Baby banning: What the No Kids Allowed movement is doing to society

In the past few weeks the talk over “banning children” from public places has been heating up. Numerous articles and news stories have been popping up all over the web and they have begun to cause quite a stir. Kids being banned from planes, restaurants, movies – it is happening all over. “No Kids Allowed” seems to be an accepted part of American life.

My friend Justin Mussler is OK with banning children from public places. I on the other hand, feel the majority of kids are being punished because of the actions of a few (and their parents.) While we both seem to be saying basically the same thing, we’ve come to different conclusions. It seems Justin and I are at an impasse on this subject and are asking for some level-headed folks to chime in.

Here you will find my arguments against the banning, or suggested removal of children, from restaurants and planes. Over at Justin’s site, The Great Family Escape, you will find his arguments in support of the bans. Please feel free to engage. I am a tough person to budge, and so is Justin, but maybe with enough ideas from you guys we can come up with some happy solutions.


“It was so totally cool to see the Statue of Liberty! I still can’t believe it!”
“I know – I’ve seen pictures my whole life, but to actually stand there and see it for real…”
“And Ellis Island! To think I was standing right there where my great great grandmother stood when she came to the USA…”

I was riding the 5:00 train from New York City to Connecticut. The vast majority of travelers were business men and women on their way home after a long day at work in the city. A few had laptops balanced on their knees; others quietly read a book or napped. The train was eerily quiet – until a group of three teen girls got on chattering gaily about their experiences in New York City.

I sat behind the girls listening to their chatter and the teacher in me started to grin a bit – this was learning in action. The girls had seen a part of their nation’s history up close and personal. They had connected. The lessons they learned that day were a part of them forever. I was thrilled.

For the next fifteen minutes I listened in on the conversation as the teens babbled about all they had seen and done. I loved listening to them – to their exuberance and cheerfulness and… life.

And then, all of a sudden, that life came to an abrupt halt.

“Would you girls just shut up?” shouted a grumpy woman from a few rows back. Then she put her head back and continued napping.

I was stunned. I couldn’t believe my ears. Had that woman really just yelled at these girls for making too much noise? Their chatter was music to my ears – and she had yelled at them for it? Wow.

I have to admit I’m baffled by this baby-banning movement. Malaysia Air banned babies from the first class sections of many planes. Restaurants and movie theaters in several cities are also banning kids. One neighborhood in Florida is even trying to ban kids from playing outside! I find this trend scary.

I understand the rationale. People want to be away from all kids except those who act like perfect little angels and don’t utter a peep – and they’re willing to pay for it. They’ll pay extra for a baby-free first class seat or a fancy restaurant where they are guaranteed to meet no kids.

Where there is money, there will be businesses ready to cater to them.

But I can’t help but feel this is a sad commentary on the direction our society is going. We’re heading down the path to the point of no return – where not only kids have been segregated, but everyone else who bothers us as well.

See, this really isn’t about screaming babies. It’s about tolerance. It’s about understanding that we’re all in this together and being willing to work with each other to make our world a little bit better. It’s about cooperation and getting along and being civil toward each other even if we don’t want to be friends. It’s about thinking beyond “me” and realizing that we’re not walking on this planet alone.

This sign on a restaurant in North Carolina is what I’m talking about:

Screaming Children will NOT be Tolerated!

I would be OK with it if they changed it to this:

Screaming children (of all ages) will NOT be tolerated

I mean – fair is fair. I don’t mind asking parents to step outside if their child is screaming. But what about screaming drunk college kids? Will we ask them to leave the restaurant as well?

I was pleased when I read about the smelly adult who was removed from an airplane because his odor offended others. I was also happy to read about the woman who was kicked off a plane because she was crying after her father died. Not that I’m happy about her crying or that she lost her father, but if they’ll kick kids off for making a ruckus, it’s only fair that they kick adults off too.

The problem here is that kids are deemed guilty simply by virtue of their age. Blanket statements incriminate ALL kids and even the best behaved kids are being denied entrance to certain places. We take adults on a case-by-case basis, but kids are presumed to cause trouble. They’re guilty until proven innocent – but they’re never given the opportunity to prove themselves innocent.

Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t like it. Dare I say there are those of us who truly enjoy having babies around? Or chattering teenagers? One of the reasons I enjoy many other cultures so much is the fact that all ages work together – you’ll find granddaughters helping their grandmas in the markets, young kids taking care of younger siblings, young and old alike hanging out together shooting the breeze. Strangers step up to the plate to help a harried mother who’s trying to do the family’s grocery shopping while her baby is demanding attention. They’ve figured out it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been on this planet – you’re still a valued human being.

In the USA, it’s becoming more and more ME. Me, me, me. And it scares me

Is it pleasant to be on a plane with a screaming baby? No. Try being that screaming baby’s mother – trust me, it’s WAY worse. But still – it’s life. Babies are a fact of life and, I like to think, we would all grant them a bit of leeway because they are… well, they’re babies!

“That’s true,” some will say. “The babies don’t bother me so much because they are babies and crying is their only means of communication. It’s the older kids who kick my seat or run around the restaurant or climb over the seats in the movie theater – those are the ones who bother me.

(I’ll share a secret with you – they bother me too)

But here’s the thing: kids learn what’s expected of them by being in the situation. When they are climbing over seats in the movie theater and you (yes, you – the person being bothered by it) say, “Excuse me – could you please stop climbing those seats? It’s making it really hard for me to watch the movie” That’s when the kid learns climbing the seats isn’t OK. And 90% of them will sit down and be still for the rest of the movie – you’ve just taught them societal norms.

Or if you turn around on the plane and talk gently to the kid behind you and say, “Did you know that when you kick the seat you’re jabbing me in the back? It makes it really hard for me to relax – could you please keep your legs down? Here – come sit in my seat for a minute and I’ll kick the seat so you can see what it feels like.” I’d bet you anything that kid had absolutely no idea that his kicking the seat was bothering anybody.

When you’re in a restaurant where a large group of drunk college kids are raising a ruckus, probably your best bet is to simply head out the door. Maybe if someone had taught those kids appropriate behavior when they were young, that wouldn’t have happened.

It’s that “takes a village” thing going on. It’s not ONLY the parents’ responsibility to teach kids right and wrong, it’s society’s.

So when a group of teenage girls are chattering on a train and Grumpy Old Woman yells at them to be quiet, they learn to think of those around them. When Exasperated Business Traveler tells a seat kicker his actions are bothering him, the child learns his actions affect others.

And when we ban kids from public places, they learn they are second class citizens not worthy of any of our time. They don’t have the opportunity to learn what’s expected.

How the heck do you expect ‘em to learn those societal rules if they can’t be part of society?

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About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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72 Responses to Baby banning: What the No Kids Allowed movement is doing to society

  1. Randi August 5, 2011 at 7:48 am #

    Nancy, I’m on board with your thinking! Not that I don’t disagree with Justin’s logic, but I think you get at the crux of the problem. When you ban children, you are not giving the parents any tools to make a situation better which is basically what Justin is saying. The parents are the ones to blame, but instead of saying ok come here without your kids, let’s try to teach you how to handle your children. I love your comments about how other countries and cultures work together in multigenerational families and our country is becoming more and more about me! That is such a true statement on so many levels, from the top down. Congress and Wall-Street, and everyone responsible for the economic melt-down. Do you really think that would have happened if people were thinking of helping others instead of making a buck (or a million) for themselves! Ok, off topic, but such a wonderful and spot on statement. So in short, I’m with you and think children should be allowed, but others should also help out when it’s needed.

    • Justin Mussler August 5, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Hi Randi.

      If I am the business owner of an adult establishment, how is it my responsibility to teach you how to handle your children.

      Nancy mentioned once that in Ethiopia at a meal a waitress came and took her kids away so her husband and her could enjoy their meal. But how does that help? I think that was the story right Nancy?

      I see it totally different. I see a parent that asks a restaurant owner to support the development and care of their child as being much more about “ME”.

      That all said. I love the debate and have a ton of respect for those debating, even if I disagree. We share to get to a higher level. Happy to give and take.

      • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

        In Ethiopia, kids are such a highly respected and adored part of society, everybody loves them. When we walked in to the restaurant, the wait staff and cooks took our kids and played because they loved it – not so much so that John and I could eat in peace.

      • Randi August 8, 2011 at 7:49 am #

        I wasn’t meaning restaurant owners, waitresses, or patrons only, I’m speaking in general terms. It’s a very fine line to walk in American culture as to when to help or step in, but it’s always good to think about helping a struggling parent if you clearly see they are struggling. If they give you the brush off, then at least you can say you tried to help, but hopefully the parent will be able to get the help he/she needs while also learning other people care and how to care for their child as well. Just a thought because in the moment sometimes its much harder said than done. Good luck to all the parents out there who are trying to raise their children with good manners, yet somehow those seem to go out the doors at times as well.

        • Justin August 9, 2011 at 11:46 am #

          Hi Randi,

          We are in agreement on helping. Actually, that is my job to help parents and kids. The world can not progress with out help. It is one thing to struggle with a hyper or demanding child. It is another thing to struggle because you are being a self-indulgent adult and ignoring your children. Not all parents care. They may care what others think, but they surely do not care to put forth the time and effort to help their children grow. These are the people I think it is tough to help. I agree – Good luck to the parents who are “trying to raise their kids”. I don’t think those who try are getting booted. That is essentially my point. We can all see the difference between a parent who is struggling and overwhelmed and one who could just care less.

  2. Lisa August 5, 2011 at 9:07 am #

    “See, this really isn’t about screaming babies. It’s about tolerance.”

    This statement says it all. Great post.

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 5:01 pm #

      I agree. That’s really all that needs to be said! (OK, so why then did I write 1300 words??)

      • Alex September 15, 2014 at 12:58 pm #

        @Nancy, Because you’re verbose and love hearing the sound of your own voice – or in this case, love reading the mindless shit that flows from your fingertips.

        “Just because you don’t like something doesn’t mean everybody doesn’t like it.”

        You mean the screaming baby?

        • Nancy Sathre-Vogel September 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

          @Alex, Interesting comment. I’ve been on plenty of planes with screaming babies and never once got upset about it. They are babies – that’s how they communicate. I think we all need to learn to chill out a bit and learn to accept others.

  3. Tiffany August 5, 2011 at 9:22 am #

    Unfortunately, parents with well-behaved children are in the minority. If people would parent at home, then their kids would behave in public. Yes, I am for banning children from some areas, or better yet have adult only places. By restricting children, society is really trying restricting bad parents. Sorry if you have a good kid. I know I was one, and I wish more kids had manners today.

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm #

      “parents with well-behaved children are in the minority.”

      This is so sad. I honestly don’t see that – I rarely see the kicking, screaming, out-of-control kids so many people talk about all the time. The vast majority of kids I see in public are just fine.

      Maybe the problem is that we don’t really even see the good kids and only focus on the ones that are misbehaving – so it SEEMS like they are the only ones??

  4. Justin Mussler August 5, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    There is no such thing as a bad kid. I believe that. My point was not about kids being bad or wild or disruptive, that is what kids do. It is about parents being attentive to their children in public places.

    And besides, Why does a 5 year old have to learn how to act right in a Rated R movie or in first class. Aren’t their other less restrictive places a child can learn this behavior. I am all for active learning, but at whose expense.

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 5:04 pm #

      I agree – there is no such thing as a bad kid. There is inappropriate behavior, but no bad kid.

  5. Grand Canyon Harry August 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I have strong feelings on both sides of the argument. But to say that the kids are being punished is bland compared to those kids who don’t even know their parents because of day care ceners since birth, latchkey kids, no parental involvement in the child’s life except the nice car, boat, summer cottage, clothes, pool, etc. etc. etc. that the parents believe is so important in their narrow minded lives. I am a big supporter of family values. A teething moody toddler does not belong on an airplane or in a fine restaurant. In the same breath I say the same for drunks, derelicts of society, loud teenagers, etc. A particular business is there for one reason and one reason only – to make money. They have to provide a comfortable environment for their customers no matter who is insulted. I simply avoid those places that don’t restrict the “undesireables.” A few years back restaurants started banning tobacco products patrons and there was an outcry – you will go broke, we will challenge you in court, etc, etc. but guess what? The state now prohibits by law those same individuals and business is thriving. I think a business has the right to conduct themselves as they see fit as long as it doesn’t break any laws – like race descrimination. Don’t like that business for their practices? Go somewhere else. That is the one great thing about America, you have a choice – isn’t it great. Just sayin’.

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

      That’s what scares me about this baby banning stuff Harry. I remember the outcry about not allowing smoking – it was HUGE! People were so upset and felt they had the right to smoke in public, etc… And now, we all accept the fact that they can’t.

      So now we’re at that same doorway, but this time it’s kids. Businesses are banning kids because they are undesirable – just like smoking. There’s a HUGE outcry now – but in a few years will it be accepted that kids belong at home and not in public?

      I can only hope not.

      • Nancy August 6, 2011 at 7:27 am #

        I do agree with that – children won’t be banned from the kid places. But still – I can’t help but think that some kids would be able to go to those golf clubs and be perfectly fine. Why can’t they just because they are only x years old? As Justin’s Maggie said, the signs should read, “Wild crazy screaming kids are not tolerated. I don’t want to be kicked out if I’m behaving nicely.”

  6. thulsa doom August 5, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    “the Purging is at last at hand. the Day of Doom is here. All that is evil, all their allies; your parents, your leaders, those who would call themselves your judges; those who have lied and corrupted the Earth, they shall all be cleansed”

  7. Taluscat August 5, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    I agree that people of all ages should be shushed or removed by the establishment if they are disruptive. I wish more companies would get some backbone in that regard.

    On the other hand, kids do tend to be overwhelmingly disruptive in certain situations because many parents (not all but it only takes 1 child to disrupt an entire theater) don’t do anything about a loud or fussy child. I agree, they are just babies & children. Because of that, you shouldn’t try to exceed their capabilities – most will get bored in a 2 hour movie, they’ll get tired being up too late, they’ll be in distress in a loud situation. Why would a caring parent put them there? If anything, I see these parents as the selfish ones. They want what they want more than they care about the needs and limitations of their children (not to mention the comfort of other paying patrons).

    And god forbid you actually talk to or chastise a child making noise or kicking your seat. That’s when the parent will wake up and get in your face and yell at you about daring to speak to or discipline their child. You can’t be so naive as to think even the kindest of comments would go over well!

    It takes a lot of bad apples to make a business create these policies. I’m sure this wasn’t an arbitrary decision but one based on complaints over and over and over again. Maybe once parents wake up and start parenting again this will change.

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

      “I agree that people of all ages should be shushed or removed by the establishment if they are disruptive. I wish more companies would get some backbone in that regard.”

      That’s really what it all comes down to – if you can’t act appropriately, you’ll be asked to leave. It’s behavior based rather than age based.

  8. Justin August 5, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    Nancy, I totally agree. No Granny on table unless of course it is granny table dancing night.

    You are also correct. It is not fair to kids on many levels. Sure there are 6 year olds that can handle themselves better than adults in public settings.

    What also isn’t fair is that people with sue you or threaten to sue you if you simply ask their child to be quiet. Or they will just swear you up and down in front of your child. Some people are not nice and tolerant.

    I am not saying I like banning kids. I don’t. It is not fair. But I can’t see another way for businesses that lose money because of it. I think we all ban our kids at points. We put them to bed before us, we create “playrooms” for them. There is nothing wrong with having a place for adults. I would much rather hangout at my son’s preschool all day and play on the tire swing, but they won’t let me. And I stamp my feet!

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 4:20 pm #

      I actually like the idea they have in the UK – on the trains there they have a quiet car. If you want to sit in the quiet car, you have to be quiet – that means no talking on cell phones or loud conversations or screaming kids. If you are there and decide you want to change, then you move to a different car!

      I think that’s the solution here – have a quiet section of a restaurant and a part where noise is more tolerated. Makes sense to me!

      • Justin August 5, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

        Yep! That is great. Kind of like first class, but we call in quiet class.

  9. Kimberly Herbert August 5, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    I agree with you in some cases and disagree with you in others.

    Kids should not be banned from public transport or most places of public accommodation.

    Restaurants should kick out inappropriately acting patrons no matter what their ages. I staged a revolt in one restaurant. There was an obnoxious family. The kids came back from the bathroom with one giving the details of her BM across the restaurant.

    I cancelled my order and told the manager that I could not eat with that type of conversation. The tables around me did the same – the tables behind them started cancelling. The manager had the offending families food packed up charged them full price with a major tip added in – and banned them.

    The restaurant is now the place to go for a peaceful dinner. No kids being loud, not drunks be gross. The neighborhood knows you will be kicked out if you misbehave.

    I rarely go to the movies. When I do – I go to restaurant/movies combo that does not let kids under a certain age in after 6 and does not let kids under 17 into R rated movies. Most people will not take any but the best behaved kids to this theater, when it is allowed – because if you are disruptive they kick you out. You do not leave immediately when told to you are banned. Protest that and they throw your ass in jail on trespassing charges.

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 5:08 pm #

      “The neighborhood knows you will be kicked out if you misbehave. ”

      PERFECT!! That’s exactly what I mean by responding to the behavior and not the age!

  10. Nancy August 5, 2011 at 4:24 pm #

    Wow. I guess I’ve been overseas way too long! I haven’t dealt with a whole lot of disruptive kids in the USA and have never been yelled at by parents for saying something to the ones I have found. In other countries it’s expected that an adult will step in and correct a child – so that’s how I see things.

    • Nancy August 6, 2011 at 7:24 am #

      I agree that parents should take their kids out if they get too disruptive – but therein lies a quandary in and of itself. Who is going to define “too disruptive”? As in the case I cited in my post about the teen girls – I think that grumpy old woman was way over the top. The girls were chattering excitedly, but not terribly loudly. I didn’t think they were being obnoxious at all, but apparently that woman did.

      So – how do we determine where that line is? A group of teenagers can sit around and whisper? Talk in normal voices? Talk in slightly louder than normal? When do we kick them out?

      Maybe that’s the issue here – I rarely see those out-of-control kids so many are talking about. Maybe it’s because I have a higher threshold and don’t even realize they are being loud? Maybe the problem isn’t with the kids being unruly, but with our varying degrees of tolerance toward it??

    • Suburban Cowgirl August 6, 2011 at 8:06 am #

      But that’s the thing — other cultures don’t have the “freedoms” we do — including the freedom to be an unmitigated a$$hole. You correct someone’s child HERE and their “freedom of speech”-loving parent may get very ugly. I rarely do more than give a dirty look to people who have disruptive children and almost never do I hear a “Johnny, be still, you’re bothering people” in response.

      Of course, these are the same kinds of people who think nothing of texting during movies, whispering and twittering to their companions, climbing across you to go get more popcorn, and being loud in restaurants themselves.

      If the parents are polite, chances are the child will be polite. So it’s reasonable to conclude that if the child is an obnoxious brat, the parent probably is too, and will not welcome an implied criticism of their parenting when a total stranger has the audacity to tell “little Johnny” to sit down, shut up, and stop kicking the back of the seat.

      But I agree, it’s obnoxious or disruptive behavior that should be banned — not children who have manners and know how to behave in public.

      • Nancy August 6, 2011 at 8:42 am #

        This is very true: “If the parents are polite, chances are the child will be polite.” Kids learn what they grow up with.

  11. mari August 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    I mostly agree with you, as the mom of several teenagers.

    However, I agree with banning kids (and anyone else who misbehaves). Just yesterday, in a grocery store, some creepy mentally disabled young man came over and started stroking my hair. EWWWWW, and mom tried to educate me on his condition and why he can’t control his urges instead of correcting this. In fact, she was correcting me for correcting him. If I’m eating out, paying for a meal, paying for a movie, paying for an airline ticket which is rare with our income, I don’t want it ruined by someone who can’t behave in public — whether they can “help it” or not.

    That said, I’m with you…it shouldn’t be all children banned….it should be behavior based, not age based.

    I also agree that kids being out in public is the most important time to train them in right behavior. But…a stranger correcting someone’s child does not go over well in my experience.

    Last time I did this, after someone’s monster was kicking in my seat in a Rated R movie at night (9 pm…he was about 6 or 7…it was Star Wars III, and it was full of young children AT NIGHT), his mother bawled me out for upsetting her little Bueford. The mom also said it was “creepy” for a stranger to talk to her kid and inappropriate for a stranger to correct someone else’s kid.

    As a former waitress, I’ve asked kids to keep from running around me while I’m carrying trays of food, only to have the parents coddle the kid for their hurt feelings, complain to my manager (one got me fired by saying I threatened to drop a tray of hot food on her kid…when actually I was warning the child as I didn’t want to trip and accidentally spill hot food on her kid — I was warning her of the dangers not threatening). In times’ past, they usually get a discount from management to smooth over their bruised parental egos. (big fat eye roll)

    Our society is too afraid of offending anyone, including “parents” who refuse to parent their children in public. On the flip side, if you do parent a little too strongly in public, you invariably get some grouchy grannie who calls CPS on you, as happened to a friend of mine who told her child he wasn’t going to go to mc donald’s that evening for his behavior…they told cps she said she wasn’t going to feed him because of his behavior…6 week long investigation before it was found to be nothing…SCARY!

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 4:57 pm #

      Yep – I agree the ban should be behavior based rather than age based.

      I am so very puzzled by so many people talking about how angry parents get when they try to correct inappropriate behavior. I’ve NEVER gotten that sort of reaction at all! Maybe it’s just that I’ve perfected the fine art of reprimanding kids during my 21 years as a classroom teacher???

      • mari August 5, 2011 at 5:10 pm #

        I don’t know, Nancy. My father in law is a teacher with 40 years of experience. He is well liked by his former students, who often come back to visit him now as he is in his golden years. Even though he is very good with children, even he has gotten screamed at by some defensive mommy (and it’s always the moms that do this, not the dads)

        I’m also very good with children. I’ve been a life guard in my younger years, an art teacher for 15 years, and I have children of my own. I’ve even been an au pair.

        Trust me, it’s the parents.

        It’s gotten so much worse in the last 10 years too. I was a waitress in the late 80s, then I waitressed after I lost my job a few years ago…what a difference in parents/children and behavior in restaurants. It was APPALLING. My parents were not strict at all but they’d have disowned me if I acted like that in public! And I have never had the guts to act like that. Instead the kids act that way and the parents lose it if someone corrects them. It’s surreal, Nancy!

        I was a chaperone on a field trip (as in, it was my job to do crowd control) and I had emails from moms upset that I hurt their child’s feelings by correcting them publicly. And I wasn’t verbally berating or anything like that. I’m a pretty soft spoken gal in person. ;). One child was climbing on things — in the parts of the historic house that were roped off. It wasn’t like they didn’t have a tun of things to do that were hands on in most of the other parts of the tour on the underground railroad, but he just didn’t want to stay with the group or follow rules…and mom wanted me to write an apology to him. (did. not. happen).

        Like your friend in the other post said…it’s not really the kids, it’s the parents. You have to feel sorry for these kids not being taught how to behave. It’s all I can do to keep from slapping the moms though. 😉

        • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

          OK – you’ve scared me. I’ll be heading off to another country now…

    • Spectra June 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm #

      @mari, THIS. This is why places are banning kids: because their obnoxious parents think it’s okay to allow their children to disturb others. Do good parents get punished along with them? Yes. Is it unfortunate? YES. However, until we as a society stop coddling ill behaved parents, thd bans must continue. And the fact is, adults who are disruptive in public places ARE generally removed, and fast — especially if the patrons around them make a stink. Parents generally do not consider others when it’s their kids creating the ruckus, though…

      Obviously we don’t notice well.behaved kids, though. Nor do we notice well behaved adults. This is because they are behaving as they should be behaving. Why congradulate the expected behavior? I don’t reward my cats for using the litterbox — it’s what they are SUPPOSED TO DO.

      Also, have you ever tried scolding someone else’s kid for misbehaving? Nine times out of ten, the parent will come at you ready to delicer a beat-down, never mind the fact that their child has just been utterly nasty and reprehensible. The ‘it takes a village’ attitude does not apply unless it’s allowing children to all-out ignore social convention.

  12. TravelMaus August 5, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

    Nancy, I was going to leave a message as I did on Justin’s site but after reading Mari’s post and her reply, I couldn’t put it any better myself. She covered all the bases. Here in Toronto I see the situations that Mari wrote about a hundred times a month. I wish I could agree with you on this one, but sadly I can’t. I do know exactly where you are coming from and were parents better capable of disciplining their kids, I’d agree with you, but I see what Mari sees WAY too often. Maybe if kids get banned then parents will wake up ! If/when they do, maybe the situation will reverse itself. But sadly I don’t see it happening anytime soon. I do see well behaved kids out there, but they are in the minority!

    • Nancy August 5, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

      Honestly, I sometimes wonder if I’m walking on a totally different planet than most people. The other day I went clothes shopping for the boys. We spent quite some time at Penney’s and the boys tried on plenty of clothes. There were lots of kids around, but I didn’t see even one who was acting inappropriately.

      At one point I was passing a couple of older women when a small kid ahead of us started dancing. She was so cute dancing in the aisles! I turned to the older women and made some comment about how precious and they agreed – and we walked side by side talking about how wonderful it is to see the sheer joy of childhood.

      I do see kids being obnoxious here and there, but not often. Really, in my experience the bad kids are WAY outnumbered!

    • Nancy August 6, 2011 at 7:20 am #

      That is, sadly, way too true. There are some incompetent parents out there and they are incapable of seeing that they are so.

    • mari August 6, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

      I think there are two big tragedies here…(1) the fact that children who are not ill behaved will be punished and banned along with the bratty ones and (2) the ill behaved kids will never have opportunities to learn how to act in public. When are they going to learn it? Do parents just think that someday, when junior hits 18 suddenly manners will magically appear in them?

      Society loses out too. What will the future be like when these coddled little spoiled brats become adults? I shudder at the thought.

  13. Lash August 6, 2011 at 6:28 am #

    To be honest, I really don’t enjoy trying to deal with noisy kids in restaurants and on planes. It seems to me during the time I grew up that Americans only took their kids out in public places like that when the kids had become ‘well behaved’ and didn’t disturb others around them. I thought that was a big priority. I understand that people- families- want to go out to eat and want to travel. Sure! But I tend to think they should do it after their kids can ‘behave’ themselves. If people want to have children, and most people do, that’s great. But dont’ make other people deal with your stuff. What I’ve seem over and over again is parents who are so used to hearing their kids scream, yell and race around that they barely notice it themselves anymore, let alone notice how it’s affecting others around them. The parents often seem so exhausted from their children that they barely care what’s happening. It’s an issue like smoking- smokers certainly have a right to smoke! But it’s not cool to affect other peoples’ health with your habits. They should choose places where their stuff wont’ negatively impact others.
    I have to agree with MAri- it seems to be the parents! in the first place, they’ve let their kids be out of control Then, if you approach the parents about kids disturbing you, they get defensive. I’ve had several incidents- mostly overseas- where I’ve very very politely asked if their kids could stop screaming right beside me or stop racing around restaurants. I’ve been chewed out more than once as being ‘selfish’ Pretty ironic if you ask me!

  14. Pufferfish August 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Such a hot topic! As a mom of 18 month old energetic twin boys, I am avidly following these discussions.

    Nancy, I think you might be on a different planet:)
    I am appalled at the level of discipline so many parents take with their children. There seems to be such a sense of entitlement that the kids should be able to do whatever they want to do. No one tells them ‘no’. Or if they do, I never see any follow through.

    My MIL and her husband refer to their OWN grandchild, now 7, as the devil spawn. His parents are complete idiots as parents but my god they are smart on paper. They simply can’t discipline and he’s brilliantly got them running circles. There’s no one in the family who enjoys being around this child. It’s really sad.

    Yesterday another kid bit my son. The mom was standing right there. I said, “Henry just bit him.” She said, “Oh, did he? Really?” My jaw dropped that she didn’t apologize, but it hit the ground when she didn’t reprimand little Henry!

    We go out to eat once a week–at a diner at 8am and sit in the very back and try not to bother ANYone. I want them to learn ‘how’ to go out to eat, but we order on our way in, get the check as they bring our food and exit as soon as the boys get restless. My boys are not ready for lunch or dinner and I’m not going to do that to other patrons who have paid money to eat their meal.

    We also fly, but I always bring earplugs and chocolates for those around us. I apologize if my son kicks or grabs at their tray, etc. I get up and walk the aisles for hours if I have to, but I do what it takes and try not to bother anyone else. I am pretty proud at the end of the flight when someone sitting near tells me how good my baby was:)

    Kids will be kids and I want to bring mine out into the world as well-behaved boys, but they do have to get out in the world as they are learning it.
    It’s up to the parents to do the hard work (and it is HARD).
    Unfortunately, there are too many parents who have checked out.

    • mari August 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

      good for you, pufferfish. We always took our kids out when they were little, and we taught them how to behave. They’re teens to adults now, and they’re enjoyable to be around.

      the other set of grandkids are not-so-lovingly referred to as “the wrecking crew” by my parents. 🙁 Demon spawn would probably fit too. I don’t want them at my house either.

  15. Jen August 6, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Wow you both have great posts and thoughts on this. I mostly agree with Nancy but see where Justin is coming from. I see far more adults with poor social behavior than children. Don’t get me started on large businessmen talking on their cell phones! The problem is when these adults also have their children with them . They are clueless of those around them. I’ll be honest I stay away from most places that are stated family friendly when traveling with MY KIDS! A few years ago we went to Fiji. We could have stayed in one of the resorts that caters to families but I really don’t want to be 100% around kids. When I go to those places the parents seem checked out and let their kids go wild because they are in a ‘kid friendly place.” It just gets a little crazy. We chose a resort that allowed kids but was more real/rustic. A pool but no slide. No “kids” meals but food a kid could eat. A place that was run by locals and where my kids could play with local children. It was a much better experience. I was glad this resort did not ban kids like some others. We appreciated the experience and made sure our kids did not ruin any experiences of other adult travelers.

    But I don’t think we need to wait until our children are “well behaved” mini adults to take them to public places. That statement frankly pisses me off. We as parents need to be aware of those around us and adjust as needed. I would not take our kids to a fancy restaurant or at least not after say 5:30 but I would not think twice about taking my kids to moderately priced restaurant where adults talk loudly, music plays etc…If my kid was acting out one of us would go outside but I would not expect them to sit at the table without saying a word or occasionally getting up (not running around). Frankly when I see kids acting like mini adults I wonder what is going on in that home!

    • Nancy August 6, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

      “I don’t think we need to wait until our children are “well behaved” mini adults to take them to public places.”

      Exactly – if we wait until they know how to behave, they’ll never go anywhere!

  16. Jenn August 7, 2011 at 4:25 am #

    I left a post on Justin’s site. I agree somewhat with both of you, but for me I think it all comes down to holding parents accountable. If a place makes it clear they are accountable for their childs behavior they will pay more attention to their kids or not go back. Maybe if it’s pointed out to them enough, they will see what everyone else sees. I don’t think kids should be banned I think parents should stop feeling entitled, and pay attention to what is going on around them. Make it clear to the parent what is expected from them in regards to their children.

  17. Cherie @Technomadia August 7, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    I agree with a lot of the points made on both sides of this argument. And I think there’s another facet to this that hasn’t been explored.

    First of all, let me preface this by clearly stating that I am childfree by choice – I do not have kids, do not want kids and elected for surgical sterilization. However, that does not mean I hate kids and want them removed from my presence at all times. I actually love being the ‘cool’ aunt to many of the kids in my life, and love seeing their minds expand when I show them a slice of my world. I just simply know that the role I was called to live in this lifetime was not of a full-time primary care giver of a child.

    When in public, I have certainly endured my share of dealing with misbehaving children (and parents claiming this doesn’t happen often, I’m sorry.. it does.) And I definitely appreciate parents who keep aware of how their kid’s behavior impacts others. I also accept it as part of culture and society that these are things that come with life – just as also traveling next to a snoring passenger, a drunken adult, loud talker, etc. And I am sure I have committed my own offenses to others during the course of life.

    For me, this argument is not about getting misbehaving children/adults out of my site.

    It’s about recognizing that we are all individuals and deserve to be able to create a space around us to address that.

    Just as a kid deserves to be a kid, and have places and times created for them where they can run, play, learn and scream.

    Adults also deserve to have time and space where they can be adults. Whether this means being able to focus on high level business discussions, enjoy a romantic meals without the kids around, talking with friends about societally defined ‘adult topics’ or just cutting loose and dancing naked under the stars.

    There are very few spaces in our world where adults are not expected to censor who they are in order to ‘protect the children’. We are expected to watch our language, cover up our bits and avoid certain topics in public spaces … all for protecting children from things their parents aren’t ready to deal with educating them about.

    Case in point – a year ago we were part of a rally of other younger full time traveling RVers. 17 households on wheels converged for a weekend of workshops and community. Some of those households had kids, and others where also childfree.

    The kids were present at every single activity – whether it was a discussion on solar chargers or hanging around at our evening social bar (and drinking all our mixers – after their parents made no extra contributions to the ‘bar’ because you know, that’s an adult space).

    When the adults expressed a preference for having some childfree time so that we could also enjoy the rally in our vision (ie. have a discussion on solar chargers without interruptions from the kids to get their toy fixed)- we were reprimanded by the parents at the rally for not being accepting.

    But yet, it was also made clear that we were to censor ourselves and not proceed with some of our planned activities (we had a world renowned photographer in attendance, and willing models to do some artistic nudes – in a private space, of course.) – but the parents would not budge on the expectation that their kids were to be allowed at *every* activity, and that no ‘adult’ conversations or activities where allowed when their kids where around.

    Keeping in mind, this was an event that was not billed as a family event – but simply as a gathering of younger full time RVers.

    So yes, I fully support events, activities and places being designated as adult only. We all deserve to be able to create a space and time for being who we are. And denying that to anyone is being intolerant.

    Adults wanting time & space with ‘no kids allowed’ are not evil.

    • Nancy August 7, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

      Excellent point Cherie! I also think there is a time for leaving the kids at home. I have no problem with setting aside certain times/activities as adult only – I just think it’s absurd that a whole restaurant would not allow kids.

      I don’t understand the attitude of some parents who won’t allow other adults to have adult time. That makes no sense to me at all. If you want to take pics of nude people, then I can choose to go/not to go – but to tell you you can’t do it seems crazy!

      • Cherie @Technomadia August 7, 2011 at 9:20 pm #

        There is no shortage of restaurants in this world. There’s no reason that each can’t specialize in the style and atmosphere they want to create. Is not diversity in our culture important?

        Restaurants, resorts, hotels, clubs, etc. are not open general public places, they are private places of business. And if some want to create an adult only atmosphere to have a space where parents who have paid for a babysitter can go out for an evening without dealing with someone else’s kid (well behaved or not) at the table next to them – then great. Money talks, and if they’re getting enough business to keep the doors open – excellent.

        There are plenty of other establishments in an area for a family to dine at that provide exactly that atmosphere. A few restaurants in a city catering to adults does not indicate a society that wants to keep kids at home all the time. It’s simply creating a much needed space for adult time (and by saying such places should not exist IS on par with parents telling adults they can’t have their adult time).

        I’m really failing to see how a few business establishments wanting to cater to an adult only experience is limiting anyone. It’s opening up options and addressing the varying needs in our society.

  18. Liz August 7, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    I’ve been reading the posts & they are all great. I have to share one that is a bit off the wall.

    I live in Boise by South Jr High. There is a neighbor with 3 girls (8, 5, and almost 3, I think are the ages). The girls like to scream, I don’t mean the “yelling” we are having fun. It is the high pitched awful scream that girls make (yes, I have a son & daughter, so I know what I’m talking about). My husband & I “tolerated” the screaming for about two years before I had had enough. I called the cops…..yes, I thought about going over & speaking with the parents or asking over the fence for the girls to use a “quiet” voice. But like most people have put on their posts, the parents of the said children aren’t so nice when it comes to comments about their children.

    I called the police. That was an interesting conversation. The officer was insisting that they are children. To which I agreed. But I told the officer, I should not have to shut my house up (and yes, still hear the kids) or be almost a block away & still hear the kids. When I made that comment he got quiet. My husband & I started at their house & walked to almost two houses away from South before we almost didn’t hear them any more.

    While the officer & I were having this conversation, he was driving by their house…yes, he did hear some of the screaming, just not as bad. The dad of the girls must have been looking out because the screaming got quieter after that. No, the officer didn’t come back, although he did give me his direct number to call if the screaming got bad again.

    In this instance, my husband & I have come to realize that the mom doesn’t want to discipline (she would rather go in the house & shut the doors) and the dad is the discipliner. Is there still screaming? Yes, sometimes bad, sometimes not. Do I want to go over & confront the parents or holler over the fence? No, because they would probably call the cops on me for “speaking with their girls”.

  19. Luke August 7, 2011 at 11:59 pm #

    Well this is really wrong! I think that this isn’t a solution. If all those people think that it is – they wrong!

    I would rather try to look at the root of this crazy idea.

    What caused it ? Bad behavior ? What caused bad behavior ? Parents!

    And now, those parents and society that left their kids to grow without a custody is complaining about them acting to “freely” ,

    Way to go, way to go…

  20. Aunt Ashley August 15, 2011 at 2:02 am #

    I must say, I side with Justin. You both seem to believe essentially the same things, but view the scenarios differently. While I think that woman was surly and rude, those three girls may have been unusually, irksomely loud. I’ve been shushed in my teenage years, and I understood that is wasn’t the talking, but my volume.

    Chastising children and adults is fundamentally different, though. Why? Parents. We as the public know how to handle adults who won’t behave. Those drunken college students are thrown out courtesy of the police, the loud person on their cell in the movie is reprimanded and removed if needed, and the smelly dude was kicked from the plane. A child is protected and marshaled, first and foremost, by the parent, and when parents stop doing their job and make being in the vicinity of their child a trial, people will DEMAND their expulsion, just like they’d demand the expulsion of an ornery adult. Children are free agents for businesses, because they’re under guardianship of an adult and outside the direct procedures used ON adults.

    If some adult’s texting in a movie, I’ll ask them to stop, if a CHILD is texting in a movie, the parent should ask, but if they don’t and I DO, I look like a complete jerk who just threw feces on the legacy of their parenting.

    I’m not a child person, I’m not. I know this makes me biased, but I’m amazed at how selfish parents can be of both the other patrons’ experience and their child’s health and safety. “I know you paid for your ticket and popcorn, ma’am, but your child won’t stop crying, and his wails are disturbing the guests who want to enjoy Scream 4 in figurative peace.” I work in a movie theater, and I WISH that was an exaggeration.

  21. jim August 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm #

    In New Zealand , such a movement just wouldn’t get off the ground. Legislation prohibits the discrimination against anyone on the basis of age, sex, religion etc.
    I wonder what’s going to happen here when a mum wants to book with Air Malaysia with her kid? Because companies that sell services in NZ have to abide by our legislation when making their offers.

  22. Cornelius Aesop August 17, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    “Fair is Fair” exactly and well said in the simplest point. Most adults don’t act like proper little angels, so banning kids won’t fix that. But, as you stated, where there is a way to make money businesses will support any cause.

  23. Theodora August 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm #

    My view is that there’s a case for an upgrade to quiet first class plane travel. I spent a mere 15 minutes on a bus (with three kids) the other day, and there were three adults in charge of a child of about 18 months who screamed the whole way through. No one made any attempt to comfort him, talk to him, offer him food or a bottle, even rock his stroller. I don’t know what their problem was, but it was a big one.

    We all have different boundaries of what appropriate behaviour is, but when a parent makes no effort to comfort or calm a screaming child, there is something wrong with that adult. I think if you have a baby in an adult-centred space, such as a high-end restaurant, and that baby begins to scream, the sensible thing to do is to take him or her out and walk them around until they’ve calmed down. It’s what I’ve always done, and what, to be honest, I’d expect other adults to do.

    So how about? “Parents With No Consideration For The Needs Of Others And Their Own Children Will Be Banned FRom This Restaurant”?

    • Nancy August 18, 2011 at 9:08 pm #

      I’m all for a sign saying, “Kids of any age who are acting inappropriately will be banned!”

  24. jay August 30, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I think if you banned kids in public places, we should banned our shelves, because we were once kids to. Think what our parents put up with, when they where raising us. If the public dosen’t what kids around, then the human race shouldn’t have children in the frist place. Kids act the way they do for a reason. I think we are forgetting why we have kids in the frist place . We have kids to carry on our family genes, because we all are going to died at one point of time. So! think about this. If we want a better future, then this is not a good started, specialy for the next generation.

  25. lisa November 11, 2011 at 11:17 pm #

    I see the banning of children from public places as a sign of the times. We are deeply entrenched in an isolating, electronic world. We are communicating via computers, without the benefit of human face to face contact. We are isolating our children because we have to keep up with the machine. We don’t know how to talk to people anymore. So, it is no surprise to me that this is going on.
    Nancy, you aren’t living on another planet, I assure you. You are still living authentically and other than using computers as tools, I would be willing to bet you actually are curious about your fellow human being and therefore have much more tolerance for them, including children.
    I have a daughter and while she has temper tantrums at home (age 7), she is quite well behaved in public although a bit shy. I have had strangers admonish her and her friends for whatever reason and as long as they are not abusive, I just sit and watch. My daughter usually looks at me and is ashamed.
    We are not connected to each other anymore and this allows for this enforced disconnect. If I want to go out on an adult outing, I get a babysitter- but then again I have the money and the social support system. People who bring their young children to movies aren’t doing it to enrage fellow viewers, I guarantee it. They have no money to pay for a sitter or they want to be together as a family. Is it appropriate to bring children to a late movie or adult movie? From my standpoint yes, but I do realize that everyone has their own values and experiences that make them do what they do.

    • Nancy November 13, 2011 at 11:36 pm #

      You’re right – it is a sign of the times. We’ve lost the tolerance that used to be a normal part of society. How can we get that back??

  26. lisa November 11, 2011 at 11:20 pm #

    I meant, NO, it is not appropriate to bring children to late and/or adult movies!

    Talk about messing up the point I was trying to make…

  27. Alexa February 14, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

    I don’t think children should be banned from most places, but business owners should not hesitate to throw out parents who won’t take care of their children.

    The big problem is that people eat at restaurants a lot more often than they used to, not because eating out is special, but because they don’t want to cook that night. People eat out at least 3-5 times a week on average. This has completely changed the attitude toward restaurants.

    When I was a little girl, we did not go out to eat very often at all. It was always a special treat and was not taken for granted by my parents. Now, I think, people see the restaurant as an extension of their own dining rooms. Only this dining room has a staff they can order around.

    On an important side note: Anyone allowing their small children to wander or run around in a restaurant needs to be stopped IMMEDIATELY. Those children are in DANGER. Hot, heavy trays of food and dishware are being carried around by servers who can’t easily watch for kids under their feet. I can only assume people don’t realize the risk — who would willingly risk their child getting a fractured skull or severe scalding?

    • Nancy February 14, 2012 at 5:11 pm #

      @Alexa, I totally agree that parents should be kicked out if kids are misbehaving. That said – who’s to judge what misbehaving is? That’s the hard part – what I might view as adorable kid behavior another person would view as horrid.

  28. jc August 9, 2013 at 1:41 am #

    @Rachel, As someone who works in a restaurant, I have to say that screaming children cause several problems ranging from safety to losing business. For example, we serve an elderly customers that cannot take the noise and crying very well, and unsupervised children pose a safety hazard by running around and colliding into servers carrying hot plates and trays full of food. I think you have a point about not banning all children, just the misbehaving ones, but I would like to add that I understand banning children under 18 at some movie theaters and such, Groups of children in junior high and high school would cause fights and problems on the weekends so a curfew was set for minors.

  29. Nick October 7, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Okay, you caught me in a grumpy mood. Disclaimer – brutal honesty forthcoming.

    “See, this really isn’t about screaming babies. It’s about tolerance. It’s about understanding that we’re all in this together and being willing to work with each other to make our world a little bit better. It’s about cooperation and getting along and being civil toward each other even if we don’t want to be friends. It’s about thinking beyond “me” and realizing that we’re not walking on this planet alone.”

    When I read this, something in me snapped. It is not as though I disagree with this statement in general; the above encapsulates the kind of attitude you hope exists in every person. Rather, to touch it with a needle, the quote above is not a rule, and should not be used to enforce anything other than a person’s personal conscience.

    What do I mean? I mean it really is about screeming kids. And guess what? Little kids scream more than anything else (except maybe Jersey Shore socialites). So if there is a person who is a grump all the time and in general (like me today, only every day), a person who needs to embrace the quote given above more deeply, that person will be provoked by any amount of active kids, whatever age, in any setting. However, screaming kids are off-putting to virtually anyone in any setting, except outside at a loud park. Such things, along with loud music emanating from cars in suburbia, and fireworks at the wrong time, and dogs alowed to bark at night all through the night in a sleepy neighborhood, have ordinances against them many times, labelling them as noise pollution.

    These are examples of RULES which keep the freedom of good intentions in line. The spirit of the above quote is often used overzealously to brow beat and guilt people into submission, pressuring them to leave the “horrors” of the stale old days of “kids should not speak unless spoken to” behind, in favor of bleeding niceties.

    Without going on and on, in short, common sense of keeping kids in line, and behaving, and showing respect, has become a lost art, and in its place, we are often left with little more than quotes like the above. Such on its own is empty space, vacant and powerless to do anything other than foster more screaming kids.

    The days of our great grand parents and grand parents of the first half of the 20th century may have been strict, but it was a safer, quieter, more mannerly time (just juxtapose the social scene from the 50s to the changed decade of the late 60s, early 70s). And I pray for such older times again. Kids are kids, and they are no worse now than they have ever been. They will scream, and fuss, and be loud. That’s part of what kids do. We have to deal with it, even love it if you have the strength. BUT BUT BUT, tolerance is NOT the wisdom we need. Patience with CORRECTION is what we need. Tolerance says “what they are doing is not that bad”, when Correction with patience says, “okay that kid needs to stop – so how do we best nip this in the bud”.

    Now, in our time, since parents have pretty much lost the art of this Correction with Patience, and have taken in its place true but, on its own, shallow concepts as the opening quote, we have the inevitable fruit: too many screaming kids, and screaming adults, and poor parents. So, those with money compensate by enforcing rules which restrict kids from certain places. Keeping kids from playing outside? The link wouldn’t take me to the story, but it sounds utterly insane. Keeping kids out of my movie because too many local parents have spoiled the pond for everybody? Just fine with me. Besides- such a ban could not be placed on a kids movie like the Incredibles, or Little Mermaid. Such a ban would only be usable for a more adult movie, and little kids simply do not have to be there.

    Maybe one day the norm of the day will be discipline, and not freedom to do whatever you want. Then, perhaps kids will also follow suite, and be more well behaved. One can only hope.

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel October 7, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

      @Nick, I’m with you on the correction bit, Nick. I always loved it when somebody would tell my kids they were not acting appropriately – sometimes it carries more weight when it comes from somebody other than the parents. Kids do need to act appropriately, but can only learn to do so if they are given the chance to be there in the first place.

  30. Nick October 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm #

    Yes, and maybe they’ll be invited back if they behave. 😉

  31. Rich September 18, 2014 at 11:29 am #

    I think that I would be tempted to ask the “grumpy woman from a few rows back” to shut her pie hole I was enjoying the anecdotes of the the young girls and if she needs to sleep then she should stay at home in bed, this is a train.
    I probably wouldn’t, I would be tempted though. Then again if I was in a WGAF (who gives a…) mood I just might.
    Life involves many things. It is not all peaceful and easy and you are not the only one in it.

  32. Amber October 14, 2014 at 9:16 am #

    Excellent thoughts.

  33. gigi June 9, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Your sign is a great idea- Ban anyone who can’t behave. I used to fly for Pan Am and that was a favorite saying, ‘Flight attendants are not prejudiced. We hate everyone equally.’

    I’m surprised there aren’t more signs banning the LOUD use of cell phones, such that everyone closer than Cleveland has to listen to your inane or overly personal side of a conversation. It happens everywhere.

    I guess I have always been a grumpy old woman, because I never liked loud, inconsiderate people, children or otherwise, although I would have enjoyed the conversation between the teens. They’re a hoot. But when your small child is running and screaming around the doctor’s waiting room, where putatively there are ill people, and neither the staff or you does anything about it, you should be warned that someone is very likely to stick a foot out if he gets close enough.

    I was a single mom who took care of her mom, and yet I was mobile. The stroller was the umbrella kind, and somewhere on my person there were snacks, books and quiet toys, even before the typical one year old had an iPad. If none of those worked, we sat in the car until he was ready to behave.

    Instead of confiscating kids because they were left alone for an hour when they’re ten or eleven (gasp!) maybe we should confiscate the kids whose parents are making no effort to teach them the most basic of manners and civilized behavior. That will save time; those are the kids who feel ‘entitled’ to rob the convenience store or drive drunk and will end up in jail, anyway.

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel June 19, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      There are no easy answers, that’s for sure. We all have different tolerance levels. I’ve always figured that kids are just a part of life, and rarely get upset by them.

  34. McKenna October 15, 2015 at 2:37 pm #

    i agree with banning children. there are places to take children, parks, childrens movies, chuckee cheese, and places not to take them. we are dealing with a society whose parents conformed to them. another point to make is when i try to establish a social norm, i am usually greeted by a very rude parent reminding me it is not my child and not my place and get cussed or yelled at. even when saying the words please and i would appreciate it very much if you didnt do___…so i am entirely for banning children. on planes, theaters of pg-13 and up movies, busses, restaurants the list goes on. bottom line, i do not want to overhear your child. does a child asking questions or talking bother me? absolutely not. does a bratty tantrum? you bet, and i feel i should not have to hear it. i certainly didnt put up with it from my kid why would i put up with it from yours?

    • Nancy Sathre-Vogel October 19, 2015 at 7:27 pm #

      I guess we will simply need to agree to disagree. Kids are a part of life. When we stoop to the level of banning kids from planes, we are showing our intolerance in a very real way. Intolerance is a huge issue in our society today.

  35. Anna August 20, 2017 at 5:09 am #

    As far as restaurants go, they have every right to not allow small children in their establishment. Just like a dress code, they are setting a tone for the environment. As much as people would like to think this is discriminatory, it is not. We limit children all the time. They cannot vote, drive, or be in a gym unsupervised because they lack the skills to do so, and it would be dangerous. They are unfinished adults, they have to, not just learn, but mature. Fortunately, there are no shortage of family friendly places where children can learn how to behave in public, like training wheels for being social. Places with crayons and menus with word searches on them. Parents should save the fancy for when they have a babysitter. To me, that’s just common courtesy; for the other people spending money and for the waitstaff that now has extra work on their hands for no extra money.

  36. Jacob lakin March 21, 2018 at 2:34 pm #

    Simple fact here is, no person has a right to privacy, to expect serenity, piece or quiet in public. That being stated no one has the right to dictate how people can or can not act in public unless they are committing a crime. Going out side to be loud is where you go to be loud. The people that have issues with children almost always tend to not have children of their own and then inheritley become hypocrites once they do have kids. This movement is dumb and a waste of time and tax payer dollars as soon as the government gets involved.

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