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?





15 thoughts on “What you think about kids in adult-oriented places?

  1. Hi Lorraine,
    Great post, thanks for sharing. I believe those of us who have children can empathize with young families. Of course, as I grow older I do find my patience is not as long with younger children. I do not care if parents take their children to adult venues as long parents take responsibility for their children when they misbehave. I also agree that children learn from observation. In the beginning, it may be a little tough to sit still, when as a child you want to run free. But even children learn there is a protocol for different venues whether they cater to adults or children.

    • I agree with your comments. I think I envy those cultures who are very comfortable with 3 to 4 generation family get-togethers as compared to our community being defined by sub-groups – I know it is idealistic 🙂

  2. You say, “if they don’t have the opportunity to learn, how will they ever know what is expected of them in public places?”

    Children learn to eat, behave, and interact in all sorts of venues ~ church, school, museums, family friendly restaurants, shopping malls, etc. They do not need to be admitted to up-scale restaurants and other adult-oriented venues to learn not to chew with their mouths open. 😉

    When they are well-behaved enough not to detract from the ambience of a particular venue, they are old enough to be admitted. Of course, using behavior as a benchmark means that some adults will, of necessity, be excluded too! 😆

    • As I responded to Busanee’s comment – I envy cultures that are inclusive of all age groups and are comfortable in that environment. I do enjoy a bit of fine dining in a good restaurant and I don’t think I have ever come across children in that context. Mind you, we have a lot of wineries around here that have great restaurants and there are often family groups. There is usually the capacity to cater for the kids. Maybe we are more informal “down under!”

      • We have lots of informal restaurants in the states where all generations can meet and eat and enjoy and laugh and frolic. These family friendly places cater to kids of all ages.

        But there are elegant, upscale restaurants where hushed tones and serenity are part and parcel of the package. Kids don’t need to go there until they are old enough to ENJOY the ambiance.

      • thanks, aawwa . . . this theme has generated lots of discussion. I’ve read quite a few of the posts and have enjoyed seeing the varying viewpoints.

        BTW: I ALWAYS feel empathy for parents, especially single parents, traveling with young children. I try to help out if I can.

  3. I have lived in Germany for about six years. The German culture is very family oriented. You will find generations of families enjoying their meal in a gasthaus which is a hotel/pub/eatery. The German culture is so family friendly you can even bring your dog to eat out with you. I have enjoyed this way of life, as I am an observer, and enjoy seeing family and people interact together. Also, it lends to a homey atmosphere. But it’s a little more formal, like during holiday events when we all wear our sunday best (in clothes and behavior) ;). As I have commented earlier,it about using your judgement as a parent.

  4. Pingback: No Kids Allowed « Spirit Lights The Way

  5. I think your right I hate when people act so irritated in stores,or on long trips I would try to help mom keep the kid’s occupied.I once took a 10 hour trip with my oldest on a bus everyone was helping me occupy her!

  6. Buying a piano doesn’t make me a musician and having a child doesn’t make a parent . Your post is valid 100%.My regards.jalal

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