“Why Wetherspoons Is Right To Give Parents A Two-Drink Limit”
Words: Penny Stretton, 38, from Nottingham
Everyone's talking about the news that pub chain Wetherspoons is imposing two-drink limit on parents in the pub with their kids.
The guidelines, which have been in place since 2011, ignited a fierce debate last week after being spotted by customers at Spoons in Gravesend, Kent.
My first thought as a mother of two? "Too right!"
Why would you want to drink more than a couple with your kids in tow anyway?
In truth, I'm not totally sold on the idea of a pub telling guests how much to drink; if the adults have quaffed too much and their kids are getting on everyone's tits, staff could simply ask them to leave.
But I have to agree that parents shouldn't be in the pub for more than a couple with their kids anyway.
Bars have changed dramatically since the smoking ban, and it's no secret that they're more family friendly than ever - so can you really blame us for occasionally setting up camp on a rainy Sunday afternoon?
Wetherspoons says its two-drink limit is to help keep unruly kids in line and I get that.
While most little ones are content to sit quietly with a tablet or colouring book, it doesn't take long for those with a shorter attention span to get loud, fidgety and, yes, a bit out of control.
It's not their fault; it's just what happens when parents don't know when to call time on their family trip to the pub.
Full disclosure: I do take my four-year-old and nine-year-old to the pub for a family meal now and then.
But I get uncomfortable when the third trip to the bar comes around; kids start tripping waiters up and the glances in our direction become a little less "ahh she's so cute" and a bit more "Jeez, she's so loud".
It starts to feel less like a nice day out and more like a crowd control situation whilst trying not to spill the wine. Frankly, that's not what a family outing should be about.
Kids will be kids. They'll run around, they'll bash tables and be noisy. There are other places for them to do it than a pub.
So I can sympathise with anyone who's had a crappy week and doesn't want their local drinking hole invaded by a bunch of kids and their boredom-induced craziness.For that reason, if I'm going to the pub for more than two drinks, I know it's time to get a babysitter.
My kids won't want to be there (and shouldn't be) and fellow drinkers won't want them there either.
While it's not really the place of a pub chain flogging cheap booze to tell me or others how to parent, I think the two-drink rule is more than fair enough.
I'll be drinking my wine in peace, and I'll try my best to make sure others can too.
Featured Image Credit: PA