No kids allowed: insulting or inspired?
As a parenting blogger I suppose people expect me to be appalled and outraged by the no-kids-allowed movement that seems to raise its head in the media every couple of months. Airlines are banning babies from First Class, and restaurants are banning children under 6 and Whole Foods stores in Missouri even have child-free shopping hours (though that one was a little less draconian. They merely provided childcare service in the store for parents who want to shop kid-free). Bravo! I say.
I love my kids. But I'm not so self involved I think everyone should love them. And I don't think we should go about ruining someone else's date night or travel plans. And I have to say, when I'm paying top dollar for a babysitter, I'm just as irritated as those snotty "Child Free" people are when a baby is crying during my night out at the movies.
If I have my kids in tow, I'd rather head to a place that's happy to see them (and our money). If I don't, I'd sure like the option of a kid-free evening. But some parents can't resist being offended.
"I do believe that it's the parent's responsibility to know when and where it's inappropriate for their kids to wreak havoc and no one else’s," writes This Week in Sarasota blogger Charlotte Abrams.
While that might be true in theory, it doesn't seem to be true in practice. These bans aren't really aimed at the kids. They are aimed at the parents who don't have the manners to take their screaming kid out or to choose an appropriate setting. So it's not the kids I blame.
So how do you react when a business makes this decision? Boycott or Bravo?
--Sharon Kennedy Wynne
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