Raising children isn't for the faint of heart. Kids tend to be loud, and messy, and they can't always be counted on to behave as adults wish they would. Their most terrible tantrums often double as their most public meltdowns (and their parents' worst nightmares). And because their behavior can be unpredictable, children are being banned from restaurants and other public places at an increasingly alarming rate.

Your Kids Aren't Welcome in Public Places

Last summer, Brenda Armes posted a controversial sign in the window of her Carolina Beach restaurant, Olde Salty, that read, "Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated!" Parents protested, suggesting that sometimes adults are louder than children, and that you can't always know when a kid is going to start screaming, but the sign hasn't been removed, and Armes boasts that business is better than ever.

Malaysia Airlines followed suit this year, protecting first-class passengers from screaming infants by banning babies completely from the first-class cabins on many of its longer flights. Parents can complain all they want, but the airline says that it is trying to meet the needs of baby-free passengers who want to sleep during their flights without being awakened by crying infants.

And the divide between parents and business owners seems to be growing wider by the day.

McDain's Restaurant Bans Young Kids Completely

John Vuick, the owner of a "fine, casual dining" restaurant located on a golf course in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, announced in July that children under the age of 6 would no longer be welcome in his establishment. Parents have once again cried discrimination, but the majority of Americans appear to approve of Vuick's decision.

"I'm doing this on behalf of all the kind, refined people who have emailed me who have had meals ruined," claims Vuick. "I've decided someone in our society had to dig their heels in on this issue."

Vuick believes that he is championing the cause of distressed diners everywhere. When a local TV station ran a poll, it revealed that 64% of participants approved of his decision to ban young children from his restaurant completely.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I'm surprised. If you have the nerve to procreate these days, and the even greater audacity to bringing your little monsters to dine in a restaurant that isn't McDonald's, your presence will automatically be suspect. Yes, some children scream and misbehave, and no, some parents don't teach their kids proper restaurant etiquette, but that doesn't mean that we're all a bunch of miscreants out to ruin your every meal.

I say that we all need to step up our game and do a better job. Parents need to be better prepared when heading out in public with our kids, but restaurant owners and staff also need to make at least some effort to accommodate families who are trying to hand over their hard-earned money.

I know it's cliche, but seriously, can't we all just get along?

What do you think? Would you visit a restaurant that won't allow your young children to dine with you? Is this ban a form of discrimination, or is it a smart business move?

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