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Increasing societal hostility towards kids July 27, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.

I don’t think I’m the only noticing – this culture of ours is becoming increasingly less family- and kid-friendly.  Certainly, there are problems with some parents not disciplining their children, and sometimes kids just won’t be controlled, but what we are seeing more and more of is childless adults demanding their environs – even in public – be just that: childless:

What’s the matter with kids today and why doesn’t anyone want them around? In June, Malaysia Airlines banned babies from many of their first class cabins, prompting other major airlines to consider similar policies.

Lately, complaints about screaming kids are being taken seriously, not only by airlines, but by hotels, movie theaters, restaurants, and even grocery stores. 

Read more about restaurants around the country banning kids.

Earlier this month, McDain’s, a Pittsburgh area restaurant that banned kids under 6 became a mascot for the no-kids-zone movement. 

According to a Pittsburgh local news poll, more than half of area residents were in favor of the ban. And now big business is paying attention. 

“Brat bans could well be the next frontier in destination and leisure-product marketing,” writes Robert Klara in an article on the child-free trend in AdWeek.

Klara points to Leavethembehind.com, a travel website for kid-free vacations, with a massive list of yoga retreats, luxury resorts and bargain hotels around the world that ban children. 

“Call me a grinch, a misanthrope, a DINK (dual-income-no-kids), or the anti-cute-police, but I hate (hate a thousand times over) ill-behaved children/infants/screaming banshees in upscale restaurants (ok, anywhere, really, but I don’t want any death threats),” writes Charlotte Savino on Travel and Leisure’s blog. She lists a slew of a popular destination restaurants with kid-free areas and policies for travelers looking for quiet vacation dining. 

Traveling is one thing, but what about in kids’ own hometowns? Should kids been banned from local movie theaters, like they were at a recent adults-only Harry Potter screening? In Texas, one cinema chain has even flipped the model, banning kids under six altogether, except on specified “baby days”.

Even running errands with toddlers may be changing.  This summer Whole Foods stores in Missouri are offering child-free shopping hours (kids are allowed inside but childcare service is available for parents who want to shop kid-free.) Meanwhile in Florida, a controversy brews over whether kids can be banned from a condominium’s outdoor area. That’s right, some people don’t even want kids outdoors. 

What can be said about a culture that can’t make children?  Alot of the above – and I’ve seen more in many websites – isn’t just a slight aversion towards children – it’s I don’t want to ever see them around. There are whole websites dedicated to trumpeting the kid-free lifestyle.  There is even a woman who wrote a book about how wonderful it is to be married and childless by choice.  Who do they think is going to pay for their Social Security and Medicare, because I can assure you folks with this degree of self-interest definitely feel they deserve to be coddled in retirement, as well. 

In fact, I wonder if this isn’t a complicated psychological response to having rejected having children, or having put it off for so long that when the couple tried to have them, they couldn’t.  We’ve experienced this in our lives – we knew a couple where the wife was all about her career, and then determined in her early 40s to have a child.  It didn’t happen.  It really bothered her, and she couldn’t be around our large family anymore.  It made her feel hostile.  She had to justify her lifestyle.

And……we’ve heard comments in a bookstore: “you shouldn’t have kids in here!”  Excuse me – a bookstore?  So, we should just keep them locked up all day, or stuffed in daycare except when they’re at home a few hours a day to sleep? 

If you read the comments, you’ll get a flavor of the special pleading and “I should never be annoyed, for even the slightest reason, ever” mentality.  The only right that matters to many in this culture, anymore, is the right never to be hassled/disturbed.  We’re a peachy group, ain’t we?


1. Dave Dlg - July 27, 2011

That’s awfully ageist of them…

2. Mary - July 28, 2011

This is already happening in the Dallas metroplex – over 65 (age) communities – neighborhoods – where kids aren’t allowed except for ‘visiting hours’. Heck, sometimes we get it in some parishes.

When we were traveling to Canada with our first, a group of foreigners (from Japan?) stopped us and wanted a picture with our little girl, as they don’t get to see children.

It is difficult as a mom of multiple kids to be out and about, but this attitude makes it far more difficult. We really have to be extremely vocal in defense of our children and their rights.

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