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Kids @ Cons - The Poll! [Jan. 27th, 2010|04:44 pm]
dalekboy
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[mood |thoughtfulthoughtful]



Note! This poll is about negative impact of experience!

Poll #1517139 Annoying people at cons

A child (someone else's) has seriously impacted on my enjoyment of a con or fannish event...

almost every time
4(4.5%)
frequently
4(4.5%)
now and again
22(25.0%)
rarely
38(43.2%)
never
20(22.7%)

An adult has seriously impacted on my enjoyment of a con or fannish event...

almost every time
15(17.0%)
frequently
26(29.5%)
now and again
35(39.8%)
rarely
11(12.5%)
never
1(1.1%)

Susan is genetically the Doctor's grand-daughter, and not in any way adopted!

Yes
29(34.5%)
No
8(9.5%)
Not sure
38(45.2%)
*ahem* I have a theory... *ahem* *ahem*
9(10.7%)
linkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: dcrisp
2010-01-27 05:47 am (UTC)
You forgot a poll option of "I dont watch Dr who and so dont know, you insensitive sod!"
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-01-27 05:49 am (UTC)
I also didn't put in the poll question that said "Danny is an annoying child - yes, no, etc.."
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[User Picture]From: dcrisp
2010-01-27 05:50 am (UTC)
Thats because you cant handle the truth.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-01-27 06:00 am (UTC)
I know!
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[User Picture]From: rabbit1080
2010-01-27 01:51 pm (UTC)
No problem, you can decide what options are available on the poll.

"Danny is an annoying child ... no, definitely not, i wish i was more like him, he rules the daleks"
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[User Picture]From: callistra
2010-01-27 07:18 am (UTC)
Oops, I read it as Susan is *Death's* grand daughter....
(I'm reading Soul Music at the moment!)
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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-01-27 05:59 am (UTC)
There, added a note to the start to clear that up. It's easy enough to go in and change answers for anyone who needs to.

Thanks for the heads-up. Had just started it when my child negatively impacted my ability to put further thought into the poll by waking up :P
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[User Picture]From: vegetus
2010-01-27 06:12 am (UTC)
You don't have the option of "a parent neglecting their children at a fannish event has impacted on my enjoyment".

There were a couple of times where I've seen children behave in what the kids would think of as ok for their age, but their parent has behaved in a way that was less than ideal.
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From: gutter_monkey
2010-01-27 07:16 am (UTC)
Yeah, that'd annoy me a lot more than almost anythign a child could do. Parents annoy me a LOT more than children.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-01-27 07:56 am (UTC)
Yeah, there was one fan who pretty much always arrived at an event, then just let their kid go.

On one occasion, this idiot's kid had very nearly been seriously injured. It was only avoided by the quick actions of another fan. And when that person suggested to the parent that they needed to keep an eye on the child, said idiot tore into them saying that this was their only time to relax, they were stuck with the child all day every day, etc.

Well cry me a fucking river.

If I had been in charge of the event, that's the point at which I would have banned that parent. As far as I'm concerned, if you are a parent it's your obligation to make sure your child is supervised. It doesn't have to be by you, but it does have to be someone responsible who is willing and able to do it.

Just expecting people around you to do it is not on.

Needless to say there were other parents in exactly the same boat who were always able to keep a watchful eye on their child without disrupting other people's enjoyment.
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[User Picture]From: tikiwanderer
2010-01-27 11:10 am (UTC)
What an idiot! I so totally get the need to relax, and the desire to have time for/with some hobby you love, but a con is not free childcare! And something that comes from the primitive survival and wilderness stuff I've done - if you want your child to come home alive, there must always be exactly one person assigned to be responsible for the child and know exactly where they are at any moment. All the accidents, lost children and other fatal or near-fatal mishaps happen when every adult thinks the child is being supervised by someone else. A con isn't going to suddenly throw up a wild human-flesh-eating predator (you hope), but the same principle applies if you want basic safety: there must always be one person supervising.
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[User Picture]From: spaetlese
2010-01-29 06:01 am (UTC)
That's pretty sad of them.

I know a couple who have been regular SwanCon goers for years and they sent said child off to the Grandparent's for the duration of the Con. If you want to relax and have fun without worrying about your offspring at the con, that seems like a pretty reasonable option to me!
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[User Picture]From: vegetus
2010-01-27 08:34 am (UTC)
As a teacher I agree with you 120%!
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2010-01-27 07:25 am (UTC)
I still count that as the kid impacting on your enjoyment.

In any poll, there will always be options that aren't covered.
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[User Picture]From: vegetus
2010-01-27 09:03 pm (UTC)
In any poll, there will always be options that aren't covered.

This is true, but I do think that it's not the kid that is the issue, but the parent and that blurs the adult/kid line in your survey. Parent's can be looking after their kids fine, or their kids be behaving appropriately, and still the parent's can be unpleasant. Though I suppose some of them would be unpleasant anyway, they just happen to have kids with them.
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[User Picture]From: strangedave
2010-01-27 10:31 am (UTC)
Hell yes.
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[User Picture]From: gemfyre
2010-01-27 08:24 am (UTC)
I'm not big on kids. But I find kids at cons are usually awesome geeky kids. And all the cons I've been to have had plenty to occupy them, so you don't end up with little hellions running rampant and wrecking the place, you have nice, intelligent, geek kids playing quietly.
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From: chuckmck1
2010-01-27 09:07 am (UTC)
Spot on with the 'geek' observation. A few year ago I was at a con where the topic of discussion at a panel became rather sexual - then everyone realised that the (barely) teenaged daughter of a well-known community member was in the room. Silence fell. The girl piped up: 'It's okay. Sex talk doesn't phase me. My parents are Gamers.' :)
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[User Picture]From: purrdence
2010-01-27 08:15 pm (UTC)
Bless. :)
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[User Picture]From: callistra
2010-01-28 03:00 am (UTC)
LOL
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From: leecetheartist
2010-01-28 03:30 am (UTC)
Awesome.
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[User Picture]From: dr_jekyl
2010-01-28 04:31 am (UTC)
Funny as the anecdote may be, this is a prime example of the issue of adults having to modify speech and behavior because there are kids around. Those in the room should have been able to continue the discussion without having to worry that they were traumatizing somebody's kid.
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[User Picture]From: mireille21
2010-01-28 04:57 am (UTC)
But then this should follow to all places; cafes, buses, shopping malls, dozens of places where kids are present regularly, and yet Joe Public carries on regardless. personally I have no expectation with how anyone wants to talk around my kid and an extension of my responsibility that if I am uncomfortable with it I will leave. I see it as just another part of my parenting responsibility to teach them about what they are hearing and when it is appropriate to use such language, etc. Which, by the way, I don't think it is acceptable to use some language or talk about certain crass topics in public at all, ever. That offends me. So can we ban people who swear too?
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[User Picture]From: dr_jekyl
2010-01-28 05:17 am (UTC)
The majority of those are public places. There is an expectation on both sides of the equation that there will be both adults and children present. While the majority hold to that expectation and modify their behaviour appropriately, some people violate it. That's where you, as a parent - and in some instances our legal system - come into play.

The con is a private space, and it is also a space that has the expectation that it is predominately, if not exclusively, adult - as evidenced by the nature of the conversation being had at that panel. In this way it's more akin to a bar or a nightclub: you wouldn't expect to have to modify your speech about an adult topic in one of these locales because children were present.

And as for banning people who swear? We do not have the right not to be offended.
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[User Picture]From: baby_elvis
2010-01-28 07:17 am (UTC)
Are we assuming that all adults would and should be comfortable with graphic sex talk at a panel, if it wasn't advertised as being about such?
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[User Picture]From: dr_jekyl
2010-01-28 09:42 am (UTC)
We are not. That, however, comes back to the idea of not having a right to not be offended (though this is different from vilification), and the concept of adult space. As an adult entering an adult space, you accept that there is a risk that you may come across something you find offensive or inappropriate (but not illegal). You have options for dealing with that, including challenging the material, making people aware of your discomfort, ignoring it and leaving. But your mere presence doesn’t automatically preclude the discussion taking place, or the material being produced.

The presence of a child, however, in many circumstances does. Before the discussion and procede, as a responsible member of society you must ascertain the child's maturity level and/or how their parents feel about them being involved. When you can't do those things, or the child is not mature enough to handle it or the parents dissaprove, you can't have the discussion. If you do continue to have it regardless, you risk some seriously negative repercussions.

We have different expectations for speech when there are children present as opposed to adults. I could hold a conversation with my friends that's exremely sexually explicit. If you overhear it, you might get offended. If I held that same conversation with my friend's teenage son and you overheard it, you might call the police.
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[User Picture]From: baby_elvis
2010-01-28 12:14 pm (UTC)
All those things you mention about needing checking when children are around are things that I would assume someone on a panel would do even if the room was full of adults, unless the panel was advertised as 'X' rated or somesuch.

I think I see a con as much more of a public space than you do - anyone who pays their money can take part.

Anyway, we've probably typed ourselves out by now. Tanks for the discussion and I hope you feel able to come to a Swancon in the future if you think you might like to. It's be nice to chat in person.
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[User Picture]From: dr_jekyl
2010-01-28 01:44 pm (UTC)
There are levels and degrees. I seized on this as an example given as a good one in that it was something that arose naturally that was not intended to be part of the discussion. It was only when it was realised that there was a child present did the audience have any issues with the direction the conversation was going. There was a collective "oh fark, we should have been watching what we were saying 'lest we corrupt the youth" moment.

But, well, I'll leave it there too.

As for attendence, oh, I'll probably go to swancons in future. I'm really only not going this year because there doesn't seem to be anything about it that interests me. The panels are 'meh' and the guests don't appeal and I'm soon to have a big-ass mortgage that means I can't justify spending hundreds of dollars to sit in the gaming room all weekend.

I look forward to talking with you in person at some point. I even promise I won't eat your daughter alive - at least not without a lot of BBQ sauce ;)
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[User Picture]From: mireille21
2010-01-28 11:32 am (UTC)
I have an Aussicon membership form in front of me that states children 6-16 years $50, children under 6 free (must be accompanied by a paying adult.) I would say there is a pretty fair expectation by the convention organisers that children will be present, and that it is a pretty standard form of many cons. I think it is also an expectation of most con organisers that children may very well attend in some capacity, whether or not their specific con has children's rates, or children's programming. It *is* quite common to see some individual panels marked as adult content, and fair enough, but I can't think of a single SF convention that has been entirely adults only, and I have attended (and been on the committee for) many.

The question of whether con space is private or public is debatable and has come up before, but isn't worth getting into now.

My comment about people swearing was a touch facetious, but only to demonstrate a point. i find that there are a vocal minority who seem so offended by the presence of children that they think they should be banned from as many places as possible. It also seems to be some of these people who presume (incorrectly) that conventions are adults only spaces. What they wish and what actually is aren't necessarily the same thing. Now, not many things offend me, but gratuitous swearing is one of them. I cannot however, control the behaviour of other people beyond perhaps asking them to clean up their language if I feel brave enough (and even though the law would technically supposedly favour me in a public place, who is really going to go there?) I can only control what *I* do, and if I'm uncomfortable or don't want myself or my child to be exposed to X,Y or Z then I have the prerogative to remove myself from the situation. I cannot hold the expectation that everyone who swears should be banned from an event I'm attending. I expect that most people *do* swear at some time, but maybe they can keep the really choice stuff for at home. The same way that I let my child do things at home that I will not let him do in public out of consideration for other people. My child should not be banned from a con by mere fact of being child. If, and only if I did not show proper courtesy to other patrons then might I expect the con organiser may have reason to talk with me or ask me to remove my child.
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