What you think about kids in adult-oriented places?

WordPress presented a challenge today on a divisive issue – “what do we think about children being in adult-oriented places?”

Generally speaking, I think that children, if accompanied by a responsible adult, should be able to access any venue. I know this is a complex issue because no-one enjoys it when children misbehave in public, however if they don’t have the opportunity to learn, how will they ever know what is expected of them in public places.

OK – What does “children misbehaving” really mean? Obviously it will mean something different to everyone and even more so if there are diverse cultures involved.

What is a “responsible adult?”  Once again, we would have many different answers to that question – and who is right?

As someone who spent some time as the sole parent of three boys; we went to most places together. We didn’t go to 5 Star restaurants because we didn’t have that sort of money. I used to take the lads to a live music event (folk, classical etc)  each Sunday afternoon when they were quite young and they always behaved really well. They knew that after the concert we would spend some time in the play ground alongside the theater. They were used to attending church with me each week and so it wasn’t much different – as far as their behaviour was concerned.

There are places where people dread the idea of encountering young children – such as on a long flight or long bus journey. I say it is good to “live and let live!” I had to do a 1000km trip by bus once with the three boys and other passengers on the bus were really tough on us – it felt really crappy to be honest. Now I admit I do cringe a bit myself if I am seated near a young family on a long journey, however, I have empathy for them as well.

So, if children are not welcome in some scenarios, I think it is better made known up front. Don’t pretend to be a restaurant that wants my business and then put me in a corner out-of-the-way if I had my grandchildren with me. I think that some adults forget that they were once children and consider them to be another species altogether 🙂

So, what do you think?