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Noisy children in pubs

From Gary W

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I am getting severely fed up with the anti-social behaviour of certain children/parents when visiting local pubs. Why is it that many modern parents think it's OK to let their children screech and scream and run around in public houses without giving a second thought to the rest of us having to suffer from their inconsiderate behaviour?

Like many other middle aged, like minded people, I usually go to the pub at tea time for a quite pint. Is the pub a good place for a young child to unwind after school?

When I was a child I would be playing out after school, not being dragged to the boozer to screech and shout whilst an indifferent parent gets squiffy. It's not good for the child and it's certainly not good for folk like me, wanting a quite pint in my local. Too many times, I've had to leave in order to escape the ear battering cacophony created by young children who are not being brought up to be considerate human beings.

Of course, the children are blameless in all this. The fault lies squarely at the feet of selfish adults and their inadequate parenting skills; by not setting any boundaries when sharing public (adult oriented) spaces.

From Sarah Connor

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I'm an ex-Landlady and think the problem is 2 fold.

Firstly the pubs make barely any profit on beer anymore so have to diversify and offer food, a good range of soft drinks etc which attracts a family crowd.

Secondly, family life has changed and many parents will now fiercely defend their child's 'rights'. At my pub, we had a restaurant area where food was served and children were welcome, a large garden where kids were welcome, and a 'family room' in the pub with games and low tables etc and there was bar access.

I was amazed that parents would argue and fight for their 'right' to have their kids in the main bar. When I pointed out that the bar was full of adults enjoying a drink and in some cases reading quietly, in others swearing raucously or sometimes - heaven forbid - having some time away from their own family I was met with hostility and sometimes fury, name calling and threats.

It came to a head when a local sports team were in celebrating a win in time honoured fashion and a couple decided that the team (15 customers!) should leave because their 3 year old wanted to sit at a high stool. When I refused they called me a 'dried up barren bitch with an attitude problem', refused to pay for the food they'd had and stormed out. That night they wrote a hideous and untrue 1 star review on TripAdvisor.

I found it very upsetting, completely bizarre and it is one of the main reasons we left the pub…


From Helen Taylor

Thursday, 11 August 2016

I very much agree about the unpleasantness of having shouting children in pubs, cafes and restaurants. It is sometimes astonishing to witness the obliviousness of parents who allow their children to shout and even scream in pubs (or restaurants or cafes). I totally agree that parents can be expected to teach their kids to keep noise down in pubs or cafes because it disturbs other people who are also there, and that parents can be expected to make sure their children don't disturb others by being noisy or running around.

There is obviously also the potential safety consideration of allowing your kids to run around in places where there are other people, tables and chairs, and people drinking and serving/ carrying drinks, glasses, hot drinks and so on. Children are very capable of behaving well and learning to consider others, and just need responsible parenting to help them to do so.

The reason for my post, aside from offering support, is that I would like to point out to any establishments reading this thread that as a punter I rely on them to maintain a reasonable atmosphere for me to enjoy, and expect them to have a word in the ear of any parent allowing their child to make loads of noise or run around the place. I don't want to have to police other people's children's behaviour when I'm out enjoying myself, and if the management or staff don't make sure it's a safe and pleasant place to be, I generally don't go back.

From Tim M

Thursday, 11 August 2016

We once went with friend we hadn't seen in a year to a local Italian restaurant, where their 2 year old mainly slept and occasionally made gurgling noises. A middle aged couple near us glared at us for a while, before very ostentatiously asking to be re-seated. Yes sure, some children can be annoying when your out, but it cuts both ways - and maybe people forget/don't realise how difficult it can be to socialise with other adults when you have small people. Like the 'dogs in pubs' thread, maybe give people a break.

From Catie G

Saturday, 13 August 2016

I generally dont mind children as long as they are well behaved. We have been to Australia and there are some restaurants that refuse to have children of below a certain age in at any time which is really welcoming for adults who want to enjoy some quiet time. Maybe that is an option for some places or possibly after a certain time children are not allowed in places that serve alcohol.

I am aware that children have to learn how to behave but its the parents of these little darlings or free spirits that need to be taught how to bring up their offspring so they are then well balanced, well behaved members of society. On the subject of dogs in eating establishments I have started to refuse to go into places where dogs are allowed mainly because I do not agree with animals of any sort being in a place which serves food. I do like dogs but not inside restaurants or pubs.

From Ingrid Burney

Monday, 22 August 2016

There are adult places and children's places. Sometimes pubs have to compromise and mix the two to make a living. But maybe, the core of a pub (however you define that) should be' adult only' at certain times. And if children are in those areas at the 'adult' times they should be expected to behave accordingly, ie, they are there as a privilege, not as a right. I know I'm treading on thin ice here, but I do have three children and three grandchildren. I regularly go to a pub to eat with my daughter and 6 year old (very active) grand-daughter. We eat early (at 7.00) but she knows that this is 'grown up time'.

The pub is full of people enjoying after-work drinks so we make sure she has something to occupy her (colouring books etc ) while we wait for food. We all have a lovely experience. As for dogs, since all the ones I have met in tis pub are friendly, no problem.

From Graham Barker

Thursday, 25 August 2016

Children have no place in non-food pubs, full stop, and in food pubs it's reasonable to expect staff to give the hard word to parents of unruly kids. They largely do, I assume. In many years of family eating out in Hebden Bridge I can't recall any occasion when the experience was spoiled by the behaviour of children.

Adults, on the other hand…

Recently I was in a restaurant where the food was great but conversation was near impossible because of noise - mainly laughter - coming from a group of adults at the far end of the room. Individually none of them was doing anything wrong but collectively they were a nightmare. Had they been children they'd have been shushed to death.

I've also been in plenty of food pubs where the most jarring noises were not children's voices but braying adults, scraping chairs, glass on glass, and cutlery on plates. In any busy pub with solid floors and hard surfaces - the norm now, for ease of cleaning and hygiene - noise levels will tend to be high, so if you want a quiet drink maybe you're on a hiding to nothing unless you seek out a non-food pub with carpets and soft furnishings.

As Ingrid points out, with small children it's usually all over by early evening anyway, before most adults show up, and if there's something to keep them quietly occupied there's even less of a problem. All it takes is a bit of colouring or a game of I Spy. Pubs and restaurants that supply crayons and paper, or have a small play area, are almost guaranteed repeat business. It's a shame that so few do.

There are two simple things food pubs could do to make family meals a better experience for everyone. Most important, serve children first and serve them quickly. It's elementary but few places get this right. If you want fractious children, keep them hungry but feed their sense of grievance. Children's cutlery would be a big help too - Ikea plastic sets are fine, and very cheap.

From Daniel P

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Whilst there's some valid points made here, I think the bigger issue we must tackle first is the fully grown adults that bring their canine "best friends" into Hebden's pubs and cafes.

Not only do they proceed to let their dogs bark at each other, with not a second's thought for other people, they also don't bat an eyelid when their dog goes and 'investigates' others. People are tripping over them and they're being brought into pubs that serve food. Particularly with this ticks outbreak. Disgusting! Let's not forget some people are allergic to dogs, and they are bad for asthmatics - yet the ignorance continues!

Before we tackle any issues with little people in pubs, let's fix this, because, let's face it, it's not the dogs' fault, it's their anti-social big kid owners!

From Paul D

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Oh dear. I find people who have sent their offspring off to annoy people in another place don't like children near them anymore. Child haters who think pubs exist solely to provide them with a place to be miserable and compare notes about tuition fees.

I can't think of any occasion children's don't enhance (OK maybe one) or an event where they are anything other than an antidote to the backdrop of misery of miserable men and women who seem to gravitate to local public houses, pubs full of men who have left behind any responsibility, or women who whinge about their children 'stealing' their best years, as though pubs are therapy for their own individual problems.

I agree there is such a surplus of annoying adults in Hebden, even where one might expect a quiet pint free of their misery, these braying rude adults are the true brats about town. But there are places where children rarely go, Nelsons, the Social, Con Club, Albert, Fox - anyone who finds them tiresome has some of the best pubs in town to pick from to discuss their own low tolerance. Tea time drinking is an art form, Sunday drinking is a craft that takes years to perfect. Don't blame kids.

From Gary W

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Paul. I started this thread by discussing a perceived problem of 'noisy children in pubs'. I'm not a grumpy child hater and this use of straw man tactics belies a weak debating stance.

The issue is the relatively small number of parents that allow their young children to screech and shout (in pubs) without any intervention what so ever.

We can all throw in whatabouteries but that doesn't deal with the point.

After reading through the responses in this thread; I'm pleased to see that I'm not the only one that recognises this as an anti-social behaviour issue on the part of some inconsiderate parents.

From Kez Armitage

Sunday, 4 September 2016

It's all a matter of proportion. The vast majority of parents and kids are no problem in pubs. It's the minority that do the damage.

I've seen kids roller skating in the Old Gate, running up and down on chairs in the Ridge (Pack Horse), trying to climb round the walls of the Fox without touching the ground, sitting on the bar (yes 'on', not 'at') whilst their parents choose what to drink. I've seen them jumping from table to table in the Blue Pig, sprinkling crisps on the floor, fighting, yelling, crying, shrieking even. And who can blame them? A pub is a boring place where grown ups go to talk.

A pub is no place for kids. It's a place that kids have to go because their parents want to. How many times is "Dad, do we have to go to the pub today?" uttered? Enlightened parents (and for that matter, enlightened pubs) will make sure that there are activities for children which won't encroach on others. Books, video games, and mobile phones all have their place.(Hats off to the Wetherspoons chain for providing crayons and paper for their younger clientele).

But it's the minority of parents and kids that do the damage. And of course it's not the kids, is it! Whether the parents are oblivious to the behaviour of their offspring in pubs, whether they simply don't know how to keep control, or whether perhaps they're encouraging their little free spirits to express themselves and not let the system control their creativity, that's where the problem lies.

Nothing is however going to change. It's something we'll just have to live with. As we always have.

From Paul S

Monday, 5 September 2016

First they came for the people who owned dogs but I said nothing because I did not own a dog. Then they came for those with small children but I did not speak out because I had no children with me. Then they complained about the cyclists but I did not own a bike so that meant nothing to me. Then they came for the skateboard park but I didn't ride a skateboard so kept silent.

Then they came for me but there was no-one left to speak for me...

Let's take the dog-owners (who like to take their dogs to pubs), parents, children, skateboarding youths and cyclists out of Hebden Bridge.

What are we left with? A small but very vocal group of middle aged individuals complaining about other members of the community disturbing their peace and quiet by daring to exercise their legal right to occupy the same space.

They try to dress their concerns up as complaints about anti-social behaviour but I think we all see through that to the thin end of a very disturbing wedge...

From Gary W

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

By paraphrasing the famous words of Martin Niemöller (that were used to describe standing up to Hitler/fascism):

"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."

...and then claiming that views like mine represent
"the thin end of a very disturbing wedge..", Paul S is bizarrely insinuating that complaining about noisy children/dogs in pubs is the thin end of the wedge of fascism!

Thus, I'm afraid that this constitutes a good example of Godwin's Law (The theory that as an online discussion progresses, it becomes inevitable that someone or something will eventually be compared to Adolf Hitler or the Nazis, regardless of the original topic).

Unfortunately, anyone that falls foul of Godwin's Law has automatically lost the argument.

From Paul S

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Let me illustrate my point another way.

I was in Oldgate recently and was offended by the opinionated braying of a middle aged male. He tripped over someone's dog, spilled my pint, talked loudly, was drunk, was offensive about someone bringing children into pubs for lunch.

I found his behaviour unacceptable based on my own narrow view of what is acceptable / unacceptable. Perhaps we should ban all grumpy middle aged males (they appear to be the loudest minority in the town after all) from pubs on account of the anti-social behaviour of this one individual?

Well actually no we shouldn't because in my view (and this is just my view):

  • It is ludicrous to ban a class of people from a public place based on the anti-social actions of a small minority. That is the thin end of a wedge - sorry.
  • Whilst we might not like other sections of society they have every right to be here / breathe our oxygen / share our space
  • One person's anti-social behaviour is another persons quiet afternoon with their dog, day out cycling etc etc
  • Hebden Bridge is a tourist mecca. Remove the dog walkers, cyclists and families and the businesses in the town would all be on their knees.

I merely point out that a minority of individuals on this forum are coming across (both to myself and others) as intolerant and narrow minded. As if they believe that pubs, parks and other places exist purely for them and not for the enjoyment of a wide cross section of society.

Yes - I am calling those that harbour these views "intolerant" of others in the town.

From Graham Barker

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

A minor technical point - it's Gary who first mentioned Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, thus breaching Godwin's Law and losing the argument. Paul's rather clever satire stayed well outside the penalty area. Gary may be on firmer ground invoking the now little used Whitehouse's Law, which discourages any form of expression likely to result in a letter of complaint from Mrs Mary Whitehouse.

From Mike Riches

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

A letter of complaint from Mary Whitehouse? That would be a surprise considering she's been dead for the last 15 years!

From Paul S

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Being a plain speaking uneducated type I have never heard of Neimoller let alone Godwin.

I don't remember comparing anyone in the Happy Valley to the Nazis though - apart from a traffic warden once and (a) that wasn't to his face and (b) I didn't really mean it.

I agree with Graham that I have possibly transgressed the boundaries of good taste (for which I apologise to him and the ghost of Mary Whitehouse).

See dog / child / cyclist detractors - we can all rub along together after all...

From Adrian Crowther

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Surely the answer to noisy children / dogs / cyclists / grumpy old men / etc is to simply sit there and drink through it - we're in the right place for it after all!