I first posted this exactly a year ago today after reading an article that supports idea. My views haven't changed, though with my kids being a year older and a year more mature, I might edit the time-out from 6:15 to 7pm. But what works for one dosen't necessarily work for the masses. Read on and 'Like' if you agree!!!
I love my kids. In fact, they are my world. I take them everywhere and have since the day they were born. As a result, they have wonderfully mature palettes (mussels anyone?) and are typically very well-behaved in public places.
But not always. And when they melt down in public or talk in outside voices when we're inside a restaurant or (heaven forbid) on an airplane, I may or may not look around and give onlookers that please-pardon-my-kids-they-weren't-raised-in-the-jungle look or the would-you-bear-with-me-while-I-find-a-way-to-shut-these-damn-kids-up eyes. But you know, I don't find myself squirming with embarassment all that often because I'm aware of when it's appropriate to have kids with me and when they need to stay home.
Are you? While you may think you have the world's most fabulous offspring, if you're taking them to dinner after the time they're usually tucked into bed, chances are you're in for a real shitstorm, as are the nice folks at the next table. When I leave my kids at home for an adult night out, I don't really want to hear kids, yours or mine, crying at the next table.
When I read this article entitled, The Kids Aren't Alright, in AdWeek today, I almost stood up and gave a standing ovation. Because as much as I love kids, both yours and mine (or whatever), there's a time and a place for everything.
So here's my spiel: restaurants - almost any restaurant on earth, from McDonald's to Morton's, are fair game for kids who can sit still for the amount of time it takes to order, eat, and pay. The caveat? Be out by 6:15pm. If you're craving sushi from Nobu and you're traveling with your mini-me's, be there when they open the doors at 5:45 so you and your noise can be gone by the time the grown-ups arrive to eat $100 sushi. Fair enough, right?
Movie theatres - simple. Kids won't be seen and not heard and you're not seeing Winnie the Pooh? Take off.
Airplanes. Ah, airplanes. I defy you to find me a parent who doesn't dread an upcoming flight with kids. I've been there, I'm sure you have too. Honestly, there's not much you can do about an unruly kid on a plane except this is is one those times when bribery is not only an acceptable parenting method, it's preferable. Parents - bring candy, gum, snacks, DVD's, and as many new toys as you can fit in your carry-on. Anything they're not allowed at home - BRING IT. You might not be doing your kids any favors in the short-term, but think about all the fury you'll be saved from enduring when neighboring passengers don't want to kick your (and your kids) asses right off the plane.
The AdWeek article talks about an airline that has a new "no babies allowed" rule in first-class. My thoughts are why would babies be allowed in first-class like, ever? Why is this a new rule? And adults-only vacation destinations aren't anything new. Sandals Resorts has had a no-kids rule since it opened. Many hotels around the world have adults-only pools. Even as a mom, I found myself seeking them out on my last trip to Vegas. Don't take this the wrong way, but for three days I just didn't want to be around any kids, yours or mine. There are plenty of fabulous vacations to choose from if you want to bring kids. In fact, if you think about it, with all the travel options geared toward families, it really is a kid's world.
My last thought is geared toward those parents of kids who notoriously run around restaurants, can't sit still on a flight any longer than 20 minutes, and who chatter non-stop from previews to credits - in a few years it'll be fair game again and you won't have to deal with dirty looks from strangers. But until then, please, Mom and Dad, leave the kids at home.