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COMMENTARY: Kids should be welcome in public spaces

You have the right not to have children but you don’t have the right to a child-free world.

It’s become much more apparent since becoming a mom that some people just really don’t like children. They don’t like to interact with them, hear them, or even see them in public. 

Children are noisy, clueless, and unaware of many things, so I understand why some people don’t like them. 

It’s easy to judge the parent of a rambunctious two-year-old that’s not listening in public, and much harder to sympathize and put yourself in that parent's shoes.

Over my very short time of being a parent, I’ve had many comments about what and how I should be doing things differently. It gets old.

I can count on one hand how many times we’ve taken our kids out to eat at a restaurant because I would rather avoid that one person who turns up their nose at any noise from a rowdy child.

This issue seems to be almost non-existent in Europe, where my brother with his two-year-old toddler is welcomed and celebrated in any public place. He’s a little wild child but everyone loves seeing his happy personality in public.

My not-yet two-year-old twins will soon experience their first time on an airplane, and I’m absolutely terrified. Not because I’m worried they’ll cry or even scream at some point, (I know they will), but because it takes only one cranky comment to bring you down.

I recently heard someone say, you have the right not to have children but you don’t have the right to a child-free world.

It seems a lot of adults think kids should be able to control their emotions and behave just like adults, when that’s just not reality. I try my best to keep my kids in check, but I don’t control them.

I’d like to think that the adults who complain about young children probably have some emotions they struggle to regulate themselves.

So next time you’re on a plane and there’s a crying child, just think about how you would feel if you couldn’t speak and your ears hurt from the changing pressure. Instead of staring at a mom or dad in the grocery store because their child is flailing on the ground, tell them they’re doing a good job.

We all have to live together in this world, and let’s be a little bit more compassionate. 

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