Until they kick our seats in a plane or scream mercilessly in a restaurant.
But is banning kids from places like airplanes and restaurants really fair?
This question came up recently when a Pennsylvania restaurant decided to ban kids under six starting July 16.
McDain’s owner Mike Vuick sent this email to his customers:
“Beginning July 16, 2011, McDain’s Restaurant will no longer admit children under six years of age. We feel that McDain’s is not a place for young children. Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.”
I can totally empathize.
The other day we were having dinner at a Japanese restaurant. On a nearby table, a child kept screaming at the top of her little lungs, mostly for no reason. Her parents did little more than shush her quietly to no avail.
And I can clearly remember an afternoon spent at the movies with a toddler running up and down the theater aisle, screaming, with parents creating more of a distraction trying to stop him. After a few very loud complaints directed to the parents — “Control your kid!” was the most effective — the entire family left the theater. To applause. (Read Joel Stein’s column, “Baby on Board,” in TIME.)
According to a story in Reuters, banning kids from restaurants and other places of business isn’t technically illegal. (Nowhere does it say you can’t discriminate based on age. Think about 21-and-over hotel pools — I’ve been to one — and discounts for seniors.)
But is it fair? Or right?
I can understand why business owners want to put in place these blanket bans. Who wants uncontrollable kids ruining the experience of other patrons?
But maybe it’s not the kids who should be banned — but their parents.
What do you think?