Readers — Here’s hhsfkfesiy
a piece about businesses that cater to kids and make a policy of not allowing adults who are child-free Â to enter. The examples are Legoland outside of Boston, which we have discussed previously, as well as a local kiddie farm (not that they raise kiddies, they raise pettable animals) and the ubiquitous Chuck E. Cheese.
What dismays me about the ban on child-free adults is how grateful some parents seem to be, even though, a generation ago, I really don’t think there even WERE such bans. So the bans are actually serving to DE-NORMALIZE the idea of kids around adults. Reporter Michael Hartwell interviewed a lot of parents for his piece (including me), and not all are in favor of the ban. But this one is:
Barbara Maciel Lando, a mother of two from Leominster, likes policies like the one at Davis Farmland.
“Adults without children are never a good sign in a children’s play land area. It makes an easy target for someone to snatch a child and run,” said Lando, 45.
She said child predators are a serious risk today.
“You nor I wouldn’t know if there was a registered offender or a drug trafficker where children are,” she said. “You never know. You cannot trust anyone these days. Even a priest can’t be trusted.”
You can guess who’s one of the others. And I especially disagree with the general manager of the Legoland in Sommerville, MA, who explains the ban this way:
“It’s really about an experience. We’re looking to create a safe, fun environment for families and kids,” said Gilmore. “We don’t apologize for it at all.”
No apologies for suggesting that if a child is in the same museum as an adult withoutÂ a child, the child is automatically in danger? Does he think generations of children have been UNsafe at the Museum of Natural History and, frankly, pretty much every other museum on the planet? Does he think there are rooms in his museum where kids could be carted off, unnoticed by all? Really, what DOES he think? Rapes in the bathroom? Kidnappings? Murder? It’s another one of those cases where a vague “something could happen!” allows parents to fill in the blank and suddenly we are all terrified of a 20-year-old Lego fan standing next to our 5 year old.
These bans are not good for kids because they are not good for our perception of the world. Plus, sometimes a middle aged woman whose kids are off on their own just likes to hang with a llama. I should know. – L
The Legoland one really bothers me because Legos are such an ageless toy. To want to go to Chuck E Cheese without kids, you would need to be either very nostalgic, or insane (or just meeting someone who isn’t there yet. Every think of that, managers?). But at least those are private businesses. What’s even worse is when they try to make those rules at public parks, where 1) they are public and 2) it’s much more likely that a lonely older person would go there just to enjoy watching kids playing.
I can think of many reasons for a kid-free adult to be in a place designed for kids. I used to do that all the time. How about educational research, looking for volunteer opportunities, or just wanting to know about the resources available in the community? What if one is planning for a family visit including out-of-town kids or for a field trip or birthday party? How about an entrepreneur researching ideas to provide recreational opportunities for kids?
And what’s wrong with just enjoying watching other people’s kids with no obligation for a little while? Other people’s kids are cute. Is there something evil about that?
People say it’s so easy to successfully snatch a child from a public, kid-friendly place and run away. Really? When was the last time that happened? Aren’t there about 100 safeguards already in place to prevent this?
I’ve seen several discussions about Sunday Schools and the like, and how people only want to recruit parents as volunteers because, you know, *the dangers* of random adults being around kids. I have spent thousands of hours around other people’s kids, either working with them or just observing. I can’t imagine too many more benign behaviors. I’ve also prevented a few mishaps by being there.
I’m confused. Do adults work at these places? Why would anyone want to spend their days surrounded by loud, riled up kids all day long unless they are up to no good. They are obviously looking to groom these kids or they would not be there. I don’t think anyone should bring their children to such places. A person that works there could easily sneak out the back and kidnap a child.
LS: Agree (of course). Here is ANOTHER thing to wrap your head around: when CHILDREN are expressly forbidden from playing in public parks WITHOUT adult supervision. My town in Maryland, a remote suburb of Baltimore is, by just about any measure, a safe, gentile town, ideal for raising kids. I moved to a new neighborhood two years ago excited to be walking distance from the elementary school and a really nice little park with a jungle gym, slides, etc. I was SHOCKED when about a year ago a new sign was posted with rules for the park and one of the rules was “no children under 12 without adult supervision”…!!!! In Maryland a child is allowed to be out and play without supervision at age 8. Age 13 is the legal age for babysitting. I could theoretically hire a 14 year old babysitter to take my 3 year old son to the park and wind up… I don’t know, getting a ticket? It’s crazy. My son cannot (according to rules) at age 8, 9, 10, or 11 go to the park and play on his own?!? I know you’re working on a couple projects, but if you get a chance I could use some help with this one. I had a several email exchanges with the man responsible for setting up those rules, and he is adamant that children cannot be left alone to play. He keeps saying “come in and we can discuss” but I don’t want to go in to discuss unless I am holding a few cards. Hope to hear from you. My thanks in advance.
Is it just me, or do others find the sound of kids playing and laughing relaxing and one of the most pleasant sounds around?
You’d have to drag me kicking and screaming to be any place that was “for kids”, if I didn’t have to be there (Chuck E. Cheese, Disney, come to mind)but I don’t like the idea that I am not allowed to be there. But gaaaahhh who wants to be around a bunch of screaming brats?
So what do they do about mentally/developmentally disabled adults, I wonder? No petting zoo for you?
I totally agree.
This article pretty much sums up what I feel about kid-centric places like Chuck E Cheese (Kiddie Atlantic City).
I’d rather have bees in my hair than go to these places.
Sounds like neopuritan crap. If you’re not sacrificing your life to raise kids and God then you must be a drug dealing pedophile who can’t be trusted, especially around children.
Where do adults go to play video games and skee ball? Why do people think a business open to the public can discriminate this way? Can they also forbid Jews, Democrats, and the morbidly obese from entering? Any woman wearing a long sleeves and a head scarf could be a suicide bomber…
I know my dates and I used to go to Chuck E Cheese as teenagers/adults and nobody said anything to us. Maybe policies have changed.
I know Legolands do it. I know a local indoor playground jumping place does it. I did actually talk to the owner about it but she defended her policy.
I love kids and long before I had kids I enjoyed going to places like that. Often times I would meet my friend who had a little girl at these type of places to play with her daughter and chat with my friend. Hubby often came along too. I would have been BEYOND offended if they refused to let us in if we happened to get there before they got there. I would probably have been offended enough to just take my business elsewhere. I should not have to sit in my car or stand out on the sidewalk till my friend got there. She was often late anyway, so Hubby and I would go in and get a table reserved and wait on them.
I would have been pissed and refused to come back if I was hassled about this. Facts are most child molesters have kids!!! I just read a Cracked article about a little girl that was put in kiddie porn by her own parents for years and years. I tried that argument with the owner of that place and she still was not backing down. I told her having a kid with you is not guarantee they are not a child molester and actually they are more likely to be one statistically.
So I have kids now, so I don’t really worry about it, but if say my father and his husband got somewhere before us and were treated rudely over this we would probably just walk away and they would get none of our business.
Here is a link to that Cracked article and it is a great resource to back up that most parents are the ones doing the molesting in kiddie porn cases. It was not just her. She said she met other kids being pimped out by their parents with this. Graphic warning though.
I don’t buy into the idea that adults without kids make the experience less fun, either. My kids and I have fun at the zoo, the science museum, the art museum, the WWII museum, the mini-golf course, the lake, and parks all over the city where adults are allowed with or without kids.
And I’ll say it again. I am an adult who would go to Chuck E Cheese by myself if I could. I love skeeball, and there aren’t many places to play it around here. However, I refuse to take my kids there, because it’s a madhouse, and even normally well behaved kids get out of control there, and it’s too stressful to me.
Some adults enjoy watching kids have fun. Other adults like kid oriented things. My dates and I liked going to Chuck E Cheese because we liked playing the games and there are no other arcades in our area. It was the only one. So we went in got some food and played games. Sorry if I enjoy that more than sitting around discussing foreign affairs. I am not that mature. 😉
Hubby and I went to kids movies on dates a lot. We like Disney movies! Hubby and I went to Disney world on our honeymoon and before got married without kids. We like Disney.
If someone wants to think that makes us pedophiles go right ahead.I will go right ahead and think you are boring and insane.
The best part is that now I am a mom, because I LOVE all that kind of kid stuff I am the funnest mom on the block and all the kids love me and my kids know how lucky they are.
I will say I think the Lego discovery places just ban childless adults because those places suck anyway and are way overcrowded anyway. I went to the Atlanta one recently and it was awful. They were letting in tons of people but at most only had room for maybe 50 people to do stuff. The little stations could handle maybe 5 people at a time yet they were letting in 100 people. It was awful. Apparently from reviews they all seem to be that way.
So adding extra adults would probably just make it that much worse. They do have adult nights at them one night a month which might be actually preferable than going during the kid time because it was chaos.
As an adult at say Chuck E Cheese or Disney World I always took my turn and watched out for the kids. I did not push kids out of my way or run over them. So that is not an issue either. It actually was us who got bullied because I paid for a character meal just like everyone else and because we are adults kids kept cutting in line in front of us and their parents let them. Finally I had to step in and say something about how I was waiting my turn in line patiently and kids kept cutting in front of me and it was my turn to get my picture with the Fairy Godmother. The parents gave me stink eye, but they were the ones in the wrong there. There was a line, it was my turn, deal with it. I paid to be here too.
These restrictions could spawn a whole new business enterprise. Ever hear of ZipCars, which are vehicles drivers can conveniently rent for short-term use? Well, I can envision the rise of ZipKids. Want to visit a playground? Register to rent a kid for an hour, and then you can both enjoy the swings! Parents get to earn money for their children’s college education, kids get to visit the playground without bugging mom and dad to take them, and the childless get to climb the monkey bars without fear of arrest. Everyone’s a winner!
What if you (and your son) just ignore the rule?
Seriously. What if you just ignore it?
I don’t think this is really one of those kind of things where you can just say “well, agree to disagree”. If you think this kind of thing is okay, you’re just a bigot plain and simple. Separate water fountains were bad enough. This is more like “here’s the water fountain for the white people and black people need to go drink in a river or something”. The fact that PUBLICLY FUNDED PARKS get away with this astounds me to be quite honest.
If I were to do any kind of blanket age ban, it would be “no unsupervised children between the ages of 11 and 15” at any place where they had to stand in line with younger kids. When our community spring festival featured mechanical rides, the number of little kids getting pushed around, pushed down, or flat-out elbowed in the head by young teenagers rushing to get on those rides as if the world was about to end was ridiculous. Last year the mechanical rides people couldn’t come, so the festival organizers hired an outfit that runs bouncy attractions instead. The tweens and younger teens mumped and grumped and shuffled around looking deeply offended by the uncoolness of it all, but the little kids had a blast. The few attractions that were interesting to that age group had nonstop long lines–and two adult employees per line making sure nobody pushed. It was awesome.
Now if only we could figure out a way to stop the tweens who come out at Downtown Halloween with their backpacks on their fronts, announce that they are backward head zombies, and push little kids in actual costumes out of the way so they can grab fistfuls of candy while ignoring the office workers who ask them to take one or two.
Mark G, that’s a good argument.
It’s a publically funded park. My taxes go into it. A few sticks-in-the-mud do not get to make all the decisions on it.
Write letters to city officials or whoever would be the appropriate power and demand a proper democratic voice.
I live in Silver Lake in Los Angeles, and our local park playground has signs up with a municipal code citation saying that adults not accompanied by children must leave the playground.
I pointed out that it doesn’t sound exactly legal, and definitely problematic to enforce.
Yes, because no child is ever sexually abused by their own parent or caretaker.
And the Legoland ban is truly ridiculous, given that I know adults who enjoy building with Legos and might want to check the place out. But basically what Legoland is telling me is that they have had problems with pedophiles in their environment relative to the rest of society so they had to institute a new rule. That being the case, I will therefore never take my children to Legoland because I don’t believe such a rule will have an effect on their serious pedophile problem.
I know, right?! It’s like the rules in my local Girl Scout community about never letting kids go to the bathroom alone or wait in the lobby alone because there might be a molester in the building. Look, if security is so bad at the facility you’re using for your GS meetings that perverts and creeps roam the halls at will, why are you even there?!
@Mark G….The problem is Mark, here in America when it comes to situations where kids Are involved, we conveniently throw out the constitution as it doesn’t seem to apply in the eyes of most Americans.
“I was SHOCKED when about a year ago a new sign was posted with rules for the park and one of the rules was â€œno children under 12 without adult supervisionâ€â€¦!!!!”
I saw a sign like that at one of the parks we frequent and I laughed. The whole point of taking kids to the park is to get them away from me for a bit and to play with kids their age. I usually go running with the dogs on the adjacent running paths while they enjoy the playground. I am supervising them, just indirectly and they know they can get me when I lap around the path. I’ve told the kids if they were ever approached with a “Where’s your Mom?” line of questioning from a busybody to point out the “No dogs allowed” rule and that I am strictly observing it by staying out of the playground area.
No one ever questions them though because it’s perfectly normal for kids to play in playgrounds without parents around here. Isn’t that what the parks are designed to do?
Greg, by any chance are you living in Columbia?
I think those predators who are a risk should be in jail for life and that the registry is clearly not effective. I also think that the idea that everyone has to go to great lengths to protect themselves from a few people who should be already incarcerated is wrong. The whole country and others who follow shouldn’t have to give up rights because of a relatively small number of criminals. I think we’ve gone way too far in the direction of we are responsible for protecting ourselves and if we don’t the criminal isn’t guilty or we share equal blame. I don’t think that is morally or ethically sound judgment.
I wouldn’t blame the business owner/manager.
He has a demographic to target, and that demographic consists of over-anxious moms sadly brainwashed by media biases. It doesn’t matter what he thinks. He probably agrees with you – sees safe fun all day long and hasn’t actually seen an incident in decades. But he gets paid to serve, and yes, pander to, the tastes of the customers. He also gets paid to ensure no lawsuits in an overly litigious context, and if sued, he will be held to the general crazy perception of what constitutes “appropriate safety measures”.
In the name of “safety” we are willing to alter our lives and patterns of movement so drastically that we end up being alienated from one another and dissolving whatever semblance of “community” might be left in our paranoid society.
Tragically, it is COMMUNITY that brings safety. And when you dissolve community, you are LESS SAFE.
This is why you must really “lead with your needs” whenever you’re tempted to hurry up and put a strategy in place (laws, ordinances, rules, etc). If you say “We want safety,” take a much broader view of what “safety” really means, and how it is achieved, instead of dreaming up scenarios that haven’t happened with any kind of frequency (or ever) and trying to prevent them from occurring.
Good luck, humanity. Here’s hoping we figure it out before we destroy ourselves.
@kate…I think you stumbled onto the wrong website.
…or I didn’t get your sarcasm…..
“the number of little kids getting pushed around, pushed down, or flat-out elbowed in the head by young teenagers rushing to get on those rides as if the world was about to end was ridiculous.”
This kind of behavior happens when kids don’t look out for other kids. Kids stop looking out for other kids when they know Mommy Will Intervene and no fun will be had by anyone. In short, excessive parenting contributes to this by creating irresponsible, self-oriented kids.
Greg said: “I could use some help with this one. I had a several email exchanges with the man responsible for setting up those rules, and he is adamant that children cannot be left alone to play. He keeps saying â€œcome in and we can discussâ€ but I donâ€™t want to go in to discuss unless I am holding a few cards.”
Greg, get a copy of Lenore’s book, Free Range Kids. Put it in his hands. Tell him, “This says it better than I can. And you’ll enjoy reading it, too.” If he owns the book, he might then pass it on to others who have influenced him.
“Is it just me, or do others find the sound of kids playing and laughing relaxing and one of the most pleasant sounds around?”
I agreed, Trey. I’ve enjoyed kids on our street all summer.
This thing about “no-adults-without-children-allowed” is just stupid, and irrational. I would guess that most adults remember their own kids’ childhood with fondness and enjoy watching and hearing other children at play. There’s a saying: “When you hear hoofbeats, think of horses, not zebras.” And that should apply to adults around children. When you see adults at parks, schools, museums, etc. think “normal adults who enjoy children” — not perverts or child-stealers. This saying should apply to so may things in today’s society where “the-least-likely-association” is assumed first.
I like to go out on my own, I have been to disney several times never bothering anyone. It is sad to see that people such as myself are now seen as the dangerous enemy of children. By the way anyone want to take a bet on how long before the clarion cry of ban adults with no kids from disney?
I know that when I was going through infertility and losing babies to miscarriage, watching children happily playing usually brought me a lot of joy. One of the only things that did make me happy during that time.
That was why I hung around with my friend with the little girl a lot. And it was positive for them too. My husband and I got to interact with a child when that was all we really wanted and my friend got some help and support wrangling and entertaining her daughter and her daughter got lots of love and attention. Win/win/win. That little girl is 11 now and we still have a close bond. She is like family to us.
But because of these dumbass policies they would not encourage something like that. God forbid we meet her there and go in to get a table before they get there. No, we could totally be molestors.
And they don’t even follow their policies. If you go to one of those places for a birthday party without a kid like if you are an uncle or family friend-they don’t make you bring a kid in. The lady defended it saying that you had the birthday kid as your kid and I was like yeah one kid for 20 adults. That makes sense…….wait not really. So it is all just stupidity.
Just one of those things that they thinks helps business and it doesn’t. Honestly if I ran a place like that I want the parents actually paying attention and supervising their kids so I don’t want the parents to say “Oh no pedophiles here because of this policy so I can just ignore my kids the whole time” then the parent zones out and the kid is meanwhile trashing the place and getting in fights with other kids and being awful. Yeah no……
This is thinly veiled discrimination. The mindset being if you don’t have a kid, you have no business being here.
A man with no children in America can no longer visit a toy store with out a kid without being vilified. Nor can a he visit a bookstore to look for a copy of “Where the Wild Thing Are” without being deemed suspicious.
Isn’t that whole mindset putting kids in danger? How many men will avoid interacting with a kid on the street out of concern how it will look? Will kids avoid asking for help because they learned strangers are scary?
I know what you mean. Our neighbor got transfered and moved a couple weeks ago. Although our lots are fairly big, I could still hear his daughters all summer long. And now I miss it. Before they moved I asked them for a recording, cause I knew the laughs, the screams, the general sounds of play would be missed.
As for the age limit rules at public parks goes? Unless they post a bylaw number, then screw em. If it isn’t a bylaw, then there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Put a note in their pocket, that they can hand to busybodies and cops. “Am here with my mom and dad’s consent. You don’t like it? Sucks to be you, and you can call 555-5555 and be told that in person.”
The teen vs preteen thing at fairs and such? Suck it up. It is the way things are, and a way for the younger to learn how to deal with adversity. It happens at every event like this, and there is nothing that needs to be done about it, as far as rule making or intervention.
Always found it best, that once my kids were old enough to go on rides alone, they wandered/ran with friends, no parents. The way it worked, was us parents plunked down somewhere central, the kids would tell us what ride they were going to, and they would go. They would have to come back between each ride, to tell us where they were headed next. Until they hit around 10 and then they were on their own, come find us when you are hungry, tired or broke.
A true man will not give a crap about appearances. He will help, no matter what.
“Tragically, it is COMMUNITY that brings safety. And when you dissolve community, you are LESS SAFE.”
My youngest had an epic wipeout on her bike yesterday, without me *supervising* (her sister was with her), and still lives to tell about it. Our retired neighbor happened to be driving home, stopped and offered tissues for the blood and asked if she needed any help (she was fine-just a big scab on her knee right in time for picture day dresses).
I am grateful for nice neighbors of all types. They only increase our property values. All kids should be able to be active outdoors without mandatory supervision and ridiculous police calls from busybodies. Likewise, adults can enjoy parks and recreation areas without the automatic assumption that they are a pedophile. Toys appeal to all age groups, I can’t fathom why a business would intentionally discriminate on the basis of not producing offspring or hanging with little people.
18 years ago my husband and I went to DisneyWorld on our honeymoon. We were a fairly young bride & groom (barely more than kids ourselves) and we had a FABULOUS TIME! Even before we had kids, we would do childlike things – I can remember going to a petting zoo at a local farm, and going to a local playground and swinging on the swings or throwing a frisbee on a beatiful Saturday afternoon. Because those are FUN THINGS TO DO! Now, apparently, we would be forbidden. 🙁
I was shocked when I was in San Francisco last spring and all the playgrounds in the parks had signs saying no adults unaccompanied by children … and cited a legal statute so it was apparently a city ordinance. A private business is one thing, but I can’t see how a city can pass an ordinance not allowing people in certain areas of public parks.
So foreign tourists in California for the experience (and there are hundreds of thousands) may not include LegoLand if they are not bringing children?
Gina – Legoland in California and Orlando is different. There are two separate things – Legoland the amusement parks and Legoland Discovery Centers. The outside amusement parks have no bans on adults, the indoor Discovery Centers do.
I think those predators who are a risk should be in jail for life and that the registry is clearly not effective. I also think that the idea that everyone has to go to great lengths to protect themselves from a few people who should be already incarcerated is wrong. The whole country and others who follow shouldnâ€™t have to give up rights because of a relatively small number of criminals. I think weâ€™ve gone way too far in the direction of we are responsible for protecting ourselves and if we donâ€™t the criminal isnâ€™t guilty or we share equal blame. I donâ€™t think that is morally or ethically sound judgment.
Labeling people as predators is an inexact science; so inexact that we should call it wild guesses based on personal preference and level of outrage. What I mean is, K2, that there is no reliable way to predict who will offend again. Also, there is the rather important point that we should not put people in prison for what we IMAGINE they will do.
As for the idea that we should protect ourselves, I’m not sure why that is bad. Seems much more reliable than looking up names and addresses on a registry that is “clearly not effective.” Why is the registry not effective? Because the rate at which registered sex offenders commit new sex crimes is so low that the registry is a list of people who are unlikely to commit sex offenses. (This was true before the registry, by the way.) The vast majority of sex crimes are committed by people not on the registry.
@Jenny Islander: I have to confess that i have a soft spot for those teenagers who are too cool to do good costumes but still really, really want to go trick-or-treating. The backward head zombies is a funny idea and I would put extra candy into those backpacks…unless the kids are rude or pushy and then they get only one piece, a rule that applies to the little ones as well.
@Warren: So when my five-year-old gets elbowed in the temple, I should suck it up.
No, the one time I caught up to one of them before they ran off, I said, “Go tell your mother what you just did. Call your mom. Now.” The kid turned absolutely white and ran away.
I was in NYC a few years ago with my husband, but our four kids were not with us on that trip. It was an INFERNO in the city and we were desperate to cool off, but had no idea where to go. At one point we ended up at Central Park and there was a splash pad area. I saw signs saying “no adults without children” but said “F that” and hoped there wasn’t going to be strict enforcement.
We were so relieved to just get wet and cool off. We took pictures of each other getting soaked in the spray, with kids cavorting all around us.
Happily, we were not arrested.
And no, we are not child molesters.
What a buzzkill it is, to post signs like that in parks. Makes everyone look at their fellow man with such mistrust and guardedness. We can do better than this.
To the discussion about rude older kids knocking down little kids. It is about how the kids are raised. We were at a McDonalds PlayPlace a few weeks back and my son who is 6 likes to play with slightly older kids, so he was tearing through that place with a bunch of kids probably 7-9. There was a seperate place for toddlers. Well, one of the toddlers started climbing up into the big kid area and the hoard went tearing by her and my son stopped, planted his feet around her and yelled “WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! You are going to knock the baby over!” and he stood there while the rest of the pack went past and then fell in at the end. They all slowed down for him too. The point being that kids can and will look out for each other if they are raised to pay attention and care about others. It can be done.
Another idiotic worse case illogical thinker in Barbara Maciel Lando. I guess she has never read the statistics on child abductions, and abuse. Otherwise she would realize, that most of these are NOT committed by strangers. But by relatives, parents, and other people the child already knows.
The likelihood that a pedophile, a child abuser, or a child kidnapper is walking among her, holding their own children, is far greater than a stranger (presumably with ill intent) without a child walking among her.
The worse part of this, is that there are probably more parents that would rather NOT entertain that idea, and stick to “stranger danger”. Parish the thought that their brother, sister, pastor, doctor can harm their child. Which basically means, they are knowingly putting their children in danger, because they are too closed minded.
In my humble, totally free range, opinion: let them ban the adults. It’s just the same as restaurants banning small children during certain hours or all together for *gasp* acting like children! If you’re an auntie waiting for the party to arrive at CEC, then wait in the lobby until the kids show up and go in with your family. If you’re a family, don’t invite the single uncle to the party where he’s not allowed. The idea that we have to get all up in arms about it is what bugs me.
@no rest for the weary, our local zoo recently installed a splash pad. It’s a miracle in the heat here! But for some reason when I took my kids there, I was the only adult getting wet! All the other parents were standing around the edges, watching the kids play. What’s up with that? It’s the middle of the day, in the hottest part of the year, in HOUSTON, but no one wants to cool off in the water?
I honestly wish I could afford a lawyer about the Boston Legoland thing. I am a childless adult, sadly so at this point, but I love to spend time with my friends’ children. The fact that I can’t meet them at a local spot to spend the day makes me so angry. I would really love to see the displays there, but I’m not going to be subjected to the random “ooh, you’re acceptable for a few hours now” nights. I’m boycotting buying Legos for the children in my life until the policy changes.
>>for the age limit rules at public parks goes? Unless they post a bylaw number, then screw em. If it isnâ€™t a bylaw, then there is nothing anyone can do about it.
Put a note in their pocket, that they can hand to busybodies and cops. â€œAm here with my mom and dadâ€™s consent. You donâ€™t like it? Sucks to be you, and you can call 555-5555 and be told that in person.â€<>Jenny,
The teen vs preteen thing at fairs and such? Suck it up. It is the way things are, and a way for the younger to learn how to deal with adversity. It happens at every event like this, and there is nothing that needs to be done about it, as far as rule making or intervention.
Always found it best, that once my kids were old enough to go on rides alone, they wandered/ran with friends, no parents. The way it worked, was us parents plunked down somewhere central, the kids would tell us what ride they were going to, and they would go. They would have to come back between each ride, to tell us where they were headed next. Until they hit around 10 and then they were on their own, come find us when you are hungry, tired or broke.<<
Jenny wasn't talking about teens versus preteens; she was talking about teens and preteens, versus little kids, like five-and-six-year-olds, and even kids younger than that. In that case, I think the "teaching moment" should be to tell the BIG kids not to push the little kids out of the way. "Deal with adversity" is a good concept and all, but this isn't the right context. Given the size and strength difference between a kindergartner and a preteen, it's never going to be a fair fight, and it shouldn't have to be. Sharing, taking turns, and waiting in line are basic manners that most kids learn early on in life, and that's what should be reinforced at these fairs and carnivals, etc. "Deal with adversity" is a lesson that can come into play if a child is, say, caught in the rain on the way home from school, and you can't easily pick them up, or if they're struggling with music practice, but really want to learn a certain piece for an upcoming recital, or if their favourite T-shirt is in the wash, and they have to wear a different shirt to school, or any number of other scenarios where success is remotely likely. The kid walking in the rain will eventually get home and dry off, the kid struggling to learn a new piece of music (or whatever skill) will either master it with practice, or pick something easier if the original piece is really too difficult, and so on, and so forth–but my point is, those kinds of lessons can be empowering. The smaller kid constantly getting shoved out of the way by bigger kids, will just learn that this is acceptable behaviour, and either go on to do the same thing, or become passive and just not go for the things they want.
Also, Warren, Lenore made Free-Range membership cards that can be printed from this website and then laminated. That’s easier than writing a separate note every time you send your kid out alone.
These bans erode community, and I hope the people instituting them come to their senses soon.
I can’t imagine forbidding elderly citizen from watching kids play in a park! What a waste of a beautiful opportunity for people to MAKE the kind of friendships that KEEP our communities safe. Snowstorms and heatwaves come to mind here – times when the newscasters ask us to check on elderly neighbors. How will we even know where they live if they’re too afraid to be seen near our children to even say hello?
I live near Boston, and have not been to the Legoland Discovery Center because of the policy mentioned above. My whole family loved exploring the “minilands” at the Legoland amusement park in Florida, and we were really looking forward to seeing Boston done in Legos here, but apparently we are not welcome at all. – You see, our son is 13 now, so he’s too old to get us in during normal hours, but too young to come with us to an adult night. – Oh well, their loss (in gift shop revenue).
“no children under 12 without adult supervisionâ€â€¦!!!! In Maryland a child is allowed to be out and play without supervision at age 8. Age 13 is the legal age for babysitting. I could theoretically hire a 14 year old babysitter to take my 3 year old son to the park and wind upâ€¦ I donâ€™t know, getting a ticket? Itâ€™s crazy. My son cannot (according to rules) at age 8, 9, 10, or 11 go to the park and play on his own?!?”
We have the same problem here in Northern Virginia just out side of DC. It also means that a kid can’t play on the playground after they are released from school before going home… maybe that is what they want? But I agree this should be fought. I haven’t taken such a task on myself yet, but if you would like to have someone with you when you go into that meeting, I would be willing to make the drive up and give you a little back up. Lenore, feel free to pass email address to Greg if he wants the assistance.
I started reading your response, and got bored two or three lines in. Please refrain from your fantasy responses about how everyone should this and that. This is real life, kids in lines at fairs get worked up, and the actual number of teens that intentionally try to hurt a 5 yr old is not high, nor the norm, requiring intervention or new damn rules.
Emily, you need to join the real world, and accept that shit happens. Normally reserved and quiet teens get a little carried away when in setting such as fairs. If you cannot accept that, deal with it and live with it. Then stay home.
Are you saying this happens to your kid every time, or is this the one off, and your over reaction?
Because I have been to many events with my kids, and have never seen the behaviour your moaning about.
As the mother of an aspiring AFOL (adult fan of Legos), my son is morally offended that Lego does not view him as part of their market. In many ways, Lego seems kind of dense about why they are as popular as they are. They seem to pay no attention to how their toys are actually being used for art and innovation.
I wonder if I’m going to go to jail for letting my three year old twins walk (supervised) to our next door neighbor because they wanted “to see David and Mary.” I love that there are childless adults who want to spend time with my children (GASP!!) and that my children enjoy being around as well. God knows I don’t get many breaks and if they want to visit a welcoming neighbor, have at it! I guess I just can’t have them meet us at a child-centered place like the kid’s museum. :/
@Warren–I know that pushing and shoving happens, but that doesn’t negate the fact that parents should teach their kids manners, and that’s what this comes down to. I also never said that older kids who pushed and shoved in line were intending to injure the younger kids, but it’s still rude and selfish behaviour that can be dangerous. Besides, all of my earlier examples can, and often do, happen in real life, so I’d hardly call them “fantasy examples.” You know what IS a fantasy? The story of David and Goliath. In the story, David defeated Goliath by shooting him between the eyes with a slingshot, but real-life examples of the same phenomenon are few and far between. The idea that a smaller, younger, weaker, less assertive kid can fend off a larger, stronger kid who’s trying to shove past them to get on the Ferris Wheel, either by force, or simply saying “stop” is often a fantasy. In the real world, it’s not okay for adults to push and shove to the front of the checkout line at the grocery store, so I think it’s best to teach that lesson right from the start. I know that, when I was a kid, the rule was always, “Wait your turn politely, or we go home.” That lesson was ingrained from the time my brother and I were young enough to need supervision at the park, etc., so by the time we were going alone, we just did it automatically.
Have any of these public park bans been challenged? I know that age discrimination doesn’t trigger the same level of scrutiny as race or some other factors, but I still don’t see these policies as being reasonable. Regardless, people that live in those places should speak out.
I will admit that I am not really interested in going to Chuck E. Cheese without my kids, but I can see how others might. I wonder what brought these policies? I can’t imagine a huge number of childless adults “ruining” it for other families. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to allow anyone and deal with a problem on a case by case basis?
Why do people keep bringing up Disney? I haven’t been there in a few years, but I don’t recall them banning childless adults.
“You can’t even trust a priest.”
Hmmm. Let’s see. What specific elements of abuse situations involving Catholic priests have anything to do with random adults mingling in the same area as kids and their parents? I’d have to say none.
Are random, non-child-accompanied adults
A.) strictly forbidden to engage in sexual activity of any kind, as part of the foundation of their lives and livelihoods
B.) in positions of power over the children they are near
C.) part of a culture where bodies, sexuality, and pleasure are all mixed up into a salad of secrecy, fear, rules guilt, shame and eternal damnation
D.) enjoying the protection of a hierarchy of superiors who tend to turn a blind eye to obvious cases of abuse and harm
E.) unofficially documented pedophiles who have “records” of proven, aberrant behaviour yet are continuing to have unsupervised contact with children and youth, often vulnerable children and youth
F.) in a position to spend time and effort to “groom” your particular child who accompanies you to the petting zoo or Lego block wonderland
Well, the answer would have to be no. No, there is absolutely no corollary between abuse of children by Catholic priests and mistrust of childless adults in the general public. The assumption that any random childless adult means any person, of any age, harm is beyond ridiculous and is destroying the quality of life for everyone, including CHILDREN.
Jennifer: FYI I think most of those places will let you go in IF you are with your friend and her kid at the time you go to pay and buy the ticket and stay with them. They just won’t let you buy a ticket before they get there and go on in alone.
Not much better, I think it is insulting no matter what, but you don’t have to technically be the parent to go in. My Dad and his husband were able to go in with me and my kids to Legoland Atlanta. But if they tried to go in ahead of us, they probably would have stopped them. Like in the 10 minutes they are hanging out waiting for us to get there, they might molest a child……
I disagree with the person that said just wait in the lobby and go in with the child if you are the aunt or don’t invite the child free uncle. So a child can’t have their beloved uncle attend their birthday party just because he has yet to have kids? That is sad. But in actuality they let people like that in usually. Because you just shelled out a ton of money for a party there. They just wouldn’t let Uncle in by himself one day. And why should I have to hang around in the lobby with no where to sit and standing around so I can go in with the friend with the kid? Why can’t I go ahead and go in and get a table? What harm would that honestly do? I don’t feel like standing around waiting on the kid to show up so I can not be accused to being a molester. Its stupid.
I don’t think Disney will ever forbid childless people from coming. They make a lot of money of child less people. They were just mentioned as an example of how adults can still enjoy things mostly thought of as for kids.
So, statistically… they should only let in children and tourists?
But seriously, this is just dumb (and so cruel to all those adult lego geeks!).
“Police have issued tickets to men using park tables to play chess and women eating doughnuts on the benches.”
That is just scary (for me, at least). Just imagine you’re on vacation in a foreign country, you do something completely innocuous (jetlagged and everything), like sitting in a park or crossing the street, and then you get harassed by some cop over some ludicrous rule.
“sometimes a middle aged woman whose kids are off on their own just likes to hang with a llama. I should know. â€“ L [goat pic]”
Somewhere there must still be a picture of 3yo me crying my eyes out after my aunt’s goat put its head down and pushed me (I wanted to pet it). So if I were the parent of a young kid, I’d definitely prefer the company of some harmless Lenore over an angry goat 😀
Goat ban anyone? 😛
I am going to the UK soon.
My friend (from London) is laughing at all the places I have on my list to visit in London.
“It’s not interesting, you’re too old, you’ll hate it”
What he doesn’t get, is that these are the things I heard about as a child (or adult), but haven’t yet gotten to experience. He may have walked across London Bridge to get to work each day, but I haven’t.
And, so it is for places like Legoland (although, legos are perfectly valid choice for adults too). In all honesty if I was in the US and saw a chuck-e-cheese I would probably want to go in, just to try this place I have heard of. Gosh, I paid a small fortune for kool-aid last week just to try it! (Not a fan, but at least I tried!).
I am not some creepy predator who wants to go to these places to go shopping for kids. I am just someone who grew up looking at kangaroos and koalas instead, so now I want to see those other things I heard about growing up. If you guys can come check out our kangaroos, I should be able to go try things I have seen on tv.
@ Warren: Your hometown is not the same as everybody’s hometown; your experience is not the same as everybody’s experience. The problem with tweens and younger teens going “I R BIG KID, RAR” and being little asses at public gatherings is real enough that parents get together to gripe about it. If it isn’t pushing, shoving, and whacking in order to get ahead in the line, it’s shooting people with “fun” shooty things before asking them if they want to play (this got so bad that the festival organizers asked booth operators to stop selling Silly String) or even pushing people off the small-boat dock into several feet of water over a concrete bottom. This also happened to my oldest daughter. If they were friends horsing around it might have been okay, but it was some random kid thinking it was funny. That time the kid was wearing a distinctive shirt, so my husband went looking for him while I got our daughter dried off, found him, and insisted that the kid either call or take him to a parent. He knew the whole time that “Ooh, not my widdle schnooky booboo, you must be some evil stalker-man, I’m gonna call the cops and ruin your life” could very well be the response, but he was furious. Luckily the other parent read the kid the riot act. He actually apologized.
But it shouldn’t have happened, and no, damn it, it’s not the kind of thing that anybody should have to suck up. If pushing somebody smaller around tickles somebody’s funnybone, they should rent one of those giant inflatable weeble-wobble clown dolls.
I agree with Jenny. I do NOT tolerate kids of any age acting the fool period. If their behavior effects me or my kids, I step in and I will find their parents or call security on them or deal with the kids myself.
That is not okay behavior. Kids need to be taught how to act. And acting the fool is not okay. Kids can be kids and have fun without cutting in line, pushing kids over, being bullies, being incredibly disruptive.
I had some teens cut in front of me in line once and practically pushed me over the railing as they flew by me at Six Flags. I reported them to the ride operator and they kicked them off the ride.I absolutely will do stuff like that.
So childless me can be trusted to teach hundreds of children at school but is suddenly a danger to them if I show up by myself at Legoland or Chuck E Cheese? Ridiculous.
We could get around this by just all going to the LEGOLAND in Denmark – surely they’re not that dumb yet?
What say you, Papilio? I’ll be in France and Spain (by myself, oh bliss!) next year. Wanna kayak across from the Netherlands to Denmark – we could meet as two childless adults at LEGOLAND and discuss religions, LOL, while building really cool models :-).
Seriously, I sooo want to go to a LEGOLAND, indoor or outdoor….I think I would throw a child-like tantrum if someone tried to stop me, just because I wasn’t with an actual child. 🙂
I’m surprised they felt they needed to impose a ban. Were they struggling with large amounts of childless adults playing with the all the lego?
The Chuck E Cheese adult ban must be store-by-store and not for the whole brand. My local Chuck E Cheese doesn’t have it. I had a birthday party for my daughter there when she was little – not a formal party; just a handful of people meeting at Chuck E Cheese. We were running late so were the last ones there. My parents and brother had no questions asked about entering without kids.
I do wonder how many of you who are so bothered by adults be banned from places designed for little kids are equally bothered by kids being banned from places designed for adults like bars and dance clubs? Because I have no real problem with either – outside of public parks which I do think is absurd. As an adult, I enjoy having places that we can go for our occasional Girls Nights Out that don’t involve tripping over kids. I can imagine that kids also appreciate having places where they are not having to wait in line behind adults. I do think there can be a slippery slope on both sides that we should fight against – public parks, restaurants, airplanes – but why can’t kids have a place or two that is just theirs?
On the note of adults without kids being banned from public parks, is that just a U.S. thing? I’ve lived in different parts of Canada (Ontario and Quebec), and in Wollongong, Australia for two years, and I’ve never seen any public park in any of those places that wasn’t truly public. In fact, a lot of the time, there were activities designed for adults, that met in some park or another–fitness classes and running clubs, and the Wollongong Whales swim team in Australia (the latter meeting at the free pool at the main beach), canoe/kayak/rowing/stand-up paddleboarding clubs at the waterfront here, and I’m sure there are other things, like art and photography clubs and such. That’s not even including one-off events like charity walks, road races, and outdoor theatrical productions. Now that I think about it, I think I’ve been pretty lucky, because all of those things build community, as does the act of having places like parks, libraries, and free museums or art galleries, where anyone can go. I mean, sure, people complain sometimes that free places attract homeless people, but those people are part of the community, so they aren’t doing anything wrong by visiting communal places. The same should apply to childless adults, because they (we) are also part of the community. Whatever happened to banning people from places AFTER they’ve done something wrong, as opposed to banning them on the assumption that you think they MIGHT do something wrong?
“If youâ€™re a family, donâ€™t invite the single uncle to the party where heâ€™s not allowed.”
You’re kidding, right? Sorry, I’m not going to leave family members out of a family gathering because of ridiculous polices.
I am fine with restaurants or bars banning kids. I don’t see how it relates to the banning childless adults though. It is a totally different thing for different reasons.
As I tell my kids “Every day is kids day”. My kids are beyond spoiled. They get to do so much fun stuff. If they have to wait in line behind an adult for a minute to play skeeball they will live. They live a charmed life.
@Donna: I think the difference is that kids do get bored, overtired, and overstimulated very quickly and don’t have full mastery of sitting still or the use of the inside voice. Meanwhile adults are being banned because they might be the kind of child molester who goes to public spaces with lots and lots of people and attempts to snatch children after observing them for five minutes.
@baby-paramedic london bridge is a boring concrete structure. head to tower bridge.
Emily, banning people without kids from parks only happens in some places. Anywhere it happens is one place too many, but it’s not the norm, let alone universal, in the U.S.
The simple solution for teenage horseplay that actually endangers others at paid venues is to toss the offenders from the park without refund. That way you’re not restricting the movement or access of anyone who isn’t creating problems for others, you’re just making kids pay for the privilege of being people who act without regard to the safety of others.
Ugh, I despise child accompaniment rules. Who are they to decide what an adult will or won’t enjoy? “Simply put, he said, there’s nothing there adults without children would want to see.” I looked up this place and the areas covered in the ban include the petting farm (I love petting zoos! Who doesn’t love a petting zoo???) and you pick apples and pumpkins, both of which seem like activities that are UNIVERSALLY enjoyed by adults.
And some adults are just young at heart…my younger sister (she’s 29) loves swings at the park and likes to swing on the swings if she’s feeling low or needs to think something through. She was pretty upset when a child accompaniment rule/sign went up at a park near her apartment in Chicago, but she had a baby, so it’s not an issue anymore. And how stupid is that anyway? Oh, now you have a baby, suddenly you’re “safe.” Ugh.
Not to mention, it’s pretty easy to get around these rules (except for the guarded admission places, like C.E. Cheese). When my husband and I were still childless we often sat on benches in the local playground watching the kids. We never had any trouble, because every five or ten minutes I would yell at our imaginary child (“Dashiell, don’t climb any higher!” or “Hendrix, if you hit him with that truck ONE MORE TIME you’ll be in time out!”) Most people really aren’t paying that much attention.
Besides, don’t these rules just encourage pedophiles to have children so they can bring their very own free pass to the Children’s Museum with them?
I once arrived late to meet my husband and daughter at the Olympia, WA children’s museum (there was a new yarn store to check out, so they dropped me off en route) and they actually made me call my husband on his cell phone and have him come meet me at the entry desk to vouch for my intentions. Because a 40-something woman with a bag of new yarn is so obviously a threat to the kiddies. Oh no! She might teach them to cast on!!!
@Emily in New York they differentiate between parks and playgrounds. Adults are allowed everywhere in the park, but the playgrounds are largely fenced-off areas within the parks, and that’s where childless adults are banned. We actually did have a case recently where a couple of women sat on a bench to chat and got a ticket because that bench was considered to be within the playground, whereas a bench only a short distance away was within the park but outside the “playground.”
I live in TN and as of yet, I have not noticed any bans on adults in playgrounds without kids. Most of our playgrounds are not separated off so it would be really hard to enforce.
Many many playgrounds in my town are for children only. You are not allowed to go in without a kid, but this rule is not meant to keep pedophiles away. It’s because often adtults and especially teenagers use to go to playgrouds and use toys in an inappropriate way. The rule is meant to have a place in good condition where kids can play. Old people usually go to these playgrouds to sit on a bench and play cards all together. Nobody says nothing about that. But if I see a crew of twenty-years-old yelling bad words and ruining everything in there, I have the option to ask them to go away.
“I think the difference is that kids do get bored, overtired, and overstimulated very quickly and donâ€™t have full mastery of sitting still or the use of the inside voice.”
SOME, young children do. My child does not have any of those problems (and does occasionally go to bars that she is allowed to frequent). Why are we banning all children because some may have trouble sitting still? Further, most bars and clubs have bans extending up to 18 or 21. A pre-teen and teen should be able to sit still, use an inside voice and carry on a normal conversation.
The fact is that they are banned because most patrons don’t want them there and most owners don’t want kids, who contribute virtually nothing to their income as they can’t drink alcohol, taking up space in their bar.
“Meanwhile adults are being banned because they might be the kind of child molester who goes to public spaces with lots and lots of people and attempts to snatch children after observing them for five minutes.”
No, that is the assumption that people here make. I can think of many reasons why I would ban adults without children if I had a young child-oriented place of business. The most obvious of which is space and limited resources. If I design a space for 0-10 year olds, I want the 0-10 year olds to be able to use the facilities without competing with adults.
And before everyone starts with the “adults will share,” I call BS. I’ve never been in Chuck E Cheese where adults were not completely monopolizing some of the games. Further, why should adults have to move aside? If the place is really for everyone, then everyone gets equal use, not superior use for kids. If everyone is equally welcome, an adult should no more have to yield to a child at Chuck E Cheese than they would give up their place in line at Disney World or place on the waiting list at a restaurant.
You’re right. Adults do monopolize the games. If they have the money to do so, I’m okay with that. They paid to play. If it’s some sort of free game, or if we’re talking about something like equipment in a park (swing, teeter-totters, etc.), then there should be sharing…however, you can’t make that happen.
I haven’t played with legos since I was a kid. However, I am not opposed to doing so. I don’t see why I shouldn’t be allowed to visit a discovery center any time anyone else does.
I am a 40yo childless man. I don’t have a love interest anymore and I don’t see it happening anytime soon. Watching children makes me feel better. It holds the panic back just a little bit longer. I can’t adopt for several reasons: I’m unemployed, my sister’s got mental problems, my parents live in my home because of health issues (and my money problems, to be honest) and the final reason is that I can count my friends on a couple fingers. (there would be no one to take the child if something happens to me)
So, there are many reasons to spend time around kids. One of which keeps me from crying into my soda every night. I would love to volunteer to coach Little League (I love LL baseball…so many happy memories), but I’m scared to death I’d be placed on a list for asking without being a parent. Boy scouts is another thing I’d love to do, but can’t because of the US love of being scared because of being a ‘stranger’.
Wow, that got kinda long.
“I donâ€™t see why I shouldnâ€™t be allowed to visit a discovery center any time anyone else does.”
Because the person (company in this case) who created and owns the business wants to reserve it for their target audience – kids under 12. That really is a 100% sufficient answer. We don’t have a right to demand a business owner define his business the way that we want to define the business. By law, a business owner cannot discriminate against like people – eg a hispanic 5 year old and a white 5 year old – but absolutely can differentiate between unlike people – eg a 4 year old and a 40 year old.
It isn’t about you and your wants since you have absolutely no investment in this business at all. I don’t get where people are getting this notion that just because they want to use a business that the business owner has to let them use it. Go stand in line at any very popular club and you will see that that is not even close to reality.
Are you calling me a liar? I specifically stated I go to Chuck E Cheese on dates before I had kids and we never hogged games. I had my turn and if another kid was waiting then when my game was over, I stepped aside and let them have a turn.
I do the same now when I am there with my kids. I even make sure my kids do the same. Game hoggers can come in kid form too.
I am sure some adults hog games just like some kids hog games. But saying every adult hogs games is stupid and untrue.
@Dhewco–Have you asked the Little League or the Boy Scouts if you can volunteer? If you assume that their answer will automatically be “no,” and they assume that they can only recruit volunteers from the parents of kids who are currently enrolled, then, between work schedules, and families with other children (and adults) with conflicting activities, that would almost certainly result in a dearth of volunteers, and a lot of kids who aren’t able to participate. So, I’d at least ask, and failing that, there’s always Big Brothers/Big Sisters.
@Mrs. H–I see what you’re saying, but I think there have been at least a few adult fitness classes held in parks, that used the actual playground equipment for resistance training. While there are some parks here (and other places where I’ve lived) that either don’t have playgrounds, or the playground is just one component of the park, I’ve never seen adults banned from a playground either. That’s a good thing, because hey, confession time–I still like to swing on the swings once in a while.
I have zero interest in places like Chucky Cheese,although I would be disappointed if I was supposed to meet my niece their and they wouldn’t let me in.
I do like to hang out at playgrounds at times,mainly empty ones and mainly with my dog to have a bit of fun and training. All the dog parks are rather far away. So would be very upset if they wouldn’t let me in their.
I also feel disappointed because I know when I was a child I had to go to playgrounds most of the time by myself or with a friend. If I had to take my parent each time I would hardly leave the house,sense they both had jobs and lives of their own.
If those places were consistent, they’d extend their policy to their own staff and only allow them on premises if they have their children with them.
Let’s see how long that lasts until the discrimination claims roll in (and of course until staff stop showing up because they’d rather their children be in school…).
No, I haven’t asked. As I said, I’m kinda paranoid about it. SOmething I have to get over. As for BB/BS, I’m not really wanting to interact with a single kid, a group seems safer. (Plus, to be honest, I was turned down by them when I was twenty. I don’t know why, I’ve never been in trouble, accused, etc. I can only assume that one of my references wasn’t trustworthy and decided to save me from that. Of course, both my girlfriend at the time and her mother were both on a DFACS list of ‘troubled’ parents. That could have been it.)
Youth sports sounds like fun and a lot of work. There’s the whole nostalgia thing.
Oh, and just because it’s legal, doesn’t make it moral. Separate but equal used to be legal, too. You either allow all discrimination or none. Business people should control all aspects of their clientele or none. Ageism shouldn’t be acceptable just because it’s legal.
Donna, you raise a good point. I had (possibly incorrectly) assumed that these policies were based on complaints from parents that childless adults were kidnappers and molesters. Regardless, if a private business wants to institute these policies, then it really isn’t any of my concern. The market will decide if this works.
On the other hand, if public spaces are doing this, I do have a problem.
How do they define ‘childless adult’? What if you only have stepkids? What if your girlfriend has kids but you don’t? What if you and your wife used a sperm donor, or a donated egg, or both? What if you didn’t do that, but had your kids through IVF and the embryos got accidentally switched? What if your kid got switched at birth? 😛
@Hineata: I see nothing on the Danish website indicating childless adults aren’t welcome, so we’re good to go! Surely a crucifix can’t be that hard to build? 😀
The Netherlands is just a slight detour from France to Denmark, we could kayak together! 😛 As a bonus, you could see the province of Zeeland (you know, “Old Zealand”) 🙂
Reading no rest for the weary’s comment made me wonder when the Klan started reading this blog. Letter c was particularly amusing in its imbecility.
SOA, who said “every adult” hogs games? That’s certainly not what Donna said. She said she had never experienced adults not hogging games. That doesn’t mean she thinks all adults always hog games, and it does indicate that it’s prevalent enough to make a fair reason why a business might choose to restrict its patrons.
As for it’s a private business, it’s their right — well, yes it is. But that doesn’t make it out of bounds for people to express disapproval of the idea. Being a private business doesn’t exempt you from criticism, though it does mean people shouldn’t act like there’s some great moral or human rights violation going on if people can’t play with Legos at some particular Lego-oriented business.
For those who replied to my comment about the local park not allowing children age 8-11 to play without adult supervision, even though by Maryland law they are allowed to play outside unsupervised…
I am in Bel Air, MD, Harford county. It is a little creepy that other people in my geographic area (Columbia, N. Virginia) are reporting the same thing.
Today I was at a yard sale of a family that lives across the street from the park. I started a conversation with them about the stupid 12 year old rule. The grandmother agreed with me that it was ridiculous, but her husband was a Parks and Rec. employee (no idea what job there, he didn’t say) and he said (rather authoritatively) “Maryland law says children need to be 12 before they can be out unsupervised.” I tried as gently as possible to say no, believe me, I’ve researched it, the age is 8, and he continued to argue it was 12. I don’t know if he was an executive or a grounds keeper, so it’s impossible to say whether his unawareness of Maryland law is influential there or not, but yeeeeesh.
Lenore, I hope you will be able to lend some of your expertise. Thank you!
Well then Jenny you best move to a better area. My experience is not limited to just one small town fair.
I get a kick out of people that go to events with loud music, lots of lights, and other enviormental stimuli, designed to get the blood and adreniline pumping, but expect other people to act like they are in a freaking library.
Whether it be small fair, or something as big as the CNE, people are jacked up when they are there, and kids even more so. You know it will be that way going in. Don’t like it, don’t go. Very simple.
I had an odd encounter today about this same thing. We went up to the elementary playground near our house for a bit to play. I only saw one car in the parking lot but nobody anywhere so thought maybe someone just left their car there. We get out and then see an older teen or 20 something adult male come down off the playground top level. I did not see him before.
I did find it odd. He was there by himself hanging out. Not like using the track to run or walk like some adults do. That would not have made me bat an eye. Or even just chilling on a bench or a swing out in the open. But like almost hiding…….. He got down when we started coming up and moved to a swing. He swinged for quite a while never saying anything to us and finally he got in the car and left about about 15 minutes.
This particular playground was going to have cameras installed because I have heard about vandalism from teens going on. This is the playground I planned on letting my kids walk alone to when they are older and play by themselves, but this set off my creep factor.
Not because he was at the playground. If he had been on a bench or walking the track in plain sight it would not have bothered me. But why the heck was he hiding on the top level? Like he was laying down up there or something. If it was a teen just trying to hide from his parents he just as easily could have been sitting in his car in the parking lot. It was just odd.
I still would not want to make him leave. But I may not be sending my kids up there alone to play anytime soon.
I tried to go to a Legoland Discovery Center near Chicago with friends two years ago. One friend lived there, her fiance and I were visiting from Boston. She is a pediatrician, and she bought tickets when they were being sold at the hospital. Her fiance and I are both teachers. We all work around kids, and are trusted by the government and parents to be around them. Plus, we love Legos!
Nowhere on the tickets or the promotional material did it say that we wouldn’t be allowed in. When we drove an hour to go see Legos, you can imagine our disappointment when we weren’t allowed to use our non-refundable tickets.
We asked to see the manager, and his explanation of why they had a no unaccompanied adults policy had nothing to do with fear of child abusers. He said that many parents don’t keep an eye on their kids, so when they see adults alone, the kids might be causing trouble. Hence, no adults without children.
I disagree with this reasoning just as much as the usually-cited answer about possible pedophiles. If children are causing trouble, speak to them, or to the parents, just like any museum would. Don’t ban other adults from entering because it could look like they aren’t watching their kids.
We left, two of us near tears.
@SOA: Sounds like you got caught in some worst-first thinking yourself… Why is it weird for a young adult to spend some time on a playground? Maybe he has played there a lot when he was younger and was back in town now, maybe he just needed a place to think without people bothering him (he left shortly after you arrived, right?), whatever.
” we conveniently throw out the constitution as it doesnâ€™t seem to apply in the eyes of most Americans.”
And it doesn’t. The constitution ONLY restricts what the federal government (and through some ammendments the state governments) can do, not what private individuals and corporations can do.
Of course the government also on a massive scale ignores the constitution completely, knowing that Joe Average doesn’t know what it says, what that which he does know it says means, and doesn’t have the money and perseverance to battle the government with its trillion dollar legal budget for decades if he would.
When I was a kid, it was kids without adults who weren’t allowed in many places.
Papilio: I trust my gut. It has never been wrong. It does not go off all the time over every little thing, but when it does, I trust it. He did not leave when we got there. He continued to stay for about 20 minutes or so. But he got off the playground structure when we walked up.
You are right that most likely it was nothing, but I was not about to leave my kids there alone with him either. Now on a super crowded playground with tons of other kids and parents, I would not have worried about it or even noticed him.
We don’t have to be super paranoid and crazy but that does not mean we still don’t use our brains and use caution when we feel like it is needed.
Elise: that is a cop out excuse he gave and I don’t buy it. I was in a legoland place and there were kids running everywhere all over the place without parents and no one said a thing to the parents or the kids.
Greg – thankfully here in Columbia (and Howard County in general) we are fighting back against the crazy, and while there are some insane overprotective parents out here (seriously, this place is ridiculously safe). And there is some sanity – for example, kids over 8 that have passed the swim test can be unaccompanied at local pools!
Greg – thankfully here in Columbia (and Howard County in general) we are fighting back against the crazy, while there are some insane overprotective parents out here (seriously, this place is ridiculously safe). And there is some sanity – for example, kids over 8 that have passed the swim test can be unaccompanied at local pools!
The LegoLand one pisses me off. My husband and I love Legos, have spent probably $10,000 on Legos but since I can’t get pregnant after seeing four different fertility doctors, we are banned from LegoLand. And the adult night is stupid, as it is in the middle of the week and guess what? We both WORK.
That’s madding. We need more inter generational activities in general.
On a pamphlet I got from the doctors for my care given, it read “one of the ways to help relieve depression or anxiety was to watch children playing ”
It’s sad to think that the nutters who jump at everything and think everyone’s up to no good (talk about concerning physiologically I mean…projecting anyone?)can make this normal activity sinister. What America needs is more community, ten times more trust, more respect for all ages and to stop listening to the paranoid and instead to common sense.