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Are kid-unfriendly establishments guilty of discrimination?

Posted by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:14 AM
  • 20 Replies

Taking Kids to Your Hair Salon Is Rude & Dangerous: Leave Them Home!

hair salon appointment

Until you have kids of your own, it's impossible to imagine how much your life will change. Things you used to do without thinking twice -- like booking a hair appointment, for example -- now take a ridiculous amount of thought. So I understand the frustration of the moms who are currently up in arms over what they feel is discrimination from hair salons, restaurants and other businesses who either outright ban kids or don't provide things like changing tables. But the thing is, every place can't, and shouldn't, be kid-friendly.

Now, don't get me wrong: As a mother of three, I of course believe that the majority of businesses do have a responsibility to accommodate patrons of all ages; this is particularly true of places where kids and/or their parents absolutely have to be (like hospitals and government buildings and libraries) and services kids and/or their parents absolutely have to use (like public transit). In those situations, things like a "no strollers allowed on elevators" policy or a cranky bus driver who won't let a kid swipe her Metro Card definitely do smack of discrimination, and parents have every right to complain. 

More from The Stir: How to Tell Your Wedding Guests Not to Bring Their Kids -- Nicely

But can, say, a hair salon that doesn't allow kids or a restaurant that doesn't have high chairs actually be accused of discrimination? No. Take the salon, for example, which has dangerous chemicals (hair dye, relaxers) and sharp scissors out in the open. From their perspective, having kids around isn't just potentially disruptive, it's dangerous!

No salon owner wants to get sued because a little kid got burned on a curling iron while her mom got a blow-out. Look, I totally get how much it sucks when you need a haircut and don't have anybody to watch your kids (if you could see my hair right now you'd know I really, really mean what I'm saying), but that's just part of the whole being a mom thing -- it's an endless series of sacrifices, big and small. Maybe find a family-friendly salon (they do exist!) or book back-to-back appointments with a mom friend so you can take turns watching each other's kids. (Or simply rock those split ends until you can find five freaking minutes to yourself, like me.)

Yes, it sucks that you can't just waltz into your favorite cafe with your toddler like you did back in your pre-kid days, but one thing I can promise you: This, too, shall pass. Even though it feels interminable at times, the phase when your kids are social pariahs is in fact pretty short. Before you know it you'll be back in the swing of getting your roots touched up every four weeks and grabbing a glass of wine at the bar on your way home (where a cranky teenager awaits you. Maybe have two glasses of wine!).

Do you think kid-unfriendly establishments are guilty of discrimination?

by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by Anonymous 1 on Feb. 23, 2015 at 10:24 AM

Nope, kids don't belong everywhere especially if they can't behave.  Businesses can do as they please.  They are not obligated to cater to kids and can ban them totally if they want to.  Once you have grown kids you don't want to see or hear a bratty kid.  At least I don't.  

by BL on Feb. 23, 2015 at 3:11 PM

No. There are just some places that kids shouldn't be.

by on Feb. 23, 2015 at 3:40 PM
1 mom liked this

I think businesses have the right to focus on the purpose of their business and not on having to worry about toddlers on the loose.  There is a time when a parent must find a sitter.  That's all there is to it.   I cannot  stand when I decide to splurge on a pedicure, get there, without my child, since I actually want to relax and there is someone there with 3 grade school age kids wandering around.   And then another woman with some unruly toddler.  Some lady screaming at her kid for having the nerve to act like a toddler.   It is a set up for a problem and nobody else gets to actually relax.   There are places where it is not appropriate to bring the whole family.

by Member on Feb. 24, 2015 at 9:20 AM

There are some places kids should not be.  Not everything is going to be family friendly. 

But then .. people will not want to believe that.. and think everyone will accomodate that. Not true.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 24, 2015 at 9:35 AM

No, but I will admit I do choose not to frequent or support them by giving them my business if they do. 

by New Member on Feb. 24, 2015 at 9:39 AM
No. Kids don't belong in some places and as a mom to 5, I'm thankful for some of those places. It's bliss to get a sitter occasionally and visit those places lol
by Anonymous 2 on Feb. 24, 2015 at 9:47 AM
If I am taking my child to get a hair cut at the salon and he needs a diaper change (ok he's been potty trained for years but stick with me) while I wait there should be a changing table. Salons cut/style kids hair too making them part of their clientele so they should accommodate them.

Do I understand that some places are not kid friendly? Of course. Do I expect them to fit a toddler in where toddlers don't belong? Not always. But my son is 8 and capable of behaving himself. Hell last weekend we went to nice restaurant where people typically dont bring kids (one of those places that doesn't have highchairs) to celebrate my engagement with df. My ds and my nephews (13 and 8) niece came( 3) did they make a big deal? No. The kids drank "kiddie cocktails" as our waitress described them to the kids (pretty much a Shirley Temple) and while the boys enjoyed trying new food my niece shared with her mom and had a salad. There was no catastrophe because I took kids into a "no kid zone" and I am sure that the waitress had a heart attack at seeing a 3 year old all ended well and we cleaned up the food the kids may have dropped. I don't think places should kick people out for having kids with them unless its against the law to have them there.
by on Feb. 24, 2015 at 9:47 AM

Generally yes.  Taking your kid to a salon is not a big deal IF that kid will sit still in a chair.  If the kid cannot then kid shouls stay home.  PAaents shouldn't take kids to places where they might be disruptive, like a college class but otherwise most establishments should be kid-favorable.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 24, 2015 at 9:55 AM
I can vouch for Hair Salons
Having worked for yrs in salons
Kids have no place in one "unless" they are getting their own hair done and leave.
Too many times I've seen mothers bring lil ones in and let them roam about the salon while mommy was getting her hair done.
Thats anywhere from 40 mins to 3 hrs!
Enough time for a child to get in the way.
They touch what they shouldn't.
They can bump and knock things over.
They take the time away from the hairdresser everytime mommy has to accommodate them.
Our time is money and if mommy has chemicals in her hair, we cannot stop the process from over processing if you have to take your kid to the bathroom or stop for anything for your child.
Do not bring them!

Plus, there are many other adults that go for the "me time" and they don't need to hear crying babies or see kids running around. They left their own kids home to get away from that to relax, recharge. They want peace and quiet, they pay for that pampering time not for a day out with others kids.
Glad I don't have to deal with that anymore
Some parents just don't get it.

Same for certain types of restaurants
Who wants to go for a romantic dinner for "2" and pay for the pricey menu and have a kid knocking forks and knives like a drum set?
Or hearing loud talk like at a birthday party? Or walking between/climbing chairs like if they were at a park?
Not the place unless it's says its "family friendly" restaurant.

I personally hate kids at weddings
Family or not
The attention for the whe time should be on bride and groom.
Not the lil one throwing themself on the da floor of poking their finger in the cake or crying in the background while the vows are being said.
It's not cute
It's not a birthday party. It's not a BBQ.
It's a romantic day for 2 people
Only exception is if the kids are their own.

There is a time and place
Get over it
Take your kid to places where kids are welcomed, accommodated and entertained at.
Certain places are not for kids
You'll live and so will they
by Member on Feb. 24, 2015 at 10:11 AM
1 mom liked this
No, I like places that don't allow kids. That's my time away from them.
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