Diner owner, under social media fire, defends yelling at 2-year-old to stop crying

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PORTLAND, Maine — The owner of a Maine diner says she’s not sorry for yelling at a 2-year-old child for crying in her restaurant because it got the girl to be quiet.

Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy’s Diner in Portland, is defending her actions after a backlash on social media among people who say they’ll never eat at the restaurant again.

Neugebauer wrote on Facebook that the girl had been crying for more than 40 minutes while her parents talked.

She told WCSH-TV that the parents ordered three full-sized pancakes for the child but ignored her, and claims they didn’t feed her after she was served.

She says she slammed her hands on the counter and told the girl to be quiet.

The mother of the child wrote on Facebook that anyone with young children should understand that crying is normal after waiting a long time for food.


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  • Holly

    I agree..more restaurant owners should do this..parents need to pay attention to their disruptive kids.if your waiting take the child for a walk around outside.. Not everyone wants to hear that,while the parents act as though child isn’t there….good job to the owner for letting the rest of your customers enjoy their food.

    • rlittleshug

      I think the restaurant owner’s action exhibited poor misguided judgement . The parents should have been the recipients of the owner’s disgust not the 2 year old child. Of course the baby stopped crying, out of fear. Children should not bear the brunt of adults irrational behavior, especially one as young as that toddler. The restaurant owner should be ashamed and the parents should be enraged, although they also, should have been more attentive to their child. Just saying!

  • Milly

    I’m a mother of two and…
    1. The owner definitely could have, and should have, handled the situation better as the child was not at fault, the parents were.
    2. I NEVER would have continued to sit in ANY public place if my child wasn’t capable of quieting down.
    3. Parents who let their child cry/scream for 40 friggin’ minutes in a restaurant, shouldn’t be parents.

    • Laura

      You said it best. It’s not the child, it’s the parents. I have 10 kids. I do not understand why parents think it’s okay to let their child scream for 40 minutes in a public place. It’s just plain RUDE on the parents part. That owner should have yelled at the parents not the child! People pay to go out to eat, have a nice quiet meal. If you are at chuck e cheese, different story.

  • The Dad Bod

    People keep saying that the restaurant owner “attacked ” the child, WHAT? She simply told the child to shut up, that’s hardly an attack! Her wording towards the parents were a bit tactless, possibly, but who knows how the parents of the child were speaking, behaving and their tone and speech to the restaurant owner too. So I’m sure the restaurant owner wasn’t the owner one who used less then perfect wording in this situation. I personally think the parents should learn from this that yelling at you’re child with a stern voice might be the parenting skill they are missing. Children need correction, not just tenderness. Yelling shut up is perfectly fine after 40 MINUTES (WHAT!!!!) of yelling and crying! Plus IT WORKED(S)!!!!!!

    • Beatrice

      Just the fact that anyone thinks the owner was wrong for telling that child to shut up when it’s been crying in a Public Resturaunt for any amount of time shows you that bad parenting last Generations! It’s never OK to let your child cry scream or yell in a restaurant teaching your child being ill mannered is OK should be Child Abuse limits their life

  • Tom

    Parents today need to keep their children under control they should have taken the child outside or home if it could not keep quiet.

  • Not Your Typical Mother

    It’s funny how everyone seems to forget that they were once a child themselves! The owner had no right to yell at that child, that is disrespectful to say the least! She should be glad that the parent’s only wrote a bad review on her Facebook page, because if she told my child to shut up, I’m pretty sure she would have thought twice…… three times before saying that to another child. I’m mean seriously it’s a kid for crying out loud (no pun intended)!

    • Bethi

      Not your typical mother, you unfortunately ARE what’s becoming increasingly typical in parenting behavior. That is to heatedly and immaturely only punish the last bad thing that happened. It wasn’t disrespectful for the parents to subject the other patrons to their child’s behavior? It wasn’t disrespectful to their own child to keep them in a situation where they were under stress instead of resolving the situation or removing the child for its own comfort and protection? You sound as if your solution would have been to shame and bully the owner. Wait, I thought we were all against bullying these days. Whatever happened to modeling behaviors like class and restraint and consideration for others as examples for our youth to follow?

    • Vicki

      She had every right to speak up, it’s her restaurant! It’s the parents responsibility to take care of their children and if they cannot do so, perhaps they shouldn’t be eating out. Sadly, parents like you, Not Your Typical Mother, seem to display an attitude of entitlement.

  • teach me a lesson

    Screaming kid in a restaurant for more than 5 minutes and parents no to sense to remove them? I vote for a trash compactor.

  • Becca Bedrin

    ok, from reading this , i agree with the owner of the restaurant. When my son was little, if he cried i would do the right thing and remove him, so that he did not disturb others. I wouldn’t be happy if someone left their child screaming in a restaurant while they ignored said child. i would have probably went up to them and asked them to please take the child out while he cried. maybe if this is happening they should leave the child home til he or she is old enough to go out to eat

  • Nina Talso

    It is amazing to me how people only become “parents” after someone else points out their childs bad behavior. As a shop owner, she had every right to tell that screaming brat to shut up….as long as she doesn’t touch the child it is within her rights as a business owner to control what happens in her business. If the parents don’t ever come in again its just as well….nobody wants to hear their kid scream and ruin their breakfast. The best place for an out of control child is at home….

  • Henry

    I have 2 kids. And thank God they never did like this big scenes like crying and stuff. But at times if they started it, i will get out of any place i was, until calm down. It is normal for a child to cry,but we have to understand that in a restaurant, thats the last thing u want to hear. Good job restaurant Owner

  • Amy F

    There is not enough simple courtesy in our culture. The comfort of one couple and a crying baby should not take precedence over a restaurant full of paying customers. The toddler was not wrong, just a toddler-unreasonable and difficult by nature. But her parents should have more respect for others around them when out in public. I have 2 children of my own and I have left restaurants, church services, and even a music concert out of respect for the rest of the public who were held captive to the screaming tantrums of my then toddlers.
    The restaurant owner may have been a little harsh, but after 40 minutes of hearing screaming while the parents simply ignore THEIR problem (and let it become other people’s problem), it is conceivable that such a reaction would occur. We all need to be responsible for our own, and be less of a burden to others

  • Audrey

    Any parent should understand that no one wants to listen to your child cry. Remove the child from the situation. How frustrating for all the other customers to have to deal with the parents lack of parenting

  • Denise Lehr

    I am sorry, but back in the day when my son was young if he even thought about crying or throwing a fit I took him out of there. Too many parents today are self involved with their own needs and wants. I have seen too many times where children are disruptive in stores, restaurants, and other public places. These parents do not tend to the needs of the children, they throw fits, scream, run through the ailse, Forty minutes is a very long time for a child to be crying if the story is accurate. If I am paying for a meal in a restaurant I want to enjoy my meal. I dont want to hear a child crying endlessly, running through the restaurant, or throwing a fit.

    • sweetie

      And the parents should have shown better judgement and shut their child up, who wants to hear crying for 40 minutes and you’re trying to have lunch/dinner. Sounds like they may be use to it so maybe they should eat at home with their crying child

  • Ecr

    This is why there should be more restaurants with adults only. They are popping up where I live. But guess what…parents of small children are complaining about that. You pay good money to enjoy your meal and you have a crying child. I have two children. They are adults now. I used to take them to Chucky Cheese. They can scream all they want to there. Some of these parents will let their kids scream until the child has a headache so they can enjoy themselves and forget everyone else. I agree with the owner but she should have told the parents either control your child or leave.

  • Dee Bai

    She did great I would have asked them to leave. Who wants to hear crying for 40 mins as a customer I would have left. Parents when you’re in a public place with your child/children it is your responsibility to make sure that they do not disturb others it is rude to let a child cry for that long. When you’re at home behind close doors you can let them rip!

  • Mary

    Regardless of the behavior of the child, the owner should have handled the situation in a more professional manner. Children cry. If it was that disruptive, then the parents were at fault and no amount of anger should have been taken out on the child. Especially since it was not her kid. For all of those who agree that it was right for the owner to direct her anger out on the child instead of the parents, then you are all what is wrong with this world. Complete garbage.

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