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.

50 comments:

Karyn said...

I read this article last night. I don't like how it leans towards painting people who desire child-free spaces as evil child hating monsters. This line especially bothered me-

"When did kids become the equivalent of second-hand smoke? Blame a wave of childless adults with money to spare."

If wanting to enjoy a meal in a nice restaurant in peace and quiet makes me a horrid evil monster, then so be it, I guess.

The Pint said...

It wasn't a bad article giving an overview of a seemingly new economic trend, until we get to this gem at the end:

"When did kids become the equivalent of second-hand smoke? Blame a wave of childless adults with money to spare."

Right. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with the waves of entitled parents bringing their misbehaving spawn for us to coo over and can't be bothered to teach them basic manners, like not screaming, running around a restaurant, pulling shit off store shelves and generally not acting like brats.

And yet once again, the childfree are painted as child-hating, grumpy elitists who have no sympathy for all the hard work and sacrifices that poor widdle parents have to make in order to raise children. Clearly, we don't want anyone with kids to go out and enjoy their lives like the rest of us, because asking them to at minimum make an honest attempt to have their children behave in public is too much of an imposition.

LoveofMuffins said...

Here, here.

Trisha R said...

When I was a kid, I never went to fine dining restaurants. I never went to Starbucks. I never went to bars, athletic clubs, company Christmas parties. No, I was home. Ever so often we went out to eat at kid-oriented places like McDonald's and Friendly's. Other than that, we stayed home. I grew up knowing that there were adult places and kid places. I was not allowed everywhere, and I was expected to behave in public. Things have definitely changed, and not for the better...but kids have not changed. They still need to be directed, trained and disciplined. What is WRONG with our generation of parents?!?!

lauracarroll said...

Indeed--movie theaters is another arena that cf and parents alike enjoy a kid-free, or parent supervised, non-disruptive experience: http://lauracarroll.com/2011/07/movie-theaters-smart-about-the-kid-factor/
Laura http:laviechildfree.com

Ang said...

What is wrong with them is that they choose to have kids, but then are unwilling to make life changes. Kids require that parents stay home most of the time and hire babysitters when they choose not to stay home. But today's parents want to pretend like their lives haven't changed, and they think their children are (or should be) welcome everywhere.

Unknown said...

"What is WRONG with our generation of parents?!?!"

Because the prevailing attitude is that children are individual, special snowflakes gifted by angel farts from above. So the parents revolve their lives around the children because it's all about them (the kids) - when it actually should be the other way around. Parents are supposed to be the authority figure, but god forbid their little fragile hearts hear the word "no" - it will scar them for life!

Parents are afraid to be a parent these days. What they forget is that children require guidance, discipline and routine. And that not everyone thinks their kids are precious, or a genius, or the best thing ever. Hence the parent entitlement that runs rampant these days.

Angie said...

I am mostly in agreement with your post, and I have children. lol.

My issue is this....some of us who have children DO control them. So, like someone else said (I don't remember if it's a comment on this post, or on the article), if a child is being disruptive, then management should remove them, and stick by that rule. That goes for anyone being disruptive, in my opinion. I've been to some restaurants and movies where the adults there were being more rude and disruptive than my 3 kids ever thought about being, but it doesn't make it okay just because they're adults.

While I wouldn't really be bothered if there were some restaurants I couldn't take my kids to (because, believe it or not, I DO love me some "big people" time with my husband!), I would have some issues if it started to span over to grocery stores and places like that. I am a stay at home mom, and I don't have daycare or babysitters, and, gosh darn it, we have to eat! So I have to grocery shop, and sometimes that just doesn't fit into the perfect little space of time that my husband is home from work or I have a babysitter. BUT, I always make my kids behave, and if they don't (which, let's face it, DOES happen sometimes,even to the best of us...once again, even adults...which to be totally honest, bothers me just as much, if not more, than a badly behaved child. The adult is responsible for themselves and definitely knows better!)then they are disciplined (and not loudly in the middle of the store, making it worse for everyone around me, but taken out of the situation and dealt with)and are not allowed to continue acting that way.

I think it really a matter of everyone being respectful of the people that they share this world with, no matter their age. I just have some issues with an entire group (i.e. children) being automatically deemed as loud, disruptive and obnoxious. Fairly recently my husband and I were out to eat with our kids (aged 8, 4, and 4 at the time)and they sat there quietly chatting with us and telling us about their day. As we were eating our dinner, a couple (without children) stopped at our table to tell us how lovely, polite and well-behaved our children were. So it is possible, and it made me give a sigh of relief that not EVERYONE in the restaurant was staring us down like we were horrible for wanting to go have a nice meal together as a family. (Just in case you wonder, the restaurant was a Red Lobster. I would not, however, take my kids to somewhere like Hereford House or Cheesecake Factory. I do agree that there are places that just aren't as good to take a family. All I'm asking is that people give those of us with small children a little bit of a break, and wait until they've actually witnessed bad behavior before making a judgement on us based solely on the age of my children!)

I do also agree with another person who commented...parents are afraid to be parents anymore. They want to be their child's friend. Which is not our job. I love my kids, and I don't want them thinking I'm a big meanie, but I would be doing them no favors if I allowed them to behave however they wanted. I am trying to raise them to be productive members of society, which will not happen if you parent like that.

By the way, if you're wondering how I, a mother of 3, came across a blog about NOT having children....I randomly read something online about a "brat ban", and googled it to see if it was real, because I had never heard of it. :)

Katie said...

as happy as I am about this, I really wish that article hadn't been written. My Facebook and Google+ streams were abuzz this morning with parents totally affronted by the "disturbing trend" of children not being allowed in "public spaces" and making exaggerated claims like "how can my child be socialized if he's NEVER ALLOWED out of the home?!?"

*sigh*

Why do people get so emotional about this? It's like they're DETERMINED to be offended. They set up childfree as child HATERS and even when we freaking AGREE with them on certain issues (what parent doesn't want some me-time, some adult-time?!?) we're still horrible villans who want to eat all the babies.

Grr. Had to vent. Thanks for providing the space for it.

Childfreeeee said...

Angie, I am in agreement with you that ALL obnoxious people should be banned from restaurants! Wouldn't that be great!? There are plenty of obnoxious adults who ruin the experience for everyone with their loud talking, cell phone use and other ill behavior, so I hear ya.

I also applaud you for controlling your kids and teaching them how to be well-behaved in public. Sadly, parents like you seem to be the exception these days. I hate to sound like an old fart but "when I was young" you just didn't see this much ill behavior of children in public places. Most kids would not DREAM of it because their parents would put a stop to it immediately.

I am not sure restaurants should ban all children, but they should have rules that anyone who is causing a disruptive experience to others will be asked to leave. HOWEVER, I think maybe for fine dining establishments, it would be fair to ask people to leave the young kids at home. Even quiet kids can be distracting and sometimes people just need to have an elegant, romantic, adult experience.

Rhona said...

BRAVO!!!!! I have always thought that parents who ignore their naughty brats to be the worst. I remember going out with a friend and her daughter making a scene. I was soooo embarrassed and my friend totally ignored what was happening. If I could have run out of the 'family' restaurant I would have. I hope that Toronto adopts this "no kids" thing and there are many restaurants and cafes and movie theatres etc. who jump on this bandwagon. I literally have to hold in my growls when I am at a theatre and stupid kids are making noise or kicking my seats. I am sick to death of looking away when kids look at me doing something apparently "cute" and expect me to comment. Worst: the parent smiling at me like their kid sooo cute. NO! I can go on and on but I will stop here. I need to see more brat free establishments in Canada. Ok, off to read the article.

Rhona said...

Ok, just read the article and really, I could care less abt the obvious opinion of the writer against childfree-lovers. Honestly, people who don't like this new evolution can kick rocks! I could care less, I just want this to implemented like... everywhere. The thing is, there will never actually be "childfree" places everywhere so parents should calm down. We deserve a few hours of peace and quiet and no snot nose kids around so I am all for this. People who don't like it and think we are mean.....I could care LESS!

Angie said...

I totally agree. :) I love my kids to pieces, and they're great kids, but since I am a stay-at-home mom who also homeschools them, I definitely enjoy those nights when my husband and I can go somewhere nice to eat, and I can actually converse with him without being interrupted for a potty break, and can eat my food while it's hot! I'm not complaining, because I chose to have kids, and I chose to have them with me all the time, but, like any job (which parenting is DEFINITELY a job!), it's just nice to have a break now and then. I think it also helps you to come back and appreciate them even more, because you're fulfilled in all the areas of your life, not just one. :)

Sarah-L-B said...

A friend of mine works in a VERY expensive, high-end shop and the other day some idiot came in (2 min before closing!), became utterly absorbed in trying on coats and let her two kids run riot. I was there, I saw the whole thing. They stuck white-tack to the mirror, soiled it with messy fingerprints, ran around the shop while their ignorant mother did nothing. I wanted to scream at her!

Bratzy said...

when I was a kid (I'm 29 so not ancient) I wouldn't have dared misbehave in public or my mother would have had me home so fast my head would be spinning. I was taught the difference between right and wrong, manners and how to behave in public.

The vast majority of kids I see today walking around shopping centres, cinemas, wherever, seem to have no concept of this. And I'm talking about teenagers too not just young children. I sometimes wonder what happened so drastically between my childhood and the childhood of someone who is say 14 now. There's 15 years difference but it might as well be light years.

I think a lot of the problem is that before kids were treated like kids...something most people had and could have. Nowadays parents get on like they're the only person to have ever had a kid and like their kid is something special. They want to let the kid express itself and be creative and all this other guff, but won't discipline or parent the kid.

Which makes for a load of screaming, ill-mannered, badly behaved children out and about. Yet people wonder why others don't want to have to put up with children in public places *rolls eyes*

babycakes51089 said...

The Pint: I don't have anything to say because you have said everything so perfectly.

I.am.free said...

When I read articles about restricting children, I'm always amazed at how some parents react as if their children are suddenly not allowed to be anywhere in public ever again. Picking on a few of the examples in the article -- if a theater has one child-free movie time, or a store has one block of child-free shopping time, or a select number of restaurants do not allow children, that still leaves most of the rest of day and most of the rest of the establishments open and available to children. It's not as if people with children will never have somewhere to go with their kids.

And regardless of age, we are not all allowed to go every single place we may desire. As a woman, I'm not allowed in the men's locker room. Under 48" tall? You cannot ride certain roller coasters. Adults, don't you dare loiter in or around elementary schools at your leisure (heck, the schools lock us adults out these days). It's just a part of life that not everyone belongs everywhere at all times.

Spectra said...

When I was a kid, my parents expected us to behave in any store with "fragile" objects so we wouldn't break anything. They expected us to behave at restaurants (including McDonald's and Hardee's and other fast food places) and if we DID go to a nice restaurant, we knew we had to be quiet and behave. My parents made sure we didn't disturb other diners. But not every parent is like that, so when my husband and I go out to eat, we go to places that aren't "family style" places so there aren't as many kids around. Nothing ruins a dinner faster than having some snot-nosed toddler come up to you and try to spill your drink. Yet, that makes ME the bad guy because I don't adore your kids. Although, even most of the parents I know like going places where kids aren't allowed.

Caspian said...

There's nothing that makes me more angry than self absorbed mommies who think their kids are the center of the world...also, the fact that every fuckin woman on earth feels that she is entitled to have as many kids as she wants no matter how fuckin ugly she is or how overpopulated this damn earth is...I cant wait until 2012 and i can see their terrified faces as they realize their childrens futures will contain nothing but blackness and death

Harvey Requiem said...

Anyone remember that Simpsons episode that essentially demonized the childfree? I love Simpsons usually, but childfree people were being depicted as monsters for not wanting to go to a nice restaurant and have someone's badly behaved kid throw spaghetti at them, so the restaurants took the eeeviillll approach of "sections" for people who brought kids vs. people who didn't. And so the people who insisted on bringing kids were stuck in a single section with food being thrown and kids running around like animals behind a fence, while the people who had come to have a nice romantic adult evening were in their own section--except it was more portrayed that it was "childfree vs. childed" rather than the more reality-based "bringing kids/badly behaved kids vs. not bringing kids" and completely ignored the fact that people with kids sometimes want a quiet night out. Who wants to go to the trouble of getting a babysitter for your kids so you can have a nice, quiet romantic night out with your SO, only to have to deal with someone else's kids bad behavior/puking/pooping/etc?

And this "segregation" was portrayed as the greatest and most evil discrimination and injustice in the world--that other people not be forced to deal with your kids' running, screaming, food-fighting bad behavior is, apparently, a grave violation of parental rights. I guess the childed have a RIGHT, DAMMIT, to force their kids' inherent "specialness" and "cuteness" in its fullness on everyone else in every single vicinity, to the exclusion of anyone else's rights.

I usually love Simpsons, but that episode was pure bull, typical family-worship ignoring the actual issues so it can pretend it's being "persecuted".

And I love how that scene pretty much shot their own point in the foot--even as they try to portray the claims of the childfree as evil lies of child-haters, they prove those claims to be true as they portray all the kids running wild in the restaurant. And I am still trying to figure out how anyone could portray this as an injustice. Do you have an intrinsic right to force other people to endure your children's terrible behavior, including (as portrayed in the episode) the right to ruin their hair and nice clothes with thrown food? Behavior that would be illegal and arrestable in many cases for an adult--and will be, when your little animals reach adulthood? If you think the answer is "yes", you need professional help because you are a sociopath. End of story.

Dogsledder said...

But...I thought that 2012 meant that there would be a shift in well, I can't remember now but it wasn't all icky blackness and stuff. Wow. I'm disappointed and it's Friday-thanks meany poopypants. ;)
That being said, there is a reason that restaurants and other places are making these rules.
Let me repeat the operative phrase here: There is a reason.

Katie said...

Caspian--"ugly women"?

Seriously?

bikegirl said...

I think this "brat free" trend is SO AWESOME!! It makes me happy to see that there is finally a backlash against parents who let their kids run around like wild animals, and don't bother to discipline them. And let's face it - that's most parents these days.
We've had to put up with badly behaved feral kids for far too long. Well behaved kids are few and far between.
If parents had bothered to discipline their kids so that they behave themselves in public, this wouldn't be happening.
And for all of the whiny parents who think that this means they'll never be able to bring their kids out in public again, most places are still disgustingly kid-friendly. A few places have started to not allow brats, and you whiny bitches think it's the end of the god-damn world. Grow up!

Deer in the Lights said...

It goes so much deeper than just kids. How many times do you see "adults" acting badly? From cutting ahead in the grocery line, because they just "have a few things", or pushing a cart full through the 15 items or less lane. How many use someone's handicapped pass illegally, because they are lazy, or have a nice car? This attitude that rules of common respect for others "doesn't apply to me" can be perceived and followed by youngsters, which keeps the problems growing. Ever seen Idiocracy? We are headed there.

redwings19 said...

amen, bikegirl!

we tried to go out to a nice diner on our anniversary. we ended up at 3 places just to find a relatively quiet place to eat! kids kicking the back of our booth (after we asked to be seated away from kids), and a screaming contest between toddlers were some of the highlights.

i know plenty of parents who make an efforts. i know an equal number of parents who do nothing. it drives me bonkers.

more often than not we just stay home and watch movies, eat great meals, and "spend time". our places is a haven from people behaving stupid (at all ages).

hell, my dogs are better behaved than some of these parents and their "precious little tax deductions"!

bikegirl said...

Deer in the lights said: "Ever seen Idiocracy? We are headed there."

Yes, I've seen it, and I completely agree. There are scientific studies that show that the more intelligent someone is, the fewer children they'll have, and we all know that the stupid people are breeding like rabbits, either because they're too stupid to know what birth control is, or too stupid to know how to use it correctly. I started looking into it, because I know that intelligence is partly genetic. I found a study that showed the the world's IQ is declining.
I wrote a post about it. http://alifewithoutkids.blogspot.com/2011/07/are-we-heading-for-idiocracy.html#comments

Temujin said...

I'm an "offendedness" libertarian -- I think everyone has an equal right to feel offended about anything they want to. Parents have a right to feel offended about a business being closed to children. I have a right to feel offended by unsupervised screeching in my ear as I try to enjoy my dinner.

What should offended parents do with their feelings? Organize themselves and create their own businesses where they can make any kiddie/non-kiddie rules they want to. The way I see it, this is a business decision, pure and simple. In the meantime, other businesses get to decide for themselves.

Sorry, pro-natalists. You don't get to have the "it takes a village" privilege AND private property rights. If I can't tell you how to raise your children, you can't tell me how to run my business.

I think businesses are waking up to the bottom line. People are having fewer children, the numbers of childfree are growing, and there's a growing demand for quiet places. Just take a look at all the magazine ads for relaxing spas -- peace, quiet, not a child in sight. There's money to be made in making places childfree. I hate to confess this, but I would be willing to pay a little extra for a little more guarantee of peace and quiet.

I wonder how many of those business managers making these decisions are themselves parents? I'm guessing quite a few -- if there's blame to go around, let's save some for parents, too

HopeKaminsky said...

This is disgusting. my child has autism and cannot control himself at times. We are good, hard working, dedicated parents who still would like to be able to eat as a family in a nice restaurant. This is agism which is illegal and I will be contacting my local politicians. It does not mean you are a bad parent if your child ACTS LIKE A CHILD. If you adults would like child free zones go to a bar, pub, or 5 star restaurant.

This is so sad I cannot beleive I am reading all of the nasty comments. Children scream, cry, throw tantrums-that is unpreventable sometimes. As a mother, daughter, and wife I cannot beleive that this is even being discussed.

We have plenty of disposable income as well - just because we are parents does not mean we are low brow, trailer park trash. I have my doctorate, my husband is an engineer and all we receive is judgement from everyone because of our sons behaviour.

You should be ashamed for trying to prevent a little boy or ay little child from experiencing a night out with the family because you desire quiet time when you are out in public.

Unknown said...

I am all for banning kids who can't behave. Not because I don't like kids but because the parents should teach them manners and in most cases they do not.
The same goes with bringing kids to R rated movies during a 10:00pm show and letting them do whatever they wanted because the parent doesn't want to pay for a sitter.
You also got people who chat and text during a movie and then argue back when you tell them to please put the light out on their cell phone.
It all comes down to Manners.

bikegirl said...

HopeKaminsky said: "If you adults would like child free zones go to a bar, pub, or 5 star restaurant."

Except that you can't get away from screaming brats there, either. Most parents these days have no concept of some places being inappropriate for children.

"It does not mean you are a bad parent if your child ACTS LIKE A CHILD."

Acting like a child is one thing, but running around, screaming at the top of their lungs, throwing things on the floor, knocking people over, etc. Are not just "acting like children". That's acting like a spoiled brat. The parents are the problem, because they just stand there doing nothing while their child acts like a hellspawn.

"We have plenty of disposable income as well - just because we are parents does not mean we are low brow, trailer park trash. I have my doctorate, my husband is an engineer and all we receive is judgement from everyone because of our sons behaviour."

If you explain to the people giving you dirty looks that your child is autistic and they still give you dirty looks, then they're assholes. I have a cousin who has an autistic son, and I know that most of the time, there's nothing you can do about their behaviour. People aren't criticizing parents of children with autism here. We're criticizing the people with normal kids who let them run around like feral animals and don't do anything about it, and don't teach their children any manners.

"You should be ashamed for trying to prevent a little boy or ay little child from experiencing a night out with the family because you desire quiet time when you are out in public."

If parents would teach their children how to behave properly, there wouldn't be a problem. When kids run around the restaurant almost making servers spill hot food or drinks, *that's* a problem. It's a big problem. Imagine the shitstorm if a kid ran into a server and made them spill something hot on the kid. It would have been the parents' fault for not controlling their kid, but the restaurant would get the blame for it.

Childfreeeee said...

Hope, I think you missed the point. We are not talking about children with autism. We are talking about "normal" children whose parents let them run around like wild animals and do nothing to control them. This has become an epidemic in the last 10-20 years and is the reason restaurants are beginning to institute "brat bans".

We all were kids at one point. When I was a kid, it was understood that we were not to scream, yell, fight, run around, climb on tables and chairs or make any racket of any kind at restaurants. And how did we know that? Because our parents TAUGHT us those rules and enforced them. There were consequences to ill behavior, and the consequences were things we did not like, so we controlled ourselves.

The reason there are "brat bans" now isn't because children have changed. It's because parents have changed and have become too lax and inconsiderate of other people. They steamroll through the public sphere with an inflated air of entitlement that is beyond belief and expect that the seas should part, and the red carpet should be rolled down when their circus comes to town.

5-star restaurants are nice (when we can afford them), as are pubs and bars, but if we want to eat at a regular restaurant - if that's what we are in the mood for and what our budget allows - I should be able to do that and have an enjoyable experience without having to endure chaos and constant disturbances from rude, out of control customers, whether they be adults or children.

Karyn said...

If an adult acted the same way that some children do (running through a restaurant and screaming their heads off) they would be asked to leave. Why should unruly disruptive children be treated any different? Is it "because they don't know any better"? Well it's my opinion that if said brat and his lazy parents are kicked out of a few eateries, maybe eventually they'll do their jobs as parents and teach him TO know better.

To the obviously bored mommy who came in here two months after this was posted and tried to tell us how horrible we all are and immediately pulled out the disabled card - I have NO issues with children that actually can't help it. And YES sometimes children will have meltdowns. But you can tell the difference between the parents who are actually trying, and the ones who don't give a crap and have their face buried in their iphone while their child dances on top of a table at a coffee shop. I don't hate children "simply for being children" I hate the parents that are too lazy to lift a finger to help their child learn the appropriate way to behave in public, and then expect the entire world to bend over backwards to accommodate the insufferable brat they've created, and throw a giant hissyfit when anyone says anything to the contrary of "what a precious angel. Look at her destroying that merchandise."

Temujin said...

In response to HopeKaminsky:

I don’t think parents really want to end ALL age discrimination, just the kinds they don’t like. Parents and children also BENEFIT from ageism, but I don’t see a lot of outcry against that. “Age blindness,” if such a thing is possible, would be a disaster for parents and children alike.

Do you really want the economy to have no ageism? Fine.

That means children pay the same admission price as adults.

No separate menus for kids.

Unaccompanied children can see any movie they want to. (This would be bad for the childfree as well.)

Kids of any age can have credit cards, order any beverage they want to, and buy any magazine they want to.

Also, no juvenile justice system, children will always be tried as adults, no child protective services, and no separate laws for minors and adults.

Bad behavior by children is treated the same as bad behavior by adults.

As for the right to eat out at a restaurant with your family, there are no absolute rights. Every right you enjoy is bordered by other people’s rights. If there is such a thing as a right to go to any restaurant you want with a child, then there is an equal or greater right for a business to refuse service to disruptive people. By the same token, there is a limit to my “right to quiet in a restaurant.” I can’t demand that everyone else maintain absolute silence while I dine.

It sounds more than a little heavy-handed to tell me to be ashamed for discussing something on a blog. And to say it’s terrible to even have this discussion? Sounds a little totalitarian to me.

Leanne said...

There is such a fine line there and the waters surrounding it are sooooo muddy!

I'm a parent. I have two kids, one teenager, one toddler. Both at some point have lost their marbles temporarily in public. It happens sometimes. Even now, my teenager doesn't always act like a grown up, because well, she's not a grown up yet. It's too much to expect a small person to have such self control at all times. Hell, most adults don't always have the kind of self control with emotions and impulses that we demand of our children.

That said, YES! It is MY job to parent her and help her regain her self control or completely remove her from the situation.

I honestly believe that most of these out of control hellions you see doing things like tearing clothing off a store rack, marking up mirrors, spreading items across the floor, is because the parents ignore the behavior hoping that it will just go away. That just plain never works. Ignorance is not bliss when it's dealing with our kids.

Banning little people from public places just seems a little harsh to me, I guess. I'd rather see the parents of these kind of children fully removed along with their spawn when they choose to ignore shitty behavior and let it go on. I don't feel there is anything wrong with that in the least. I'll be the one smirking on the side of the room while my child sits and eats a peaceful dinner with me as the other mom is being dragged kicking and screaming right along with her kids.

Maybe that's arrogant to say, but it all comes down to using my own common sense here. If she's in a bad mood, we sure the heck aren't taking her to a sit down restaurant for dinner tonight. And surely, we won't be taking her to any place that cannot cater at all to the fact that she's in tow with us. Common sense. Poor, lost, common sense. Too many people just don't want to be friends with common sense these days.

Leanne said...

There is such a fine line there and the waters surrounding it are sooooo muddy!

I'm a parent. I have two kids, one teenager, one toddler. Both at some point have lost their marbles temporarily in public. It happens sometimes. Even now, my teenager doesn't always act like a grown up, because well, she's not a grown up yet. It's too much to expect a small person to have such self control at all times. Hell, most adults don't always have the kind of self control with emotions and impulses that we demand of our children.

That said, YES! It is MY job to parent her and help her regain her self control or completely remove her from the situation.

I honestly believe that most of these out of control hellions you see doing things like tearing clothing off a store rack, marking up mirrors, spreading items across the floor, is because the parents ignore the behavior hoping that it will just go away. That just plain never works. Ignorance is not bliss when it's dealing with our kids.

Banning little people from public places just seems a little harsh to me, I guess. I'd rather see the parents of these kind of children fully removed along with their spawn when they choose to ignore shitty behavior and let it go on. I don't feel there is anything wrong with that in the least. I'll be the one smirking on the side of the room while my child sits and eats a peaceful dinner with me as the other mom is being dragged kicking and screaming right along with her kids.

Maybe that's arrogant to say, but it all comes down to using my own common sense here. If she's in a bad mood, we sure the heck aren't taking her to a sit down restaurant for dinner tonight. And surely, we won't be taking her to any place that cannot cater at all to the fact that she's in tow with us. Common sense. Poor, lost, common sense. Too many people just don't want to be friends with common sense these days.

cheeseums said...

I have children, but I completely agree with this. First, parents who think it is acceptable for their children to act like little hellions are the ones who should be asked to leave. It is not the child's fault the parent refuses to parent but wants to be the child's best friend. When my boys were young, I would explain BEFORE leaving the house where we were going, what behavior would be acceptable and what the consequences would be if they did not behave appropriately. Yes my boys received a whole 3 spankings in their lifetimes and they lost some special toys for a week or two when they misbehaved but today they are wonderful well mannered young adults who are productive members of society. Sometime you just have to swat that backside to get the point across. I am not talking about abusing any child but CORRECTING UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR!!

Links said...

I used to work in a lingerie store and it would annoy the heck out of me when parents brought their kids (especially unruly kids!!!) to a place that sells crotchless panties and rhinestone handcuffs. I remember this one woman in particular with a small boy. As she went on shopping she let the little brat pretty much run loose through the store, knocking merchandise off of racks and leaving a lovely mess trail as I followed him around the store. Good thing I didn't have other customers to tend to! I'm not here to babysit, lady! If you can't bother to watch your kid while you shop, get a damn babysitter!!!

Krista Kelley said...

I think if you want to avoid children, then go to eat at a place later at night, go to a bar or 21 or over est. There are plenty of those around and not as many family oriented places in town. You really can't control what people do. I have much more tolerance for children who are out of control than adults. As far as flights go, that really is opening a can of worms. I think people kind of expect the world to suit their needs rather than adjusting to what comes. You can't ban children. Some people choose later flights so kids can sleep. Kids have tantrums, etc. Things happen, etc. Almost any parent could get caught in a bad moment. I have been caught in several. It's always people who don't have kids who comment or shake their heads. Most people with kids know how hard parenting is. No matter how many kids you have watched, you never really know unless you are a parent yourself. I may have had moments where I was annoyed by someone's kids, but I can count far more many times when I have been annoyed by adults who really have no excuse. You can't ban assholes. It's just life. I do agree that idiots shouldn't take kids to movies like that but really is it anyone else's job to tell someone what they should do with their kids?

Childfreeeee said...

Krista, I am going to turn your argument around and say that if people want to avoid parenting and controlling their kids and want to allow their kids to run wild, scream, climb on chairs, and throw things, then they should take them to Chuck E. Cheese, McDonald's, Friendly's or one of the many other hundreds of places that are set up for noisy families. They should avoid restaurants where people enjoy eating their meals in peace and where people might enjoy a sophisticated, adult meal out.

Secondly, the important point in all of this is that the "brat bans" have only become necessary now, in our current generation, because people people no longer care to exercise any control over their kids. They didn't need brat bans when I was a kid because if a kid started misbehaving, the parent had the consideration and good sense to swiftly STOP the kid, or remove him from the restaurant so as not to disturb other patrons. Not any more. Today, when kids start screaming or carrying on in restaurants, many times the parents don't even blink at them, let alone remove them or do anything to stop them.

It does come down to a problem with adults - adult parents who don't really want to be parents.

And I agree with you that offending adults should be removed from restaurants too.

Temujin said...

I think the "kids will be kids" argument does not really address some of the fundamental issues here. It's not a good argument by itself, because the logic is a little flawed.

I could also feel the right to bring a big shaggy dog into a restaurant. Dogs howl, bark, pass gas, whine, drool, hump your leg, etc. We all know that dogs can be like this. But, it would be a lame argument if I said, "this is what dogs do" or "if you don't like it, go to places that don't have dogs."

Go Green Get Lean said...

If we can ban children for being loud and ruining a peaceful and enjoyable time, can we also ban obese people from restaurants for making people lose their appetites?

Temujin said...

In reply to "Go Green":

Not an equivalent analogy here.

I don't think anyone is suggesting a ban on people because of how they look. I don't think anyone is suggesting a ban on ugly kids, just a ban on kids because of how they behave -- how they sound, how they bump into you, how they throw food, etc. Just as a business has a right to exclude customers who threaten to be disruptive, so they have the right to have an age limit.

Another big difference is that I can pay someone to look after my kids, but I can't leave my body fat with a babysitter, much as I would like to.

(Not to mention that a ban on obese people would be financial suicide for a restaurant in the U.S. It would exclude a LOT of Americans including myself.)

phoenixxphyre said...

Interesting Temujin mentions bringing dogs into restaurants. Dogs are allowed many places in Germany, including many restaurants. But, they are expected to be well-behaved, sitting or laying quietly throughout the meal without barking, jumping, and so on. If people here can manage to bring dogs in to restaurants without incident, people should be capable of getting their children to behave. If they can't, it makes sense to ask them to leave. There are some places like stores with breakables or books where one will often find no pet signs. People don't get upset; they just come when they don't have their dogs. Similarly, I think it's reasonable for establishments that are upscale or cater adults not to allow children.

Trista said...

I didn't read through all the comments so forgive me if this is already posted. If anyone is ever interested on going on a vacation in which there are no kids... look at this:

http://www.leavethembehind.com/

I think my husband and I may need to investigate this. I can't tell you how many romantic outings have been ruined by someone's screaming toddler...

mzwunderkind said...

Nothing is worse than your out with friends or on a date in a BAR or LONGE and there are kids running around.....I mean come on it's a bar. Not a family restaurant....

Fen said...

Hooray for the brat ban - I hope it spreads like wildfire. I'm so sick of going to my local cafe to work or study, drink some coffee, and have a nice breakfast, and the moment I sit down, someone walks in with their shrieking, wailing brats and instantly transforms the place into a Chuck E. Cheese. Recently my favorite teahouse was invaded by a smug, self-congratulatory hipster couple who rolled up with a double wide stroller and a couple of free-range rugrats and proceeded to turn the entire place into their personal playpen. Within minutes the air reeked of wet diapers. The couple continued to play loudly with their little demon spawn and didn't seem to notice the overpowering scent of fresh pee.

I swear that Portland, OR is the most obnoxiously child-centric city in America. Parents here have an unbelievable sense of entitlement and act like their kids are a gift to the world. They don't seem to understand that some of us have chosen not to have kids because we don't like them and don't want to be around them. And hello, 7 billion people? Do we really need to be making more, especially when there is no habitat left for other species? I never had this problem when I lived in the Bay Area - I could go all kinds of places without having my senses assaulted by hordes of caterwauling brats. It's like people in Portland have never heard of birth control. There should be some places that are off limits to kids, at least until they (and their parents) are mature enough to know how to behave.

Temujin said...

In reply to Fen:

(I lived in Portland for a few years but didn't grow up there, so I've an outsider's perspective. I love PDX and am annoyed by it at the same time) If Portland parents are especially smug, it's for two main reasons that make Portland very distinct:

1. Portlanders are already very smug about all sorts of things, especially if you're a hipster Portlander. As a Portlander, your excrement doesn't stink, because you only eat cage-free, organic, pro-biotic, spent-grain food that no one else has ever heard of. Everyone else in the country is destroying the planet in comparison to virtuous Portland. (See the short-run series "Portlandia" for a satire about the smugness of Portland. They get it so perfect that it kind of stops being so funny after a while.)

2. Portland's birth rate is plummeting. The school district has closed several elementary schools over the past few years for lack of kids! So, having kids in PDX today means you're in the minority, so now you're one of the cool, countercultural people. Of course, you would NEVER raise your kids the way the evil "Rest of the Country" does it. The giant stroller in the cafe was probably meant to be an ironic statement of protest against consumerism, but you were too uncool to see that, apparently.... ; - )

Dakota Baker said...

Where Can't kids go? Bars. Bars are where kids arent allowed, and by god if someone peeled the sticker off the door I can guarantee within the hour the place would be swarmed with greasy little minions twirling on the barstools. Your brat has the whole god**** world to run around and ruin- you cant let someone have two restaurants in a whole flippin' city to be at peace?

Cameron Grey Rose said...

"I swear that Portland, OR is the most obnoxiously child-centric city in America. Parents here have an unbelievable sense of entitlement and act like their kids are a gift to the world."

Yea! Fen! I know two people in Portland OR who no longer speak to me. They were talking about taking their 2 sons ages 1 & 3 to London. I asked what they would be doing to make sure their kids didn't disturb others on the flight. Their response? "our children are perfectly behaved they have excellent manner far exceding those of any adult we know. such a question is an insult. We are great parents who have perfect children'

A one year old? with perfect manners? yeah right.

The_Bitch said...

I think calling it a "Brat Ban" is uncalled for, but I do feel kids shouldn't allowed to be in some public places. If I'm going to an expensive restaurant, I don't want a kid crying through the entire thing.

Also, I wish a lot of parents knew how to find a balance in the way they deal with their kids. Being too strict will have many bad effects on the child, although letting your child do whatever he/she wants isn't good either.

All I'm saying is there is no black and white with any situation, and this isn't an exception.