Thursday, July 14, 2011

One Restaurant on Little Kids: Fuck ‘em

If this were my daughter I'd kick my own ass.
Some restaurant in Pennsylvania that’s considered “upscale casual,” recently issued a ban on children under the age of 6 within its doors.  Apparently, some of the joint’s customers were getting fed up with screaming children, so the owner said “fuck this noise,” (in not so many words) and laid out the policy.

Of course, there’s a metric fuck ton of outcry over this.  Parents are saying that they’re being discriminated against, and some people have complained that it’s wrong to deny service to rowdy children while not denying service to rowdy adults that sit at the bar.  So the question I have is two fold: is this discrimination, and are parents of the kids overreacting?

I would answer no to the first part, and possibly yes to the second part.  And mind you, this is coming from a parent of two small children; my son being 6 and my daughter 3.

This is not discrimination.  In any public place, especially those that are privately owned, there are rules of conduct and decorum that those in charge of said establishments are perfectly within their rights to create and enforce.  Are small children allowed in a court of law?  Are screaming babies allowed in office buildings or places of work?

“But Jack, those are places in which serious business is conducted.  Restaurants are places for recreation.”  That may be true, but who’s to say that places of recreation can’t have standards of conduct and decorum?

Here’s my personal sentiment on it.  I’m divorced, a single dad, and because I know that whenever I take my kids out by myself, I’m the only one that will be responsible for containing them.  If I have any inkling that my kids are going to act up and be a pain in the ass, I just simply won’t take them.  If they’re being good, and I am confident that they’ll behave, then I am more willing to take them places.

It’s all about common courtesy.  I would not appreciate sitting next to a screaming child who can’t be contained, so why would I insist on my right to subject others to that same torture?  Someone in the article mentioned that these parents who are outraged are selfish, and I’m inclined to agree.  Is going out to have a meal so important that you completely disregard the comfort and enjoyment of others?  To me, it’s not.

When you become a parent you have to make sacrifices.  One of those sacrifices is not being able to go out as often as you’d like.  Now some parents have it good: their kids are extremely well behaved in social settings.  My kids are fairly well behaved, so I don’t have a lot of trepidation taking them out.  But not all kids are like that, and if you know your kid is a god damned terror, why make others suffer?

To those parents, you know you’re in the wrong.  Would you take your screaming kid to the movie theater?  Would you take your pain in the ass child to anything that requires a calm, quiet setting?  If you’re one of the types that have no regard for others, then you likely do take your wild ass kids to places where quiet is demanded.  That is wholly selfish, and it says to me that you’re only concerned with your enjoyment.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t particularly enjoy myself when my kids are out of hand.  So why the hell would I take them out so I can have a good time when I know they will probably ruin it on that particular day?  Perhaps I think more than the average parent, but this shit seems to be common sense to me.


Silverfiddle said...

Too many people are completely self-absorbed and have no regard for others.

I applaud the restaurant owner. It's his property and he has the right to set the rules... Until the federal government comes in and declares that his public accommodation must accommodate squalling brats and their stupid parents.

William McCullough said...

I empathize with the restaurant owner. One of my sons, now 27, an Iraq combat vet, was a hellion from ages 2 - 5. We were politely asked to leave a family restaurant when he was 3. He jumped out of his kid sit, ran screaming down the aisle, stopped and put his hand up an older woman's dress. He was so nuts that we didn't take him to another restaurant until he was 5 years old. His daring machismo served him well in Iraq - if we had only known....

KP said...

There is an element of fear that is lacking in some kids today. It is not easy for a parent to instill a little fear (or a teacher or a coach). Why? Because we want to be liked and we long to be popular.

I would add that being liked is not the end goal. Being loved and respected is the end goal. A little fear mixed in with a boat load of fairness will result in a lifetime of love and respect. Just ask man's best friend or any child who grew up afraid to get in trouble.

Harrison said...

Ban the kids, loud talking, and cell phones. Pass every rule possible because people have no manners anymore.

Damien said...

My kids were well behaved (they are adults now) but that is because they had discipline the old fashion way (I probably am much older than most or all of you), so I did not have that problem.

I agree also with the resteraunt owner as it is his business and he will also have to deal with perhaps being known as not a "young-family friendly" businees. He probably did.

Also I agree with Harrison's view that Cell Phones and loud talkers should be targetted which is my pet hate. There are two great resteraunts here in Gibraltar that make it clear as you enter that you can enjoy yourself as long as others can. One allows children but with strict rules on the parents given to the parents and they have a sign on the wall that says "uncontrolled children will be given a free expresso and a puppy".... think about it!

Jack Camwell said...

For me it's just weird how little embarassment these parents seem to feel.

It's like if you HAVE to go out to dinner because you simply must get out of the house, and you know youre kid is rowdy as shit, then why not go to like Chuck E. Cheese or some place like that where the kids can be rowdy and semi-ridiculous?

Sure the pizza is crappy, but certain sacrifices have to be made when you have kids.

Karen Howes said...

I agree 100%, Jack. If parents actually made their kids behave in public instead of ignoring the screaming/crying as so many parents of young children do today, the restaurant wouldn't have found it necessary to adopt this policy.

Frankly, I'm not a kid person. And if I'm paying good money to enjoy a meal, I think I have a right to expect not to be disturbed by a loud, bratty toddler in the next booth.

Frankly, if I were a parent of young children, I wouldn't take them out to a nice restaurant in the first place. I'd get a sitter.

Peter McCullough said...

I feel bad for the little rtug rats not the parents. After sitting home all day with the stringy haired, bon-bon eating, Springer watching, 300 lb, pot smoking mommy, the filthy carpet, sink full of dishes, dog pee on the couch, macaroni and cheese breakgast,Captain Crunch with 2% milk for lunch, stopped up bathtub and toilet, broken elevator, urine reeking stairway, stop at the mailbox, pick up the gov't check, into the garbage filled 1993 Altima, enter the Pancake heaven restaurant and go crazy. It's OK kids, we understand. Kill the parents!

William McCulloughc said...

Pete - It wasn't that bad was it?