Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Is Being Anti-Child the Next Big Thing?

This is a rant, I will put that out there right now. 

In the last week, I have read several news stories about certain airlines not allowing children in the first class cabin and this week I read about a restaurant in Pennsylvania called McDains (which advertises "Cocktails and Fine Casual Dining") is not allowing children under 6 into their establishment. Ok, so both are private companies that can make whatever rules they want to.  Ans ok, I can choose not to patronize establishments with rules that I disagree with... however... don't you think we are taking this all a little too far....

I get that not ever child is well behaved when they are out of the house and I get that not every parent is as vigilant as we would like them to be... I'm not always as vigilant as I would like them to be... but children are part of this world, does the fussy baby at the next table in Bertucci's really ruin your meal?  Seriously people... is your cocktail less cold in TGI Fridays because there is a kid coloring at the next table?  Is your big evening out less special because a small person is eating mac and cheese somewhere in the restaurant?  Quite frankly, I don't want to eat next to someone who chews with their mouth open, or who doesn't have very good personal hygiene, or who talks on their cells phones at the table... but no one is making any kind of ruling about that now are they?

When did the world get so Anti-Child?

First the Airline... Malaysia Air has a ban on babies in their first class cabins.  Reason cited... they make too much noise and they passengers, who paid a lot of money for their seat, want to sleep.  Boo-Frickin-Hoo!  I will admit that I am not an avid traveler, however,  as I see it you are paying the airline to transport you and hopefully, your luggage to a particular destination.  The added entertainment, food, drinks, pillows, blankets, etc. are a nice bonus, but they are just that, a bonus.  It is the transport across oceans, etc. that you are really paying for.  If you can sleep that is nice, is does make the travel easier, but it is not a necessity... and it is certainly not what you are paying for.  If you purchased a first class ticket you are paying for the extra room around you (and maybe the added attention of the flight attendant)... but not the extra quite.  You can't sleep?  Oh poor baby! 

Stop being so selfish for just a minute and think about what is must be like to travel with an infant.  All you have to take care of is yourself.  Think of how the parent, who is schlepping a kid around and trying to keep them quite so that you can sleep, feels.  Not only does he/she had to deal with your dirty looks and you quite or, perhaps not so quite judgement, but now they are told that their money isn't good enough either.

Second the restaurant... First of all, if you have the word "casual" in your description, you do not have a leg to stand on baring children from your establishment, just my opinion.  Second of all, lets take the phrase "children under 6" and substitute oh... I don't know... any other group of people... do you think it would fly?  I don't.  Here, let's try it.  Substitute "People with blond hair" or "Protestants" or "People over 65" or... how about this "people without children"  for "children under 6" and see how far the ban goes.

I am more than a little pissed off about these bans. 

We live in a world with all sorts of people, some whose behavior we like and some whose behavior we don't. There are plenty of teens and adults of all ages who behave in ways I personally find unacceptable, but I can't tell every restaurant I eat at to ban rude people... they wouldn't have any clientele left.

I think everyone needs to take a collective deep breath and relax a little bit.  Children have minds of their owns, parents may be exhausted, parents my be lax (I am not denying that some are) maybe everyone had a bad day... maybe everyone had a good day and they are a little over exuberant... maybe we need to stop dictating that everything go the way we want it to and be a little more flexible and understanding.

Not only that but, children learn how to behave in public and in restaurants and on airplanes by being exposed to those places and experiences when they are young.  You ban them when they are little and when you deem them old enough to come in they will have no idea how to behave... good luck with that!    


Lisa said...

I just read the same article about the airlines banning children from first class. They paid the ticket just like the others and while it would be nice to have them sit still and quiet through any flight, they are still children.
On our flight over the man behind Olivia kept pushing her chair because I had reclined it and it was in his way. Well, I told him to please stop b/c she paid the ticket just as he did and I wanted her to be as comfortable as possible. Some people just don't get it.

Molly said...

Lisa, Good for you! I don't know why, all of a sudden, our society is trying to hold children accountable to a standard that most adults can't meet. I don't know many adults anymore who can keep their hand and opinions to themselves, sit still, be quiet, on a 7+ hour flight. Why do they expect a kid to do that and why to the expect that a parent can make a kid do that?