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Tuesday 26 October 2010 8.25am
I'm not a parent but even I realise that small children need more than hard leather chairs and a nice view to keep them engaged for long, hence the behaviour we have all have witnessed. I am amazed by the selfishness of some parents who seem to think the members room is rightly an extension of their family play area. Bring your small children to the gallery, yes of course, but take them somewhere they might enjoy rather than selfishly ruining everyone else's enjoyment of a cuppa and a sit down.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 9.07am
Jerry beat me to it; the simple truth is children want to play at being children not made to be more adult and the fact is the members room is hardly suited to it, surely that is undeniable? They are not a different species but they do have different needs.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 11.06am
Ivanhoe, I don't hate children or regard them as a different species. I like them. I think they can benefit from being taken to art galleries, even when they're too young to articulate an interest. And I'm sure that training them to enjoy public spaces - not just those expressly designed to be child-friendly - is necessary if they're to grow up to be happy, responsible members of society. That enjoyment, I suggest, needs to be based in awareness of, and respect for, the shared and different requirements of everyone who uses the space. And taught by adults' instruction and example.

So when I'm in a comparatively cramped public space full of people carrying trays of hot tea and coffee, and often used by groups and individuals without children, who want to talk or think without interruption, then - for everyone's safety and comfort - I'd like adults with children to teach them not to run about, intrude on other people's space, or interrupt them by shouting.

I'd also like the adults in public spaces not to block through-ways and other commmon areas with buggies and so on, since these are spaces intended for shared use. And, while I know many children who can be entertained without lots of toys to throw about, and fed without spreading food, training mugs and so on across neighbouring tables and seating, I've encountered many who apparently can't. That's not the kids' fault and I haven't suggested it is. What I have suggested is that bringing them to the Tate Members Room is inappropriate.

By the way, Nigel, I worked with Zippy and Bungle in the eighties. Now there was a creative artist .... Nice to see he's moved onto a new career in modelling.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 11.20am
Tolstoy wrote:
Jerry beat me to it; the simple truth is children want to play at being children not made to be more adult and the fact is the members room is hardly suited to it, surely that is undeniable? They are not a different species but they do have different needs.
I'm denying it.

You seem to be saying that it's unimaginable that children can sit for half an hour or so and have a drink with an adult.

The children in your mind are quite different from any of the children in my real life. Yes, children LOVE to play and run around, but they're also perfectly capable of sitting in a chair and not going ballistic for half an hour.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 11.38am
aoibhneas wrote:
I'd also like the adults in public spaces not to block through-ways and other commmon areas with buggies and so on, since these are spaces intended for shared use. And, while I know many children who can be entertained without lots of toys to throw about, and fed without spreading food, training mugs and so on across neighbouring tables and seating, I've encountered many who apparently can't. That's not the kids' fault and I haven't suggested it is. What I have suggested is that bringing them to the Tate Members Room is inappropriate.
It seems that your problem is mainly with some of the adults (who can't control their children, who block the gangways, etc).

I can understand and sympathise with that. But it seems harsh to want to exclude all children because some of the parents are gits.

In my experience, gittishness is spread across all sections of the population, parents and non-parents alike.

As I've said upthread, I'll consider a discount to my membership on condition that I only bring adult guests into the MR. But until then, I'll continue to bring my child as a guest, whenever I think it's appropriate. If said child is unable to behave, then I'd leave in an embarrassed hurry. In my experience, there's so many people out there who want to treat parents and children as pariahs that I'm generally bending over backwards to make sure that none of them have a chance to tut at me and mine.

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 12.18pm
Ivanhoe, you sound like a fair and responsible parent (and a lot of you are!) and that is all I can reasonably ask of any parent in a shared environment situation, Sadly enough parents clearly aren't these things and lead to the polarised attitudes found in this thread.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 12.56pm
Thanks, Jerry. (I am, of course, a perfect parent, and my child is also perfect ;0))

It still seems unfair to pick on all children just because people have issues with some parents.

Turn the focus around, and I can tell you a brazillion stories of how inconsiderate twentysomethings/old folk/people who drive Volvos/men with black hair/etc behave inconsiderately to me and Baby I.

Oddly though, you don't get many (?any?) instances of parents ganging up to suggest that other groups of people should be banned from places. Perhaps part of having children is that it gives you a bit more tolerance of others?

...if you press it, they will come.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 1.25pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
Is my membership somehow worth less than yours, or should it convey fewer benefits than yours, because I've got a child? I'd happily take a discount on my membership if that's what you're proposing, but I suspect it isn't.
The fault in your logic is that if I wish to take along an adult guest I have to pay extra on top of my membership fee. You don't to take your child.

I would fully support Tate creating some kind of families' section of the Members' Room in the extensions, as long as it is sufficiently separated from the area where people like me just want a nice quiet area to sit and contemplate the exhibition they've just visited.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 1.31pm
Ivanhoe wrote:
Tolstoy wrote:
Jerry beat me to it; the simple truth is children want to play at being children not made to be more adult and the fact is the members room is hardly suited to it, surely that is undeniable? They are not a different species but they do have different needs.
I'm denying it.

You seem to be saying that it's unimaginable that children can sit for half an hour or so and have a drink with an adult.

The children in your mind are quite different from any of the children in my real life. Yes, children LOVE to play and run around, but they're also perfectly capable of sitting in a chair and not going ballistic for half an hour.
Older children maybe, not toddlers and babies.
Tuesday 26 October 2010 1.57pm
Bungle wrote:
Ivanhoe wrote:
Tolstoy wrote:
Jerry beat me to it; the simple truth is children want to play at being children not made to be more adult and the fact is the members room is hardly suited to it, surely that is undeniable? They are not a different species but they do have different needs.
I'm denying it.

You seem to be saying that it's unimaginable that children can sit for half an hour or so and have a drink with an adult.

The children in your mind are quite different from any of the children in my real life. Yes, children LOVE to play and run around, but they're also perfectly capable of sitting in a chair and not going ballistic for half an hour.
Older children maybe, not toddlers and babies.

Bungle, you've already told us upthread how children are incapable of finding pictures interesting, and now you're telling us that babies and toddlers can't sit still for half an hour. What next....babies don't like milk?

I'm sorry, but this is so wrong it's almost funny.

BabyI is just over 1, and happily joins us for meals out, trips to cafes and pubs, etc. Has done since birth. Often in the company of other friends with children of similar ages. Who, similarly, have no problem in keeping themselves out of the way and earshot of fellow diners.

In fact, the only places I try to avoid taking BabyI are those which are full of very noisy trendy young diners. The noise of their indiscriminate "enjoyment" is too loud for the poor little thing to stand. However, I've not been lobbying the restaurants in question to throw the bright young things out.

Why not stop making all these claims about childrens' behaviours when you appear to know less than nothing about the subject?

...if you press it, they will come.
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