Monday, February 27, 2012

Twincensed or Twindebted? : Episode 2

As parents of twins, especially in their youngest days, perhaps we more than others are more sensitive to the ever-possible social faux pas---times two.

Recent moves have been made by restaurants, theaters and other more "mature" venues to limit---if not entirely disallow---children.

Our local Richmond.com website shared this piece on the increasingly pervasive practice.

Our take?

Personally, I feel it's any business's right to ban children if they wish.

Smokers can be banned for their behavior, dress codes can be enacted, and I have to think a few bad apple kids (whose parents showed ill-judgment to be sure...) have spoiled it for the whole bunch.

While that seems unfair, as most of us have learned now by a lifetime of experience, in frequent instances, the behavior of a few impacts the entire group. That may not be such a bad thing...it teaches great social responsibility. To this day, I STILL remember my entire 3rd grade class having to put our heads on our desks for the talkativeness of a couple of kids in the corner. While it's sad that we might not be able to take our children to a few prohibited locations, think it's a fine opportunity to reinforce with our children that the poor behavior of a few can---and often does---impact the whole.

Truly, it is A-OK to have some "adult only" locations, and I certainly cannot blame restaurants and theaters for doing so. When business is lost en masse because inconsiderate parents don't parent, those businesses have little other choice. Since offending parents of offensively behaved children don't see the error of their offending-the-general-population ways, simply stating an age expectation seems an abundantly fair option.

Likewise, it is FINE (and to my view, important) for kids to realize they don't get to go everywhere and do everything. There are proliferate numbers of places that allow kids of all ages and are extremely family-friendly. Others provide great "middle grounds" for those who are learning more consistently "grown-up" behavior.

We don't encourage social promotion for children in schools...I don't see why we should in public places either.


What do you think? Does this issue make you mad or glad? 

Do tell...and please do be polite---wouldn't want to have to enact a well-behaved "adults only" policy!

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12 comments:

Christina Tinglof said...

I actually see your point! Very well stated. But I do think that some "adults" forget what it's like to be a kid. If a parent is trying his/her best to take control over a volatile situation, I try to show compassion and understanding. It's the parents that turn away from misbehaving kids that give the rest of us parents a bad name!

Threeundertwo said...

I completely agree. On the other hand, there is a casual restaurant near us with a big sign on the door saying "No Strollers!" Even though my kids are long past stroller age I choose not to eat there because of the way they state their policy.

Selectivity goes both ways.

Cheryl Lage said...

Agreed on both fronts, Christina and ThreeUnder! We have a right and responsibility to patronize on our conscience....both ways!

Terra said...

um, I see the point and overall am ok with the though process and even the possibility...however - I will say that being the parent of two that have driven me out a restaurant or three in my parenting years I believe it was those experiences that have shaped my little angels (ahem) into great "dining out" behavior - There are some adults that don't behave well in restaurants and I have to wonder if their parents ever took them out and taught them? Both girls have been eating at the fanciest of establishments since age two..we have pulled out early on occasion so as to not ruin others evenings when a tantrum would ensue, or made plans for one to arrive to with kids after salads and leave before deserts when very young so as to not set the kids up to fail...now...they love the dining out at fancy places, they feel the privilege and it was worth the battle...

So...while I would understand it, and am probably ok with adult only dining establishments I would be sad for those of that worked our hineys off to prepare our children for the privilege of dining in a fine place!

Cheryl Lage said...

Oh Terra, we COMPLETELY did (and do!) the same thing....my gut tells me that far from every "nice restaurant" will employ the "no kids" rule. But, my assumption is, quite a few might...it IS a shame that a few can and do "ruin" options for many. :(

As ThreeUnder mentions in her comment above, when locations decide to make their rules and voice them rudely, we can respond with our pocketbooks as well.

Wish you all lived closer....bet we could have a collective table FULL of happy (and well-behaved ;) ) kids!

Love this conversation...so many angles to think about!

in time out said...

you make for a great conversation here. i love the points. i think kids are great, love to see them everywhere, anywhere. i think that people need to relax and lighten up. often the parents behavior is way worse than the kids.

hey, i got to have my twin nieces and big sister for the whole long last weekend. LOVED IT...and thought of you. I haven't been a good blog friend and have missed a lot of everyones lives.

i am dejunking, but keeping you on the blogroll. Maybe I will be back for a way back wednesday...or makes my monday. I miss blogging.

hugs friend.

in time out...by the hair of my chinny chin

in time out said...

you make for a great conversation here. i love the points. i think kids are great, love to see them everywhere, anywhere. i think that people need to relax and lighten up. often the parents behavior is way worse than the kids.

hey, i got to have my twin nieces and big sister for the whole long last weekend. LOVED IT...and thought of you. I haven't been a good blog friend and have missed a lot of everyones lives.

i am dejunking, but keeping you on the blogroll. Maybe I will be back for a way back wednesday...or makes my monday. I miss blogging.

hugs friend.

in time out...by the hair of my chinny chin

in time out said...

ummmm...random. posted twice. hmmmm...twiner comment :) :)

Tracy said...

I could not agree more! I think it's totally within a business' rights to institute a policy such as this. If you don't like it, don't go there. Free market at it's best. :)

Kelly said...

I agree with your position. Restaurants can do what they want and I respect that.

I have a lot of patience for kids in restaurants and other places, but no patience for lazy, rude, arrogant parents. Nobody else thinks your misbehaving kids are cute. If they are being rotten and/or disruptive. It's time to leave. It's part of having kids, taking responsibility and teaching them the right way to behave. Some people don't get that.

Good post. :)

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

I think it's fine. If I get to go out to dinner with Husband, the LAST THING I want to deal with is anyone's children. I don't even want to see them. I love your line about social promotion too...they'll get there one day...why rush it?

Barbara Manatee said...

Oh how I love your words "because inconsiderate parents don't parent." We were at our Children's Museum today and I lost count of how many rowdy kids were RUNNING and SCREAMING (& breaking things) (beyond what was acceptable, even in a children's museum) and there were NO parents in site for them to even remind them of the rules or suggest to simmer down. We happened to be some of the last people in the museum and MY kids, on their own accord - looked around and said 'Wow! Its a mess in here!" and decided to clean up several play areas that were left askew. I always make sure my kids put things away they get out when we are there and was quite appalled that others aren't as considerate.

I think you made some very valid points with this issue. I, for one, am VERY glad our state has chosen to not allow smoking in any restaurant...so I can imagine there are some adults who are glad that some places don't allow children. Heck...they can be hazardous to our health sometimes, too...ha!