A shopping mall food court has recently created a kids-free zone where screaming children are not tolerated. What do you think?
A sign read “Stop. Parents please be considerate of other customers using the food court. Screaming children will not be tolerated in the centre.” While many may think this regulation an overly harsh one, it is a reality in Dee Why Grand Shopping Centre in Sydney, Australia.
Famous — or infamous — for its hordes of screaming children and kids running loose on its grounds, a food court in this shopping centre has banned little screaming ones within its vicinity. Many claimed that the noise was “unbearable” and were glad that this “epidemic” is being addressed.
Inconsiderate and frustrating?
After a long day at work, some just want to unwind over a quiet meal without having to be irked by piercing shrieks of young children. People deserve their quiet enjoyment over a meal or drink, and as many agree, one parent’s inconsideration or neglect of a child’s behaviour should not be allowed to ruin the dining experience of others.
A common problem frequently met with also in Singapore, screaming children in public spaces have raised contention as people are increasingly intolerant of the noise and disturbance. It has become commonplace for many to believe that parents should be responsible for their child’s behaviour and keep them away from crowds should they throw tantrums.
Understanding a parents’ concerns
While the thoughts of many against bratty kids are understandable, it might be excessively unfeeling to completely ban such families from dining at a certain place. As Atticus Finch once told his young daughter in Harper Lee’s acclaimed To Kill a Mockingbird, you never really understand until you climb into a person’s skin and walk around in it.
The issue of empathy arises, as a result. Are Singaporeans and global citizens becoming less empathetic? Do we fail to put ourselves in the shoes of a frantic mum, desperately trying to calm her screaming child down lest the family gets kicked out of their dining spot?
Imagine being in such a spot
It’s never nice having nasty stares when you’re trying to get your kid to stop yelling. Place yourself in the position of a frazzled parent trying to do so and imagine how hurtful all the judgement and cold stares thrown at you will be.
As society opens and becomes more tolerant towards young children and parents, perhaps it would breed a more positive and harmonious social disposition that encourages the family instead of excluding them. After all, if you still want a quiet coffee break, why not head to the plush coffee joint instead of a food court?
RELATED: How to manage misbehaving kids