If a restaurant owner/manager threw my kids and I out of their establishment whenever my kids cried or acted up, we would not be welcome in many restaurants. I imagine the same goes for many other parents and their young children.

If you haven’t heard the story, here goes. A family dined at a diner in Maine and their 21-month-old cried. A lot. Some reports say as long as 40 minutes. It was so much that it enraged the owner, who reportedly had enough and walked over and screamed at the child.

It set off a social media frenzy. Some backed the owner of the restaurant, saying that unruly children combined with lackadaisical parents add up to a unacceptable situation for other diners.

Others, though, said the owner of the diner had no right to scream at the child. And to top it off, the owner apparently vented – with loads of profanity – on Facebook when the child’s mother fired back.

Where do you stand?

For me, I’ve been there. Maybe my kids haven’t cried or screamed for half an hour, but my children have certainly been out of control, rude, and disrespectful in a business. And it has probably annoyed or bothered other patrons. Like the time my children both kept leaning over our booth and hitting the diners who unfortunately sat next to us. My wife and apologized profusely, but we were still mortified at our kids’ behavior.

And that’s part of the issue. Our kids’ behavior is a reflection on us. Why can’t we control them, people might wonder. Well, sometimes they are simply uncontrollable. If I knew before we left the house that my kids were going to act like animals, I would take them to the zoo. But the majority of the time, we have no inkling.

Also, it’s the responsibility of the parent to discipline the child. Under no circumstances is it okay for someone else to threaten, scream at, yell at, or touch my children. However, I do believe that parents need to be sensible about this. If your child is acting up, nip it in the bud immediately. And if your threats and punishments don’t work, either remove your child from the situation or leave altogether.

We do owe others some courtesy. For instance, would you let your child scream and cry in church or some other place where quiet is expected? Use the 'What would I want?' test: Would you want to have your dinner or outing interrupted and ruined by a perpetually screaming child? Probably not. So, do unto others.

The bottom line for me is this: The owner of the diner had no right to scream at that child. There were more appropriate, mannerly ways to handle that situation. Calmly ask the parents to remove their child. Give the parents a few crayons and a coloring sheet. Offer them a table at a spot far removed from other customers, if possible. And the owner only compounded the issue by reacting in an ugly way on social media.

The parents of the child also bear some responsibility. If the reports are true that the child cried for that period of time, the parents should have dealt with it long before it became a bigger problem.

What can we take away from this? For starters, seek out restaurants that are family friendly. Also, make sure that you take enough snacks, drinks, toys, and other items to ensure that your child is occupied while you wait for your meal. It’s also imperative that you deal with your child in the moment and if you notice that your son or daughter is on the verge of a meltdown, work to calm them down in that moment.