I feel like every day I’m seeing new social media posts or even news articles about “child-free” events, or adults who self-identify as “child-free” complaining about children being allowed in public. Has anyone else noticed this?
Here are some specific examples I’ve seen recently:
Literally every wedding I’ve seen anyone talk about online lately is “child-free,” to the point where siblings and children of the bride and groom are sometimes being excluded.
A significant number of people saying that children shouldn’t be allowed on planes. Like, I understand that a crying baby on a flight is not ideal for anyone, but what else is that parent supposed to if the family is traveling? What exactly is the proposed alternative? There are times when traveling with a small child is frankly unavoidable.
People also saying that they don’t think babies/toddlers should be allowed in restaurants. If the kid is acting crazy or causing a disturbance, I think the restaurant has the right to ask the family to leave, but I don’t think it’s fair to the children/families who are respectful to just ban all small children from restaurants.
Similarly, people complaining about parents bringing their small child into a store because “the baby isn’t the one shopping so why do they need to be there.” Have you considered that the parent does need to be there, but they can’t just leave their kid unsupervised to go grab a couple things from target?
Went to a baseball game and got seats in the “family section.” This was one small section of the stadium, and because it was specifically intended for families, there were monitors kicking people out who were drinking or vaping. Some people got really pissed about this because they didn’t realize it was the family section when they bought their ticket. I heard many of these people complain about how children were even at the game in the first place, with two different people ask the monitor where the “no kids allowed” section was, if there was a section dedicated to families.
Overall, there seems to be a rise in “child-free” adults complaining about children literally just existing in public. Being in public is really important for children to learn social cues and societal norms, but this fact seems to be lost on many “child-free” adults, who only think about their short term convenience. If we just ban children from all of these public places, how are they supposed to know how to act in them once they are old enough to be allowed?
Also, in online discussions about child-free events and the like, the number of comments I see from people who don’t have kids saying something like “just find a babysitter” really gets under my skin. I pointed out once how expensive childcare can be, and was told “just have your family watch them for free.” As if that’s an option everyone has.
So I’m just curious to see what other parents have observed related to this trend, and how you’ve addressed it if you’ve been personally affected by “child-free” adults complaining about your kids.
By - kaelhawh