No Kids Allowed?

A recent question posed on a parenting website sought public opinion. The question had to do with whether or not readers supported adult-oriented restaurants banning young children. The answers were interesting to read. They ran the gamut from, “Absolutely not. Kids should be welcome anywhere”, and “Society in the West is way too anti-child,” to “Yes, they should. Adults should have a kid-free zone if they want.”

I gave my own answer which I will re-share here. To underscore one of my points, I really believe that much of the hostility towards children in public places like planes and restaurants is the direct consequence of too many children  who are not under control of their parents. If wise pet owners know the importance of obedience training (a dog not trained can be a major problem), how much more important is it to teach and train our children with eternal souls? Without child training our kids become a menace to others.  This is wholly unnecessary.

Young parents will read something like what I wrote (shared below) and sneer, “Oh, wow. Your  kids are so PERFECT! How could we ever measure up to your perfection?” I’ve seen hundreds of comments like this from moms insinuating that teaching obedience, respect for authority and respect for others is some peculiar and unattainable thing, and that any parent (no matter how  experienced) who claims they have trained their children this way is either lying or bragging.

It is sad to see the wrong-headed ideas about parenting absorbed several generations deep now where kids running rampant, screaming, throwing fits (I just saw a cartload of this at the grocery store the other day) is the norm. It is the norm now, but it should not be, in my  own opinion.

Both my husband and I grew up in homes where obeying parents and not being a public nuisance was the norm. My mother only had to look at us to achieve compliance in public places and church. We were not allowed to ask for things at other people’s homes and not allowed to whine for candy in the grocery aisle or anywhere else. No meant no. We loved our mom, which was the foundation for her child-rearing success. But we also knew she meant business. We were not terrorized by her nor repressed by her parenting. She was the final word. It was that simple.

My husband and I have taken the same approach with our children. We have the final word. Children are  in training for adulthood, and they were and are (Emily is our last one) not going to run wild and treat their neighbors (those in public) with contempt and disrespect. Concern for the well-being of others, we emphasize with her,  should be the basis for all courtesy. Life is about more than just you and your desires.

Here is my response on the parenting site. If you disagree, feel free to write so in the comments. I want to add this point. I realize that with the rise of autism, some parents are dealing with special needs which my post, for obvious reasons, does not include. Special needs are special needs. Most children simply are not expected to obey today and behave properly in public, and that is the problem.

I am a mother of six children, ranging in age from 7 to 30, also a grandma to 3 toddlers. I absolutely believe that restaurants have the right to ban service to young children. The fact that there are wonderful exceptions to the rule when it comes to young child behavior is not the point. It’s that we have an epidemic of youngish parents today who have no concept of child training and discipline. The fact that young children are not welcome in certain places should be common sense.

Decades of permissive parenting advice, advice doled out by idiotic parenting magazines and “experts” who are anything but, and the simultaneous loss of generational influence in families have resulted in child-driven couples who are more interested in being buddies with their child than teaching them the needed skills for public behavior. In short, kids run the show with their tantrums and demands for total freedom in all places, and parents often act like hapless fools, watching their children offend and interfere with other adults. I truly believe the hostility frequently shown to children in public places is a direct result of parents not having children under control. Children, when in subjection to authority, are a delight. When they are not, they can be little horrors, disrupting and defrauding others of peace and order.

With children (two from orphanages) of many personality types raised in our home, I continue to believe that parents can and should teach respect for authority and respect for others – the two are inseparable – or we are failing. Restaurants field complaints and risk loss of business from loyal customers when they allow out of control children to destroy the atmosphere the customers value. Parents are free to go elsewhere to a family-friendly setting, but when when customers pay for a quiet evening out and then descend into a chaotic atmosphere with out of control kids, it cheats customers out of what they paid for.

So that’s my position. A voice of sanity is badly needed in the wacky world of modern parenting advice. This is just one issue I feel strongly about regarding child-rearing. In the future, I’ll write on the subject of schedules and the importance of order in a child’s development.  But that’s for another day.


9 thoughts on “No Kids Allowed?

  1. Ingrid says:

    As an additional observation, Tom and I frequently notice parents who refuse to remove a disruptive child. For example, an infant is screaming in a crowded restaurant. When this occurred when I was a young mother, I got up and dealt with the needs of the infant elsewhere, even the car if necessary. I never saw myself and my child has having the inherent right to disrupt other diners/church goers, etc. with the wails of my needy baby. This viewpoint seems to have died. The sense of entitlement among young parents is evident everywhere. We have rights, and nobody else has any, is the current line of thinking. Why would you let your screaming child go on and on and on, knowing full well the sound is echoing everywhere? (Obviously a baby on a plane is another subject altogether.) It isn’t anti-child to respect the rights of others and deal with the baby’s needs in a place where they are not disrupting others. This seems to me to be common sense, and it doesn’t make me, a mom who loves her kids with all my heart, anti-child. It’s that I believe children have their place, babies have their place, and it isn’t everywhere, at all times and all places.

  2. Kris says:

    Good subject. How many times do we go in public places and the child/children are screaming
    at the top of their lungs and the parent(s) just let them scream. You never see any discipline any more. The parents need a lesson. Guess that’s what society teaches now a days. When we go to a restaurant, we go so we can talk and enjoy a great dinner. We don’t need the entertainment and loud children to accompany us. I say, “Go to McDonald’s or Chuck E Cheese.” Here’s another great suggestion…how about promoting that the kids get outdoors
    and run around in the backyard for a little exercise instead of having their faces glued to the
    ipads and phones! They can make all the noise they want outside. Thanks for the post…

  3. biggardenblog says:

    [J+D] ¦-) ¦-) ¦-) Perfect! So-called experts pandering to what time-pressured feckless parents want to hear – a reason whey they don’t actually need to discipline (or better put, to teach) their children.

  4. Carolyn says:

    Well said. Excellent analysis: “I really believe that much of the hostility towards children in public places like planes and restaurants is the direct consequence of too many children who are not under control of their parents.”

    Sadly, since many parents will not control their own children, these private places are now finding themselves with no choice but to preserve the peace and exclude those families.

  5. Denise says:

    Amen! I wish this article could be read by everyone who has children. Children have ruled the roost for too many years now. We’re at least into the second generation of this type of nonsense. I cringe at some of the public behavior I see from children, and their parents proudly post it online. We are going to have more of this as the older generation passes on.

  6. healingInHim says:

    Thank you for posting this. There needs to be a parenting ‘reality check’ as so many parents just don’t want to be parents. I don’t know how many times this past summer I have heard parents say, “Oh, I can hardly wait until the kids are back in school, again.” Why? Sadly, because they consider their own children to be a nuisance. 😦

  7. Ingrid says:

    Thanks all, for the feedback. HealinginHim, my mom always said she didn’t understand parents who couldn’t wait to get rid of the kids with school either. Denise, posting tantrums online or misbehavior like lying as funny on Facebook makes me ill. Not funny, tragic. End of. Broadcasting your own failures as some kind of achievement?

  8. Judi Hayes says:

    I just experienced this at the grocery store this evening. A mom and dad with a young child who was just loud and wailing and the parents did nothing. Nothing. Just talked with each other and ignored the child. And the child did not stop. It was so annoying!

    On a related note, I believe that the number of undisciplined children has to have a real correlation with child abuse, because eventually the parents have had enough and many then take it out on the child in anger.

  9. Nancy says:

    One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
    For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
    ITimothy 3:4,5

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