I Like the No-Kids-Allowed Movement

  1. kATE says:

    exactly!!!!  I feel the same way!!!

  2. Street_musician says:


  3. Jodi_burt says:

    Amen! I would hate to give my money to them! lol

    • Anonymous says:

      True- Eating out is supposed to be a treat. No one wants that spoiled by bad service from people who are trying to make it clear that they don’t like kids.

  4. Courtney_Schumacher says:

    I totally agree. If we are going to a restaurant for the first time, we’ll call ahead to see if they have a kids menu which is a tell tale sign of the ambiance. I love kid friendly places, but I also love kid free places for the nights when we have a sitter!

    • Anonymous says:

      Great point. I don’t think everyone realizes that almost NO ONE likes ill-behaved children in certain social settings, whether they have children of their own or not. 

  5. Margaret says:

    We don’t eat out a whole lot.  But when we do, I, like you, want to be comfortable that the establishment we choose is cool with having the kiddos with us.

    Alternately, I have to admit, that I also like the idea of having a place I could go with hub, that is a grown-ups only zone.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. We haven’t found ourselves in a child-unfriendly restaurant too often- but it has happened when we haven’t had a chance to do the research and tried to find something that LOOKED child friendly. Unfortunately, we haven’t always been right- and I’d rather go to the dentist than endure a meal in a restaurant where they’re trying to “subtly” make it known that they don’t like kids!

  6. Payeary says:

    heck yeah! when my son was younger we went out of our way to eat at family friendly restaurants but when we go out as a couple leaving our kid at home we don’t want to deal with other folks children disturbing our meal

  7. Comfy Mom says:

    I agree. We know what restaurants around here are young family friendly & which ones are not. Most it is a function of breakables & wait time. The unfriendly ones have glass flower bud vases on every table & no plastic kid cups and the wait for food is longer than other places because the food is more complicated to make.

    But elsewhere, a sign would be nice. Just a simple “No Kids’ Menu or Crayons Available” would suffice.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’d love this to be extended to shops, too. I’ve been in local shops that carried toys and dolls and STILL gave me a dirty look when I came in with my kids, and either wouldn’t help me or were really rude when I asked for help. Excuse me, but when you carry children’s items, how am I supposed to know you don’t like children???  

  8. Anonymous says:

    How do you distinguish between a restaurant that doesn’t really like kids (but still has the boosters, crayons etc available) and a single server who is child-unfriendly? I’d think waitstaff who are parents themselves would be much more eager to help than young singles.

    I like the signs Comfy Mom suggests – they get the point across without having to have a picture of a kid with a huge red slash over his/her face!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, I think that if they have boosters/crayons and they’re being rude, then you can call them on it and complain. But if they didn’t allow kids, the guesswork would be eliminated and you simply wouldn’t take your kids there. It would just make things easier, in my opinion.

  9. Rubberbacon says:

    Recently, my little family of two small children and husband met up with single brother/girlfriend in Pittsburgh.  They suggested a small Italian restaurant in a new hip area of town.  We arrived, a party of 4 adults, 2 kids needing a space for 6 to find tiny intimate tables for 2 and a full restaurant.  Even just standing in the doorway waiting to speak to the hostess we were packed in with no where to move since another group followed us in.  I could see the panic in husbands eyes, desperate to escape.   Fortunately the wait was 1:15 so we had ample excuse to move on and find a more family friendly restaurant.  Even though that resulted in us eating after 8pm, it was still better to have crayons and space to let kids flail than in that tiny restaurant!  I agree with you, posting additional information on their website would have saved us the trouble!

    • Anonymous says:

       I wonder if it’s a little bit of a double standard. The restaurant business is tough, and most of them probably want our money, whether we have kids with us or not– but the less child-friendly ones don’t necessarily feel the need to be nice or make it easier for us once we’re there!

  10. Moira Manion says:

    I’m a Commentator for “Marketplace,” public radio’s business and economics program.  I did a piece on this topic way back in 2006.  I’m not suprised that the movement is gathering speed.  I just wonder why it took so long. http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/06/15/kick_out_the_kids/

    • Anonymous says:

       It’s one of those topics that seems controversial on its surface, but it really isn’t. If restaurants (and shops) all had a kids or no-kids policy, then expectations on both sides would be crystal clear.

  11. hahabutno says:

    I wish grandparents (the ones in our family anyway) would realize that every restaurant isn’t appropriate for children…a winery for example, so sometimes if you demand the grandkids presence, you are just going to have to put your fancy pants away and chain restaurant it up.  It is really awkward bringing children to places where they aren’t wanted.  It isn’t fun for the kids and it really isn’t fun for the parents constantly shushing! and sit down-ing! and don’t touch that-ing!  The biggest sign I have seen of a child unfriendly place was the one where they stored the highchairs in the BATHROOM (it wasn’t stalls either, the highchairs were just sitting right there a foot away from the crapper…nothing says kids not welcome like serving them a side dish of e-coli!) 

    • Anonymous says:

      LOL, unbelievable!! And I know what you mean about the chains- We don’t typically eat at chain restaurants for date nights, but with the kids, we TOTALLY do, because we know what to expect!

  12. Hattahall.blogspot.com says:

    My kiddos are nearly 6 and 9 I expect them to behave and to eat “grown up” food. I think to give my kids a hotdog or cheeseburger menu at a Thai place or some other ethnic restaurant is ridiculous and insulting. That being said I usually look for places that are business casual or less casual unless it’s a very special event. That is when I find a sitter 🙂 If I am paying $$$ for my family to share a dining experience please be nice to us, we are generally well behaved and like to try new things…heck we might even come back and suggest your place of buisness to friends. (On a side note my husband is a professor who asks his students to share their favorite place to eat out and often the places announced are tried by our family and if they come up again and were bad he says so to his new classes)

  13. S. says:

    The movement seems realistic but not very pleasant. You do make a good point, though… “we don’t want to be there either.” As for kid-style menus, I think they should be done away with. I don’t really want my children to be constantly appeased with chicken nuggets and french fries. I want them to learn to like “real food”!

    • Anonymous says:

      I do too, but I’m fine teaching them to like “real food” at home. At a restaurant, I want everyone to feel like they’re being treated to a fun experience, and if the kids are complaining about their menu choices, I’m not having fun!

      • S. says:

        Yes, that is a good point. If “restaurant tonight ” equals “very occasional fun activity,” then those occasional chicken nuggets wouldn’t be so bad. Only if they were appearing very frequently on my kids’ plates would I start to object… Also, I do think that most restaurants have menus with enough variety that my kids could find SOMETHING they like (on the big people’s menu)…

  14. Maria says:

    I like it. I don’t want to be anywhere where I am constantly getting ‘stinkeyes’ either…

    It doesn’t bother me one bit if a restaurant has this in place, as long as they make it well known…even Disney does it at one of their best restaurants…Victoria and Albert’s….ages 10 and up only…if the the most child friendly place on earth can do (and do it well), then why not?

  15. Deanna Piercy says:

    Now that my kids are grown I’d love to have the option of eating at no-kids-allowed restaurants.  I really do like kids but quite frankly, I’m not so enamored with the parents who allow their little darlings to disrupt the dining experience of everyone around them.  Non-stop crying, running around the place, spreading their food in a three foot radius around their table – these are things I see all the time.  On those rare occasions where I see well-behaved children I make a point of complimenting them and their parents.  It’s refreshing.

    • Anonymous says:

      A specific no-kids policy would be helpful in particular for really upscale restaurants that aren’t kid friendly. If I’m spending $100 on my meal and expecting a romantic, “grown-up” dinner away from my own children, I might choose a no-kids restaurant just to help ensure that the evening isn’t… annoying.  😉

  16. […] six? Nope. If you’re at a place that doesn’t want kids around? Move on. And fast. As blogger Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil says, “If you don’t want us there, trust me, we don’t want to be there […]

  17. I’m of the kids don’t need to be everywhere mindset. It’s not just because I don’t think it’s fair to other people (meanwhile, my kids are actually really well behaved for the most part). It’s for ME. And my own enjoyment.

    Do I want to take them into Sephora? HELLS NO.

    Do you remember when I wrote about being at the fancy place ($100/head) here in Atlanta and a couple put their baby in the baby car seat ON THE BAR. Like next to my $15 drink.

    But do I think there needs to be policies? Not necessarily, but
    unfortunately, common sense doesn’t seem to run rampant these days.
    There’s a lot of entitlement with a lot of parents.

    It’s one thing if it’s a public place, during the day. It’s another if it’s clearly an adults-only sort of thing.

    • Anonymous says:

       There really are too many gray area places these days– every place is trying to look hip now– and if I’ve never been in a shop before, I’d be pretty happy if I could tell by some sort of sign that they didn’t like kids.

  18. I feel that when I go out in *public*, I’m going to run into the public.  Old people.  Loud mouths.  Children.  Screaming babies.  Assholes.  It’s just part of life. 

    I think it’s incredibly self-centered of me to walk into a public restaurant (or store, mall, whatever) and start rolling my eyes because I’m running into more of the public than 30-something busy, successful, attractive adults.

    I’m thinking in broader terms of Community–and what impact separating people is having?  We have this trend where age groups stay clumped together, like retirement communities in Florida where everyone is 55+ and grandkids swimming in the pool get stink eyes.  Or “family restaurants” where if an older couple dares to get annoyed with the kid bouncing on the other side of their booth, they are loudly “discussed” by the kid’s parents and made to feel unwelcome/unwanted at any place kid-friendly.  There isn’t any reason why we–as a society–should not be able to sit down in a public spot and just DEAL with the differences in people around us! 

    If more people (parents AND child-free adults) were more considerate and less self-centered and entitled, we probably wouldn’t have a child-free movement. 

    • Anonymous says:

       Good point.

    • Mel says:

      I think you make some good points, but the problem is, most people are self-centered and entitled. And the “child-free movement” is not about removing children in public places, it’s about not being hassled for choosing to not have children.

  19. Megan Flowers says:

    Restaurants and movie theaters I totally get. Grocery stores doing it I do not agree with at all. We definitely have a list of restaurants that are kid/parent friendly. When my husband and I are going out for date night I don`t want to hearing any whining etc. Movie theaters require silence which most children are not capable. The grocery store ban is ridiculous. 

  20. I don’t really like the idea of a no children policy, but I wouldn’t mind if there was verbiage somewhere that said something along the lines of “Parents please be aware that we do not have amenities for children, and if your children are disruptive, we will ask you to leave”.  That way, if you do choose to bring your kids, be prepared for them to be treated as adults.

  21. I’m kind of torn on this one.  I think the “no kids allowed” movement is a reaction to shrinking resources, including less money, less patience, less attention, less empathy, less community.  Take air travel, for instance.  Air travel is so cramped, so hot, so inconvenient, that I think people traveling without kids think, “oh, it’s because I’m sitting near a kid that this trip is so awful.”  I feel like we’ve lost the sense that we all belong to each other, that the kids I’m raising are going to grow up to be good decent members of society who will contribute and give back (hopefully!).  It’s so middle aged to complain about the loss of community, but I guess at 44 it’s official.  I’m cantankerous.

  22. I don’t really understand why people care.  I don’t want to take my kid somewhere inappropriate either, and it’s a pain the butt.  I don’t think people should be rude or dismissive to kids, but there are restaurants that are 21+ only, and no one ever accuses them of discrimination.  There are also places like the bouncy house place here in town where kids OVER 12 are not allowed.  Some businesses are tailored for specific clientele, and I have no problem with that.

  23. 3boys says:

    It might have more to do with the wait staff being annoyed that you’re using a table that could have 2 couples ordering wine and thus a substantially higher tip for a similar or less amount of work on the part of the server.

    I’ve noticed in the past 15 years with the popularity of wine increasing that when I’m not ordering wine the enthusiasm of the staff is muted. It’s just poor service to cater to those who are likely to generate a higher tip and you should complain of poor service on Trip Advisor so the owner can address the problem.

    Another thing is that wait staff should get your food quickly to avoid any disturbances from kids. Many servers are young and don’t have kids so they don’t know how the time factor affects behavior. It’s always possible to speed up an order. a good wait staff will do this. A bad restaurant will take longer when you have kids and then it’s your fault their behavior becomes worse.

    Instead of talking down to kids by calling boys “Bud’ or “buddy” they should talk to them as if they were adults. Calling them “gentlemen” and “sir” sends the message to kids to act like adults.

    Kids can sense when nearby people are hostile toward them. They’ll react accordingly, especially when it comes to air travel.

    I think drunk loud people or people who are too demanding and patronizing of the wait staff are much more annoying than any kids I’ve ever seen.

  24. Diana Tillotson says:

    I think it’s fine in restaurants. It is hard to know if a place is kid-friendly, especially if you are traveling as a family but don’t want to go to TGIF’s or Friendly’s.
    Other places, I’m against it. Being a mom is difficult enough, and I’d be super angry if I not only had to plan around my kid’s schedule, but also around a grocery store’s no-kids hours.

  25. ColleenerBeaner says:

    My mom would love this child-free movement.  She purposely sits in the smoking section (she’s not a smoker) because there tends to be less children in that section.  Not that she doesn’t like children but when she and my dad go out to dinner they don’t want to go and listen to screaming children, or screaming parents disciplining screaming children who are, most likely, running around.  I think I could get on board with this too. I know mom would.

  26. Ruth says:

    Love the post. Coudn’t have said it better 😉

  27. Kimberly says:

    I disagree.  Children are just as much a part of society as adults are and should be welcomed.  The US is odd in it’s attitude towards children (or so I have heard).  The problem is when parents allow their kids to behave badly but from my experience there are just as many bad behaving adults in public as there are children.  And many, many children are very well behaved.  I mean who has not been in a restaurant and had to endure the “cell phone guy” loudly talking away as if he were in a room alone for 15-20 minutes.  That has ruined my restaurant experience more than once.  Or the gaggle of girls/young women (who I know I was once part of!) who loudly laugh and squeal the entire time.  I could go on and on.  I just disagree with the anti-kid movement.  After all, who is going to take care of these old biddies when they get old?  hehe.  But I do get the point you are making.  I just think the solution is for people to get over their prejudices, that’s all.  Either that or ban all obnoxious people!

  28. Maggie Crain says:

    I LOVE IT! My kids are grown and my husband and I don’t go out that much but it seems like everytime we do we are seated next to the people with the SCREAMING babies.  I think the hostess should ask if you want the kid or the non kid section!! I don’t mind the kids being there just not right beside me please!

    • McReed31 says:

      my mom said the same thing – there should be kids and no kids sections at places, and i completely agree.  it’s rare for me to see well behaved children nowadays, so i compliment the parents of the kids who are behaved well when i see them.  i don’t treat myself to a nice meal to listen to some screaming brat.  i love kids, but i hate parents who choose not to parent their child, who think it’s cute that their kid throws spaghetti in my hair when i’m trying to enjoy my meal.  kids will be kids – but parents need to parent.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I agree. I don’t want my family some place where they are not welcome.  I’m still waiting for a kid/family only airline. Because it is always enjoyable when someone criticizes your parenting on a crowded and long flight that is diverted to the wrong airport when you are doing everything you can to control them and keep them happy and quiet and you, the mother, ends up being in tears.  Not that, that every happened to me. 😉

    • Myusitunesacct2 says:

       medicate your offspring before subjecting other travelers to them, or better yet…   have an abortion once in a while

  30. Sarah says:

    I definitely agree with you on this one.  My husband and I moved about a year ago and had a bad experience with bringing our baby where she clearly was not welcome.  After that, I was really nervous about trying other places.  It made what should have been a pleasant experience a source of stress!  

  31. Melissa says:

    I don’t get what all the fuss is about. It’s that restaurant owner’s prerogative to set that rule. Free country. If people don’t like it they can *gasp!* eat somewhere else.

    I, personally, like going to “grown-up” restaurants on occasion, like The Melting Pot, where there aren’t kids around. Sometimes I just want to be fully in “adult” mode and not “parent” mode, y’know? We have the baby with us most of the time when we go out, and we have our list of restaurants that are family-centered. There are plenty of those. Take yer pick.

  32. Miriam says:

    Thank you!  I don’t know why some folks with kids feel they should be allowed to take them anywhere regardless of setting or time.  I have two kids (one a special needs child) and I understand their father & I are the only ones obligated to spend time with them.  Honestly, some people remind me of girls with the little purse size dogs, “I think it’s wonderful so you have to deal with it.” (no, I’m not equating kids to dogs. It’s the attitude I’m comparing.)

    I am pretty sure there are enough kids in the US to ensure an adequate number of businesses who wish to serve families. To me I think it’s sort of like places that require coat & tie. they’re a nice option but hardly likely to capture the market trapping everyone in jeans and a tshirt in their homes forever.

  33. Mel says:

    I would like to make the point that the “child-free movement” itself is not about removing children from society. It’s about people who choose not to have children being accepted as just as normal as those who do have children. I have been harassed because I don’t want children. I’ve been called selfish, stupid and ignorant. I don’t care if others have children, I don’t care if they are at my favorite restaurant (although I don’t think they should be in a bar), just please don’t judge me for being child-free. However, if a restaurant posted that is is not child friendly, I would be a regular customer!

  34. Jimbo says:

    THANK GOD!!!!
    I would even add ten percent to my bill to eat in peace.
    It should not be incumbent upon me to be subjected to a spoiled, mess making, undisciplined, screaming, snot faced brat whose parents are oblivious to it’s ill-mannered actions while I’m trying to enjoy a meal.

    LEARN TO CONTROL THEM, DON’T HAVE THEM, teach them there are consequences for their actions (then enforce it). As a child if I acted like that my mother would drag me outside and bust my butt!!
    Respect the rights of others to dine in peace.

    If there is a valid medical reason for their behavior MEDICATE THEM, KEEP THEM AT HOME OR TAKE THEM TO MCDONALDS!!!!

    I didn’t help make than so I should not have to listen to them!!!

    • Parents are the problem says:

      I agree and it’s the parents being lazy and forgetting there is no t.v. to watch their kids for them and they might have to actually do something about it but they always wait until someones pissed off or the damage is done then say “he/she is so creative or cute” The parents should be able to spank their kids because that is why kids are so outta control now. Their is no fear of discipline anymore the kids think no matter what I do all they gonna do is send me to my room with my t.v. and xbox so I can do what I want. Anyways I like the kid-free places idea but I think even in kid friendly places their should be no tolerance for kids running around or screaming and the business should ask those people to leave until they can control their kids or return without them it’s that simple and no way at all ever that the customer can sue the business for asking them to leave cause I know people love to get rich quick and mess the economy up more. Ban kids until their parents can be responsible and stop having kids just so they can collect government checks and sue for child support because they can’t find a job.         

  35. Jasmine J says:

    On vacation this year, I noticed a very nice upscale restaurant I’ve dined in the past is completely renovated to be more child friendly (it’s now pirate themed). I actually like it better. It was still the same great food with more kid friendly options (wallet friendly too). I loved it!!

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  37. Conley says:

    I really wish they would start a no-loudmouth, idiot, changer of the menu, ask for special fixings, changing the side dish, foul perfume wearing, obnoxious twenty something, grumpy fifty something, entitled thirty something, depressed forty something- movement. Then I could be on board.

  38. Ajsimmons1 says:

    I do not agree with this at all. It is discrimination of children. If a restaurant is not family friendly it gives off a bad vibe. Owners need to realize that when parents want to go out to eat as a family that involves the children. As a public place you need to know how to accept people of all ages, race, and sex. If a restaurant where to post a sign today that said “We Only Serve Men,” it would be protested against right away and I see no difference in doing this to children. 

  39. sickofotherpeopleskids says:

    As a married woman who is intentionally childfree, I like this movement. If I knew of childfree restaurants, shopping areas, etc. I would be first in line. My husband and I love to go out. What we don’t love is listening to somebody else’s screaming kid the entire time we are out and being run down with strollers while trying to walk in the mall.

    • Anonymous says:

      It works out for everyone, because trust me, we don’t want to deal with you either! LOL

      • Mkatmakat says:

         I don’t understand your comment.  The women to whom you’ve responded described an aversion to several nuisances.  Why does that make you averse to her?

      • Hmm. says:

         I, also, do not understand your aversion to her either. She said nothing wrong to you. Hmm.

  40. Emma says:

     Kids are little people, but does that mean we allow them to do anything they want … NO way !! They are like little animals that need to be taught how to live civilized .. who’s going to do that ?  … the inconsiderate in the bubble parents who think their rug rat is the best thing .of course. But they don’t,  for fear that their kids won’t love them anymore .. so they give in to their every whim.  Dumbass kids and even dumber parents just drive me up the wall, this is how this is why this world is becoming so rude  … parents are cultivating it. They deserve it when they get banned out of places, why should we have to put up with your crap.

  41. Rick says:

    I’m a single, childless person, who MADE that decision at a very young age and RESENT people bringing their children to places like Starbucks (a company FORCED to allow children, due to threatened lawsuits) a place that any LOGICAL and CONSIDERATE person can see is NOT set up for KIDS…I conduct business in Starbucks, meeting clients there and do NOT appreciate my business being disrupted my somebody’s unruly brat…..Now, I’d like to state…I do NOT hate children…I hate their inconsiderate PARENTS…There are DRIVE THRU windows in most places…if your kid is a brat…YOU KNOW IT ALREADY…and coming INTO a place with them ANYWAY is just BLATANT disregard for others…Get some MANNERS!!….Laws, which allowed eateries, apts; etc to BAN children and dogs (and other pets) were rewritten in the 80’s to NOT allow companies to exclude who they WANTED to……The laws need to be changed BACK to allow apts to have, say, one section for family and pets and another for single people with NO pets or children…same with coffee shops; etc….People with kids already HAVE many places to go…I don’t complain when I go to McDonald’s or any OTHER “family” place….I EXPECT children there……..How about allowing single people one or two places to go where YOUR life choices aren’t JAMMED down our throats…I wouldn’t do it to YOU…Don’t do it to ME!!…I wish someone would put up a petition or form a club so I can SIGN UP for The No Kids Allowed Movement, because single people are being CRAPPED on, every day…Any time we complain…we get a “HOW DARE YOU?!!?” look or attitude …Nooo….How dare YOU make YOUR (in some cases) bad CHOICES my problem and INSIST I live with the consequences of them???…Please, SOMEONE, start signing people up so we can submit the signatures to Congress and get some PEACE!!

    • spinetingler says:

      “I conduct business in Starbucks, meeting clients there and do NOT
      appreciate my business being disrupted my somebody’s unruly brat”

      If you need a place to do business, rent an office. Starbucks isn’t your personal business incubator.

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