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Kid Free Zones

Last week my husband and I were on vacation. We stayed at a lovely Holiday Inn with a relatively small indoor pool. After a long, hot ride in a classic convertible with no AC, we headed directly for the pool the night we checked in. There wasn’t another soul around. Pure bliss!

A few days later, we went back to the pool and found it full of kids.

No problem. We would just go to the deeper end and cool off.

But instead of just SWIMMING as my sister and I would have at their ages, these kids were splashing each other so hard, the entire surface of the pool was affected. I am not kidding when I say that there was no place you could go in the entire pool to avoid being splashed in the face with a wall of over-chlorinated water.

There were two mothers and a grandmother, who were stupidly smiling at their children as they did this. No one said anything. It was quite obvious that we were being splashed, but it was as if they couldn’t see how their kids were being obnoxious and ruining other people’s time in the water.

There was one other woman in the pool who got out as soon as we got in. She sat out on the patio to “wait it out.” Chris and I stayed less than 10 minutes and left as well. We wanted to cool off, and we did, but we would have preferred to stay a little longer than that.

I know it probably wouldn’t be feasible for a hotel to have a “kid free zone” in the pool. But we sure fantasized about that!

What struck me about the Good Morning America story was a quote stating that kids haven’t really changed much, but parents have. They are taking their kids to places that we never went as children. Parents today seem to think that their children are wanted everywhere, and that just isn’t the case.

I also think there has been a break down in how kids are expected to behave. I certainly don’t believe kids should be “seen and not heard,” but there is a certain way people of all ages are expected to act in a public place, even in a hotel pool. If your kid doesn’t know what that is, then whose fault is it? Yours!

I almost always blame the parenting skills of the parents when I see a kid acting up. My sister and I were very well behaved in public, because we had a great mom who taught us how. So it can be done.

Cruise lines have successfully created “adults only” spaces, and a handful of restaurants have a “no kids” section.

Sometimes it isn’t just people without children who want to enjoy some time without kids. I’m sure you could find plenty of parents and grandparents who would love to go out and not have their experience ruined by other people’s children.

Who knows if such an idea will ever catch on. I hope it does. At the very least, the mainstream media is talking about it, and that is a good thing!

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