via brian donovan (flickr)

“We feel that [our restaurant] is not a place for young children,” the owner, Mike Vuick, said to customers in an e-mail. “Their volume can’t be controlled and many, many times, they have disturbed other customers.” – from

These are the words of the owner of McDain restaurant in Pennsylvania. He has apparently had enough of children (six and under) in his establishment. His ban has created some drama. Some parents find his new policy discriminatory and rude. Others still applaud his stance. I have been reading more and more about people banning kids from various establishments. It bothers me. I don’t like anything that’s against kids. I feel like the real issue would be with the parents. That’s who everyone is mad at. As a parent, there are certain places I don’t take my son. I don’t need a ban to tell me he can’t go to an upscale restaurant. We choose family-friendly type places when he’s rolling with us. If we want it to be an upscale date night then we get a sitter. As a toddler he thinks it’s funny when he screams at the top of his lungs. He’s learning all the cool things that his voice and do and he exercises it often. He thinks everyone wants to be his friend so he speaks to EVERYONE!  He’s waving and saying hello to anyone in sight. Some think it’s cute and respond in kind some seem annoyed by his very presence. It is what it is. I can’t control people’s response to my child, I can control the places I choose to take him. What are your thoughts on the baby bans going on these days?

13 comments on “The Baby Ban”

  1. I completely agree with your point of view. It is the parents that people should be mad at. Parents need to be more respectful when selecting restaurants and environments to bring their children in. I would NEVER take my daughter to a fancy restaurant. That would be more stress for me than I could handle. And I think that it is just plain rude to the other patrons that are trying to enjoy a nice, quiet meal. To go so far as to ban children is a bit much for me. They would definitely lose me as a patron, with or without my family.

  2. I agree with you. Parents show know when the child is ready for a upscale restaurant and not. Take them while they are little to kids friendly restaurants and teach them manners 🙂 so that when they are older they will be ready for the five star restaurants!

  3. I’m not a fan of banning children from places. I think it should be the parents who control what their children do. I would never take my kids to a fancy restaurant.

  4. I totally agree with you! There is definitely a time and a place for kids but I think that it’s a parents’ right to decide when and where that is.

  5. I agree with you that I think it is the parents’ fault but I’m not sure how a restaurant can deal with that effectively. You might not realize which child would be out of control until after the family is seated and then what should you do? Maybe they feel that if they make an across-the-board ban then no family/parent will feel singled out.

    When my children were little I didn’t take them places they weren’t ready to go if I could possibly help it; that’s just good manners, but I also experienced the embarrassment of my children’s misbehavior in public and hoped that people would forgive me and be understanding that a parent can’t always control their child.

    But I wonder if manners aren’t being lost a bit today. I’ve been subjected to children running around my table while I’m trying to eat while the parents either ignore it or laugh and think it’s cute. I had Star Trek: The Movie completely ruined by a three year old who was running and screaming up and down the aisle for quite some time, stopping off each time to show me his little truck, until the manager came and told the mother she had to remove him from the theater. The mother was huffy and openly hostile about it.

    Anyway, this got very long. Sorry. I don’t know what the answer is.

    • you make good points. i see where he may be coming from but you’re right, i don’t know what the answer is either. a flat out ban just seems cruel

  6. I think unfortuntely businesses are forced to make these kind of decisions because there are so many self-centered assholes( i know a bunch) – who think that their baby is so super awesome and cute – that the rest of us won’t mind when our date night is ruined by their baby or child.

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