Monday, 6 April 2009

Child Proof

Those of you who have been following comments on the Midas Touch blog post will have seen that it has turned into an impassioned debate about the issue of young children in cafes and pubs.

I have some sympathy with both sides of the argument. Of course parents have every right to use the cafes, restaurants and family-friendly pubs in the area and to bring their youngsters in with them.

On the other hand, I can understand the ire of those who find their quiet civilised drink or bite to eat ruined by toddlers running amok and screaming for England.

Let us not lose sight of one very important fact. The problem here is not with every toddler that is brought into such premises. The problem is with the irritating minority of parents who are either so unable to control their offspring or so oblivious to the rights and needs of others that they ruin things for the rest of us.

I have been in 'Berties' and 'Cuppaholic' many a time and seen very young children sitting happily and engaging with their parents and it is a joy to behold.

Yet I have also endured the tantrums and screaming that can often make Costa Coffee an unbearable place to be during the daytime.

This is not really an argument about parents and children. It is an argument about good old-fashioned respect (or lack of).

Until we can all learn the important art of mutual respect, the argument is only going to intensify.