being able to play.


  • Ideally, no, but there are sitûations where it’s a god option.


  • If the parents are happy to do so then it is their choice!


  • People are allowed to parent differently to me. Even if you want to judge them, you don’t need to do it online.


  • People complain if kids are loud in rest and now they complain if they sit quietly watching a screen. You can’t win do whatever you want to.


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