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reckless
08-16-2010, 06:26 PM
I think there are a few different issues. There are parents who do not plan and parents who plan without success. Then, regardless of the above categories, there is the parental response to other people.

I find that the parents who plan generally tend to be okay with people around them trying to help. The very fact they planned to keep the child occupied on a flight demonstrates that they are conscious of other passengers.

I always joke about how when my stepsister flying with her two small children (5 and 2), she needs an army of people to help her get to the gate. However, I also know that her kids are extremely well-behaved on flights. All of the things she brings to keep them occupied are one factor. Another is that her kids have very good attention spans, so a single toy or book can keep them occupied for hours. (I really believe their attention spans are is a by-product of their not watching television.)

By contrast, a friend of mine recently flew home to the UK after a visit to Los Angeles. Her row on the plane had two young kids (a 3-year old and a 10-month old) and their mother (father took a different flight). My friend decided to try to be helpful rather than try to switch seats, but for her efforts, she wound up with bruises from being kicked by the kids. The mother had no drinks or snacks for the kids and only one toy -- for them to share. And she became completely dependent on my friend, who finally drew the line when the mom suggested that my friend could take one of the kids to the lavatory. This happened to be an overnight flight, so the parents should have been able to schedule the kids to sleep a bit, but it did not happen. I will say that the mother was grateful for my friend's help, but that really is not something that a person paying hundreds of dollars for a plane ticket should have to deal with.

cruisin
08-16-2010, 06:35 PM
Other than that, I've never had an issue. And I'll say in my community, it's common practice for people to watch over other people's kids and discipline them, so no one thinks to object to that--at least not that I've witnessed. I try to be more careful around kids I don't know, but like I said, I've not had a problem there either (except for above). Exactly

You're very lucky, then. Most of my experience has been that parents will throttle you if you suggest their little darling has done something wrong. Case in point the little brat slamming her seat into my knees. I didn't even address the child, I politely asked the mother to get her to stop. It's no wonder the child is horribly behaved if she then hears mommy call the lady a bitch (and worse). And mommy basically told her it was okay to continue doing what she was doing.

I agree with you that sometimes babies and very young children can get cranky, restless, and frustrated. And that sometimes they cannot be easily consoled. But, the running up and down the isle, the throwing food, the slamming seat backs, kicking seat backs are all part of how the child is taught to behave at home. I don't care how miserable one of my kids got, they would never throw food on a plane or in a restaurant. They would never run and be disruptive in a public place. If they were asked to stop something, they might sulk, but they'd stop. Especially if it were explained they were hurting/bothering someone. I believe that kids need to learn how to behave in public places before they go. You explain to them what is expected of them and what will not be allowed. Set up an artificial situation, that is like where they are going and show them how to behave. They should not be allowed to throw food in their home, why would it be okay to do it on a plane? Let them know there are consequences - like time outs, no TV, no playing with BF for a day.

It's like please and thank you. My children were taught to say please and thank you, because I said those words to them and told them it was the right way to behave. Did they sometimes forget? Sure. But a little, what do you say? Always worked.


Some parents believe in medicating kids before a flight to make them sleep while others find that highly objectionable. But the fact is children don't always cooperate with parental plans and schedules. It's a bummer, but it doesn't necessarily mean the parents don't care.

I don't think I can get on board with medicating kids to keep them quiet. Not that there weren't times I wanted to :lol:. I know someone who would give their child Benedryl to get them sleepy, that scared me. I don't think those parents are uncaring, but they are not teaching the child anything.

kwanfan1818
08-16-2010, 06:48 PM
Growing up in my home town, every mother on my street had blanket permission to put an unruly/misbehaving child in its place. For the kids on my block that went to Catholic school, when word got out through the Mother Telepathy Magic Network before the school bus arrived that a kid had misbehaved, the mothers were out on the front steps with their arms crossed, taunting the kid all the way home. It took something major for a parent to go into a school and second-guess a teacher, and the only time I know that a nun was chastised was after some imparting some creative theology to her fifth grades, and one father who had been educated by Jesuits objected to her explanation of the afterlife for non-Catholics.

Now, same town, more wealth and a very different attitude towards neighbors and child-rearing. One age's "given" is another age's "helping" is another age's "interference"/"Stay the F*ck away from my child", whether bystander or flight attendant with federal regulations on his/her side.

agalisgv
08-16-2010, 06:51 PM
This happened to be an overnight flight, so the parents should have been able to schedule the kids to sleep a bit You would think, but it often is difficult to do. For one thing, it's not on a child's sleeping schedule to be in a brightly lit airport late at night. Nor is part of their sleeping schedule to be shuttled through security and have strange people's hands searching their strollers. There there are the loudspeakers making announcements every few seconds, and of course the children have to be removed from their stroller beds to enter the plane.

A restful night's sleep is difficult to achieve under those circumstances.

Course it's not like parents don't try--they may have their kids run around to get them exhausted before making it to the airport. But all the commotion means the children awake when they are exhausted, and this results in overtired children who are difficult to console (see my previous post).

The fact the mother didn't bring snacks or toys may be an indication she thought they would sleep on the flight as well, only they didn't.

I think it's nice your friend tried to help. But by the same token, she knew the children were fussy at the start of the flight and apparently was offered a seat elsewhere. I'm not sure how it's the mother's fault if your friend chose to not move. It may have been easier on the mother if she had an extra seat to work with.

Just saying...

Anyhow, you mentioned some different issues, with parental response to others being one. I would add to that other people's responses to parents. I get the sense that some believe children are perfectly controllable, and if children aren't behaving perfectly, it's because the parents have chosen for them to be that way. Sometimes little children are simply difficult to deal with no matter what you do. And in any type of public transport, one has to deal with the public--including children. Sometimes I get the sense that some people feel they are entitled to a flight without annoyances. I find that a tad unrealistic. If you fly a public flight, you'll have to deal with the public. So instead of taking offense at every annoyance, try to either help the situation or not get worked up over it.

:shrug:

Anita18
08-16-2010, 06:53 PM
:D

My father is a (retired) mechanical engineer who worked in R&D for GE/Martin Marietta/Lockheed Martin for 45 years. he also has every issue of Scientific American since the mid-1950's. And has read every single one cover to cover. He was always getting summoned for jury duty, but I don't think he ever got to actually sit on a jury.
Well yeah, jury summons are by address, I think, so they wouldn't know what we did for a living. When I was summoned, I had to state what my occupation was in front of the judge and lawyers. And then the defense lawyer asked me if I would have a problem with being presented with not all the evidence and I said yes because I was a scientist and liked having more evidence. :lol:

I don't know a single scientist who has sat on a jury. We get summoned all the time like everybody else. :lol:

agalisgv
08-16-2010, 07:04 PM
I don't care how miserable one of my kids got, they would never throw food on a plane or in a restaurant. They would never run and be disruptive in a public place. If they were asked to stop something, they might sulk, but they'd stop. But not all kids are like that.

One school counselor used to say some children are nouns, and others are verbs. I have one child that would be have like you described. He would be a 'noun' ;). But my other child was a verb, and he just didn't react the same way. Of course he wasn't taught to do that as a baby--it was just his personality to run like the wind. He walked at nine months and loved to run. Trying to hold him still was like death to him.

Kids are different.

Another recent flight I was on, there was a toddler behind me screaming like crazy. This was a late-night flight, and the parents had tried to put him to sleep. But all the hullabaloo in the airport woke him, and he was just a mess. He was throwing things, kicking, screeching, wouldn't wear his seat belt, etc. The flight attendants brought over some toys, I offered some candy, but nothing worked. The parents were doing their best, clearly exhausted, but just kept calm and tried to calm him. After about a half hour, he finally drank some juice and calmed down. The parents never lost their cool, and I was very impressed given the situation. To me it was clear they were very good parents, but the child was just overtired and having a meltdown. Sometimes it happens, and it doesn't mean the child is bad or the parents are bad.

For those who haven't had children who react that way, it may seem like another universe. But some kids really do act that way without being taught it. Luckily, it's something most kids grow out of ;).
I believe that kids need to learn how to behave in public places before they go. You explain to them what is expected of them and what will not be allowed. Yes, well that doesn't work so well for a six-month old baby.
Let them know there are consequences - like time outs, no TV, no playing with BF for a day. Except there are no places to take a time out on a plane, and the notion of delayed consequences aren't age appropriate concepts for babies and toddlers--which is what I'm addressing.
I know someone who would give their child Benedryl to get them sleepy, that scared me. Yeah, especially when it involves babies--hate to mess with medications for infants that aren't medically necessary.

cruisin
08-16-2010, 07:36 PM
Anyhow, you mentioned some different issues, with parental response to others being one. I would add to that other people's responses to parents. I get the sense that some believe children are perfectly controllable, and if children aren't behaving perfectly, it's because the parents have chosen for them to be that way.

I certainly don't believe that. My kids certainly had their moments.


Sometimes little children are simply difficult to deal with no matter what you do. And in any type of public transport, one has to deal with the public--including children. Sometimes I get the sense that some people feel they are entitled to a flight without annoyances. I find that a tad unrealistic. If you fly a public flight, you'll have to deal with the public. So instead of taking offense at every annoyance, try to either help the situation or not get worked up over it.

I don't take offense when a baby or toddler is crying. It's not fun, but it's life. I even get it that sometimes a child will slam the seat back or kick, once, twice. But, when they are asked to stop (and they are 3/4/5 years old) and the mother gets angry and says the kid can do what they want - there is a big problem. As far as throwing things, food or anything else, that can be controlled. It should not be tolerated, period. Someone can get hurt. Take whatever it is away from them. Putting on the seat belt. Put the child in the seat, buckle it yourself and hold the buckle so they can't open it. I'm sure those parents would be the first to sue if their kid got thrown from their seat in a pressure drop and got hurt.


But not all kids are like that. Kids are different.

I understand that. My kids are very different. One was very cautious and quiet. The other was swinging from the chandelier at 10 months old. I remember a time when we went to a restaurant and the wild one was about a year old. She was in a high chair and thought it was very funny to pick up the pieces of food on her tray and drop them on the floor. She did it once, I said no. She did it twice, I said no. The third time I picked her up and took her home (I always brought my car, just in case). She cried the whole way, because she wanted to stay with grandpa. She never did it again. I realize you can't do that on a plane, but it can be done in other places where they learn how to behave.


For those who haven't had children who react that way, it may seem like another universe. But some kids really do act that way without being taught it. Luckily, it's something most kids grow out of ;). Yes, well that doesn't work so well for a six-month old baby.

I understand that, and sometimes a parent has to just hold onto the child and not let him run around. I can deal with the screaming, but dangerous things have to be dealt with. A child could get hurt running up and down the aisles (just realized how I've been spelling that :lol:), disruption is only a minor part. And six month old babies may cry, but they are not kicking seats or throwing things ;).

As for delayed consequences. I don't think they work well. But if the child gets a consequence for throwing food at home or in a restaurant and it is dealt with consistently, reminding them of the consequence on a plane might stop them. For the most part infants and toddlers are not the problem, for me. It is the older kids who should know better that I take issue with. And parents who condone bad behavior.

genevieve
08-16-2010, 08:01 PM
I hate to disrupt this discussion of kid behavior on planes (and elsewhere) and the parents their either do or don't do anything about it :D, but...

Slater was allegedly offered a reality show gig (http://www.tv.com/jetblue-flight-attendant-steven-slater-reality-show/webnews/132501.html)
hosting a show about - what else? - disgruntled workers leaving their jobs in spectacular fashion.

reckless
08-16-2010, 08:04 PM
I think it's nice your friend tried to help. But by the same token, she knew the children were fussy at the start of the flight and apparently was offered a seat elsewhere. I'm not sure how it's the mother's fault if your friend chose to not move. It may have been easier on the mother if she had an extra seat to work with.

Just saying...
She wasn't offered a different seat. She could have tried to change by asking a flight attendant, but she thought that would have left the mother with two out-of-control kids. She decided to remain where she was, because otherwise, someone else or the entire plane of people on an overnight flight, would have had to deal with the issue.

As for the mother expecting the kids to sleep, maybe she did. However, it was a 10+ hour flight. Nobody could expect kids to sleep that entire time.


Anyhow, you mentioned some different issues, with parental response to others being one. I would add to that other people's responses to parents. I get the sense that some believe children are perfectly controllable, and if children aren't behaving perfectly, it's because the parents have chosen for them to be that way. Sometimes little children are simply difficult to deal with no matter what you do. And in any type of public transport, one has to deal with the public--including children. Sometimes I get the sense that some people feel they are entitled to a flight without annoyances. I find that a tad unrealistic. If you fly a public flight, you'll have to deal with the public. So instead of taking offense at every annoyance, try to either help the situation or not get worked up over it.

:shrug:
I don't think anyone thinks kids are perfectly controllable. However, I do think spoiled prince/princess syndrome is more common than it used to be, so people now tend to assume that children will be out of control. In the past, I think people assumed parents taught their kids how to behave on flights and the out-of-control child on a plane was more the exception than the rule. I certainly know that my brothers and I were given long lectures about how to behave on planes so that, while we were holy terrors in other places, we were extremely well-behaved when flying.

Moreover, I don't think people's annoyance tends to be about the infant or toddler who cries. Generally, people understand that those things occur. I think people get angry when a child is running around the plane or actively disrupting others through kicking seats, slamming tables, or making loud noises which, in my experience is usually when a child is bored, and the parent either makes no effort to stop the behavior or has no ability to do so (which I tend to assume is because the child has not been taught to abide by the parents' instructions). The real annoyance is when the child can be controlled or the behavior can be curtailed a bit, but the parents do not seem willing to make the effort. And when that is coupled with an attitude of "my child is an angel and I won't hear otherwise," it is inexcusable.

Frankly, I find that attitude all too common. I went to a movie a few weeks ago that was filled with kids. Okay, I don't have an issue with that. However, when the movie started, the kids behind me kept talking. I looked at the mother a few times, who did nothing. Then I turned and said "shhhhhh," which earned me a dirty look from the mother. Then I asked the mother to tell her children not to talk during the film, and she began bitching at me. I finally went and found an usher, who told the mother that they either needed to be quiet or they had to leave. However, by that point, I had effectively missed 1/3 of the film. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect parents to teach their children that it is inappropriate to talk during a movie and, if the child does not obey, to expect the parent to remove the child from the theater.

genevieve
08-16-2010, 08:29 PM
...I don't think people's annoyance tends to be about the infant or toddler who cries. Generally, people understand that those things occur. I think people get angry when a child is running around the plane or actively disrupting others through kicking seats, slamming tables, or making loud noises ... and the parent either makes no effort to stop the behavior or has no ability to do so ...
^This. I think a lot of people :rolleyes: when they see small children on planes (or especially are seated near one) because of the potential for disruption, but most people are pretty understanding with a crying baby (or momemts of crankiness in older kids) when the parent clearly is doing what they can. It's when parents appear to NOT be dealing with the crying/disruptive/acting out child/ren that fellow passengers get really hacked off.

And I think agalisgv has been pretty blessed (or perhaps just has a great approach that makes people welcoming to her comments - and I'm not being snarky about that, I think some people just have a way that makes strangers more willing to listen) if every parent with a stressed out or misbehaving kid has been open to her gentle reproach or involvement with their child.

Gil-Galad
08-16-2010, 09:04 PM
I don't think it is unreasonable to expect parents to teach their children that it is inappropriate to talk during a movie and, if the child does not obey, to expect the parent to remove the child from the theater.
I don't know where you live, but where I come from adults talk as much during movies as children do - maybe even more. They also tend to mack on each other during movies. People are eating popcorn and potato chips all the time, others open sweets or cans. It's loud during movies, if I want to watch a movie in peace I wait for the DVD and watch it at home.


The real annoyance is when the child can be controlled or the behavior can be curtailed a bit, but the parents do not seem willing to make the effort.

"Curtailed"? A kid is a kid. Not some industry project. Or some machine. They aren't on earth to be "controlled".


In the past, I think people assumed parents taught their kids how to behave on flights and the out-of-control child on a plane was more the exception than the rule. I certainly know that my brothers and I were given long lectures about how to behave on planes so that, while we were holy terrors in other places, we were extremely well-behaved when flying.

I never got one long lecture about good behaviour in my entire childhood. I wasn't told to "say thank you" either. We had some ground rules, mostly health-related - like good posture while sitting and walking, wash your hands, don't eat with your hands... But that was about it. Oh yes, and no TV.

My Mum also refused to listen to people when approached to about our behaviour - she was much more devious. She told people to approach us, even when we were just toddlers. She told people to tell us what was bothering them. Same with frank remarks or bad language. She didn't correct us in public, she let us experience the results of our behaviour.

Worked like a charm. Nothing raises the self-confidence of a kid like being treated as a full human being, and not like some badly-behaved rabbit without any verbal skills. With self-confidence comes a sense of pride, an understanding of the word responsibility. Very early on we realised that we were responsible for our behaviour - that old ladies are easily upset by bad language, that Grandpa doesn't like us being all loud and rambunctious, that once the food is on the floor or all over the table there won't be any more for us etc.

We, the kids, were in control. There was an occasional Q&A at home about some situations that we kids didn't grasp, where our parents tried to help us with examples to understand why XYZ got mad or was hurt.

We had really good manners, there were very few tantrums over the course of our childhoods. We sat through operas at primary school ages, we could entertain ourselves calmly for hours, we were polite - and each of us developed a different style with people and in public very quickly. I'll definitely try it with my kids later - when I was an Aupair I literally stunned my kids sometimes with my way of letting them see for themselves how their behaviour affects others and therefore themselves.

WindSpirit
08-16-2010, 10:30 PM
"Curtailed"? A kid is a kid. Not some industry project. Or some machine. They aren't on earth to be "controlled". You say tomato, another person says tomahto. What you wrote about your own childhood is the same thing to me. You can control kids in a wrong way (or try) or you can do it in a smart way. It doesn't change the fact that parents should be in control of their children. If the parents are smart enough to make kids think they completely in control and still make them behave, even better.

agalisgv
08-16-2010, 10:35 PM
I could be wrong, but my read is some are arguing for children to be sufficiently polite before being taken out in public, and Gil-Galad argues his/her parents let them out before then, and then let any bad behavior be corrected by strangers.

The first involves causing no upset to strangers, the second involves allowing strangers to be disciplinarians.

They seem like pretty different approaches to me...

Auntie
08-16-2010, 10:51 PM
True, but there are many who get ticked off if you speak to their precious child directly.

I like to do stealth disciplining of unruly brats with clueless parents. :sekret: For instance, if I am in a store aisle and a parent's back is turned to me I will look directly at the whiner, frown, shake my head and put my finger on my lips. I'm always shocked at how often it works.

cruisin
08-16-2010, 11:40 PM
I hate to disrupt this discussion of kid behavior on planes (and elsewhere) and the parents their either do or don't do anything about it :D, but...

Slater was allegedly offered a reality show gig (http://www.tv.com/jetblue-flight-attendant-steven-slater-reality-show/webnews/132501.html)
hosting a show about - what else? - disgruntled workers leaving their jobs in spectacular fashion.

Very cool! But, it seems your attempt at bringing the thread back was not to be :lol:.

Gil-Galad, your parents did teach you, but in a more unconventional way. I suspect thy also kept an eye on you and if they saw you doing something that could be a danger to you or someone else, they would intervene. It worked for you, but not for all.

Some kids behavior must be curtailed, or someone will get hurt.

There was a family, that used to live in our neighborhood. The parents were the typical "my child is perfect" parents. We all belonged to the local swimming pool. Their son was the same age as my son and a few other boys in the neighborhood. The Moms would take the kids to the pool and we would sit by the kiddie pool to watch the little ones. This one boy (we'll call him Adam) was a monster. He took other kids things and deliberately broke them - his mother ignored it. He hit, he pushed, he screamed. One day he kept hitting this one little boy in the head with a bucket. His mother did nothing. I went over and took the bucket away. The kid started screaming and the mother gave him another bucket. He goes back in the pool and hits this kid in the head with the bucket again. The kid finally pushes him away, Adam falls on his butt. He is not hurt, but starts screaming. The mother virtually attacks the other kid's mother screaming at her. I looked at Adam's mother and said Adam kept hitting him in the head with a bucket, I took it away to stop it, you gave it back, he ht him again and he got shoved. Adam was the problem. Adam's mother then turns to all of us and says Adam can't be around your kids anymore, they are teaching him to hit :wideeyes:. Meanwhile Adam's little sister is getting clocked in the head with some other toy.