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No Kids Allowed

I’m sure you guys have heard about the restaurant in Pennsylvania that has banned children under six. It’s gotten a ton of coverage, which is funny because we have a restaurant in my small suburban town that opened two years ago, with the same rules, no kids under six allowed. And it barely got a mention in our small local paper. I have to admit to being torn about the issue because with two small children of my own, I can definitely see both sides of the argument. No one wants a special night out ruined by a crying child (someone else’s or your own!) but the idea that all children are disruptive and can be banned from restaurants doesn’t sit well with me either. Has bad parenting really gotten us to a point where people are so annoyed by children that they are now on the same level as pets?? That is so sad and I feel like I want to adopt the pitbull-supporter cry of “There are no bad dogs, just bad owners!” and use it for kids. Right after all this hullabaloo, our friend, whose son is 11 months, came over for dinner and told us that his sister told him and his wife that they could not bring the baby to her wedding. I was horrified! I can’t imagine not letting my brother bring his baby to my wedding. What in the world is a child under one going to do that will ruin the wedding? But when I was talking with some other friends about it, support was not universal for bringing the baby and in fact, one of my friends, who has children of her own by the way, completely supports the idea that children shouldn’t be allowed at any events like weddings. Period. What about you guys? Have your opinions about children being present changed over the years? Do you feel more strongly one way or another since you’ve had kids of your own? And for fun, check out this list of tips for how to make it easier to host parties without kids.


  1. malz August 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    I think its completely ridiculous to not have your own brothers’ child not attend your wedding! I thought one would want all ‘loved’ ones and family around them for such an important event in your life.
    Regarding, not having kids in a restaurant is ok, one has the option to visit or not visit the place!

  2. Karn August 18, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    I have kids and I am in the camp of no babies at weddings for several reasons.
    1. The wedding day is not about you or your baby; it is about the bride and groom and their vision of what they want their day to be. Usually that vision does not include the potential of a child disrupting their ceremony, shifting the focus to the baby and off of the ceremony and the couple. I would be mortified if I was at a wedding (even my own sibling’s) and my child became disruptive in such an important event in the lives of the bride/groom, shifting the focus on us. How rude and embarrassing. No matter if you get up and take the child out or try to deal with it in your seat, people will still be distracted and looking at you instead of the ceremony at hand.
    2. For babies, it is disruptive to their schedules (which for the baby is priority number one). Leave them home with a sitter or trusted friend, keep them on their schedule and free yourself for a few hours to relax and enjoy the event. Bringing baby to a wedding is a lot of work and can take away from you being able to fully enjoy the event. You could run home between ceremony/reception to do a quick feeding if needed, or have the sitter meet you somewhere with the child, and/or identify a place to pump, then return to the reception. It is essentially a free date for you and your spouse/partner. Take advantage of the bride/groom’s generosity in providing you a free meal. It is their day; let them have it how they want it.
    3. For people who think someone’s wedding/reception is a good opportunity to show off their new baby to the larger family… How rude! You effectively just hijacked someone else’s event for your own agenda and made it about you instead of them. This is not your day to show off your new baby, as wonderful as he/she may be. This is the bride/groom’s day. If you want to show off your new bundle of joy, host your own event specifically dedicated to that purpose (you might even get gifts!) Then you can fully enjoy the spotlight being on you and the baby without detracting from someone else’s event.

    Restaurants… Even if a child is well behaved they will likely be bored out of their mind at an adult-oriented place and not have anything on the menu they want to eat. I don’t understand why you’d even want to go to a place like that when there are so many other really great family-friendly options. Find another that allows kids, which you all can enjoy and have fun at. The selection is endless.

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