Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: lellah on September 18, 2013, 11:19:41 AM

Title: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: lellah on September 18, 2013, 11:19:41 AM
Lately three of my FB wholly unrelated friends have been banging on about how people--especially child-free people--in public ought to be more receptive to their kids' presence and behavior. 

Now, I love kids.  I also love penguins.  I just don't happen to want to live with either. 

I like to think I'm pretty kid-friendly: Your child's freaking out in a supermarket?  Sympathetic look from me.  Your child's freaking out in the airplane seat next to me?  I will ask if you I can help somehow, and I will glare at people glaring at you.  Explosive diaper at the mall?  I will offer the baby wipes I carry in my purse if you're out. 

But if your tot's squalling at top volume at a wedding or a funeral and you're not taking them out?  Blurgh.  You're terrible.  It's 9pm and your kid's screaming in an art museum?  Also terrible.  Freaking out in a r-rated movie?  Ruining everyone's night out in a posh restaurant at a time when kids ought to be in bed? Ugggggh.

My general attitude is that the world's full of places kids need to go or ought to go or can go.  Kids sometimes have tantrums or smelly pants, and that's normal.  We need to cut them and their parents a big break in those spaces.  But it makes me kind of crazy when very young kids are acting up because they're in a setting where they couldn't reasonably be expected to be behave and their parents aren't doing anything.  In fact, I think that's Very Rude. 

What say you, ehellions?  Am I grump?
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Julsie on September 18, 2013, 11:21:06 AM
You have no children.  I have seven.  We are in total agreement.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 11:25:17 AM
I don't think you are a grump. I totally agree. Not everywhere is appropriate for kids, and even if the place might be sort of appropriate for a kid (like say a wedding) that doesn't mean all behavior from those kids should be tolerated - there are times when the kid needs to be taken outside for a bit.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: lowspark on September 18, 2013, 11:28:06 AM
I have two, now grown, sons. And I agree too.

When parents place their children in a setting that is not appropriate for kids, it's not only very rude to the other people there, it's horribly unfair to the kids.

Sure, kids need to learn how to behave in a restaurant setting, for example. Taking them to family oriented places where a little bit of restlessness and loudness can be tolerated, and the opportunity used to teach what is good and bad behavior is fine. Taking them to a fancy low-light adult restaurant for that same lesson is not.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: lowspark on September 18, 2013, 11:31:15 AM
In fact, the very fact that I have kids makes me that much more annoyed when I'm around kids in a situation where they don't belong. Back to the restaurant example, when my kids were young and I got a brief respite from them and was able to go out for a nice adult dinner, the last thing I wanted to see was other kids behaving badly!
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: courtsmad25 on September 18, 2013, 11:32:26 AM
NOPE!! Not at all! I decided that Branson, MO USA was my personal idea of h&ll when I was on a trip there and had been tossing around the idea of getting a new tattoo done. It's midnight and I'm watching TV when an ad comes on for a local tattoo place, so I sit up and take notice til the end of the commercial when the announcer says "bring you whole family, and kids get free airbrush tattoo's while you wait"!  :o  ??? :(Really?!?  Yeah that's one place where kids definitely don't need to be..what if they bump the artists arm and they make a line across you? Depending on the size you can be there HOURS..  ::)
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: PastryGoddess on September 18, 2013, 11:34:00 AM
I totally agree as well.  I also don't have kids, but I'm fairly child friendly. 
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Zilla on September 18, 2013, 11:34:43 AM
It's interesting where it was once accepted that children are to be seen but nor heard.  And children "disappeared" at bedtime so their parents can go out to dinner, have a drink etc in peace.


Nowadays it's like horror of horrors to even dare mention No Children please.  If that makes you a grump, then I am a huge grumpy grump. :D  And I do like kids, have two of my own.  However thankfully I am gradually seeing restaurants bucking up and sticking with the No Children rules and people are supporting them etc.  So the tide is turning back a bit to the earlier times. 
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Winterlight on September 18, 2013, 11:35:28 AM
As a former child, I also agree with you. *g*

 My parents went to adult events and the kids stayed home with a babysitter- and by "adult" I mean the symphony, theater, dinner out, etc. Did my brother and I get to eat out/do things? Of course, at age-appropriate venues and events. Thanksgiving/Christmas lunch buffet? Yes. Disney movie matinee? Yes. That quiet little Chinese teahouse with no children's menu? Please, not until they're old enough to sit still and keep their voices down!
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Monkey Maker on September 18, 2013, 11:36:59 AM
If you're a grump, so am I. 

When I signed up for this parenting malarkey, it was with the full knowledge that I would miss out on some things if I couldn't get a babysitter.  Which is as it should be.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: JenJay on September 18, 2013, 11:38:38 AM
Lately three of my FB wholly unrelated friends have been banging on about how people--especially child-free people--in public ought to be more receptive to their kids' presence and behavior. 

Now, I love kids.  I also love penguins.  I just don't happen to want to live with either. 

I like to think I'm pretty kid-friendly: Your child's freaking out in a supermarket?  Sympathetic look from me.  Your child's freaking out in the airplane seat next to me?  I will ask if you I can help somehow, and I will glare at people glaring at you.  Explosive diaper at the mall?  I will offer the baby wipes I carry in my purse if you're out. 

But if your tot's squalling at top volume at a wedding or a funeral and you're not taking them out?  Blurgh.  You're terrible.  It's 9pm and your kid's screaming in an art museum?  Also terrible.  Freaking out in a r-rated movie?  Ruining everyone's night out in a posh restaurant at a time when kids ought to be in bed? Ugggggh.

My general attitude is that the world's full of places kids need to go or ought to go or can go.  Kids sometimes have tantrums or smelly pants, and that's normal.  We need to cut them and their parents a big break in those spaces.  But it makes me kind of crazy when very young kids are acting up because they're in a setting where they couldn't reasonably be expected to be behave and their parents aren't doing anything.  In fact, I think that's Very Rude. 

What say you, ehellions?  Am I grump?

I'm with you. I have three children and the way I look at it is, it was MY choice to have kids, therefore it is MY responsibility to miss out on things if those things are not appropriate for kids or I couldn't find a sitter.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Another Sarah on September 18, 2013, 11:40:10 AM
I can appreciate that short of strapping a kid down, you can't stop them being kids. But I do think there's an increasing tendency towards "You can't prevent little Johnny from being a child, he doesn't understand good behaviour" when the reason little Johnny is running round the place screaming at the top of his lungs and kicking passers-by is because his parents have never told him not to.

There comes a point when a child, a teen, becomes fully accountable for their behaviour, but there is a difference between not holding them to an adult standard and not holding them to any standard at all.

I look at it as everyone is held the same level of behaviour, but parents should take responsibility for their children's adherence to that level until they develop it themselves. If a baby is screaming their head off at a wedding, it's up to the parent to make sure nobody is disturbed. If an older kid is acting up, it's up to the parent to remind them what good behaviour is.

I'm not saying it's that easy, cause they have that "whole mind of their own" thing and sometimes you just can't stop a kid from shouting and crying and behaving badly. But if a parent isn't even trying to do so, then lauches into a self-righteous tirade about respecting children, that's disrespectful on their part.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Rohanna on September 18, 2013, 11:44:56 AM
Kids belong in everyday life- kids do not have to be at "optional" activities of any type if the cant behave appropriatly for the event/venue. Optional to me means things that aren't necessary even if they are fun, like a co-worker's wedding or a nice dinner out .

If you go to a child-friendly restaurant you might have to hear my kid tantrum on the way out for a time out - I won't inflict that on anyone at a "date night" ....
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: CakeBeret on September 18, 2013, 11:46:46 AM
I have a 3 year old whom I adore, and I am a grump about children. Parents and kids have my goodwill and understanding in most places, though.

If I have left my kid with a babysitter and am paying dearly to dine in a swanky, quiet restaurant, I will be supremely irritated to listen to another child caterwauling throughout dinner.

Children do not belong in tattoo parlors, period. My husband had the bright idea of taking our son along with him to a multi-hour tattoo appointment and still doesn't entirely get why that's a terrible idea, but he did at least listen to me and scrap that plan.

I once went to a midnight showing of an R-rated movie and was irritated to see a sleeping infant in a carrier down the row from me. I was pleasantly surprised, then, to see the parents put soundproof headphones on the little one, and loosely drape a blanket over the carrier. The babe slept straight through the movie! I have no doubt that if he had started crying, the parents would have taken him out right away.

My son is an energetic, hardheaded little scamp, and yes, it would be easy to let him misbehave and do nothing because "that's just how he is". But I don't. It takes a lot of effort to help him behave properly in public, so I kind of resent parents who sit back and do nothing while their kids misbehave.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Deetee on September 18, 2013, 11:46:59 AM
I am in agreement with all your examples. But those aren't about kids being in places. Those are about screaming and ill behavedto kids being in places so it really isn't a point of contention.

The more interesting questions are whether kids should be at weddings or funerals at all our at fancy restaurants at all our out past "bedtime" at all.

I always think of the bedtime one because I do know a family who just ran on a later time clock. Their baby slept from about 11pm to 9 or 10 am.  They kept this up until the kid was in grade one. So I never really felt that there was a time that kids shouldn't be allowed out or up past.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: nuit93 on September 18, 2013, 11:47:16 AM
State law where I live prohibits anyone under 21 from being in a bar.

You wouldn't believe how many people seem to think that babies are the exception to that.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Sharnita on September 18, 2013, 11:47:48 AM
I think some things depend and some things are absolute.

Funerals and weddings depend. Certainly a kid having a melt down should be removed but the majority of kids I've seen at weddings and funerals haven't melted down.

Of course, children shouldn't be brought to a wedding they haven't been invited to or to any "adults only" event.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 12:02:21 PM
I have 2 kids, and the thing that grates on me, is how unfair it is on the CHILD.  Children are not just learning to behave - they are forming their self-concept.  They do not know what they need, they do not know their limits, and they do not know how to manage themselves.

If you constantly set them up for failure by putting them in situations where they are exhausted, overstimulated, or developmentally incapable of behaving appropriately, then you are teaching them that they are failures, people don't like them or want them around, and they are the source of constant frustration/embarassment to their parents.  And then they will live "down" to the expectations they were set.  So, so, unfair and cruel.

I think regular, small doses of selected "grownup" venues can be great for teaching and motivating kids to appreciate manners, culture, and the wider world.  But it is the parents' job to meet the child's needs for rest, physical activity, food, and attention span - so that it is a pleasant experience for the family, and for the people around them.  I often tell my girls, "I am so proud of you, I can take you anywhere!"  But I don't.  I take them to places where I have planned my resources, my time, and my exit strategy.

I get so sad to see kids misbehaving and melting down in inappropriate places/times - because I see a kid whose needs are being ignored.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: turnip on September 18, 2013, 12:06:01 PM
You have very unusual FB friends.  I know no one who will defend their child screaming in an art museum, or at a wedding or funeral.  You can see the replies here are unanimous. 
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: TinyVulgarUnicorn on September 18, 2013, 12:09:23 PM
I still remember getting married at the courthouse and hearing a screaming baby in the background the whole time our ceremony was performed.  Not once did the parents take the child out.  :/
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Hmmmmm on September 18, 2013, 12:16:55 PM
EllenS makes a very good point about it being unfair to the kids to take them to adult focused activities. I was a late in life child. All of my parents friends and my siblings were older. There were times my parents were asked to a social event (dinner out or over to friends) and my mom would turn down the invite because of lack of sitter and the hosts to insist that I be brought along. While most times it was fine and even fun, there were other times that it was apparent to me that stories/jokes were edited or evenings ending earlier because of my presence. And it made me uncomfortable knowing this. Or I'd end up in a master bedroom trying to find something to watch on TV. Or end up sitting nicely and politely at the restaurant table for 2 hours mostly listening to conversations which bored me silly.

My DH and I followed the rule that if having our kids join an event would change the behavior of other guests, then they didnt need to be there.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 12:19:31 PM
Quote
But if your tot's squalling at top volume at a wedding or a funeral and you're not taking them out?  Blurgh.  You're terrible.  It's 9pm and your kid's screaming in an art museum?  Also terrible.  Freaking out in a r-rated movie?  Ruining everyone's night out in a posh restaurant at a time when kids ought to be in bed? Ugggggh.

The annoyances you are describing are more about behavior than age and adults can misbehave too.  And frankly, I think those behaviors you list are more about bad parenting than they are about misbehaving children.

I think there are places that children shouldn't be taken, but those places are very few. Mostly, I think that if a child can behave himself in a given setting and behave just like the adults, he should be welcomed.  Movies, restaurants, weddings, funerals, museums are all places I would expect to see kids, but I would also expect them to be behaving.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: MindsEye on September 18, 2013, 12:24:09 PM
There are definitely places where kids do not belong:


I just don't feel that the entire world needs to be "kid friendly" and I think that it is fine that there are places where kids can't or shouldn't go. 

I guess that I am a grump too!
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: GSNW on September 18, 2013, 12:25:39 PM
OP, your friends are in full-on mommy/daddy pride mode, it seems, and not the good kind where they just love their babies to death and see them as the best things ever.  No, this is the kind of attitude that comes when someone decides that their child/ren is/are the center of the universe, and if you can't bow to that, then you are a child-hater. 

There are places we all expect to see children.  In Target, for example.  If I had kids, I wouldn't think twice about taking them there.  Of course, I would expect them to behave by not slamming full-speed into the rear end of another shopper, like a kid did to me yesterday (supervising adults nowhere in sight).

I once listened to a mom lose her MIND on this poor counter girl at a vineyard we were visiting.  She wanted to take her baby on the winery tour (??) and they wouldn't sell her a ticket/allow the kid to go.  They explained that it was a working winery, insurance issues, etc, and the lady flat-out would not listen.  She argued right up until the tour left without her. 

There is a lot of debate and some uproar over a few recent restaurants that have opened and declared themselves to be 18 (or 21) and up, only.  And yet no one is freaking out about how you can't go to Legoland WITHOUT a kid in tow. 

The idea that some places are more well-suited to adults, no children, is quite logical.

Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: momof2weenies on September 18, 2013, 12:28:36 PM
I POD everyone else, and wouldn't have posted otherwise except I had to say that I LOVE this:

Now, I love kids.  I also love penguins.  I just don't happen to want to live with either. 
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: violinp on September 18, 2013, 12:28:57 PM
Quote
But if your tot's squalling at top volume at a wedding or a funeral and you're not taking them out?  Blurgh.  You're terrible.  It's 9pm and your kid's screaming in an art museum?  Also terrible.  Freaking out in a r-rated movie?  Ruining everyone's night out in a posh restaurant at a time when kids ought to be in bed? Ugggggh.

The annoyances you are describing are more about behavior than age and adults can misbehave too.  And frankly, I think those behaviors you list are more about bad parenting than they are about misbehaving children.

I think there are places that children shouldn't be taken, but those places are very few. Mostly, I think that if a child can behave himself in a given setting and behave just like the adults, he should be welcomed.  Movies, restaurants, weddings, funerals, museums are all places I would expect to see kids, but I would also expect them to be behaving.

POD. I was perfectly able to watch a full length Disney movie at the age of 3, and also sit through a church service at that age (provided that I had something to do during the sermon), partly because I was an incredibly good child, but also in part because my parents were good parents and taught me and Cabbage how to act. OP, you're not a grump; I'd be irritated as all get out to experience stuff like that.

ETA: MindsEye, I've only ever seen family bathrooms in big city airports, and my (relatively) small town certainly doesn't have them. It's NBD to me to see a mother take her son or a father his daughter into the opposite gender bathroom.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: msulinski on September 18, 2013, 12:29:31 PM
There are definitely places where kids do not belong:

  • Any place with age requirements (e.g. bars, nightclubs, rated R or M movies, nude beach, etc)
  • Any place with height requirements (e.g. the sooper-dooper awesome rollercoaster that has a minimum height of 48")
  • The opposite gender bathroom or change room.  If you have to go into the bathroom or change room with your kids, you need to use the family rest room or the family change room (YMMV, this is my opinion)
  • Any place that the kid is not able to handle the mental or physical requirements necessary (e.g. backcountry backpacking, on a boat if they can't swim, at a gala art opening if they don't have an appreciation of art)
  • Any place where "kids being kids" will prevent others around them from fully participating in/appreciating the place/event (e.g. an evening at the opera)
  • Any place where an invitation is required, and they have not been invited (e.g. weddings, cocktail parties)

I just don't feel that the entire world needs to be "kid friendly" and I think that it is fine that there are places where kids can't or shouldn't go. 

I guess that I am a grump too!

Regarding R-rated movies, there is no age requirement if accompanied by an adult. That said, I still don't think young children should be in an R-rated movie if they are misbehaving/crying/etc..

As for opposite-gender bathrooms, I am in complete disagreement with you. Believe me, I would love to take my daughters into a private family bathroom instead of the men's room, but these are few and far between. What should I do when there is no family bathroom? Let them go in their pants, or maybe I just shouldn't be allowed out in public with my daughters unless their mother is present?
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 12:31:40 PM
You have very unusual FB friends.  I know no one who will defend their child screaming in an art museum, or at a wedding or funeral.  You can see the replies here are unanimous.

I think often it comes down to the definition of "screaming".

I went to a wedding recently, that was primarily adults (children who were close family of the couple were invited) and quite formal. Well a couple I'm friends with brought their toddler (the bride agreed ahead of time this was ok... although I believe she did so under duress as I was there when it happened). I sat at the same table as the couple with the toddler.

During the speeches part of the reception the room was almost totally silent, save for an odd murmur here and there, as we all listened. And twice the toddler let out a very loud yelp of sorts. It wasn't a full on tantrum by any means, it was only a few seconds long. But it happened twice. And it was distracting and IMO disrespectful as the toddler had not been invited, was significantly younger then any of the children who were invited (7 years was the next youngest guest, an officially invited), and they were very touching speeches that deserved respect and attention, not distraction.

I didn't specifically bring it up to the parents so they didn't defend it specifically, but they also didn't after the first one immediately remove themselves from the room thus preventing the second interruption... so to me their actions as parents absolutely defended the noise.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 12:33:51 PM
There are definitely places where kids do not belong:

  • Any place with age requirements (e.g. bars, nightclubs, rated R or M movies, nude beach, etc)
  • Any place with height requirements (e.g. the sooper-dooper awesome rollercoaster that has a minimum height of 48")
  • The opposite gender bathroom or change room.  If you have to go into the bathroom or change room with your kids, you need to use the family rest room or the family change room (YMMV, this is my opinion)
  • Any place that the kid is not able to handle the mental or physical requirements necessary (e.g. backcountry backpacking, on a boat if they can't swim, at a gala art opening if they don't have an appreciation of art)
  • Any place where "kids being kids" will prevent others around them from fully participating in/appreciating the place/event (e.g. an evening at the opera)
  • Any place where an invitation is required, and they have not been invited (e.g. weddings, cocktail parties)
[/list]

I just don't feel that the entire world needs to be "kid friendly" and I think that it is fine that there are places where kids can't or shouldn't go. 

I guess that I am a grump too!

The bolded would apply to adults too, though. We really need to separate the behavior from the mere presence of a minor. Adult who can't swim don't belong a boat either. Uninvited adults don't belong at a wedding.  Adults that don't meet the height requirement don't belong on a ride.
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: nuit93 on September 18, 2013, 12:38:56 PM

There is a lot of debate and some uproar over a few recent restaurants that have opened and declared themselves to be 18 (or 21) and up, only.  And yet no one is freaking out about how you can't go to Legoland WITHOUT a kid in tow.  

The idea that some places are more well-suited to adults, no children, is quite logical.

Wait...you can't?
Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 12:39:30 PM
    There are definitely places where kids do not belong:

    • Any place with age requirements (e.g. bars, nightclubs, rated R or M movies, nude beach, etc)
    • Any place with height requirements (e.g. the sooper-dooper awesome rollercoaster that has a minimum height of 48")
    • The opposite gender bathroom or change room.  If you have to go into the bathroom or change room with your kids, you need to use the family rest room or the family change room (YMMV, this is my opinion)
    • Any place that the kid is not able to handle the mental or physical requirements necessary (e.g. backcountry backpacking, on a boat if they can't swim, at a gala art opening if they don't have an appreciation of art)
    • Any place where "kids being kids" will prevent others around them from fully participating in/appreciating the place/event (e.g. an evening at the opera)
    • Any place where an invitation is required, and they have not been invited (e.g. weddings, cocktail parties)
    [/list]

    I just don't feel that the entire world needs to be "kid friendly" and I think that it is fine that there are places where kids can't or shouldn't go. 

    I guess that I am a grump too!

    The bolded would apply to adults too, though. We really need to separate the behavior from the mere presence of a minor. Adult who can't swim don't belong a boat either. Uninvited adults don't belong at a wedding.  Adults that don't meet the height requirement don't belong on a ride.

    Well, yes, of course. But we're talking specifically about children here.
    Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
    Post by: metallicafan on September 18, 2013, 12:43:14 PM
    In fact, the very fact that I have kids makes me that much more annoyed when I'm around kids in a situation where they don't belong. Back to the restaurant example, when my kids were young and I got a brief respite from them and was able to go out for a nice adult dinner, the last thing I wanted to see was other kids behaving badly!

    This is exactly the way I feel.  Couldn't have said it better myself.
    Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
    Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 12:44:00 PM

    There is a lot of debate and some uproar over a few recent restaurants that have opened and declared themselves to be 18 (or 21) and up, only.  And yet no one is freaking out about how you can't go to Legoland WITHOUT a kid in tow.  

    The idea that some places are more well-suited to adults, no children, is quite logical.

    Wait...you can't?

    There are lots of places adults aren't allowed without kids. In NYC adults cannot legally go into playgrounds without children. (Often if its late at night, so long as they aren't making noise/drinking/otherwise doing something "wrong" the law is not enforced, but there are signs at every playground I've seen saying adults must be accompanying a minor under the age of 16 to be in the playground.)
    Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
    Post by: Sharnita on September 18, 2013, 12:44:34 PM
    I don't think uninvited guests of any age should be brought along to a wedding. And I am put off byeople yelling, calling out, interjecting, etc. during wedding speeches myself - the thing is that  is usually adults doing it.
    Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
    Post by: turnip on September 18, 2013, 12:45:16 PM
    You have very unusual FB friends.  I know no one who will defend their child screaming in an art museum, or at a wedding or funeral.  You can see the replies here are unanimous.

    I think often it comes down to the definition of "screaming".

    I went to a wedding recently, that was primarily adults (children who were close family of the couple were invited) and quite formal. Well a couple I'm friends with brought their toddler (the bride agreed ahead of time this was ok... although I believe she did so under duress as I was there when it happened). I sat at the same table as the couple with the toddler.

    During the speeches part of the reception the room was almost totally silent, save for an odd murmur here and there, as we all listened. And twice the toddler let out a very loud yelp of sorts. It wasn't a full on tantrum by any means, it was only a few seconds long. But it happened twice. And it was distracting and IMO disrespectful as the toddler had not been invited, was significantly younger then any of the children who were invited (7 years was the next youngest guest, an officially invited), and they were very touching speeches that deserved respect and attention, not distraction.

    I didn't specifically bring it up to the parents so they didn't defend it specifically, but they also didn't after the first one immediately remove themselves from the room thus preventing the second interruption... so to me their actions as parents absolutely defended the noise.

    You accurately predict that I wouldn't consider a  toddler yelping twice 'screaming'.     However this toddler was invited to the wedding - whatever speculation you may have about the bride being under duress - and so doesn't really apply to the OP's situation.

    Children don't belong where they haven't been invited.  They don't belong in places where the law requires that everyone be above a certain age.  I don't know of any other etiquette rules that forbid them from anywhere else in the public sphere - as is occasionally pointed out, if you never take your children to a restaurant or a museum, they will never learn to behave in a restaurant or museum.
    Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
    Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 12:47:44 PM
      There are definitely places where kids do not belong:

      • Any place with age requirements (e.g. bars, nightclubs, rated R or M movies, nude beach, etc)
      • Any place with height requirements (e.g. the sooper-dooper awesome rollercoaster that has a minimum height of 48")
      • The opposite gender bathroom or change room.  If you have to go into the bathroom or change room with your kids, you need to use the family rest room or the family change room (YMMV, this is my opinion)
      • Any place that the kid is not able to handle the mental or physical requirements necessary (e.g. backcountry backpacking, on a boat if they can't swim, at a gala art opening if they don't have an appreciation of art)
      • Any place where "kids being kids" will prevent others around them from fully participating in/appreciating the place/event (e.g. an evening at the opera)
      • Any place where an invitation is required, and they have not been invited (e.g. weddings, cocktail parties)
      [/list]

      I just don't feel that the entire world needs to be "kid friendly" and I think that it is fine that there are places where kids can't or shouldn't go. 

      I guess that I am a grump too!

      The bolded would apply to adults too, though. We really need to separate the behavior from the mere presence of a minor. Adult who can't swim don't belong a boat either. Uninvited adults don't belong at a wedding.  Adults that don't meet the height requirement don't belong on a ride.

      Well, yes, of course. But we're talking specifically about children here.

      My point is that these aren't places kids don't belong; they are places people who don't meet the requirement don't belong. If a child can meet the requirements, there's no reason for them not to be there.
      Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
      Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 12:49:50 PM
        There are definitely places where kids do not belong:

        • Any place with age requirements (e.g. bars, nightclubs, rated R or M movies, nude beach, etc)
        • Any place with height requirements (e.g. the sooper-dooper awesome rollercoaster that has a minimum height of 48")
        • The opposite gender bathroom or change room.  If you have to go into the bathroom or change room with your kids, you need to use the family rest room or the family change room (YMMV, this is my opinion)
        • Any place that the kid is not able to handle the mental or physical requirements necessary (e.g. backcountry backpacking, on a boat if they can't swim, at a gala art opening if they don't have an appreciation of art)
        • Any place where "kids being kids" will prevent others around them from fully participating in/appreciating the place/event (e.g. an evening at the opera)
        • Any place where an invitation is required, and they have not been invited (e.g. weddings, cocktail parties)
        [/list]

        I just don't feel that the entire world needs to be "kid friendly" and I think that it is fine that there are places where kids can't or shouldn't go. 

        I guess that I am a grump too!

        The bolded would apply to adults too, though. We really need to separate the behavior from the mere presence of a minor. Adult who can't swim don't belong a boat either. Uninvited adults don't belong at a wedding.  Adults that don't meet the height requirement don't belong on a ride.

        Well, yes, of course. But we're talking specifically about children here.

        My point is that these aren't places kids don't belong; they are places people who don't meet the requirement don't belong. If a child can meet the requirements, there's no reason for them not to be there.

        Yes...no one was implying otherwise.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Goosey on September 18, 2013, 12:54:28 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.
         
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 01:02:13 PM
        You have very unusual FB friends.  I know no one who will defend their child screaming in an art museum, or at a wedding or funeral.  You can see the replies here are unanimous.

        I think often it comes down to the definition of "screaming".

        I went to a wedding recently, that was primarily adults (children who were close family of the couple were invited) and quite formal. Well a couple I'm friends with brought their toddler (the bride agreed ahead of time this was ok... although I believe she did so under duress as I was there when it happened). I sat at the same table as the couple with the toddler.

        During the speeches part of the reception the room was almost totally silent, save for an odd murmur here and there, as we all listened. And twice the toddler let out a very loud yelp of sorts. It wasn't a full on tantrum by any means, it was only a few seconds long. But it happened twice. And it was distracting and IMO disrespectful as the toddler had not been invited, was significantly younger then any of the children who were invited (7 years was the next youngest guest, an officially invited), and they were very touching speeches that deserved respect and attention, not distraction.

        I didn't specifically bring it up to the parents so they didn't defend it specifically, but they also didn't after the first one immediately remove themselves from the room thus preventing the second interruption... so to me their actions as parents absolutely defended the noise.

        You accurately predict that I wouldn't consider a  toddler yelping twice 'screaming'.     However this toddler was invited to the wedding - whatever speculation you may have about the bride being under duress - and so doesn't really apply to the OP's situation.

        Children don't belong where they haven't been invited.  They don't belong in places where the law requires that everyone be above a certain age.  I don't know of any other etiquette rules that forbid them from anywhere else in the public sphere - as is occasionally pointed out, if you never take your children to a restaurant or a museum, they will never learn to behave in a restaurant or museum.

        No the child absolutely was not invited. The child was agreed to after the fact. But the child was never invited, which would imply the hosts/B&G were the first to mention the child. The child's parents announced they were bringing the child, after RSVP's were in (the parents only RSVP'ed for themselves), and the bride did not stop them, but the child was not invited.

        And I personally did consider the noise on par with a scream - it was loud, sudden, uncomfortable sounding, and inappropriate. Hence my saying there is some question to the definition of "screaming" - ok it wasn't a scream but it was a yell. Are yelling children acceptable but screaming kids not? Where exactly is that line drawn?

        I am by no means saying children don't belong at museums, or restaurants or even weddings (that same toddler was invited specifically by name to my wedding in fact). But just because some museums, or some times at museums are appropriate for kids, does not mean all museums, at all times are appropriate (or any other venue). Sitting in the bar area of Applebees for lunch is fine for a family, sitting in the bar area of Applebees after 11pm when its essentially become a singles bar is not appropriate for those with youngsters - same place but different circumstances. And that holds true for lots of places and events.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: turnip on September 18, 2013, 01:02:27 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: shhh its me on September 18, 2013, 01:05:39 PM
         I would add 2 caveats to your reasonable list

        It depends whose wedding or funeral.   It's not reasonable as a guest to be annoyed at the bride or grooms children, well maybe be annoyed but its not reasonable to expect the HC would not included them.






         
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Goosey on September 18, 2013, 01:07:04 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people.

        I'm not asking nor would I expect children not to be out in public. But if it's later in the evening and I'm at a fancy restaurant and someone brings their kid - it takes the atmosphere down quite a few levels. It went from grown up fancy time to child-friendly restaurant time.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 01:07:25 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people.

        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: lellah on September 18, 2013, 01:09:31 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people.

        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.

        I was admittedly unclear in my initial definition of child.  I think a well-mannered eight-year-old at Chez Fancy is lovely.  A toddler who, despite cheerful and careful parenting, may be prone to outburst is gambling with other people's nice times.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 18, 2013, 01:12:23 PM
        NOPE!! Not at all! I decided that Branson, MO USA was my personal idea of h&ll when I was on a trip there and had been tossing around the idea of getting a new tattoo done. It's midnight and I'm watching TV when an ad comes on for a local tattoo place, so I sit up and take notice til the end of the commercial when the announcer says "bring you whole family, and kids get free airbrush tattoo's while you wait"!  :o  ??? :(Really?!?  Yeah that's one place where kids definitely don't need to be..what if they bump the artists arm and they make a line across you? Depending on the size you can be there HOURS..  ::)

        No kidding. I was taken along on a tattoo errand with a couple the first year DH and I were married. He was doing something else, a chess tournament, and they offered to give me a ride to the shopping areas to do something more interesting.  Boy did I regret that. It ended up a day of listening to them bicker while their kid did this happy eardrum blasting shriek, topped off by being a hostage babysitter while they got inked. 

        I've been inked.  It took about an hour to get mine done, as it was not a big one, but I sure wouldn't expect a toddler to stay still for that long while unengaged.

        Anyway, that aside, I do think sometimes there are places kids shouldn't be brought even if they are angels.  My folks used to brag about how they could take me anywhere when I was a baby because I was so quiet and so good.   Like pool halls.  They'd just put me (in a seat) on a table next to the one they were playing on and just keep playing late into the night and other than babbling I wouldn't make a peep. 

        That always seemed a little strange to me!

        On the other hand, once I did take my kids to a super fancy restaurant that didn't even have kids menus or highchairs or booster seats (which to me would say "kids not welcome!") but in my defense, the neighbor who recommended the restaurant to me didn't tell me it was expensive or that it was not terribly kid friendly.  And I don't know but if I knew someone had kids (and she knew I did) I'd slip that in when recommending a place to eat, that I might want to find a sitter.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 01:16:01 PM
        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.

        Exactly. It's not the presence of a child; it's the behavior.  I don't see how the mere presence of a child who is dressed at the same level of formality as the adults and who is behaving at the same level of formality as the adults can change the atmosphere of a restaurant.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: esposita on September 18, 2013, 01:16:57 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people.

        I'm not asking nor would I expect children not to be out in public. But if it's later in the evening and I'm at a fancy restaurant and someone brings their kid - it takes the atmosphere down quite a few levels. It went from grown up fancy time to child-friendly restaurant time.

        I mean no snark at all, I'm just wondering... How does a properly dressed, properly behaving younger child change the atmosphere? You should not even notice their presence; they should blend in with everyone else there. Just a dressed up person being shorter with a slightly higher pitched voice sitting calmly at another table, conversing with other patrons should not really change anything about your conversation or the food you order, to me at least...I'm just curious and honestly wanting to learn why it would change it for some other folks? (And I'm talking about a child old enough to sit in a regular chair, which is a lot of the four year olds I know.)
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Goosey on September 18, 2013, 01:21:05 PM
        Simply because they're children. Adults adjust their behavior, their higher-tuned voices carry, and an "adult fancy" atmosphere can't be maintained if the "adult" part is lost. At least in my experience.

        But, I understand others feel differently. If you can keep an "adult fancy" mentality with kids at the restaurant, I envy you!
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 01:24:02 PM
        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.

        Exactly. It's not the presence of a child; it's the behavior.  I don't see how the mere presence of a child who is dressed at the same level of formality as the adults and who is behaving at the same level of formality as the adults can change the atmosphere of a restaurant.

        Well, when I'm out with DH for a late dinner at Chez Fancy as part of a date (8 or 9pm), I really don't expect children to be there. We walk in, the lights are lower, everyone has a bottle of wine at their table, and people are engaged in hushed conversations with their fellow adults. If I see a child, even if they're well-behaved at the moment, it does change the environment. Just because this child is well-behaved now doesn't mean they will continue to be. At the very least, they're likely to get excited and (even if they're trying their darndest to be quiet) the higher-pitched voices of children carry. As a mom, my ears are doubly-tuned to pick out such higher-pitched voices. Bottom line, it's no longer strictly an adult space.

        Family dining is awesome, but it's for earlier in the day.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Eden on September 18, 2013, 01:27:29 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people.

        I'm not asking nor would I expect children not to be out in public. But if it's later in the evening and I'm at a fancy restaurant and someone brings their kid - it takes the atmosphere down quite a few levels. It went from grown up fancy time to child-friendly restaurant time.

        I mean no snark at all, I'm just wondering... How does a properly dressed, properly behaving younger child change the atmosphere? You should not even notice their presence; they should blend in with everyone else there. Just a dressed up person being shorter with a slightly higher pitched voice sitting calmly at another table, conversing with other patrons should not really change anything about your conversation or the food you order, to me at least...I'm just curious and honestly wanting to learn why it would change it for some other folks? (And I'm talking about a child old enough to sit in a regular chair, which is a lot of the four year olds I know.)

        I agree with you. The only time I take issue with a well-behaved child being present is at an informal event that was expected to be adult-oriented. Hanging around drinking and/or chatting with a bunch of adults, the language and content of conversation would be drastically changed if even a well-behaved child was present. That's the only time I'd care. But in a restaurant when they're not disturbing anyone? Or wedding or whatever? No problem as far as I'm concerned.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Piratelvr1121 on September 18, 2013, 01:29:12 PM
        Simply because they're children. Adults adjust their behavior, their higher-tuned voices carry, and an "adult fancy" atmosphere can't be maintained if the "adult" part is lost. At least in my experience.

        But, I understand others feel differently. If you can keep an "adult fancy" mentality with kids at the restaurant, I envy you!

        I recall, in reading a sample of one of Carol Burnett's books, that when her 3 daughters were young, she and her husband Joe used to have a hard time getting the girls to behave when they went out to eat.

        Then one day she had them each pay her a penny for her to do their hair as though they were at a salon and then she let them pick out their own outfits for going out to dinner and as a result they acted like perfect little ladies.   Joe asked Carol what she did to get them to behave and she replied that when she's in a costume it helps her get into that character and so she figured if their daughters were dressed the part of young ladies, they'd act that way, and they did.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 01:31:49 PM
        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.

        Exactly. It's not the presence of a child; it's the behavior. I don't see how the mere presence of a child who is dressed at the same level of formality as the adults and who is behaving at the same level of formality as the adults can change the atmosphere of a restaurant.

        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: cwm on September 18, 2013, 01:40:06 PM
        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.

        Exactly. It's not the presence of a child; it's the behavior. I don't see how the mere presence of a child who is dressed at the same level of formality as the adults and who is behaving at the same level of formality as the adults can change the atmosphere of a restaurant.

        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        The presence or absense of children can change an environment a great deal. If I'm out with a group of friends, whether or not it's a fancy gathering, it's an adults only gathering and we can and do frequently discuss anything. When children are present, no matter how well behaved they are, the entire tone changes. We have to censor our conversations, we have to be mindful of what the children will pick up on and what they won't, where they are and if they're getting into anything they shouldn't be. Yes, it is the parent's responsibility, but when there's a kid around, I'm on alert. And yes, this was in a public place, the child brought along was the only child.

        The place we all met up at was a pool bar, which was 21 only after 9PM, but I've also seen at this place a load of parents bring in their young children at 8:45 and pay for several hours of pool because it got their kids in the door. They weren't escorted out after 9PM, so I guess the 21 only after 9PM only applies to people who show up after 9PM. Or who actually take the time to follow the rules.

        Also, there are serious time issues as well. In college I'd regularly do runs to WalMart at 3AM. Lots of people from our dorm would, it was fairly common. And without fail we'd see children from infants up to nine or ten years old running through the aisles, during the school year, on a Monday or Tuesday night. Now what I choose to do with myself as far as my sleep schedule is concerned is my own business, but personally I don't find it appropriate to have a six or seven year old running around at 3 in the morning while the parents do their shopping. And on a regular basis I'd hear the parents telling the kids that if they calmed down then they'd get a treat (candy, soda, juice box were some of the examples I heard) when they got home. Or they were given to them in the store.

        I don't have kids, and I'm sorry if I sound like a horrible grump about this, but giving a six year old a full sized can of caffeinated soda at 3 in the morning while you're out shopping? No. Not in any way appropriate for the child to be in that situation. At all. Ever.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: lowspark on September 18, 2013, 01:49:11 PM
        Kids at Chez Fancy don't bother me as long as they remain, like other adults there, unremarkable. In other words, if I notice a child at another table because I happened to turn around and see him/her, it wouldn't bother me. But if I notice a child for any reason whatsoever that is related to the fact that s/he is a child, then the fact that the child is there is rude.

        I don't know if you can absolutely positively guarantee that a child under a certain age will behave over the period of time it takes to have a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant. And I certainly would never take that chance with my own children (when they were young).

        So by that philosophy, it's just inherently rude to bring a child into that atmposphere. At some age, when you know without doubt that the child can be depended on to behave, and the age depends on the particular child, then it's fine.

        But here's a different example. An adult cocktail party. Regardless of the behavior of the child, even if it is exemplary and beyond reproach, a child simply does not belong. There is drinking and adult conversations and people getting tipsy and walking around carrying drinks, etc. It's not a place for kids to be in as much for the detriment to the atmosphere of the event as for the child's own well-being.

        Weddings, restaurants, museums are all sort of case-by-case, depending on lots of factors. But there are some specific places kids never belong.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Baby Snakes on September 18, 2013, 01:51:50 PM
        I don't know that it's always rude to take a kid to Chez Fancy, but I'd consider it rude if you (general) were using Chez Fancy as a "proving ground" for Jr's restaurant manners. I, too, remember it being a Big Deal to go to my first "grown up" restaurant, and I was expected to demonstrate a higher level of manners and quiet than I would at a family-friendly place. I expect the same from my children.

        Exactly. It's not the presence of a child; it's the behavior.  I don't see how the mere presence of a child who is dressed at the same level of formality as the adults and who is behaving at the same level of formality as the adults can change the atmosphere of a restaurant.

        Well, when I'm out with DH for a late dinner at Chez Fancy as part of a date (8 or 9pm), I really don't expect children to be there. We walk in, the lights are lower, everyone has a bottle of wine at their table, and people are engaged in hushed conversations with their fellow adults. If I see a child, even if they're well-behaved at the moment, it does change the environment. Just because this child is well-behaved now doesn't mean they will continue to be. At the very least, they're likely to get excited and (even if they're trying their darndest to be quiet) the higher-pitched voices of children carry. As a mom, my ears are doubly-tuned to pick out such higher-pitched voices. Bottom line, it's no longer strictly an adult space.

        Family dining is awesome, but it's for earlier in the day.

        I absolutely agree with all of this.  DH and I had one wedding anniversary dinner interruped by a little girl of 3 who went around to each and every table and introduced herself, while dad followed her beaming.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Outdoor Girl on September 18, 2013, 01:55:50 PM
        Kids at Chez Fancy don't bother me as long as they remain, like other adults there, unremarkable. In other words, if I notice a child at another table because I happened to turn around and see him/her, it wouldn't bother me. But if I notice a child for any reason whatsoever that is related to the fact that s/he is a child, then the fact that the child is there is rude.

        I don't know if you can absolutely positively guarantee that a child under a certain age will behave over the period of time it takes to have a fancy dinner at a nice restaurant. And I certainly would never take that chance with my own children (when they were young).

        So by that philosophy, it's just inherently rude to bring a child into that atmposphere. At some age, when you know without doubt that the child can be depended on to behave, and the age depends on the particular child, then it's fine.

        But here's a different example. An adult cocktail party. Regardless of the behavior of the child, even if it is exemplary and beyond reproach, a child simply does not belong. There is drinking and adult conversations and people getting tipsy and walking around carrying drinks, etc. It's not a place for kids to be in as much for the detriment to the atmosphere of the event as for the child's own well-being.

        Weddings, restaurants, museums are all sort of case-by-case, depending on lots of factors. But there are some specific places kids never belong.

        I agree.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: BeagleMommy on September 18, 2013, 01:56:57 PM
        DH and I did not have access to babysitters when DS was little (except for his daycare provider while we worked) so we stayed home a lot or went to kid-friendly places.  If our parents came to visit it was "Woo hoo!  We get to go to a restaurant without a kids' menu!" because Mom and Dad wanted alone time with DS.

        There are absolutely places children do not belong.  Ex:  bars, tattoo parlors, spas (saw this once; not pretty).  Yes, sometimes the mere presence of children can change the dynamic of a gathering.  However, most well-behaved children can go almost anywhere.

        It is very rude to insist your child be included in everything.  Some people don't like children and sometimes the occasion is not appropriate.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 02:01:59 PM
        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        If a person is sitting there enjoying their meal and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves and you still have a problem with their presence because they *might* do something, it's your issue.  I don't mean that in a snarky way, but I don't know how else to say it. At that point it's not about the kid doing anything wrong, it's about you. Unless an establishment bills themselves as an adult only place, I just don't see the issue.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Biker Granny on September 18, 2013, 02:11:10 PM
        I was raised as a preacher's kid.  Everyone knows they have to act better and be more polite than any other kids.

        My mother started us young. She had four of us and couldn't afford babysitters....and back in those days it just wasn't done except for extreme situations.

        We would go with her to her church ladies meetings, circle meetings, luncheons and so on.

        She had no qualms about taking us out of the scenerio if we started to act up.  We learned quickly how and how not to act in many different situations.
        As we got older the restaurants and places we went got nicer and more grown up.  Every thing was age appropriate.

        I did the same with my kids.  And now I'm having a problem with watching my DIL pretty much let my grands do whatever they want.  I will say this...they are great in a restaurant but total banchees in a retail store.   (Let's just say when they go with Granny they behave more than a wee bit better.)

        Yes, both my mother and I went without warm meals and many a meal in a carry out container or a return trip to the store.....but we turned out fine.

        There is a time and place for kids to be kids.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 02:11:48 PM
        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        If a person is sitting there enjoying their meal and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves and you still have a problem with their presence because they *might* do something, it's your issue.  I don't mean that in a snarky way, but I don't know how else to say it. At that point it's not about the kid doing anything wrong, it's about you. Unless an establishment bills themselves as an adult only place, I just don't see the issue.

        Kids are, by their very nature, different from adults and thus your implied argument that it's the same as pre-judging another adult (I assume that's what you meant by "person) doesn't hold water.

        The bolded also doesn't make much sense, because I've always held to the idea that just because something isn't prohibited, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Should we not be annoyed when parents fail to recognize clear contextual clues about what is and isn't kid-friendly? Do restaurants really have to say "No children after 7pm" or "No children, period" for you to know that a pricey steakhouse famed for romantic dates and imaginative cocktails is not a suitable place to bring your 8yo for a late Saturday dinner?

        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: RebeccainGA on September 18, 2013, 02:16:57 PM
        I see taking the (young) kids out the same way we do taking DP's service animal out (while he's not strictly *necessary* all the time, keeping him used to being in public is crucial to his training) - if the presence of kids (or the service animal) changes the nature of the experience for people, in a negative way, then it's not acceptable. If it adds something, or has no effect, then it's fine. We take the service animal to routine, just chatting about bloodwork doctors appointments - that's fine, and we get to give a little 'awww, look at the cute doggy' moment to people along the way, which we have been told numerous times is a wonderful treat. However, on the day long, fifteen invasive tests marathon we're doing tomorrow? He's staying home. He'd be miserable, I'd be miserable, and DP will be so exhausted by the end of the day it won't matter to her if he's along or not. Same for kids. Take them to the grocery store? Sure. Take them to the movies? Only if the movie is kid friendly and you're not interrupting meal/nap times and making the kid miserable.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Quiltin Nana on September 18, 2013, 02:18:02 PM
        We've had people bring young (younger than 6) children to a Zumba class.  They were supposed to sit on the sidelines and watch, but they kept crossing across the floor to talk to mommy or trying to participate.  Most of the kids that age aren't really able to follow the moves and just get in the way.  I've actually bumped into a child when making a sudden move change and almost knocked the child down.  I'm busy following the instructor and trying to get my footwork right and just can't see someone who is lower than elbow height.  And as someone who isn't the most coordinated, I'm usually that person who is going the wrong direction.  At least with an adult or teenager, I can usually see them before bumping into them.  The instructor encouraged the parents bringing kids, so I eventually quit going. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: ScubaGirl on September 18, 2013, 02:37:18 PM
        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        If a person is sitting there enjoying their meal and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves and you still have a problem with their presence because they *might* do something, it's your issue.  I don't mean that in a snarky way, but I don't know how else to say it. At that point it's not about the kid doing anything wrong, it's about you. Unless an establishment bills themselves as an adult only place, I just don't see the issue.

        Kids are, by their very nature, different from adults and thus your implied argument that it's the same as pre-judging another adult (I assume that's what you meant by "person) doesn't hold water.

        The bolded also doesn't make much sense, because I've always held to the idea that just because something isn't prohibited, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Should we not be annoyed when parents fail to recognize clear contextual clues about what is and isn't kid-friendly? Do restaurants really have to say "No children after 7pm" or "No children, period" for you to know that a pricey steakhouse famed for romantic dates and imaginative cocktails is not a suitable place to bring your 8yo for a late Saturday dinner?

        Agreed.  The parent may be prepared to wisk the child away the first moment he/she behaves inappropriate for the setting but the damage to the other diners has been done with that disturbance.

        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 02:39:51 PM
        Kids are, by their very nature, different from adults and thus your implied argument that it's the same as pre-judging another adult (I assume that's what you meant by "person) doesn't hold water.

        I disagree, that for the purposes of dining out, a child that can meet the standard of adult behavior is different from an adult.

        The bolded also doesn't make much sense, because I've always held to the idea that just because something isn't prohibited, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Should we not be annoyed when parents fail to recognize clear contextual clues about what is and isn't kid-friendly? Do restaurants really have to say "No children after 7pm" or "No children, period" for you to know that a pricey steakhouse famed for romantic dates and imaginative cocktails is not a suitable place to bring your 8yo for a late Saturday dinner?

        It depends on the restaurant. Using your scenario, I wouldn't take a child, no. But many of the examples being given are not so clear cut.

        A high end steak house, not billed as a romantic spot? Sure, my son loves steak.
        An expensive restaurant that doesn't have kids menus? Sure, I've never understood the kid menu thing and my kids didn't use them much.
        A bar? No, bars 21 and over only.
        A pub? Sure, most pubs around here don't go adult only until after dinner. 
        A museum? Without a doubt.
        Backpacking? My kids have been backpacking since they were in elementary school and could outlast many adults. 
        A rated R move? Well, I wouldn't, but I don't see a problem with it if the kid can handle it.
        A nude beach? Not my thing, but there's a nudist resort in the next county over and, from what I hear, they're very family friendly. So, if that's the way you're raising your kids...

        My point is not that there aren't places kids shouldn't be taken, there are, and I said so in my first post. My point is that the behaviors people seem to be objecting to are just that, behaviors. It's not the kid's presence, it's the behavior that matters. Not all kids are misbehaved and many kids can be counted on to behave well in the situation in which their parents put them.  And I don't understand the idea of objecting to the mere presence of a child. The example above of the 3-year-old going around to tables introducing herself is an example of a child that shouldn't be taken to *any* restaurant. Not because she's a child, but because her parents seem to be encouraging her intrusive behavior.  I wouldn't want that at a burger joint.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Goosey on September 18, 2013, 02:41:49 PM
        But, I think that some of us ARE saying that it's not JUST the behaviors that matter to us.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: auntmeegs on September 18, 2013, 02:43:44 PM
        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        If a person is sitting there enjoying their meal and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves and you still have a problem with their presence because they *might* do something, it's your issue.  I don't mean that in a snarky way, but I don't know how else to say it. At that point it's not about the kid doing anything wrong, it's about you. Unless an establishment bills themselves as an adult only place, I just don't see the issue.

        Kids are, by their very nature, different from adults and thus your implied argument that it's the same as pre-judging another adult (I assume that's what you meant by "person) doesn't hold water.

        The bolded also doesn't make much sense, because I've always held to the idea that just because something isn't prohibited, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Should we not be annoyed when parents fail to recognize clear contextual clues about what is and isn't kid-friendly? Do restaurants really have to say "No children after 7pm" or "No children, period" for you to know that a pricey steakhouse famed for romantic dates and imaginative cocktails is not a suitable place to bring your 8yo for a late Saturday dinner?

        Agreed.  The parent may be prepared to wisk the child away the first moment he/she behaves inappropriate for the setting but the damage to the other diners has been done with that disturbance.

        Honestly I think that if one momentary disturbance is going to ruin someone's ENTIRE evening, that person is too fragile to be out in public and should be the one staying home. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 02:44:55 PM
        But, I think that some of us ARE saying that it's not JUST the behaviors that matter to us.

        Exactly.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Betelnut on September 18, 2013, 02:45:30 PM
        Judah:

        Why don't kids belong in a museum?  I don't get that. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 02:45:37 PM
        But, I think that some of us ARE saying that it's not JUST the behaviors that matter to us.

        And again, not in a snarky way, but that's your issue.  Just because you don't like see a child in certain places doesn't mean that child shouldn't be there.  I don't like seeing people dressed sloppily with their bra straps showing and flip-flops on their feet, but that's my issue to deal with.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 02:46:35 PM
        Judah:

        Why don't kids belong in a museum?  I don't get that.

        Oh, quite the opposite. Kids should be taken to museums frequently.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Goosey on September 18, 2013, 02:46:59 PM
        But, I think that some of us ARE saying that it's not JUST the behaviors that matter to us.

        And again, not in a snarky way, but that's your issue.  Just because you don't like see a child in certain places doesn't mean that child shouldn't be there.  I don't like seeing people dressed sloppily with their bra straps showing and flip-flops on their feet, but that's my issue to deal with.

        If they would dress that way in a fancy restaurant, they would be rude. Even if the host let them in.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: SlitherHiss on September 18, 2013, 02:49:11 PM
        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        If a person is sitting there enjoying their meal and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves and you still have a problem with their presence because they *might* do something, it's your issue.  I don't mean that in a snarky way, but I don't know how else to say it. At that point it's not about the kid doing anything wrong, it's about you. Unless an establishment bills themselves as an adult only place, I just don't see the issue.

        Kids are, by their very nature, different from adults and thus your implied argument that it's the same as pre-judging another adult (I assume that's what you meant by "person) doesn't hold water.

        The bolded also doesn't make much sense, because I've always held to the idea that just because something isn't prohibited, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Should we not be annoyed when parents fail to recognize clear contextual clues about what is and isn't kid-friendly? Do restaurants really have to say "No children after 7pm" or "No children, period" for you to know that a pricey steakhouse famed for romantic dates and imaginative cocktails is not a suitable place to bring your 8yo for a late Saturday dinner?

        Agreed.  The parent may be prepared to wisk the child away the first moment he/she behaves inappropriate for the setting but the damage to the other diners has been done with that disturbance.

        Honestly I think that if one momentary disturbance is going to ruin someone's ENTIRE evening, that person is too fragile to be out in public and should be the one staying home.

        Who said anything about RUINING? It does change the dynamic to have a child squall during the middle of a romantic dinner. It just does. You may be able to get "back in the game" afterwards, but that's way more of a disruption than a waiter breaking a dish.

        I assure you, I'm no delicate flower, but I got a sitter for a reason. Likewise, I don't waltz into Chuch-E-Cheese and demand the kids stop hollering. There is a time and a place for everything.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: ScubaGirl on September 18, 2013, 02:49:35 PM
        For me, as much as anything else (and others have made excellent points I totally agree with) its the unpredictability level of children.  Specifically very young children. Sure anyone of any age can act out at any time, but the odds of a young child acting out (being loud, whiny, kicking their chair leg which reverberates across the floor to other people at other tables, etc) is much greater then the odds of an adults doing so at a fancy restaurant later in the evening. And just having those odds upped, increases a particular level of tension.

        If a person is sitting there enjoying their meal and doing nothing to draw attention to themselves and you still have a problem with their presence because they *might* do something, it's your issue.  I don't mean that in a snarky way, but I don't know how else to say it. At that point it's not about the kid doing anything wrong, it's about you. Unless an establishment bills themselves as an adult only place, I just don't see the issue.

        Kids are, by their very nature, different from adults and thus your implied argument that it's the same as pre-judging another adult (I assume that's what you meant by "person) doesn't hold water.

        The bolded also doesn't make much sense, because I've always held to the idea that just because something isn't prohibited, doesn't mean it's a good idea. Should we not be annoyed when parents fail to recognize clear contextual clues about what is and isn't kid-friendly? Do restaurants really have to say "No children after 7pm" or "No children, period" for you to know that a pricey steakhouse famed for romantic dates and imaginative cocktails is not a suitable place to bring your 8yo for a late Saturday dinner?

        Agreed.  The parent may be prepared to wisk the child away the first moment he/she behaves inappropriate for the setting but the damage to the other diners has been done with that disturbance.

        Honestly I think that if one momentary disturbance is going to ruin someone's ENTIRE evening, that person is too fragile to be out in public and should be the one staying home.

        It doesn't have to ruin an ENTIRE evening to be disruptive.  It ruined a moment that should not have been ruined because the child should not have been there.  Yes, the adults sigh and go back to their conversations and the world does not come to an end for them. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: SiotehCat on September 18, 2013, 02:49:47 PM
        But, I think that some of us ARE saying that it's not JUST the behaviors that matter to us.

        And again, not in a snarky way, but that's your issue.  Just because you don't like see a child in certain places doesn't mean that child shouldn't be there.  I don't like seeing people dressed sloppily with their bra straps showing and flip-flops on their feet, but that's my issue to deal with.

        I agree. If the establishment allows it, then I get to decide whether or not my child belongs there.

        If someone doesn't like his presence, then I don't think they belong there.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 02:50:48 PM
        But, I think that some of us ARE saying that it's not JUST the behaviors that matter to us.

        And again, not in a snarky way, but that's your issue.  Just because you don't like see a child in certain places doesn't mean that child shouldn't be there.  I don't like seeing people dressed sloppily with their bra straps showing and flip-flops on their feet, but that's my issue to deal with.

        If they would dress that way in a fancy restaurant, they would be rude. Even if the host let them in.

        I mean anywhere out in public.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: lellah on September 18, 2013, 02:53:54 PM
        I have noticed that, in a self-reporting survey, 98.7% of people have great senses of humor, are terrific drivers, and have beautifully behaved children whose presence brings joy to everyone.

        I'm all for taking the kid out at the first sign of misbehavior.  But sometimes that's kind of closing the barn door after the horse's out, isn't it?  Your kid is wailing in a romantic restaurant?  Obviously, take that kid out.  Good for you.  But why is he there to disrupt my grown up night out with his wailing?

        As other posters have said, I think it's unfair to children to expect more of them than they can reasonably perform.  I was at a perfectly lovely wedding when a three-year-old flower girl pitched a giant fit.  She'd been kept up late the prior night rehearsing and then eating the rehearsal dinner and had spent the morning getting primped, the afternoon getting photographed, and by six pm she was exhausted and cranky.  A bee came near her and she just totally lost it.  Her parents had to carry a screaming, writhing, shrieking child out of the church while everyone looked on.  She was a nice kid who should not have been expected to behave herself for so long under such constraints.  But her parents believed her to be a well-behaved child.  And she was... until the bee met with her exhaustion. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: magicdomino on September 18, 2013, 02:55:02 PM

        I always think of the bedtime one because I do know a family who just ran on a later time clock. Their baby slept from about 11pm to 9 or 10 am.  They kept this up until the kid was in grade one. So I never really felt that there was a time that kids shouldn't be allowed out or up past.

        My parents did this.  They wanted me to sleep through "Morning Rush Hour."  My father worked evening shift, so once siblings were off to school, and Mother off to her job, he could concentrate on getting me fed, changed, etc.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 03:07:47 PM
        I am a huge advocate of parental responsibility, but I can't go along with the idea that the mere presence of one human being - who is behaving appropriately - in a public space they are allowed to be in, can possibly be rude.

        Children in situations that are dangerous, damaging or inappropriate FOR THE CHILD, absolutely they should not be there.  I also agree with the rule cited above about not taking children to private parties where they would change the dynamic.  But a restaurant?  Who gets to decide that X person is not allowed to eat in public, because they "might" do something disruptive?  Who gets to set the dollar amount of the dinner?  Is that per entree, or including appetizers and drinks?  No, I can't go along with that.

        Seeing a child makes you tense?  Since when is it rude to make someone tense by.... existing?
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Hmmmmm on September 18, 2013, 03:11:41 PM
        (General) You can teach a kid how to behave at a restaurant at home at the dinner table or at child-friendly restaurants. There's no reason to take them to Le Fancy Restaurant - which has a "grown up" atmosphere and most of the time, no high chairs. Even if the restaurant technically allows children, I think it's rude to the other patrons, who go there for a specific atmosphere and then have to sit there and listen to children for the duration of their dinner. As another poster said, many adults go to these places to have a place away from kids.

        Older teenagers, sure. I remember it being a "wow, I'm grown up" moment when I was 15 and went to my first grown up restaurant.

        Yep - we disagree.  I don't think it is rude to take a child to a nice restaurant.   It would be interesting to know if any etiquette mavens have an opinion on the issue.  If a child talking politely is disturbing to other restaurant goers - well, that's unfortunate for them but alas they cannot expect to go out in public and completely avoid a specific group of people.

        I'm not asking nor would I expect children not to be out in public. But if it's later in the evening and I'm at a fancy restaurant and someone brings their kid - it takes the atmosphere down quite a few levels. It went from grown up fancy time to child-friendly restaurant time.

        I mean no snark at all, I'm just wondering... How does a properly dressed, properly behaving younger child change the atmosphere? You should not even notice their presence; they should blend in with everyone else there. Just a dressed up person being shorter with a slightly higher pitched voice sitting calmly at another table, conversing with other patrons should not really change anything about your conversation or the food you order, to me at least...I'm just curious and honestly wanting to learn why it would change it for some other folks? (And I'm talking about a child old enough to sit in a regular chair, which is a lot of the four year olds I know.)

        I'm a mom of two, aunt to many, and enjoy children.

        But since I've been a parent, I'm one of those that walks into an upscale restaurant for 8:30 dinner reservations see's a 6 year old sitting at the table next to us and my shoulders drop. And until this thread I wasn't for sure why.

        I think part of my reason is I'm out for a grown up night. And just the presence of other kids brings the thoughts of my kids to the forefront and suddenly conversations seem to go that way.

        And even if the child isn't in my line of sight, hearing "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, would you ask the waitress for more bread." is going to bring our kid's into the conversation some how, even if it's just DH saying "Oh, I forgot, we need more bread for school lunches tomorrow."

        And if it's a dinner out with girlfriends, the phenomona is worse. One kid seen or heard and suddenly we are no longer a bunch of girlfriend's... we're moms.

        People talk a lot about wanting to avoid triggers. So seeing other kids is my trigger that brings up "family" talk when I'm really wanting to have an adult escapism evening. 

        So yep, even a well behaved child can change the mood in a restaurant for me.

        There presence isn't rude and they have a right to be there, but that doesn't mean I feel like welcoming toward them.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Twik on September 18, 2013, 03:15:46 PM
        I agree with the restaurant issue - if the restaurant management has no issue with children, and the children behave appropriately, it is not rude for them to be in the restaurant.

        There was a time, many of us may remember, when it was considered inappropriate for adult women to dine alone in restaurants, because they might be there looking for temporary male companionship. Many other guests would complain about their presence because it "lowered the tone" of the restaurant. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Betelnut on September 18, 2013, 03:24:26 PM
        Judah:

        Why don't kids belong in a museum?  I don't get that.

        Oh, quite the opposite. Kids should be taken to museums frequently.

        Whew!  I agree!
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: poundcake on September 18, 2013, 03:24:44 PM
        Quote
        I'm a mom of two, aunt to many, and enjoy children.

        But since I've been a parent, I'm one of those that walks into an upscale restaurant for 8:30 dinner reservations see's a 6 year old sitting at the table next to us and my shoulders drop. And until this thread I wasn't for sure why.

        I think part of my reason is I'm out for a grown up night. And just the presence of other kids brings the thoughts of my kids to the forefront and suddenly conversations seem to go that way.

        And even if the child isn't in my line of sight, hearing "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, would you ask the waitress for more bread." is going to bring our kid's into the conversation some how, even if it's just DH saying "Oh, I forgot, we need more bread for school lunches tomorrow."

        And if it's a dinner out with girlfriends, the phenomona is worse. One kid seen or heard and suddenly we are no longer a bunch of girlfriend's... we're moms.

        People talk a lot about wanting to avoid triggers. So seeing other kids is my trigger that brings up "family" talk when I'm really wanting to have an adult escapism evening. 

        So yep, even a well behaved child can change the mood in a restaurant for me.

        There presence isn't rude and they have a right to be there, but that doesn't mean I feel like welcoming toward them.

        This is where I'm parking my opinion. If I am a Chez Fancy, it is likely a special occasion, and will be very expensive. It is a grown up atmosphere. Chances are, it is a quiet, elegant, three hour meal with wine, served after 8pm. It is a place for adults. It is not a "family restaurant." Children, no matter how well behaved, don't belong there. If I am ready to plunk down several hundred dollars on a dining experience, I do not want that to be a "family" dining with kids experience. There are ten million places you can take your kids. You don't HAVE to take them to Chez Fancy, too.

        I also fully support restaurants having a "no kids" policy, as well, in order to maintain a certain atmosphere.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 03:34:58 PM

        I also fully support restaurants having a "no kids" policy, as well, in order to maintain a certain atmosphere.

        So do I.  I think more choice is a good thing.  I'm in favor of designated child-free zones wherever the market will support them. Planes, movies, you name it - if you can can make enough money (or possibly more!) by billing yourself as child-free, then work that niche and hooray for capitalism!

        Personally, I would not take my kids (however well-behaved) to an expensive restaurant because I can't afford to buy them food they might not eat.  However, I maintain that unless a public place is designated that X humans are not allowed there, it is not rude for X humans to be there unless they actually misbehave.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Eeep! on September 18, 2013, 03:36:15 PM
        I am a huge advocate of parental responsibility, but I can't go along with the idea that the mere presence of one human being - who is behaving appropriately - in a public space they are allowed to be in, can possibly be rude.

        Children in situations that are dangerous, damaging or inappropriate FOR THE CHILD, absolutely they should not be there.  I also agree with the rule cited above about not taking children to private parties where they would change the dynamic.  But a restaurant?  Who gets to decide that X person is not allowed to eat in public, because they "might" do something disruptive?  Who gets to set the dollar amount of the dinner?  Is that per entree, or including appetizers and drinks?  No, I can't go along with that.

        Seeing a child makes you tense?  Since when is it rude to make someone tense by.... existing?

        I am a mother of 2 - 4 years old and 15 months.  I certainly do look forward to going out to nice dinners without my kids.  And, I admit, that if I were to enter a nice restaurant and see a small child (I'm thinking under 8 or so), I would be initially chagrinned.  However, I would try to put that out of my mind and if the child never made a peep it would in no way impact my evening.  Because remaining tense about something that "might" happen isn't particularly helpful.  Fot that matter, there are plenty of other things that would impact my evening - someone being an annoying drunk, someone throwing a fit over their food, heck - if it's a quiet type restaruant - even someone just being overly loud. Now I realize, that for small children the liklihood of them acting up is probably greater than those things happening, but if I am able to not stress about those other possibilities - without them actually happening - then I think I can do with a child too.
        Now, if the child is older then  I would probably actually think it was nice that they were getting a special evening and that would be the end of that. (Assuming they didn't do things to draw attention to them, of course.)

        In the intersest of self-disclosure - my father took me on special father/daughter trips to the symphony starting when I was in first grade, I believe.  We often left at intermission when I was little and I'm pretty sure that I fell asleep towards the end most of the time.  But I am eternally grateful that he did this.  Because I believe I can thank this tradition - in a large part - for my love and appreciation for classical music.  (And I had strict rules about my behavior and I follwed them, believe me.)

        All of the above does not apply to places that have actual no children restrictions. 

        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: turnip on September 18, 2013, 03:37:23 PM
        A restaurant is welcome to have a no-kids policy.

        If the restaurant does not have a no-kids policy, it is not rude for me to take my children there.    Whoever my dining companions are, if they are dressed appropriately and behave appropriately, then I will not take responsibility for your discomfort with them.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: turnip on September 18, 2013, 03:39:26 PM

        I also fully support restaurants having a "no kids" policy, as well, in order to maintain a certain atmosphere.

        So do I.  I think more choice is a good thing.  I'm in favor of designated child-free zones wherever the market will support them. Planes, movies, you name it - if you can can make enough money (or possibly more!) by billing yourself as child-free, then work that niche and hooray for capitalism!

        Personally, I would not take my kids (however well-behaved) to an expensive restaurant because I can't afford to buy them food they might not eat.  However, I maintain that unless a public place is designated that X humans are not allowed there, it is not rude for X humans to be there unless they actually misbehave.


        If my family cannot travel due to market 'niches', then I will have a big problem with that. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 03:40:56 PM

        I also fully support restaurants having a "no kids" policy, as well, in order to maintain a certain atmosphere.

        So do I.  I think more choice is a good thing. I'm in favor of designated child-free zones wherever the market will support them. Planes, movies, you name it - if you can can make enough money (or possibly more!) by billing yourself as child-free, then work that niche and hooray for capitalism!

        Personally, I would not take my kids (however well-behaved) to an expensive restaurant because I can't afford to buy them food they might not eat.  However, I maintain that unless a public place is designated that X humans are not allowed there, it is not rude for X humans to be there unless they actually misbehave.

        I agree completely, except for the crossed out part. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: hobish on September 18, 2013, 03:43:08 PM
        You have very unusual FB friends.  I know no one who will defend their child screaming in an art museum, or at a wedding or funeral.  You can see the replies here are unanimous.

        I think often it comes down to the definition of "screaming".

        I went to a wedding recently, that was primarily adults (children who were close family of the couple were invited) and quite formal. Well a couple I'm friends with brought their toddler (the bride agreed ahead of time this was ok... although I believe she did so under duress as I was there when it happened). I sat at the same table as the couple with the toddler.

        During the speeches part of the reception the room was almost totally silent, save for an odd murmur here and there, as we all listened. And twice the toddler let out a very loud yelp of sorts. It wasn't a full on tantrum by any means, it was only a few seconds long. But it happened twice. And it was distracting and IMO disrespectful as the toddler had not been invited, was significantly younger then any of the children who were invited (7 years was the next youngest guest, an officially invited), and they were very touching speeches that deserved respect and attention, not distraction.

        I didn't specifically bring it up to the parents so they didn't defend it specifically, but they also didn't after the first one immediately remove themselves from the room thus preventing the second interruption... so to me their actions as parents absolutely defended the noise.

        You accurately predict that I wouldn't consider a  toddler yelping twice 'screaming'.     However this toddler was invited to the wedding - whatever speculation you may have about the bride being under duress - and so doesn't really apply to the OP's situation.

        Children don't belong where they haven't been invited.  They don't belong in places where the law requires that everyone be above a certain age.  I don't know of any other etiquette rules that forbid them from anywhere else in the public sphere - as is occasionally pointed out, if you never take your children to a restaurant or a museum, they will never learn to behave in a restaurant or museum.

        Gish was never taken to museums as a kid. I mean never Ė not with his family, not on school trips, not ever. Imagine my surprise when we went to a museum for my birthday and he climbed on the furniture, introduced himself to everyone we passed, and loudly insisted that Degas was ugly! LOL, obviously, no, that didnít happen. Iíve just never understood the statement that you have to take kids everywhere for them to learn how to behave there. There are lots of places we didnít go as kids, that doesnít mean that I now act like a hooligan in airports (for example) just because I was never in one until I was a teenager. 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 03:45:33 PM
        If my family cannot travel due to market 'niches', then I will have a big problem with that.

        I meant having designated child-free flights or sections of the plane, not banning children from all planes everywhere.  Though a child-free airline might be an interesting business model.  If they could get their own security lanes, I am sure a lot of people would pay a premium.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 03:52:01 PM
        I think a point some of us are trying to make is, that some places communicate via things other then an official, outright statement or policy that children aren't welcome. Ambiance, tone, etc are supposed to be clues as to the audience the establishment is aiming for.

        Take NYC's famous 21 Club. No where on the website, or to my recollection the menu or signage in the lobby, does it say children are not permitted. But it is very much not, in my opinion or experience, a place appropriate for youngsters. Maybe a well behaved 10 year old, but not a 4 year old who can sit in an adult chair, but who is still none the less only 4.

        Wines are not ordered via a waiter, but rather via the sommelier, 3-4 courses are the norm per person (these are not over-sized appetizers meant to be shared, or overly large entrees fit for half to be immediately wrapped up - such as one might get at TGIFridays or Outback), men are required to wear jackets and sneakers are not permitted, etc. So while there is no (that I know of) official policy on children, its not a stretch to read between the lines and realize it is not a place children are welcome. Officially they might be allowed, but allowed does not equal welcomed.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Sharnita on September 18, 2013, 03:52:36 PM
        The thing is, a doctor or nurse could want a night out where they don't have to think about work. That doesn't mean they can object to the sight of a wheelchair.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: lowspark on September 18, 2013, 03:58:45 PM
        For me, the gist of it is whether it's appropriate to have a child in a certain setting. I don't really see how it's appropriate to bring a 3 year old into a fine dining establishment that caters to adults with $$$ dinners and drinks, low lighting, live music, and the like. It's just not where a child belongs.

        Now, again, if the child actually does sit and behave and is not any more noticeable than any other patron, it's not a huge deal to me. But it's still not apropriate for the child to be there.

        And again, to me, insisiting on bringing a child to a place where they don't belong is a disservice both to the other people who are there and to the child. And I think this regardless of the child's behavior.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: esposita on September 18, 2013, 04:02:53 PM
        For me, the gist of it is whether it's appropriate to have a child in a certain setting. I don't really see how it's appropriate to bring a 3 year old into a fine dining establishment that caters to adults with $$$ dinners and drinks, low lighting, live music, and the like. It's just not where a child belongs.

        Now, again, if the child actually does sit and behave and is not any more noticeable than any other patron, it's not a huge deal to me. But it's still not apropriate for the child to be there.

        And again, to me, insisiting on bringing a child to a place where they don't belong is a disservice both to the other people who are there and to the child. And I think this regardless of the child's behavior.

        On what basis? The presence of money, drinks, low lighting, music...even the time for a child who is accustomed to staying up late-ish...none of that is inherently inappropriate for a child, so on what basis is their presence inappropriate?
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 04:04:12 PM
        Oh, I agree that there are plenty of places it would be ridiculous to take a child. Taking a very small child to Chez Fancy is, in my opinion, silly and wasteful.

        I just don't necessarily agree it is rude or offensive.  There are plenty of people whose looks make me uncomfortable, or make me think of things I don't want to think about, or whose presence I find disappointing (I'm thinking of going to a supposedly "typical,"  local restaurant in a foreign country, expecting to have an immersive cultural experience - and finding it full of tourists from my own country!)

        To say that someone's existence is rude because of something happening inside one's own head - completely separate from the "offender's" behavior - is a logical leap I just cannot make.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: White Lotus on September 18, 2013, 04:04:36 PM
        I wasn't getting this because my natal culture is very kid-friendly and while there are many dressy celebrations and events, often in restaurants, kids are naturally included, provided for and dealt with, usually as a group, and vanish bedward at reasonable times. They ARE well-behaved or ELSE. (We dont know what the "else" is -- they dont push it, and neither did we.)  Sure, the Prof and I go out on our own, but well-behaved kids around at restaurants, ceremonies or art events just don't push my buttons.
        But then I got to thinking...I really don't like seeing little boys past diaper age, who can be trusted to go it alone reliably in terms of aim and zippers, in the women's restrooms or lockers, and I prefer 18+ locker rooms.  Again, this is an area in which my natal culture is kid-friendly and not prudish about nudity, even mixed nudity, in appropriate circumstances, but, at least in the US, the atmosphere changes.
        OK, I won't take the kids to Chez Fancy any more, no matter how well-behaved they are.  I will take them to Chez Ethnic, where the clan gathers for fancy occasions, instead. 
        In my mind, Chez Fancy is a local high end French place that always has something fantastic and veg on the menu, and for which we Dress Up and drink good wine, like in a movie.  There are rarely children there, come to think of it, and if so, only at the start of the dinner service.  I'll make the reservation for eight.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: blahblahblah on September 18, 2013, 04:04:52 PM
        I've started running a popular jogging track loop in Central Park and you'll occasionally see kids there. The presence of children is fine (although strollers are expressly forbidden, which some parents ignore, much to my irritation), but sometimes you'll see these kids darting back and forth across the track and generally getting underfoot, with runners having to dodge and weave their way around them. Sigh.

        Underfoot children are hardly the only annoyance... you also get people stopping in the middle of the track to take pictures, or people running in the "wrong" direction, etc. But I gotta say that children are the hardest and therefore the most irritating to avoid because they're more prone to sudden movements, lol.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: poundcake on September 18, 2013, 04:07:05 PM
        For me, the gist of it is whether it's appropriate to have a child in a certain setting. I don't really see how it's appropriate to bring a 3 year old into a fine dining establishment that caters to adults with $$$ dinners and drinks, low lighting, live music, and the like. It's just not where a child belongs.

        Now, again, if the child actually does sit and behave and is not any more noticeable than any other patron, it's not a huge deal to me. But it's still not apropriate for the child to be there.

        And again, to me, insisiting on bringing a child to a place where they don't belong is a disservice both to the other people who are there and to the child. And I think this regardless of the child's behavior.

        On what basis? The presence of money, drinks, low lighting, music...even the time for a child who is accustomed to staying up late-ish...none of that is inherently inappropriate for a child, so on what basis is their presence inappropriate?

        It's sort of like how a building's architecture will give clues to its function, or how there are certain things implied (age limit, dress code) by certain invitations. You should not have to say, "I'm sorry, this is a museum. Even though it has large floors and good lighting, no one is currently using it, and you are properly equipped, you may not roller skate in here."
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: CluelessBride on September 18, 2013, 04:07:41 PM
        A restaurant is welcome to have a no-kids policy.

        If the restaurant does not have a no-kids policy, it is not rude for me to take my children there.    Whoever my dining companions are, if they are dressed appropriately and behave appropriately, then I will not take responsibility for your discomfort with them.

        Regarding the bolded, I don't think its rude to take children to a restaurant. However, if the kids do end up disturbing people (squealing, approaching tables to start conversations, kicking chairs, staring at patrons, etc) then I think you were rude to have brought them. Yes, even if its only a quick shriek and you (general) remove the child immediately. So I do think by bringing kids to certain places you are risking rudeness. Only you (general) know your kids well enough to know how much of a risk (if any) you are taking.

        I also think that there is a difference between being "not rude" and being appropriate. There are places where I think it might not be rude to have a child (because they aren't disallowed), but that I don't think it is appropriate for them to be either. But that comes down more to personal standards/parenting choices. For example, I'm allowed to think it's inappropriate for kids to be at restaurants after 8pm*, but that doesn't mean it is rude for kids to be at restaurants after 8pm. But I'm still welcome to hold my own opinion and hold myself/my kids to that standard. And even to dislike the practice.

        Its sort of like flip-flops. If a restaurant allows nice flip-flops, its not rude to wear them. But not everyone is going to think they are appropriate. And there is nothing wrong with not liking that people wear flip-flops to the restaurant (so long as you don't launch into a loud angry rant at the flip-flop wearers or something).



        *I don't actually think this - my personal opinions on where kids are/aren't appropriate is far more nuanced than makes sense to discuss.

        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: esposita on September 18, 2013, 04:09:02 PM
        For me, the gist of it is whether it's appropriate to have a child in a certain setting. I don't really see how it's appropriate to bring a 3 year old into a fine dining establishment that caters to adults with $$$ dinners and drinks, low lighting, live music, and the like. It's just not where a child belongs.

        Now, again, if the child actually does sit and behave and is not any more noticeable than any other patron, it's not a huge deal to me. But it's still not apropriate for the child to be there.

        And again, to me, insisiting on bringing a child to a place where they don't belong is a disservice both to the other people who are there and to the child. And I think this regardless of the child's behavior.

        On what basis? The presence of money, drinks, low lighting, music...even the time for a child who is accustomed to staying up late-ish...none of that is inherently inappropriate for a child, so on what basis is their presence inappropriate?

        It's sort of like how a building's architecture will give clues to its function, or how there are certain things implied (age limit, dress code) by certain invitations. You should not have to say, "I'm sorry, this is a museum. Even though it has large floors and good lighting, no one is currently using it, and you are properly equipped, you may not roller skate in here."

        My issue with this is that roller-skating is an action, not a being.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 04:15:02 PM
        I also think that there is a difference between being "not rude" and being appropriate. There are places where I think it might not be rude to have a child (because they aren't disallowed), but that I don't think it is appropriate for them to be either. But that comes down more to personal standards/parenting choices. For example, I'm allowed to think it's inappropriate for kids to be at restaurants after 8pm*, but that doesn't mean it is rude for kids to be at restaurants after 8pm. But I'm still welcome to hold my own opinion and hold myself/my kids to that standard. And even to dislike the practice.

        Its sort of like flip-flops. If a restaurant allows nice flip-flops, its not rude to wear them. But not everyone is going to think they are appropriate. And there is nothing wrong with not liking that people wear flip-flops to the restaurant (so long as you don't launch into a loud angry rant at the flip-flop wearers or something).

        Very well put.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Hmmmmm on September 18, 2013, 04:25:53 PM
        Oh, I agree that there are plenty of places it would be ridiculous to take a child. Taking a very small child to Chez Fancy is, in my opinion, silly and wasteful.

        I just don't necessarily agree it is rude or offensive.  There are plenty of people whose looks make me uncomfortable, or make me think of things I don't want to think about, or whose presence I find disappointing (I'm thinking of going to a supposedly "typical,"  local restaurant in a foreign country, expecting to have an immersive cultural experience - and finding it full of tourists from my own country!)

        To say that someone's existence is rude because of something happening inside one's own head - completely separate from the "offender's" behavior - is a logical leap I just cannot make.

        I don't think anyone has said that taking young children to a place that allows kids is rude. In my example of why I don't like it I clearly stated the parent's aren't rude.

        But just because it isn't rude doesn't mean that I don't have the right to be annoyed by it or prefer your child not be present.  The person who comes to a complete stop for a speed bump isn't being rude but they are annoying the dickens out of me if I'm following behind them in a parking lot with 10 of them.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: mich3554 on September 18, 2013, 04:26:18 PM
        I agree. If the establishment allows it, then I get to decide whether or not my child belongs there.

        If someone doesn't like his presence, then I don't think they belong there.


        Several years ago, I was at a cocktail party that was sponsored by the organization of whose meeting I was attending.  The cocktail party was in the lobby of the hotel, which overlooked the lower level.  The lower level was the main desk where you checked in, the upper level was cordoned off for the party.

        For some ungodly reason, meeting attendants brought some of their children to this party.  In the 2 hours, I watched waiters with heavy trays trip over free roaming kids, innumerable meltdowns and a couple of live saving operations where someone had to go rescue a kid from climbing the escalator rail....to which there was a good 30' drop.

        Could the child be in the lobby of the hotel?  Undoubtedly.  But the lobby was having an event that was not appropriate for children at all.  After the third or 4th kid was rescued from the escalator rail (my friend rescued the first), we finally left.  The party was ruined for many.

        Also, more and more children are showing up at professional meetings.  Last meeting I went to, it cost me over $800 to register for this and it includes some perks.....like use of the internet cafe, free coffee and breakfast in the morning, free soft drinks and cookies in the afternoon.  However, hoards of kids have taken over the internet cafe and forget about getting a donut or cookie in the afternoon.  Closest description to that is a herd of starving locusts.

        There is absolutely NO reason for a child to be at a professional meeting.  NONE. 

        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 04:28:15 PM
        I agree. If the establishment allows it, then I get to decide whether or not my child belongs there.

        If someone doesn't like his presence, then I don't think they belong there.


        Several years ago, I was at a cocktail party that was sponsored by the organization of whose meeting I was attending.  The cocktail party was in the lobby of the hotel, which overlooked the lower level.  The lower level was the main desk where you checked in, the upper level was cordoned off for the party.

        For some ungodly reason, meeting attendants brought some of their children to this party.  In the 2 hours, I watched waiters with heavy trays trip over free roaming kids, innumerable meltdowns and a couple of live saving operations where someone had to go rescue a kid from climbing the escalator rail....to which there was a good 30' drop.

        Could the child be in the lobby of the hotel?  Undoubtedly.  But the lobby was having an event that was not appropriate for children at all.  After the third or 4th kid was rescued from the escalator rail (my friend rescued the first), we finally left.  The party was ruined for many.

        Also, more and more children are showing up at professional meetings.  Last meeting I went to, it cost me over $800 to register for this and it includes some perks.....like use of the internet cafe, free coffee and breakfast in the morning, free soft drinks and cookies in the afternoon.  However, hoards of kids have taken over the internet cafe and forget about getting a donut or cookie in the afternoon.  Closest description to that is a herd of starving locusts.

        There is absolutely NO reason for a child to be at a professional meeting.  NONE. 

        No, of course not.  And those children were misbehaving, and their parents were very rude to not be supervising them.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 04:29:27 PM
        But just because it isn't rude doesn't mean that I don't have the right to be annoyed by it or prefer your child not be present.  The person who comes to a complete stop for a speed bump isn't being rude but they are annoying the dickens out of me if I'm following behind them in a parking lot with 10 of them.

        I agree completely with this.  :)
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: *inviteseller on September 18, 2013, 04:32:36 PM
        I am the mom of 2 and many times I would rather live with penguins!  My kids were never a problem in public..my older DD had one public meltdown and it was outside of a grocery store when she was almost 2 and I admit it was my fault.  But, there are places I don't take them because they are not right for kids.  I have never been of the belief that just because I gave birth, that my kids and I were special and could just take them to adult oriented events.  Kids do change the atmosphere of adult dinners, gatherings, ect.  I have seen women come into a sports bar/restaurant and complain because people in the bar were gathered to watch a sports thing on the TV's...the drinking, the smoking, the language was too much for their kids and they were vocal of their displeasure.  Well, it is 8 pm, you are in a well known sports bar/restaurant that, in all their ads show an atmosphere of adult fun, and the hometown team is playing.  Maybe you should have noticed the atmosphere when you and your kids walked in and made another choice (there are 8 places in the area..a few are geared towards families) instead of complaining, giving dirty looks and generally expecting us to care that you are letting your kids be exposed to an atmosphere you don't approve of.  I rarely get time away from my kids simply because I am a single mom and do spend my free time with them, but anymore when I do get a night away, my friends or sister and I go to the casino because there is no one under 21 allowed on the premises.  They have some wonderful restaurants, they have live bands..it is truly a no kid zone and I love it but there is now a push by some mom's groups to put in a day care so they can go and take their kids.  Well, the state law says it won't happen, but they sure are vocal..just find a babysitter ladies!!!!! 
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: mich3554 on September 18, 2013, 04:36:41 PM
        No, of course not.  And those children were misbehaving, and their parents were very rude to not be supervising them.

        The children were not being supervised because their parents were working at the meeting.  There was no chance of them being supervised in the first place, so they were allowed to roam free.

        It is comparable to taking your child into work and letting them loose in the building to annoy the rest of the employees.  Just because it is in another location doesn't mean that you're not working and if you're working, you are not capable of supervising your children.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 04:38:09 PM
        But just because it isn't rude doesn't mean that I don't have the right to be annoyed by it or prefer your child not be present.

        I absolutely defend your right to be annoyed! But your annoyance at a child's presence in a restaurant doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there. I'm annoyed at all sorts of things that people do, that doesn't mean they are actually doing anything wrong.

        And, ftr, I completely understand the annoyance of walking into a nice restaurant, expecting a quiet, child-free evening and spotting a child two tables over.  Maybe you saved for this night for weeks, and hired a babysitter for your own kids, and bought a new dress, and actually put some effort into your hair for a change (thinking of myself here), and you just wanted a nice evening with your spouse. And there's the a kid. That doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 04:39:16 PM
        No, of course not.  And those children were misbehaving, and their parents were very rude to not be supervising them.

        The children were not being supervised because their parents were working at the meeting.  There was no chance of them being supervised in the first place, so they were allowed to roam free.

        It is comparable to taking your child into work and letting them loose in the building to annoy the rest of the employees.  Just because it is in another location doesn't mean that you're not working and if you're working, you are not capable of supervising your children.

        I don't think this is at all the type of situation we've been discussing.  I don't think anyone would argue that your situation was in any way okay.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Jones on September 18, 2013, 04:39:52 PM
        I am very glad to see some of these opinions right now  :)

        DH has some friends who keep inviting us to late-night things. I stay home with the kids, DH goes. Our go-to sitters are usually family members. I don't want to deal with picking up sleeping children from someone else's home at 11 PM. In the past, I have had family members dump my wine down the sink when they had access to my home(family's religion forbids alcohol, and other things DH and I have and use often, also some family members have a more stringent view on certain "rules" than the rest of the religion officially has) so I prefer not to give unlimited access to my home and possessions to any of them.

        DH is sad I don't go to these late-night events. He says that Friends say we can bring the kids. I ask, "Will there be other children?" "Well no." "Will there be alcohol?" "Well yes." "Will there be adults I don't know, inebriated and around my children?" About that time he catches on and there's a bit of frustration because he just wants to go OUT.
         
        I'm fine with going out. It just has to be early enough that we can pick up the kids from the sitters' home before they fall asleep...otherwise we are up all night getting them back to sleep, after they wake on the ride home. It sucks, but it's what we signed up for in having children, and I certainly didn't create them all by myself.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 04:43:46 PM
        No, of course not.  And those children were misbehaving, and their parents were very rude to not be supervising them.

        The children were not being supervised because their parents were working at the meeting.  There was no chance of them being supervised in the first place, so they were allowed to roam free.

        It is comparable to taking your child into work and letting them loose in the building to annoy the rest of the employees.  Just because it is in another location doesn't mean that you're not working and if you're working, you are not capable of supervising your children.

        Ummm... I think you missed the part where i was agreeing with you? No, the children had no business being at the meeting.  The "ands" were meant to be on top of the original problem.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: mich3554 on September 18, 2013, 04:49:06 PM
        I don't think this is at all the type of situation we've been discussing.  I don't think anyone would argue that your situation was in any way okay.

        Someone earlier posted this comment:

        I agree. If the establishment allows it, then I get to decide whether or not my child belongs there.

        If someone doesn't like his presence, then I don't think they belong there.


        And my point is that just because something is not written in the books, it does not mean that the place/situation is appropriate for a child.

        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: esposita on September 18, 2013, 04:49:40 PM
        But just because it isn't rude doesn't mean that I don't have the right to be annoyed by it or prefer your child not be present.

        I absolutely defend your right to be annoyed! But your annoyance at a child's presence in a restaurant doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there. I'm annoyed at all sorts of things that people do, that doesn't mean they are actually doing anything wrong.


        And, ftr, I completely understand the annoyance of walking into a nice restaurant, expecting a quiet, child-free evening and spotting a child two tables over.  Maybe you saved for this night for weeks, and hired a babysitter for your own kids, and bought a new dress, and actually put some effort into your hair for a change (thinking of myself here), and you just wanted a nice evening with your spouse. And there's the a kid. That doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there.

        I'm with Judah as far as the bolded.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: WillyNilly on September 18, 2013, 04:50:15 PM
        No, of course not.  And those children were misbehaving, and their parents were very rude to not be supervising them.

        The children were not being supervised because their parents were working at the meeting.  There was no chance of them being supervised in the first place, so they were allowed to roam free.

        It is comparable to taking your child into work and letting them loose in the building to annoy the rest of the employees.  Just because it is in another location doesn't mean that you're not working and if you're working, you are not capable of supervising your children.

        I don't think this is at all the type of situation we've been discussing.  I don't think anyone would argue that your situation was in any way okay.

        I do [think this is the type of situation we've been discussing]. Because I think all the situations in this thread boil down to situations where a parent cannot reasonably expect to control their child's behavior in a manner appropriate to the locale. One yell during a movie, or during speeches at a wedding, or during dinner at a quiet ambiance restaurant is truly disruptive. Children running against the grain on a jogging path, or underfoot at a cocktail party is unsafe. Etc.

        Different situations and locations require a different amount of attention being paid to the child's behavior because different levels of behavior are expected of the people in the situation and location. And some situations would require such a detailed, consistent overly aware level of attention that its no longer really feasible to expect of any human being - parents are not superheros, they have moments of weakness, they are going to have a kid yell out, they are going to loose their grip on a squirming kid, etc.

        And that's the point. There are places where that single yell or moment of running free are not ok, not once. So to bring your kid into that situation knowing you cannot reasonably be expected to ensure the proper level of behavior from them (because kids are kids and parents are mere humans) is not really acceptable behavior.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: menley on September 18, 2013, 04:59:44 PM
        I am very glad to see some of these opinions right now  :)

        DH has some friends who keep inviting us to late-night things. I stay home with the kids, DH goes. Our go-to sitters are usually family members. I don't want to deal with picking up sleeping children from someone else's home at 11 PM. In the past, I have had family members dump my wine down the sink when they had access to my home(family's religion forbids alcohol, and other things DH and I have and use often, also some family members have a more stringent view on certain "rules" than the rest of the religion officially has) so I prefer not to give unlimited access to my home and possessions to any of them.

        DH is sad I don't go to these late-night events. He says that Friends say we can bring the kids. I ask, "Will there be other children?" "Well no." "Will there be alcohol?" "Well yes." "Will there be adults I don't know, inebriated and around my children?" About that time he catches on and there's a bit of frustration because he just wants to go OUT.
         
        I'm fine with going out. It just has to be early enough that we can pick up the kids from the sitters' home before they fall asleep...otherwise we are up all night getting them back to sleep, after they wake on the ride home. It sucks, but it's what we signed up for in having children, and I certainly didn't create them all by myself.

        Not to sidetrack things entirely, but I really encourage you to find non-family sitters who can stay at your home while you are out. I know in some (many!) cases that's easier said than done, but it makes my heart hurt a little to think of you always staying home from these events. I do think you're right in not bringing the kids to these situations, but staying home yourself is not the only solution!
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: nayberry on September 18, 2013, 05:02:17 PM
        many years ago, when the south park movie came out, yes the one with the uncle song!(don't google it from work or around children or if easily offended by swearing), i went with the then bf to see it,  it had been out a few days and it was a quiet showing.

        then a 10-11 year old girl and her grandma came in and sat a few rows ahead of us.....  grannie took out her hearing aids and started knitting, whilst the girl was happily watching the movie, i was shocked by some of the songs and things said (but its south park, i expected to be  shocked),

        if i'd been older (was 19 ish) i would have probably asked grannie if she knew how bad the swearing would get, but as you couldn't get into the film under 18 unless accompanied by an adult i felt it wasn't my place.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 05:03:17 PM
        I do [think this is the type of situation we've been discussing]. Because I think all the situations in this thread boil down to situations where a parent cannot reasonably expect to control their child's behavior in a manner appropriate to the locale. One yell during a movie, or during speeches at a wedding, or during dinner at a quiet ambiance restaurant is truly disruptive. Children running against the grain on a jogging path, or underfoot at a cocktail party is unsafe. Etc.

        Different situations and locations require a different amount of attention being paid to the child's behavior because different levels of behavior are expected of the people in the situation and location. And some situations would require such a detailed, consistent overly aware level of attention that its no longer really feasible to expect of any human being - parents are not superheros, they have moments of weakness, they are going to have a kid yell out, they are going to loose their grip on a squirming kid, etc.

        And that's the point. There are places where that single yell or moment of running free are not ok, not once. So to bring your kid into that situation knowing you cannot reasonably be expected to ensure the proper level of behavior from them (because kids are kids and parents are mere humans) is not really acceptable behavior.

        You are assuming that no parent can adequately predict their child's behavior and I'm saying that that's not true. Sure there are lots of parents who can't or don't. But I never took my kids anywhere, not even Denny's, before I was positive they could handle it. That meant one of my kids got to go to nicer places much sooner than the other one because he could be relied on and she couldn't. But if my kid was somewhere, it was because I was certain they were ready.  That meant that by the time DS was five we could enjoy a meal at the fanciest of restaurants. DD didn't get the same privilege until much later, but when we finally did take her, she behaved perfectly.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Hmmmmm on September 18, 2013, 05:23:03 PM
        But just because it isn't rude doesn't mean that I don't have the right to be annoyed by it or prefer your child not be present.

        I absolutely defend your right to be annoyed! But your annoyance at a child's presence in a restaurant doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there. I'm annoyed at all sorts of things that people do, that doesn't mean they are actually doing anything wrong.

        And, ftr, I completely understand the annoyance of walking into a nice restaurant, expecting a quiet, child-free evening and spotting a child two tables over.  Maybe you saved for this night for weeks, and hired a babysitter for your own kids, and bought a new dress, and actually put some effort into your hair for a change (thinking of myself here), and you just wanted a nice evening with your spouse. And there's the a kid. That doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there.

        I'm not getting your point. The only people who can determine if the child should be there is restaurant management or the parents. I've stated the parents aren't rude and they have the right to bring their child. But I can still have my opinion that the child should not be there. I don't believe any child should have to sit through a 2 hour dinner at Chez Fancy at 8:30 at night. So yes, I will see the parents and will wonder why they felt the need to bring their 6 yr old out with them.

        Just like I'll wonder why the driver bought a car that is seemingly incapable of driving over a speed bump at 10mph.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Judah on September 18, 2013, 05:27:47 PM
        But just because it isn't rude doesn't mean that I don't have the right to be annoyed by it or prefer your child not be present.

        I absolutely defend your right to be annoyed! But your annoyance at a child's presence in a restaurant doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there. I'm annoyed at all sorts of things that people do, that doesn't mean they are actually doing anything wrong.

        And, ftr, I completely understand the annoyance of walking into a nice restaurant, expecting a quiet, child-free evening and spotting a child two tables over.  Maybe you saved for this night for weeks, and hired a babysitter for your own kids, and bought a new dress, and actually put some effort into your hair for a change (thinking of myself here), and you just wanted a nice evening with your spouse. And there's the a kid. That doesn't mean the child shouldn't be there.

        I'm not getting your point. The only people who can determine if the child should be there is restaurant management or the parents. I've stated the parents aren't rude and they have the right to bring their child. But I can still have my opinion that the child should not be there. I don't believe any child should have to sit through a 2 hour dinner at Chez Fancy at 8:30 at night. So yes, I will see the parents and will wonder why they felt the need to bring their 6 yr old out with them.

        Just like I'll wonder why the driver bought a car that is seemingly incapable of driving over a speed bump at 10mph.

        I'm agreeing with you.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: EllenS on September 18, 2013, 05:32:15 PM
         ;D

        I guess we are so unused to consensus around here, we can't believe folks are agreeing with us!
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: AnnaJ on September 18, 2013, 05:33:23 PM
        Gish was never taken to museums as a kid. I mean never Ė not with his family, not on school trips, not ever. Imagine my surprise when we went to a museum for my birthday and he climbed on the furniture, introduced himself to everyone we passed, and loudly insisted that Degas was ugly! LOL, obviously, no, that didnít happen. Iíve just never understood the statement that you have to take kids everywhere for them to learn how to behave there. There are lots of places we didnít go as kids, that doesnít mean that I now act like a hooligan in airports (for example) just because I was never in one until I was a teenager.

        Yes, this.  When I was a kid, restaurant visits were rare, no museums in my small town, and I didn't fly until I was a teenager - yet I knew how to behave when we did go to a restaurant, the first time I went to a museum, and the first time I flew (OK, I probably grinned when we took off).  It is perfectly possible to learn how to behave in a situation without actually being in that situation...could be why people have wedding rehearsals and other practice sessions.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: turnip on September 18, 2013, 05:45:54 PM
        Any and all can be annoyed!   But I think we've found the answer to the OP's question

        Quote
        Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?

        In a lot of circumstances, you are being a grump.  Everyone has the right to be a grump however, so no harm, no foul.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: misha412 on September 18, 2013, 05:47:21 PM
        Why should anyone else be perturbed because I felt that my 4-year old pweshus is old enough to go to Chez Fancy well after her bedtime? She is a good girl in church. She likes people. She can keep her shrieks down to a low squeal most of the time in public. She is likely going to fall asleep half way through (OR have a meltdown because she is tired and overstimulated. It is a 50/50 shot, but I am willing to take the chance.) So, all those diners should be happy to have pweshus in their midst at Chez Fancy. Right? NOT!!

        Just because you can doesn't mean you should. That is something I think many people, parents and not, fail to recognize.

        I can legally take a 4-year old into a theater showing a bloody horror movie at midnight, complete with loud special effects and screams. But, I would not. First, no 4 year old should experience that. Second, I would not want to subject other movie watchers to a child in full terror meltdown.

        You may say that is not the same as taking a small child to Chez Fancy. Actually I think it is. It is a matter of being conscious that I will be sharing a space with other people and wanting to be polite in the situation.

        I can legally take a 4-year old into a fancy restaurant (unless restricted by the owners) at 9PM at night. I would not do it. First, a 4-year old, no matter how well behaved, is unpredictable.  Especially if it was past their bedtime, they were dressed in clothes they are uncomfortable in/not used to wearing, eating food they are not familiar with, at a place they have never been, and surrounded by adults they do not know. Second, I would not want to subject other diners to a potential shriek, loud laugh, meltdown, or tantrum that happen with an overstimulated, tired child.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: Sharnita on September 18, 2013, 06:30:01 PM
        Well, I've seen a few 20 and 30 year olds misbehave and yell out during speeches at a wedding so if they misbehave than we probably better exclude all 20 and 30 year olds from weddings.  Really, they are all the same, right?

        Seriously, though, there are a lot of assumptions about age. since misha addresses 4 year olds and the foods they are familiar with - my niece's favorite food is salmon, though humus and lentils rank pretty high, as do most vegetables. She loves getting dressed up (as do a lot of kids I know, actually).  She really doesn't care one way or another about who is at other tables, she knows she is not dining with them so she doesn't interact with them, though she will respond politely if addressed. Quite frankly, there are a lot of adults who are not as open to the variety of food she enjoys and there are many adults who don't enjoy dressing up as much as she does. So Chez Fancy would be a bad place for any individual who was not open to the food or who wouldn't comply with the dress code.  The problem is when you assume that age is a reliable indicator of those things.
        Title: Re: Are there places where kids don't belong? Or am I big, child-free grump?
        Post by: cass2591 on September 18, 2013, 06:35:12 PM
        We're done here, too.