No Kids Allowed

There’s a movement afoot. Business are starting to ban kids from their premises or limiting the times they can be there.

Thank God.

Yes, I am a parent. But I realize that my kids do not belong everywhere. I wish more parents understood that.

Especially when the parents let their children scream or run amok. These parents should be banned–and taught a lesson or two in parenting.

Long ago, in another life, I used to teach parenting classes. This was BK–before kids. The parents told me that I didn’t know what I was talking about. After becoming a parent, I agreed completely. But that’s how social services works: the new hire gets the crap jobs. Teaching parenting classes is bad because no one really knows the right way to parent. There are too many factors in play: the parents, the kids, the family environment…see what I mean?!

Still, as a parent, I have learned a few things here and there. So here are tips for taking your kids in public. I think if more people followed these common sense suggestions, banning kids wouldn’t have been necessary.

Keep your kids in sight at all times. Seriously, other diners and movie goers don’t think your kids are cute when they are interrupting them. Even at McDonald’s, having a kid running amok is unnecessary. Your job as a parent is to keep your kids on a leash–a pretend leash!

Kids shouldn’t interrupt adults. Yes, this is old school. But honestly, what do your kids┬áhave┬áto offer on subjects like politics, medicine, literature? When adults are having adult conversations, kids should be quiet. If they can’t be quiet, they should be removed.

Crying kids should be taken from the room. This is a hard one, because outsiders don’t know what caused the crying. Still, we don’t want to hear it. If your child is wailing, sitting it out in the car or outside the restaurant, might make them feel better. This is especially important when other people are paying a lot of money for the experience your child is interrupting.

Follow-through on discipline threats. Again, this is a hard one for parents. Sometimes we make threats in the heat of the moment that can never be enforced (e.g., “you are grounded for life,” “I’m selling you to the circus,” etc.). Please don’t walk through Target repeating over and over, “Do that one more time, there will be consequences.” You’ve just taught your kids that your word means nothing.

Don’t laugh when your kid misbehaves and joke about his free spirit. You look like an idiot to other people. You are the parent, therefore, you are the one in charge. Not the three-year old with the mouth like a sailor. When you make a joke, we just look at you and wonder what your life is going to be like when your child becomes a teenager!

Really, this is all common sense. Remember, your child is less welcome the more expensive the event!

One last thing: Parents keep your kids in car seats! Or at least belted in! Today I passed a car with a toddler-age child hanging his head out the window like a dog. Sacred the beejesus out of me! What if there was an accident? What if the door malfunctioned and swung open? Please, protect your children!

16 thoughts on “No Kids Allowed

  1. Susie, this is great advice for parents! If more parents practiced these things, I doubt they would be a no kid movement at all. Thank you for being a responsible mom. Hopefully, more parents will implement your thoughtful tips!

  2. Let me start by saying that my children are grown and out on their own. I’m getting older and losing patience much easier then I used to. That being said, when we went out to eat with our kids, they were expected to behave, and for the most part did. When they were bad, one of us left with the heathen of the moment. To us, it was common courtesy to people paying good money for their meal. We went out to a very nice restaurant on vacation, and there was a brat screaming and running around, with a parent that keep yelling at him to sit down. It seemed to me that an easy solution to the problem would have been for the parent to get up and get thir child, but no, he just kept yelling at the kid. I was so tempted to tell him he could pay for our meal since he and his child had ruined our night, but common courtesy wouldn’t let me.
    We are now going to search out places that don’t allow children. Why would you take a child to a place where the meals start at $30 anyway? It couldn’t have been enjoyable to the parents.

    • Children aren’t brats or heathens – they are blessings from God. Maybe they would be more respectful if people treated them with respect too. I’m tired of seeing parents name call their children and then people wonder what has happened to today’s youth!

      • There is no doubt that no child comes into this world a brat. But their are parents who help turn their children into brats. And it’s not just parents who call their children names. It’s also the parents who never say no. The parents who want to be their kids buddy, and not tell them what to do. It’s a subject I don’t chime in on too often, because I fear that my someday in the future grandchildren may be as horrible as the kid at the restaurant we were at, and it’ll be my kids fault. I hope I taught them better then that, but who knows what the future will bring?!

        • I couldn’t disagree more – children are born demanding love and care from their parents. It’s as they grow older, they learn independence and how to behave. I don’t believe in labels – even the worst behaved kids have some good in them. Their behavior may be “bratty” at times, but they are not. Also, I don’t thinks parents are solely to blame for everything their kid does.

          This is an incredibly tough world we are living in and the demands are high for everyone. You don’t know why the parent is yelling at the kid instead of removing them from the restaurant – maybe they are under a lot of pressure at work, maybe they are having problems with their spouse or other half, maybe they are going through a loss of a loved one, it could be all sorts of things – we don’t know and shouldn’t judge when we aren’t living their life.

          In regards to the misbehaving kid – could be the parents, could be social media or other types of media influencing their behavior, could be teachers/the school, and even their diet (there are all sorts of studies out there right now which shows the chemicals that the US allows in our food supplies adds to hyperactivity in kids), maybe the kid has a health issue that you aren’t aware of that also leads to the behavior. Once again, we as outsiders to their life – don’t know.

          Just a side note, some of the most well-behaved kids I know are friends with their parents too and they have a super close relationship – so you can be a friend and a parent at the same time, you don’t have to be one or another.

          • I’m going to politely disagree here. We’re talking about misbehaving young children. At that age, the parents have complete and total control over their children’s behavior. It is the parents job to form their child into a well-functioning member of society. That doesn’t mean their child is a beloved treasure to every person surrounding them. If they are crying or acting out, they should be removed. If you have to yell at your child at a restaurant then you need to revisit your parenting skills.

            I also don’t believe our children should be our friends. We aren’t friends, because that would imply we are equals. You can respect someone while still admitting they are not your equal (bosses and employees do it every day!). My kids know I love them, but they also know I have high expectations for them.

            This really wasn’t a post about all-around parenting. It was a post on having parents see that THEY need to be respectful of the people around them. Your kids can act out however they want at home. But the minute they start ruining movies, dinners out, and attempts to grocery shop, it becomes society’s issue and these people are doing what they think is best: ban the children.

            xo Susie

          • My point is, and I guess it’s a selfish point, when my husband and I go out to eat, and pay $30 + per meal, we shouldn’t have to deal with a kid running around and what ever his father is going through that makes him sit there and yell at his kid, and not get off of his seat to get the child. Common Courtesy, that’s all I’m asking for. I debated not responding this time, because common courtesy tells me that I’m being rude, trying to have the last word.

            My kids and I are very close. Are we friends? I’ve never really thought about it. They tell me more things than I’d like to know and I tell them almost everything. I’ll have to ask them what they think. To me, I’m their mom, and I’m just fine with that. (My kids are 28 and 25, and they’re some pretty amazing people, whether because of their parents or in spite of them.)

        • Saying “no” seems to be a bad thing. Nope, it’s boundary setting!

          I know before I had kids, I was really intolerant of children. Then I eased up a bit. I understand the crying kid at Target. I don’t understand the crying kid standing in the middle of the aisle blocking my way. That’s what carts are for. Now that the kids are, basically, grown, I am growing intolerant again.

          As parents, we missed out on many things because we didn’t have a babysitter or we chose a family-friendly option instead of a nice restaurant. That’s what raising kids means…

          xo Susie

          • Well I am a friend and a parent to my son – a friend doesn’t equivalent an “equal” – you can be friends with anyone of any age in any roles (I’ve seen lots of bosses friends with their employees – I am still a friend with an old boss of mine that I had 8 years ago!). I respect my son and he respects me – I have been complimented his entire life on how well he behaves.

            I agree that a parent should do something if their kid is acting up. It’s one thing if they are ignoring it or laughing it, but I don’t think that means all kids should be banned from places and what ages are the bans for? Babies? Toddlers? Elementary kids? Middle school kids? Teenagers (they sure can be mouthy everywhere)? See that’s another problem you run into – what age do you draw the line?

          • Maybe we’re defining “friend” differently. Because I do have friends of different ages. Heck, one of my favorite people is a 19 yo girl! Yes you can be friends with a boss, but you know that there is a line drawn somewhere. It might not affect the friendship if both people are respectful of it.

            I agree though that there is a problem with drawing the line. Myself, I was mostly talking about screaming babies and toddlers running rampant. Lord know I know you can’t control what comes out of a kids mouth once they start talking! lol My boys can be mouthy as hell at home, but they don’t do it in public. Somehow that’s a lesson they learned. My mother-in-law says it’s always better to have street angels and house devils than the reverse.

            It will be interesting to see how this child ban works out though. Will we be reading about it in six months?!

            xo Susie

    • Marie, I’m with you: if I’m spending a chunk of change on a meal, I want it to be pleasant. I don’t expect family style restaurants to ban kids! That would be insanity. But the local, small Italian place would be an experienced ruined if there were misbehaving people there!

      xo Susie

  3. I don’t think it’s fair to expect people to eat at just McDonald’s because they aren’t lucky enough to have a sitter or what not. Everyone should be allowed to eat where they want. Even without kids at a restaurant, you won’t be guaranteed a quiet eating experience. I’ve seen couples argue at restaurants and I have seen sole customers yelling at their server about EVERYTHING the entire time they are there. My two kids have gone to The Melting Pot and didn’t make a scene at all. We were gifted the dinner certificate and we aren’t going to pass up a delicious free meal! Kids are not only the interruptions out there.

    What about hotels? Should they ban kids too? Or sporting groups? I can’t even count the number of times I have stayed at nice hotels and my sleep was interrupted and breakfast was LOUD because of kids or sports groups were also staying there. I think we all just need more tolerance of each other. A perfect world wouldn’t have interruptions or rudeness in it, but this is not a perfect world by any mneans.

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