Social Question

baileysmom12's avatar

Have you ever seen a child throwing a fit in public and though that the parent wasn't doing their job or that the child was just a brat?

Asked by baileysmom12 (957points) January 4th, 2010

I have an 8 year old autistic nephew. He has no verbal communication skills. Sometimes when my sister has been at the store, my nephew has gotten frustraited about something and started crying or throwing a good old fit. People look at her like she is a monster or somthing. I’ve even heard comments like “If she spanked his ass he’d stop doing that”. I have tried to take the time to explain what his condition is and some have appologized and some have looked at me like I was nuts. What is the first thing that you think when you see a kid throwing a fit? Do you think the kid is a brat or do you think he/she could have a medical condition?

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138 Answers

Silhouette's avatar

I think it’s a kid being a kid for the most part. Don’t worry about what other people think.

ccrow's avatar

You & your sister shouldn’t worry about the opinions of ignorant people. My kids would occasionally act up in public; that was difficult enough w/out having to deal w/autism. My heart goes out to you & your sister… I’m sure she does the best she can.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t really think about it as out of the ordinary behavior. Kids sometimes act out.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

If it’s an 8 year old, I think “medical condition.” Younger kids, I think “Kid’s tired and needs a nap.”

baileysmom12's avatar

@ccrow Thank you. 99 percent of the time we ignore but sometimes I just have to say something. My sister has 3 boys and the youngest one is autistic. She does have a pretty hard time but she is doing a fantastic job.

jaytkay's avatar

There was an anecdotal report on a blog recently about a guy getting slapped in the back of the head, for not controlling his kid at a Brooklyn Starbucks.

I confess my immediate visceral support went to the slapper. But the great majority of Internet kibitzers sympathized with the slappee.

The story actually didn’t sound believable to me. They said the kid was fussing, not screaming. I suspect more was going on, like they knew each other.

Anyway, most of the commenters I saw would be supportive of your sister.

baileysmom12's avatar

@jaytkay It could have been autism. My nephew has been known to throw a good screaming fit in the middle of the store because he wanted something but couldn’t tell his mom what he wanted. Maybe the fussy kid had a medical condition too.

SuperMouse's avatar

@jaytkay my nephew actually grabbed a guy to stop him from hitting the child of a complete stranger at the grocery store where he works. So I would not be surprised if the story about the Brooklyn Starbucks Slapper is true.

When I see a parent trying to deal with a temper tantrum I usually smile at them as a show of support. Many times if the mom is being patient and working with the child I will make a point of telling her she is doing great. Every time I have ever done that I have been met with a weary smile and a sincere thank you. My boys are not autistic, but they have each thrown their share of tantrums in public so I can totally relate!

MissAusten's avatar

As the parent of three kids, I try not to be judgmental when I see kids in public acting up. I know first-hand what it is like to be the recipient of the glares and dirty looks, even though my kids have only had one public tantrum each. There’s no way to know if the child has some kind of underlying condition, like autism, or is over-tired, sick, hungry, or just extremely bored from running errands half the day with Mom or Dad. It stinks to be the parent in that kind of situation, so if I can I try to distract the child or say something to let the parent know I sympathize.

I will admit, though, to once being horrified at a child’s behavior and then later learning the child was bipolar. We had a cookout with a lot of guests, and my mother-in-law had invited a co-worker. The co-worker brought his 10 year old son, and at first I really thought the kid was a spoiled brat. He wasn’t happy with anything, wouldn’t talk to people, complained about the food, and didn’t try to keep his voice down when talking to his father about other guests at the cookout. It wasn’t until the boy had meltdown about someone sitting in a seat he’d just left that it finally dawned on me that there was more going on than a spoiled kid. Later my mother-in-law told me about the boy being bipolar and having some serious family problems as well. I wasn’t rude to the father or the boy, and I know their business is none of my business, but I still felt bad. Since then I’ve often reminded myself that I can’t possibly know what is going on with any particular parent or child, should not judge, and should mind my own business.

sndfreQ's avatar

I react with empathy.

Also being the parent of a child with ASD, I understand; I try not to judge, but I do watch how the parents react. I find it appalling when there are parents who clearly show no signs of realizing their kid may likely be on the spectrum; you can really see it in the way they react.

baileysmom12's avatar

@SuperMouse Your nephew is my new hero. Please tell him that I am proud of him.

baileysmom12's avatar

@MissAusten That was very well put. Sometimes it’s not about bad pareting or spoiled kids.

baileysmom12's avatar

@sndfreQ You are right. A lot of parents stay in denial about their children. My sister was for about two years. We kept insisting that she take him to be tested. We (my self and my other sisters) could see that something was wrong. Thank God she listened to us.

jamielynn2328's avatar

I tend to judge the parents. I know that many times I may be wrong. But most bad behavior in my opinion is because of inconsistent parenting.

baileysmom12's avatar

@jamielynn2328 Sometimes bad parenting is the case. If you saw my nephew in a full blown fit you would probably think my sister was a bad parent. That is not so. She is a great parent that happens to have an autistic son. Until my nephew came along I thought pretty much the same way you do. Now I just give the mom a knowing look and go on about my business.

Trillian's avatar

Well, a lot of people do allow their kids to run wild and have no parenting skills whatsoever. It is the same for parents of kids with ADHD. I read an article about this a few years ago and it said that people with children who have visible handicaps get lots of sympathy and support, while parents of ADHD children get mostly dirty looks. People cannot know the exhaustion and frustration of a parent of an ADHD kid. I know because my son is one. He’s 16 now and LOTS better, but there was a time when I seriously was considering putting him up for adoption. I couldn’t stand to look at him, or even to be in the same room with him.
My second job entails providing home care for three MR individuals, one of whom is also autistic. Even so, I have little patience in public for people with bratty kids I’m afraid. I feel like I can recognize autism and have done so out in public more than once.
So yes, I generally think the kid is being a brat. I certainly would never have acted like that as a child, nor would my parents have put up with it, or expected bystanders to put up with it. If a child IS a brat, it’s generally due to incompetent parenting. This in itself is not a crime. Parenting is a skill that can and should be taught. Lots of the problem is babies having babies.
I’m more direct in my approach however and will ask the parent what the problem is if a kid is really bugging me. If they say he has this that or the other thing, I’ll say, “Oh, ok” and move on. If they act stupid…..
I’m only confrontational in a couple of places, by the way. Starbucks, sit down restaurants, and the theater. I want to enjoy my coffee in peace and shouldn’t have to peel a three year old off my leg. I pay good money to sit down and have the waiter/waitress bring me a meal and shouldn’t have food thrown on my table. And I paid quite a bit for that movie ticket. I expect to hear all the dialogue, not a screaming child. I can get that for free in Walmart.
That said, I also do try to take in the whole situation before I give anybody a “look”, and I have also been known to offer assistance to worn down looking parents. I also once nabbed a boy by the hood of his coat when he skipped away from his mom in the grocery line. She had already paid and he was squeezing between me and the candybars while she looked about to cry. She called his name three times and he was DEFINITELY not going to let her tell him what to do. As I handed him back to her, she looked grateful and he looked VERY surprised. I told her, “It takes a whole village sometimes.” She said something like, “Yeah and a belt sometimes too.” I felt like I knew what was in little mister’s future that night.

Tink's avatar

Millions of times! My cousin does that everytime her mom doesn’t buy her what she wants. I just think she is spoiled. And my cousin is 13.

TLRobinson's avatar

@Trillian- good examples. As a new mom, my oldest daughter had an awful tantrum at church. I began to cry, she was screaming and crying. Half the church was looking apalled, and the other half was looking worried and concerned. My friend ended up taking her from me to calm her down and for me to calm down. We both went our seperate ways, and regrouped. Nothing was wrong except she was a brat! Her father and I created that lil bugger, and it came from not knowing what the hell we were doing! Thank God for grandparents and friends who knew what to do.

casheroo's avatar

I don’t draw attention to it when I see a child acting out, unless they are putting themselves into danger.

My son HATES going to the grocery store, he won’t sit properly in the cart, it’s a huge deal every time I take him. I know my son though. I stick him in the cart and let him whine. He doesn’t scream or cry but he loudly whines. I go about my business and keep informing him that we are grocery shopping and he needs to behave. He usually behaves shortly so it’s not like I take him all over the store like that. I often wonder what people think, but I also know my child and that I need to show him that he’s not going to get his own way.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

It happens. Kids are moody and difficult. The only time I find it annoying is while trying to enjoy a nice meal at a quiet restaurant. A couple minutes of crying…okay. More than ten minutes…the parents should take the child out of the environment until they’ve calmed down. It’s just the polite thing to do.

thriftymaid's avatar

Anyone who hasn’t seen this just doesn’t get out enough.

Glow's avatar

I get kind of embarrassed for the parent because I know they are thinking that everyone around them must be judging them. When it is a baby, I NEVER care! Babies are babies! Except when it is like 1 am in a restaurant and a mother is keeping her baby awake by bouncing it on her lap and conversating with people… poor baby ):

As for children, I do expect more. I don’t think I have ever had any real life experience with autistic children, although I have seen some in my life. That can definitely be a tough one, since your nephew is not a baby yet throwing a tantrum like one, and it is quite beyond your control! I have never seen a child that age throw a tantrum, so I don’t know how I would react to it, but I know now that I will consider that the child just might be autistic. :)

gemiwing's avatar

It depends where it is, what time of day it is and how the parent’s react.

State Fair at 4 pm- “Oh dear, that poor kid is exhausted. Poor fella.”

Fancy Restaurant at 6pm- “Perhaps a nice trip to the car for some quiet time would be in order.”

Wal-Mart at midnight and you’re not sick- “WTF is wrong with you? Let your baby sleep!”

Grocery Store (any time)- “Poor parent, wish I could help but they’ll think I’m weird or a perv.”

Target on a Saturday morning- “Don’t worry kid, I feel the same way. Hubbs won’t let me have a toy either!”

I’ve worked with special-needs children and can spot them a mile away. They have a special place in my heart. The autistic toe-walker, the CP baby with the cute grin or the uber-shy Down Syndrome girl behind daddy’s coattails I love ‘em all.

I wish I could help those parents but you never can tell how people will react.

I did have fun with one child who had been crying but had wound down to the ‘WAH! sniff sniff look around and see if you can still tell I’m mad- WAH!’ phase. He would wah loudly and I would mimic it. Then when he looked at me I would goofily pretend to look for where the sound came from. He thought it was hilarious. Luckily the parent was fine with it- but there are some parents who think no one else should talk to or interact with their child.

jerv's avatar

I’ve seen a few different types of acting out; enough to be a connoisseur of sorts.

Most common is just a little kid that doesn’t know any better and a flustered parent. Occasionally you get a real, genuine brat, but it’s not as common as people think. And every once in a while you run into a disabled child (autism, Downs, etcetera). I’ve dealt with enough different types of people (of all ages) in that last group that I am usually willing to give the benefit of a doubt.

However, I feel no remorse about “quietly” mentioning duct tape to my wife that time in the theatre when some young mom brought her three young kids to Austin Powers. The theatre was half-empty so there was no reason for us to get our seats kicked or have to listen to her trying to explain a penis joke to a six-year-old. Every once in a while, it’s pretty obvious that the parent screwed up.

summerlover's avatar

I don’t judge…usually I think I am so glad I am not the mom having to try to solve this….secretly, I am always wishing that I could really act out myself…I have answered this kind of question before on fluther…it would be great if I could have a tremendous temper tantrum…just once…

rooeytoo's avatar

I would never dream of saying anything to the parent, but I must admit sometimes I think not nice thoughts.

From now on, I will try to be more charitable with my thoughts.

YARNLADY's avatar

I do not remember ever thinking that. I have worked with children ever since I was a volunteer in the church nursery at age 10. I usually just feel sorry for the kids and the parents and wish I could do something to help.

Mrs_Rose's avatar

I agree with gemiwing. For me it depends on the circumstances. Most of the time I feel empathy for the parent and concern for the child. Most kids just act out because they are expressing frustration, which is normal. But once in a while a bad one comes along! Once I was working at a put-put course in FL when a woman came in with a couple kids (ages 8 to about 12). The oldest boy wouldn’t stop hitting everything on the course with his putter, pulling branches, throwing ppl’s balls, just being so RUDE. When they got to the end he lost the game to mom and actually SWUNG his club at her, screaming “I WANTED TO WIN! I HATE YOU!” ...hit his mom with it 2 or 3 times before my husband (also worked there) went out onto the course and took the club from him before it ended up at the bottom of the waterfall. His mother just stood there looking scared. I didn’t know if I should be irritated at the kid or the mom.

galileogirl's avatar

A child who is having a tantrum is trying ti get something it needs or wants and cannot communicate with those around it. I recognize the cause so I don’t judge the child or the parent since I don’know the caspecifics of the melt down, The child may be overcome by fatigue, may have found an stressed parent is more likely respond to its demands or the child may have some disability like autism, It is not my business to remonstrae a stranger

However if I knew it was a regular event with somebody who was a relative, I would share my experience because that’s how we pass on parenting skills

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I think “my god, I’ve been there” and smile at the parent.

Snarp's avatar

Yes I have thought this, but mostly before I became a parent. Now I only think that when I see a parent responding in a completely inappropriate way.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m not going to lie, I probably have thought that at some point or another (not often because it’s very rare that I am paying that much attention to thing like that!). I am not always the most tolerant person. However, I never actually tell people what I am thinking and I certainly wouldn’t dream of rying to “advise” a parent on what they should do with their child. I’m not a parent myself so I have no clue!

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Having a son with fragile x, I get the “holy hell you’re a terrible parent” look all the time… I tend to ignore it, because these people have no clue whatsoever. I have had a couple of people give me that knowing look too.. the one that says “I’ve dealt with the same issues and I feel your pain”.

Judi's avatar

Having a definitive diagnosis makes it a lot easier to explain. My son is bi-polar, but we didn’t know that when he was younger. Can you imagine the judgment spewed on me when my son broke his hand on another kids head… in SUNDAY SCHOOL! I was doing everything I was supposed to be doing, but back then they didn’t diagnose kids with bi-polar. Imagine giving a bi-polar, manic, 11 year old kid Ritalin. And he was also on Paxil before they found out how goofy that made kids.
I feel for you and your sister.
Don’t worry about what others think. You and your sister keep doing what’s best for her son. Stupid ignoramuses be damned.
I have to add, that my daughters are very creative in finding “naughty corners” in the most public of places when their kids act up. Ever see a 3 year old standing in a corner in a resteraunt? It’s so cute.

HGl3ee's avatar

I never pass judgement on these sorts of situations. I feel that I have no right to because I’m not a Mum (YET!) and I have no idea what it’s like. Until I can put myself in their shoes I simply ignore the situation and leave them be.

wundayatta's avatar

My first thought is that if that was my kid, he wouldn’t be doing that. However, I would never say anything to another parent about how they parent, unless asked.

If I found out that the child had ADD or autism, I would wonder—would I be able to handle that child any better? Having never had a child or even been involved with a child like that, I have no idea. Online friends with such children tell me I couldn’t do any better. I don’t know.

I guess I’ve seen a lot of “normal” children who behave in similar ways. I see how parents parent, and I see how they ask their children to behave that way, by rewarding that behavior with time and attention.

There must be parents who do much better with challenging children. I don’t know what they do or how they do it, but surely the information must be available. I’m sympathetic, but I always wonder how I would have done if my child had presented so many challenges.

Austinlad's avatar

For me, the worst is kids misbehaving on planes (kicking the seat, whining, etc). Unlike in a supermarket or mall, you can’t walk away from them, and if you turn around and confront the parent(s), you’re liable to get into a dispute.

casheroo's avatar

@Austinlad Confront them about what? That they’re kid is throwing a tantrum? What do you think confronting them will do?

JLeslie's avatar

I almost never think the child is being a brat, especially if the child is very young. I do think after a certain amount of time depending on the location the parent needs to remove the child so he/she does not continue to bother others. Restaurant, I would say get the child out pretty fast (unless it is a restaurant targeted towards children and families), supermarket I think people have more patience, and so on.

@Austinlad said acting up on a plane is very annoying, I actually have tons of empathy for the parent in that case. Probably all of us want to get off the plane (not because of the child, because who wants to be stuck on a flying cylinder?) it is amazing to me that more children don’t act up on planes. The parents can’t do much. I agree the child cannot be kicking my seat over and over again, but if a child cries or winds up in a tantrum on a plane, I am not annoyed at all.

Snarp's avatar

@Austinlad I had someone confront me on a plane while my toddler was kicking her seat and wouldn’t stop. My answer was: “you were two once you know. Would you rather your seat be kicked or should I hold him down and he’ll scream the rest of the flight? Should we give the other passengers a vote?” You can’t reason with a 2 year old, or an autistic child either. Sometimes they will refuse to do what you say no matter what, and while in your home you might have options for dealing with that, in your cramped row of an airplane there is not a darn thing you can do about it.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Austinlad That is a horrid situation. Especially when you’re in First, having paid the additional fare in part to avoid such disturbances. A badly behaving child in a premium seat is often summarily reassigned to a coach seat.

Being autistic, I find certain noises and disruptions more irritating that they would be to a normal person. My reaction to this depends on the place and situation. I realize that a parent cannot keep a child under rigid control at all times, especially an infant that is incapable of controlling her/his behavior.

If the child is being a persistant irritation to others, I believe that the parent has an obligation to either bring the child under control or remove the child from the area. This is especially applicable where people are paying for a disturbance-free environment, such as a quality restaurant or a theater.

My actions depend on the situation. In a store I will distance myself from the disturbance, even to the point of abandoning my cart and leaving the store. Same action in line in a fast-food place, I’ll just leave.

In a quality restaurant or theatre I will summon the manager and demand that the disturbance be dealt with. In the vast majority of instances, the source of the disturbance will be told to leave. I will wait what I consider a reasonable period of time (5 minutes or so) for the parent to control or remove the child before making such complaint. In the rare event that the management cannot or will not control the situation, I will leave. I would rather abandon a meal or performance that subject myself to increasing irritation and anger.

MissAusten's avatar

@Austinlad I was once on a plane with my daughter, who was two at the time. It was the first time we’d flown with her, and we took the airline’s suggestion of using her car seat on the plane. What a horrible idea that was! The seats on the plane are too small for car seats, and she had very little room for her feet. The man sitting in front of her reclined his seat as soon as we were in the air, and she literally could not move without kicking or bumping his seat. There is no way for a two year told to sit motionless through a three-hour flight, and it didn’t take long for the man in front of her to get annoyed. I kept reminding her to keep her feet still, but as we all know, a two year old’s attention span isn’t very long. Finally this guy turned around and yelled at my daughter, “Stop kicking my seat NOW!” I was shocked. I calmly said to him, “She has no room at all for her feet when your seat is reclined. I’m sorry it’s bothering you, but she can’t help it and I am trying to keep it to a minimum.” He just glared at me and didn’t even bother to put his seat upright! Must not have been that annoying after all.

I agree with a lot of you here. When I see a kid acting up in public, it’s pretty rare for me to feel disgusted with the parents. Usually what bothers me is hearing a parent say something like, “Stop crying or I’ll spank you!” Or, if my husband and I go to see a movie that is clearly not intended for children and someone has their kids with them, letting them run all over the place and talk during the movie. I’ve only once seen someone let their kid run wild in a nice restaurant, and the main reason it bothered me was because my daughter asked why she couldn’t hide under tables too! Even in a kid-friendly restaurant, it can be frustrating to have to keep my kids from acting like other kids around us. Once we sat near a family that had Mom and Dad at one table and the two kids, ages about 5 and 2, at another table across the aisle. The parents completely ignored the kids, so of course the kids were doing whatever they wanted. Kicking each other, yelling at each other, spilling things, crawling under the table, and throwing things. It was annoying, but it was also kind of funny. My kids sat there staring at these other kids (envy? shock? who knows) and were actually quieter than usual. :)

I think most parents do the best they can and have a decent amount of common sense when it comes to handling their children in public. We all notice the dramatic moments with kids and pay no attention to kids who are behaving perfectly well.

JLeslie's avatar

@MissAusten, With your plane example, He should not have raised his voice the first time he asked for the your child to stop kicking, but I don’t think it unreasonable for him to ask for her to stop. The only time I had something like this happen I turned around and said to the child and mother, “please stop kicking I can feel it on my back.” The mother replied, “I’m sorry I did not know someone was sitting there.” The plane was PACKED, but that is besides the point. This was a child around 8 years old, so she should be able to control herself, and obviously from the mothers response the daughter had not been taught not to put her feet up or kick furniture. I reassured the girl I was not angry and thanked her for stopping, because I felt it not the young girls fault. Also, sometimes I speak directly to a child because children are more likely to listen to another adult than their parent, depends on the situation and the age of the child.

I’m just wondering why you did not take your daughter out of the car seat? Or, switch her seats with your seat so at least not to be behind that specific person who was not willing to compromise by straigtening his seat (I think he should have been willing to do that).

MissAusten's avatar

@JLeslie I don’t know why we didn’t switch seats around—probably because the problem would have been the same. We couldn’t not use the car seat because it wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartments. This wasn’t a small booster seat, but one of the high-back five-point harness things that I am so freakin’ happy my kids have all outgrown now. :) If I’d held her on my lap, she wouldn’t have had any more foot room than she did in the seat. Also, I’m not sure if the airline will let kids over 2 sit with a parent, at least when the seatbelt sign is on. We did check the car seat when we got to our layover point. I truly was doing all that I could to keep her feet off the seat in front of her, but honestly she could not move at all without bumping it. I did feel bad for the man in front of her, and in his defense, he probably wasn’t aware of the situation with the seat.

The good thing about the experience was that it taught us what to expect when traveling with a small child. Our airline trips since then have been much better.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Sorry but I must agree with @Austinlad. It’s very irritating to have my seat kicked while in a plane, movie theater, restaurant, bus, etc. Usually I politely ask them to stop at first. If it doesn’t, I must admit, I get cranky. I understand kids can be difficult but parents need to take responsibility for them, not make excuses! I would never let my kid kick someone’s seat over and over without attempting to stop them. And I definitely wouldn’t make excuses, shrug my shoulders, and say “Oh well. It’s better than having her scream when I tell her to stop. Deal with it buddy.”

JLeslie's avatar

@MissAusten I hope you did not think I was implying you did something wrong. As I said farther above, I am usually very understanding of children on planes and the limitations parents have to calm their children in such a circumstance. I was just curious. Thanks for answering :).

casheroo's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I’m not against @Austinlad all I asked was what he felt confronting a young child or the parent would accomplish? I could see if the parent were completely ignoring the issue, and saying something. Not making a scene but turning around and mentioning it, not yelling or anything. But, even with public situations…unless the parent is doing absolutely nothing then it really doesn’t do much to make a scene and embarrass a parent who is trying their best to calm their child down or discipline their child the way they see fit (and in my case, we ignore certain tantrums because I think giving attention to them is worse than making a big fuss over them)

Snarp's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 I must say, you’ve got no idea what a 2 year old is like. I don’t bring a 2 year old to a movie theater, parents that do are fools. I’m careful with my choice of restaurants, but if a restaurant provides high chairs, it means they want the business of me and my family more than they are concerned with the complaints of the selfish. But as far as airplanes go, when a small child’s mother has to cross the Atlantic for a 6 week job, you can’t tell me I can’t bring her child to her because it might disrupt your flight, and you can’t change the fact that 2 year olds do not listen to reason, have short attention spans, and can’t sit still for 10 minutes, let alone 10 hours. Unless you bought the plane, you aren’t going to get exactly what you want every time.

dutchbrossis's avatar

I usually think “awww” that kid is not happy at this moment and feel bad for them. I never think they should get a spanking, maybe a nap or something.

Snarp's avatar

And if any of you think that two year old is trying for you for the short time you are on the plane, try being a parent and you might learn some patience.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@casheroo I understand. Obviously in a plane there isn’t much that can be done. But I would hope a parent would at least attempt to control the child and not get defensive or
make excuses right away. As long as the person who it’s bothering is respectful in how they ask, they should be shown the same respect in return.

Snarp's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 In my case my wife and I had been doing everything in our power to stop our child from disturbing his fellow passengers. Unless they were deaf the person in front of us knew this. I would assume that any parent would. There are very few parents on planes that make no effort to deal with unruly children.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Snarp Please don’t make
assumptions. I absolutely do know what a 2 year old is like. I was a daycare teacher for years. My kids were ages 1,2,3 year olds. Believe me, I get it. But kids that know they can get away with misbehaving, will try. All I said was the parent should show some effort in controlling their child’s actions. I’m one of the nicer people in the world. Not everyone is
going to politely ask a child
to stop kicking their seat. And not everyone will
understand that kids are difficult.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@SuperMouse I love your nephew also. I know it is technically legal for ones own parent to spank their children, couldn’t that guy have gotten in trouble though for doing it to a complete stranger’s child ? Just seems crazy

JLeslie's avatar

@casheroo Depending on the age of the child, and if the parent has attempted to control the child and he is not behaving, sometimes an outside adult will get the child to behave. What do you think? I do not mean that the other adult should yell or be harsh. But, children are usually more willing to push and test their parents than some stranger, they typically are a little afraid of strangers. It can HELP the parent sometimes. When I worked at Bloomingdale’s and kids were running around or out of control we addressed the child directly soemtimes (not a toddler typically, I am talking a little older) because their behavior not only bothered customers, but was unsafe many times. many times the parent said, “see, listen to othe lady, I told you you cannot run around in here.” Some parents obviously seemed annoyed we said anything. It depends on the circumstance and the parent.

Snarp's avatar

@ItalianPrincess1217 Sorry if I got a little testy, but as a parent I’m sure you understand. Especially when someone says something like: “I definitely wouldn’t make excuses, shrug my shoulders, and say “Oh well. It’s better than having her scream when I tell her to stop. Deal with it buddy.”” which pretty much sounds like a paraphrase of my comment. It sounded to me like you were making an assumption about me ignoring or somehow tolerating bad behavior.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Snarp Well you’re one of the good parents then! At least you tried. Some parents let their kids run wild and just don’t care. That bothers me. When the parents are clearly trying, I’m much more understanding.

Cruiser's avatar

There is a lot at play when a kid is throwing a fit. My youngest is hyper sensitive so to be in unfamiliar surroundings especially at a bad time for him is a guaranteed melt down. Even “normal” kids have their comfort zones and all parents should know these trigger points for their children. If we honored our child’s needs going places was a breeze…push him to go places when he was hungry, over tired etc…better bring ear plugs. Having a bag of “trick’s” -snacks and toys often helped to keep an anxious child occupied. Compassion, caring and keeping your cool with stressed out kids is paramount to helping them through theirs and you difficult “moments”.

Merriment's avatar

I’ve lived through having the out of control kid that made other people think “if that were my kid I’d…..” and these days feel nothing but compassion (with some amusement throw in) when a child is testing his lungs.

I just had breakfast at a restaurant where a woman was with her severely autistic grandson who had a momentary outburst. I felt nothing but compassion and admiration for her. Yes other diners did turn and stare at her and I’m sure some of them were thinking mean thoughts. Shame on them.

Snarp's avatar

I always try to sit near other parents at restaurants, or on planes if given a choice. Then I smile a lot. I was on one flight with a man who was buy himself with his two daughters, one about 3 and one infant. The three year old was pitching a holy fit, but he couldn’t help her or deal with her because he was holding the infant. I was traveling on business so it was one of the few times I didn’t have my own child to deal with on the plane. I was sitting across the aisle from them. I said: “Would she mind if I held her?” And he quickly handed over the infant. Once he was able to focus for a moment on whatever the three year old needed, she calmed down and he was able to take the infant back for the rest of the flight. I won’t lie to you, I was pretty proud of myself. Sometimes parents need a little extra help and patience.

casheroo's avatar

@JLeslie Oh I totally know what you are talking about. My niece listens to me and my husband sooo well. But, she is always pushing my SIL’s buttons. If we even say her name, and tell her to come to us, she listens right away. I don’t think it’s because we’re more stern, but most kids listen to other adults when it comes to being talked to like that.

I just have to say, the only time I’ve flown with my husband and child was when he was 13 months old and they separated me from DH, and DH took care of our little guy. I could wave to him, but it was nice not having to hold him the whole trip. People knew we had been separated, since when we wanted to communicate we just sort of yelled to each other (not far, just an aisle away) and at one point the passengers passed my son to me…no one seem bothered by him at all…maybe we got lucky and had a bunch of grandma’s willing to help!

chocomonkey's avatar

@Snarp, you’re an angel. Once when I was flying with our 1 year old son (harder than an infant – wants to be mobile, doesn’t have much language yet, less likely to sleep through the flight), the plane was packed, I found myself sharing a tight 2-seat row with a stranger. She was dressed professionally. I was worried. From past experience, professionals on planes seemed to be the least tolerant (hoping to get work done, focus, escaping their own kids for once, etc).

But this woman was the opposite. She realized I was having a hard time keeping my son quiet and engaged in these tight confines and engaged him in a couple of games – tug-of-war, folding/ripping a paper – and made the flight so much more pleasant (for everyone) than if she’d left us to our own devices. She told me had she had 2 boys herself and through her calm and friendly actions she taught me a few tricks.

Mostly, I think the “cause” of kids acting up can be hard for strangers to assess, and may be hard for parents to assess.

The most constructive, productive, thing a stranger can do is help the parents keep calm and, if the situation allows, try and help (even with just a sympathetic smile). Calm parents will be more creative and more able to manage their own responses to the assault. Making parents feel worse or inept is far less likely to fix anything, besides rest assured that most parents already feel terrible and often inept ;)

Snarp's avatar

@casheroo You may have been lucky, but I will say that kindness and generosity have been the rule and rudeness and callousness the exceptions when traveling with small children. Even TSA agents are usually helpful and forgiving. But those rude exceptions almost invariably wear TSA uniforms.

MissAusten's avatar

@Snarp I love people like you. :) This past fall I was flying alone with my 4 year old and at our layover I was told our flight had been canceled. They sent us to stand in an insanely long line to try to get on another flight. Meanwhile, I was on the phone with the car rental company trying to make sure they wouldn’t cancel my reservation if I was several hours late. My poor son, who had to wake up at 3:45 a.m. so we could make our first flight, started to lose his mind. He wasn’t screaming or anything, but had no tolerance left for standing in line with a very stressed Mommy. There was a woman sitting nearby who saw me trying to juggle our carry-on luggage, my cell phone, and my son. She started making faces at him, asking him questions, and asking to see the toys in his backpack. She kept him happy and distracted long enough for me to finish with the phone call. I couldn’t even begin to express how grateful I was! I must have thanked her twenty times, and if I knew who she was I’d send her flowers!

Snarp's avatar

@MissAusten I must say that as a man I wasn’t sure how my offer of help would be regarded. I don’t know if it was because there was no where I could go on the plane, or because he could tell from my wedding ring and my demeanor that I must be a fellow parent, or he was just desperate, but I was glad to be able to help. I’ve had my share of anonymous helpers in airport lounges and airplanes too. We’ve flown with my son a lot. Often times it is grandmothers who will take any grandchild in a storm, thank goodness. When I was in Italy the couple next door to us had one of them’s mother staying with them for a while. At one point I was repeatedly stopping my son from climbing the fence into their courtyard. She reached over and picked him up. Gave him a big hug, then let him explore on their side. It was nice to get a break. The poor couple probably got a few grandchild speeches from Nona.

chocomonkey's avatar

So, in general, now that my husband and I know how impossible parenting can be at times and how these situations happen to the best of us, our sympathy usually goes to the parents.

However, I will admit that the time we were most tested was a “kicking-the-back-of-a-seat” experience. It wasn’t our seat being kicked, it was our own 20-month-old’s seat, carseat, being kicked from behind by 2-year-old in a carseat, on an overnight flight (which we’d booked precisely so our kids would sleep).

Everytime we’d get our son to gently drift off to sleep, he’d be kicked from behind, wake up, and start to fuss.

As the hours wore on, and we listened to the more and more frantic parents behind us get their child more and more hyped up and agitated (more stories, more interaction, more snacks), we found ourselves now judging them, thinking their approach was counterproductive to their own son falling asleep (it was now past 10pm – late for kids, very late for our kid), and counterproductive to our son’s sleeping as well. Plus we didn’t hear any attempts to get him to stop kicking (which as, @MissAusten pointed out, was probably impossible).

At some point, my husband turned around and said something, seriously but not angrily. It didn’t help.

Since then, even though we book a seat for our now-2-year-old, we don’t bring the carseat on board (because think it would be near impossible to keep him from kicking in such tight confines.)

MissAusten's avatar

@JLeslie I didn’t take any negative implications from your questions. This all happened almost 9 years ago, and in answering your questions I was trying to remember what was going through my mind that day!

I always feel bad if I think one of my kids is annoying someone in public, even if I also feel like people can often be far too ready to jump all over a parent out with young children. All I ask is that if you see me doing my best to solve the problem, don’t glare at me.

Of course, I also have a pet peeve with strangers who’ll say things to me like, “You tell him, Mom!” or “Good job, Mom!” when I discipline of my kids in public. It shouldn’t bother me, but I feel like the person saying such things is implying that not letting my son have a cookie because he’s whining or won’t sit still in the shopping cart is so rare and incredible that they have to comment on it. We also have a neighbor who will shout to me across the yard, “That’s right, way to follow through! Keep eye contact and make that kid listen!” Oh, it makes me want to shout back, “Mind your own effing business, woman!” I don’t want to feel like I have an audience when I’m playing outside with the kids, or that this person who doesn’t even know us is watching to see how I react to things my kids try to do. It’s unreasonable, I know, and people only mean well, so I just smile and get on with what I’m doing.

tinyfaery's avatar

If I see a kid acting out and the parent does nothing, then I become a little judgmental. Even more so if the parent just gives into the tantrum.

Lately, I just say to myself, my wife will always have a job. She teaches special Ed.

MissAusten's avatar

@tinyfaery The one time my middle child had a tantrum in a store, I got so many dirty looks. He was a toddler, throwing a fit because I wouldn’t buy him a toy car. My goal was to ignore him and get out of the store as quickly as possible. I wanted to say to everyone who was staring at us, “I can make him stop so easily, but then he’ll do this every time we’re out running errands! Give me a break!” Luckily he never did it again. It’s nice to hear there are people who understand that giving in and ending the tantrum just makes things worse in the long run.

Val123's avatar

Kids throw fits. Before I make a judgment, I check to see how the parent is handling it. I’ve seen kids throwing fits and the parents are staying calm and cool, but firm, so I don’t think much of it, other than they’re handling it right, and they’ll raise the kid out of it.

However, often when I see a kid throwing a fit, it’s the result of a parent yelling at them or yanking on them….then I judge the parents.

Val123's avatar

@MissAusten I totally understand! One of my favorite parenting moments was when my husband, my 3 year old daughter and I were in the store. We were at the end of one of the aisles when, for the first time, said daughter threw herself to the ground and started an all out fit! The coolest part was that my husband and I looked at each other with wide eyes, and without a word spoken, we both disappeared around a corner…and peeked out. Well, after several seconds she opened her eyes, saw no audience, got up, brushed herself off and shrugged like, “THAT was a total waste of time!” She never did it again.
The timing, the place (end of the aisle) the unspoken words between her father and me…it was perfection! It isn’t something you could do though, like if the kid was in a cart….

stemnyjones's avatar

I don’t think anything. I have a kid myself, I understand.

If anything, I feel sorry for the parent, because I know how uncomfortable it can be to be in public with a crying child and get rude stares from everyone.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@Val123 Wow that was a good response and a good story.

MissAusten's avatar

@Val123 That reminds me of this video. Make sure you have the sound on so you can hear how the kid stops crying whenever the parents are out of his line of sight!

Val123's avatar

@dutchbrossis It was awesome! The thing is, if either one of us had uttered a sound, if either one of us had said the usual (and ineffectual) “Stop that! Stop that right now!” or if one of us had even said, “Just ignore her” and she’d heard us, she would not only know of our plan, but she would have heard us disappearing around the corner! Our absolutely silent agreement was…perfection.

@MissAusten I don’t have time to look at it now, but is it that one where the kid is in in a room and the parents are in another room that has two doors leading to the room the kid is in….. and the kid quits crying when the “camera” is off him and moving to the second door, and gets up, walks to the second door, then throws himself back down? And they keep going back and forth? THAT would make the best parenting video!!

JLeslie's avatar

@casheroo Yeah, I think planes are just different altogether. I mean I feel bad for parents for the most part, because I figure before the flight they are all worried and hoping their kids behave and don’t bother other passengers; I have total empathy. Plus, I do not think a child crying on a plane is behaving badly. I just think poor kid has an ear ache, or just can’t sit that long, that the expectation for a young child to be calm and passive for hours is too great. There is a big difference between misbehaving and being upset for a good reason.

rooeytoo's avatar

Maybe there should be a section of the plane, restaurant, theater, etc. devoted to parents with small children. That way parents would be with others who are facing the same situation and other folks who have paid full fare and have the right to expect an enjoyable and peaceful experience without someone kicking the back of their seat or being abusive in any way would be happy as well.

I was on a 14 hour flight from LA to Sydney and had a young one behind me who alternated between kicking the seat and hammering on it with some toy. And no I didn’t dare recline my seat. I finally asked the attendant to move me and luckily they bumped me to first class. But if there had been no other seat available, it would have been a miserable 14 hours for me through no fault of my own. Also the couple with the kid made little effort to control him. Now I can’t help but wonder if that is why he acted up in the first place because he knew he could get away with it? Or was he autistic, or is it that I am expecting too much in desiring a peaceful journey??? (It was an overnight flight)

casheroo's avatar

@rooeytoo Heck, if it means I pay less to be in a section with people with kids, then I’m all for it. Other kids don’t even phase me, only my own does. Bring on the cheaper airfare and food!

tinyfaery's avatar

Why cheaper? Special sections pay more.

rooeytoo's avatar

@casheroo – I don’t quite understand. You think you should pay less because you are in a section full of kids? Why is that?

MissAusten's avatar

@Val123 Yes, that is the exact video! It cracks me up! At the same time, I just want to pick the poor kid up and hug him. He seems a bit young to be ignored, but then again, he also seems to know exactly what he’s doing…

edited because I forgot…

My mother in law used to give her kids a sedative before flying. The pediatrician supplied it whenever she asked. She has suggested to me, more than once, that I give my kids Benedryl before we travel. I’m not comfortable with that idea, though, but I can see where it would be tempting. :)

casheroo's avatar

@rooeytoo Because you said, “That way parents would be with others who are facing the same situation and other folks who have paid full fare and have the right to expect an enjoyable and peaceful experience without someone kicking the back of their seat or being abusive in any way would be happy as well.”
You pay full fare, stick parents in a different section so why would they pay “full fare” if they don’t get the same treatment?

CaptainHarley's avatar

Many times. Inflicting a screaming, agitated, out of contorl child on the public is damned near unforgivable when the solution of removing the child from public view is so simple.

YARNLADY's avatar

One time my son started screaming in a store, and people started giving me dirty looks, so I said Help me, make him stop! and they all backed away like I was crazy. hehehehe

rooeytoo's avatar

@casheroo – It seems as if the consensus is the folks without children just have to have empathy for the parents of misbehaving children and put up with it. I don’t think that is fair. If children cannot be expected to behave and not annoy other passengers then I think it is a good idea to have a separate section for them. If you view having to travel in a childrens section with your child as being so undesirable as to deserve a reduction in the fare, then you can imagine how it feels to a person traveling without children to have one kicking the back of your seat when all you want to do is go to sleep and not bother anyone.

I see annoyance as annoyance and the source is irrelevant to me. I don’t care if it is a drunk adult or a recalcitrant child, I should not have to put up with it. Unless as was stated up above, it is an illness not a behavioral problem. Then I guess there is no alternative except to endure.

YARNLADY's avatar

@rooeytoo You know, I was wondering about that. When I took my grandkids on the plane, we were escorted on early to the the children’s section. Only one row of people had children behind them, and I assume they had a choice.

Snarp's avatar

@rooeytoo I think that’s called segregation. I find your position selfish and arrogant. As I said, any restaurant that has high chairs and booster seats wants my business. The airlines want my business too. I like airplanes that have no first class because they are the great equalizer. You can’t just get better treatment because you are richer. You shouldn’t always be able to buy your way out of every unpleasant situation. The extension of your notion would be that we should also have a special section for the obese so I don’t get squeezed in between two overweight individuals. And what about me? I am not overweight, but I’m tall and large, no one in front of me can ever recline their seat (not that they don’t try) should they get a discount? Or should I get a discount for having a seat jammed forcefully into my knees on every flight I’ve been on in my adult life? Maybe we shouldn’t let smelly people on the plane. But then I’m sensitive to perfume and will spend the flight sneezing if I’m near someone with too much on, should we segregate perfume wearers too?

The point is, we can’t segregate out all the unpleasant things you might encounter, why is it OK to pick parents with children as the one group to single out? Particularly since they are the ones continuing the species and carrying the burden day in and day out?

MissAusten's avatar

@CaptainHarley How do you remove a screaming child from an airplane in a way that won’t get you arrested?

I agree that if a parent has a child in a public place and cannot get the child to stop screaming, they should leave if possible. It isn’t always simple. Try to imagine that you are a sleep-deprived parent who is out of toilet paper and coffee. You take your baby or toddler to the store and are in the middle of the shopping trip when the child starts to have a meltdown. Do you abandon your groceries, knowing that you’ll only have to return with the child and do it all over again? It sounds simple until you have to experience what it is like to run errands with an infant or toddler. Just the thought of wasting all that time and effort would make me want to cry. On the rare trips when I had a crying child at the store, I just did what I could to minimize the disturbance to others, paid for what I needed, and got the hell out as fast as I could.

If you’re talking about a movie or restaurant, or some other optional activity, then yes, leaving can be very simple.

JLeslie's avatar

I fly all of the time. I can only think of one flight where a child was loud for a long time (and even there I think the child was miserable not acting up. Sure there have been times as I mentioned above where a kid was kicking my seat (but she quickly stopped once I asked) or a baby has cried. But, I think it so rare for these things to occur. It doesn’t happen enough for me to be angry about it. I usually think that it could easily be me if I had a baby.

@MissAusten I agree, in a supermarket I am not very annoyed if a child is throwing a tantrum.

@all I’ll tell you what does annoy me, maybe some parents can answer this for me. When children are a total mess making machine in restaurants. I do not mean very young in high chair, that I can understand. But, 10 year olds that drop all sorts of food on the floor, make a total mess. I walked into my local pizza place with my mother-in-law, first night she had ever been to visit us, and we walked in to a slice of pizza on the carpet and the parents just left it there for the staff to clean up. That table was like a bomb went off until they finally left. I know it is not the restaurants fault, but it made the restaurant feel less clean. My husband and I were just in Chili’s a few nights ago, and the table next to us, the children were older, early teens, and they were a total mess also. I just don’t get that?

tinyfaery's avatar

@Snarp Even if you don’t like it, in the land of capitalism you can buy your way out of annoyance. I, for one, appreciate it.

Snarp's avatar

@tinyfaery Not all annoyance, and not all the time. I like the fact that in the end we are all going to experience discomfort and annoyance one way or another.

Val123's avatar

@JLeslie I just wonder what’s happened….when did some parents decide they didn’t need to teach their children common courtesy and manners? I think it goes back to “We don’t want to hurt their self esteem by telling them they’re doing something WRONG!” People are afraid to put their foot down anymore, for whatever reason….

CaptainHarley's avatar

@Val123 .. I agree. I don’t hold with spanking children unless they are totally out of control, but there are some circumstances when a spanking is the only viable solution.

MissAusten's avatar

@JLeslie Messes in restaurants drive me crazy too! It makes me wonder what kind the manners the kids have at home. Are they not used to eating around a table? Do they not have to clean up after themselves? Babies and toddlers are going to drop food, of course, but even then I feel the parents should do what they can to help take care of the mess. I’ve pointed out to my kids that the restaurant employees have enough work to do without cleaning up after them. Just like they aren’t allowed to leave messes at home, they aren’t allowed to get away with it in a restaurant.

We have the same table rules at home as we do in restaurants. Sit still, keep your voice down, don’t eat with your hands, chew with your mouth open, or talk with your mouth full. When the kids are done eating, they clear their place. Even my 4 year old knows he’s expected to carry his dishes to the sink! Sometimes it’s a pain because they tend to drop things or spill their leftovers, but it’s part of the learning the habit. When we go out to eat, they don’t have to remember a special set of rules. So, if there’s an explanation for letting your kids make a mess in a restaurant, I can’t imagine what it would be!

Snarp's avatar

@CaptainHarley No, there is never a situation where a spanking is the only viable option. If you reach that point you have failed in your creativity in finding appropriate punishments that don’t teach children that violence is a good way to solve their problems.

JLeslie's avatar

@Val123 @MissAusten My mother would have had me pick up the pizza myself, or if I was too young she would have done it. Same in retail stores, we hung up all of the clothes we tried on and brought them out of the dressing room, sometimes putting them away ourselves. If we knocked something down we picked it up. Some people seem to think that people who work in service industries are to be treated like slaves. Cleaning up after people over and above what should be expected. It really digusts me. The thing is the PARENTS/ADULT think it is ok to leave the mess themselves. Many adults leave dressing rooms a mess, or knock over an item, not caring about the next person who will encounter the mess. I am not questioning their parenting skills, I am questioning their own judgement on what is acceptable in the first place when out in public.

tinyfaery's avatar

So the parents really are the problem. Good to know.

JLeslie's avatar

@tinyfaery If the parents are present and there is a huge mess left behind I do blame the parents. If a child or teen is not accompanied by the parent, then it could just be the teen, and have nothing to do with the parents, I would not blame the parents in that case.

Crying and acting up are totally different. I don’t want to confuse the two things. Perfectly wonderful parents can have a child who acts up every now and again. I would never assume a parent is a bad parent because their two year old is having a tantrum in the middle of a store.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@YARNLADY That was a great response to those people. ;-)

Snarp's avatar

I’ve certainly seen adults with no excuse behave every bit as poorly and be every bit as annoying as children in restaurants.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@Snarp That is so true

JLeslie's avatar

@Snarp That is my point. If a parent leaves behind a mess, then their example to the child is that it is ok to leave the mess. I am not only judging that person as parent, but as a person in the first place. I recently heard some comedian, can’t remember who, making a joke about leaving popcorn containers and soda cups in the movie theatre…another thing I will never understand? Why can’t people throw out their own mess when they see a movie?

Val123's avatar

@tinyfaery 99% of the time, if a child is consistently badly behaved and spoiled-acting, then yes. It’s the parents fault. The only blame on the child is that they did it in the first place, but they don’t know it’s wrong or inappropriate. It’s up to the parents to correct their behavior….

rooeytoo's avatar

@Snarp – that is an interesting theory, I guess if we expand it, there should only be one make of car and everyone should drive the same year’s model, there should only be one brand of clothing, one can of beans. We wouldn’t want you to have something better than I!

You are taking my suggestion to the extreme.

Val123's avatar

@rooeytoo Which comment of @Snarp‘s are you referring to?

Snarp's avatar

@rooeytoo I don’t think I’ve taken anything to nearly the extreme that you have. You suggested segregating one kind of restaurant patron and airline passenger solely because they annoy you. It seems reasonable to ask what makes that type of passenger or patron more appropriate to segregate than anyone else who annoys anyone else.

I don’t see in the least how your comment follows from anything I’ve said.

rooeytoo's avatar

Oh my, this is the way I see it, I mind my own business, I don’t do things to bother others on a plane or in a theater or anywhere that I am aware of, except perhaps in Fluther where you have the ability to ignore my responses if they are disturbing to you.

I would like it if I could expect the same from others. If it is true as stated above, that children cannot be expected to behave then I see no reason why there could not be a separate section for them. If you as an adult couldn’t stand to be in that section even if you have your own child, then it just makes it all the more evident that there should be a separate section.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Val123 – Mr. or Mrs. Snarp said above “I think that’s called segregation. I find your position selfish and arrogant. As I said, any restaurant that has high chairs and booster seats wants my business. The airlines want my business too. I like airplanes that have no first class because they are the great equalizer. You can’t just get better treatment because you are richer. You shouldn’t always be able to buy your way out of every unpleasant situation. The extension of your notion would be that we should also have a special section for the obese so I don’t get squeezed in between two overweight individuals. And what about me? I am not overweight, but I’m tall and large, no one in front of me can ever recline their seat (not that they don’t try) should they get a discount? Or should I get a discount for having a seat jammed forcefully into my knees on every flight I’ve been on in my adult life? Maybe we shouldn’t let smelly people on the plane. But then I’m sensitive to perfume and will spend the flight sneezing if I’m near someone with too much on, should we segregate perfume wearers too?
The point is, we can’t segregate out all the unpleasant things you might encounter, why is it OK to pick parents with children as the one group to single out? Particularly since they are the ones continuing the species and carrying the burden day in and day out?”

To me that means he wants everyone to be the same, I or you shouldn’t have anything different/better than he. He wants to get rid of first class because he can’t afford it, he wants the great equalizer. That usually means he wants everyone on his level, I am sure it doesn’t mean he wants to go to the lowest common denominator.

tinyfaery's avatar

There used to be non smoking and smoking sections in restaurants and planes. I see no difference.

CaptainHarley's avatar


How many children have you raised?

tinyfaery's avatar

Only people with children can have an opinion? Lame.

CaptainHarley's avatar

That’s not the question I asked, and the question was not directed at you.

tinyfaery's avatar

It’s an open forum. I can respond to whatever I want.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@snarp. I completely agree about spanking children. never ever necessary in any situation.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@tinyfaery… [ shocked look ] Really?? So what I said was wrong… the question WAS directed at you? Amazing!

dutchbrossis's avatar

@CaptainHarley I think she meant that she can respond to the thread and your answer came across as if you were saying that just because people haven’t raised children they know nothing. @tinyfaery Stated that that isn’t the case and didn’t answer your question as if she was Snarp, just stated an opinion

CaptainHarley's avatar

AS I was at pains to point out in my original post on this subject, I do not hold with spanking children as a matter of course, but I have seen situations where failure to do so had unpleasant results: someone ( usually another child ) injured, vauable property destroyes, and ( perhaps the sadest of all ) an out-of-control child becoming an out-of-control adult who winds up in prison or dead.

@Snarp I note you decline to answer my question. Not unexpected.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@CaptainHarley That is fine, I stated my opinion agreed with snarp on that subject and remains to do so. I just think that @tinyfaery had every right to say that she thinks it is ridiculous when people act as if just because you don’t have children your opinion doesn’t count. Not meaning to be rude or anything, just responding to an observation. I got to get going now, but I hope you have a great night and take care tare

MissAusten's avatar

@CaptainHarley It’s possible @Snarp hasn’t been back to Fluther since you posed your question. However, if you look at some of his previous answers here, he mentions having his own children.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@dutchbrossis… Where did I say that @tinyfaery had no right to say what she said? Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion on this as well as any other topic on here.

CaptainHarley's avatar

@MissAusten… True. Thank you. : )

rooeytoo's avatar

Interesting article regarding spanking. Came from USA but this article appeared in The Australian

Snarp's avatar

@CaptainHarley I didn’t decline to answer your question, I just have a life and I prefer spending time with my three year old to being on fluther in general. I will answer your question, but if you point is to suggest that you automatically know more than me about raising children because of having raised more, then your logic is flawed. The fact that your kids came out OK does not mean that you always did the right thing. The fact that you felt the need to resort to spanking does not mean that I will. I have not raised any children to adulthood yet, I am in the process of raising one right now.

Val123's avatar

@rooeytoo OK, I see. Well, I think that if you have the money to pay for first class, go for it! Better yet, if you have the money, charter a private jet!

But if all you have is the money for coach, you just have to deal with whatever you get. IMO, crying children, smelly people, non-stop talking seat mates are an annoyance, oh well. Anyway, crying children just don’t bother me. What bothers me more are parents yelling at the crying children to shut up.

But….putting people with kids in a particular section of the plane is an interesting idea (they’d have to agree to it, of course. You can’t FORCE anyone to sit somewhere where they don’t want to)...maybe you could wind up with a little village in that section where people are helping to take care of other people’s kids….?

dutchbrossis's avatar

@CaptainHarley You didn’t exactly say she couldn’t respond. It looked like that was the implication though when you kept saying your comment was not directed at her it implied that you didn’t want to hear her opinion. That is only what it looked like, if that is not what you meant then okay.

dutchbrossis's avatar

@snarp. I agree with you completely.

@rooeytoo I read an article like that a couple days ago from a different question, I think it is absolutely ridiculous. By the way though, your link said page not found or something.

rooeytoo's avatar

@dutchbrossis You have to copy and paste the entire url, not just the hilighted portion.

@Val123 – I thought planes had assigned seating, I never walked onto a plane and flopped wherever I chose? Whatever, I can’t be in first class @snarpie wants to do away with it, she says we should all be the same which is why I said we should all have the same model car and clothing. Ridiculous concept isn’t it, but @snarp thinks that is the way to go.

Now instead of going off on tangents about smelly people and overweight people, let us just deal with the question at hand, misbehaving children. Why would it be so distasteful to have your own section? Everywhere I go there are “kiddy only” sections.
There are kiddy pools at the public swimming pool, you want special “parent rest rooms,” you want special treatment everywhere you go. Except on planes, I don’t get it??? There you would somehow consider it demeaning to have a “kiddy section.” How about if we paint it pretty and make it “special” then would you like it?

dutchbrossis's avatar

@rooeytoo Ok thank you. I just clicked the link not realizing there was more to it.

Val123's avatar

@rooeytoo Yes, you have assigned seating, but if someone protests their seating they’ll change it. Parents with children should be given the option of sitting with other parents with children. That’s really not such a bad idea! Not only for the rest of the folks on the plane, but they’ll be with people who could have the same “problems” they might have.
But….that’s not to say that EVERY kid on a plane cries and yells. If you have a kid who you can help control and keep calm, the last thing you’d want to expose him to are kids who are upset and crying, and in close proximity. Once upon a time I took my two year old on a 3 hour flight. I was freaking out for weeks, because this kid was a crier! I mean, she couldn’t sit in a car for 15 minutes without starting to cry that she wanted to go “Ome!” We could NOT go to a restaurant, because in the first 15 minutes she’d be twisting and crying that she wanted to go “Ome!” As a new born, she slept maybe 30 minutes at a time, and cried for three hours before sleeping another 30 minutes…..have no idea why, Doc didn’t know either, because she was otherwise healthy. But somehow, through grace of God, and emotionally exhausting focus on my part, I got this kid through the three hour flight, a one hour lay over, and a 45 minute last leg….and got zillions of compliments from those around me! I still can’t believe it to this day. In that case, if I could have predicted that I could have kept that much control over the situation, I wouldn’t want to be with a bunch of other kids. So…IDK.

All in all, planes are cool, very convenient (way better than covered wagons,) the flights, for the most part are short so, there are a lot worse things in the world so…deal with whatever!

rooeytoo's avatar

@Val123 – that is an interesting point. You are saying if you have a well behaved child you don’t want to expose it to misbehaving ones. I don’t blame you. But if we follow that line of thought, why would any well behaved childless adult want to be exposed to the misbehaving ones either?

The idea would come down to marketing. If you could convince parents they were getting something special, such as pretty colors, kiddy seats, toys to play with, all in the kiddy section, then they would be all for it. It’s not much different than the kids section in a library or the playground section at MacDonalds. They only get annoyed if they think they are being put there for the comfort of others, as long as it is for their own comfort, they are fine with the idea.

Marketing solves the dilemma.

YARNLADY's avatar

@Val123 My three always well behaved grandsons were often exposed to my sister’s three always misbehaving children, and they did not start misbehaving. On one visit, the children were asked to pick up the toys, and my three got up and picked up the toys, while the parents pleaded and yelled at their three who loudly refused to help. When it was time to get out of the pool, one word from me and mine were out, they had to physically drag theirs out. I have to add this – all six have grown up to become model teens and adults.

Val123's avatar

@rooeytoo The only reason I wouldn’t want to expose my behaving child to misbehaving children, is because my child would probably become distressed and stressed, and start crying too because the other kid(s) are crying. A well-behaved childless adult is probably not going to start wailing themselves just because the kid next to them is. As an adult, they just need to deal with the inconvenience for however long.

I think a “kid’s section” really isn’t feasible. The airlines shouldn’t be required to provide toys or kid activities. The parents should bring their own toys. Also, you can’t compare a cramped air plane with the kiddy section at McDonalds or the library. Those places have large blocks of space set aside just for the kids. It’s not like the airlines can or will rip out that last 6 rows of seats and put in a mini-amusement park! The biggest problem with planes and kids, @rooeytoo, is the enforced inactivity, because for the most part everyone has to stay in their seats.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Val123 – So it is irrelevant to you if the adult is stressed or distressed by the misbehaving child as long as she/he doesn’t start bellowing. I don’t quite understand that logic, but I give up. You said “As an adult, they just need to deal with the inconvenience for however long.” For some reason people with children think it is their privilege to allow their children to annoy anyone in reach and that it is the duty of every adult in the world to indulge the misbehavior. I don’t get it but I give up, you win, let your kid kick my seat and be obnoxious. I can take comfort from the fact that at least I can get away from it when the plane lands, the parent is stuck with the kid until he/she moves out which these days seems to be around the age of 42. Good luck, hehehe.

Val123's avatar

@rooeytoo First of all, I was thinking simply of crying kids, not brats kicking seats. I would NOT tolerate such behavior either from my kids or any one elses’ kid. But the fact is, when you have children on an air plane, especially really little ones, some of them are going to cry! A parent can try a million different things to calm the child down, but what exactly are they supposed to do, it they can’t get the child calmed down or get him to stop crying? Smother them? If you can see a parent is trying, then yes. You have to indulge them, because what else can you do? Turn around and yell at them over something they can’t control?

chocomonkey's avatar

I usually like sitting with other parents and kids when I’m flying with kids – don’t have to worry about intolerant adults. :)

On the other hand, my kids have – amazingly – never pissed anyone off on the plane. Yet. In fact, usually we get compliments as we leave the plane or comments like “wow, i didn’t even know there was baby on the plane”.

Which actually makes me a bit peeved. Most kids are good most of the time. They get maligned for a few outliers, or someone’s bad and memorable flight amongst a lifetime of good ones, and can’t usually speak up to defend themselves.

When did we get so intolerant? Childless is fine, but doesn’t entitle one to live in a childless world. (It’s not sentimental to say the children are the future, it’s simply true.)

Merriment's avatar

@chocomonkey – Great answer.
I think intolerance is at the root of a lot of struggles people are facing today.

philosopher's avatar

When I see a young toddler throwing a fit in Public my mind goes back to when my Son was young . My Son is Autistic.
I observe and access .
If the Child is Autistic I will know but many people do not want help. I will not saying anything unless the situation allows me to do so in a friendly way . People can not handle the truth. I do not wish to hurt or anger anyone.

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