The idea of kid free “quiet” zones on planes is causing quite an uproar. Some are claiming “child discrimination” – others are going even as far as to say we are living in a society where “paedophobia” or a hatred of children is becoming commonplace.
Well I for one, a mother of 3 young children, wholeheartedly support the idea. I dread taking any journey, be it on a plane, train or automobile with my naturally loud rambunctious brood. This summer we decided to go to Cornwall on holiday but for me -there was one major snag. There was no way I could contemplate being trapped in a car with them for the 7 hour drive. So I refused to do it. I told my husband I would be taking the train and I would see them all there. Calm patient soul that he is, he said fine no problem. When it came to it though, I felt too guilty and took one of them with me. And this is my reaction to my own children never mind other people’s.
On a flight back from Spain last year, stuck on the runway going nowhere for 2 hours with a 2, 4 and 7 year old – they were understandably getting quite testy and impatient. Admittedly there was quite a lot of moaning and whining going on – but when the answer to the oft asked “are we there yet?” is “we haven’t even left yet!” it’s understandable that even most of the adults were frustrated.
This didn’t stop some women sitting nearby from a lot of eye rolling and muttered criticism of my kids. Hey I got it – but what could I do? If there’d been a kid free or adult only area on the plane we would all have been happy. They wouldn’t have had to put up with my kids and we wouldn’t have had to put up with them. At the end of the day it’s about offering extra choice?
Quite frankly I’m sick of feeling guilty or self conscious about my kids being – well kids! Babies cry – children behave like children – they are not always in control of their emotions and cannot always regulate their behaviour. With all the will in the world if one of them chooses to throw a tantrum on a plane where they are strapped in, in a confined space and you clearly can’t remove them from the situation, if you can’t talk them down or bribe them to stop- what are you supposed to do? It’s the adults who act like kids that really wind me up!
I recently returned from Spain on a work trip and was placed in a seat amongst a family of 5 with 3 small children. I’m sure my face was a picture when I sat down. Great, I thought, a rare plane journey without my own kids and I’m stuck here with someone else’s. As it was they were all perfectly behaved little angels. But I know if they weren’t, in all likelihood their parents would have felt guilty and self conscious of their disruptive kids.
Hey there could even be an upside – by putting all the families together the kids might make friends and leave their parents to relax and maybe even read a magazine! Yeah right – now that’s wishful thinking!