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

Denise

September 21st, 2011
9:11 am

My issue is when kids are places at inappropriate TIMES. For example, kids should not be at the movies at 9:00 PM in my opinion. They should be winding down. If a kid has a meltdown at home at bedtime, do you think they will NOT have one just because they are in public? Yes, you paid your $10 and want to see the end of the movie but when you have kids sometimes you have to suck it up and miss out. No, I don’t have kids but sometimes I miss out on some things because my friends have kids and I don’t want to go alone. (I do some things alone but some stuff is just not fun by yourself and my 2 single friends are not always available or have money.) And because my friends have little kids, when the kids go out with us, we don’t go to fancy places. We go to Applebee’s where the kids can make a little more noise without aggravating everyone around. (The Applebee’s by us is noisy all the time, without kids, and it’s not like the scream and holler like little banshees!) My friends have taken their kids outside for little “chats” about their behavior and, miraculously, the kids come back with attitude adjustments. That’s because they get attitude adjustments all the time at the house and they are just getting reminders. They aren’t perfect and sometimes I get annoyed so when I am not in the mood for kids I don’t go out with them or see if the friend can get parenting help (I don’t think a parent “babysits” their own kid). If not, I decide whether I go alone or don’t go. Also, keep in mind, some PARENTS want to leave their kids at home too and might want to take advantage of a kid-free atmosphere! :-)

BlondeHoney

September 21st, 2011
9:15 am

Lori, you are SOOO right…I have a very close friend who in that repsect is a horrible parent. Her son is almost 12 and still misbehaves in public, throws tantrums, etc and she is always threatening and never making good onthose threats. The boy told me himself that he acts out because he knows his mom gives in and never carries through on what she says she is going to do. At one point, I told him in front of his mom that if his behavior did not improve I was taking away his Xbox..and then I did, for an entire week. And that was the best week my friend ever had with her son; once the Xbox was returned, he quickly reverted to his usual behavior. I love my friend but it’s hard to be around them…

Denise

September 21st, 2011
9:18 am

Teresa, my post was eaten and I promise it was not bad.

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
9:20 am

@TWG, I was able to deduce about 74.7 million children under 18, but I’ll agree with you. The Census bureau put out too many reports. I’m pretty sure but not positive that I’m looking at the whole sample or not.

I used “Table C1. Household Relationship and Family Status of Children Under 18 Years, by Age and Sex: 2010″. My assumption is that they are counting all children. I used their “total” number, and it seems like 74.7 million is pretty reasonable for all of the kids in America.

I think that is up from about 72.3 million in 2003.

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
9:30 am

@shaggy, they keep score for the older kids….at least where we play for baseball. It’s just for the little ones that score isn’t kept while we are teaching fundamentals of playing.

In baseball we are teaching them to hit and field. Not much value in learning 3 outs per inning. We want them to learn to run on contact to the right base on offense and field the ball and throw it to the correct base on defense. This would be pretty difficult if the little ones were playing by the rules. The game is only an hour and 15 minutes. Left to their own abilities at this point, the first team would never finish batting. We’ve accomplished a grand total of 4 “outs” in 3 games.

6 kids bat each inning….no matter how many outs are made or runs are scored. This allows us to work on the fundamentals of base running and fielding. Teaching them the nuances of the rules will come later, and it seems pointless to keep score until all of the rules are followed.

My kid is 4, and he will play under these rules until he is 7. At that point they will start keeping score…just in time for the actual rules of the game to be taught.

  

September 21st, 2011
9:32 am

All of that said, you call my kid a brat and I’ll knock you GD teeth out.

I think you need to cool it with this kind of talk.

abc

September 21st, 2011
9:33 am

Given the behaviors of adult Gen Xers, it’s no big revelation that their children have no clue about proper behavior in public. Loud, obnoxious, figuring they’re entitled to whatever they want because they ordered a combo 1 at the Mexican joint, or bought a movie theater ticket. People’s lack of manners in general is completely appalling, including their children.

Teacher, Too

September 21st, 2011
9:41 am

It’s not about people without children being selfish or hating children. Sorry, but no, that’s not correct. Parents need to TEACH their child how to behave at a dining room table. That begins at home by sitting down to family meals, learning the art of dinner conversation, and table manners. Once children can do this at home, then you take them to family restaurants. Finally, when they are older and can handle a longer fine dining experience and can sit still for an hour and half or longer, then you take them to the fine dining establishments.

That’s what good parents do to teach their children how to behave in different dining establishments– and they have already taught them the fundamentals.

I think that is what our parents did (most of us who are in our forties and older). Also, as another poster pointed out, eating out was definitely an extravagance. My parents went out to dinner on their parent “dates”. The children were not invited. For special occasions, we went to dinner as a family– such as birthdays. But on a regular basis, we sat down to dinner as a family.

Sylvania

September 21st, 2011
9:42 am

“So I think the baby boomers are getting older, are child free and crotchety in their new freedom, They only want to see kids when and if they choose and how dare you interrupt their dinner”.

Right. Because it has absolutely nothing to do with the waves of entitled parents bringing their misbehaving spawn for us to coo over and can’t be bothered to teach them basic manners, like not screaming, running around restaurants, pulling stuff off of store shelves and generally not acting like brats.

And yet, once again,the childfree are painted as child-hating, grumpy elitists who have no sympathy for all the hard work and sacrifices that poor widdle parents have to make in order to raise children. Clearly, we don’t want anyone with kids to go out and enjoy their lives like the rest of us, because asking them to at a minimum to make an honest attempt to have their children behave in public is too much of an imposition.

Why do today’s parents come off feeling so entitled, anyway?

  

September 21st, 2011
9:56 am

And yet, once again,the childfree are painted as child-hating, grumpy elitists who have no sympathy for all the hard work and sacrifices that poor widdle parents have to make in order to raise children. Clearly, we don’t want anyone with kids to go out and enjoy their lives like the rest of us, because asking them to at a minimum to make an honest attempt to have their children behave in public is too much of an imposition.

+1

Amy in the ATL

September 21st, 2011
9:57 am

I have two girls, ages 4 and 6. We travel a lot, and we eat out a lot, and in general, they behave well in public. But that’s because 1.) I typically plan things when they won’t be too tired (and therefore more likely to act up, 2.) I bring quiet activities that are appropriate for a restaurant or airplance to keep them occuped (coloring books, Hi Lites magazines, etc) and 3.) my kids know that I have no problem removing them from the situation if they don’t behave accordingly. But it can be a struggle, especially when we are at a restaurant and my kids see other families letting their kids run around and my girls can’t understand why they aren’t allowed to do the same. And it’s the lack of parental concern about others who are in the same public space that is driving most of these bans. Most people don’t mind well-behaved kids. But even if 90% of the kids in a particular setting are behaving, it 10% aren’t, folks will remember that 10% who caused their evening not to be so pleasant.

I will also agree that the secondary issue may be that there are more families without children, and Baby Boomers in general just become more and more crotchety with age, which also explains the prevalence of seniors-only housing developments.

On a side note, my oldest daughter’s school is offering an “Etiquette Class” as an after-school enrichment program, and I jumped at the chance to enroll her. I wish more schools, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts programs would do the same!!!

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
9:58 am

Yay! “Entitled”….my favorite buzz word du jour.
Why not throw out some old classics like “Outside the Box” or “leverage” while you’re at it?

JATL

September 21st, 2011
9:58 am

Actually I’ve become far less “child friendly” AFTER having kids! When I go to adult places (non G movies or any movie starting after 8pm, high end restaurants, BARS, etc.,) I DO NOT WANT TO BE AROUND YOUR MISBEHAVED KIDS!!!! I’ve managed to escape my own for the evening and get a sitter, so you can do the same or STAY HOME. Can’t afford a sitter? Sorry -ypu had kids while being financially strapped and I don’t need to suffer for it. Don’t trust a sitter? Get off the helicopter or stay at home wearing your kid -not my problem.

Kids used to be made to behave. Some still are (mine are)! I’m sadly amazed when we’ve gotten compliments on how well-behaved our kids are on the few occasions they haven’t been and I’m busy hustling them out of where we are! Also, the parents who refuse to amend their lifestyles are huge culprits. It’s really not your baby or toddler’s fault if they don’t enjoy being at a fine-dining establishment, non-animated film, bar or concert at 10pm. Grow up and get some gumption! Parents who seem to think they still get to do everything they did before – only now dragging baby along- are the worst!

I love Brat Bans. I hope they become far more common. Give kids something to look forward to! It’s really not that difficult to tell them, “Sorry, you can’t go tonight -it’s only for grown ups!”

Fed Up

September 21st, 2011
10:12 am

My parents would have died of embarrassment with the things parents let their children do in public today. I don’t go to Applebees, Chili’s or Chuck E Cheese for that matter. I live in town and go to pubs, bars and non-chain restaurants. There is food all over the floor underneath the table, children are let to run among the table and diners and they do scream, whine, hollar etc with no sign of the parents correcting that behavior. I have seen waiters and waitresses with full trays of food or drinks almost get knocked over from children running around with concern for anybody else. I am tired of going to bars (which happen to also serve food) after 8:00 and there are still children there. There should be adult time and adult establishments.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
10:13 am

@ Amy and anyone else…did you guys read the legislation ( for schools) about SOFT SKILLS for students?
My husband informed me this was SOFTWARE….NOT!

It is how to pull your pants up and dress/ behave appropriately for a job interview. Appears too many kids are not arriving with manners and behavior expectations…just what teachers need: another thing that parents are not doing.

MMOT

September 21st, 2011
10:19 am

I don’t like the name Brat Ban. It’s very derogatory and mean spirited.

My children, 3 and 5 are very well behaved (compliments all around). My husband and I are not passive parents. We subscribe to old-school method of parenting. And it works. My children are not only well behaved but smart and ahead of the curve.

With that being said, I know there are places my children shouldn’t visit. For example, our children only go to movies for children. It works my nerve to be on a date with my husband and someone decides it’s okay to bring their infant to a movie. I have never and will never take my children to a dark theatre to see violence and horror and vulgar language. I don’t even curse around my children.

In regards to restaurants, I recently visted PF Changs and a small child was dancing and twirling in the isles. Although she was cute, it wasn’t cute that her parents ignored this when she was clearly in the path of staff serving others. And when I’m out enjoying dinner, whether with my children or not, I don’t need or desire to see a production put on by someone’s child. McDonalds is always open and they serve items under 300 calories. You should try them and there are those that have playgrounds for your active small ones. But if I am responsible enough to parent my children properly and effectively and have them behave, then I expect the same for all children.

I do feel that some people have just become intolerable to others. And that’s okay too because I hate a smoker and more over those smokers that smoke at the door and have no regard for others when/while they are smoking.

Just my two cents…

Warrior Woman

September 21st, 2011
10:22 am

You’re forgetting #5 – Many people are selfish and self-centered beyond belief and don’t want to have to deal with anyone else’s wants, needs, or rights. This explains 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Becky

September 21st, 2011
10:22 am

I think it’s a little of #3 & #4..My two know how to act when we go out to eat..Of course the “nicest” places that we have ever taken them to is Olive Garden, Longhorns and a couple of others..

I love kids and don’t mind being around them when I’m out to eat, but like others, I do not like to be around kids that aren’t made to behave..As someone said, kids are kids and they do act up at times, but when they do, that is the perfect time to teach them not to do that again..:~)

We have taken our two to eaet on Sunday after church and have been out until 9:00 or so..But we are usually at the IHOP and haven’t had issues with them being bratty..So if a restaurant wants to ban children, that is their right..Like has been mentioned, if I were somewhere eating that the meal was going to cost me $100 or more, NO, I don’t want to listen to your child screaming or being a brat..

Amy in the ATL

September 21st, 2011
10:24 am

@ motherjanegoose—I agree we don’t need to load “Etiquette” or “Soft Skills” curriculum on teachers (although in my experience, most good teachers set high expectations for appropriate behavior in the classroom already). At my daughter’s school, this is something that is offered as an extra-curricular activity during the after care program. The kids role play good and bad restaurant behavior, how to talk to adults, how to set a fancy table, etc. The kids actually seem to enjoy it and it’s helping to reinforce what my husband and I have tried to teach our girls. I’d love to see these types of classes being offered at more places……

MMOT

September 21st, 2011
10:27 am

And let me just add that I notice how rude people are in our everyday lives. And my children are even quick to point it out. ‘Excuse me’, ‘thank you’, ‘pardon me’, ‘please’, ‘ma’am’ and/or ’sir’ are hardly ever used. My children we taught this prior to their 1st birthdays. And I see ADULTS on a regular basis who will walk right in front of you and in your personal space and not say ‘excuse me’. How rude!! I would guess some of these same people are all for this ban of children from restaurants.

MMOT

September 21st, 2011
10:30 am

Isn’t it hilarious how we have so much to say about teachers? Their pay is too much or too little. They are treated unfairly. They need to toughen up. They need to stop complaining. They should pick a different profession if they don’t like the pay. They should this or they should that. But when it comes to teaching OUR CHILDREN proper etiquette we want TEACHERS to take on that responsibility. They are YOUR/OUR children and it’s your/our RESPONSIBLITY to be sure they know how to behave when away from home. IJS

Tom

September 21st, 2011
10:30 am

My wife and I were at the Wednesday night performance of Celtic Woman a couple of weeks ago. There was a couple in front of us (mezzanine) that brought their two childer….who must’ve been no older than 6 and 4. By 30 minutes into the performance, the younger one (boy) couldn’t sit still and was making noises banging a plastic cup around.

Seriously? If you can’t afford a babysitter, what are you doing sitting in $75 seats at the Fox? Wait for the DVD, idiots.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
10:36 am

@ Amy…I am all about those classes and think it is a wonderful program. Just do not dump it on the classroom teachers, who are already overwhelmed. They are already trying to teach so many things that parents have missed. Off to enjoy the giggles and laughs of little kids. Have a nice day all!

Tom

September 21st, 2011
10:37 am

This is what happens when children learn how to behave by watching their parents tailgate at ugag.

motherjanegoose

September 21st, 2011
10:38 am

@ jarvis…just step on an airplane and you will see that the folks who are flying today ( $149 r/t) are not in the same league as those who flew in the 1960’s and 1970’s or even 1980’s. Yes, there were lots of problems then but common courtesy seemed to be a step ahead of what it is today. Am I the only one who thinks so?

Alan

September 21st, 2011
10:38 am

I don’t go to chuckeycheeze for dinner parents are always welcome there with kids,

Alan

September 21st, 2011
10:42 am

Can’t take my nice none barking dog on a plane, but crying screaming kicking seat kids are welcome. let’s try this put the kids under the plane and let the pets ride in the cabin!

Westen

September 21st, 2011
10:45 am

Kids are swell – in the proper context. The thing is, many of today’s self-absorbed moms want to have it all. They want to have the same social life as before they had their precious little snowflake, so they bring the little tyke along to places that are inappropriate, like pubs and fine dining establishments. They can’t seem to understand that other grown ups might not take joy in the little scamps’ behavior at night. You know, during sexy time? Anyway, I loves me some well-behaved kids but I wish even their parents might consider more appropriate nighttime venues or at least the service that was used in days of yore: babysitters.

HB

September 21st, 2011
10:46 am

Haha, Jarvis! Thanks for the reminder that the good old days weren’t so good…

oneofeach4me

September 21st, 2011
10:46 am

I think Jeff, Outsider, and WholyBird have excellent points.

My kids are well behaved and full of energy. They like stimulation and get excited by it which can cause them to get antsy. Waiting 45 minutes to an hour for food, sitting in a chair coloring is just not gonna cut it. They won’t be running around the restaurant throwing food everywhere… but they may start laughing and telling jokes and get a little louder than the kid-less couple next to us would prefer. This is why when it comes to eating out, I only go to kid friendly places with my kids (i.e. Stevie B’s, Chuck E Cheese, Chick-Fil-A, McDonald’s). Because to be honest, we are a middle class family and eating out is already expensive. When we go out to a nice restaurant, it is as a date night, not just a “family meal”. Kinda makes you wonder…..the ones eating out with their kids in nice restaurants probably have a nice income to go along with it. So the class war thing just doesn’t make sense here.

As for stores… HA! Get over yourselves! I don’t have a live in nanny or babysitter so my kids have to go grocery shopping with me. For the most part my kids to very well. However, I too have been the parent who sees the other parent struggling with their kid in the store who is having a meltdown. You know what I do?? I try to HELP them out, lighten the situation up instead of JUDGING them or automatically assuming they are a bad parent! My nephew is a very well behaved 5 yr old, but even HE has had meltdowns in stores before. That kid that you think is so well behaved could also flip out 15 minutes later!

As for movies, sure, ban the kids for the rated R movies and late movies (which is why they only show kid movies earlier in the day). My kids ONLY go to see kid formulated movies. And if you are shushing my kids at a Disney movie, you choose the wrong one to see. Kids should behave, but they should also have fun. There has to be a balance.

Oh, and to all of you pro #3ers… you are probably the same people that would call DFACS on the parent in the bathroom who has removed their misbehaving child from the table to give them a good swift spank on the bottom!!! They say today’s children are less well behaved, yet you cannot even raise your voice at your child without someone saying or thinking you are out of line!! Can’t have it both ways people!

Gtmom

September 21st, 2011
10:48 am

Some restaurants would go under if they banned kids. I am all for letting the business owner decide. If they don’t want kids, it is their property. But I have seen numerous restaurants try to do that in my area and they have gone under. The ones with kids menus and are tolerant of kids seem to be thriving. Not everyone can afford babysitting at (11-15 dollars per hour) and our built in babysitters (grandparents) don’t live close by.. in my experience in Atlanta. I totally think it should be a business owner’s decision on what they want but understand if they lose ton of clients, why? Look at your demographics. Almost every other house in my neighborhood has a child under the age of 10. You can lose tons of business if you don’t cater to that environment. I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do on my property. I think a business owner should have the same right.. be that they want to allow kids or not.

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
10:49 am

@TWG, why is my comment now “awaiting moderation”?

It is certainly not the wildest thing I’ve said on here….not to mention it has already been commented on, so I’m assuming it was not previously “awaiting moderation”.

shaggy

September 21st, 2011
10:50 am

jarvis,

Why not teach them sports fundamentals at home…father (or mother for that matter) and let the kids teach the competition of score keeping…winning or losing contested games. I have found that methodology to be very effective.
I am aware that the parents often go overboard on thinking their litle guy/girl is the next super athlete that will earn gazillions of $$s, but all in all, the kids will manage and possibly forge life long friendships. in the process.

shaggy

September 21st, 2011
10:56 am

jarvis,

Don’t reply… I didn’t get the “at 7″ break into the real scoring game part of your post. That is about the right age for them to understand rules of baseball and scoring for real.

I am getting more coffee…late night last night. We went and attempted to massacre some deer for the freezer and only ended up massacring some 12 ounce cans of beer after the hunting was over.

HB

September 21st, 2011
10:58 am

To be fair, mjg, environment can have a huge influence on people’s behavior. People are less courteous when they are stressed out, so by the time they’ve waited in long lines to check themselves in, paid to check their bags, waited again for the privilege of being scanned and/or groped while trying to keep an eye on their bags sitting on the conveyor belt where any one can grab them, and then get crammed into a seat 2/3 the size and many inches closer to the one in front of them than seats 20 years ago, I don’t think you can assume that people in general are less courteous or “a different league.” Today’s air travel can make even the nicest people irritable, snippy, and less concerned with those around them.

abc

September 21st, 2011
11:04 am

I agree that travelling by plane these days is like travelling by bus in decades past, as far as the people zoo goes.

JJ

September 21st, 2011
11:29 am

Again, this is why I don’t patronize restaurants. Unruly kids, high prices, and horrible food. I’ll stay at home and grill with the neighbors thank you!!!

Erica

September 21st, 2011
11:31 am

I think the intolerance of children is a mixture of things. First, children are more outspoken and exposed than in prior generations. By exposed, I mean exposed to more technology, travel, education, etc. at such a young age. Many kids have eaten in restaurants, traveled on airplanes, etc.well before the age of 5. Second, as kids have “evolved” from prior generations, parenting mores have changed. Parents are a bit less structured and are encouraging kids to be more expressive. While these two changes have occured, our society has morphed into one that has become less tolerant, period.

I cringed when I read today’s topic. As a mom who along with my husband, is trying to raise a mannerable, intelligent happy little person, I read both the topic and some of these comments and wondered if our society has become so hardened and intolerant and impatient that we’ve forgotten that WE WERE ONCE KIDS TOO!!!! The concept of referring to a child as a “brat” is just plain ugly. Yes, parents need to take care to ensure that their children are not a disruption in public places. That’ s a life lesson for kids. But, for example, the poster who argued for “adults only” flights, is the sound of a little kid’s happy laugh or even a cry that much of an intrusion? Maybe we all need to remember that we were once little too. What if we were viewed as an intrusion or as brats? Seriously, what is our world coming to?

oneofeach4me

September 21st, 2011
11:43 am

@Erica ~ touché!!

Lady Strange

September 21st, 2011
11:44 am

As some others have said, not all of us can shop without our children. I have to take my son with me when I go shopping. He doesn’t always behave when he’s in the store, but shopping has to be done. Sometimes he has a meltdown. I’m not going to leave the grocery store just because he’s having a tantrum. I will however do my best to calm the situation as quickly as I can.

I also don’t take him to the movies yet, IMO he’s not old enough to sit through a whole movie.
I also don’t take him places to eat that aren’t considered family places. He is expected to behave, doesn’t always happen but I’m not beyond taking him to the bathroom till he quiets down.

abc

September 21st, 2011
11:52 am

My kids never had public meltdowns. About the worst it got was when my middle son was 3 or 4, at the grocery store, he loudly exclaimed “look how FAT that lady is!!”. I explained to him after the fact why he’d not want to do that, and he understood, even as a little guy. They’d run around restaurants after eating — when they were under 6-8 years old anyway — but I never took them to any place where one wouldn’t expect to have a lot of little kids.

Whenever I see a little kid throwing a tantrum, it seems to me it’s their parents that are having the meltdown. My general impression is that not everyone is cut out to be a parent.

oneofeach4me

September 21st, 2011
12:03 pm

@aqc ~ and it’s my impression that people have bad days. Sure.. some people aren’t cut out to be parents. But in reality, that is more of the rarity than you think. I have been in the store with my kid when I was sick because I had no other choice. I was getting medicine for myself and my kid was having a meltdown. I corrected the behavior quickly, but my energy and patience level just wasn’t there. If someone was offended… well sorry. That’s life for some people. We do the best we can with what we have. Support systems and villages are a rarity in themselves so there is a lot of pressure on parents today. Cut people some slack.

BlondeHoney

September 21st, 2011
12:03 pm

abc, with all due respect, children should not run around restaurants after eating no matter how child-friendly that restaurant is because it’s DANGEROUS…the child could slip and be injured or even worse, careen into a server carrying hot plates, food etc. Even at Chuckecheese’s running should be confied to the appropriate play area and if they want to run around that badly, leave the restaurant and take them to the park.

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
12:17 pm

Of course traveling by plane isn’t as luxurious as it used to be. It’s cheaper and more common.

First and foremost, I have to remove everything I put on at security, but also I have troupble. I’m crammed into a seat made for humans half my size (and I’m only 6′ and right at 200 lbs.), and inevitably there is someone twice my girth squeezing in next to me. I have to wait in three lines to get on a plane and the planes are often late.

I’m not a patient person. I’d say that flying is unpleasant to me, but that wouldn’t be accurate. I love flying, it’s the process of being on a plane that is stressful.

Maybe things were better in airflight in previous decades when there were less people flying…I don’t know, I didn’t fly back then. I can just speak for me in the now, and it is quite miserable.

As far as child free restarunts go. I can see that working, but I think that airline is going to have to reverse its course. First class costs more for the convenience and peace involved in it….a child free plane charges on the same basis I assume. If the model works for them, so be it, but I have the feeling it won’t. I don’t see enough people paying the extra money just to avoid being on a plane with kids.

oneofeach4me

September 21st, 2011
12:29 pm

@BlondeHoney ~ or abc could go to Joe’s Crab Shack and let them run around on the playground there! My kids enjoy that!!

jarvis

September 21st, 2011
12:44 pm

@shaggy, good luck with the hangover.

Baseball has been more difficult to teach than I thought it would be. I think fundamentals of baseball can be taught at home but only to a certain degree. It’s very hard to teach fielding and throwing. I can certainly teach him how to take the grounder and throw it back to me, but it has been extremely difficult trying to teach where to throw the ball.

I’m either hitting or throwing the ball to him. I can’t also be on 1st or 2nd base.

Then try explaing to a 4-year-old the concept of a force out.”You can touch 2nd base to get the runner out, but only if there is also a runner going to first. If their isn’t anyone going to 1st, you have to tag the runner to be out…..but you can always throw to first to get the force out there.”

Seems like a simple concept to me. I guess it all comes as 2nd nature when you watch a game your whole life, but I’ve really enjoyed trying to teach it. He loves it, and I love having one more thing in common with him.

“If nothing else my father and I could always talk about baseball.” – Eric Haynes

abc

September 21st, 2011
12:49 pm

My kids are all in their 20’s now. They survived being little guys, and I survived them being teenagers. Yall with little kids, oh, what a treat you’re in for! :-)

oneofeach4me

September 21st, 2011
12:51 pm

@abc… I am NOT looking forward to that AT ALL!!!!! (those teenage years) uuugggghhh………

Lady Strange

September 21st, 2011
12:55 pm

@abc – I think most kids have a meltdown at one point or another. If it’s a daily thing then there might be an issue somewhere. Perhaps you just lucked out with your kids. All kids are different, they are people afterall. Am I the best mom ever? Heck no, but I do try to be the best mom I can be.

JJ

September 21st, 2011
12:59 pm

I find the older I get, the less tolerant I am for screaming kids in public places. The grocery store, for example. The other day it must have been “Bring the Screamers to Publix” day. There must have been 5 screaming kids in that store. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough…