Forums > Social Chat > parental guidelines at festivals

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 4525
Posted:I was discussing this with Clare earlier and was wondering if any of you could add to this.

At a festival (eg, Play, Southern Lights, etc) do you think there should be guidelines for parents?

For example i think that parents should take responsibility for their children and not think that because they know everyone at the festival that the child is safe and can run around willy nilly.

Sure the kids ARE safe, but it means that the responsibility of those children are then put on someone elses shoulders.

Now, I don't have children, but if I did I wouldnt want them to see me wasted, see my friends wasted and to generally see the naughtiness that happens at festivals.

Also, at shows where kids heckle and you want them to shut up, and you are wondering "where on earth are this kids parents?"

any thoughts?


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:I do agree...

While noone is trying to tell parents how to do their job, or suggest that festivals aren't great places for kids.... it does seem, perhaps, that maybe some guidelines would be a good idea... so parents know what to expect at a festival...

Things like:

Children should be accompanied at all times

Or

While this is a family-orientated event, adult activities will be happening, so please show due care and attention for your child, if you do not want them to be exposed to this...

Or Something shrug

What do other people think?

Like I said... this is not in any way intended to preach or dictate to parents... but, if some child or children is uncared for, neglected or let to run wild at festivals, it puts pressure on other people to look after them and that can really damage the experience for unsuspecting, considerate folk.

smile


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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:i think your both spot on and good job bringing this up jo, i've seen loads of kids wadering around at teknivals where 99.999% of people are out of their skulls. i've seen people taking young kids near the sound systems with no ear defenders, and lots more i cant mention.

there dose need to be some resposability from the parents in my view, they seem to think that once at a festival there are no laws, no responsabilitys in the world so the kids often run riot.


also a good way, although mildly humitiating for when a lone child is acting up or heckling during a show is to stop the music, if a spot light is in use train it on said child and announce that they have just volenteered for some special duty (what this duty is i'll leave to your imagination) wink


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FireTom


Stargazer


Total posts: 6650
Posted: Written by: _Clare_


While this is a family-orientated event, adult activities will be happening, so please show due care and attention for your child, if you do not want them to be exposed to this...




... as in? umm ubblol


the best smiles are the ones you lead to wink

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Yeah, whilst parenting is an individual thing and everyone is entitled to raise their kids how they see fit, if this then infringes on others enjoyment - it becomes an issue.

Whether this is unruly behaviour by the kids annoying everyone, others being made to feel uncomfortable by loud, ineffective disciplining or even just others having their time restricted fostering others without having been asked - it's not fair to others around.

However, try telling a parent this without them biting your head off wink


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted: Written by: FireTom



 Written by: _Clare_



While this is a family-orientated event, adult activities will be happening, so please show due care and attention for your child, if you do not want them to be exposed to this...







... as in? umm ubblol





Rampant drug abuse, sexual deviancy and horrendous language if it's a normal spinning event...


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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Damn. Where?

tongue


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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Usually the Burnt Toast members tent...

Burner of Toast
Spinner of poi
Slacker of enormous magnitude

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hahhahahah...

You wish...

tongue


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Wild Child
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1733
Posted: Written by: _Clare_



Children should be accompanied at all times





What age we talking here?

I had kids around at the first Play and my sis and kinda worked on the theory that during the day the 2 youngest at 8 and 10 were Ok to do their own thing during the day, but come evening weren't. They're old enough to look after themselves and recognise potential dangers, I'd introduced them to a number of people to go to if they were uncomfortable about anything and i know they're not a p in the a to others by staring/giggling/being generally uncool as they're experienced samll festy/gathering goers. They had a fantabulous time, glittered, face-painted, space-hoppered and poied.

Evening is entirely another thing due to the aforesaid shenanigins which make these events so special to us all biggrin Which isn't to say they only happen in the evening, but certainly at more public gatherings there's a little more awareness of the wider audience, sometimes, maybe, errrm... ubblol

And maybe parents should think a bit harder as to whether the evening shows are really going to be appropriate to their kids - esp. things like rengade nights
Babies, toddlers and kids upto to say 5 or 6 should ALWAYS be with an adult who has elected to be their 'guardian' - ie responsibility for a child of that age has to be passed on, not left dangling for anyone (hopefully) to pick up.

As for children heckling - only mildly amusing once, after that they should be shut up forcefully and any parent encouraging them ejected! *starts to talk in vaguely german accent and walking with arms and legs very stiff*

Good thread - I love to see kids enjoying the freedom they're afforded at a gathering (and happily spend time with them to give their parents a break0, but it's not good to feel your own freedom threatened, either by noisy brats or by feeling responible for a child's safety in parentis absentia

hug hug for all parents - it's the best and the worst job in the world


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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Durbs
BRONZE Member since Sep 2001

Durbs

Classically British
Location: Epsom, Surrey, England

Total posts: 5688
Posted:Sometimes I wish it weren't so - it's hard work being smacked out your head all day, servicing a coach full of groupies and performing the best damn fire show on the planet everyday of a festival.

*sigh* But it's a living

Aaaanyway, we're all excellent responsible parents, so that's ok...

offtopic wink


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Wild Child
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1733
Posted:ubblol ubblol

'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Hahahah... Durbs, you have such a vivid imagination smile

Wild Child, I'm not a parent, so can't say what age is best suited to be unattended... but I reckon that depends on each individual case.

However, I agree that All children should be accompanied at night time, regardless of age.

In my opinion, during the day, children aged 11/12 may be able to be left alone if they are responsible and not annoying...

Children aged 8-11 could perhaps be left in the care of an older sibling or kindly festival goer (if they agree first! And if it's understood they aren't going to be a babysitter all weekend!) - but again, this depends on the child... disruptive children should not be left without their parents.

Children younger than 8 should not be left alone...

But then, these are just my thoughts... so please don't anyone take them personally

smile


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Wild Child
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1733
Posted:I'm not a parent either - I have neices and a nephy. 2 I would happily let loose on a festy but 2 I most definitely wouldn't!! They haven't been brought up to be independent or responsible for themselves and so lack the ability to show respect to others.

It seems all us childless ones are coming up with similar ideas on what we're comfortable with - both from our point of view and from the child's. So now we need to know a few parents;' thoughts - they're the one's who'll make it happen, or otherwise. smile


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted: Written by: Durbs


it's hard work being smacked out your head all day




eek I KNEW IT!!!! you do smak eekyou dutty druggy durbs wink


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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 4525
Posted:I think, in general, 11 years and older can look after themselves in the day.

Saying this, there are some very mature younger children who respect adults, are kind and helpful and are ok on their own.

Similarly, there are older children who are likely to misbehave.

It all comes down to the individual child, IMHO.


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:I've seen some very bad parenting choices made by people at festivals. It's as if they forget all logic and reason.

I've known people put their kids to bed in a tent and once they are asleep the parent(s) wander off leaving the kids (as young as 4) all by themselves just so they can watch a band or go off to do other activities that they don't want to take their kids along to. I've also seen people lock their sleeping children in cars and wander off for a nights entertainment, thinking that their kids will be safe because no one can get in the car. What if the kids wake up? What if the kids take the hand brake off and the car is on a hill? What if (heaven forbid) the car catches fire?

In normal everyday life I'm sure most of these parents would NEVER do this kind of thing, but for some reason at festivals they think it's ok.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 4525
Posted:ditto too true Skully.

Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:simple answer......................LEAVE KIDS AT HOME IF YOU WANT TO SPEND A FESTIVAL GETTING WASTED wink

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darkness-before
GOLD Member since Apr 2007

darkness-before

Rock is dead, long live paper and scissors
Location: The sea, United Kingdom

Total posts: 197
Posted:I actually spent a lot of the weekend loking after some little folk (well more like hanging round with but heh) and I agree with a lot ofthe stuff here. Butmost parents DO take the resposibility very seriously. Heckling children are a problem but for those of you with kids, newphews, nieces, little folk in general you also know how difficult it is to control young excited ones.

I like kids, most people are more than happy toentertain them for short spaces of time. My only bugbear is when they do start being little mad2 censored if you are just "watching" them you can't really do anything. (Sit there and deal with it or abandon them to go and get the parent). Unfortunately (or not) you can't just give em a clip round the ear anymore or you'll find yourself in court faster than a white middle class male with an unpaid parking fine.

What to do though?umm Ban small kids? Strap them to there parents/owners? Or provide more facilities for them? (could be exspensive and hard to get parents to actually utilize).

Not sure I'd want to have to make that descision. Tough call. Deffinately agree as far as the night time schenanigans go though, that made me blush never mind the kiddies! redface lolsign


Eagles may soar but weasles don't get sucked into jet engines.

Telepath wanted, you know where to apply.

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Wild Child
SILVER Member since Sep 2004

Wild Child

Star Trekker
Location: Cheshire, United Kingdom

Total posts: 1733
Posted:So message seems to be - Parents we like your kids but think about them and us before yourselves -right?

Sad but true shrug - and hey, they get thesnuggles n cuddles n laughter n fun in compensation biggrin


'The last rays of crimson on the spindle tree as the cerise fruit splits and reveals its orange seeds in a gloriously clashing colour scheme no-one would ever dare to wear'
Euonymous Europeus

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Skulduggery
GOLD Member since Aug 2004

Skulduggery

Pirate Pixie Crew Captain
Location: Wales

Total posts: 8428
Posted:I certainly don't want to ban kids from festivals. I think they have every right to be there. I've had some of the most fun times at festivals playing silly games with younger members of the festival going public. The children aren't usually the problem. It's just some of (and a minority at that)the parents that are.

I understand that parents/guardians want to have fun at festivals too, but if you bring your child along with you it is your child's right to be kept safe and happy. Leaving them alone, in what after all is a strange place, is not acceptable. Leaving them with people they hardly know is also not acceptable. Good parents/guardians who want to do things they don't feel are suitable for their children to join in with, take it in turns to go off and have fun, only leaving the children in the care of someone the kids feel safe with, making an agreement with said person for how long they will be away and where to find them if they are needed.

Parents who dump their children on other festival goers and disappear off for hours at a time drive me nuts. I've had this happen to me on many occasions. Face painters are NOT unpaid baby sitters. Just because someone offers to teach your child to plate spin it does not mean they want to look after your child for 8 hours whilst you wander off to see a few bands and get drunk in the beer tent.

Equally if your kids start playing with someone else's kids, that does not mean the parents of those children want to take on the responsibility of your children for the rest of the day whilst you go to learn to spin poi or tight rope walk.

Oops sorry, this has turned into a bit of a rant, but I do feel that quite often the children that get left to do their own thing get moaned about when really it's their parents that are the problem.


Feed me Chocolate!!! Feed me NOW!

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jo_rhymes
SILVER Member since Apr 2005

jo_rhymes

Momma Bear
Location: Telford, Shrops, United Kingdo...

Total posts: 4525
Posted:Totally agree Skully. Last year at Latitude Festival Sym and I were teaching circus arts. The kids we'd taught in the day caught us up in the evenings, and their parents would be out of their faces, and just leave the kids with us. I got so angry!!!

I was thinking "I've done my teaching, I'm not here to babysit your kids!"


Hoppers are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.

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Helen_of_Poi
SILVER Member since Apr 2004

Helen_of_Poi

lapsed spinner
Location: Dublin, Ireland

Total posts: 412
Posted:As far as I can recall, in the EJC booklet we had a blurb about parents needing to supervise children at all times. It stressed that while children were welcome at all workshops (provided that they had the minimum skills, if any were needed) their parents should be there too. I don't think we specified what age group we were talking about, it was just more of a common sense thing. We were very wary that people who were very kindly volunteering to give workshops could be viewed as babysitters. We also especially didn't want unaccompanied kids at Renegades where the content can get a bit "adult" at times.

We were hoping at one stage to set up a volunteer childcare area - where parents could arrange shifts looking after each other's kids, and give themselves some time off. But in the end we decided that we couldn't get involved in facilitating such a scheme, in case of disputes between parents, and any implied responsibility on our part.

From an event organiser's perspective, this is a really litigious country (we sue each other even more than Americans) and we couldn't be seen to take responsibility for any injuries caused to kids by hitting themselves in the head with clubs/poi/staff/plates/whatever...or potentially even worse - messing with big tops, generators and all of the other hazards that we made as safe as we could, but still remain dangerous.

It's great when you see parents and kids who have that balance of enjoying themselves and being responsible. I think it really adds to a festival. I hate seeing out of control kids and/or out of their mind parents (although as a non-parent myself, I suppose it's easy to get on my high horse about it.)


Helen_of_Poi

EJC Ireland 2006 Organisational Team

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Spanner
BRONZE Member since Feb 2003

Spanner

remembers when it was all fields round here
Location: in the works... somewhere..., ...

Total posts: 2790
Posted:Some of the things I've noted at festivals over the past couple of years:



*myself and other friends being asked to keep an eye an their children for "5 minutes", which turns into the best part of an hour at least, usually longer



*finding a little boy who had been left in his buggy in the corner of a hall with bands playing, crying because it was too loud for him, finding his mother who then shouted at me for repeating that he was hungry for him, because she was too drunk to be bothered with dealing with him the first time round



*having to stay beside another very upset little boy whose mother had left him crying outside the camping area on a vehicle access road, because otherwise he would've been run over by a car he ran out in front of, and being given the evil eye for it by his mother as well



*hearing another parent shout at her child for daring to tell her that he found the uneven field too difficult to find his way over in the dark, past midnight



As for the solution: there's obviously a lot of people here who are concerned about this issue, but in my experience, raising it with parents at a festival, to help rather than judge, tends to have the effect Durbs described earlier frown



Roo is now 6 and I haven't taken him to any of these kinds of festivals yet.

A few years ago I experimented by taking him to a Southampton day meet and one in Clapham when we were in the area, but I spent most of the time running around the commons after him biggrin so I knew we weren't quite ready for that yet, let alone anything longer.

I would recommend that any parent considering taking their child to any festival should gauge their own and their child's ability to cope with it by taking them to shorter events first.

I'm fortunate that Roo can stay with his father while I let my hair down on some weekends, though it hasn't always been that way so I know how especially difficult it can be for those single parents who don't have such an arrangement to find a chance to have fun, but there is never an excuse for sacrificing the safety of children in order for their parents to have fun.



I think what it boils down to are 3 basic options:



1) Look after your children at the festival

2) Let them stay with a (willing and appropriate!) babysitter while you go to the festival

3) If you can't do either of the above, don't go at all.




It also needs to be made clear that substitutes for these options, such as leaving children with strangers - to them, even if not to their parents - is not acceptable.

It's also important to remember that, accompanied or not, a child's perspective to new places and people is very different from an adults: the acts or effects of drinking/drugs/swearing/the usual festival shenanigans tend to be far more noticeable to a children than adults and can be be more distressing or influential than we realise.



Those are just 3 concise points so I'd like to see them, or something similar, included in all the usual information formats from when a festival is first announced, all the way to the welcome leaflets we're given at the gate.

If that happened, I'd also like to see fellow festival goers would naturally adopt and spread the word about them.

That way, there should be no confusion about what's expected from parents and hopefully, eventually, we'll see far less unhappy children at what should be happy times for all smile


"I thought you are man, but
you are nice woman.

yay,

:R"

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alien_oddity


alien_oddity

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: in the trees

Total posts: 7193
Posted:some very good points brought up,this is the good thing about eastern haze festival..............our kids area is run by a qualified child protection officer and all the workers are strictly checked and all wear recognisable atire (uniform) and it's all free. we thought long and hard about it and it is a place you can leave the kids and relax as most of the points raised have been thought about.

sorry if that comes across as a plug it wasnt ment as one, the fact is kids want to do their own thing and the parents like to relax,sometimes too much but most events dont have a secure place to leave the kids to have their own fun.

drunks and people high on god knows what will not be allowed in the kids area and god help any parent coming to pick up their kid after leaving them there all day rocking up out of their skull wink

this is only the 2nd year of the festival so i pray this works *fingers and everything else crossed*


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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:hug

Getting to the other side smile

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_khan_
SILVER Member since Nov 2004

_khan_

old hand
Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Total posts: 768
Posted:Interesting that this thread has come up now, as some of the members of my camp for Burning Man are bringing their kids and don't want to camp in kidsville (the kid-friendly village in a "quiet" part of the city) and we've had a whole discussion about it. Mostly, the non-parents in the group were concerned about having to curtail their naughtiness & walking-about-naked-time if the kiddies were around, but the parents have assured us there are no such expectations, and there will be a designated kid area when more mature activities are taking place. We all trust the parents though, to take care of the kids properly, so there's no worries about them being locked in the car all day...

taken out of context i must seem so strange
~ ani di franco

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GothFrogette
BRONZE Member since Oct 2004

GothFrogette

grumpy poorly froggy
Location: Nuneaton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3999
Posted:*festie parent walks into the thread*

it drives me nuts how some parents are with their kids at festies, especialy leaving them in tents unatended while they go off and do their own thing. as far as i am concernd it isn't safe there is no argument on that one. I usualy end up having the kids(not just mine) at my tent or in sight all the time.As a parent you get to learn how to do a bit of socialising while keeping the other eye and most of your ears on the kids. my oldest isn't so hard, he's old enough to look after himself during the day and i expect if he did annoy anyone for them to come and tell me. i wouldn't bite anyones head off about it if i was approached in a nice way. its not happend yet and they did do me proud last year.


if kids were not alowed at festies i wouldn't be able to go.my kids go (aged now 13 and 6) every where with me as not every one has a nice support group around them. It is like this for alot of parents and i for one will not stop having fun in life. i don't however go to these things and get out of my face and do not mind one bit if i miss out on some of the things that happen once its bedtime for the kids.I worried loads last year about them in the tent when i just went to the loo but we tented near a good bunch of peeps who listened out for them if i had to go, or to the dismay of my oldest i would wake him up so he knew where i was.

there are many valid points made and they are mainly the reason why i worry when going to festies with the kids.


Life's too short to worry about where you put your marshmallows

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Firetramp


Firetramp

old hand
Location: Binstead, Isle of Wight

Total posts: 896
Posted: Written by: ravehead


simple answer......................LEAVE KIDS AT HOME IF YOU WANT TO SPEND A FESTIVAL GETTING WASTED wink



Well, thanks Ravehead. I shall lock myself and my baby up the whole summer and not do anything until she graduates?!


Ask a question and be a fool for a minute...don't ask and be a fool your whole life.

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland (UK)

Total posts: 5967
Posted:Ermmm... there's nothing wrong with going to a festival and Not getting wasted... if you have small children.

Taking drugs isn't a basic need... protecting children is.


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