There was a time when children were ‘to be seen, but not heard’ — at church, in public places and at mealtimes in their own home, just to name a few.
Find out if the place you’re bringing your child to is kid-friendly or not.
As more ‘modern’ parents though, we know that rule went out the window a long time ago. Children need to be able to express themselves, let out their energy and be vital, vibrant and contributing members of the family.
In fact, nowadays more and more places and events welcome children — and are thus termed ‘kid-friendly.’
However, there are still some places where children don’t belong — places and situations where their presence may be disruptive and/or make either them (the child) or others unnecessarily uncomfortable.
Places and events which are ‘un-kid-friendly’
To help you decide which places and events are not kid-friendly, we’ve come up with a helpful list:
1. Office parties
These events are meant for employees and their spouses/dates, unless stated otherwise. The exception to this rule is the company picnic, which is meant for families and will be advertised as such.
2. Weddings of friends and business associates
The event can be treated as a date for you and your spouse. Weddings of family members are fine for children to attend as long as:
a. The invitation does not stipulate that the wedding is for adults only;
b. Your child will behave appropriately; and
c. There is a nursery or cry room available for you to either leave your baby in — under the care of someone you trust, of course — or ‘escape’ to if your baby begins to fuss
3. A bar or lounge is definitely no place for a child.
Don’t bring your child to a bar or a lounge!
If you don’t understand that, any explanation I would give you now wouldn’t do any good either.
4. Tourist destinations that focus on historical and/or nature-centered attractions.
Small children get bored and fussy. To a toddler in a stroller, one mountain looks like another, so it may be best to postpone such trips for later on.
5. Musical or theatrical productions are not the place for a child under the age of 4 under any condition.
Those over the age of 4 should only be taken if the program is one that will hold their attention.
6. Antique shops or shops in which expensive pieces are displayed openly.
It isn’t fair to the proprietor to put their inventory at risk. It also isn’t fair to your child to take them somewhere with so many new and different things to discover and not be able to do so.
By the time your child is 5 or 6 years old, they should be able to understand and follow through when you give them the ‘don’t touch’ command. Nonetheless, they shouldn’t be dragged around to places where they’ll be ‘tempted.’
7. Restaurants that are not advertised as ‘family restaurants’ or ‘kid-friendly.
The couples in these restaurants are likely having a night out without children — they don’t need to listen to yours or see the food on the floor or smeared all over the table.
8. Art museums or exhibits are not the place for children between the ages of 2 and 8.
If you’re going to bring your child to a museum, make sure it is kid-friendly by calling beforehand.
It may be okay to bring children younger than 2 since they’ll likely be in a stroller and so won’t be that disruptive. Those aged 8 and over should be allowed to go only if they know how to act in public adult-dominant events.
9. Girl’s night out.
The girls you are going out with are either needing a night away from their own kids or don’t have children, and may not want to spend the evening with any.
If you find yourself invited to such events, plan ahead and get a sitter. If you can’t find one, you’ll probably want to sit this one out.
10. Dental and doctor appointments that will leave you unable to keep tabs on your child.
It is not the responsibility of the healthcare provider’s nurse or office attendant to watch your child while you are receiving care. The exception to this is if you have a small infant or toddler who will be content in an infant seat or stroller while you are being checked by your doctor.
What about these events? Are they kid-friendly?
Is a funeral a kid-friendly event? It’s ultimately up to you to decide, given the specific circumstances.
Taking a child to a funeral is not necessarily a bad thing. Children will often bring smiles and hope to people who are hurting — this is especially true if the deceased is a family member.
If you do decide to bring your child to a funeral, just be sure you bring supplies to keep your little one occupied and quiet. If you have children over the age of 3, be prepared to answer questions that they may have about the funeral simply but honestly.
However, if the service is for a friend or business associate, you should leave your child in the care of a sitter.
Wedding and baby showers
These events are meant to bring focus to the honoree — not a fussy toddler or one who can’t keep his/her hands off the gifts or out of the refreshments.
Therefore, to take or not to take your child to such an event should be a case-by-case judgment based on your child’s age, how well you know the honoree and if there will be other children there.
In the end, it’s all about respecting others
Ultimately, whether or not a certain event or place is kid-friendly, the number one thing you should think about is respect.
Will bringing your child show respect for others’ preferences and/or situations? Or will it just make everyone else feel uncomfortable?
Answer these questions and it will be easier to see if the place or event where you’ll be going is suitable for your child.
What is your take on places and events that are not kid-friendly? Leave a comment and let us know!