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Babies are Bad for Business

Submitted by Rachel on July 25, 2011 – 7:43 pmComments

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A Hong Kong airline recently banned children from some of its first class flights, and I am only left wondering when the rest of the public will offer similar measures. I’ve said before that with the already high cost of a plane ticket, I should be able to bring a suitcase along for free, but being able to enjoy a cross-country flight without some kid screaming and kicking my seat the whole way - now that would be worth extra money. Parents clearly have the right to bring their kids most places (yet another reason I love a good bar?), and kids will be kids, BUT… I also have the right to enjoy my flying/dining/entertainment experience without that small terrorist who kind of looks like you running amuck.

This isn’t about the kid who scrapes his knee and cries for a few minutes; I’m talking about the kid who is turned around at his table at dinner staring at me, singing the Barney theme at the top of his lungs and throwing spaghetti over the back of the booth, while the parents smile in that “Isn’t he precious” sort of way. He isn’t.  Tell him to turn around, sit down, and leave other people alone.  When your kid decides a movie/play/concert is a great time to ask a zillion questions or throw a tantrum, take them out of there!

Or how about the mom at the grocery store with seemingly a dozen kids under the age of ten, squealing and running haphazardly through the store aisles, knocking into you without so much as a look back, never mind an apology? She’s also apparently deaf, since she seems to be the only person in a 50-mile radius that can’t hear the chorus of “mom-mom-mom” or continual crying of her offspring.  I couldn’t care less if your kid is swinging from the rafters, as long as you’re right there pulling him down and apologizing, explaining that that’s not appropriate behavior. If your kids have energy they need to burn, they make places for that – they’re called backyards and playgrounds.  If your kid just can’t behave, then keep them home.  As a parent, you may be biologically obliged to adore everything your child does and consider it a sign of their latent genius, but the rest of the population has no such commitments, and actually find your kid annoying at the very least. Don’t ignore your kids and hope they stop – that’s what the rest of us are politely trying to do; you need to discipline them.

Parenting seems to have changed quite a bit in this last generation – the problem I see being these new-age “cool” parents who want to be friends with their kids who refuse to or are incapable of acting as the authority. Being Italian, I got a smack with a wooden spoon when I stepped out of line, and I didn’t have to get hit very many times to know Nani was serious when she told me to quit it. Everyone I know used to get spanked for misbehaving and turned out ok. Children no longer have a healthy “fear” of their parents for lack of a better word. In no way am I saying your child should quiver in terror in your presence or that you should beat him or her; yet they should know you are the boss.

It all boils down to this: It was your choice to have kids, and that comes with the responsibility of making sure they don’t turn into miniature a**holes every time they are out in public.  Bad parents set their kids up for failure later in life if they don’t get clear boundaries and expectations for behavior, and turn family-friendly places into adult-unfriendly locales.

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