How you reacted to the idea of child-free shopping hours

A CALL to introduce child-free hours at shopping centres has received mixed response with many people slamming the idea on social media.

The NewsMail's Facebook followers were quick to dismiss the suggestion as unfair and ridiculous.

Kylie Campbell said she was shopping with her well-behaved 18 month old two weeks ago when she had to listen to a couple screaming and swearing at each other at the checkout.

"Can we have bogan free hours too?" she asked.

While Lisa McGaw said children need to understand what is and what isn't socially acceptable behaviour whilst in public.

"I personally find it difficult myself with two special needs kids to shop with them but how will they learn social adequacy if they aren't allowed the opportunity to shop at times?" she asked.

And Sarah Weston said people need to remember children are people too.

"A shopping centre is a public place and it should stay that way, what about the working families that can only go out later or on the weekends," she said.

However while Leesa Marie didn't think child free shopping was the way to go, she did agree that parents should learn how to be the parent again and stop allowing children to rule them.

"Unfortunately that's the way the world has gone.

Discipline is out the window because it's frowned upon and kids get what they want to save embarrassment," she said.

The suggestion to introduce child-free shopping hours came from Bundaberg resident Denise Fox, a former teacher with 40 years experience.

Here are her thoughts:

"Imagine a shopping experience free from screaming and misbehaving children! It is unreasonable to expect retail workers and shoppers to put up with other people's tantrum-throwing, out-of-control children.

It is unreasonable for people to be expected to endure the unnecessary noise of a child when the mother makes no effort to control it preferring to engage with texting or chatting on the phone.

Prolonged screaming and wailing are just not on. The comfort of the majority should not be compromised by the antics of a few.

Children need to learn how to behave in public situations. If they can't behave then they should not be there until such time as they can behave.

What if store owners, especially for eateries, were to request that the child be removed?

What if the parent was required to compensate the staff for the headache their child caused?

It is first and foremost parents' responsibility to equip children with the social skills to behave, but, when it is clear these people either don't have a clue or lack respect for others, then surely it is up to the store manager to take action before customers are turned away.

Some airlines have taken the bold step of banning kids from premium class. When will the managers of shopping centres take the even bolder step of banning kids from the centre for an hour or two on specified days? "



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