Children

17 replies [Last post]
Offline
Joined:
06/14/2018

Another question from me as we keep on toward making the switch.

Is it easier to be more grown-up oriented as a B&B? I have read through a number of old posts here regarding kids, trying to decide if we can take that plunge or not. The trouble with our listing now is it's whole house, and dang it if we aren't listed on abmb as "family" instead of that "group" or "wedding" category they supposedly rolled out in January.  Four rooms generally invites a wedding (which is fine) a group of adults (fine) or two couples with x number of kids between them (sometimes NOT fine).

Kids cause our damage. 100% of the time. They stand in and break chairs, pull on and break the roman shades, knock over potted plants and damage our gardens. They also create considerably more mess, some of which requires repainting.

At present, I ask a lot of questions around booking requests with children involved, and if the kids outnumber the adults, it's an automatic no. Honestly, we are okay with one or two kids... three make us nervous, four or more bring us to wide-eyed-at-night-terror level.

Has anyone here stopped permitting children, or limited them? Has it hurt your business, or helped?

Also... when making breakfast, do you have a few easy go-to foods for the kids? I know a lot are picky eaters, and the bed and breakfast I worked with before didn't permit kids very often. I have a few good recipes in mind that we are testing (and will share) for the grown-up breakfasts, but is there some magicfood kid pleaser for the ones who will not be interested in asparagus in the morning? Eggos and Aunt Jemima? Granola bars? Fruit Loops?
 

Thanks all. I'll try not to be a pest...

Offline
Joined:
02/15/2017

We have our listings on Air specifically listed as not suitable for children.. and yet some people still write a flowery request...that includes "...and my 6 and 10 year old kids..." 

Sorry...gotta decline...

seashanty's picture
Offline
Joined:
06/02/2008

If you don't want to have child guests, and your state and county allow you to set this policy, then don't.

My state law said I had to accept children. Period. We had lots of debates on here about owner occupied etc., but that was the law.

As for damge, aside from a sticky child NONguest, all my damage was caused by adults ... usually drunk ... the mess and smell from smoking (against the rules), broken glasses and dishes, paintings done by local artists knocked off the walls, sick to the stomach horrendous mess, not to mention the guests who tried to break in with a rock when they forgot their key. 

Babies cry. Little kids are loud, they run, they want to move. I worried about stairs but didn't have antiques to worry about. Best kid guests (usually there was only one or two at a time) were between eight and twelve. They were absolutely no problem except for one little girl who wanted to sleep in the cupola at the top of the inn that you access through the attic. Instead of mommy saying no they camped out up there. It was a tiny space ... I don't know if they actually slept. When I found out about it, I locked the access to the attic from dusk to dawn. 

I only had a few ways I could give them a bed of their own so unless the parents wanted the child to sleep with them there wasn't much I could offer. Mostly they chose to stay at a hotel with a 'kids stay free' policy, of course. Kids eat (or sample) as much breakfast as an adult so I figured that in, too.

The atmosphere is definitely different if kids are staying. 

 

OnTheShore's picture
Offline
Joined:
08/28/2011

In some jurisdictions, you cannot by law ban children from a place of public accommodation, so check your local laws carefully (look for clauses that prohibit age discrimination or discrimination on the basis of family status, among others). That said you can still enforce your occupancy limits -- even babies are people, too, and count -- and you don't have to provide family-friendly amenities or services.

I still remember a sign I saw in a "family" restaurant many years ago: "Crying babies are like good intentions, they should be carried out!"  (At the time, I thought it quite ironic to have such a sign in place whose very name was "xyz family restaurant.")

 

__________________

"where even time relaxes...."

 

Offline
Joined:
06/14/2018

I will definitely check on discriminatory rules. Our county is wonderfully easy to get along with for most things. When we first opened I got a business license. The next year, there was some confusion and my check got sent back to me, so I called with a little worry that I would now be late and unlicensed. I was told I was fine... they were not planning on even enforcing business licenses until next year. Shocked

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We accept 2-legged animals. So far there has only been perhaps one "problem" child and I really think he did not want to make a liar out of his Mother. She told me with him standing there at check-in that he was a picky eater. From the look I remember on his face, he would have loved to chow in to what I served, but had to be picky to save face for Mama.

Adults have broken more things than kids and made bigger messes. But I am in a  different world than most of you. I am off-the-beaten-path and that makes a difference.

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

BTW, most of the kids we've had are peaches. We quite like them. It's the parents who are the problem.

__________________

Never judge a person's story by the chapter you walked in on.

 

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

We removed beds from rooms to reduce the number of children. They have piercing voices and change the entire dynamic of breakfast and socializing.

We do not cater to 'kid-friendly' food options. Kids eat what adults eat or they can have cereal. Do not get me started on the parents who think I'm going to cater to the little tyrants they've raised.

No we don't have bagels, muffins, waffles, pancakes. No, we're not interrupting the flow to wait for the princess to make up her mind. And, if the prince can't get his butt to the breakfast table in time, he can go hungry. (Or, mom can haul his breakfast upstairs to him. Not me.)

Offline
Joined:
06/14/2018

I can live with that -- is there a particular cereal that seems to be good? Honey Nut Cheerios?

Morticia's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Oakleaf Cottage wrote:

I can live with that -- is there a particular cereal that seems to be good? Honey Nut Cheerios?

I get the assorted cereal in boxes. Depending on which company you buy you could get Cheerios or raisin Bran. We also have oatmeal.

I get the small boxes so it doesn't go stale.

Offline
Joined:
11/21/2017

We don't allow children - no exceptions.  We may lose some bookings because we don't take kids but we are okay with that.  

Lee2014's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2014

Oakleaf Cottage wrote:

Kids cause our damage. 100% of the time. They stand in and break chairs, pull on and break the roman shades, knock over potted plants and damage our gardens. They also create considerably more mess, some of which requires repainting.

  That is your answer.  Are you fine with that?  Do you love children?  

__________________

Have a great day!

 

Offline
Joined:
06/14/2018

Why would anyone be fine with damage Laughing out loud -- otherwise, it depends on how the kids were raised.

notAgrandma's picture
Offline
Joined:
07/07/2017

Lee2014 wrote:

  That is your answer.  Are you fine with that?  Do you love children?  

Ouch. A bit of a harsh response to an innkeeper mentioning that kids have damaged their home. I don't love children. Never have, never will. As you may have guessed, we don't have any. I suggest perhaps being a little more open-minded towards people who might not like kids. I love my dogs, but I would never assume that everyone else loves dogs and that they're welcomed everywhere. Terry Gross has made some wonderful observations regarding living a child-free life. https://longestshortesttime.com/episode-79-terry-gross-on-not-having-kids/

We are unable to accommodate children because our rooms are filled with antiques. Our ResKey settings now have the "# of children" pulldown menu disabled, but during the 1-month free trial period, the ResKey reservation form couldn't be customized. Someone attempted to place a reservation and selected "# of children", despite our clearly stated policy. I was prepared for this eventuality and set an automatically implemented fee of $1000 for any child. I received a phone call from the flustered parent. I assured her that the website was correct and the $1000 fee was a damage deposit. I will gladly accommodate a kid if the parents pay me $1000 to bring their bundle of joy!

__________________

Your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. - John Wooden

 

Offline
Joined:
06/14/2018

$1k sounds fair to me!

I don't love kids who have never been taught how to behave or be respectful. I do very much enjoy taking kids outside and introducing them to various plants -- first poison ivy, so they know to avoid it, but then whatever wild plants are in abundance at that time that can be eaten.

We don't personally have children, which makes a difference in my tolerance level too, I am sure. It really just boils down to being respectful and careful with other people's things. And inside voices...

gillumhouse's picture
Offline
Joined:
05/22/2008

Excuse me- I believe there has been a misread of the statement. I read it as There isyour answer - you have damage from children, therefore you do not want children as guests (no reflection on anyone personally). Just saying you answered your own question when stating 100% of your damages are due to children.

 

notAgrandma's picture
Offline
Joined:
07/07/2017

Ah, excellent point, Gillumhouse. I shouldn't have jumped so quickly to defend a "no kids" policy & life. 

I apologize for misinterpreting the statement and posting a defensive response.

Lee2014's picture
Offline
Joined:
12/11/2014

notAgrandma wrote:

Ah, excellent point, Gillumhouse. I shouldn't have jumped so quickly to defend a "no kids" policy & life. 

I apologize for misinterpreting the statement and posting a defensive response.

   You are forgiven.  The three places I worked all take children.  As stated above it depends on the parent(s) and how the child is raise whether it will be a blessing or a riot to your experience with them.  We have lots of children guests who we love to see walk in the door!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.