The hot topic on the Internet this week has been “kid-free” zones in certain places — essentially banning children from certain events and arenas.
The buzz really got going when a Whole Foods Market in Missouri announced a new event: two hours of free babysitting while you go shopping, every Friday in August. Parents can drop off their kids — the young ones can enjoy crafts and books; Mom and Dad can shop without the grabby hands or whining.
People misunderstood this as banning kids from Whole Foods. Understandable, because local venues are hopping on this trend: a quiet, casual restaurant in Pennsylvania announced this summer that children under 6 are no longer allowed.
A restaurant in North Carolina has made it quite clear with a sign on its doors: “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!” Malaysia Airlines recently announced that children are banned from first class.
In Austin, my hometown, Alamo Drafthouse has a strict no kids allowed in all their movies, offering instead kid-friendly hours and movies during certain times and days.
There are times and places where children shouldn’t be, for their sake as much as the other people involved. But as a culture, are we becoming less and less tolerant of kids?