Over the past few years, a couple of restaurants in the United States banned kids on their premises. Recently, a sushi restaurant in Virginia joined them. The growing trend is a response to the outrageously rude behavior of so many children in restaurants and to their parents’ lack of consideration for other patrons.
Have you ever had your restaurant outing ruined by obnoxious kids running wild and screaming their lungs off? I bet you have. Extremely rude kids’ behavior is so common in kid-obsessed America that I am pretty sure everybody experienced it.
There are three problems in this regard:
- discourteous parents fail to teach their kids respect for other people and to enforce the said respect while in public;
- restaurants fail to show their respect to the customers and allow wild kids on their premises to make the experience miserable for everyone instead of removing the violators immediately;
- polite people offended by kids’ behavior way too often are afraid to demand respect, thus, contribute to the unacceptable behavior by not requiring it to be ended.
It is nice to know that there are alternatives for these polite diners, parents or not, that do not wish to be exposed to kids’ rudeness. Although growing in numbers, these places are still very scarce and not all people have them nearby or within a reasonable distance. The success of the existing ones shows though that the demand is significant and gives hope for more of them to be established.
However, this so needed alternative encounters opposition and even aggression from those who love to ruin other peoples’ entertainment by letting their ill-mannered kids run wild and yell. Some parents make a fool of themselves by claiming discrimination. This kind of claim is ridiculous because the ban is instituted due to extreme rudeness, a kind of behavior that is easily changeable by proper teaching and disciplining process, not due to some inherent characteristics of a child. Too many parents keep forgetting that children are not rude by nature, they are rude when their parents fail to teach them proper behavior.
Also, these entitled parents forget that for each adult only restaurant there are thousands of venues that not only allow to bring kids, but also welcome all kinds of their unacceptably rude behavior. Moreover, a restaurant is an entertainment establishment. It is not an emergency room visit that might be necessary and life saving. Nobody ever died of lack of entertainment, and people who do not respect other customers should not be welcome at any entertainment venues.
The good news is that a large number of the online commenters, many of whom are parents of multiple children, applaud the decision of the restaurants going kid-free. However, it is deplorable that kids’ behavior is so bad that they have to be banned. The more rude kids are, the more demand there is for banning them.
How do other nations deal with the problem?
First of all, there is not much of a problem and no need to solve it because both children and parents are in vast majority polite. Having been to many restaurants in multiple countries I have not seen this level of rudeness anywhere else.
Once, in a casual place in Warsaw, I saw a child walk away from the table. Used to American standards, I wanted to cancel and leave because I expected more rude behavior to follow, but my friend stopped me. A few seconds later, the father grabbed the kid by the ear and made it sit down. It remained seated and respectfully quiet for the next two hours until they left.
Another time, in a restaurant in Bissau, I witnessed removal of a drooling, squealing kid. It was very efficient: the waiter approached the couple (both of them foreign; Guineans are very respectful and would not have to be removed) and whispered a few words; 30 seconds later the woman was outside with the kid and the man was finishing his meal hurriedly.
Things seem to be changing in kid-obsessed America, although for a more significant change to happen, polite diners cannot remain as shy as they are at the moment. They should express their requests for a respectful environment free from rude kids, be it by email or letters, be it in person. The best way to be heard is to vote with your money: whenever a rude child is ruining your experience, cancel and leave, informing the owner or manager about the reason. Do not let the kid-worshiping society manipulate you into guilt that you are doing something wrong. You are not. Being respected is your basic right and you should expressly and strictly voice your requirement for the said respect in all situations.