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    A Backlash Against Child Friendly Places

    By Kristen Houghton     

    A restaurant that my husband and I frequent has changed its main policy. There is a neatly typed sign on their door that states this change. No, they haven’t gone formal or raised their prices. You can still BYOB and they’re still open until midnight. So what’s different?

    It is their child friendly policy that has changed. The sign reads: “No children under the age of twelve are permitted after 6:00PM.”

    The restaurant isn’t the only place where I’ve noticed this new type of policy. There is also a local theatre that prohibits children during the “adult hours” which they classify as starting at 5:00PM. There seems to be a growing trend or backlash from formerly child-friendly places. They are either limiting the hours when they will allow children or not permitting children at all.

    The restaurant owner, when asked, told me that he was losing customers because of the presence of children during the dinner hours. When I said that my husband and I had never seen children misbehaving or causing a problem, he told me that behavior wasn’t the problem.

    “Adults need their own time alone without children present.”

    A few years ago virtually every place you could name was child friendly. Certainly there were times when it was inappropriate to bring a child but it seemed as if children “ruled.” Today the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction and more and more adults are voicing their opinions that some times and places should be reserved for grown-ups only.

    The way to change the minds of businesses to accommodate the adult population is the same method once used to insist on child friendly places; money spent. Since a party of adults will spend considerably more than a family bringing small children, management will cater to adults. Restaurants and entertainment centers risk losing revenue if they don’t bend to their clientele’s wishes.

    Some people see nothing wrong with limiting the “children’s hour.” It has been done for years in live theatre. Theatre-goers are requested not to bring children under a certain age.

    As a parent, I understand the need to bring children with us to a place where they will be welcomed. As an adult, I appreciate having a place where my husband, our friends, and I can go away from all children, including our own.

    Everyone needs their own space and their own time. Maybe it’s a good thing that not all places, at all times, are child accommodating.

    Written by Kristen HoughtonRate this article:

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