Days when children were seen and not heard are long gone

Regarding your article Noisy baby claim drives mum from cafe (Comet, August 3), I really feel for Gemma Jonas who appears to have been ganged up on and bullied! The letter from J Woods of Letchworth making insulting comments about grizzling children and

Regarding your article 'Noisy baby claim drives mum from cafe' (Comet, August 3), I really feel for Gemma Jonas who appears to have been ganged up on and bullied!

The letter from J Woods of Letchworth making insulting comments about grizzling children and their parents prompted me to write in to voice my disgust at this all-too-common appalling judgmental attitude.

Children in restaurants, perish the thought!

J Woods appears to see children as Philistines who ought to be fed separately in the privacy of their own homes until they attain civilised adulthood!

Parents of young children are doing the very important job of raising our next generation. They are to be admired and respected for the selfless job they do. The days when children were seen but not heard are long gone, as are the cruel practices of so-called discipline that kept them that way.

It is not at all selfish of a parent, as J Woods would have us believe, to want to introduce their child to restaurant food from an early age. Nor is it selfish to attempt to get the shopping done with children in tow at a time convenient to the parent.

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It is clear that parents cannot count on a warm reception from society, much less relax without the fear and worry that staff eyebrows may be raised and fellow diners/shoppers may tut at the first sign of restlessness or a querulous voice.

It is a sad fact that, rather than risk the embarrassment and assume the stressful responsibility for seeing that the child behaves impeccably, many parents do not eat out with their children, thus limiting their children's food experience.

Wanting a café/restaurant/supermarket to be a child free zone, J Woods, is selfishness personified! We were all children once.

HEATHER HOFMEISTER, Wymondley Road, Hitchin

* I have never had the experience of taking my two small children for lunch at Morrison's and, judging by the comments of J Woods in the August 10 edition, neither has he - or been anywhere else by the sounds of it.

J Woods has either never had children or is of an age where children were seen and definitely not heard, I do however suspect that J Woods is in fact male and probably it was his poor wife who had to put up with the unpredictable behaviour of their children.

Children as a whole are programmed to cry and create a fuss and this is usually at the most inconvenient moments and at a time where the most embarrassment can be caused to their parents.

I suspect that J Woods would also be one of those people who would glare disapprovingly at you across the room should you try to discipline your child in public as well.

The wonderful thing about being an adult is choice. There are plenty of cafés and restaurants where adults can go and be almost guaranteed not to bump into a crying child, unfortunately one of these places is not likely to be a family supermarket, where all of us unfit busy mothers who cannot control our children go in between part time jobs, housework, washing, ironing and the school run.

I wish more places would admit families only, excluding people without children, we could all die of embarrassment together then when our little cherubs decide to not sit quietly!

Mrs E LAWRENCE, Lonsdale Road, Stevenage

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