Kid-Free Zones: Marginalizing Working Parents

So, I just read this article on kid-free zones:

Wow, am I stunned. I think it is enlightening to see the trends in business and how it reflects the growing demographic, as they put it, of high-income couples with no children. That is what this demographic amounts to, I think. I cannot imagine anyone who has raised and certainly no one who is raising a child ever contributing to the predominance of bans on children at places like grocery stores.

Upscale restaurants I understand. We were blessed with a daughter who was usually mellow in restaurants, but when a child isn’t, there isn’t much that can be done except leave. And if patrons spend a lot of money for a nice evening at a place they saved up for, that usually doesn’t include someone else’s screaming child.

But banning people from grocery stores? Seriously? It is claimed by some of these stores that childcare services will be provided, however, I anticipate, and hopefully I am wrong, that these services will not be free. They also say that certain hours will be allotted when children will be allowed, and this also is frankly bullshit. Most people who are middle-to-lower income parents don’t have jobs that provide them with flexibility to shop during proscribed child-allowed hours. They shop when they can, however they can, and spend as little as possible.

Again, we have a system that will wind up penalizing lower income families. If this trend continues, businesses will become less and less oriented toward community in any meaningful way, and more and more purely capitalist ventures without scruple or civic concern.

Upscale resturants banning kids I expect. But if any grocery store or retail store bans kids in Denver I will boycott them. And my comment to people who pushed for kid-banning in grocery stores would be this: Kids are not second-hand smoke. Kids are not pets. You won’t get cancer from being exposed to kids. You won’t have an allergy attack from kid dander. And if your nerves are such that being exposed to a temper tantrum in the local supermarket damages you, then you have bigger problems than that kid’s temper tantrum. Because you have forgotten that at some point in the past few decades, your neighbors, and certainly your mama, probably had to listen to you scream your head off, and still shlep you through the store, and go home and make your dinner.


3 Responses to “Kid-Free Zones: Marginalizing Working Parents”

  1. Wow. I’m speechless. This is a great response to the linked article. As a mom, I’m the first to admit my children aren’t angels, but I think people need to seriously chill out. Kids don’t pop out of the womb with an understanding of how the world works and how they should respond to it. They don’t understand the need to control their urges and emotions in social situations unless they are taught, and the instruction can be a long, long arduous process depending on the stubbornness of the child. Kids don’t learn these things overnight. I can understand the desire to keep children out of upscale restaurants, but grocery stores and movie theaters? That’s ridiculous. I don’t know about you, but I’m shaking my head at the rudeness of people who are in turn annoyed by the lack of manners in children. Kettle? The Pot is calling.

    • Yeah, I’m pretty concerned with how exclusive different segments of society are becoming. It’s like were regressing into upper and lower class. People with means…who are disconnected from their kids by having nannies raise them while they’re on yoga retreats, and everyone else.

      • The distancing of kids seems to be becoming the new normal. Contrary to the multigenerational families or neighborhood approach in many cultures. This worries me because we will have a generation of kids for whom this is the status quo and will seek closeness only externally.

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