Recently, a Pennsylvania restaurant made news for refusing to serve families with small kids. And some parents became furious.
Why the outrage? I’ve got an 11-year-old son, but I don’t want to dine next to unruly kids either.
If my son started screaming or crying uncontrollably, I wouldn’t be offended in the least if the restaurant manager asked us to leave. He should. Fortunately, Connor is past the age of public meltdowns.
Really, why do parents think they have a right to take unruly kids anywhere they want? To a restaurant. To a movie. To a grocery store. To a mall.
Some restaurants, for instance, have dress codes. People don’t go ballistic if they’re turned away because they’re underdressed.
Too many parents have blind spots when it comes to their own kids. Do they not hear them when they holler at eardrum-shattering levels? Or do they not care?
I applaud owner Mike Vuick of McDain’s Restaurant in Monroeville, Pa. In an email to customers, he wrote that the restaurant would no longer admit kids under 6 years old.
“We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children,” Vuick wrote. “Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times they have disturbed other customers.”
He was praised but some, but castigated by others. The Huffington Post article generated more than 2,400 comments.
“Sounds a lot like discrimination to me,” one mom wrote indignantly. “The same discrimination as segregating buses, schools, and bathrooms back during the times when discrimination was okay.”
Please. Let’s not equate the civil rights struggle with indulging out-of-control kids.
I say extend ban against screaming toddlers to movies, grocery stores and retail shops. Managers wouldn’t be expected to allow teens to run up and down the aisles, disrupting customers.
Why should they tolerate young hellions who irritate other customers just as much?
Parents have plenty of choices when it comes to restaurants. It’s not like their kids are going to starve if one place won’t serve them.
In fact, being turned away for unacceptable behavior would be a good lesson – for both the parents and the kid.
We as parents should more sensitive when our kids act up and annoy others. And we should take action. Unruly kids are our problem. They shouldn’t be a problem for others.