Why This Dad Approves of the Brat Ban

Eleven months.

Back in July, a restaurant in Monroeville, Pennsylvania started banning children under the age of 6 from entering its restaurant. Evidently, this event sparked a trend called the Brat Bana ban in which a certain demographic of adults want to keep kids out of their favorite public places (at least during certain hours). In addition to restaurants, this also includes swimming pools, theaters, planes, and grocery stores. This trend has evidently fired up a debate with parents.

As a dad, I’m evidently supposed to be offended. I’m supposed to go on about how the Brat Banners are selfish, whiny, bratty people themselves who just don’t understand the reality and necessity of having to take kids into public places. I should also defend us parents by saying we can’t always completely control our children in public.

Here’s the thing: I say if a business can afford to ban kids, let ‘em.

In this economy, if a restaurant or store or entertainment venue finds more monetary value solely in adults as opposed to families, then let them capitalize on that. Honestly, if I showed up at a grocery store where they ban children during the hours I shopped, I would simply take my money and my kid elsewhere. That’s simply it- no drama from me.

Something I particularly like about the Brat Ban is that it raises social awareness of two extremes: A) the parents out there who let their undisciplined kids run around unattended in public and B) the adults who generally see children as a rude nuisance. I represent neither; instead, I am one of the normal people not taken into consideration in these scenarios.

I think that the more people talk about socially extreme situations like these, the more it creates a snowball effect where many of the extremists begin to conform to the expected social norm. These days, if a semi-celebrity publicly makes an allegedly racist, sexist, or anti-gay comment, all Twitter will break loose over it. But there’s a pretty good chance that 50 years ago the same statement would have barely raised an eyebrow.

So I say let businesses ignore the civil rights of children. Let that action speak for the company itself and what they value. I say let irresponsible parents keep doing their thing and let those who are annoyed by all children keep running their mouths.

Meanwhile, I’ll sit here watching from the bleachers with my well-behaved kid.

Passing the Mic:

What do you other normal parents think about the Brat Ban?

Do you agree with my take on it? If not, why? 

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  1. by Zach Rosenberg

    On October 21, 2011 at 12:57 am

    Funny enough, I couldn’t wait to read this because I thought you were saying that there was a ban on bratwurst somewhere and I immediately thought “oh hell no, I’ve got to figure out where this is and fight AGAINST the ban!”

    But now that I know it’s brat pronounced “bratt” not “braht”, I’m with you. I think there should be kid-free restaurants. I’m also one of those people that hates when they see people bringing their kids into bar-and-pub type places. Sure, they’ve got high chairs, but if a pub is focused around the sale of alcohol and drunk people yelling obscenities at their favorite athletes, you shouldn’t be bringing your kid in there. But, those pubs still have high chairs so that they won’t lose a customer. I think just like adults shouldn’t be allowed in the McDonald’s PlayPlace ball-pit, kids shouldn’t be allowed in certain restaurants – and like you said, if the owner thinks they can survive financially after cutting out a segment – go for it! They might just gain a couple of customers back when words gets around that there won’t be screaming kids during early bird dinner hour.

  2. by Nick Shell

    On October 21, 2011 at 6:19 am

    That’s funny, Zach. You’re the 2nd person to mention the other kind of brat- I never thought of that. I bet a lot of person searching on Google are going to find my article by mistake!

  3. by Amy

    On March 21, 2012 at 4:06 am

    I personally support the brat ban for restaurants and areas where adults want to relax and be away from children. The adult and children’s worlds are separate at times. The problem is that there are enough parents today that simply do not see the fine line where child venues end and adult venues start. This creates problems and resentment for the childfree and parents alike. I am pleased that you understand the different venues and how children should behave.