The British Columbia government is set to make changes to the current liquor laws that would open up the ability for adults to consume alcohol without the normal restrictions placed on them at events and establishments. Most of what has been proposed doesn’t sound half bad, however, there is one proposed change in the liquor laws which is freaking me out. That change is the ability for parents to bring their children into pubs.
I’m going to come right out and say, “I hate this idea!” It’s not because I feel children need to be shielded from adults who drink. I actually believe that as long as adults can maintain civility while drinking around children and a child’s exposure to alcohol consumption is not a common occurrence then it’s OK. My reason for hating this idea is based on the amount of times my pleasurable meals have been interrupted by poorly disciplined children.
The pub side of a restaurant or bar that disallows minors has been the one sanctuary adults have without crying, screaming, running, sniveling children. Don’t get me wrong, children are amazing and lovable but they are also prone to behaviour that by today’s parenting standards doesn’t warrant correction.
Here’s a recent example: A few weeks ago my husband and I were at one of our favourite restaurants. It was not too busy, due to weather, so when we walked into the restaurant the only people we encountered was a couple and their little child. When they were finished their meal the child was running around between the tables. The dad had a smile on his face as he tried to catch up with his little one which the child interpreted as a game. You could tell this couple thought their child running and giggling was so cute, we didn’t. It is a restaurant not a playground.
I’m paying good money to enjoy a meal or drink and I don’t need to be disturbed by kids popping over the backs of booths and temper tantrums that are often handled by offering choices, bribes, pleas and wimpy threats. I can see a lot of confrontations between patrons in the future because frankly, I don’t trust parents to respect their fellow diners and drinkers. They naturally tune out unruly behaviour and expect others to be empathetic to their challenges or embrace their child’s play.
The bar is not a place for children. It is often full of high level sounds and talk that is distinctly adult in nature. Kids that are already hyper are going to be even more ramped up with the stimuli that often accompanies these venues. For many parent’s it is also a place in which they have a night away from child energy to reconnect with their self or relationships. I believe there are more reasons to not allow children into the bars or restaurant-style pubs than reasons for welcoming their presence.
I will forewarn any parents who feel bar patrons will tolerate their undisciplined children, think again. It is time that parents take control of their little off-spring, provide something at the table that quietly occupies their time and teach manners. If your child doesn’t act well in a regular dining establishment it probably is not going to do well in a loud, busy pub. Babies should not even enter such venues. Though I know new mothers may like to attend a bar party or two, I firmly believe that any mother who contemplates bringing her infant to such a place needs to reevaluate her priorities.
Kids in pub is an all around bad idea!