Children don’t need to be everywhere

As much as I can understand what parents go through and the challenges they face, there is a point where we as a society have to acknowledge there are places where children do not belong and that does include pubs. I say this as someone who doesn’t care about pub culture.

Let us paint a scene – you are in a sacred space or a tranquil haven and you hear the clinking of glasses and music in the ears and the only background noise you hear is laughing and casual talking. This is your place to escape and your sanctuary where you can unwind with the company of your friends and then suddenly all you hear is the wailing of a child.

I do understand that parents are tired and that they have to juggle work, life and the unending demands of what is a little terrorist and their resilience in doing commands respect and that they need a break like anything else but the simple fact at the end of the day is becoming a parent means you sign up for a lifestyle change. This change of lifestyle doesn’t mean every space must accommodate children nor does it mean the spaces they used to go to must suddenly become child-friendly nor does it mean that spaces can’t exist which is friendly for parents. Still, it is important to recognise that this isn’t to be cruel but rather practical.

Childfree zones are not just a preference for people who want to get away from children (which to be fair they serve as well) but rather to preserve a certain essence of social settings. It isn’t about snubbing families but about those wanting adult indulgence. For parents who need a timeout, countless spaces are family-friend by design and are welcoming to children and are designed and thus equipped to handle their energetic spirits should they not have their children on them they are free to unwind as well and may be grateful just as well to avoid other children.

I do believe at times parents misunderstand how just having children at a location can ruin the experience of the place ranging from the sounds that they make, or a disruption caused by a tantrum and it is understandable for parents to take their children’s well-being into account it shouldn’t come at the expense of the diverse needs of everyone else there.

It is funny when you think about this but the lack of child-free spaces can limit the social and reactional chances for parents who just escape from things for a while. These spaces provide an “out” from the responsibilities of childcare and allow those to recharge and chill out which isn’t always possible in a family-oriented environment don’t get me wrong many of them are enjoyable to visit but there is a charm about a childfree place and just peace and quiet.

All of this involves mutual respect. Parents deserve places to take their children and this should be where the environment is right for them but just like parents both childfree individuals and parents on a night off deserve a place where they can just relax, chill out and have a moment of peace but let us all agree that everyone’s enjoyment is what matters and that sometimes in life, and the places within it, changes and that is okay.

Need to reference?

Ellis, M. (2024). Children don’t need to be everywhere. [online] Snat's Narratives & Tales. Available at: https://snat.co.uk/rants/children-dont-need-to-be-everywhere.html [Accessed 25 May 2024].

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