Wednesday, July 27, 2011

No Kids Allowed

A week or two ago, I read about the restaurant in Pennsylvania that has banned all children under six. Today I read an article that described other businesses which are implementing this same policy. After reading all the Facebook posts and discussions it has sparked, I just had to take the time to write about it.

First of all, I have three children, and when they were young, there were certain restaurants we didn't go to because they just weren't mature enough to be able to sit quietly and behave the way I would have expected anyone in that restaurant to behave. We practiced that sort of thing at home, having "fancy dinners" every now and again, complete with good dishes, wine glasses, candlelight, a variety of forks and spoons...everything needed to teach them how to behave when the time came that we DID go out to someplace a little more upscale.

Also, I see nothing wrong with there being places where the policy is "no kids allowed." Even as a parent, and a grandparent, there are times when I enjoy going to dinner with my husband and not having to hear or see children. Our favorite "date night" restaurant is candlelit, fine dining, and in the ten years we've been going there, I've never seen anyone younger than a teenager eating there.

Several people have said that if this happens, businesses will begin to lose patrons. I seriously doubt that will happen, using the restaurant I mentioned above as an example. They are ALWAYS crowded, and if you don't make a reservation, you will have a very difficult time getting a table.

I'm probably going to ruffle some feathers here, but it's my blog, and I can say what I think here. I think the reason that this issue is getting so much attention and causing so much uproar among parents is that for a lot of parents, the sun rises and sets with THEIR child, and they expect everyone else to feel the same way. They want to treat their children like tiny adults and to have the same rights and privileges as an adult. That's just not reality, folks....there are some places where it's just not respectful or appropriate to be dragging a young child along with you.

If you don't want to patronize a place that has a "no kids" policy, that's your right. There are still plenty of places out there which are family-oriented and kid friendly. Take your family there, and don't begrudge those of us who occasionally enjoy a peaceful, quiet night with no kids, our own or anyone else's.

2 comments:

  1. I have yet to come across a restaurant that has banned children in our area, but I can see the need for it. I don't like going to restaurants where the children are rowdy and don't know how to behave.

    that being said, I also don't like when employees at a restaurant seat us in the "children's" section because we walk in with young children.

    my kids KNOW how to behave. they can eat at any restaurant and not be a nuisance to anyone around us. in fact, any time we have taken them to a "fine dining" establishment, we have been given dirty looks by other patrons upon arrival, and by the time they leave, we are commended on how well behaved they are.

    part of this I feel is because we do not take our children out when they are tired and cranky, and even today I make sure to have quiet distractions on hand.

    while I understand anyone who is all for the adult only restaurant, I would absolutely refuse to go. not because I feel my children are the center of my world, but because I want my children exposed to different settings, different foods, different environments and I have taught them to behave appropriately when exposed to these situations. if patrons have a problem with specific patrons, they should take action in their right to refuse service, not punish those who DO have well behaved children.

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  2. Teresa, I think you make great points! I do think it stinks that all parents are "punished" for what a handful of parents let their children get away with, but I can understand where the establishments are coming from. I have some of those nights when I want a nice quiet dinner with my husband and I can appreciate a quiet, adults only restaurant.

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