The owner of the Olde Salty Restaurant in Carolina Beach, NC recently posted a sign on her front door which read “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” The internets are all up in arms about how the whole world is becoming intolerant of children. I disagree. I think we are becoming intolerant of negligent parenting.
Too many times, the Computer Guy and I have gone out to dinner or a movie (with or without our children) only to be treated to the non-stop screaming of the little cherub right next to us. Most parents we see seem completely unruffled by their children's annoying little quirks, like throwing all of their food at the other people in the restaurant or painting the walls with their dinners. Maybe we are old fashioned, but when our children get out of hand (and they do because we are far from perfect parents) we leave. We get to go boxes and leave the restaurant. Has eating out become so common-place that people now no longer regard restaurants as a treat but the same way they would their own kitchens?
Perhaps I have become an old curmudgeon, but I applaud the efforts of the good people of North Carolina who want their customers to enjoy their dinners and know that a bad dining experience will leave a bad taste in the mouth no matter who is to blame. These loud children are offending not just the other patrons, but the business owner's bottom line.
People are tired of parents who just don't care. They're tired of little darlings who run amok because their parents don't want to discipline the little dears. Well done, parents, now people are putting up signs that you are no longer welcome.
What's the solution? How about actually parenting your children. Imagine a world where children are taught that they are not the absolute center of everything or universally adored, a world where we could all eat in peace. A place where a crying baby is the exception and arouses sympathy and a kind stranger to jiggle the baby while mom eats (which I've done many times) instead of exasperation and rolling eyes. A dream of a world where parents are parents and children know how to behave in public.
Until that time, I won't be surprised to see more of these signs, and you can bet that I'll be eating at the places that have them.