Restaurant owner yells at screaming child, world yells back

The feisty owner of an American diner is unapologetic, after she yelled at a screaming child in her restaurant. The adult-on-child confrontation has prompted a social media storm, with both lovers and haters weighing in on the debate.

Darla Neugebauer, owner of Marcy’s Diner in Portland, told of her frustration after customers ordered pancakes for their two-year-old daughter, but didn’t feed them to her – which in turn made her cry loudly. Darla told television reporters how the situation soon spiralled:

“I listened to the child scream for probably close to 40 minutes. (I) went over with boxes and asked them to either package up the goods for everyone to leave or if they would just take the child out. And they acted like I had three heads. I slammed my hands on the counter and said, ‘This needs to stop’,” says Ms Neugebauer. “She (the child) looked at me, and she stopped.”

Darla Neugebauer

A complaint was later posted on the diner’s Facebook page by the child’s mother, Tara Carson. It read:

“The owner is an absolute lunatic and screamed in the face of my almost two-year-old child because she was crying… You have a problem with a child crying then you are not suitable to run a business.”

“If it bothers you so much you should have spoken to me and not traumatised my child by screaming in her face. May karma bite you in the a**.”

marcys diner 2

Tara later told local television station WCSH-TV that the encounter had left hers stunned.

“I think I was just in shock because I’ve never seen behaviour like this before and we’re like ‘Are you really yelling at a child right now?’ And she’s like ‘Yes, I am’. She needs to shut the hell up and go,’” she says.

But the diner owner isn’t saying sorry. Take a look at what she posted on Facebook the next day.

marcys diner

“I might have used poor judgment. I wouldn’t say I was sorry because it stopped. When things stop, it’s usually a good thing.

“Life’s full of choices and you’ve got to live with all of them,” she said. “I chose to yell at a kid. It made her shut up, which made me happy. It made my staff happy, it made the other 75 people dining here happy and they (the family) left. They may never come back, and other people may not come in — their loss, really.”


The reaction from social media has been mixed. Some parents are supportive of Ms Neugebauer.

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Support has even come from as far as Australia:

“Hi from Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. You have just done what everybody else has, at one time, wanted to do and I, personally, thank you for standing up. The parents of said child need a reality check.”

While others have been a little more diplomatic:

“1. Everyone involved here sounds like a NON WINNER.
2. Babies and toddlers aren’t robots, sometimes they yell and scream and flip out and we’re all just gonna have to suck it up.
3. Don’t yell at kids. There are other ways to diffuse the situation.
4. Parents: Bring snacks for your kids if they/re really starving while you wait for your order.
5. When the order DOES come, FEED them. Ugh.”

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Despite pressure from around the world, Ms Neugebauer is sticking by her no-nonsense stance:

“Wow! Who knew calling out s****y parenting made you a bully?,” she says on Facebook. “Whatever. For the record! I’m a foul-mouthed b***h with a short fuse! Sarcastic, blunt, brutally honest and real…the fact is MY DINER….MY RULES. The only thing I am sorry for is that child has to grow up with such terrible parents I have a lot of great kids that eat here…..sometimes they do have a bad day and mom or dad takes them outside no one enjoys dinning with screaming of any kind…..and after 40 min of her, 2 minutes of me…peace was restored!”

(via the Herald Sun)

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