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Banning Kids: Part II

I am the first to admit that as parents, we are all different. We all have things that are important to us that are not important to other parents, and vice versa. We discipline differently, we reward differently and we are all making different choices and have our own parenting styles that we’ve come up with that fit our own lives. And that’s great. I know there are things that I do or don’t do, that might not fly with their moms. Just as I see other moms who do or don’t do things that wouldn’t fly with me. But whatever, to each his own. As long as you’ve got happy a kid, more power to you.

But if your parenting choices start to directly impact me or my children, then we may have a problem.

Recently I came across a news story about a pizza place in Atlanta Georgia, which has banned crying kids. Posted on their menu reads the following,

“Dear all present and future patrons: GCP is proud of its reputation as a family restaurant, a title that we will work to keep. Unfortunately a number of our diners have posted unpleasant experiences because of crying and unsupervised children. To ensure that all diners have an enjoyable lunch or dinner with us we respectfully ask that parents tend to their crying tots outside.”

This is brilliant.

I wrote previously about how I don’t agree with restaurants out right banning kids. I DO however agree with them implementing policies regarding unruly or unattended children.

I believe that as a parent you should have the right to enjoy dinner out, even with your kids. But that right should NOT infringe upon others right to a quiet happy meal. Which is why in my previous post I explained that as a parent you should go the extra mile in setting up a positive dinner experience and be willing to leave if your child doesn’t settle down. Period.

This restaurant in Georgia and rereading my previous post on Life360 got me thinking about the issue of parents who don’t parent. Something, sadly, I see all the time where I live.

Parents who allow their children to run wild while they either don’t pay attention, don’t care, or don’t even stick around. Now if you want to raise an unruly child who enjoys climbing up and then jumping off the roof FINE. That’s your choice. But don’t let your child play those same games at the local park while you read a book or go for a walk, leaving me (or other attentive parents) to be the one to tell your child to stop. And yes, I will tell your child to stop. And when your child asks me why, I’ll tell him because I’m not ruining my afternoon at the park dealing with some other kids broken arm because his mom wasn’t around to tell him to stop.

This is the same exact thing as parents who take their children out to dinner and think it is perfectly OK to let their children climb up and down the seats and yell and throw things. If that behavior is allowed in YOUR house at YOUR table, great. But not in public and not at MY house.

As I said before, you can parent anyway you want, as long as your parenting doesn’t mean ME having to deal with your wild child throwing macaroni and cheese at me from your table at dinner or me having to attend to a cracked skull because you didn’t feel like telling your child to stop jumping off the jungle gym.

Parent how you want, as long as it doesn’t mean ME having to parent for you.

How do you deal with other people’s unruly unsupervised children at the park or in public?

13 Responses to “Banning Kids: Part II”

  1. Farrah

    One thing that I do not understand (as a parent of 3 young boys) are those that take their children out to nice restaurants (not exactly 'family' style) at a late hour- and proceed to igmore them as they cry and wail as they're tired and want to go to bed? My husband and I have seen this on more than one occasion- and for the life of me, I just DO NOT get it. Besides the fact that it is ruining the dinner of those around us- HOW can they sit there with their overtired kids at 9, 10 pm at night and just IGNORE it??? Besides shooting pretty rude glares, I wouldn't say anything- but seriously. It does nothing but make the parents look slefish and self centered in return.

  2. Rebecca

    As a waitress in a sports bar/sometimes family style restaurant, I think that the parents should be completely responsible for their children. There have been many nights where the restaurant is packed and children just run rampant causing dangerous situations and headaches for the servers just trying to do their job. Kids don't need to be banned but they need to be kept at their tables and under the watch of the parents.

  3. giveawayhound

    We don't eat out very often because of my DH's food allergies, so I've never seen this sort of behavior in any place we've been, but I agree that parents who can't keep their kids under control should be asked to leave. To me it's the same as any other disruptive behavior, like someone who is drunk or high at a restaurant and being obnoxious. They should be asked to leave if their behavior is inappropriate and interfering with other patrons' ability to enjoy their meals.

  4. Emily

    I find I am often the parent who is refereeing everyone's children however my own tend to make up a good bit of them. (hee, hee…I have 6) But I don't mind and they surprisingly listen which suggests to me they are simply looking for attention. Which in turn ends up making me sad.

  5. PolishK85

    BRILLIANT post! I have to admit, at first glance I thought, "oh great, another mom whining about how people don't appreciate her obnoxious children!". I was wrong – thumbs up to you for siding with those of us who don't have kids for once!
    I see this ALL the time in restaurants, shopping malls, and in church. It bothers the crap out of me. I've even heard friends with kids say, "if people don't like crying babies then they can leave" or "it's not like anyone's never heard a baby before". YES, we have heard babies before and, truth betold, their crying is horrendous ESPECIALLY when we are trying to relax and have a peaceful meal or are trying to pay attention to our church service.

    I give 100% respect to the parents out there who take their children outside when they become fussy. If you can't be bothered to take your child outside, why are you raising a kid in the first place?


    **On a side note: I live outside the States and it's amazing how the local children here behave compared to American children!!

  6. Holly S.

    I totally agree. I am one of the "attentive" parents and I feel that my children's behavior reflects on me also. It drives me nuts when I go out to eat and I have to deal with other people's children running up and down the aisles, climbing on tables, and screaming while the parents take the "just ignore them" approach. On the other hand, I don't agree with out and out bans on children altogether. I can understand it in a "date restaurant" with a quiet, romantic atmosphere, but some of the restaurants I've seen with the bans are just ridiculous!

  7. Phil

    I agree that a child's behavior does reflect the parents. I was once at a wedding rehearsal dinner at a restaurant, and there were at least 3 different kids from families at the same restaurant that wreaked havoc (one even crawled under the table next to mine). The parents did absolutely nothing, except giggle. There were some kids in the wedding party, but their parents made them sit in their chairs and respect others, and they were fine.

  8. Susan Smith

    I agree parents need to watch their children when they are out in public. I have no problem with child free restaurants.

  9. Kim Presley

    Unfortunately, we have to avoid eating out right now because of our daughter who is in a loud phase of life. 🙂 McDonald's is one thing, but to go out to a sit down restaurant is totally another. I feel that if your child is not of the age to behave in a nice restaurant, they should not be there ruining it for others. If you do go and they get unruly, have the decency to step out until you have them calmed down.

  10. Mindy S

    I totally side with the restaurant, however I think it's sad that a policy has to go in effect. It's common sense to remove your crying child out of a restaurant (or movie theater, grocery store, etc.) so that you don't bother other patrons.

  11. alisa

    i had never heard of banning a kid, but it's sad to see so many kids getting ignored by whoever is supposed to be watching them.

  12. Erica C.

    I love when I see signs in businesses that say something like "We aren't here to watch your children." haha


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