Izzy (and Mama) Eat: The Gourmand Grows up...

Tales of Empty Nesting ...The Next Chapter

Monday, November 17, 2008

At What Age Can A Child Dine Out Alone?

One family in New York City, featured in this New York Times article, decided that 12 was the right age. What do you think?

When David Fishman's parents told him they would not be coming home for dinner, they asked him to pick up some takeout. Instead he asked their permission to dine out at a new restaurant in their Upper West Side neighborhood. As a budding foodie, he took the opportunity to critique the restaurant while the staff and other diners fawned over him.

I am not sure what to think about this. I suppose that a restaurant is a relatively safe place for a 12 year old and certainly not a bad place for a young boy to spend time alone. I certainly applaud him for his interest in eating well and his choice of restaurant.

The only issue I have is that he had to eat alone. Made me think of him as the modern-day latch-key kid, only worse as his parents couldn't even make it home for dinner. Having been a latch-key kid myself, and not one who would have or could have taken myself out to dinner, I clearly have my own biases here.



Anonymous said...

Hi izzy's mom, I'm a local reader and enjoy your blog very much.
I think I was in my 20s when I finally had the courage to go to a restaurant alone. The sight of a child eating alone would make me sad, no matter how much he seemed to be enjoying his meal.

SGG said...

I kinda feel like you do. Seems odd & sad that he had to fend for dinner on his own at that age, but I gotta give the kid credit for being able to do that at 12. I would've cringed at taking the elevator alone! He must be somewhat accustomed to the "freedom", I would guess? I'm hardly comfortable leaving my 13 yr old in charge for an hour at home. ;-)

Unknown said...

I don't know. Is it more or less sad than being home solo?

Sometimes parents work late. I think it'd look sad to me, but I think it'd FEEL like an adventure--as the boy thought, a step above hummus and t.v. alone.