A restaurant in Pennsylvania will no longer allow children under the age of 6 to dine because “They are too noisy.” A restaurant in Florida allows children, but only in certain areas. “We’re restaurateurs, not babysitters,” declared the owner. Their cut off is 16 years old and the report is business has increased.
It would seem this is an up and coming trend. And it’s not just restaurants. It’s restaurants, theaters, hotels, and even some airlines. The bans are receiving mixed reviews – loved by some, hated by others.
The real question is “Why is this phenomenon growing?” Part of the explanation probably has to do with the growing number of baby bombers who would prefer to eat out in quiet and comfort. Beyond that, it could be a reflection of parents not doing their job. Granted, an occasional child-meltdown can happen to almost anyone. But that doesn’t seem to be the motivation for these changes. Instead it is the lack of parental supervision and parents ignoring inappropriate behavior that is disturbing others.
Undoubtedly it is easier for the owner of an establishment to ban children than to ask a parent to remove an unruly child. While we support the right of business-owners to make their own policies, we don’t support banning ALL children because of the poor behavior of some. Instead each parent should make an educated, mature decision as to whether or not it would be appropriate for their child to dine at a certain establishment.
Parents need to: Be certain the kids know the rules of behavior and etiquette; Be prepared to exit if their child is bothering any other patron; and Be The Parent.
Have you ever had your meal, flight, or movie experience ruined by an undisciplined child? What did you do?