The BIG ‘Child-Free Zone’ question…

I’ve seen quite a lot on social media over the past couple of days about some people sharing their views that certain places should have ‘child-free’ zones…be it in a restaurant, or on public transport… or it’s even been suggested that babies and small children shouldn’t be allowed to fly.

And why?

Well, it’s because these people say that other people’s children are spoiling their holidays, their meals out, their journeys…

They don’t want to sit in a restaurant listening to families teaching their children how to socialise and behave in public places.

They don’t want to see other people’s children showing their excitement by not sitting still and maybe speaking loudly, or having fun.

They don’t want to sit on a flight with family noise – they want to read a book in a world of their own…

Now I’m not suggesting for one moment that children are perfect, or that all parents ‘parent’ perfectly.

Yes there are children who ‘misbehave’, who make noise, kick seats, run around and cause havoc in a way that only children can…

Yes there are parents who seem to ‘do nothing’ and seem to turn a blind eye

BUT they are children and they have to learn…and not all families are the same.

Withdraw them from these situations and how will they learn?

How will they learn that you need to sit quietly in a restaurant? That not all places to eat out are ‘play centres’ where they are surrounded by other noisy children?

How will they learn that it’s not ok to kick the seats on a bus or a plane? That they need to find ways to occupy their time quietly?

Personally, I don’t want to be segregated into family zones. My children aren’t perfect…but we have done our best to teach them how to behave appropriately, and we are continually praised about their behaviour. Would they have learnt these important social skills if we had not given them the experiences?

And just because I have children doesn’t mean I want to listen to other people’s children, or have them running around knocking into me when I’m enjoying a meal out…but I wouldn’t segregate them, or stop them from having the experiences that are so valuable to their social upbringing.

Why should we stop our children visiting their Grandma and Grampy, or Aunt, Uncle and cousins who all live abroad just so that planes can be ‘child-free’?

I think some people have forgotten that they were once children, and that today’s children are tomorrow’s generation…

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