No Kids Allowed Movement– What Are We Communicating to Our Children?

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about the “No Kids Allowed Movement” that a few business establishments are enforcing around the world.  Rumor is it’s spreading…

International airlines have banned infants from first class.

Restaurants and movie cinemas are requiring children to be age 6 and up.

Travel destinations are closing their doors to kids.

Even grocery stores are offering child-free shopping hours.

Is society once again communicating a condescending message to our children? 

While I see some advantages of limiting kids from higher class restaurants or recreation areas intended for adults, I worry this is another slippery slope of our present day. Trust me, there are times and places I enjoy being KID FREE myself.  All of us as parents enjoy some P&Q (peace and quiet) as a sanity saver, and I admit I don’t usually find a crowded and rumbling Chucky Cheese a romantic date destination.  However, I’m not keen on banning children from common places in our community. 

Often times it is necessary for us to go out as a family. Finding a babysitter so we can run errands or get a meal on the go, is not practical in most situations for our family. We often take our boys out in public places, and we work diligently on teaching them to be obedient in our home as well as when we are out and about. Most of the time we are warmly welcomed in the places we frequent, and I would hate to see these opportunities to become limited. 

Children are viewed less and less as a blessing by our culture. Follow us around the zoo or a public place for the day, and you’ll pick up on the negativity that we incur on a weekly basis just as a family of six. We are hardly alone. Families conceiving multiples are viewed as “messing with God’s plan”, large families are attacked by the media to “get fixed” and even celebrities are being considered “bad role models” for overpopulating the world with four children

However, the Bible views children as a blessing rather than a burden or an inconvenience. They are our heritage and to be valued.

“Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3

So what are we communicating to our children when now the old saying of “children should be seen and not heard” is no longer harsh enough?  What are YOUR thoughts on the No Kids Allowed Movement?  Where do you think “No Kids” should be enforced? Will you welcome it or resist it?

47 thoughts on "No Kids Allowed Movement– What Are We Communicating to Our Children?"

  1. Susan says:

    Like everything else, the world can get carried away with anything and everything including this topic of children. I have raised 5 boys. What I will say is I have been interrupted way more than I should in a movie theater where a child was way too young and had no business in it. I pay $10-$12 to see a movie but can’t hear it over a child crying. So, even though I am very pro child, there is always going to be a place where it is not appropriate to have small children. Not age appropriate maybe be the better way to say it.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Susan, I agree. There are definitely places where children are not appropriate – especially when there’s a price tag attached. Thanks for sharing your input!

    2. Carla says:

      The problem is NOT the children. It’s the parents who refuse to RAISE their children! Whenever I hear a child in a movie theater who is crying, my first reaction is: “Oh, please take your baby home. This movie is overstimulating him/her.” The responsibility is the parents, and it is today’s parents that are the problem, rather than the children. But what movie owner or grocery store owner is going to ask a parent (paying customer) to leave when they refuse to actually “take care” of their children in public?

  2. Liz Stewart says:

    Wow, how would we teach our children to be respectful citizens of society if we are not even going to allow them to go out and experience it? The way I see this movement, is that some people are annoyed by kids, so they propose that they are not allowed certain places at certain times. Well, if that’s how this is going to work, I am annoyed by some adults too…if I enforced a movement against them, I would pretty much have Wal-Mart to myself.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Now that would be a Walmart I’d like to visit!
      I think kids do need to experience the world in a safe and welcoming environment. Obviously, parents have to use digression, but kids should be welcomed in appropriate places.
      Glad you posted your thoughts, Liz!

  3. Amber says:

    I am for the movement. I am a loving mother, who rarely uses a sitter for an afternoon or evening out; but when I do, I’d like to have child-free options. C’mon , let’s not blow the movement out of proportion here. While the number of child-free establishments may be growing in number, they are still few-and-far-between. So what if your town has two restaurants, three bars, and a movie theatre that doesn’t allow children? There are bound to be five times as many who do allow children. The decision to go child-free is a business decision for the establishments’ owners. If they, in a capitalist society, can be successful business owners by having adults-only businesses, then good for them. We have the opportunity to go elsewhere.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      I do understand the movement on the side of the business owner, especially if the clientele is demanding it. However, it bothers me that our culture is becoming so annoyed with children (and parents), and I worry that families are going to be discriminated against in a greater degree if/as this becomes more popular.

    2. Carla says:

      It is however, another loss of freedom in the United States. The answer is to start a “RAISE Your Own Children Movement.” Let it make the News channels. Make it a status thing: We RAISE our children to be good citizens, proper social role models, etc. Similar to the propaganda of the 1930’s, 40’s, 50’s, and early 60’s, only these are not government propaganda, they are society driven propaganda. Get the word out that it is not socially acceptable to allow your children to scream throughout WalMart, nor is it socially acceptable to allow your children to scream at the movie theater. The airlines? Well I’m afraid that it’s impossible to leave an airplane, in flight, so don’t have an answer for that one except to offer a lot of compassion for the mother or father who has a screaming child on an airplane. Most likely they would like to be ANYWHERE other than there too. A movement like this may take quite a while to catch on (didn’t I mention that the government propaganda took three + decades?)
      The problem is an extension of a bigger issue. People who either do not know how to parent… or people who do not want to parent.

      The flip side to this is: is there is going to be a “child-free” time at the theater or the grocery store, than it should be during a “child-free” time-slot, such as after 10:00 p.m. There is simply no reason that a parent needs to take a child to a movie or grocery store at that time frame. If it is during a early hour that most children would still be up, then it’s inappropriate. But I’ve witnessed parents who bring children into Walmart at 11:00. We’re talking 2 or 3 year old’s in their jammies and slippers holding onto their blankets and screaming while mom and dad fill their carts with various items. Even worse would be those who drag their children there at that time to purchase beer and chips.

      I have four children (youngest currently 6 years old) and it drives me nuts to see parents neglecting the needs of their children to do something that can and should be done at a more appropriate time, more suited to the child. We have a responsibility to our children AND we have a responsibility to our society.

      1. Denise says:

        I get your point, as a society we need to all help raise children. My question is what do you do with the parents who are raising children with no respect and the parent themselves has no respect for anyone or anything? I get it a lot of parents do become involved in their kids lives and try to make them mind, but there are some parents who will actually egg it on, they love that their kids are disrespectful because it makes them to be just like them. Like it has been said in the past we learn by example and some parents honestly make a horrible example. Respect is earned and there is always a time and place for kids some places kids should not be. As an example, in the recent news kids were videoing each other bullying some of these on buses our children ride on. One in particular the language coming out of this kids mouth was just horrid, this was from Watertown, NY and the mother defended her kid. Said she did not feel he did anything wrong because he was upset his bike had been stolen? How is that right? I am sorry the kids bike was stolen but his actions were in no way right. He did not have any right to act in the manner he did, nor did the kids from the Rochester NY area, who mistreated a bus monitor. I know I would not want to be around a kid who was this disrespectful if I was trying to enjoy an evening out, or just out shopping. I guess in the end some kids know how to show respect to others and they should be given a chance but those that act out should be banned.

  4. Debra says:

    I am a mother of two and a licensed childcare provider who cares for 5 children everyday for 11 hours a day and I have done so for the past 17 years. I love children but….I took a cruise with my husband for our anniversary and when I had the option of an adults only cruise over a family cruise line, I chose the adults only option. When our family went on a cruise, we chose a Disney cruise which caters to children. I believe that there is a market for both types of places (children welcomed and child-free). I think that the options should be available and we should all have the freedom to make the choice that suits us at the time.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Kid Free Cruise? Where do I sign?

      I get you – totally. There’s a time and a place for kid-free – just not in common community places, right? =)

  5. Crystal says:

    I totally agree with you! I grew up the 3rd child of 6, my husband the baby of 7. We often got stares wherever we went, and (rarely) some rude remarks, mostly directed toward my mother (as if she were somehow less of a woman for wanting to be a homemaker instead of a high-powered career woman!). We have Quiverfull friends who have also experienced the “no kids allowed” movement, and just the other day, my friend was at the pool with her 2 daughters when an older gentleman exited upon seeing them arrive. “If I wanted to be around kids,” he told her, “I would have had them myself.”

    I think it’s a pretty sad commentary on what our society values most.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Sadness. I just don’t understand the disgust with children (and parents) today. I know there are some parents who let their children behave poorly, but since we do we all have to take the punishment?

      1. cappyslilgal says:

        the thing is you cant always tell if the kids are well behaved and if the parents actually control the kids when they first walk in.and with the fact parents are limited on punishment options alot of kids are getting unrully. im a mother myself and even i wish i could go places where kids are not welcome at times. but i think it should be certain times of day kids are not from 8a.m till 4 pm.!

    2. Carla says:

      Public Pool? He was completely inappropriate and perhaps needs to move to a 55+ community with a private pool. There he can have the peace that he seeks.

  6. Amy says:

    I agree with you completely! We are sending them a message and it isn’t positive. I feel that if you are a parent, then be wise about it. Don’t take your kids to Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse if they are little. Get a babysitter. Teach them how to behave in public. And those without kids need to understand that we have to take them places. The grocery store one worries me. What if my husband is out of town and we need medicine or milk? Am I not able to get groceries because it’s a “kid-free hour”?
    I also am bothered by a family with 4 kids being a “big” family. I grew up in a family that size. I loved it. I always wanted more siblings. Hopefully this movement won’t go too far.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Exactly! Thanks for sharing this, Amy!

  7. Stacey McCastlain says:

    I have four small children and while I have definitely felt the negative stares and heard the rude comments, the “no kids allowed” in certain places doesn’t bother me. Except the grocery store. That one is weird. But upscale restaurants and movies that aren’t kid movies, these aren’t age appropriate places for small children anyway. When I read this article I thought of it as a rule that should just be understood. I have plenty of places to teach my children how to behave appropriately. It doesn’t need to happen and shouldn’t be happening in an adult movie.
    I totally see your point about what message could this be sending to our kids and I want to make sure to do my part to counter that. To me this isn’t part of that problem. This is just drawing lines to help parents know what is ok.
    Love that you started this discussion. Take care.

    1. QuatroMama says:

      I’m with you, Stacey. I think there are plenty of places that ARE NOT appropriate for little ones but that SHOULD be understood.

      Glad that you joined in on this conversation!

  8. Sarah says:

    More than public places, I was saddened when I saw this message come up on my facebook newsfeed from a church –

    “Just wanted to make one last appeal to everyone that we need a couple of volunteers to work with our precious little ones Sunday so we don’t have to bring them into Worship.”

    What is so wrong about having children in church? I mean I understand it’s nice to have the option of a nursery I guess, but the way this message was worded just really rubbed me the wrong way. Uh…they’re precious, but we don’t want them in church with us… hmmm makes a lot of sense.

  9. MtnGirl7 says:

    I do not have children of my own, but I work with children for a living. Our family just added a 2 y/o (my nephew) to the family (up until now we were an all adult family for 30+ years!) and so obviously it would be nice to be able to go some places with him as a family. However, it is really annoying when parents haul all the children some place, but do not even try and teach them manners or be considerate of other patrons. For example, when kids come to a buffet and they are allowed to go to the buffet with little to no supervision, the kids touch things and then put them back, cough/sneeze, etc. all over the food that I might like to eat and the parents are off who knows where, then I have a problem! Or a child is screaming and screaming – it’s not asking to much to remove the child, is it? Yes, I believe that children are a blessing. Yes, children should be allowed to experience life outside of home. Yes, parents should teach their children how to behave and if they can’t, then please do not interfere with my enjoyment of a theater, meal, etc. When I was a child, we ate out alot and knew how to behave! If we did not meet the folks’ expectations, we were removed from the restaurant.

    On the flip side, when I see a family who has children who are acting so nicely at a restaurant or wherever, I compliment them! This gives positive feedback to the parents and the child/ren. Thank you parents for bringing your well behaved and well mannered children out.

    I think it’s kind of funny to ban children from first class on an aircraft since it’s not like sound proof walls are between the different sections!?! Or are there?

    1. Carla says:


      The movement is misguided. It’s a knee jerk reaction (so prevalent in this day and age) to a larger problem within our society. The portion of our populace who does not want to actually parent their children. “It’s too hard or inconvenient or it will stifle the child’s personality.” Manners are an important social issue to teach your children. It is our responsibility to teach proper social behavior, but how can we do that if no one took the time to teach us proper social behavior? We have a huge portion of our society that exhibit “anti-social personality disorder.” And many of them are parents. We excuse this away, but it’s biting our society as a whole in the posterior.

  10. Ellen says:

    I think the “no kids allowed” movement is more of a reflection of a society tired of dealing with bad parenting. For example, any decent parent would find a way to deal with kid throwing food in a restaurant. Perhaps the restaurant owners have seen a trend in parents allowing kids to misbehave? In my opinion, it’s the parents who should be banned. The kids are just innocent victims.

    1. MtnGirl7 says:

      Ellen, you said it the best – it is the parents who should be banned, not the children! It is the parents’ responsibility to be teaching their children and a shame when they don’t – the children are the victims.

  11. Gina says:

    I just wanted to point out that the child-free hours at the grocery store are not actually child-restricted hours, but 2 hours on Friday when some free babysitting is provided (for up to 8 kids). If anything, it’s designed to make it easier for parents to shop without having to get a babysitter.

  12. Rhonda says:

    I will completely resist it (even though my youngest is 12 now). America is going down a very dangerous path…so many wrong things are being promoted as right.

    I have no problem with parents bringing their children out to any public place. It would be nice for more parents to teach their children some manners, though. I am bothered by the kids that ‘parent’ the parents instead of the other way around but I still believe kids shouldn’t be banned.

    My grandmother came from the era of “children should be seen and not heard” but I completely disagree with that. And the stories my dad tells us from when he was growing up makes it sound like the older citizens were very harsh with their children.

    My husband and I have 3 kids and I have never figured out how to keep them completely quiet when out in public. They do need to talk and play, after all. And my kids are well behaved. They have never embarrassed us in public.

    I remember when my youngest was a newborn. I took him with me to shop at WalMart. A couple of older women stopped me to admire him. They thought he was adorable…and then they asked me if he was my first child…to which I replied, “No, he’s my third.” If looks could have killed, I would have been dead right there. In no uncertain terms they told me that three was way too many kids and I should not have any more. I was completely offended by them and I think the feeling was mutual with them being offended that I would have the ‘audacity’ to have three kids! But, children are God’s reward to us and I will always cherish my kids!!!!!

    Let them be in public!!!!!

    1. Carla says:

      Those little old ladies… aren’t they darling? (Anti-social personality disorder at it’s finest!) What was the old saying? Oh, yea! “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!”

  13. Suzanna says:

    In my opinion, this movement was brought about because so many parents do not teach their children how to behave properly in public. Businesses have been forced to implement these “no children allowed” policies because a) it’s not fair for other customers to have their dining/movie/etc. experience disrupted by children whose parents don’t set boundaries for them, and b) to protect themselves. I’m sure there are parents out there who would sue a restaurant because their child tripped and fell because they were running where they shouldn’t have been. If more parents taught their children respect and obedience out in public, movements like this wouldn’t have to exist.
    There are so many kid friendly places out there that I don’t think a few businesses implementing this is going to teach kids that they are “unwelcome” or “an inconvenience”. Most kids would rather go to Chick-Fil-A than Chez Francois anyway 😉
    On the flip side, I think perhaps this also teaches children the lesson that life is not about being entitled to go anywhere and do whatever you please. Going out in public is a privilege, not a right (I actually remember Michelle Duggar telling her children this in one eipsode). Certain privileges are attained only through age and maturity–whether it be being able to go to the local swimming pool by yourself (for me, it was at age 12) or earning a drivers’ license, or going to a certain movie theater. Waiting for such privileges often teaches us patience, and makes the opportunities all that much sweeter when we come of age and can enjoy them.
    God bless! 🙂

    1. Carla says:

      Very well said!

  14. Michelle@OurWonderfilledLife says:

    Jen, this is a great discussion to start! I love when we go in somewhere with our quadruplet boys and older son…oh the eye rolls, comments, I can feel the negativity and I am talking very kid-friendly places, we don’t have the desire to try otherwise 😉 and the boys do so well you can see people’s opinion changing, some will comment, which is so nice, some will smile, but you can just feel everyone realizing the kind of parents we are, the kind of children we are trying to raise. Don’t get me wrong, there have been tough/embarrassing moments and will be, hello raising 5 boys, we had them with just 1, but it is good to change the opinion that does seem to be out there. For me I do agree that if we start these “rules” and who makes them up? then how far can we take them. And I also whole-heartedly agree on places that are not for children or we even go at off times to kid-friendly places, etc, very conscious about it. What bugs me more is your point about the overall feeling of kids being around…the negativity…and yep, kids pick up on that, we may think they don’t but they sure do. When people comment rudely, my 6 year old asks, why are they being mean to my brothers? Of course it’s the minority {usually} but adults should definitely filter and realize that the impact of being a little annoyed at times {for no reason at all other than not liking the fact we have 5 children} is much less than the words a child will remember being spoken.
    Thanks for taking the time to write about this mama!!

  15. Sonya says:

    Are there places where kids shouldn’t be? Sure there are. But my big thought is if we ban them from places where they could be, how do they learn & how do we teach them to act in those situations?

    I don’t have any kids of my own yet, but I am out a lot with my two nieces and when one of them gets upset she goes from quiet to scream in 2 seconds. We are all used to it. Most of the time kid actions don’t bother me because I know one day it will be me. However, there are those situations where I wonder why the parents aren’t doing something, especially when children are of school age (but that’s probably the teacher in me:)).

  16. Kori Gammon says:

    Most people that complain about kids in public and give the dirty looks on airplanes and wherever never had the joy have having their own children. None of us want our children to act out or scream through the grocery store but if you’ve had kids you’ve been there. Children are a blessing from God and those that oppose having them or being around them are missing out on the best part of life.

  17. A says:

    When my first son was 2, we went on a flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii and you could see people staring at me like where are they going to sit, are they going to sit by ME?!? Finally we sat down and a guy right in front of us or behind us, I can’t remember but he said something to the effect of “oh I can’t believe this, today’s my lucky day!” very sarcastically and asked the stewardess if he could be moved, and he was. I loudly said something to the effect of he’s a good boy and won’t be screaming the whole way (for the others around to hear)… and he was.

    Funny, the guy I ended up sitting next to, was totally cool with kids since he said he had nieces and nephews and even let my sleeping big boy rest his feet on his lap : P

    But I have definitely gotten glares and comments when flying with my kids, and they have always been good travelers!

    I have 3 kids and feel like because I had 1 more than the “norm” we had “1 too many” or something! Like the judgment increases 10-fold with that 1 extra kid!

    When I lived in Washington state, there was a population of Apostolic christians who had several children and I remember seeing them out and about occasionally with 10+ children!

  18. Chris says:

    Sadly, I think that the recent trend is not about the kids, but rather the parents and their lack of willingness to interact with and/or discipline their children while in public places. And for the record, please sign me up fior the grocery store that provides childcare….. That sounds heavenly to a SAHM.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Hmmm…if parents actually TAUGHT their children, then most people wouldn’t be demanding ‘child-free’ places. It’s so much easier to let little Johnny scream and cry and beg for things than it is to work hard to teach them to be quiet and respectful and courteous. Heavens, many adults today don’t know how to be courteous!! Hard to teach what you don’t know. 🙂 I agree that it’s a very slippery slope and that we should see children as blessings, but you have to invest time in them so that others can see them as a blessing too. It’s hard work but oh so worthwhile!! There’s almost nothing I love more than watching my 22 year old son hang out, by choice, with his 6 year old brothers. And my girls (ages 20, 19, and 17) love to spend time with them too. The rewards on this end of the parenting gig (the college crew) are worth every ounce of effort put in over the years, and are what keep me going with the little guys.

  20. S says:

    I agree with Chris. I do not think this is as much a reaction against kids, but rather parents’ lack of discipline. I would agree that our culture is less pro-family, no doubt, but frankly, parents do not discipline the way they used too.

    I own a store and cringe when kids come in. When I was young, our parents took us everywhere. I remember my mom always going into a certain decorating boutique, and we were told, “no touching.” My mom bought her clothes at nice boutiques also, and we brought a toy and played on the floor in the back. I am sure we were not always model citizens, but I remember going to these places often and being made to obey. Now, kids come in and pick stuff up, knock whole displays over, cry and fuss when their parents don’t buy them anything (did I mention we are a home decor boutique???), move things around, steal, run around under the displays, throw breakables, etc. I wish I were making this up, but really, all this has happened and more. I welcome animals over kids any day. I do not have an issue with the kids, but when they leave, I am always astounded at the LACK OF BACKBONE & DISCIPLINE BY THE PARENTS. By the way, we keep toys for kids, but I think many of them are used to doing whatever they want and watching TV all day, so toys get old quickly.

    Switching gears, my sister has 4 kids under 8 and always gets rude comments. Disgusting. But she is wise enough to not bring them to small, non-child friendly stores. I think the real message is as follows: the latest generation has thought that saying “no” hurts their children, but now society is seeing the consequences of that philosophy–unruly children.

    I don’t think children should be banned from grocery stores, airplanes, pools, etc. I expect to see them there. Those are family places, public places. If you are a parent, teach them to behave in public, and not act like little crazies. I don’t think you should have to get a babysitter to go shopping, but teach them to behave and give them something to do.

    I am definitely pro-family, pro children. The Bible describes them as our heritage, our blessing. I recently took my 8 year old niece to a small water park. There were probably well over 1500 children and literally a handful of parents. It was a bit chaotic, frankly. It dawned on me that most of these children were part of day care groups or were probably even just dropped off by their parents to let the lifeguards do the babysitting. Sad. We have lost our view of our children. They are not an inconvenience, but a gift. Nurture them, as such!

  21. Hannah says:

    So you think it’s somehow wrong for people like me to not want to have kids, to see kids as more of an annoyance than a blessing, and to want to be able to avoid being around them sometimes? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate kids or anything, I just find it extremely hard to spend long periods of time around them, mostly due to my social anxiety, which is not my fault at all. So why try to blame me for feeling this way about kids, then?

    (Oh, and by the way, not everyone is a Christian (I myself am an atheist), so posting Bible verses as part of your argument isn’t exactly persuasive.)

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Hannah, this was an opinion post, and not a stab at you personally. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to struggle with anxiety issues, and I cannot imagine what that is like.

      I am a Christian, and believe the Bible to be completely relevant and true. It is not my job to persuade you otherwise, but I pray that God shine the truth in your life. This is an essential part of our lives, therefore, it’s something that will be part of this blog. And naturally, children will be something that is frequently featured here as well.

    2. Carla says:

      “(Oh, and by the way, not everyone is a Christian (I myself am an atheist), so posting Bible verses as part of your argument isn’t exactly persuasive.)”

      But I am, and it was VERY relevant and persuasive to me.

    3. jill says:

      I think she was just sharing what was on her heart from her perspective. I don’t think she was posting about whether to have kids or not. It seemed to me that this article was geared toward some of us who do have children and/or grandchildren. For us to share how we feel.
      There is nothing wrong with not having kids if you don’t feel it is the right thing for you personally. Yes, it is hard to be around other people kids at times, and despite my years of being around kids sometimes I don’t want to be near it. I’ve actually refined the art of tuning it out if I’m not the person responsible at the time. Very difficult task for me.
      The fact is, the world is full of kids, like it or not. As annoying as some kids can be, I also try to sympathize with the situation because I know even the best kids can have a bad day or a melt down at the worst possible times. It makes me want to just go hug the parents to help ease their discomfort.
      If your not kid oriented I would definitely try to avoid places like Legoland, that was kid overdose, but I go into kid mode and I’m fine. Plus learn to tune out all the noises kids can make that make us go into high alert.

  22. Jamie says:

    Wow, this is some serious banter going on. All I really want to know is where I can buy the sign… which should also indicate to you that I agree with you.

  23. Lynda says:

    The real problem is that parents are not disciplining their children and it has become a huge problem with society. I did not go to a real restaurant until I was older. Children need to learn how to behave and they also need to learn that there are things for adults and things for children. Many churches don’t allow babies and young children in worship services, I don’t totally agree with that, but that is the case.

    We were eating in a restaurant once and a table with children was just totally disrupting everyone’s meal. It was really horrible. The manager went to them with a bag of food and told them they were totally ruining everyone’s meal. He gave them the bag, which contained duplicates of their meals, and asked them to leave. I think everyone clapped once they left.

  24. Holly says:

    As a parent of a ‘his, hers and ours’ family of 6 kids, I have received so many negative comments. Children are blessings when they happen, so the ‘other option’ never entered my mind, as was hinted or stated many times.

    Yes, I cringe when I hear and/or see a child having a screaming temper tantrum or behaving badly. When my children invariably misbehaved (as children do, testing their boundaries), we removed them from the situation and disciplined them. It’s not fair to others to have to listen or see our children misbehaving, ruining their time out. I actively schedule to go out when children won’t usually be around, ie school hours or early mornings or late evenings.

    Recently, my husband and I went out on our anniversary for a meal. A large group had part of the restaurant. We spent a large portion of the meal watching the children running about, dodging around the waitresses, having tantrums (one lasting what seemed forever!), having our eyes cross at the shrieked, rude demands of the children- among other things- making what should of been a restful meal at a normally quiet place to become an exercise of interrupted conversation and shocked observation. The sum total of discipline of the partying parents were rare,impotent warnings to ‘sit down’ which were ignored.

    On the other hand, I once took our older children (pre-teens to teens) and my son who was about 18 months old to the cinema to see a Disney film. My son would not settle (we didn’t even get through the opening credits!) so I spent the entire film in the lobby with him while the older children watched the film. The manager came to me, thanked me for taking him out saying most parents wouldn’t have and gave me four complimentary tickets! (We were only at the cinema because we had to wait for my husband who was having an extended visit with his hospitalised grandmother who lived far away from us. Five children and several hours of inactivity in a ward waiting room does NOT equal a restful time for the patients!) Just an example of staff appreciating parents who are more aware of how their children’s behavior effects others.

    The ‘no children’ rule might be better replaced with a code of expected behaviour or a warning of being asked to leave if the child can’t or won’t be controlled. That way well behaved children get a ‘privilege’ and that would be a good example for the naughtier children

  25. Trishia says:

    I love children, however, I do think there are times that it is inappropriate to bring our children along with us. I think it is up to a business owner if they want to cater to an adult-only crowd or if they want to allow children. That is their freedom! So often, children these days are allowed run amok, so I don’t blame some business owners for not allowing children in. Parents should be training their children to behave in an acceptable way if they want their kids to be welcome everywhere but society has taught most people that children shouldn’t ever be told, “no”…that it somehow hurts their self esteem. In actuality, what would really build a child’s self esteem is when they show such maturity and good behavior that we can take them to a nice restaurant and they get to participate in a very “grown-up” evening out…but that should be earned. This sets standards for them that they can work to acheive. Many years ago, children were expected to work and earn their place in the world from a very young age…the world didn’t lower it’s standards to accomodate childish behavior. Like another commentator said above, there are places we expect to see children, like the grocery store, pool, etc…places that children are in an environment ready for them. We bring our family to family friendly places, but we leave them at home when it’s not appropriate to bring them along (and usually they’d have more fun at grandpa & grandma’s or at home with the babysitter than some fancy dinner, anyway!).

  26. Carla says:

    Grocery Stores: My children had to be inside the cart (with their hands inside the cart) until I was confident they would not wander off… or touch things.

    I taught my kids that they were not allowed to ask for ANYTHING. The answer was automatically “No,” if they asked.

    Then they graduated (somewhere around four years old, believe it or not) to walking with their hands on the cart, so that I knew they would not wander off or start touching things. (The reason: That doesn’t belong to you.) If the hands starting coming off the cart then back inside the cart they went. Often times the groceries were piled in the cart with a child’s head sticking out. At four years old, it wasn’t comfortable to be inside the cart (while I didn’t want them hurt, I didn’t want them comfortable either.) “That’s O.K! Maybe you’ll keep your hands on the cart, so that you don’t have to go inside.” The grocery store is not a playground. It’s not for the child enjoyment. It’s a learning opportunity.

    They graduated to hands off the cart as I understood that their wouldn’t be wandering hands or feet inside the store.

    If any crying, screaming or other poor behavior happened, then we left the store. Simple. Usually, I found a store clerk, who I would apologize to, and explain that my child was “coming unglued” and that I needed to leave my partially filled cart and take him/her home for a nap. (Any child that misbehaves in public needs a nap, don’t they? At least that has been my experience, which always proved out, by the way 😉 The clerks were always understanding, (probably more than relieved) and many times offered to put my entire cart, in the refrigerated portion with my name on it for when I could gracefully come back (with or without the child/children.) Sometimes I could come back during that same day. And I grocery shop in a large city, though we live in a rural community.

    Many is the times I sat in a car (A/C or heater running) while a child napped through his/her bad behavior. ALWAYS bring a book with you, and don’t overestimate your shopping ability with a child.) Or else we went home and came back when daddy could be the parent (or be the grocery shopper! That was always fun, and interesting. An adventure!) NEVER did I allow my children to misbehave in the grocery store.

    The movie theater: Well, I’m afraid that DVD’s have made it so that NO ONE has a good excuse for allowing their children to misbehave in a theater. It simply is NOT important in the scheme of things, to see a movie when it first comes out. If that is more important (dragging children to an overpriced, and most likely inappropriate movie, so that you have bragging rights that you saw it first) than their are a LOT more and larger issues at hand. Just wait until it comes out on DVD… it will… they want your money!

    Restaurants: I have left a nice restaurant because I overestimated my child. In this case, he (when still an infant) was overstimulated by the noise of clinking dishes, the background music, and the too loud (for him) conversations of the patrons. It was too much for him, I apologized to my dinner friends; asked my server for the bill a(apologized to him too) and my dinner in a “to go” box, payed and tipped my server; and took my son to a more appropriate environment. Why? Because I am the parent. It’s my responsibility. NO ONE else’s.

    I personally have never had one of my children misbehave in a restaurant. Why? Because we don’t go that often, and we teach them the “Rules of Being Out in Public.” I have (often) been given complements that a family our size, is so “nice and polite.”

    The most important thing: I/we are quick to praise our children for their good behavior! And I REFUSE to let them believe (or teach them) that they are “entitled” to anything.

  27. jill says:

    This has been going on a little at a time for a very long time. This topic has been on my mind so much but no one really seems to care. Let me explain why this topic is such a hot button for me.
    I raised 4 kids, took them everywhere including births, (they had an adult with them so they could bow out if needed) and they were expected to behave and did. And yes, I did get the “large family” looks or remarks. Moving on to now, I have a grandson living with me, he is now 2 1/2 and I feel he should be allowed to come into church with me at least for the song worship. The ushers stand guard at the door giving me the evil eye. My daughter told me to go to the nursing room, big sign, only nursing moms, okay, the fathers room was empty. I sat him on the floor with some books, but he was afraid of the dark so I turned on the light. I sang the worship songs for him and showed him the church people doing the same. Uh oh, I got kicked out, we are allowed to sit in a dark room, but no light. We distract the congregation too much. I left the church in tears. This is a a lot of churches here. I give up, I’m outnumbered, I’ll worship in my house. I’m in s. calif.
    Two final things…Many of my fondest memories of church was going into the “big” church, doing puzzles, coloring, laughing at the old man with the froggy voice singing out so loud. The music. But, I also remember with chills that froggy man’s love for the Lord, I remember the pastor and his messages.
    Lastly, I do agree I think there are some venues where it is not appropriate for children. My anniversary, (34th) was spent in over a hundred dollar a plate restaurant with kids running around like banshees and screaming. I called it a Denny’s for the rich, and we did laugh our heads off over that since at the time it was so fitting.
    thanks for letting me spill a piece of my mind.
    god bless

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