Should children be barred from certain adult-oriented activities or locations is a difficult topic because of the need for so many points of clarification. Are the supervising adults responsible? Does the activity involve adult behavior inappropriate for children? How old are the children?
I focus my comments on what all people would consider proper adult-oriented activities such as the theater, a symphony, a museum, the library, a worship service, or a fine restaurant. I prefer for children to have exposure to such experiences. The key is not whether to admit or not admit; instead, the problem of their presence arises when they act in a way that distracts from the enjoyment of others.
Parents should decide whether their children attend adult-oriented activities. Unfortunately, some adults are not aware of the fact that although they have infinite patience with whatever their child chooses to do or not do, others usually find excessive noise and movement quite distracting. All supervising adults could quickly resolve this debate if they would simply remove their child from the place of the activity and properly correct the child in private; then, return with the child to the activity after explaining and administering discipline. Should the child repeat that inappropriate behavior, he/she should return home and be denied the pleasure of the activity. This, of course, implies that the adult will also give up the pleasure of the activity. I notice many parents unwilling to make such a sacrifice.
I propose the following exam for parents or supervising adults to answer before taking children to an adult-oriented activity or place.
1. Are your children always well-behaved?
2. When your children misbehave, do you make excuses for them?
3. Are you insensitive to the body language of other people when your children act inappropriately even when you feel they are acting just fine?
4. Have you never removed one of your children from an activity because of their behavior?
If the adult answers yes to any of the four questions, they are unrealistic about the behavior of their children and should not attempt to introduce them to adult-oriented activities until the child reaches an age when they can behave. It is unfair to deny obedient children from certain places or activities because other children have not been trained to act appropriately. And, it is disrespectful to expect other adults to have their pleasure diminished because supervising adult cannot or will not control the behavior of your children.