Children in adult spaces, most people have an opinion on the subject if you ask them,, even if they’ve never voiced it before and people on both sides of the question can be VERY adamant in defense of their position. Here is my take on it, based solely on my opinions and my experience when growing up. Should you take a child to a nice restaurant? In this case the definition of “nice restaurant”would be one with cloth table coverings, cloth napkins and the option of ordering from a selection of wine to be served with the meal. The answer in my opinion depends on the age and maturity level of the child. I would not take most toddlers to a play unless it was specifically a children’s theater production,. If I was going to introduce a grade school child to the symphony or ballet it would probably be through Mozart’s Magic flute or the Nutcracker Suite. Relatively recently some orchestras have played the music for The Rabbit of Seville and other Bugs Bunny cartoons where classical pieces are used I would definitely take a child to those if they were interested in going.
Before anybody cringes in horror let me assure you that the child would be made well aware of the standards of behavior expected of him or her and the consequences of misbehavior. Most importantly in my opinion a trip to a nice restaurant, the symphony, or ballet would have to be something they had expressed interest in themselves before I would even consider taking them. I believe that a significant percentage of misbehavior by children in adult oriented settings stems from not wanting to be there in the first place..
I would also like to address those people who show at Walmart after midnight with their screaming infant and/or preschool-aged child. What are you thinking? Of course they are cranky and crying, it is way past their bedtime and any nightmare I have within the next week will probably include echoes of your child.
This opinion piece has been brought to you by The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge. That’s my two cents on the subject what’s yours?