No Children Allowed?
More and more places have decided they don’t want to have children as customers. This applies to restaurants, airlines, stores, movie theaters. Many parents are outraged. They blame intolerant childless people. They blame society as whole who they say no longer value children. They don’t understand how other people would not find their child as precious as they do.
But you know what? I don’t find other people’s misbehaving children endearing at all. I am not childless. As a mother of seven children I fully support these type of bans.
Here is a newsflash, if people parented their kids there would be no reason for places to ban kids completely.
We have seen a lot of movies this summer. Probably more than we have in the past two years combined. (It’s been a long, hot summer in Austin.)
A few weeks ago we were watching the previews, you have to get there in time to watch the previews, all of them, according to my children, when a family came in and sat right across the aisle from us. Two parents and two kids, one about 5 years old and the other about 12- 15 months old. I thought it was odd that they chose to bring a 12-15 month old to the movie theater, since in my parenting experience not one of my children could sit through a movie at that age. But they must know their kid, right? They must know that their kid will sit through a long movie in a darkened theater. Otherwise they wouldn’t have brought her, right?
The movie had not even started when the kid began screeching to get out of the confines of her mother’s lap. Her mother put her down where she proceeded to run up and down the aisle, while both parents sat in their seats and ignored her. Surely once the movie begins they won’t allow this, I thought.
Except that once the movie began it was even worse, because the little girl now wanted one of her parents to walk up and down the aisle with her. And so her parents took turns walking her up and down the aisle, only stopping to try and make her sit down. Where she would scream. They did this for the entire movie.
I wanted to stop them and ask if they were enjoying themselves. I can’t imagine that they were. I wanted to ask them why they didn’t take the girl out of the theater when they realized she wasn’t going to watch the movie.
These people are the reason so many places have enacted policies barring kids from their establishments.
I think we may start attending movies at the Alamo Draft House. They forbid children under six from attending movies at all. They also enforce very strict no talking, no cellphone use/no texting during movies. Have you seen this video? It’s a phone call they received by a woman complaining about how she was thrown out of their theater for texting. It is hysterical and definitely not for watching at work or around your children.
I am going to go out on a limb here where everyone will probably hate me, but if your kid can’t behave appropriately for the place you are bringing him, then you shouldn’t be bringing him. If you know your child can’t be quiet and sit in a chair at a fancy restaurant, then don’t bring him. I don’t care if it is your grandmother’s 90th birthday. Go some place that is child friendly, but remember just because it might be loud and have a children’s menu, and cups with lids, you still have to parent. No one thinks your child standing on her chair and singing is cute. No one thinks your child running around and dancing between tables is adorable. And no one thinks that your child yelling and screaming is enjoyable.
We were at a restaurant recently where the waitstaff kept commenting how well behaved my children were being. It surprised me because at 6, 8, and 10 years old I thought they were just acting normal. After the fourth or fifth time I finally asked what my kids were doing that was out of the ordinary. Oh boy, I got an earful. They were not stories of babies crying, or even toddlers screaming. They were not stories about parents having to apologetically leave the restaurant and take their food to go. They were all stories about kids running wild while the parents did nothing.
So really, the bans are not about keeping children out. They are about keeping out parents who refuse to parent. And how can anyone be against that?Published July 29, 2011. Last updated October 29, 2017.