Sydney Caf closes childrens play area after parents’ refusal to control misbehaving kids

22 October, 2015 by
Aoife Boothroyd

A suburban Sydney caf says that it was forced to close its children’s play area following a spate of badly behaved customers who refused to clean up after their children.

Black Mocha Caf located in the North Shore suburb of Turramurra, announced via Facebook earlier this week that it had no option but to dismantle its children’s play area due to consistent, unruly behavior by children.

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In the post, the caf’s owners, Claudette and John Osterberg thanked the customers that respected the caf and its facilities, but said that the constant disregard and vandalism of the caf gave them no choice.

“Black Mocha is not a Crche, a play centre, your home, or an open park; it is a caf. Just because the caf provides toilets, a change table, playroom & a kids menu it, does not make it a kid’s caf,” the post reads.

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Examples of children’s behaviour include:

  • Children ripping books, breaking toys and drawing on the walls
  • Kids chewing and tearing open sugar packets and emptying them onto the floor, tables, chairs and carpet as well as grinding food into the carpet, books, walls and toys. 
  • Kids using furniture as trampolines and kicking fixtures and fittings. 
  • Kids running and screeching unsupervised around the cafe jumping on the furniture, screaming; just for fun and often encouraged by their parents. 
  • Kids knocking over hot tea and coffee, washing their hands in other patrons’ water glasses and taking food off other patrons’ plates.
  • Parents bringing in takeaway food to eat and using cushions as plates. 
  • Parents changing nappies on lounges, the table tops and the carpet in the kids play room and then placing dirty nappies on top of dining tables or leaving them in the play room.

Speaking with the Daily Telegraph, the Osterberg’s said that they were reluctant to make the decision.

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“It’s such a shame and we are really sad we had to do this,” said Ms Osterberg.

“The vast majority of parents look after their kids and the majority of kids are really good but some parents think kids can do whatever they want,” added Mr Osterberg.

Last year a caf in Newcastle found itself at the centre of a heated debate over childrens' place in coffee shops, following a “housekeeping” announcement it made on Facebook.

The owner of Newcastle's Little French Cafe expressed her discontent towards parents that let their children “run rampant, and annoy other customers” in her caf. The post was meet with a deluge of comments; some in support of the owner's views, while others took offence labelling the post “arrogant” and an “attack on parents”.