Walk in the other’s shoes

Megan Tyack

The announcement came as quite a shock, with arguments from both points of view. Parents, and those who sympathised with them, argued that it was not fair for the venue to ban children, as where were they supposed to go? The other side of the argument was that why should all the venue’s patrons have to put up with an unruly child while trying to enjoy a day out or a romantic dinner.

Both sides have valid points of view. Is it unfair to punish a family and not allow them to visit or dine out at a particular place because their children are unruly? We all know that it is sometimes impossible to control a child who is going to misbehave.

However, not everyone would understand this and the argument of ‘someone else’s child ruining my expensive day out’ is also extremely strong, with people arguing that there are restaurants and venues which do cater for children.

I do not have children … so one might guess which side of the fence I sit on. While not having children most probably makes me biased, I thought I would try to find a way to put myself in their shoes … I have dogs who I love to pieces – but they are both badly behaved. If we go to a park and I let them off the leash, they terrorise children and bark at anyone who tries to talk to me. I don’t moan about the fact that other people do not know how it feels to have a badly behaved dog or complain that people have told me I should leave my pets at home … No, I find a place that accommodates my naughty dogs. A place where there is lots of room to run and a place where they are welcome.

While I can imagine some people reading this and being offended that I am comparing my dogs to their children; and I am sorry for that, but how else can I, as a non-parent, understand this issue?

Yes, trying to keep children entertained is not easy at the best of times, but please think of those who are trying to enjoy a day or night out and do not want to watch and listen to your child cry all the time.

To those who are unsympathetic to parents with young and naughty children, please try and be a little more accommodating. If we are all a bit more understanding with each other and the different situations we may face, perhaps Blandford Manor, and others, would not have to take such drastic action.

Read 5 child-friendly restaurants in Joburg

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