Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The "Brat Ban" is Catching On!
According to this article in Shine (on the Parenting page, no less), the "No Kids Allowed" movement is catching on with a variety of businesses. FINALLY, it appears that businesses are starting to take notice of the formerly untapped treasure trove of childfree and childless customers - many of whom have disposible income to spare and are aching to dine, travel and shop in peace and quiet. Hear that businesses? Cha-Ching! $$$$$$$$
Bratty children in public places has always been a sore spot for me - in the same way that smoking, shouting, talking loudly on cell phones, farting and other ill behaviors have been. It's not the fault of children, who I equate with wild animals - creatures who operate on impulse and base desires and need to be trained in order to behave in a civil manner. The fault lies with the overly-permissive parents who not only allow their children to behave like obnoxious, out of control, screaming apes, but in many cases encourage the behavior by laughing, snapping pictures or even worse, ignoring their children.
And then we have the businesses who - for far too long - have been obsessed with being "family friendly" to the point of coddling misbehaving families by turning a blind eye to their bad behavior, regardless of how it impinges on the enjoyment of their other customers. I have watched in horror as children have run around in upscale dining areas, played tag, and in one case, sat and watched a young girl standing and jumping on her dining room chair all through dinner while her parents and business management ignored her and never once told her to sit down.
To the parents who react with, "You don't have kids so you have no idea what it is like! It is impossible to keep them still and quiet in public places!!", I say this: if you cannot control your children, KEEP THEM AT HOME until you can train them to behave. Don't assume that because you think your bratty, noisy kids are cute and "just being kids" that fellow customers feel the same way. When your kid is jumping up and down on his restaurant chair and shouting "pants on the ground!!!" while mooning his sister, don't look over at me with that "Aw shucks, isn't he just so darned cute?!!?", or the even more pathetic look of resignation and defeat, like, "Oh well ... what can I do?" You can do a lot. As mentioned above - STAY HOME. OR if you really insist on taking your children out to nice restaurants or onto airplanes, or other public places where people expect a peaceful experience, train your kids first on how to behave properly. Here's an idea - say no. How about, "Sit down and keep quiet?" How about removing your screaming child from the restaurant the minute he starts crying, instead of allowing his caterwalling to go on endlessly, ruining everyone else's dinner?
Seems like common sense to me, but what do I know?
At any rate, I hope the Brat Ban truly is an idea that is catching fire because it is long overdue, especially in the current climate of overly-permissive childrearing that seems to have taken ahold of our culture with a death grip.