No kids allowed: Is Britain becoming an anti-child society?

No kids allowed: Is Britain becoming an anti-child society? By Kerry Potter.

It seems the tide is turning against the child-centric society that has long reigned, where parenthood is revered as a saintly calling …

There is a sense that people are becoming increasingly intolerant of children and their unpredictable behaviour.

This comes as a particular problem during half term and makes the challenge of finding fun, affordable, family-friendly activities to fill the week even more difficult.

Eileen Potter, owner of Treacle’s Tea Shop in Winchmore Hill, north London, recently found herself in hot water when she banned pre-schoolers, to the fury of many parents. In response, she explained: ‘We can not continually afford to replace crockery. We are not a family establishment.’

A shop assistant at John Lewis in Greater Manchester attracted similar outrage when he asked mother Lindsay Robinson to leave the store after fellow shoppers complained about her 16-month-old daughter, Heidi, crying. (The company apologised and sent flowers, but the story had already hit the headlines.) …

Several of my London friends (in their 40s and 50s, with no kids) complain that their long-held ritual of a quiet, lazy weekend pub lunch is now impossible.

‘Every decent pub in my neighbourhood is full of children running wild, and that’s if you can get through the door, which is invariably barricaded by buggies,’ says one who wants to remain anonymous. She now eats out only in the evening: ‘But even at 8pm or 9pm, there are often loads of children. Is nowhere sacred?’ …

Demand for child-free holidays is higher than ever, according to independent boutique holiday website i-escape.com – both from the growing demographic of people who don’t have children and parents looking to ditch the kids for a quiet break. …

Air travel is increasingly a battleground between harried parents and adult travellers who feel entitled to peace and quiet at 30,000ft, with calls for child-free flights growing.

hat-tip Stephen Neil