Children on Airplanes
January 4, 2009 8:18pm CST
I was told about two young women family members who with their two toddlers were on a plane to Hawaii. This is a six hour flight and of course the little ones got restless. The two women in the seats in front of these mommies kept turning around and saying rude things to them. Like "can't you shut that kid up" when the little ones were singing nursery rhymes, not loudly, but over and over as children will. One of the women turned and told them they were the worst mothers she had ever seen. I can't imagine anyone being so nasty to mommies with children on a long flight. It's not as if the kids were screaming or puking. I wonder what those women thought they should do with the kids----- drug them??? send them outside to play??? My question is whould you you just sit and listen to this or would you speak up??? On either side???
• United States
5 Jan 09
Some people just distaste having children behind them. My daughters had an elderly man in front of them who got angry that he sat near kids before he even sat down. He told our kids several times to shut up and not to kick the seat. At one point they were sleeping and the plane shook. He immediately turned and yelled at them for pushing his seat. He added he would puke all over them, if they wouldn't stop it. At that point I told my oldest daughter, who sat directly behind him, to quietly switch seats with me. Because the seats were so close to each other, my knees rammed in the seat in front of me where the guy sat (I'm not tall, that' just how it is on an airplane). He immediately turned and started to yell until he realized there wasn't a kid sitting there anymore. I smiled and calmly said "You had the luxury of having a very quiet child behind you who was so small that barely could reach your seat to kick it even if she wanted to. Since you disliked that so much you now have the benefit of an adults' knees rammed into your seat since there is not enough space for me to sit otherwise as you insist on pushing your seat back. Please feel free to puke all over me. I'll have the flight attendant put you into quarantine since I don't know what diseases you carry. I'll send you the cleaning bill and the bill of a full hospital check-up for myself." He turned red with anger. His wife pulled him down but he still pushed the call button for the flight attendant. When she came the guy's wife said that it had been pushed by accident. The remainder of the flight we were eyed by him suspiciously. My husband said we should have offered our seats to the couple. We had adults behind us who moved around quite frequently and getting up and sitting down they used our seat back as a crutch, moved the tray up and down, talked loudly... Oh, the guy behind me laughed his head off and then went ahead and played UNO with our kids. The rest of the people around us found our kids pleasant and polite. Most kids are usually relatively calm if properly controlled by their parents. Some parents just don't control them and let them run wild. Those are the kids who run up and down the aisles, stand and jump in their seats and some even throw food and other items. Travel companions of any age can be obnoxious. Our kids get strict instructions on how to behave and what the consequences of misbehavior will be. I expect other parents to do the same. If they do, I will speak up, if a child gets told off by another passenger. It really depends on the situation. A child running wild on a plane can be a hazard not only to itself but to others. A child kicking a seat, screaming etc. is not acceptable either. A child singing a nursery rhyme is not a problem for me although I might as him/her if they know more than the few, lol. Otherwise there are headphones one can use. I had to travel with drunks before, not pleasant. A group of pilgrims returning from Israel insisted on singing religious songs, which started in the waiting area. A group of twenty plus adults is a bit harder to drown out with headphones than two or three little kids singing nursery rhymes. The flight attendants were hesitant to approach them because of concerns they might religiously discriminate them. I had chatterboxes sitting next to me, loud snorers, stinky people, a woman so overweight that she sat half on my seat (that was an eight hour flight and I was wondering if she wore diapers because she never got up, lol)... one time I even sat in the middle of a group of teenage girls talking, talking, talking, singing, moving, dancing,... I take little kids over that anytime, even those who jump on their seats, lol. Yet, nobody ever said anything to those people no matter how obnoxious and bad they were. Kids are just easier targets who won't fight back. And their mothers are often guilted into feeling bad because their kids were perceived as misbehaving and bad. Just like in the case you stated. I think in that case I might have asked the flight attendant to find other seating arrangements, if possible. Those two women might have gladly moved. But I would not have put up with them talking like that to my kids or myself.
• United States
5 Jan 09
Wow, that is awful! I can't even imagine. As a parent myself, when I am in a situation where there is a child who is screaming or what not, I might become irritated, but I'd still feel terrible for the parent, who is probably doing her best to control her child. And these kids weren't even misbehaving! If it had been me, I probably would have tried to ignore those two women at first. But if they told me to shut my kid up, I would have let loose on them - as politely as the circumstances allow. I'd have basically said, "Excuse me, ma'am, I'm sorry if this is bothering you, but I have a small child on a long flight. It's not as though I can allow her to run around, and she can't read yet, so how would you suggest she entertain herself for the next 6 hours? If you prefer, I suppose I could let her run up and down the aisles, or perhaps I can tell her to shut up - then, of course, she'll start crying. Is that what you would like instead of the nursery rhymes? Then again, if you're so unhappy with the job I'm doing, perhaps she can sit with you for the remainder of the flight. I sure could use the break!"
5 Jan 09
wow, i would never say anything to these moms. the kids can only amuse themselves so many ways, as long as they weren't kicking the seat purpously or throuing stuff or hurting anyone i don't see a problem here. if i would of been there i would of said something to the people complaining and i would of stuck up for the mothers.
• United States
5 Jan 09
I would have said something too, and not just cause the girls are related to me. I have commented to people in stores that were complaining about kids, just saying something like "aw, little kids, they are all so cute and have so much to learn"
6 Feb 09
I am feeling sorry for the mother of those children and I really think that I would say something to that women who was being rude to the poor mother. I have travelled on a long flight to the Philippines with my son when he was less than a year old and we will be travelling there again. It's really sad that these girls do not feel the natural emotions of being a mother and it's sad that they act that way knowing that they were kids before. I hope I wouldn't meet these women on my flight as I will diffinitely say whats on my mind.