I understand that you tried to do a good thing. I understand that you earn a living based upon the pleasant dining experiences of your patrons. I understand that a 'badly behaved' child makes your staff's jobs that little bit harder.
When you gave the family a $5 discount for dining with their 'well behaved child', you made their day, but you made my life that little bit harder, and heres how:
On a daily basis, I campaign and advocate understanding of the public for children with special needs. I challenge attitudes to children that are 'different', and whos behaviour might not fall into the range deemed 'good'. I try to make people understand that my child's behaviour might disturb them at times, I try to make them understand that my child cannot always control his behaviour, and I try to make them accepting of the differences that there are between children. I insist that my child, with his behaviours and quirks has just as much right to occupy the world as everyone else.
Your well intended gesture tells the world that everything I live for is wrong. It tells the world that 'normal' is good and therefore rewarded, and so my son, who is perfect in my eyes, is 'bad'.
You see, my son might have crawled under his chair if he heard a loud noise, he might have flapped his hands when he got tired of waiting for his meal. If your chef accidentally put the wrong food colour on his plate, he might have made some noise. Would we have gotten the $5 discount?
You could have entitled the discount 'Mothers day gift'; You could keep the $5 and provide crayons and colouring sheets for children to distract them from the wait for their meals you could have used it to provide a free dessert for children, that way they might have an incentive to try and get through their meals as quickly and quietly as possible....
What you did, defines 'good behaviour' as a target that it is impossible for certain children to reach. It rewarded parents, which means it blames other parents. It excludes millions of children all over the world and deters parents of children with unseen special needs from dining at your restuarant.
Mr Restuaranteur, my child has Autism, ADHD and ODD. My child diabilitites are unseen. Sometimes he cant control his behaviour. Are we welcome at your resutarant?
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