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jan 15 2008

How to deal with rowdy kids? Travelers trade tips

Readers of this blog have offered some tips for travelers who are sitting next to children who are acting out.

If a parent is silent while their child is acting out, speak up.

I travel often and on a recent flight a little girl seated right in back of me continued to scream...and her mother was doing nothing about it. We hadn't even taken off!. After a while, I turned around and looked the little girl in the eyes and told her to stop screaming. Of course, she stared at me, an adult who scolded her! Her mother made excuses for her...that she was afraid. I told her to hold the little girls hand to ensure her that all was well. We never heard another peep from the little girl!—Eileen

If the child is related to you, threaten to deduct money from their "allowance."

Once, we had lunch at a nice Italian restaurant at Epcot and my son misbehaved. After a warning, we made him pay for his own lunch with his spending money. It made a big impression on him and all the rest. We still say, "Ask your brother what happens if you misbehave in a restaurant." We haven't had to make anybody else pay.—Sharon

Get the waitstaff involved.

Obnoxious behavior by any age should not have to be tolerated by the public. One method to decrease obnoxious behavior in a restaurant is to inform the waiter or manager that there will be no tip if the offending party is not dealt with.—Ray

Use positive reinforcement to prevent outbreaks of bad behavior.

I cannot tell you the number of times a random child in a restaurant or cafe has come up to me to show me a toy or so say, "hi" or whatever. You, parent, might think I should be delighted by your little rapscallion, but I am not. Compliment parents whose children are well-behaved.—Alyssa

Use restaurant comment cards to suggest that the prices on children's menus should jump after a certain hour of the night.

I have always asserted, that, if I owned a restaurant, my CHILDRENS' MENU would be double the adult's price— Charles

Feel free to offer your own ideas by posting a comment below. (If you disagree with any of the above tactics, speak up, too!)

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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