Banning Babies

A few restaurants have recently made the news for banning children. I’ve witnessed several debates about this on various talk shows. And, I’m probably going to make some enemies here.

First, let me say that I LOVE children. My husband and I have many honorary grandchildren (no actual grandchildren yet). We work with small children at church. If you see a very furry guy and a short woman with flippy red hair both cooing at random babies in the grocery, it’s probably us. I even carry two different finger puppets in my purse to entertain little ones wherever I am. So, I’m not one of those people who just doesn’t like children.

That said, I don’t have a problem with fine dining restaurants banning children. It’s their restaurant. They have the right to set the rules. If you don’t like the rules, choose another restaurant. If enough people feel the same way, the restaurant will either close or be forced to change their rule. So, let me address some of the comments I’ve heard.

If you ban children you should ban the annoying, loud-talking drunk guy. Of course. And, no one questions the restaurant when they throw that annoying, loud-talking drunk guy out. However, say something to a parent about a screaming baby or a child running around the table, and you’re suddenly mean and evil.

Children are entitled to good food. Of course they are. They can get that at restaurants who welcome children. You can’t tell me that this handful of restaurants is the only place to get good food. It’s not like you have only two choices—fine dining or fast food.

Children need to learn how to eat in nice places. Yes, they do. And, if parents were teaching small children how to behave properly, this wouldn’t be an issue. Actually, they need to learn how to behave properly, no matter where they are. So, teach them to behave at the place with the clown. Then, teach them how to behave at the local diner or family restaurant chain. When they reach an age at which they are welcome in these restaurants, they’ll know exactly what to do.

Parents deserve to be able to eat in nice restaurants. I agree. They also deserve a night out without the children occasionally. If the babysitter couldn’t make it at the last minute, change your plans. I know it’s a pain, but changing plans is part of being a parent.

I know my view probably isn’t popular. That’s okay. I’ve never really been that popular anyway.


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