|Jake, eating out on his 6th birthday.|
I don't know that I honestly have a strong opinion about it one way or another. And I don't know if my lack of strong feeling is because I haven't any desire to frequent fancier restaurants with my kids in tow, or simply because it seems to me there are more pressing parenting issues to be up in arms about.
Ultimately I think that parents need to know their children and be honest about their temperaments and what they can and can't handle.
The Little Man, who will be seven in a few days, has always been easy to take to restaurants. As an infant, he slept quietly in his car seat or curiously looked about him with hardly a peep. As a toddler he was happy to sit in a booster seat or high chair with some colouring or small toys to play with. We ate out a few times a month, everywhere from chain restaurants that cater to families, to mom and pop establishments, and on occasion a higher end place where excellent behaviour was paramount.
I've read a number of comments from parents who insist that children should be exposed to all manner of experiences and taught to moderate their behaviour to suit the situation. The argument being that they will rise to our expectations and become increasingly well behaved and accustomed to these restaurants.
The Baby Man, now 20 months old, is whole different kettle of fish. Despite being raised in the same family as Jake, with the same behavioural expectations, parenting styles, discipline and teaching, Noah couldn't be more different in temperament.
Where Jake is easy redirected, Noah sets his mind to something and refuses to let go. Where Jake is content to look at books, draw on paper or carry on quiet conversations, Noah wants to run, throw crayons (and food) and call out at the top of his lungs.
|Noah, not technically eating out in this photo, |
but it pretty much sums him up.
As a parent I can't fault a business for choosing to be entirely (or in part) kid-free. On the rare occasion we leave our amazing boys at home with a sitter, I'm likely to be first in line for a seat at one of their tables!
How about you . . . what do you think about restaurants that have a no-children policy?