No Screaming Kids

A restaurant in North Carolina has recently been getting a lot of attention due to a policy it enacted about 6 months ago. Simply stated in bold print on normal computer paper and taped up in the restaurant are signs that proclaim, “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!”

The owner of the establishment has said that so far this policy has actually been good for business overall, which surprises me. I’ve heard anecdotes about restaurants that have attempted to prohibit children and ended up with picketers outside their doors until they lost so much business they had to close altogether. And I don’t question that anecdotal evidence one bit, because I’ve seen far too many parents in restaurants who do nothing when their children scream or run around and bother other patrons. It’s as though they feel that the fact that they’ve born crotch fruit absolves them of any responsibility to make sure said fruit conducts themselves in a manner that does not infringe upon other people’s right to eat in peace. And it’s these type of entitled people I can easily imagine picketing a restaurant that is just trying to achieve a peaceful atmosphere for its patrons.

At this point I think it’s probably obvious that I support policies such as this in restaurants. They force irresponsible parents to take some responsibility; either by consciously choosing not to take their kids there to eat because they know they are not capable of keeping them from bothering other patrons, or by handling the behavior appropriately when it occurs.

That said, I can see how the argument could be made that a policy like this is discriminatory. There are special needs children who sometimes cannot control outbursts, and it does seem wrong to punish them. But I think that it’s highly likely that the management of the NC restaurant and any other restaurant with a policy such as this would see the need for an exception in cases like these if they’re simply made aware of the child’s condition. Not all rules are enacted by Zero Tolerance nazis who have no ability to think critically and make decisions based on the details of a situation rather than adhering rigidly to the rules.

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3 thoughts on “No Screaming Kids

  1. Hey there – just wanted to clarify something:

    The restaurant doesn’t prohibit parents and children from eating there. Basically, if a kid starts screaming, the management asks the parent to please take the kid outside until they have gotten themselves under control. They don’t boot them out, and they don’t ban them, but they do require that parents maintain a certain level of control over their kids (Novel concept, I know). When I was a kid, if my brothers and I decided to cut up at a restaurant, we usually got spanked and then weren’t taken out to eat again until we could ALL exhibit consistent good table manners at home and not act like idiots. It didn’t take long for us to realize that good table manners = getting grown up privileges, like eating out at restaurants with mom and dad, and acting the fool meant having to stay home and probably get lectured about acting the fool.

    In any case, the restaurant isn’t prohibiting anyone and they aren’t refusing to seat families or parents with children, which, I agree, would be discriminatory.

    Anyway, cheers, love the blog! 🙂

  2. I apologize if I made that seem unclear. I’m aware that the restaurant in NC isn’t completely banning children, but even if they were I’m not sure I’d have a problem with it. There are clubs that don’t allow one gender or another, and bars and night clubs sometimes won’t allow people under the legal drinking age in whether they would be drinking or not. Neither of these end up run out of business by protesters usually. I don’t see why a restaurant that wanted to cater only to adult clientele would be any different.

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