Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Banning Children - fair or discrimination?
There are two sides of debate. On one side, you have families who feel like they shouldn't not be able to go to nice places or places at all just because they have children. On the other side, there are businesses who try to keep up a certain atmosphere in their space, and crying or unruly children hamper the experience they try to provide to their customers.
From my personal experience working in performance arts venues, I think it is inappropriate to bring a baby to a live performance. Now, some parents know their children well enough to know if they can sleep or rest quietly through a performance, and if that is the case, then it is fine. But, if you are in a theater with a crying baby, the crying disrupts the experience of the audience and is distracting to the actors. Even with this said, I've never banned anyone from coming into the theater with a child. That has never been the policy of anywhere I've worked.
In movie theaters, or regular restaurants, I don't feel like a crying child is as much of a big deal. However, at an upscale restaurant, where people are paying not only for food but for ambiance, I think it's unfair to everyone involved for that to be broken. My references are pretty much concerning babies up to toddlers about age 3. At age 4 or 5 I think most children know how to be well behaved in public.
I'd love comments from people on either side of the consumer/parent spectrum, or comments from business owners about their policies.
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