14 responses to “MOMVERSATION: Should Restaurants Be Allowed to Ban Kids?”

  1. Helen

    I totaly agree with banning kids if the owner chooses. I have 4 under 7 so I know how much I would love to go out and find a quiet resturant away from ALL kids. Whats the point in leaving yours home if you are sitting next to a young one throwing a tantrum?

  2. DeAnnR

    Found your website though another. I have to say that I am childfree, but I do have 19 neices and nephews by blood and love.

    I think there is a time and place for everything and everyone. There are many family friendly places and venues for family dining and activities. I also think that when adults, including parents, who must also pay for a babysitter put on their fancy clothes for a romantic dinner for two, they don’t want to see, hear, smell kids. Coouples need bonding time just as parent and child does and I would wager most parents go to family friendly places lots more often than they go to fancy places.
    with their spouse.

    Years ago, during my Army Wife days, my now exhubby and I gave several parties each year. BBQs and pool parties were open to all and family friendly. Our New Years party, however, was RSVP, black tie, hired hall and band, and no kids. That was made very clear months in advance. I don’t know how many of your readers may be/have been military, but pretty much the only time you get to dress up to go out is your wedding annivesary or the Ball. Thats a mere twice a year. Some of the younger enlisted ranks didn’t even get out for their anniversary or the Ball. We were the third Event with a capitol E.

    One couple showed up with their 2yo and said, not asked, if people could take turns watching the child while she and hubby dance etc. We reluctantly sent them away. Our guests made arrangements for the evening, paid babysitters, were dressed in clothes that do not take kindly to spit up or poop. It was unfair of them to expect assistance from others who came for an adult, not keeping an eye on the kids, real grownup stuff, evening. The wife stayed angry with me and my “selfish, child-hating ways” for a long time.

  3. Tammy

    I think it’s a great idea for this restaurant to ban kids. Now, I am a mom with a 2 1/2 year old so you would think that this would make me angry, but actually it doesn’t because I know how ornery my little one gets out in public and sometimes adults just want to sit down and have a good meal without hearing little kids screaming and watching them throw food. There are places that are child friendly and that’s where I take my child. If she does start to act up, I will leave instead of just letting her disrupt everyone. I am annoyed, though, at parents who just let their kids scream at restaurants and ignore it. I was actually at a restaurant with my husband one time trying to eat a nice meal and this lady let her child scream for 20 straight minutes. I couldn’t even have a normal conversation with my husband who was across the table from me because the kid was so loud and disruptive. That’s just sad.

  4. The Restaurant Mom

    There is a BIG difference between a restaurant that is not meant for kids and a ban on a portion of the population because of their age. If this or any other restaurant said “we are banning parents with kids under 6″ (which, lets not over look is REALLY what they are doing) I bet there would be a lot of people taking a different stance on this. I agree that some places are not meant for kids and if this restaurant didn’t want them, there are other ways to make that clear that other restaurants have managed to successfully do without offending an entire group of people. Some ways include no high chairs, no kids menu, no changing table. The list can go on and on. You can sugar coat it any way you want but at the end of the day a ban is discrimination and a very slippery slope. First it’s kids under 6, then who? Never mind how they are going to enforce it. Are they going to start asking for birth certificates to prove the kid is older than 6? I’m not saying the restaurant doesn’t have a right to not want kids. What I’m saying is there is a right way and a wrong way to have policies such as this and this restaurant is unfortunately enjoying the publicity of the wrong way of doing it.

  5. Kris

    I can see both sides of the coin, but I don’t see why places need to establish an all out BAN on anyone. If someone is unruly, you escort them out. As an owner, that is your right, no matter what age your guest maybe. But, I agree that some establishments are just NOT meant for kids to go to, or not all hours they are open would be suitable family hours. Ex: we have a local restaurant/pub here that is like that. fine for lunch or a early dinner as a family, but evening/night hours are very much adult only. People here locally respect that. There are plenty of places that carter to kids and/or families, and I see nothing wrong with establishments and/or owners who want to carter to just an adult crowd.

  6. Karon

    I fail to understand what the problem is. This is a business owner operating his/her business as they see fit. It’s not “public.” It’s a private establishment. Just as with any other business, you can decide to go there or not. it shouldn’t even be up for discussion.

  7. amber

    I can see both sides here. But I tend to disagree. First off kids need their parents to control them. That being said, I agree with the above post that states kids making noise is normal. Also, no one can learn how to behave in certain situations if they are never allowed to be in them. I can see the other side’s point as well but I GUESS i just don’t Understand people who don’t want kids around. And either way, once you leave your front door you’re in pulbic. Don’t get so caught up trying to adapt the enironment to you, adapt to it. People come in all shapes & sizes. Kids are people, too.

  8. amber

    I can see both sides here. But I tend to disagree. First off kids need their parents to control them. That being said, I agree with the above post that states kids making noise is normal. Also, no one can learn how to behave in certain situations if they are never allowed to be in them. I can see the other side’s point as well but I GUESS i just don’t stand people who don’t want kids around. And either way, once you leave your front door you’re in pulbic. Don’t get so caught up tryong to adapt the enironment to you, adapt to it. People come in all shapes & sizes. Kids are people, too.

  9. The Mommy

    McDain’s could hardly be considered “fine” dining – which is why the whole thing irritated me so much. I think if you have a fine restaurant and that’s your policy/clientele from the get-go it would have been less insulting to those who went there with their families before they instituted the ban.

    I don’t necessarily get why it’s a need – most people would be uncomfortable and leave if their child created a problem – but I suppose there are those without the all-powerful “common sense and decency” to do so. I AM frustrated by people who think every time a child fusses that the parents are “too lenient” or the kids are “brats”. Get over it. Kids exist and whether people like it or not they ARE allowed out in public before they’re 12! And – this may be shocking to some – it’s actually normal behavior for them to cry, especially when they’re TWO! The majority of parents are doing the best they can in raising, disciplining, and caring for their children. I wish people could respect that. I don’t walk around telling other people how to do THEIR job why is it OK for crazy strangers to imply that they can do MY job better?

    End rant.

  10. Ann Delaney

    Completely agree with Mom on the Verge. You expect young families at hotel restaurants, the local Italian place, and the chain restaurants. But fine dining should be an adult treat. It’s not fun for the kids, or the surrounding patrons.

  11. Mom on the Verge

    Certainly! My brother (who has twin babies and a pre-schooler) asked me this same thing last week. (My kids are 11.) Here’s what I told him:

    Y’know, 60 years ago, people had the sense not to bring uncontrollable, screeching, running, food-throwing children to public places designed for civilized human beings. And believe me, until they’re six or seven years old, they’re practically feral. You’re used to the noise and chaos. In another ten years, you’ll understand.

    We took the kids to McDonalds today, and I had to take The Girl to the bathroom in the playland area. I had forgotten how much little kids just love to screech. They just love it! And they love to run and scream at the same time! There’s a reason they invented Chucky Cheese’s — it’s a place where a kid can be a kid. Not at a nice restaurant. ;) And if I were paying five times the usual airfare to have a peaceful, comfortable flight in first class, I’d want the little ankle biters back in coach, too. ;)

  12. Kat Gordon

    I think it’s a fine idea. There’s a time and a place for everything. Let’s say it’s my anniversary and my husband and I want to enjoy a really grown-up, romantic evening. I’m not going to be happy if my kids are home with a sitter yet we’re seated next to a table with kids.

    It seems obvious to me that many, many restaurants will recognize families as their best customers and not establish policies like this. But those few that, due to space constraints or a very gourmet menu, choose to be grown-ups only? Fine by me.

  13. Evonne

    This restaurant isn’t too far from where I live. Although I’ve never been there, I was (at first) upset by this decision. After reading about what kind of restaurant it is and the support it received for banning kids, I agree with the owner’s decision. This restaurant is geared towards adults and is often a place where people go after work to unwind. If I were them, I wouldn’t want a cranky child near me when I was trying to relax.

  14. amy_y

    Sure! Why not? Other establishments have age limits or requirements. Businesses have the right to sell what they choose to whom they choose. I have a 5- and 3-year-old and I took take them out, but would love to have a completely child-free option to choose.

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