BLOG: Shopping centre 'bans' screaming kids. Give me a break!

A shopping centre in NSW has put a ban on screaming children. The Dee Why Grand Shopping Centre has placed this sign in its food court area because staff and customers had reportedly complained about noise levels.

This is a post from Mamamia blogger Jo Abi in response to the ban. She writes:

I am so sick of being judged by the behaviour of my children. Loud kids – bad mum. Quiet kids – good mum.

How ridiculous.

I have three children, not puppies. Children express their emotions, sometimes loudly, and I do my best to cater to them but sometimes it’s just not possible. If my child throws a tantrum at the shops because I’ve said no when he asked for a toy, I’m not going to buy it to shut him up just in case I offend other shoppers. Then they’ll think I’m a bad mum because my child is throwing a tantrum but I’ll know I’m a good mum because I’m refusing to give in to his demands.

Sometimes we go to the play area at our local shopping centre and they get a little rowdy, but I try and finish my coffee instead of getting up to shush them a million times. They’re children, they’re playing. I don’t want quiet children. Yes, I want them to be reasonably behaved and I do my best to teach them this but it doesn’t always work.

Dee Why Grand Shopping Centre must be run by geniuses. They sat down and thought to themselves, “Let’s make the lives of our target market even more difficult. So what if they spend hundreds of dollars here each week and our very business survival depends on them. Let’s tell them that if their kids are too loud we WON’T TOLERATE IT. I’m sure they’ll still shop here and spend the money but they’ll do us tea drinkers the courtesy of drugging their children into a quiet stupor before doing it.”

Where is the support? Where is the tolerance? We were all children once. We’re all human beings.

When my children are quiet they are usually sick or sleeping. When they’ve been really sick I would have given anything for them to get up and be cheeky and loud. I’ve never been so scared that they wouldn’t be loud again.

I almost want to see them try and enforce this ridiculous sign. I can see the news footage now. Centre management can drag me, my pram and my screaming toddler out of the centre and dump us on the footpath. Wow, what a brilliant way to treat their customers.

Yes, I’m mad. I suppose they can put up any sign they like but then again I can spend my hundreds of dollars a week anywhere I like and it WON’T BE THERE!

Do you agree with the shopping centre’s sign and the sentiment behind it? Or are you a parent who feels exasperated like Jo?

Jo Abi feels like she’s more of an observer of life than a participant which makes her a little irritating to live with. When asked about her writing her husband said, “Nothing is off the table, which is fine, sort of.” Jo has worked in TV and radio sporadically between the arrival of each of her three amazingly gorgeous children. You can follow Jo on Twitter @JoAbi.

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