No Children Allowed: Establishments Ban Children

· September 6, 2016
You'll see more "No Children Allowed" signs these days as establishments move toward creating adult-only atmospheres. Is this fair to parents?

A happy child who enjoys interacting and learning about the world will be noisy and rambunctious. “No Children Allowed” is a movement that’s attracted a lot of attention in recent years and is something that really concerns us.

Hotels are now offering “kid-free” stays. Thus, this means that you won’t find any children running, babies crying at night or kids horsing around in the pool. Consequently, the same thing is starting to happen in bars and restaurants.

This “No Children Allowed” movement is taking root all over the US and UK. Let’s take a minute to reflect on this rather complex issue.

Have we really forgotten what it’s like to be a kid? Do we have so little empathy that we’re incapable of connecting to the amazing, noisy, and rambunctious years that define childhood?

We’d like to invite you to reflect on that with us today on our site.

“No Children Allowed” comes to public spaces

We’ll start with the case of Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah Blackwood. This past year she experienced an incident that deeply affected her. With her story, she hopes to get society to reflect on something important.

7 months pregnant, Sarah was taking a flight with her 23-month old child from San Francisco to Vancouver. This wasn’t the first time she had made the trip, but this time something was different.

Before the plane had even taken off, her son began to cry. It wasn’t long before all the passengers were looking in her direction with annoyance. Then she began to hear comments like “what a bad mother,” “she can’t take care of her own child.”

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Next, the stewardess was warning her that she needed to calm her child down as other passengers were complaining. And so, she was told that if her child didn’t stop crying that she would be asked to disembark.

Understandably, the young mother was almost speechless.

Her child’s cries lasted just 10 minutes, after which he went to sleep and didn’t wake up until landing.

Have people forgotten what it means to be a parent? Does no one remember that babies cry, laugh, scream and squeal?

Sarah Blackwood with her baby

Kidphobia is the thought that a child who cries is the result of a bad upbringing

This is just one small example of the daily trials that many parents must go through when going shopping, to a movie or eating out in a restaurant. If a child shouts, cries or otherwise attracts the attention of others, it’s because their parents “aren’t doing something right.”

  • This is a false and stigmatizing idea. Every child is unique with their own personality and ways of interacting with others. Some are more restless, while others tend to be quieter. This, however, is not always the result of the child’s upbringing.
  • Babies cry. Crying is their way of asking for something, of communicating. It’s something natural that every mother understands.

Hence why we need to be more empathetic and respectful when traveling and seeing parents trying to calm their children down during the trip.

Kidphobia is causing many places in the US and the UK to deny entry to minors, adhering to the No Children Allowed policy. Doing so, however, also denies their parents entry. That is certainly something to think about.

Obviously, travel companies are free to offer any services they like. If a person wants to go on vacation without seeing or hearing a child, their choice deserves our respect.

Baby playing with phone

A happy child is a child that runs, shouts, and needs attention

Children want to touch everything, experiment, feel, laugh, and learn. However, if we force them to shut up, stop crying, speak softly and not get out of their seat, what we’re really doing is raising fearful children who are too afraid to explore on their own.

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  • Respond to their cries, don’t try to shut them up. If a child wants to touch something we’ll naturally want to keep them from harm. However, a child needs to explore, be curious and interact with their environment.
  • Childhood is noisy by nature. You don’t have to go back to kindergarten to remember what it’s like to be a kid.
  • With time, they’ll grow and learn to be quiet on airplanes.

We respect parents in their task of raising and caring for children.