No kids allowed: Is Ireland actually a 'child friendly' country? 1 year ago

No kids allowed: Is Ireland actually a 'child friendly' country?

Do you agree?

They say that travel broadens the mind but, since having children it has made me realise that Ireland isn't that child friendly.

What I mean by that is in many countries, especially Mediterranean countries, businesses like restaurants, cafés and shops are all very accommodating to parents with young children.

In Ireland, however, I feel that the attitude of 'children should be seen and not heard' is very much still a thing.

While you could say yes, some establishments like restaurants get exasperated with parents not controlling their children, I have found that they assume children will misbehave before they do.

I had one café in Dublin make me feel so embarrassed when I tried to come in for a coffee with my baby, who was asleep in her pram, that I've never gone back.

Finding a café or restaurant in Ireland that welcomes families honestly feels like hitting the jackpot, and it shouldn't be that way.

Whenever I've been to Italy, Portugal, Spain or Germany, children are treated as part of the community and it is just assumed that you will want to bring them with you when you go to eat.


Most other European countries have playgrounds attached to restaurants, or have one central to the main 'eating out' district.

In Italy in particular, staff fall over themselves to help when they see you walk in with young children, making sure they're served first and that they have drinks and colouring pencils.

Unfortunately, I still feel very much that the attitude in Ireland is 'if you want to eat out with kids, bring them to McDonalds'.

I know I'm not the only one. The several posts in parenting forums asking what places are ok with bringing kids, proves this.

To be honest, it isn't even just places to eat either.

Even at events marketed at kids like Wild Lights in Dublin Zoo, I had grown adults annoyed that my toddler was running around excitedly. I even overheard one of them say that all the children around was ruining their night... at an event aimed at families!

It really shouldn't be this hard.

As parents, we should be able to eat out or grab a coffee without worrying that we're being judged.

We shouldn't have to keep a mental (or physical) list of what places are grand with us bringing our children with us.

Also, our children shouldn't have to feel like they are not part of society and not wanted.

Hopefully Ireland will gradually move towards being a more child-friendly country but, as it stands, we're still way behind many of our European counterparts.