Should Children Under Six Be Banned From Restaurants? Totally.

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One of my friends sent me this hilarious blog called Parenting Illustrated With Crappy Pictures. They’re all hilarious and sweet and all that but I particularly enjoyed the “What it is like to eat in a nice restaurant illustrated with crappy pictures” post. In it, the mother explains just how stressful and unrelaxing it is to dine out while managing a toddler and a baby.

I’ve been there.

I’m one of those people who does not want my children to bother other people. So when we’re in a public setting, I’m very concerned that they behave well. And both of my dear children are completely insane and emotional and a handful. So going to church, restaurants, flying cross country, etc., is a challenge. On the other hand, I don’t want to ever avoid church, restaurants, flying, etc., on account of my children. So I work hard to keep them in line. And while I do have a few horror stories (don’t fly across the Pacific with a 15-month-old lap child, is my advice), we are able to be normal people who eat out. And the moment either of my children loses it, I get them out of the restaurant post haste. Why should other people suffer because of my children, you know?

Occasionally some neighbors get upset that a restaurant in the hood doesn’t have appropriate accommodations for children. This doesn’t bother me at all. It’s a good sign that a restaurant without high chairs and diaper changing station does not cater to the family crowd. No skin off my back. A restaurant owner has the right to run his business as he sees fit.

Which is what Mike Vuick did when he decided to ban the six-and-under crowd from his Pennsylvania restaurant McDain’s. We asked what you thought about that decision last week. It’s also interesting to find out why Vuick put the kibbosh on the tots:

First, more and more families were coming to dinner with infants, “and their primary way of communicating is to cry.”

Then, with families who had children ages 2 to 5, “the kids have become increasingly vocal and they don’t sit still and I was always worried about them running into our wait staff.”

Third, there seemed to be more and more parents “who feel they can go anywhere they want with their kids and do whatever they want,” and when he or his staff would say something, their reaction would be “how dare you tell me what to do with my kid?”

And the response has been overwhelmingly positive.

I salute him. Teach these parents about how to get their children in line. I’m so sick of parents acting like they’re unable to control their own children in a restaurant. What do you think? Is Vuick out of line or very wise? He reports that business is up since he made the decision. I can see why.