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Old 05-27-11, 09:08 AM
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when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

I love my children and all children. My husband and I rarely go out. Recently we did. We went out to a bar/resturant around 8pm. We figured that it was past the dinner hour and it was really an adult place so we thought if anyone was out with their kids they may have been done. We saw about 3 families with young children seated and very discretly asked to be ss possible in hopes that we wouldn't feel like 'parents' but more like a romatic couple. 2 more families with children were seated next to us. They were very loud and active kids and honestly if it were my kids I might have escorted my kids out so as not to disturb other patrons. Well needless to say it was a very tense dinner not only because the kids were all over the place but also because the parents were clearly feeling (at least I think) overwhelmed and irriotable. Another couple loudly demanded they be moved away from a table with a crying baby. I wouldn't do this because I wouldn't want to publically make the family with the baby feel uncomfortable.

Does anyone else feel this way? I feel bad because its not that I think these families don't have a right to go out at whatever time they want I just feel that I want the break from my children and children in general. Maybe I shouldn't feel bad but I feel a little guilty like I'm being tolerant enough. Has anyone else experienced this and how do you feel about it?
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Old 05-27-11, 10:55 AM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Does anyone else feel this way? I feel bad because its not that I think these families don't have a right to go out at whatever time they want I just feel that I want the break from my children and children in general. Maybe I shouldn't feel bad but I feel a little guilty like I'm being tolerant enough. Has anyone else experienced this and how do you feel about it?
yeah, i agree that it is annoying when you go out to eat and there is a screaming baby next to you. it's kind of hard to have a good time when you are being distracted by ear-piercing screams and kids running around.

when you go out to eat, and you want it to be a romantic dinner, you're paying for not only what you eat, but the service. Restaurants want to maintain an atmosphere that appeals to their customers, to keep people coming- otherwise they would go out of business.

IMO it's really nobody's fault, a baby is a baby and is does not know it is distracting others, but perhaps the parents could have been a bit more aware of their surroundings, and how they were affecting it?

i'm sure the restuarant wasn't too happy about it either- after all, if you had a bad experience at a restaurant, how likely are you to return? i don't think you should feel bad or guilty about it... it's damn annoying, whether you're on plane, at a party, at a doctor's office, but ESPECIALLY if you are PAYING to have a romantic night out.
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Old 05-27-11, 11:19 AM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

I actually think we have a rather "kid intolerant" society. By that I mean most people expect that when they go out anywhere to do anything they better damn well not be inconvenienced by children. I think it's the "me" culture. I recently flew on an international flight with a 4 year old and 2 year old. Not a single problem for the 4 year old but just try keeping a 2 year old occupied for 16 hours straight. Not an easy task. Since we were going to Korea the flight was like 99% Koreans. When my two year old began to get antsy and whine, rather than the eye rolling pi$$ed off looks I've received on domestic trips there was a collective effort on a part of the Korean passengers to help calm the situation.

They politely offered suggestions from their own experience or volunteered to help hold the child etc. You know what? It worked great! Instead of feeling embarrassed for (god forbid) going somewhere where my children might be an inconvenience to others, there was a genuine sense of compassion for the situation and everyone on board was completely in tune to the fact that children are a part of life, rather than act as though we were trampling on anyone's "rights" by having a child who was struggling to remain calm for 16 hours.

This mindset was evident in the actual main Korean airport where they had playrooms open to parents set away from the hustle and congestion with stuff to climb on and slide down and play with, changing tables for babies and private restrooms etc. This demonstrated an awareness of what children need instead of "I dunno, you figure it out that's your problem" position.

I noticed this same attitude in Korean restaurants (where we were often there late), servers would bring out toys or talk to the children and it felt like a very inclusive "children are part of all of our lives" outlook. I never felt like I was a burden on anyone the way I do in the states and I think that has a lot to do with a collective cultural mindset (we are all part of a big family) as opposed to our American individualistic approach where the primary focus is on the individual or immediate family.

There's just a different view of children over there. Kids are expected to sleep with mom and dad until around age 5-6 (about when they go off to school) and aren't forced to stay in a separate room by themselves until they learn to stop crying. In fact there is a Korean proverb that states: "A baby must not sleep in an empty room alone, and an adult must keep watch next to it"

Now don't get me wrong, there are tons of great things about having a society that focuses on independence and respects the autonomy of the individual. However, in the case of how a culture views/treats it's children ("go find a space for your children that doesn't bother me" as opposed to "children are a part of our lives, so lets include them") I think we could stand to learn a thing or two.

In the US it really does seem to be more "your child had better not annoy me" while my experiences in Korea demonstrated more of a "what can we do to help?" approach.

Long story short (wow, tangent!), I think your reaction is very much shaped by our culture and is totally the norm for our society, but it isn't necessarily a reaction that is universal...
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Old 05-27-11, 11:50 AM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

I agree with you. Being a mother of three there have been multitude of times that had have experienced dirty looks because my kids were being kids. However in this instance it was a bar mostly with a bit of seating and I thought that going after the dinner hour would allow people with kids to enjoy their time. I guess its hard for me to determine what places are more adult like. Like I said though I would never say anything or give dirty looks or rudley make a fuss when they could hear me. Why make anyone feel bad? It is what it is and everyone ultimatly can eat wherever they want. The poor baby though I felt especially bad because there is no way to discipline a baby and the baby needs that constant care and nurturing.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:18 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

When I am out and about in general public I expect that there will be kids about and that they might be noisy or running about. You know, being kids.

However, if I go out for dinner at a pub after 8 or attend a movie that's showing after 9, or doing some similar adult activities after typical bed time, I do get annoyed. I will deliberately choose venues and times that are not child appropriate and expect not to have to deal with other peoplepeople's kids.

I was once the kid dragged along to parties and pubs and R rated films myself, as I had less than responsible parents. I. Hated it. I wanted to go to bed! I didn't want to watch the adults get drunk and the films have me nightmares.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:29 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

No. I am not bothered by other people's children.

To me, I can relax and still enjoy myself because it's not my responsibility for a change to deal with the kids. I am one or those that's offered to help if I see parents with young ones that are having problems.

I would much rather spend an evening with children being children than at a loud noisy bar with adults being adults.
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Old 05-27-11, 04:38 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

K-Funk, I totally understand your tangent. Also, keep in mind that it's a regional basis in the US. In my part of Texas there is still a lingering "it takes a village" attitude. I love my apartment complex for it. As a parent I know that if another parent catches something Joey does they'll talk to him about it and vice versa. And I love knowing that if I'm clearly frazzled someone else will pop in and distract the kiddo just like I did for them the week before. It does make me sad that people view children like they do in some places.

As far as being in a bar at 9pm goes, I don't want to see a kid. It's not because I want to be away from them, either. It's because it's not the appropriate place to take a child, much less the appropriate time. If I went out on a lunch date to Chili's on a Saturday I'd expect kids and not care.
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Old 05-27-11, 05:28 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

What is this thing "going out" that you speak of? I seem to remember hearing about this years ago, but nowadays I'm thinking it may have just been a dream.
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Old 05-28-11, 07:23 AM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

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What is this thing "going out" that you speak of? I seem to remember hearing about this years ago, but nowadays I'm thinking it may have just been a dream.
Lol. Our going out is once a year. And vacations? Forget it. We only take them with the kids.
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Old 05-29-11, 05:45 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

As a mother of a 7yr old whirlwind, being out and about with kids around me doesnt bother me. in fact, because of all the behaviour therapy courses I have done, im guilty of looking at other families and think "noooo, try this way and your kid might behave a little better" lol. But as for going out with hubby, I like to make it kid free zone, simply because we deserve "me time" with peace and quiet and uninterrupted conversation! And we are lucky if we get out a few times a year also, so we cherish every bit of "grown up time". Your def not alone on this one xx
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Old 05-29-11, 07:53 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

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Originally Posted by K-Funk View Post
I actually think we have a rather "kid intolerant" society. By that I mean most people expect that when they go out anywhere to do anything they better damn well not be inconvenienced by children. I think it's the "me" culture.

...

In the US it really does seem to be more "your child had better not annoy me" while my experiences in Korea demonstrated more of a "what can we do to help?" approach.
Cutting your post up, K-Funk, so I just have the main points. I am really curious about this, because I see much of the opposite. It's a very "kid-centric" world - constant elimination of challenges, difficulties, perceived dangers, etc, to the point where it just seems ridiculous. Helicopter parents. Teachers being forbidden from using red ink. Ever more extensive safety/health/hygiene methods. Children being allowed to get away with totally outrageous behavior. (I'm not talking about normal behavior - rambunctious, playful, crying, fussing, etc.)

Some of that, I'm sure, is just due to the fact that I don't have kids so I'm not aware of all the challenges. I do, however, have friends who are parents who share some of my opinions.

I'd totally love to have a dialogue with some parents about that - maybe in a different thread in Chit Chat, perhaps. Trade points of view between those of us who are child free and those of us who are parents.

On to the main point though...

I think it's totally reasonable to expect certain times and places to be adults only, just as some times and places are going to be full of kids. If I go to Chuck E. Cheese, I have NO right to complain about kids and noise. But if I'm in a nice, upscale restaurant at 9:30 pm, I have the right to expect that the environment is going to be reasonably free of kids romping and playing between the tables.
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Old 05-29-11, 08:40 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

Until very recently i was a cashier at FM. I don't think there is anything more annoying than kids being out at 10 on a school night. Then listening to parents yell at them for being cranky and throwing fits. When the kids should obviously be in bed. I took my 12 year old to a store a few weeks ago at like 9 on a weekend and he was like "mom i think this is like the second time i've ever been to a store this late" After 8 pm my kids are in bed... 9 at the latest!

That being said when i do get a rare "night out" alone without kids, with my hubby we tend to go places that are for 21 and over. I know that i don't have to deal with kids that way. I don't know how it is in other states but i know in oregon that some bars allow kids until 9pm and also have a section for over 21 only! So it kind of makes it easy not to have to deal with other peoples children.
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Old 05-29-11, 11:46 PM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

When my husband and I go out we tend to try to go to places where we are sure we won't run into kids. No offense...I love my kids and wouldn't trade them but when I get a chance to have a babysitter and get out the last thing I want to do is go out and listen to other people's kids screaming or being distracted by them acting up.

That being said we always bring things for our kids to do at dinner when we go out as a family so that we don't have issues. I've always done it. My kids are very well behaved (even my adhd son is very good in public medicated or not) and if they aren't they understand there will be consequences for actions. I remember how annoyed I used to be before I had kids when I was at dinner so I promised myself I would do all I could not to let my kids disturb other people's dinner when they are out.
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Old 05-30-11, 11:08 AM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

I don't mind other peoples kids at all. Unless there're somewhere they shouldn't be or inappropriate place like a bar, even then, I'm more annoyed with the parents!

As long as they're not my kids running around or being loud I can tolerate it fine?
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Old 05-30-11, 11:26 AM
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Re: when you go out as a couple do you prefer to not be around any children?

One of my biggest gripes, is going to Las Vegas, and the people that are dragging their kids around in strollers at midnight on the strip! Does this make sense to anyone? I am a mother myself, and I wouldn't imagine bringing my child to Las Vegas, especially stroller-age. This seems like very selfish behavior, on the parent's part. I understand that not everyone has someone at home that can watch their children, and sometimes you need to bring the kids along, but Vegas? really? I have seen these children, they are either passed out in a stroller with mom sipping on yard-long margaritas, or they are crabby and tired. I am not saying parents can't have a good time, but if you can't find a sitter, the kids are your problem. Find something else to do as a family and leave Las Vegas to adults! That's why we come there!
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