Brat Ban: Why are kids less welcome than they used to be?

It’s being called a “Brat Ban,” and it’s a movement to ban children from public places such as stores, restaurants and movie theaters.

Here’s some history of the movement from Babble.com:

“It started with an AdWeek story about so-called ‘brat bans’ — policies at stores, restaurants, and movie theatres that forbid or restrict children.”

“Within a day, the blogosphere was burning up with points and counterpoints. According to ‘Firecracker Mandy’ of the Childfreedom blog: ‘I hope the brat ban truly is an idea that is catching fire because it is long overdue, especially in the current climate of overly-permissive child-rearing that seems to have taken ahold of our culture with a death grip.’ ”

“Meanwhile, over at Yahoo! Shine, Piper Weiss mused about whether such restrictions are fair to parents and suggested that no-kids policies could threaten to turn parents into second-class citizens. ‘As businesses respond to their new breed of ‘first-class’ clientele, are parents in danger of becoming second-class citizens?’ ”

“Here on Babble, Strollerderby’s Monica Bielanko had this to say: ‘I am not at all cool with banning kids from anywhere. This is America for crying out loud!  When did we go from ‘It takes a village’ and ‘Children are our future’ to ‘Get the hell out of here you loud, whining brat’?”

So we can discuss whether it’s legitimate or not for business to ban families with kids, but I am more interested as to why sociologically this is happening now. Why are kids less welcome out places than they used to be?

I, of course, have several theories!

  1. Are the expectations of diners off kilter: If you’re showing up for 2 for $20 at Applebee’s can you really expect a quiet fine dining experience?
  2. The economy is tight and if you’re going to spend money to go out, it better be a fantastic experience – ie no kids around!
  3. Critics say parents today are more permissive that past generations and their kids are less behaved and therefore less welcome.

While all of these have possible merit, I am more inclined to my fourth theory:

4. There are simply less families with kids under 18 as the Baby Boomer generation ages and as women wait to have kids, and the childless simply don’t want to be around people with kids.

So I went looking through Census tables to find the numbers that would tell us IF the percentage of families without kids under 18 has increased over the years making families with kids less welcome.

I couldn’t find the number I was looking for in the 2010 Census Report. They had it parsed 100 billion different ways but not the way I wanted it. I even called the Census Bureau PR folks but they couldn’t find what I needed either. (All of the stats majors out there look at these tables and see if you can find the numbers we need.)

However I did find a government report published in 1996 on expected growth of families that supports this theory.

A government report from 1996 projected that:

In 2006, “Currently, slightly more than half of American families have no children under age 18 living at home; by 2010 3 of 5 families may have no children under 18 present. Although the number of families with children is projected to remain near 1995 levels, the number of families with no children under 18 is projected to increase by 28 percent (from 36 million to 46 million) by 2010.”

I then found a USA Today story from 2009 Census numbers that supports what was projected.

“The percentage of American households with children under 18 living at home last year hit the lowest point — 46% — in half a century, government data reported Wednesday.”

“The trend reflects the aging of the Baby Boom generation and younger women having fewer children, demographers say.”

” ‘Baby Boomers have been a big force in driving a lot of different population dynamics,’ says Rose Kreider, a family demographer at the Census Bureau, which released the data.”

“In 2008, about 35.7 million families (46%) had children under 18 at home, the Census figures show, down from 52% in 1950. The percentage peaked in 1963, when about 57% of families had children under 18 at home.”

So I think the Baby Boomers are getting older, are childfree and are crotchety in their new freedom. They only want to see kids when and if they choose and how dare you interrupt their dinner.

So what do you think of the theories? Why do YOU think children are less welcome out places such as restaurants? Do you think the Boomer generation has a right to expect and demand a childfree environment? What can parents do about this trend?

136 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
3:24 am

I love children and my life’s work depends on children. Specifically children under the age of seven. We typically request to sit away from children at restaurants ( as we did this past evening). This due to the fact that we have had several bad experiences with children sitting near us. Screaming, whining, dropping food on us, running amok through the restaurant and generally ruining our evening out. We did not expect this behavior with our own two and most certainly this was not tolerated when I was growing up. Then again, we did not take out kids out to dinner at 9:00 p.m. and anticipate them to be pleasant. They were in bed, at home, with a sitter.

I see and hear it from teachers across the country…manners are becoming extinct. Some here, poo poo the notion. That is o.k. with me as I hear it every week. Front desk agents at hotels tell me stories that are amazing. One just told me that the parents left their kids( tweens) at the hotel and they were running all over the hotel screaming and horseplaying. Other guests were complaining. She sat them in the front lobby (under her watchful eye) and told them that she would call the police if they moved. Their parents came back from the bar and got confrontational with her when they saw their kids sitting up after midnight. She again said that she could call the police as they had been drinking and driving. They moved them to their rooms in a huff.

To me, manners are the standard in that we treat others with respect and the same comfort we would enjoy. Not so much anymore and teachers everywhere see it as a disappearing art in both parents an children.

I am voting for number 3. I love to be around children who are pleasant and courteous. I often stop and engage in conversation with young children and their parents. I even coo at babies and make them smile, which often surprises their parents. I am impatient with unruly children and especially parents who do not set boundaries with their children. Call me crotchety but I can request to sit away from these children …their own parents will be their parents forever and they may never move out of their houses…live in their basements forever.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
3:32 am

FYI…I just visited with children in Montana. The Kindergarten and First Graders were awesome. The teachers gave clear program expectations and the principal was walking around all throughout my presentation. It was wonderful to work with these children who were well behaved and delightful.
I enjoyed meeting them!

malleesmom

September 21st, 2011
5:16 am

#3 is the reason. I enjoy children. I do not enjoy misbehaved children (nor their clueless, self-absorbed, texting, cell-phone addicted parents).

Jeff

September 21st, 2011
5:22 am

My experience has been that the issue isn’t children misbehaving, because they are children and will act as such. It’s the parents that don’t give a crap that seem to be the problem. Which is also a trait in other areas of life that have brought us to the point of a less-civil atmosphere than in previous decades.

ali

September 21st, 2011
6:24 am

Let me just say that us parents with well-behaved, unruly children also don’t want to sit near bad behaved children! Don’t punish the whole group for a few – kick them out if they can’t behave!

Mike

September 21st, 2011
6:36 am

In your list of theories….I also think it’s #4 BECAUSE OF #3!

Democratic Plantation Dweller

September 21st, 2011
6:53 am

Obama be doing a wonderful job!
The stimulus is working !

BobfromAcworth

September 21st, 2011
6:53 am

Ali, I agree with you except for the day and time we live in, everyone seems to think when they are discriminated against that there is a lawsuit in that. So you really can’t pick which parents/kids get thrown out of a restaurant/theatre/etc. This is definitely what should be done, but fear of lawsuits causes business to just make a broad rule. I believe #3 is the answer for me.

catlady

September 21st, 2011
6:58 am

Agree with Jeff here, and MJG. We have a dearth of parents who try not to inconvenience others, whether it is disciplining their children or parking in handicapped places when there is no handicap. When I was growning up, if your child misbehaved in a restaurant or anywhere else, you REMOVED THE CHILD and saw to it that their behavior conformed before coming back in. This is how I raised my kids. Yes, it was inconvenient. But, long term, I was not just “protecting” the other patrons, I was TEACHING my kids what behavior is required in the situation.

I don’t think it is based on parental income, either. You have wealthy kids acting the brat just like middle and lower class. I think here in the South many of our folks are just too (something). Self-absorbed? Doting? Ignorant? But I don’t think MJGs experience in the upper midwest is unusual. In some regions of the country, there is more of an effort to inculcate in the children polite expectations. Or maybe it was the schools she was in? Some require much higher standards of behavior for their kids. Not sure about that. But here in the South, go to a restaurant, the library, or even CHURCH and see how poorly children are allowed to behave.

David

September 21st, 2011
7:03 am

In my mind #3 is the issue.

I have had it up to my neck with unruly, ill mannered people of ALL AGES; it is not just kids under 10 or 12.

Two weeks ago I was out to lunch with my family (including great grandma) and a table of late aged teenagers were acting out behind us. It proved to be a miserable meal as neither the wait staff nor the manager of the establishment would address the issue.

I hope the restaurant enjoyed the revenue they experienced from our meal, as it will be the last money I spend there for some time to come.

Sunny

September 21st, 2011
7:05 am

I’ll go with #3.

“In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults.” ~Thomas Szasz

This quote pretty much sums up my thoughts on the matter. There are laws (and social stigmas) preventing parents from physically or verbally chastising their children and many are clueless on other ways to discipline their little darlings so they give up and allow the kids to run wild. I LOVE children, however, it is quite nerve racking to go out to dinner or a store after a stressful day and have to deal with wild children and their electronic babysitters (dvd players, handheld games or Ipads) because the parents are LAZY.

Maybe once more establishments enact these rules, it’ll force the parents to spend more time AT HOME with their little darlings and they’ll be able to see for themselves what kind of monsters they have created and for once, give real parenting and discipline a chance.

John

September 21st, 2011
7:13 am

Grumpy folks. It is either folks who have never had kids, or folks who have forgotten what it is like to have kids.

I know because I used to be childless, and I use to comment on folks with kids. (I’d never advocate a ban, though.) It is a lot easier to say things about how a child should behave when it is not your child, and you do not have to manage one in public.

What surprises me the most, however, are the older folks who have had kids who act this way. These are the folks my parents age, who I knew as a kid and whose kids I knew. And I knew how they reacted in similar situations. And the admonishments being handed out don’t fit how these folks handled me and my friends.

Since having a kid, and being put in situations where she misbehaves in public, I am far more sympathetic to parents. And I also cringe in public when my kid misbehaves. We will take her out of restaurants when she acts up, and we do not try to bring her to movies (much less inappropriate movies—she’ll start with kids movies, thank you), but sometimes you have to do the shopping.

I do think it’s less about misbehaving kids, however, and more about how the parents react to the misbehavior. Some have already touched on their annoyance being the parents reactions. My wife and I try to react “the right way,” but many people (especially those without kids, and a surprising number of those who had kids) appear to have no clue about how to manage kids.

Even so, for all the times I’ve cringed, there are four or five times when I’ve been given verbal support, a “ah, kids” and a grin comment, or told how well behaved my daughter is (despite my wife and I being horrified at her behavior). In other words, for all the jerks out there who appear to hate kids (and their parents), there are many more who sympathize and love kids—warts and tantrums and all—no matter what.

vcatron

September 21st, 2011
7:25 am

I have children and they learned early to behave in public. I do not have issue with children in restaurants who are well manered, those that are unruley that is another story. I see many parents in public who let their spawn do anything. These are the same parents who come on the news and say “He/she is a good boy/girl and they just fell in with the wrong crowd”.

DagnyT

September 21st, 2011
7:28 am

#1 I think it depends on the situation. No, I don’t expect a quiet dinner at Applebee’s, however, I had a nice, expensive birthday dinner at Imperial Fez ruined because the neighboring table brought at toddler “because he could walk around”.

#2 I don’t believe small children belong on airplanes. I have a toddler and I will not take her on an airplane. Maybe the airlines should market “family flights” and “adults only” flights. I would pay extra for an adults only flight. Too many of my flights have been rendered unbearable by screaming children and babies who parents won’t change them.

also #2 when I go to an “R” movie, I don’t expect children there either. That hasn’t been my experience of late, so we simply don’t go to the movies anymore. Though I will say that the behavior of the adults isn’t much better and I do report people for recording the movie if I see their cell phone out during the show. We just watch DVDs at home now. I’m not paying $10 for a movie plus a sitter so the person next to me can text or the 4 year old behind me can kick my seat for 2 hours.

chainshaw

September 21st, 2011
7:33 am

I have two children under 18. It drives me crazy when parents act like they don’t care that their child is screaming and disrupting other people’s hard-earned evening out.

Some restaurants are for families and some are not. When we finally get a night out without the kids, we like to go to a nice restaurant and enjoy that quiet time. The last thing that we want to do is spend a hundred bucks on a meal with a screaming brat beside us.

Wink

September 21st, 2011
7:39 am

I don’t begrudge a baby or 2 year old that has a meltdown in the grocery store, that stuff happens. If I’m in a higher priced restaurant or a theatre I don’t expect to deal with children who are too young to act appropriately. As a child I know we went to nice restaurants, the country club, etc and I can assure you that one look from my parents was enough to quiet us if we began acting up. Children don’t belong everywhere. There was a time when parents stayed home or got a babysitter if they wanted to enjoy an evening out. We should all return to a time of “what will other people think”.

Bella

September 21st, 2011
7:44 am

The wrong people are having the children and the right people are just not having enough of them. I think children today are definitely a product of their environments – I mean just look around at the behaviors that are exhibited in our society these days. A “good parent” can only do so much until a certain age and then “the village” (which is a mess) has their role in the matter.

The South used to not be like this. We are now a melting pot of bad behavior. Heck we are not even a melting pot in this country. The entitlement mentality has taken over – if “they” can get away with “X”, then why can’t I (or my kids) get away with with it. We have done this to ourselves.

BlondeHoney

September 21st, 2011
7:48 am

#3 all the way. When my boys were little, we didn’t bring them to inappropriate places (late movies, expensive restaurants) and when they acted up like all kids do, we removed them from the situation and disciplined them. Too many parents don’t seem to want to actually parent their children and I agree with BobfromAcworth in that the establishment is stuck in the middle – they are afraid of a lawsuit if they take action. The bad apples are spoiling it for all parents.

Tom

September 21st, 2011
7:49 am

You’ve identified the problem…..people aren’t having enough children! When did we get away from the divinely-ordained notion that a woman must spend her life as one of the “Three P’s”…..pre-adolescent, post-menopausal, or PREGNANT?!

Women, you are under a holy edict to get married and start pumping out progeny as prodigiously as possible. This is why we should follow the lead of the Catholic church in The Philippines and move to ban ALL forms of artificial birth control, including condoms.

It’s God’s Will. Amen.

outsider

September 21st, 2011
7:52 am

I am surprised by the tone of some of the commenters here. We have two children, one in elementary school and one in high school. (Our friends and neighbors often comment that they are well behaved.) My wife and I often like to go out for dinner or a movie, and I cannot recall any time that I felt seriously inconvenienced by children. I travel frequently, and I have never felt disturbed by children on planes. I am going to offer reason #5. I think many adults have become spoiled and intolerant of any little disturbance that intrudes on them. Perhaps the growing population of families without children are more sensitive when the disturbance comes from children (your reason #4), and I agree that many children are certainly less well behaved (your reason #3). Nevertheless, I think many adults simply can’t tolerate their little bubble of bliss broken by the slightest inconvenience, even a brief shriek of joy from a toddler.

Me

September 21st, 2011
8:04 am

I don’t have an issue with dining while kids are present provided they are reasonably well-behaved predicated upon their age. With that said, however, I am also not opposed to any restaurant, or other privately ovned entity, enacting or enforcing such a ban. I really cannot believe that @TWG actually placed “fine dining” and Applebees in the same sentence. If we are at some fast-food restaurant or an Applebees or similar, for instance, I have different expectations than I do when dining at one of the “Ray’s” restaurants, Woodfire Grill, Tavern at Phipps, etc.
As it relates to the “brat ban”, I feel these establishments are doing what they feel the need to do and I, for one, will not hold this against them. I also won’t frequent these places simply based on the presence of the “brat ban”.

mystery poster

September 21st, 2011
8:05 am

OK, I’ll go with consensus and also vote #3. A few examples:

My daughter worked in a clothing store. She told countless stories of people letting their kids run into the racks of clothes and pull them off and they parents didn’t say a word to them (and the employees were not allowed to). I would have been mortified if my kids did that in a store, and you bet they would have been hanging them back up!

We were in the an urgent care office waiting to be seen. It was very crowded and the kid next to us was really acting up. Granted, I know he didn’t feel well. Later, my husband said to me that if that had been our kid, he would have taken him outside and had a talk with him. It may not have worked, but at least we would have made our expectation clear.

I was checking out at Aldi a few months ago, and someone was letting their brat run all along the bagging counter. The cashier did tell him to get down, which he did. When it was my turn I commended her for saying something, and she said people bag their groceries there and it’s not sanitary to have kids running on it.

The sad thing is: this complete lack of parenting hurts the kids, because it makes them into such brats that no one likes them (as is evident by these brat-bans).

Roekest

September 21st, 2011
8:08 am

A couple weeks ago, we went to go eat Mexican. Not an actual Mexican, mind you; we’re not cannibals. Our daughter proceeded to stand on the seat (after repeated warnings not to) and started playing with this lizard-decoration on the wall. It then fell into the booth of the people sitting behind us.

I can understand the bans.

justmy2cents

September 21st, 2011
8:08 am

I’m going with #3- lack of home training and discipline from parents. Used to be all parents had to do was give “the look” and kids toed the line. Now parents promise them toys, cookies, ice cream if they pretty please behave how they are supposed to, instead of nipping bad behavior in the bud. Of course, at least those parents are “trying”, you still have the ones that just let them do anything they want. Take the 3 year old firing the shotgun in the car as an example….

Right on

September 21st, 2011
8:14 am

It is America, so you have the right to ban brats.

Kids today are without discipline and parents aren’t parents anymore. They expect teachers to rear their kids. Children are being created to be a new best friend or child labor, not a child. I’m not a baby boomer and I don’t want to have kids ever. Especially in today’s society. And I don’t want to be around your kids.

Take the little brats to Chuck E. Cheese where they belong.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
8:22 am

@outsider…those of us who have spent many years in the classroom with children understand the joy of being with children. I love children and I thank all of the parents who have children that have been instructed how to behave.

I was in a room with 120 children in Montana and we were hopping, spinning, twirling, laughing and having a lot of fun. I can tolerate this for quite a while ( most every day) and some teachers are even amazed at what transpires. BUT when it comes time to sit down and listen, they do it with my cues. Teachers are required to learn about classroom management. Not all are good at it. Parents are typically not required to learn about family/child management. Many are not good at it but KUDOS to those who are!

Children ARE going to misbehave. I did it and so did the rest of you. I spilled things, talked too loud, laughed, and carried on just like kids do today. It is how the adults who were with me responded that shaped the way I am. Children need direction and guidelines and some parents have no idea!

Adults who ignore their children or think they are “just being kids…lighten up…” have no clue IMHO. Again, they will grow up and be your kids not mine.

Dogs will bark…those who are left alone in their back yard all day will bark incessantly. Is it the dog’s fault? NO it is the owner’s. We have a yard of 3 dogs on our block that make things uncomfortable. Thankfully they are not on the same side of the street as me.

I have said this before and it applies to everyone here:

When other adults such as neighbors, teachers, employers, restaurant owners, store clerks, etc. tell you what nice kids you have….be proud that you did a good job. I have heard this all the way from preschool to the people who employ my children now as college students. YES they have had melt downs but we picked up the pieces and moved on…we did not laugh and ignore the behavior. We explained and directed their behavior. Some of the rest of you have had proud moments like this and you obviously are doing a good job with your kids too. HOORAH! Your children will be proud of themselves and this does mean more than you being proud of them! If this is not happening to you…look around and find a family whose kids you admire. Ask them what their ideas are on rearing children and LISTEN.

HOW exactly does and owner kick people out with unruly children? I agree that this could be a lawsuit in today’s world!

J

September 21st, 2011
8:24 am

MJG had a particularly valid point in her response…she did not take her children out to dinner at 9:00 p.m. and expect them to be pleasant. In my experience, the most poorly behaved children that I have seen are ones that are out and about when they should be at home in bed. Even kids that are normally well-behaved will misbehave when they are exhausted.

Whorlybird

September 21st, 2011
8:26 am

It’s #4, with a little bit of #3. Many people here don’t seem to want to admit that they’re little more than selfish jerks who just don’t like kids and don’t want to be around them. Yes, kids have changed for the worse these days, but so have adults, who are so self absorbed that they consider any kind of intrusion to their Applebees dinner to be unacceptable. To all you businesses with brat bans: Keep it up and see how much it costs you in the long run. Like it or not, families with kids are valuable customers and they’re more than happy to ditch your establishment for somewhere else friendly and welcoming to all consumers.

Lady Strange

September 21st, 2011
8:26 am

So Roekest, why didn’t you do something besides verbal warnings when your daughter didn’t listen to you? I can understand verbal warnings, my son gets those, but if he doesn’t listen then he gets punished.

Traffuc Headache

September 21st, 2011
8:27 am

Working at a grocery store, I will vouch that kids can be well-behaved. It’s the 5% of the moms of any income demograhic (soccer moms, welfare moms, etc.) who bring in little banshees and completely tune them out while shopping, to the annoyance of everyone in the building. There should be no ban on kids–just eject the caterwaulers and their ignorant moms.

Don'tmakemestopthiscar

September 21st, 2011
8:29 am

Number #3! Like many others here, if I misbehaved in public I would receive 1 warning. It was then followed by removal and a swat on the butt. Sometimes in the opposite order. It was non negotiable. I really don’t think anyone expects perfect angels, but we can tell when the parents are not even trying to make them behave. Yes, your kid might melt down in the grocery store, and if they’re too young to understand, there’s not much you can do about it. And most reasonable folks know that. However, if your 5 year old is throwing fit, you are expected in the words of my father “to give them something to cry about.”

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
8:29 am

RE: the lizard in the Mexican restaurant. We ate at Folks ( family restaurant) after church one Sunday. A boy ( 7 or so) behind us was crawling all over the booth and hopping in and out. The waitress passed with empty plates and the boy bumped her. The plate flew at my husband and ketchup went all over his suit. Should we excuse the boy since it was not a fancy restaurant? No apology was offered by the family. The waitress said, “I’m sorry!” It was really not her fault. We ended up with a suit going to the cleaners.

The hotel clerk I mentioned told me that if a guest room is very loud and disturbing others ( late at night), with repeated complaints, they call first and then bill the rooms that complained to the offenders account…NICE!

Rodney

September 21st, 2011
8:32 am

Full Disclosure: I’m a gay man, without children, in his early 40s.

I also have a neice and nephew that I would give anything I have for, so I have SOME degree of emotional attachment to children.

That said – I think #1 is the most applicable. I *know* when I go in an Applebees or any other resto of its kind to expect children (which is why I don’t go!) and I would never complain about kids – well, unless they were the running around the table kind. That’s not appropriate anywhere.

But – I do dine out a lot, a few times per week, at other more grown-up places and there, I expect any child present to be as well behaved as my parents would have made me be. Sit in your chair, speak with an inside voice, please and thank you, don’t play with your food …

Of course we all know that doesn’t happen because kids are not adults. No kid acts like that. :)

Anyway – I guess I expect both a bit of parental responsibility (on the part of the kid’s parents) and personal responsibility (on me, not going to family-friendly restos).

LeeH1

September 21st, 2011
8:34 am

I think it’s a matter of class. In the past, only middle class and above families went out to restaurants, and their kids were usually pretty well behaved and well mannered.

But as more and more lower class people were able to afford to dine in restaurants, their kids did not fit the middle class norm of well behaved and well mannered children. They run about, throw food, scream and do everything they can to get and keep attention on themselves. Their parents are indifferent to their noise, and they don’t have the social skills to realize they are annoying other people.

Until more parents get their kids under control, they will ruin other people’s dinning out unless they are restricted. You cannot restrict because of class, but you can restrict because of under-age, and this is what good restaurants do.

Lower class people don’t love their children enough to teach them how to behave well in public. But their children sure follow their parent’s examples, and learn how to whine.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
8:34 am

@whorlybird…it would be interesting to see if the brat ban restaurants are losing more revenue than the kids eat free establishments….anyone else?

Wonder who tips better, adults who eat at a brat ban restaurant or those with table full of kids who eat free? Anyone work in a restaurant that can comment? We tip 20% if the service is good and I tip more when I am out on business and have had a nice quiet dinner in a nicer restaurant.

I LOVE kids and enjoy their energy every day….just not the ones who ruin my dinner out. There are some who are delightful and I appreciate their parents. Thanks!

Duder

September 21st, 2011
8:35 am

I waited tables off and on for 7 years, it’s #3 head and shoulders above the other speculations. “More permissive” parents (read:bad/lazy) don’t teach their kids to behave or punish bad behavior…interestingly enough this is a root cause for the problems in the public schools too.

Innocent Bystander

September 21st, 2011
8:35 am

I apologize in advance to the parents that control their children, but the simple fact remains that you are in a tiny minority. I work in a “child rich” environment and am continually horrified at the behavior of todays children. If I or any of my three siblings had behaved in such a manner growing up, we’d have instantly regretted it. My parents were stern but fair and taught us in no uncertain terms that we were to act with respect and moderation at all times.

The truly asinine part of the equation is not the actual screaming child, it’s the parents responsible for the child’s lack of manners and how they ignore the problem and expect the rest of us to accept screaming children as the status quo.

chappy

September 21st, 2011
8:37 am

Bring back discipline or ban them. Parents that have so little control of their kids that “go the F__ k to sleep” is cute, unfortunately, do not understand they have no concept of social graces and pity their kids, but don’t want to be around them either.

commoncents

September 21st, 2011
8:37 am

It’s #3. Parents are way too soft, and most seem to never discipline their child.

“When did we go from ‘It takes a village’ and ‘Children are our future’ to ‘Get the hell out of here you loud, whining brat’?””

The village can’t get involved anymore without someone crying foul and suing. I read the other day where a parent was arrested for spanking their child and the judge said something along the lines of “We don’t spank kids anymore. Not in this day and age.”

mountain mom

September 21st, 2011
8:38 am

Absolutely number 3. My kids are now 10 and 15, and I am proud to say that any rare bad behavior in public was quickly met with firm and consistent discipline and a removal from the restuarant or store. My tolerance for bad parenting has dwindled to zero. You parents who count (”One…. two….I really mean it…. two and a half…..”) are almost worse than the ones who ignore bad behavior. The loud counting (over and over, with no follow through) just adds to the cacophony.

John Tackett

September 21st, 2011
8:39 am

Some parents do not want to be parents but want to be friends to their children. When they turn 18 you can be their friend, until then, be a parent and control your tax deductions!! Because of that small percentage all parents are suffering the consequences through “Brat Bans.”

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
8:41 am

@LeeH1…excellent points! I see families at Red Lobster and Longhorn’s in the middle of the week. Their tab has to be $100. We could never have afforded that, several times a week, when our kids were little. We ate out on the weekends only and it was a treat. If parents are both working long hours and pulling in almost $200,000 they can afford to eat out but many are too tired to handle their kids who have been at daycare all day. I am NOT opposed to day care but the employees there can only instill so many manners/values into a room full of kids. Kind of like parents who bring their child to school and tell the teacher:

HERE YOU DO SOMETHING WITH HIM….right!

Metro Coach

September 21st, 2011
8:48 am

A whipping does wonders to discipline an unruly child. I, and probably many others here, can count and name the exact times that they heard that belt come down out of the closet of off of dad’s waist. Dolllars to doughnuts says most of us didn’t repeat those behaviors again. I know I didn’t. I still got in trouble, and eventually “whippings” were replaced with other forms of punishment, grounding, no tv, etc. but if your kid isn’t a little bit afraid of what you, as a parent, might do if they misbehave then they have no reason to behave in the first place. And before any of you liberal, tree hugging whiners start, spare me the “child abuse” bull cookies. It isn’t abuse, its discipline, and there is a difference.

mystery poster

September 21st, 2011
8:49 am

@Lee
I respectfully disagree that it is lower class parents. IMHO, it’s just as often the upper middle class who have read all the latest “parent raising” books, try to befriend their kids, and give them every single indulgence, from material goods to lack of discipline.

DB

September 21st, 2011
8:52 am

Kids will be kids. I’m not sure the kids are more badly behaved — I think they are just being kids, but they are being taken out far more often than they used to be, and probably more than is good for them. Goodness, when I was growing up, we went out to dinner every Friday night — and that was that. And that was more than most of my friends. In my world, the adults went out to dinner and the kids got left with a babysitter. Of course, my mother worked, which was rare, too — most of the families had stay-at-home moms, moms who had quit work to stay home with their families.

Now, no one thinks twice about taking kids out to dining establishments at any time of the day or night. I’ve seen 2 and 3 year olds dragged to cafes at 10-11 pm that stay open until 1 or 2 am — what the hell? How is that any fun for the kid or the people around them?

I have been known to decline a seat next to a messy baby in a high chair, or in a booth next to antsy kids. Why not? Bringing your kids into a restaurant does not make them automatically charming. You might think I’m grouchy for not wanting to sit next to a table of excited or tired kids — so be it. I think you’re an idiot for dragging kids out in public when they are tired and hungry and expecting everyone else to tolerate their whining, crying and restlessness. So we’re even.

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
8:54 am

I love the “This is America for crying out loug!” comment. How ignorant is she?

Yes; this is America where a business owner can make the decision to not allow children into his/her establishment. The owner will have to face the consequences if they lose business over that decision.

I have two kids, and I love them endlessly. If a shop / or restaraunt doesn’t want me coming in 28 our of thirty days in a month because my kids are with me, they simply lose my business. That’s OK with me. It’s their decision, and if they are trying to set an ambiance that doesn’t include kids so be it.

All of that said, you call my kid a brat and I’ll knock you GD teeth out. They are both extremely friendly and well-behaved and assigning that monicker to all kids is the only thing about all of this that ticks me off.

Lori

September 21st, 2011
8:56 am

I agree with everyone on #3. You see parents in places begging their kids to sit down and behave, or saying please be quiet, or whatever. My personal favorite is the ones who threaten the kids….”stop that or I’ll…” but then they never actually follow through with the threat. My son is 8 now, so he knows how to behave, but when he was 3 or so, if he screamed or threw something (which probably only happened once or twice) he sure experienced the consequences. I’d snatch his little butt up and take him outside or to the car and let his little booty have it.

Or if you on are on your way somewhere, and you threaten to turn the car around if they don’t stop misbehaving, you’d better be prepared to follow through. But I think that’s the problem. Parents don’t follow through. They are more concerned with the fact that THEY want to go out and do something fun, and if the kids aren’t in the right mood that day, sometimes you have to be a parent and sacrifice that fun day for a night at home.

But all that being said, I don’t really see all that many poorly behaved kids in restaurants, so I guess I don’t understand the ban. Maybe I just don’t go to the same places that are having all these problems. Even at the movies, vary rarely is there a screaming baby, and usually the parents will exit the theater. They play the darn movies so loud now, you couldn’t hear someone talking anyway. I have more problems with adults in movie theaters, with their stupid texting phones lighting up the place!!

Spacey

September 21st, 2011
8:57 am

I think it is a lot of #4. I see it on this blog all the time.
When I had my second child (very close to the first), I was surprised at how much I had forgotten. A good friend told me that was God’s way of making sure you would have another blessing.
It is the cycle of life. When you are older, cannot have children, it is good to appreciate them from a distance. With the exception of a bad experience here or there, you probably do not notice all the children around you everyday.

Tom

September 21st, 2011
9:03 am

All you barren women of Satan need to ask God forgiveness and start doing your holy duty. Go forth and multiply.

shaggy

September 21st, 2011
9:05 am

“3.Critics say parents today are more permissive that past generations and their kids are less behaved and therefore less welcome.”

This should really be numbers 1 through 10…it’s that bad. Parents won’t discipline their kids. These are the same kids that play soccer, without keeping score, so they will have better self-esteem…which is a pure crock of horse squeeze.