Children and pubs(98 Posts)
Hi, new here.
I live near a pub and watching out of my window today I have seen three people turn up to the pub to eat with under 5s.
What do people think about taking children into pubs??
I think it's very positive. We should do everything we can to encourage family-style dining/social situations, same as in most of the rest of Europe. It should be seen as normal.
They should scrap the kids menus though.
I take it you have some concerns?
Mine probably goes once a month for a meal with us, since birth. Not sawdust on the floor smoke filled places they used to be. I think it's good, they learn eating out etiquette in a generally relaxed place.
Brilliant.Yy to scrapping childrens menus though.
Hi, it is a pub that sells food with a definite drinking clientele, even lunchtimes.
I don't think the average British pub is anything like the bars and cafes of other European countries.
So your view is that they should either be at home or that eating is limited to MacDonald's? I don't get what your point is.
Are you worried the kids are going to turn into alcoholics or get caught up in a brawl?
It is perfectly Ok we have always towed our little ones along to various pubs. Not the ones that say children and dogs welcome- that really gets my back up equating children to a dog, Ilove dogs and have one who is gorgeous but ... I shall stop as will get ranty.
In fact I am a bit that they are having lunch out I am bloody skint.
Where I grew up (Glasgow), pubs were not places for children, no food on offer only booze! Times have changed a bit and where I live now in the midlands all our local pubs welcome kids and even have nice children's menus with some healthier interesting options. I agree that social eating is good for them learning manners etc.
It's a cultural shift that personally bemuses me.
There are plenty of alternatives to Macdonalds.
Cultural shift that bemuses you? I went to pubs as a youngster with Ma and Pa for meals. Could you expand on cultural shift
When we went to pubs in the 70s my brother and I had to sit outside in the car with a packet of crisps...
I think it's the pubs that have shifted tbh.
There was a time you would go to a pub for a drink.
You are now more likely to go for something to eat.
MIL and FIL have introduced my kids to the wonders of Wetherspoons. the two eldest love the chicken nuggets. the three year old is partial to spaghetti bolognaise
No problem at all with it - and as others have said, I would much prefer to enjoy lunch in a decent pub with the DC than sit in a skanky fast food outlet.
When pubs were smokey and grim we rarely took the DC in any. But times have changed, thank god
I've always done it and my parents did it with me. My daughters primary school is beside a pub - sometimes we collect the kids and a group of us all go for lunch. I probably spent more time in pubs having lunch when my children were babies than when I was in my early 20s.
I thought this was one of the benefits of the smoking ban.
Pubs used to have very distinct public and lounge bars. A distinction that is fast disappearing with pubs greater reliance on income from food and a rise in disposable income that has made eating out a pastime.
This means that the adult environment of a public bar has been absorbed into the family area of the lounge bar.
I'm not so sure this is a beneficial development.
ooh the lounge where the women and kids went brings back memories
My daughters primary school is beside a pub - sometimes we collect the kids and a group of us all go for lunch
Woah, loving your style wiggles! If my children were still primary school age, I would definitely be relocating to your catchment area!
I wouldn't think twice about taking DS into a pub (2.5) - he's been coming into pubs/restaurants since we first ventured out after he was born (no family nearby to leave him with - not that I wanted to).
I'm not propping him up on a stool at the bar and buying him a half - we're there for a pleasant drink on a Saturday afternoon or lunch/dinner and I can't for the life of me see a problem with it.
" A distinction that is fast disappearing with pubs greater reliance on income from food "
Can you think of many pubs that rely just on alcohol sales? Pubs have had to branch out and start offering food, or they'd go bust.
I think it's good that the focus isn't just on going out and drinking. It's GOOD to show children that you go out for a meal, have a drink, spend time with your family/friends. What can possibly be wrong about that.
Numberlock school, pub, chapel, sweetie shop all beside each other - living the dream
I think it's fine. Surely that's the whole point of a FAMILY pub?
I love a good carvery!
As a person without children, I have to say I don't like children in pubs. Sometimes I'd just like to go somewhere where I know I won't be bothered by a child, or mind my language.
The pubs near me are all family friendly and food focussed. I often go for sunday lunch with friends and several under 5s. As a kid I remember having to sit outside
in the rain sharing a chicken and chips in a basket with my sister, as children weren't allowed in the bar. I think today's more inclusive attitude is an improvement.
I think the smoking ban is probably a part of people feeling more comfortable taking DCs out to pubs these days. I think it's fine, take ours for pub lunches regularly and he enjoys it, brings his colouring pencils and does a bit of people watching!
I guess there aren't any people who drink too much alcohol in the pubs you all go to which suggests they aren't really pubs anymore but restaurants with extra licensing privileges.
I remember meeting my ante-natal group in a pub, when the babies were about a month or two old.
It was a nice place to meet (large, comfy sofas, decent food, lovely big windows to people and pretty empty during the day).
We were a fairly large group, with buggies, changing bags and at least 3 of us breastfeeding at any one time. I had a moment when I imagined the old guys, many years ago who were against letting women into pubs. I imagined them saying "you can't let women in, next they'll be bringing their children in and breastfeeding everywhere"
Damn right, society is changing. And it's a good thing!
I would call it a pub that does food, calling ours a restaurant is a definite stretch I'm confused as to why during the day you would think there might be an issue taking under 5s in at lunch time? Is the alcohol, other people there?
It depends on the pub doesn't it?
Most pubs nowadays are "family" pubs - more like restaurants really. They've had to change, they were losing so much business.
We go out to family pubs quite regularly, and even "drinkers' pubs" are reasonably welcoming if you just need a quick drink and visit the loo. Occasionally we'll come across one which isn't licensed for children in the bar, but I can only think of that happening twice in the last 10 years - one of those was an All Bar One who said children weren't permitted after 6pm (this was about 6.15) and one off Oxford Street after we'd been to see the Selfridges window display just before Xmas.
I'm not propping him up on a stool at the bar and buying him a half
Society hasn't changed, alcohol consumption has increased if anything, peoples expectations of pubs has.
A pub would not have been a place to teach children manners, the opposite I would imagine.
So pubs have changed, the majority think that's a good thing it would appear.
There are alcoholics in lots of places.
But yes I wouldn't take my DC into what I would call an "old man pub" or the local student bar, but a family friendly one, yes definitely.
Do you think there should be places which exist solely as places for people to go when they want to drink too much? Because I don't think encouraging alcoholism is particularly helpful or constructive to society. Whereas sitting down and having a nice relaxed drink or two with a meal is a very good way to introduce DC to the idea of alcohol.
And YY I wouldn't expect to take DC to a pub in the evenings - more because I imagine it would be overwhelming and frightening for them more than anything else.
Why would a pub not be the place to teach children manners - surely out and about dealing with other people ie ordering food, paying bills etc, accepting what you've ordered is a perfect example of manners. As is wait your turn, listen, don't talk over people etc, lets all eat together. My children are better mannered when we go for something to eat than at other time probably. It has nothing to do with my gimlet stare and the bribe of jukebox money
I think location plays a part too.
We have to drive 15mins to a restaurant but we have 2 pubs that serve food within walking distance.
I've seen drunk people in restaurants.
As you say there are pubby pubs and pubs that are not so full of workmen on friday afternnon that do great home cooked food or even wetherspoon type places that do good cheap deals.
I guess we all have to carpe diem when we can!!
A pub would not have been a place to teach children manners, the opposite I would imagine.
Do you think the demise of such places is a bad thing?
We frequently take our children to nice foodie pubs, and have often stayed in one at a weekend with them, so they are very used to it. I wouldn't take them to a rough beer-only place, but "pub" covers a wide range of establishments.
There are plenty of pubs near us that only serve food in the day, thinking about it. During the day it is fine to take children there, but after 7 or 8pm they stop serving and children aren't allowed after that time.
carpediem70 no, they're not restaurants, they're pubs. The main difference is that it's acceptable to just hang out in pubs, there's no pressure to give up your table to another customer.
This is why I love being in pubs (not that I get a chance to do it often these days!)
A good child-friendly pub is a great place to spend a Sunday afternoon IMO. Not all pubs are overrun with children, though, you do have a choice here!
There's a lovely one I went to in Sussex this summer, which has a field out the back, beyond the pub tables. The grown-ups had a lovely lunch, while a group of about 12 children had a great time playing with each other and running riot in the field.
I fail to see any problem in that?
I see what you mean about not wanting children in pubs - but surely what you really mean is not wanting annoying children in pubs.
On the other hand, I don't want annoying adults in pubs, yet there seems to be no shortage.
DP and I nipped into a pub with sleeping DS whilst on an evening constitutional, whilst sat having a drink, a load of loud and enthusiastic lads came in and started drinking and swearing at the next table (which is fine - it's a pub after all), when one of the boys spotted DS's buggy he immediately told his mates to calm down on the swearing (and they all did - pretty much!) which I thought was lovely and clearly shows that there are plenty of the youth out there with manners.
Pubs quite clearly aren't what pubs once were. There is a licensing act for a reason. So it's a cultural change.
There are several pubs in our little town but only 2 our child friendly and we go to both of them regularly, so much so that my son (he's 2 btw) asks if he can go to the pub now.
Both pubs have amazing locals, lovely gardens and friendly staff who know us all by name. We get to go out as a family to a place where we're all welcome for a leisurely drink and bite to eat.
"Society hasn't changed"
Which world do you live in?
Society has changed enormously over - well pick any timescale - let's say the last 40 years.
Children are not allowed or welcome in all pubs. You do have a choice here!
What is your problem with this exactly? Is the presence of children inhibiting your desire to get ratarsed in the daytime, or are you concerned for the children?
Don't think it's a recent thing. My nieces and nephews (in their 20s now) were always taken to pubs. I didn't go as a child but only because we didn't have any money for eating out. We've always taken our children to pubs ... so many of them are family places these days. But yes, the nuggets/sausages/burger and chips menu really bugs me. Even some really lovely places that bore you silly about how they locally source all their food (if they can't grow it themselves in their kitchen garden of course), organic this, seasonal that ... then disappoint with a truly terrible kid's menu.
What on earth as the licensing act got to do with it ?? And some pubs are still what they were and some are not but is that so bad when women sat in a different room and you could not see for haze ?? I am failing to see your argument carpedium.
You do not agree with kids in pubs and that pubs should have evolved like many things in life I guess?
I have only asked whether people believed taking under 5's to pubs was the norm.
Noting that a cultural change means it is.
You sound like a grumpy old man OP (tongue in cheek!)
I have only asked whether people believed taking under 5's to pubs was the norm.
Well it was for us! You do tend to plan ahead. Lots of pubs nowadays even have indoor play areas.
We would also take DD to restaurants, shopping centres, just about everywhere, given that it's not actually safe (or legal!) to leave under 5s at home when you go out
I'm still curious what your problem with it is?
Why are you asking, exactly?
I don't really understand why you care, OP.
that my son (he's 2 btw) asks if he can go to the pub now
That's brill, neri. You're definitely bringing him up right!
I think you are confused about the difference between society and culture.
I haven't said anything like the things that are being suggested.
I observed something and asked a question in relation to it.
Also in many villages, the only place to eat within walking distance is the pub. Not everywhere has a Pizza Express and a Costa (although it bloody well feels like it sometimes)
Sorry OP but it is your tone that suggests that you have a problem/issues with it
We always go to our local pub for lunch on a Sunday and sometimes more if we are not at work. It's a great atmosphere and personally I think it's important to support the trade. So many pubs shutting down, its terrible.
I asked out of curiosity.
I have no strong opinion as it doesn't effect me one way or the other.
I'm trying to understand the cultural change.
"I think you are confused about the difference between society and culture."
Sorry OP but I really felt patronised at that remark, I am off to the pub
The operation and therefore the view of pubs has shifted greatly apparently.
Nothing wrong in it whatsoever.
A family meal out at the local, very normal british pastime.
Visit one sometime, you may grow to like it
numberlock he's also started saying "daddy drink beer" when we drive past a pub or see a beer advert
Are you a journalist OP ?? Is this going to appear in the Daily Mail tomorrow "According to carpedium Mothers up and down the country are taking their toddlers to the pub on a regular basis "
Gosh what a nice, friendly bunch. So pleased I bothered to pose a question.
I honestly don't get your point Carpediem, sorry.
My daughter is now 21, I'm not a journalist, I went to university when she was three so didn't have the time or money to lunch anywhere. I was interested in how things have changed and why they have.
Simple as that, no motive.
I think kids should be made welcome into family restaurant/pubs. I don't think kids should be in pubs where it is drinking and sky sports. Equally I don't think people should go to family restaurant/pubs for a piss up.
The operation and therefore the view of pubs has shifted greatly apparently
Well you could say that about most things over the past 20 years! Have you not noticed? Pubs had to change because you no longer had to go to an offy for booze - you can pick it up in the supermarket. Even (gasp) on a Sunday! So pubs had competition for the first time as people found it cheaper and easier to drink at home, or pre-load on cheap booze before going out clubbing. Then the smoking ban meant you could no longer go to the pub for a drink and a smoke if that was banned at home, so you might as well have a drink at home and hang around your own front/back door.
Pubs are still closing at an alarming rate - those which have survived have diversified into food and unlike in the past, they welcome punters of all ages and both sexes, with or without children - and smokers have to park themselves outside.
Why don't you go to to that pub you keep watching out of your window? You can see for yourself how things have changed. You might be pleasantly surprised and find some breastfeeding mums there, enjoying juice or tea or treating themselves to a coffee! As well as mums of toddlers and older children having a civilised glass of wine or a pint of well-kept real ale while their kids have a J20 or something like that.
Go to any family pub for Sunday lunch. You'll see lots of families - Grandparents, parents, kids etc all having lunch together, enjoying themselves.
Thank goodness pubs have changed!
At least the kids are inside nowadays.
My childhood Saturday afternoons were spent on the steps of the local, with a bottle of pop and a glass tub of winkles. [
grin]. Happy days!
Vimto and salt-n-shake crisps. If the weather was really bad you might be allowed just inside the back door (exciting!).
At least my DH got to sit in his dad's Morris Minor. He and his brother would then be driven home - no matter how lengthy the session.
Oh yes, those were the "good old days".
Ha! Yy little blue packet of salt, bring them back.
I have taken my children for meals in pubs. When I was younger we only went to pub gardens in the summer holidays never inside a pub, I don't think children were allowed back
I think the cultural change has come about because more pubs offer food, eating at a pub like JD Wetherspoon is cheaper than eating in Costa or McDonalds. The smoking ban has made pubs more attractive for families.
I know of people who take their children to spit and sawdust pubs and make them sit there whilst they get hammered. That isn't acceptable and never has been. However taking them out for lunch in your local is quite pleasant. Can't see why that would be an issue.
I used to meet my ante natal friends in an upmarket pub for coffee. 20 breastfeeding mums and tiny babies meeting in a pub would have been unthinkable back in the Seventies.
We've taken DD (now 3 1/2 months) to pubs since she was 2 days old. I don't believe my life has ended now I have a child and I am partial to a drink and burger! Its good for children to leave how to behave!
Personally I find i've been far more disturbed by other adults in pubs than I have ever by a child.
Is this thread for real. Dd has been to my parents local "drinkers" pub since she was 6 months old. The kids are older now and enjoy going with grandad to watch the football and play pool.
DS has probably been to the pub at least once a week from when he was about four days old! Usually to eat but occasionally for a quick drink (although he's easier to entertain if there's food involved). He's 18 months so if we want to eat out without feeling like we have to keep him silent our choices are family-friendly/Wetherspoons pub, supermarket cafe or MacDonald's. And you can get wine in the pub, so it's a no-brainer! At the moment he's still pretty well behaved there, too. I'd hope this is at least partly because he's so used to being taken out.
We go to pubs quite often for lunch, I had ds1 when I was at uni so he spent a lot of time in the student bar, the non-smoking one as this was 13yrs ago. I would sit and chat with friends, he would have a feed, it was fine
For real? Really?
The consensus seems to be that pubs and kids are fine following a cultural change.
The belief seems to be that exposure will socialise children into a more Mediterranean attitude to alcohol and that the social environment of the pub aids the teaching of good behaviour and manners.
And amazingly just asking the question if pubs and children were a good mix labels me old, grumpy, sexist etc despite not actually being affected by the practice.
Does nobody question anything because the majority take a particular view?
The majority do it = the norm?
Fascinating, like hamsters in a box.
Wtf have hamsters in a box got to do with anything?
The pubs I takje my children don't don't have people rolling around drunk or bad language.
Its nothing to do with trying to be Mediterranean! But I grew up going out to restaraunts and pubs with my parents so it was normal to me.
Are you saying its a bad thing? Your point isn't very clear?
Its something I did and I see it as fine for my children, I don't care what others do or don't do, I do what works for my family.
We have taken DD to pubs to eat lunch/dinner a fair bit ever since she was tiny. Have taken her to many types of pubs, bars, eateries with no problems. She's 10 now and still seems pretty fine with it all.
I think you should take a look at your abrasive posting style and think about why you have been labelled as grumpy.
FWIW I have always taken my kids to pubs, for meals and drinks. Probably more than once a week, since birth.
I have always been in pubs as a child too.
My only objection to pubs was the smoking which has now been removed. But I guess if it was the pub on shameless then no. Country gastro pub in next village then yes.
Yes, I think if carpe wants to not be thought of as grumpy she should stop being rude to the people posting on her thread.
I want to know why OP keeps going on about 'a cultural change' when the answers on this thread don't show that at all?
Yes, it is the norm in my experience in that families go to family friendly pubs. They don't tend to go to non family friendly pubs and they aren't there at 10pm at night. We have found pubs very welcoming and haven't had any issues with other patrons.
And yes if the majority do something that is usually considered the norm! I am not a hamster but I do like a pub lunch. I clean up after my baby, shoosh her if she's noisy and I tip. She loves her food and studying the people around her. So we all win.
I thought the thread was going to be around spending all day in the pub getting completely plastered while your children sit in the corner eating crisps.
The majority do it = the norm?
Yes - if the majority do it then it is the norm surely.
If the majority do it it doesn't necessarily mean its right but it is the norm. It's up to each individual to decide if its right for them and most people on this thread obviously think it is.
We live in a market town that is full of old fashioned pubs. I quite often meet friends (with our children) in one of them. Sometimes we eat, sometimes we just chat while the children have a game of pool (all 8 yrs +). I personally think it's good that our children get to see the pub as a social place where Mum orders a coffee and chats with her mates, rather than a place to go and get trashed when you're
It dies seem to be the norm. What you haven't shown is that there is a cultural change. Just because you didn't do something when your child was little or when you were, doesn't mean that lots if other people weren't brought up with parents who would go to a pub fairly regularly.
At least children now won't be in a smoke filled haze. ( happy memories of pub gardens 30 years ago with a bottle of fizzy orange and a packet of crisps).
Going to the pub for Sunday lunch seems very English to me!
We used to do this when I was little. That hasn't changed! The pubs have, they're much nicer now, and more suitable for children.
(I've deliberately not said British btw, as licensing laws different in Scotland in particular)
Please share your views, as you have asked others to share theirs it seems reasonable to ask.
Why the insistence on a cultural change, vs a societal change? And why are you unsure whether this is a beneficial change? What is your thinking?
And just as a last question - is there any particular reason you decided to draw an analogy between posters on this thread & hamsters in a box? Did you mean that to come out the way it sounds?
carpediem I think you should perhaps spend some time in a nice pub. You seem to have very odd ideas about what they're like.
Pubs (believe it or not) are not all full of people getting steadily drunk at all hours of the day.
For Sunday lunch for example, many pubs have a very welcoming atmosphere, and the focus is on food and good company rather than getting bladdered.
May pubs down this way (Sussex) actually have brilliant play equipment like climbing frames out the back, and kids love going to them on warm days.
"The belief seems to be that exposure will socialise children into a more Mediterranean attitude to alcohol and that the social environment of the pub aids the teaching of good behaviour and manners."
I find this very odd tbh! If we decide to take a drive to a country pub for Sunday lunch in the summer, I'm thinking of eating some nice food, having one glass of a nice beer or wine, and whether the pub has a nice field or play equipment for the kids to run around in is a major factor.
Teaching the kids manners or a Mediterranean attitude couldn't be furthest from my mind! "Will the kids enjoy it, will the food be good?" That's what I'm thinking!
i think if your going to the pub to get drunk then you should get a sitter not take them in a pub, but dining isnt too bad, it depends what kind of pub it is,
different ones have a very different atmosphere dont they,
country pubs are nice and you can always take kids there, but these city pubs are far to dangerous for children, xx
City pubs aren't dangerous FFS.
DS had his first birthday in a pub in Hackney, London! We had one section of the pub to ourselves, the pub put on organic food aimed at very young children, and we had a lovely time! What was dangerous about that?
Of course people shouldn't have DCs with them if they intend to get drunk - wherever that is. But as you say, different ones have different atmospheres. including many, many lovely city pubs, and some absolute dives in the countryside!
mancshell I also think you would benefit from a nice trip to a decent pub, in the city!
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