A rebuttal to Janet Street-Porter: Why I wouldn’t ban children from cafes and restaurants

Those of you who have children will know that the article in the Daily Mail today written by Janet Street-Porter is ridiculous, incendiary and ill-informed. That said, it is also very hurtful and negative about parents and the job they do, which makes it worthy of pooh poohing in detail rather than ignoring altogether.

Essentially, Janet Street-Porter seems to state that parents with babies, toddlers, and even older children are essentially a royal pain in the backside should they decide to try to enjoy a cup of coffee in a cafe or, heaven forbid, a meal in a restaurant!

Ms JSP even suggests that children shouldn’t be allowed in museum cafes (or, it is alluded to, in museums in general!) for risk of offending any poor patrons who don’t enjoy the presence of the younger generation, something that is just stupid and petty.

She continues by arguing that it’s wrong to take children out to eat when they are hungry. Presumably, then, Ms JSP tends to eat out when she isn’t hungry…right?

Her idea of splitting up restaurants into children allowed and children banned zones seems to ignore the fact that children who are kicking off are not likely to be that bothered by the restrictions of said zones and the simple physics of sound means that the group unburdened by kids will probably hear what’s going on anyway. And don’t forget Janet, if we do leave those dirty nappies on our kids, the smell is unlikely to stay in one place as well…

In truth, the article has a point but it is a point blindingly obvious to most parents already. We don’t tend to go out to Michelin star restaurants for an evening to relax with our toddler in tow. We really don’t tend to sit there over a coffee and a cake whilst letting our kids fester in their own sodden, dirty nappies. We also find buggies and high chairs equally difficult to manoeuvre but we need them, so please get over it!

Finally, above all else, if you have been up all night with a screaming child and they have calmed down, you might just feel you have earned yourself a nice meal – if you have the energy to get to a cafe or restaurant in the first place!

Categories: Observations

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