Before I was a parent, screaming children made me cringe! Don't get me wrong, I don't mind a crying child, but a screaming child is completely different. What would make things worse was either 1) a parent who didn't care, or 2) a parents who couldn't control their screaming child.
But now, I'm a parent....and things have changed a bit!
Now I will be the first to tell you that Brant and I are INCREDIBLY lucky because Emmalee is not a screamer. If she is upset she will let you know, but once you address the problem (feed her, love on her, change her diaper, etc) then all is well. So I admit that I'm not quite sure how I would handle it if/when she were to scream inconsolably for no apparent reason.
But this morning on the news, I heard about a restaurant in Penn. that has decided to no longer allow children in its restaurant. No child under the age of 6 is permitted to enter the establishment. According to the Yahoo! article I read online (read the whole article here), "The owner of the "upscale, casual and quiet" restaurant explains to WTAE Local News, he's got nothing against kids in general, but their endless screams at public dinner tables are "the height of being impolite and selfish.""
I can fully understand the desires of the owner to maintain a certain atmosphere; however, does this go a bit far - to ban ALL children under the age of 6? I tend to side with Brenda Armes - another restaurant owner that article describes. She posted a sign that simply stated "Screaming children will not be tolerated."
Last Monday, when Brant and I went to the movies, there was a young toddler (I would venture to say under the age of 2) who kept screaming during the movie. First of all, I would have some choice words for that parent because 1) there was some sexuality in the movie, 2) there was a large amount of foul language, and 3) there was extremely violence. Shoot - I wanted to have a talk with every parent who brought their child under the age of 13 into that theater!! But the fact remains that having a screaming kid in the movie was incredibly disruptive.
So I do appreciate that the restaurant owner in PA wants to provide the ambiance his patrons desire, but does he have to completely ban all children under the age of 6? If he was in my neighborhood, he would lose our business only because Brant and I enjoy going out with Emmalee and if she was not welcome, then we would not feel welcome either.
So what are thoughts on loud children in adult places? Should they be ban? Should there even be a policy about it? Should the parent's be asked to leave if a child is too loud? I'm interested to see what you have to say!