Diner owner taking heat after yelling at crying toddler

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Editor’s note: Screenshots of the Facebook posts have been included in this story. The posts include graphic language.

PORTLAND, Maine — The owner of a diner in Maine is getting national attention after an apparent altercation involving a family and their 2-year-old child.

Darla Neugebauer, the owner of Marcy’s Diner, apparently screamed at the child last week when the family was eating at the restaurant.

Tara Carson’s original post on the Marcy’s Diner Facebook page. The post has since been deleted.

Neugebauer told WCSH the child’s parents ordered three pancakes and then didn’t feed them to the girl, causing the child to cry loudly.

After multiple attempts to get the family to leave or to take the girl outside, the diner owner said she slammed her hands down on the counter and told the girl to be quiet.

The toddler’s mother, Tara Carson, wrote about the incident on the diner’s Facebook page.

Dozens of people responded to the post, some defending the diner owner and others demanding the diner apologize.

The post, which includes some graphic language, has since been deleted.

Neugebauer responded on Facebook and refused to backdown, saying, ” you are lucky I didn’t get really f***** nuts because being physical is not something I cower from.”

Marcy’s Diner responded on Facebook to the customer’s original post.

Despite the backlash on social media, Neugebauer is not backing down.

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

As the story has received nationwide attention, more people have come to the defense of Neugebauer and to proclaim their frustration with screaming children in restaurants.

One customer posted a comment on the diner’s Facebook page asking, “Why did you remove that post?! Kudos to the managers for setting that mom in place. So sick of parents not parenting.”

The couple, who was on vacation in the area, told WCSH they were upset with the entire situation.

A follow-up post from Marcy’s Diner in response to the backlash.

“I turned to my daughter and I was like ‘Listen, this is how I’m raising you not to be as an adult. Like, you will never be like this when you get older,'” Tara Carson said. “I felt helpless as a mom that, you know, I couldn’t do anything to help her, because I can’t explain why there’s crazy people in this world that behave like that.”

34 comments

  • This lady obviously has
    Sickening problems thinking she can talk to a child like that. Some parents may not be up to our standards- the restaurant owner shouldn’t judge look at the way she turned out her parents obviously did a really bad job of raising a violent bad mouthing rude and out of control adult.

    • Ray McDermett

      You are so wrong. You may have children who you let ruin other peoples dining time but I have great grandchildren and I do not allow them to scream, cry loudly or go around tables. If people cannot control their children, stay home or take them outside where no one has to watch or hear as you spank their behinds and get them to shutlup.

    • Lora Citizen

      EN, you and other parents like you, who think it is perfectly alright to let your children scream without considering the other patrons of the business, the business owner or their staff, are the ones that should stay at home, and not burden the rest of society with your rudeness, and lack of respect for others, who might be enjoying a rare meal out. Had it been me, I would have told you to leave, or called the police are reported you for child neglect, and trespassing. Yes trespassing! Once you are asked to leave, you are no longer welcome at the establishment. You are a problem to the other customers, and should have left when asked. Furthermore, you’re a lousy parent if you allow your child to act that way in public, or anywhere for that matter.

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  • Ray McDermett

    Good for that owner. I can’t stand to go into any restaurant and have to endure parents lack of training for their children and let them scream, cry and run around the tables, interrupting other diners to the point they are ready to leave. It’s sad that parenting has become so lax that people do not respect others around them who came to enjoy a meal and have to put up with those kinds of people. Keep up the good work Darla and let your good customers enjoy your establishment.

  • bob pearl

    you ask the parents nicely to either leave or have the child to quiet but if someone yells at my kid they get punched out simple as that and anyone that doesn’t agree, really doesn’t know how to be a parent, simple as that

    • Ray McDermett

      I have been a parent and raised two daughters and not once did I let them cry and scream in a restaurant. I took them out and corrected the situation. I am a great grandfather with 6 great grandchildren and if my granddaughter do not correct a disorderly child, I do. I never enjoy a meal that I have to listen to screaming, unorderly & crying children and I don’t blame this owner for yelling at the kid if if her parents would not correct their situation or LEAVE.

    • Lora Citizen

      I guess you didn’t read the whole story, because the parents were asked to leave, and just ignored the owner. Now if you are the kind of parent who lets their kid scream in a restaurant for 40 minutes, and refuses to leave when asked to do so, then the store owner does your job and silences the child, and you think you’d get away with punching the owner out? News flash idiot, you’d be wearing chrome bracelets, and be escorted to the back seat of a police cruiser, and your child would be in the custody of CPS. Sickening parents of today, think their kids can do anything in a place of business, with impunity!

  • Mel

    My kids are teens now, but when they were little i would never let them scream in restaurants or stores or anywhere it would disrupt other’s enjoyment. I’m tired of parents allowing their kids to wail while I try and enjoy my food. Shit, I’m paying to be there, excuse me for not wanting to listen to your kid scream. Go outside and teach your kid that crying doesn’t belong at the table. This patron was rude and I would have clapped as she left.

  • Sander

    if you are unable to control your kids stay at your own home,
    nobody wants their dinner to be ruined by crying,yelling or walking around kids.
    my parents didn’t take us to restaurants until we could sit and stay quiet,
    yelling at the kid was probably not the best move of the owner but when parents don’t
    correct their kids you ask for it……..

  • Adriana E.

    Both are clearly in the wrong. In what world is it right to deny a child food for FORTY MINUTES while eating yourselves? If the BABY (because at 2, that’s exactly what they are!) is hungry, of COURSE they will cry. Do you know what it feels like to be hungry? To have your stomach acids eroding the lining of your stomach? It hurts. Crying is expected. I would have been pissed as a store owner too, but the owner’s actions were just as wrong when the error was not the crying child but clearly the parents. PARENT YOUR CHILD. The owner should have made a comment to the parents about giving the child food, and if they refused, then uphold your RIGHT as a store owner and demand they leave. There was never a reason to degrade a child. It’s classless and pointless.

    • Lora Citizen

      No, Adriana, the business owner was not in the wrong, because she had already asked the family to leave if they couldn’t quiet their child, and they ignored her, and their daughter. The business owner had other patrons to consider, and I’m sure not one of them was shocked that she yelled at the child, which got results. The parents were the ones who were at fault here, for not tending to the needs of their child, and seeing to it that she got fed.

  • tammie

    Maybe IF the parents had actually done their jobs as parents & taken charge of their obviously bratty child disturbing the entire restaurant, this wouldn’t have been an issue. It is ridiculous that parents allow their children to act like brats, doing nothing about it, meanwhile disturbing EVERYONE around them! It’s VERY inconsiderate! It has nothing to do with other parents not being “up to our standards”…it’s common courtesy AND common sense. When the parents do nothing, it reflects on them & makes them look like bad parents to others because they aren’t good enough to even control their own kids!

  • romans1129

    I don’t allow my children to scream or act out anywhere but I also know it happens from time to time with kids. I would never talk to a kid that way mine or anyone else’s. That restaurant owner was out of line and anyone who applauds her is crazy too. There is a way to handle things and this just wasn’t it.

  • Dutch

    Everybody just settle down a second. I don’t own a child, nor do I ever want to. Truth be told I don’t ever, under any circumstances even want to know your children exist. Sadly, children do exist, and even more unfortunate people let them out in public. If you are one of the rare few that actually bring your children up with manners and respect…..thank you for doing what you are supposed to be doing. For the rest of you, your children are monsters, I mean real foaming at the mouth, screaming, should be tried as an adult monsters and most of you do zero to monitor their behavior….but that is your child, little Billy or Mauve or Treywanda is all yours and it is not my place to yell or put hands on your special little project. Just remember, there are other people around you, how would you like if I just jumped up, started running around asshole crazy yelling “blue is delicious” my guess is you wouldn’t care for it at all. So surprise! None of us care for it when your precious little pile does it either. All we happy, carefree citizens with no children ask for is mutual respect. Just watch your kids, keep their musings to an indoor voice and let them eat crayons at your table and not mine, is that to much to ask?

      • Dutch

        Hmmm, let’s see here, no name…..no picture, just a sad little comment from some cat lady or pedophile that lives in his mother’s basement. So does it make you feel tough to be a real keyboard warrior ninja? Hiding in the dark behind the safety of your monitor slinging insults and helpful life advice? Tell you what, I will take you and others of your ilk seriously when you stop hiding behind social media like cowards.

  • .

    So my child is extremely developmentally delayed and she sometimes has outbursts. Should I lock her up and never let her out? That owner had no right to ever yell at a child like that. If anyone ever yelled at my child like that they better watch out cause this mamma would not be happy.

    • O

      Before becoming a parent, I too took a hard stance about kids crying in restaurants. Now as a parent, I realize that kids cry for a reason and need to be attended to. Good etiquette in those situations is to take the child outside or re-direct them by providing them a snack or toy, iPad, etc. These parents in the story may have learned this lesson the hard way.

  • Libby

    Love her. My parents would have never let me behave that way…I just got “the look,” and that was enough for me. This is part of the problem these days, no discipline and no boundaries. The parents should have stepped in way before the owner had to yell. So she lost a customer or two, I bet she has plenty of locals that will be back.

  • Vida

    I have a 2.5 year old and sometimes going out is a challenge but I respect other people. If she cries I’ll try to make it stop if she continues I leave with her and we take turn eating or have our food to go. Saying that I would not allow AnyOne yell at my child I think the owner should have yelled at the parent ! They are the responsible ones not the poor kid that has no clue what’s going on !

    • O

      I’m with Vida here on that the owner should have addressed the parents and not the child. Hopefully the kid is not emotionally scarred because of this experience.

      • Fred

        She did address the parents…..and they ignored her. That is in the article. I guess she could have really damged the child emotionally and called the cops and had them removed……but that is not practical, and pointless. Offending the parents was a good thing…….if they won’t do the job parenting…and leave it up to someone else to do…..then they have no room to talk, or complain.

  • AriES

    I’m with the restaurant owner. I have experienced a similar occasion and I a
    HATE that some parents just act like if it’s not bothering anyone and get offended. Parent your kids…!!!!

  • Donna Thompsen

    I no longer dine with friends who have small children. Haven’t for years after two very awkward, embarrassing moments with clueless parents who sat and tried to converse as their “angels” screamed at the top of their lungs in a restaurant.

    I intervened both times. And both times I was told, I “don’t undertsand” children.

    I replied that I understand decent, civilized society.

    I now contact the manager and ask that the child be removed or my meal comped as I refuse to eat with a screaming monster. It just ruins the dining experience.

    I’ve had at least 3 meals comped, but usually the family leaves.

    • Fred

      I have four kids. When they were little, if they got out of hand…..I would spend a lot of time in the car with them….So I wouldn’t bother the other customers. I was raised that children are seen and not heard. I raised my kids the same way. I understand kids…..and I also understand common courtesy.

  • Phil T.

    I like this Marcy gal and would finitely patronize her restaurant!

    Horrible children–the spawn of horrible parents–are unbearable and shouldn’t be allowed in public.

    Hey, idiot parents, get a clue!

  • Stephanie Hazeem

    After seeing Marcy’s response, I know who is at fault in this situation. How trashy and unprofessional. I own a business and never in a million years would I talk to a customer like this, particularly in front of other possible future customers. This is one thing I hate about some small business owners. They act like rude entitled jerks to their customers. I’m seen more than my fair share of mentally deranged ones too. I don’t know why people who don’t give a shit about people and inconveniences choose to have a business.

    • Fred

      Yeah…..and as a customer….I am entitled……Im paying for it, and I chose not to hear someone elses screaming kid. They didn’t hear mine…..why…..because I had common courtesy to remove my child and myself to not disturb them. So if you let a customer do what these people did…….You can kiss money goodbye. What they did as parents was unexceptable. What they did was selfish, and showed that they feel they are entitled to make everyone elses experience miserable. My comment to them is…..time to step up and put your big person pants on and be a parent.

    • Donna Thompsen

      You won’t be a successful “business owner” if you allow that type of behavior in your place of business.

      You screech about never talking to a customer like that, but what about the OTHER customers? You know, the ones suffering due to your incompetence?

      Please let us know what business you own or operate so I can scratch it off my list.

      The only “business owner” that comes up under the name of “Stephanie Hazeem” is an author of erotic literature in Portland, Oregon. If that’s you, well…

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