Sydney shopping centre bans screaming children

February 20, 2013, 10:05 am

A Sydney shopping centre is cracking down on screaming children following complaints from customers and staff.

Sydney shopping centre bans screaming children
Toddler + Preschooler
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The Dee Why Grand shopping centre on Sydney's northern beaches has enforced a "no screaming children" policy, The Daily Telegraph reports today.

Centre manager Brenda Mulcahy explains the crackdown, which was introduced just before Christmas, was imposed following numerous complaints from shoppers over children “running amok” and “screaming” in the food court.

An official warning sign was put up last week in the shopping centre, which claims to be family-friendly, calling for parents to be considerate of others and stating that: “Screaming children will not be tolerated in the centre.”

Source: The Daily Telegraph

Ms Mulcahy defended management's decision, telling The Telegraph that: “People deserve the quiet enjoyment of their cup of tea”. She had also said that often the screaming was so loud it could be heard from her office “miles away”.

Local parents and parenting experts have spoken out against the decision, calling it "intolerant” and “wrong”.


One expert, Dr Justin Coulson, commented on the increasing lack of empathy for parents with young children in our society. While a Dee Why father of four told The Telegraph that while parents do need to assert some control, at the end of the day “children are just children”.

Where do you stand on this argument? Would you support this kind of ban in your local shopping centre or do you feel our society is becoming increasingly intolerant of young children? Tell us below.

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454 Comments

  1. Seth10:31am Thursday 13th June 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    "the increasing lack of empathy for parents with young children in our society"? really, what's awful is the increase in tolerance of horrible children. kids have tantrums, i get that. it's our responsibility as parents to handle it, hopefully by getting away from other people. oh, and thanks for overpopulating, people who can't parent. idiocracy, here we come!

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  2. Amanda11:13pm Sunday 03rd March 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    I have two young children. They know they have to behave when they go out or they miss out on treats and go home. We do not tolerate screaming in a shopping centre. However a tantrum you sometimes just have to ignore - however we are considerate of others and if they have a tantrum we try to get out of there as soon as possible). I am shocked sometimes at the lack of control and behaviour expectations or lack thereof of some parents, and would guess this is why this has occurred. A screaming baby crying for food is acceptable anywhere - older children screaming are not and when parents do not deal with naughty behaviour this is the result. A disappointing lack of consideration from some parents and a disappointing lack of consideration by the centre management for parents who may be having a tough time of it. They would be better off creating an outside playground to let these kids let off some steam!

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  3. Amanda12:28pm Thursday 28th February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    People are saying, the parents should be educated as to how to bring children up....in some cases, that's true! I don't have any children of my own, but I do know that it's not just the brats that chuck a tantrum....even the best behaved kids make a lot of noise if they're tired, hungry or not feeling well. Have a bit of consideration for the parents who have to deal with this & stop being so selfish!! I work in customer service....so the people who complain about children while they shop....try dealing wiht it ALL day on many occasions!! It's not pleasant & I often go home with a headache....but what about the shopping centre catering for families??? Have they thought about a child minding service and playground for the children to have fun & give the parents (& everyone else) a break!!! Stop making the parents feel gulity!!!

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  4. JBC06:33pm Friday 22nd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Just a note to Alf - if you did go through with your suggestion of bringing your football team into that shopping centre and they behaved in typical loud and boorish manner, I for one would welcome another sign beside the "screaming children" one banning loud and boorish football teams as well. The point is this Alf - behaviour which impacts negatively on the ability of others, the majority, to enjoy a public space should be banned - plaint and simple.

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  5. PandK11:56am Friday 22nd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    If my children become a little restless,they r reminded it is a shopping centre,not a play ground.Unfortunatly the centres r sending mixed messages with a play ground set up near food courts.I worked in a shopping mall for twenty yrs.These tantrums have been going on for longer,especially when reaching a check out with lollies at a childs eyes height. Get rid of the distraction,not the child.Old fasion disipline should be allowed. As kids we never had this problem as the generation not being understanding also left us in the car while the parent went to a shop,now you have to go to a mall to go to shop and live in a unsafe society. Children are our future,teach them consideration and by all means we need to be considerate of children especially those with special needs. There hasn't been much consideration to the bulk of this discussion as I have seen more miss conduct from teenagers in a food court with there disgusting language and misconduct and apparall and lack of respect for the elderly than the scream of a child.

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  6. mospeada1106:34am Friday 22nd February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    There's a big difference between throwing a tantrum, being noisy & screaming. My step daughter can do this to an extremely high level of decibels. Parents need to be parents & draw the line; they're the ones in charge, not rampant children who continually appear to 'rule the roost'! Dicipline starts in the home.

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  7. Roger G05:49pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Any person who thinks they can have a "quiet cuppa" in a shopping mall, well they have either got rocks in their heads or they are deaf, in which case they wouldn't hear the children anyway. I don't know of any quiet shopping mall, they are horrible, noisy, crowded and represent anything other than an enjoyable shopping experience. And it is a long way from being just the children making all the horrible racket. If I do have occasion to go to one, for me it is get in, grab what I want and get out as quickly as possible.

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  8. Loz05:18pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Kids are kids and most will scream to get what they want. If you don't want to hear it then eat someplace else other than a FAMILY food court! Now onto the point of the actual shopping centre who started all this - take a look at their website - they clearly state they cater to young families. They put a Playland right next to the food court and now want to ban noisy kids........ doesnt make sense at all

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  9. Sophie05:10pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    My children have grown up now and yes they were babies and toddlers who had the occasional tantrum along with screaming etc. If it went on for more than a few minutes I took them back to the carpark and waited until they settled. If they did - we ventured back - if not we left - simple. I don't have a problem with upset children or babies. What I do have a problem with is toddlers and kids being allowed to run amok in shopping centres and parents not doing anything about it. I didn't let my kids run in shopping centres or in public. I made them sit down in food halls or cafes and I took things with me to keep them entertained. I made them stay by my side at all times. I also taught them to be respectful and considerate of others. Old fashioned - maybe but they've grown up to be considerate, responsible adults.. Perhaps 'parents to be' should take a mandatory parenting course prior to taking on this very important role.

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  10. Kathleen P04:55pm Thursday 21st February 2013 ESTReport Abuse

    Off course people want some peace and quite when shopping/eating etc when out, but one day when you have kids of your own and when you won't be able to control them, then you will understand...not every parent, as much as they do have that certain strictness on their child and control, will not be able to control their child every single time they're out and about...HELLO!!! they're kids and they're not going to behave themselves all the time, as if you did...i totally disagree about the ban...seriously what is this world coming too...if you don't like that a child is making a noise, why don't you leave the place that you're at. a child could be tired/hungry so what then, they're just being kids. i think people have nothing else to talk about so they bring this up. honestly what's craps next! i'm sure there's more to life that we need to think about then this silly situation.

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