A cafe owner in Suffolk, England, sparked outrage on Facebook after she wrote a post threatening to discipline unruly children in her seaside establishment South Kiosk at Martello Park, Felixstowe.
Kim Christofi’s warning— which she has since deleted — was screengrabbed by several websites including Scary Mommy. “Can we make ourselves perfectly clear to all parents who are too scared to discipline their children about tantrum screaming,” Christofi wrote on Sunday, July 17. “We will give you five lenient minutes to ask the child to stop screaming and then we will ask the child ourselves. If that means you too having a tantrum about our having to speak to your child and hurling insults about not returning — that’s really okay with us. We have a duty of care to the rest of our customers.”
The rant quickly went viral, with hundreds of shares and comments, many of them from angry moms and dads. Though Christofi removed the post, the debate continued online. “Thank you for your kind and understanding post. I’ll make sure my family (including our autistic daughter) never darken your doorway,” one woman wrote on Facebook, while another praised Christofi’s policy: “Totally agree with the restaurant. If you’re not going to raise your own kids and discipline them… don’t be surprised when someone else does. Just because you’re willing to put up with your kids’ crap doesn’t mean that everyone else should.”
In a July 19 interview with the BBC, Christofi revealed that she stands by her controversial remarks. “What I said on Facebook I would say to the parent’s face,” she said. But she also stressed that the cafe is meant to be a family-friendly space, and would try to deal with the noisy child “sensitively.”
“I would try and comfort the child, give them a cold drink or a coloring book and ask them to draw me a nice picture,” she told the BBC. “That normally does the job, and peace comes.”
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