Why this restaurant owner was right to ban children

We need to teach our children not to treat the entire world like their playground.
We need to teach our children not to treat the entire world like their playground. Photo: Shutterstock

A pizza restaurant owner has banned children from eating at his establishment and I say "good on him".

The owner put a sign on the window of his Florida restaurant stating "no children" last week after an incident at the restaurant involving a child and parents are fuming.

While the owner, Troy Taylor, wouldn't go into the specific details, he did say despite starting out as a family-friendly eatery, "a lot of parents couldn't keep their children under control".

"A kid was in danger and could have seriously been hurt," he told Tampa Bay Times.

"It's one of the toughest things I've ever done. It's been gut-wrenching."

It's his restaurant and if he doesn't want children there, it's his legal right.

Small business owners, in particular, work extremely hard to keep their businesses afloat. They put their heart and soul into their work. They are responsible for the livelihoods of others and often do so to feed their own families. If they decide one day, like the pizza guy, that they don't want to allow kids at their establishment anymore, then so be it.

To all the parents up in arms about it – just go some place else. Just because you have children, it doesn't mean you're been given the golden ticket to ignore the rights of others.

And to get this out of the way right now – I have three children (seven, nine and 10). I've been there. I've been THAT family with three kids under five dining at a range of restaurants, pubs and take-out joints. We'd normally arrive at 5pm and leave by 5.30pm. We learned to eat really fast and get out of there even faster.

Advertisement

I'm all for kids being treated with respect and encouraged to enjoy a wide range of experiences. Kids shouldn't be discriminated against or treated in a condescending manner. They are the little human beings with complex needs and curious brains. They are awesome.

They can also be really annoying, filthy and narcissistic. They often don't care for other's property or personal space. They often eat with their mouths open, scream and have been known to pee their pants in public.

They remind me of some adults I know.

But the point is, just because they are still learning how to behave in public doesn't give them the right to do as they please and for some business owners, having children in their establishment doesn't suit.

And we, as parents, should respect that. We should teach our children to respect other people and their wishes.

Of course, your children are angels, but there are many who are not. And many parents who couldn't care less.

We need to teach our children not to treat the entire world like their playground, that's what playgrounds are for.

Take a story from Adelaide this week where a little boy wreaking havoc in a Battery World store. The child climbed onto bench tops, played with an electronic scanner, damaged a $330 battery and caused smoke to billow out of the store, yet his parents refused to cover the damage costs.

It's hard being a parent, you are constantly judged. It's a time of learning for children, and sometimes mistakes happen.

Some children have special reasons why they act out. Some children are particularly hard to handle. Sometimes the parents are going through a hard time or have had a crappy day. There's lot to be taken into account.

But sometimes kids are just being really naughty and their parents are doing nothing about it. And that is not on.

Children are not entitled to do as they please and we as parents need to stop thinking we are entitled to let them.