Thursday, August 4, 2011

Children Not Welcome.


I have a new vlog.

I get a bit ... emotional ... in this one.

It may also be 22 minutes long. Due to said emotional-ness.

NSFW due to language and sound. I apologize about that in advance. The sound, not the language.
The point that I didn't remember to make is that this isn't comparable to when restaurants had smoking and non-smoking areas. That's an issue of health. There is no medical, public health reason for children to exist or not exist at certain times in a restaurant. It's just not the same thing.

I do want to hear your opinions though. Leave 'em in the comments below, and as always, if you have something you'd like to hear me talk about, don't be shy. Obviously I'm opinionated.


Kari said...

I cant watch the video because I'm in a class but I do have opinions on this topic. Of course.

As a non-parent I do think there are times and places that children shouldn't go along. If I'm going to a movie that is PG or higher rating then no I don't think children should be there. Either the material is inappropriate or they are young enough that they are noisy.

In restaurants I expect to see children in a fast food restaurant or in like an applebees. I do not expect to see children in a fancier restaurant. And it all falls on the parent. My parents taught me to behave in public. I wasn't allowed to run around and scream or stand on the back of the chair or booth and bother other diners. It falls on the shoulder of the parent. If you've taught your child to behave and the can handle it, take them out. If they can't, please find a sitter and let me enjoy my dinner in peace.

No I'm not a parent but I am a teacher and I know how i expect my students to behave in public. I will expect the same of my children when i have them.

Writethewords said...

It's the parents of little assholes that has ruined it for everyone. I for one loved when families of littles came in when I served... but... often families of wee ones tip lowest, leave the biggest mess, and if there is a fussy kid, they make the dining experience awful for those nearby. Also, many restaurants don't want kids toting in portable DVD players for pacification.

It's an ambiance thing. Nothing morphs an ambiance like a rowdy kid. Toddlers in my workplace? No problem... until those toddlers start screeching during an hour long transaction between myself and their parent. Makes it hard for me and others to concentrate and do our jobs properly. A pollution of my personal space.

So yeah, it's a zero-tolerance thing that has unfortunately extended itself onto the innocent. I see where business owners are coming from, and i definitely see how it could upset young families. I honestly think little kids in restaurants being disruptive is more occasional than anything, but restaurants have a right to brand themselves however they want, and if they want an "adult" image, then that's up to them. Who knows, maybe young parents would pick that establishment on a date night over any other for a peaceful, kid-free evening.

Kelly@TearingUpHouses said...

i have pretty strong opinions about this.

i'm not a parent, but i love when people take their kids of any age most places. 

HOWEVER, i take issue with the parents who choose not to remove their screaming or otherwise disruptive children.  like, immediately.

it's inconsiderate.

it's not about their age, specifically, it's about the poor decision making skills of the adult who is in charge of them (nanny, grandparent, parent, whatever).  i don't care if it's a forty five year old or a two month old.  if you're throwing silverware and screaming like a banshee, step outside and collect yourself.

you know?

Lindsey said...

You brought up the whole "it takes a village to raise a child" thing and I've always agreed with this but it's now an old saying that doesn't have a place in todays' society (sadly). Mostly because of what things have become. Before if a kid was screaming and throwing a tantrum a neighbor could come out, tell them to stop and say 'go find your mother' or whatever. But now if someone goes up to a screaming kid and asks what's wrong, people get super upset about it. (I'm more concerned about how we're not allowed to talk to random people anymore because everyone is a rapist with a gun or something.) It's like as a society we have decided that isolationism is where it's at and people can't feel as free to interact with other peoples children as freely as they might have before. The truth is, things are totally different today from what they were before. So help from the community is done through passive non-interactive mediums. Signs prohibiting children. Warnings from the city. 

Whether or not a child is special needs has nothing to do with it, in my mind. Because my mom works with delayed adults and she has always taught me that you treat people like people- you don't treat anyone differently. So if someone comes up and smacks you, you don't just let them get away with it because they're delayed, or it might hurt their feelings, etc. So when I go into a store or restaurant and a kid is screaming and throwing an epic tantrum and their parent is on their phone or just ignoring it (I am not saying this is what you do!), that kind of thing really bothers me. It seems like a (relatively) new trend to just "let kids get it out of their system." You brought up how we all go through that stage as children and the thing is, I definitely went through that stage as a child and I also went through a stage where I got spanked, taken out to the car, put in a time out and so on. My stepsiblings didn't and that stage never ended for them. They are grown ups, supposedly members of society but they still think that if they throw loud enough tantrums they can get what they want. 

I do understand where you are coming from- you shouldn't be discriminated against for having children and nobody should be discriminated against when they want to spend money somewhere, since their money is as good as anyone elses.

The rules should really be that anyone disruptive shouldn't be allowed anywhere, ever. Because I've had more evenings out ruined by loud obnoxious guys wanting to show off to people than I have by screaming kids. 

No said...

it's not the children that are problem, it's the helicopter, negotiating, my child is the center of the universe who can do no wrong, non-disciplining, inconsiderate parents who caused this.  if i acted out like that in a restaurant when i was a child, my parents would have taken me out of the restaurant - to be considerate to all those others around me.  get over yourself.

TabathaM said...

I can see the perspectives of others as well, re: servers (you know I've been one) and in capacities like retail (you also know I worked in kids' stores for an enormous amount of time), but the idea of laying down just a straight ban doesn't sit right with me. You're right, though, that restaurants have the ability to brand themselves however they choose, and if they do that from the get-go, well, awesome, then I know. To me, it just feels like intolerance, and is indicative of a larger societal problem of the inability to empathize or have compassion for your fellow humans. People are losing the capacity to have grace in situations and think outside of themselves, and instead of learning this very valuable social skill, mandates and more intolerance and compartmentalization are permeating everything we do, distancing ourselves from each other.
As a society I think we really could be doing so much better than to tell each other how to live their lives, where they can go and when and with whom. But you know, I'm just a big bleeding heart.

TabathaM said...

Yes, I do, and I agree. I'm not saying that kids should be able to run rampant -- when Kiedis throws his fits I'm the one who moves like lightning to make sure it doesn't get to that level. It's harder a bit since he's delayed to convey to him that his behavior is inappropriate in the current situation, and I have left MANY a location with him quickly because he can't keep his shit together. But I don't think that means I just shouldn't be able to take him out after a certain hour. I want to give him the opportunities to showcase his budding maturity -- just the other day we went for ice cream and he was a freaking ANGEL and Kyle and I were shocked, to be honest. But he proved he's capable of being calm and collected and not spilling his food all over, even when his sister was grabbing at him for it. He needs those opportunities to build his self-esteem and to get positive reinforcement from us and the people around us to help him learn the proper way to act in public. So I'm not saying kids should be able to run wild or parents shouldn't have to discipline their kids, I'm just saying I don't think it's acceptable to just shut kids (and their parents) out all together.

TabathaM said...

You make some excellent points here Lindsey. And part of what my issue is involves what you allude to at the end of your comment -- that just any person deemed potentially disruptive to another person should just be banned from going places, full stop. So we all have to stay in our homes and only interact with the world digitally? That doesn't sound like a world I want to be a part of or that I want my children to grow up in. I just don't see where this kind of thing would stop.
But yes, I don't let my kid hit or throw things at or scream at people, that's never acceptable. But while he's learning appropriate and inappropriate behaviors (albeit at a much slower rate than your "average" child) these things have the potential to happen. And I ALWAYS profusely apologize and generally, people are understanding when faced with it directly and I'm able to explain. On the other hand though, how many people do I have to explain basic human development to in order to foster some compassion or the ability for people to just take a deep breath and know it'll all be over in a matter of minutes? I just wish people were more understanding or at least tolerant of the rest of the world.

TabathaM said...

Well, since you were able to express your opinion without leaving any actual indicators of who you are, I can't purport to understand under what conditions and societal pressures you were raised, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on that one. I'm not arguing that kids should be able to just do whatever they want whenever they want -- and in case you don't have any personal experience with children (which again, I can't decipher since you posted anonymously) every child is different and will react to varying kinds of discipline differently. So what works for one kid (let's say you as a child) may not work for another child (say me growing up, or my son currently). And because he's delayed, it takes longer for him to understand not only the situation at hand and the appropriate behaviors for that situation, it takes longer for him to draw the parallels to bridge his understanding of general social interaction. I'm not saying I wouldn't take the appropriate actions were he to get out of control, I'm merely stating I don't believe the potential for such small instances is not grounds for my child, or all children, to be banned from an establishment. I conduct my life with a great deal of patience and consideration for EVERYONE around me, and obviously that includes my son. I wish people like yourself would be more willing to do the same instead of judge, belittle, and hide behind the great anonymity of the internet.

TabathaM said...

I get a lot of this, Kari, I do. And I guess I wasn't clear enough in saying that I'm not saying I need to be able to go wherever and let Kiedis run amok, that's not the point. It's that by banning children from places where they would be given the opportunity to display appropriate behaviors, that's kind of stunting their social growth. If Kiedis started acting obviously disruptively, I would take the appropriate actions, which would include profuse apologies if I noticed he did upset someone else. That's just being a considerate person. I just wish that others would also act with a bit of compassion and patience and understanding for my situation. I'm just trying to have a nice dinner with my family too. I don't want my kid to be screaming and throwing things any more than you do, because it disrupts my meal and experience as well. But these things happen, and banning kids only shows an unwillingness to cooperate or negotiate with a segment of your paying customers. Yes, there are certain levels of appropriateness to take into consideration. But also, there's a heavy factor of not knowing until you try. And I'd appreciate the ability to make those choices on my own instead of having them made for me, you know?

Kyle Muntzinger said...

Just testing if it works

Sarah Morton said...

ooo boy, I've been thinking about this one a lot lately.  I feel ya on the whole "it takes a village." I feel like children shouldn't be expected to be little adults especially before they don't have the mental capacities to control their impulses.  I don't think they are a 'protected class' or anything but I think people could definitely lighten up some and deal with some whining or crying in certain amounts. I also know what it is like to take a toddler to many kinds of places.  We have had to leave both child and non child friendly places because of bad behavior.  My daughter does not have much impulse control yet and we've had to leave library story time, grocery store, restaurants, BBQs (sorry my daughter tried to blind your daughter), splash parks etc.  I do practice leaving the situation if she misbehaves but mainly for her to learn that she will be removed if she can't behave/deal and not just b/c of other people being disrupted.  I find other parents to be the most judgmental to be honest.  I have been making a TRULY conscious effort to not judge parents anymore.  I just can't in good faith assume anything about someone's parenting abilities based on one interaction I see at a store or restaurant.  There are literally a thousand moments in a day that a child can meltdown and a stimulating place (kid friendly or not) is a prime spot for these.  I guess I will learn more about this as my wee one grows but to be honest if a place doesn't want my child there then I don't want to go b/c my knee jerk reaction to the policy makes me feel angry.