Tantruming toddler kicked off of plane

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Tantruming toddler kicked off of plane

[h=3]Baby Behavior in the News: Toddler Tantrums on Planes[/h]

[LEFT]Yesterday morning on MSNBC, we noticed a segment that had aired on The Today Show about a family who was told to leave a flight after their 2-year-old threw a tantrum when she was being strapped into her seat. Apparently, she wanted to be held by her mother rather than sit in her own seat. The family had been traveling for quite awhile and toddler had missed her nap. While the details of what happened on the plane were not provided, it is likely that she was screaming and fighting while the crew were preparing for take-off and it had taken the mother some time to get the child strapped into her seat. The airline said that they had told the family to leave the plane because they had failed to comply with crew member instructions. An online poll among Today Show viewers indicated that 71% of those responding to the survey agreed with the airline's actions. As you might expect, the comments on the story are, on the whole, harsh and unsupportive of the family.

The fact that this was considered national (though morning) news is a good indicator of how unusual something like this is. Not that the toddler had the tantrum but the fact that the tantrum got her family removed from a plane. This story provides another illustration of the distorted views of parenting and childhood that have become so common (at least in the media). The comments and the results of the poll made it clear that people who responded thought that lack of discipline was the problem and that the parents should have had more control over the situation. Of course, we have a different point of view. Let's look at some pertinent facts.

The toddler involved is 2 years old. A 2-year-old has very little control over their emotions and if she gets overtired, overstimulated, or frightened, she is likely to have a tantrum. While some tantrums can be short and relatively low-key, others can get completely out of hand before the child settles down and all the parents can do is protect the child and others. Many people believe that very young children and toddlers can control their emotions if they only try but their brains are not yet capable of dealing with strong emotions. It is not a matter of choice or discipline, its related to brain maturation. If the child had been 4 or 5, the expectation would have been different. We encourage you to read our series on tantrums (see the links below) to learn more about the research in this area.

The toddler had missed her nap. Given that the parents couldn't ask the airline to schedule the plane according to their toddler's routine, it is not surprising that the child was overtired and stressed. Traveling can be overwhelming for babies and overstimulation can lead to a lot of tears and difficult behavior. Parents can do a lot to reduce but not eliminate overstimulation while traveling (see the links below) and sometimes difficult behavior will result. Most of the time tantrums are short and self-limited when parents recognize what is happening.

The parents did not have options typically available for dealing with tantrums. In a restaurant, most parents would take a fussy baby or toddler outside or at least hold them in their laps to limit stimulation or distract them. Getting ready for take-off, these options were not open to the parents but the 2-year-old had no way to know that. The 2-year-old had an expectation that her mother would hold her when she was distressed. At 2, children are not capable of understanding that a plane is different than a restaurant or any other place away from home.[/LEFT]

http://todaytravel.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/03/12/10651930-family-removed-from-plane-due-to-unruly-toddler-wanted-a-little-bit-of-humanity?chromedomain=moms

There is a different article about the incident. Agree or disagree with the airlines decision, and why?

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I agree that the airline has the right to kick them off, but in this case I think it was a little overboard if the child had already calmed down. At that point they should have reversed their decision. I have dealt with a crying child on an airplane before and witnessed others dealing with the same issue and I think most people have a little bit of compassion. It does seem like the attendants were a little quick to kick them off when it seems like the other passengers weren't complaining.

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I disagree with their decision to kick them off of the plane. Any person that has a small toddler surely knows that when their schedule gets off-kilter they tend to react in a negative way. I fly bi-weekly and many times there are small children on the plane. I find a loud talking, snoring adult far more annoying than a child crying. I understand that children cry, though...considering I have a toddler myself...so I guess I have more pity on them. I've seen my fair share of drunk adults on the plan as well, and have never seen one reprimanded although they surely deserved it. So why so quick to kick off a crying kid? Especially if the child was already calming down.

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I think they have the right to kick them off, but I don't think it was the right decision here.

It feels like sometimes they are too quick to excuse people from the plane for minor disturbances. In the case of a toddler give the parents a few minutes to try to recover the situation.

The last time I flew with DS alone, it took me almost 10 minutes to get his airplane seat belt figured out while trying to hold a 2 year still. Thankfully he wasn't throwing a fit, but I was surely a distraction to those around me all the same.

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From everything I have read locally, it took an extended period for her to get in her seat. I don't think it should be anyone else's problem when your child is having a tantrum and I have 2 that are full blown into the tantrum age. Maybe they could have let them stay on the plane since she calmed down but it also could be viewed that they had no control over her...and what do they do while in the air?

This is why more people need to hold themselves accountable for their children's actions and know the limits of the children and stop burdening everyone else with it. No, it is not up to an airline or other traveler's to accommodate your child's nap that is YOUR responsibility. I understand that since I have an almost 4 year old on the autism spectrum and a 2 year old that now is not the time to take vacations where they are required to fly so we do road trips

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I feel bad for the family, but I'm leaning toward agreeing with the airline. The parents know their child and should have chosen a flight that didn't interrupt her nap, or at the very least should have prepared her for what to expect while getting on an airplane to try to head off trouble. Toddlers at this age don't like surprises, you need to let them know what's going to be happening. We'll be flying next week, and I've already been prepping the kids for the taxi ride, going through security, and how to behave on the airplane. You get buckled in just like in the car, and then you can hold Mama's hand or take a nap or listen to music. And we're flying in the morning while they are fresh. *fingers crossed*

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"Spacers" wrote:

I feel bad for the family, but I'm leaning toward agreeing with the airline. The parents know their child and should have chosen a flight that didn't interrupt her nap, or at the very least should have prepared her for what to expect while getting on an airplane to try to head off trouble. Toddlers at this age don't like surprises, you need to let them know what's going to be happening. We'll be flying next week, and I've already been prepping the kids for the taxi ride, going through security, and how to behave on the airplane. You get buckled in just like in the car, and then you can hold Mama's hand or take a nap or listen to music. And we're flying in the morning while they are fresh. *fingers crossed*

I'm guessing they thought they were prepared since this wasn't the first time.

This was the 15th time the couple had flown with their young children, and they had not had any previous incidents. It had been a long day and Natalie had not had a nap before her five-minute meltdown. Natalie wanted Vieau to hold her instead of being strapped into a seat, which she had done on previous flights, but the toddler eventually complied and was seated, according to Vieau.

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My oldest had her first meltdown 3 months ago in the middle of target at age 3 1/2. Took my by surprise too since she never cared. Parenting a toddler means to expect the worst and hope for the best.

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I think it really depends on when this '5 minute tantrum' occurred. Did they try to get her strapped in right away and it took 5 minutes, or did they wait until the last possible minute and then cause the whole plane to sit there and wait because she was freaking out. If they waited, then she is not only inconveniencing the people on the plane, but disturbing the timing of the whole airport. If the captain has to delay his departure because they cant comply with getting her strapped in, then she needs to get off the plane, take a nap and try again when she is better rested.

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Agree. Its my job as the parent to make sure my family is compliant with rules and regulations. I wonder if the other passengers thought it only took five minutes or if they took too long. And what is their definition of "calmed down"? What nstructions were they not following? It's really hard to have sympathy especially since they've flown 15 times!!! Plus it doesn't say why they scheduled their flight to miss nap time or why they didn't plan for an early arrival. So she could have got her nap.

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I think this is indicative of the anti-child culture in North America. It's sad.

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I really don't think there is any "anti-child" culture. I think too many times we don't teach our children how to properly act and we make our children's behavior the problem for the other people that happen to be nearby. If you find that acceptable I'm glad I don't live where you live.

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I think its hard to tell without seeing what was going on. And i'm a little confused. Is it just because they couldn't get the kid strapped in? How does this happen by the way? I have never had a scenario where i *couldn't* strap my child into a car seat. Sure they have been really PO'd about it before, but i can always get them in. Anyway, If they child was strapped in by the time they actually got around to asking them to leave...i do think its kind of lame to have forced them to go. Sounds like they took an opportunity to get rid of what they were viewing as a nuisance...as oppose to dealing with an actual safety issue.

I think the suggestion that they shouldn't have been on this flight and should have better planned their trip is kind of lame. a)Traveling will be exhausting to a child no matter what kind of nap you get into them. b)Sometimes the option you want doesn't exist. and c)I'm going to deal with a potential tantrum instead of forgo some vacation or trip that i otherwise could take and enjoy and would be fine in every other way. Tantrums and dealing with them are part of parenting life.

I may sound like a thoughtless parent but in unique and irregular situation, I'm not going to bend to my 2 year olds schedule like its some sort of fragile time bomb that can't ever be messed with. Leaving the house and flying in a plane is already pretty far from a regular day no matter what. Yep, that may make them more tantrum prone, but if thats the only theoretical thing stopping me from getting from point A to point B...its not going to stop me.

I think its possible there is a scenario that exists and isn't being portrayed accurately here where they really had to make the family get off the plane. But from what has been presented, i'm not seeing it.

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"blather" wrote:

I think this is indicative of the anti-child culture in North America. It's sad.

This.

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"blather" wrote:

I think this is indicative of the anti-child culture in North America. It's sad.

I disagree. Unless you mean the parents who chose to put an overtired 2 year old into a bad situation to suit their needs? Because I do see that as slightly anti child.

Sorry, but the world does not revolve around any 2 yo. If my connection was missed because an entire plane waited until a 2 YO decided we could take off, I would be angry. I don't think that that makes me anti child, just pro community. Some rights are given up when flying is undertaken. In this case, the right to have a tantrum and hold up hundreds of other people was given up in order for order chaos and airline schedules to be maintained. Hopefully the poor kid caught a nap and the parents had better luck the next day.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I disagree. Unless you mean the parents who chose to put an overtired 2 year old into a bad situation to suit their needs? Because I do see that as slightly anti child.

Sorry, but the world does not revolve around any 2 yo. If my connection was missed because an entire plane waited until a 2 YO decided we could take off, I would be angry. I don't think that that makes me anti child, just pro community. Some rights are given up when flying is undertaken. In this case, the right to have a tantrum and hold up hundreds of other people was given up in order for order chaos and airline schedules to be maintained. Hopefully the poor kid caught a nap and the parents had better luck the next day.

If they were actually holding up the flight...i agree, they should have had to leave. But thats why i don't understand why they made them leave if by the time they requested it....the parents had the child under control. If anything, at that point making them get up and go, explaining why they have to, and having them round up their stuff delayed the flight even longer...and unnecessarily because the problem no longer existed...the child was in the seat.

Unless what she said isn't true and the child never made it to the seat.

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I think that the parent (s) may have an unclear perspective of how long the "incident" lasted or about the severity of it/impact on other flyers. I simply don't believe that planes are in the habit of kicking off kids who have a "normal" tantrum (hence this being newsworthy) and tend to trust the judgement of a stewardess or someone trained in dealing with unruly passengers over that of a parent, in a situation like this.

I saw a drunk passenger get threatened with arrest as they were causing a commotion. By the time the flight landed they had passed out peacefully in their seat. They were still met at the gate by law enforcement. I can see how once the judgment was made that the child was too unruly, a series of events were put in place which then were followed out, even if the parents had managed to physically wrangle/restrain the child in their seat in the interim.

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I think the tantrum may have been more over the top than is being reported as well. I am not very familiar with international flights, but would assume their tolerance for disturbance is lower. I admit to watching the video in the second link and thinking the parents may not have the best control over their kids as their older child (presumably about 4 yrs old) was unable to sit for the interview and keep her hands out of her dad's face. One of my kids is pretty prone to tantrums, so I do feel for the parents as their is often nothing you can do to prevent the occurrence, but it seems like they maybe were not proactive enough in getting her buckled, rather than just being a noise disturbance. I think this was an issue and against regulations, so it was within the airline's right to ask them to leave...however unfortunate for the parents.

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I believe this was a connecting flight in the US from Turks and Caicos back into Boston. Not one that left Turks directly.

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Ah, it was unclear from the video. Thank you. Still feel they may have had less control of their kids in general than is being portrayed (just from watching the video, so could be off-base). I can't really judge "fairness" without some third party input, but in general, it doesn't seem much different than the example of someone intoxicated given by Melissa...at least in terms of violation of regulations.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I think that the parent (s) may have an unclear perspective of how long the "incident" lasted or about the severity of it/impact on other flyers. I simply don't believe that planes are in the habit of kicking off kids who have a "normal" tantrum (hence this being newsworthy) and tend to trust the judgement of a stewardess or someone trained in dealing with unruly passengers over that of a parent, in a situation like this.

I saw a drunk passenger get threatened with arrest as they were causing a commotion. By the time the flight landed they had passed out peacefully in their seat. They were still met at the gate by law enforcement. I can see how once the judgment was made that the child was too unruly, a series of events were put in place which then were followed out, even if the parents had managed to physically wrangle/restrain the child in their seat in the interim.

Sure, i guess that makes sense. I really wish i could have been a fly on the wall to see what happened to get them kicked off.

I *do* think that a business is capable of overreacting, especially one that large and we are basically talking about one individuals decision, even if it is more likely that the passengers aren't giving an accurate account.

But i get your point about follow through. I do feel for them a little bit in that situation though. They finally have their child in the seat and they can go, and instead they have to get off the plan and try to make alternative arrangements. That really sucks.

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"Khaki" wrote:

Ah, it was unclear from the video. Thank you. Still feel they may have had less control of their kids in general than is being portrayed (just from watching the video, so could be off-base). I can't really judge "fairness" without some third party input, but in general, it doesn't seem much different than the example of someone intoxicated given by Melissa...at least in terms of violation of regulations.

It isn't clear there...that was what I remembered from local news.

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I think it sucks for this family, but I understand why the airline made the call that they did. An unrestrained child loose in a cabin is a danger to other passengers. Whether these parents were unwilling or unable to get their kid strapped in, they didn't get her strapped in when the crew instructed them to.

And I agree with Karly, watching those two girls sit with their parents during the interview showed to me kids who have never been required to sit still or quiet for a few minutes.....they were really antsy. Now I'll give them that they were on tv and in a weird situation, but I don't think it is unreasonable to ask a 3+ year old to sit still while mommy talks for a few minutes.

I can get behind an anti-kid/child climate in the US-- but not based on this situation (I think it is evidenced in other ways like family leave and childcare availability, etc....)

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Maybe y'all need to explain how there is an anti-child culture in the US? Compared to the 50's, I think we are pretty embracing of kids. what I do think is parents feel much more entitled and think everyone else should be as understanding and welcoming of thier parenting decisions. And kids are parented with satin gloves on. I've seen a mom hold her 1 year old over a trashcan to take a dump in plain view of everyone at a park because their child "should not hold it". I've seen parents yell at teachers for making their child do homework on a day they had soccer practice. My neighbor's 6 year old son called her a "stupid face" and told her to "shut up" and all she said was "Now Charlie, that's not nice talk." Kids are required to do so little to get so much.

These parents took a late flight and they couldn't get their kids under control. Maybe it's usual and maybe it's not, but a 5 minute tantrum where a child will not get in a seat? I just don't understand that.

I have flown Jet Blue and I have heard kids crying and never was it an issue. So I am going to assuem that there was more then just a crying toddler here.

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"culturedmom" wrote:

Maybe y'all need to explain how there is an anti-child culture in the US?

I am not comparing it to the past, I'm comparing it to other countries. In South America, Asia, Africa, do you get thousands of comments about how horrible kids are on any article that mentions them? No.

When I fly in North America, just the simple act of taking my children on the plane makes people around me tense up. Kids sense that. I have not had that experience anywhere else in the world.

I have been on 60+ flights with my kids and mine never cry (except for once in a lounging room on our 5th flight of the day after Delta let us out at a totally different airport, and my son at 3.5 months cried just until I could shove a boob in his mouth). I don't think this makes me a better parent, it's mostly luck and culture. In the east other people around us talk to our kids, the flight attendants are nice to them, it's an overwhelmingly more welcome culture for travelling with kids. Also we have a lot of experience with other forms of public transport so my kids know what is expected of them.

I feel that there is a sense in North America that kids should be perfectly behaved in public, and if not they should be shoved inside. There is no allowance for learning. Maybe that's just my feeling, but I think that is one reason kids are given video games and kept inside instead of being allowed to roam the neighbourhood with their friends as we did as kids. Without free time to play kids can't negotiate social situations and dangers on their own, and I feel that is an important experience.

I have not had the same experience as these parents but I have seen kids who have had meltdowns on their third or fourth flight of the day and they have my full sympathy (kids and parents). I am not bothered by this, and if I have a free hand I will lend it. I think a friendly smile will do heaps to help the stress of the parents and kids in this situation.

I am a little shocked at the people who just think that changing the flight time of a single flight in the middle of a trip will magically make a kid get their nap routine back. That's not how it works. Maybe for the people who have only one flight...

Travelling overseas on multiple planes isn't fun for anyone. I think that what Jessica1980 said before she changed her tune is completely correct, for travelers, airline staff, everyone. "Parenting a toddler means to expect the worst and hope for the best. " This is important not just for parenting a toddler but travelling too.

I personally would never do the media rounds with my kids, but I know enough about tv to know it's not just a few minutes, those kids probably were in the studio for hours. I don't get off on judging the behaviour of little kids in odd situations.

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Nobody judges the little kids. It's the poor parenting and expecting other people to just deal with the aftermath of their laziness that you feel when you are in North America. I'm sure in the East it would be assumed that parents will parent. Here, there is a vast amount of people who think their children will raise themselves and don't need to be told when their behavior is inappopriate. A tantrum is a lot easier to take if you know the parent is trying to fix it; in my experience and many other people's experience, here they aren't going to try to fix the situation, they are going to try to explain it instead of focusing on the issue.

I'm guilty myself. "He's tired", "He needs a snack", "He's not used to this sitution" which I try not to do out loud but in my head while correcting the behavior. And there is also this stupid idea that 2 year olds aren't capable of behaving properly. If those parents had corrected her the first time she through one of those tantrums instead of giving in to whatever she was upset about for however long they've been doing it, then she would have realized that her fit wasn't going to have Mommy hold her.

BTW-It's downright idiotic to change something like going from Mom's lap to a seat by herself when they know their kid is tired and they have to fly. It makes me scared for their patients because I just can't imagine doing something that stupid. Not to mention it doesn't sound like they had a carseat for her; I can't imagine putting a 2 year old in a strange seat with just a lapbelt and not expecting them to freak out since I'm assuming they usually had her restrained in a five point harness with a moving vehicle.

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I agree that the attitude towards children in a lot of eastern cultures is different than it is in the west. While i don't have as much experience with actually *being* in the east (I've only been there once) I'm pretty familiar with Filipino culture, first generation american Filipino culture, and I can say the attitude is definitely different.

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Honestly I think you are being unfair and making a lot of assumptions based on your experiences. I think everything you mentioned has to do with the sense of entitlement rather then anti-child. I don't see this country being anti-child at all.

"blather" wrote:

I am not comparing it to the past, I'm comparing it to other countries. In South America, Asia, Africa, do you get thousands of comments about how horrible kids are on any article that mentions them? No.

Again I think that has to do with the entitlment factor. I don't have personal experiences with Asia and Africa, but as far as many countries in South America and hispanic cultures, I don't think the reason you don't get comments about horrible kids is because they are more child friendly. I think its just not high up on the radar. People in the US have a lot of time on their hands and that lends itself to diarreah of the mouth when it comes to opinions.

It might not be best for the kids, but I think US kids are a lot more coddled then in other cultures. Don't let your kids cry. Homeschooling. AP. Toys R Us. No spanking. DCF. extracurricular activities. Video games. Time outs. Family Friendly parking spaces. I just don't see how that is anti-child (in intent, because honestly I don't think most of those things are all that great for kids but I don't think that is your point when you say anti-child).

When I fly in North America, just the simple act of taking my children on the plane makes people around me tense up. Kids sense that. I have not had that experience anywhere else in the world.

Again, entitlement. And honestly you really don't know what other people are thinking. You might "think" they are getting tense, but how many people have kicked you off a plane?lol I have traveled with both my kids, alone, and have never had a bad experience. Usually I am the one putting pressure on myself thinking that epople are going to feel a certain way but I ahve never had an actual experience to prove that. And in all my flying and traveling, I have noticed more people being helpful and sympathetic to parents with kids on a plane then what you mentioned.

I have been on 60+ flights with my kids and mine never cry (except for once in a lounging room on our 5th flight of the day after Delta let us out at a totally different airport, and my son at 3.5 months cried just until I could shove a boob in his mouth). I don't think this makes me a better parent, it's mostly luck and culture. In the east other people around us talk to our kids, the flight attendants are nice to them, it's an overwhelmingly more welcome culture for travelling with kids. Also we have a lot of experience with other forms of public transport so my kids know what is expected of them.

I feel that there is a sense in North America that kids should be perfectly behaved in public, and if not they should be shoved inside. There is no allowance for learning. Maybe that's just my feeling, but I think that is one reason kids are given video games and kept inside instead of being allowed to roam the neighbourhood with their friends as we did as kids. Without free time to play kids can't negotiate social situations and dangers on their own, and I feel that is an important experience.

I agree that kids are given games and tv to keep them from "dangers" and that this stunts their growth to a point. But I don't believe the reason for this is because parents are afraid their kids aren't perfectly behaved and so push them inside. Good Lord if anything it is the opposite. I think kids behavior is becoming worse and parents are excusing it. If anything other cultures and countries I have experienced are much more demanding of their children as far as behavior.

I have not had the same experience as these parents but I have seen kids who have had meltdowns on their third or fourth flight of the day and they have my full sympathy (kids and parents). I am not bothered by this, and if I have a free hand I will lend it. I think a friendly smile will do heaps to help the stress of the parents and kids in this situation.

I am a little shocked at the people who just think that changing the flight time of a single flight in the middle of a trip will magically make a kid get their nap routine back. That's not how it works. Maybe for the people who have only one flight...

Travelling overseas on multiple planes isn't fun for anyone. I think that what Jessica1980 said before she changed her tune is completely correct, for travelers, airline staff, everyone. "Parenting a toddler means to expect the worst and hope for the best. " This is important not just for parenting a toddler but travelling too.

I personally would never do the media rounds with my kids, but I know enough about tv to know it's not just a few minutes, those kids probably were in the studio for hours. I don't get off on judging the behaviour of little kids in odd situations.

I get that we US Americans have a bad rap, especially through the eyes of people in other countries, and I would even say we deserve most of it. But I think everything you have said here about the US being anti-child is really a stereotype and though we did have a time wher the norm was “children are to be seen and not heard” we are so far from that now. And I don’t think that kind of thinking is solely US American.

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I'm going to agree with Lana. I don't feel like I changed any tune though ;). I fully think they didn't plan for the worse and we have to as parents. I plan for my children to have tantrums. Just like I plan that they might want a box of raisins during my 1hour+ trip to the grocery store or that they might need a distraction while I shop. They are 3 1/2 and 2. I need to plan for that insanity.

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Yep. And if you are not planned for it (which often times I wasn't) then you have to accept that things might not go the way you want and there might be unintended consequences.

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"blather" wrote:

I feel that there is a sense in North America that kids should be perfectly behaved in public, and if not they should be shoved inside. There is no allowance for learning. Maybe that's just my feeling, but I think that is one reason kids are given video games and kept inside instead of being allowed to roam the neighbourhood with their friends as we did as kids. Without free time to play kids can't negotiate social situations and dangers on their own, and I feel that is an important experience. .

I think that assumption that all children in the US are given video games and shoved inside is an egregiously strange one. But, whatever. Kids shuttled from nanny to nanny or daycare to aftercare or whatever also have very little time to "roam the neighborhood" as you glorify. But again, whatever. Maybe next time they will bring their nanny with them to have that extra set of hands Smile

Living in NA (Or the US in particular) I see a very different set of standards than you seem to feel that we have for children. More coddling and entitlement and excuses than "perfection", but that is just my limited experience living here.

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"Potter75" wrote:

I think that assumption that all children in the US are given video games and shoved inside is an egregiously strange one. But, whatever. Kids shuttled from nanny to nanny or daycare to aftercare or whatever also have very little time to "roam the neighborhood" as you glorify. But again, whatever. Maybe next time they will bring their nanny with them to have that extra set of hands Smile

Living in NA (Or the US in particular) I see a very different set of standards than you seem to feel that we have for children. More coddling and entitlement and excuses than "perfection", but that is just my limited experience living here.

I agree that not everyone fits the mold that Jen is talking about but you can't deny that video games are a seriously popular thing and extremely common vice. I think enough so to pinpoint it as a problem or issue for our society IMO.

I do agree though that kids not having a lot of free time is not always a matter of choice. But maybe that goes back to what Audra said about what she sees as evidence we are anti-child. Society doesn't value those things enough for our kids to sacrifice and make them viable options for parents. I'm talking about our employers and laws here...not parents.

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It's funny. Simply because I wasn't there, I can't say that I think it was right or wrong to boot the family from the plane. So I am torn.

I am also torn on the side-topic of NA being anti-kid. I really don't feel like that is my experience at all. But, I am pretty involved in my own bubble. I work for a parenting magazine and am surrounded by fun kid gear and parents who dig parenting a lot.

But, I can also fully see where she is coming from. We used to be neighbors in the country in the east that she refers to, and I taught there. Kids are really kids there. They are shielded from grown up culture, even the language has a specific heirarchy in how people of different age/status/role are spoken to. It overwhelmingly polite and completely a trippy place to go as a westerner.

And it is very nice for the small people. There is an ease and freedom in feeling like your kid is safe to walk to school by themselves at a very young age. Made me nervous every single day as I drove to school. I am sure Jen can answer this. . . are they around 7 when they go by themselves? I can't remember.

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Without being there, I don't know whether the airline or the parents were in the right. But, I'm going to assume the airline doesn't routine kick families off their planes for the odd toddler freak out... I'm leaning towards it being a pretty giant freak out that wasn't being handled by the parents.

As for our culture being "anti-child"... I can't say I've really experienced this. Policy-wise, Canada is definitely more pro-family than the US with things like year long, paid maternity leave and our Child Tax Benefit ($100/mo/child under 6). But, as far as day-to-day stuff, with the exceptions of fancy restaurants and things like that, my children have been welcome where ever I take them. There are free preschool-type programs available, our city has been building quite a few new parks/trail/etc, and just about everyone I've personally encountered had nothing but good things to say about airlines being helpful when flying with kids.

I almost feel like children out and about are viewed as an oddity though. I can't go anywhere without a comment about my brood. But, they are usually positive and along the lines of how well behaved they are, as if it is completely unheard of to have kids who can sit still in a waiting room or endure a shopping trip without a temper tantrum. And I think that speaks volumes about parenting today, because those behaviors were expected not many years ago... Makes you wonder what has changed?

ETA... Don't get me wrong. My kids do have their moments, but they also know what is expected of them, especially when we are out. This week my DD had an appt with the ear doctor and I brought all the kids with me (ages 6, 5, 3, and 1). They walked in, sat down, each picked a magazine to look at, and sat fairly quietly. The receptionist actually came over and told them how well-behaved they were and how they deserve a prize Smile Then she told them there was a little girl earlier who was running around the entire waiting area (it is huge office) and that she had to ask the little girl to sit quietly (who know what the parent was doing???). Anyways, on the way home and complemented the kids on their behavior and my 6 year old says, "I can't believe a kid was RUNNING around the doctors office!!" They were blown away.

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I don't use my name or location on this board for a reason, and I would appreciate of those of you who have identified me please edit my name out.

Yes, kids are 6 when they start walking to school here, it's a freeing feeling that I dot have to worry about passive aggressive people writing complaints about that on the Internet.

Not sure what the point is about nannies, sounds like a shot at working parents. Which I am sure you wouldn't do. If kids are free to be kids and run around then it doesn't matter if there are nannies or daycare centers or stay at home parents taking care of them, the same cultural standard applies.

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I dont get the anti-child stereotype at all. In some ways I think in America there is a big segment of society that puts children at the very center of the earth.
I think the problem here is the airline had to do what was needed for the greater good of the flight. Not sure what happened with the kid, but I can say I have never had issues with flying with children. I had one flight after my sons surgery that he was crying (in serious pain, but it was a one hour flight so we could get him to a hospital closer to home) and everyone on the flight was so wonderful.

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"blather" wrote:

I don't use my name or location on this board for a reason, and I would appreciate of those of you who have identified me please edit my name out.

Yes, kids are 6 when they start walking to school here, it's a freeing feeling that I dot have to worry about passive aggressive people writing complaints about that on the Internet.

Not sure what the point is about nannies, sounds like a shot at working parents. Which I am sure you wouldn't do. If kids are free to be kids and run around then it doesn't matter if there are nannies or daycare centers or stay at home parents taking care of them, the same cultural standard applies.

edited. I respect your privacy and you. There has been a whole back and forth thing with different people using and not using their names on here and I was going with the flow of the thread. My apologies.

I sincerely hope you don't think I was being passive aggressive. It is fine there as that is what is done. It is safe and normal. It is simply different and it is a reflection of the way the culture embraces kids. Make sense. Not the ugly American here, more saying that you have a very valid position, that I get.

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Thanks darling, I appreciate it!

No, definitely not you being passive aggressive. I take umbrage only at the original premise, that thousands of people to complain on the internet about kids who can't fight back. It makes me sad. At least here if someone doesn't like what my kid is doing they tell my kid!

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Whew. I was really sad thinking that my words were coming off in any way aggressive towards you. Fer craps' sake, you are an actual friend. Smile

And, as you know of me, I don't cotton well to "we are so much superior to the USA" sentiments that are often expressed (weirdly to my face, with the caveat. . . "but you are the exception") so, in that, I am thankful that your premise was not that the US has an anti-kid sentiment, but that it was the whole of North America.

They will tell your kid. That is the social contract and on the whole it works there. Undeniable. But so completely complex and different than what we do or what we will tolerate here. Or what is safe to do or tolerate here. (ESID, lol)

Smile

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"KimPossible" wrote:

I agree that not everyone fits the mold that Jen is talking about but you can't deny that video games are a seriously popular thing and extremely common vice. I think enough so to pinpoint it as a problem or issue for our society IMO.

I do agree though that kids not having a lot of free time is not always a matter of choice. But maybe that goes back to what Audra said about what she sees as evidence we are anti-child. Society doesn't value those things enough for our kids to sacrifice and make them viable options for parents. I'm talking about our employers and laws here...not parents.

I completely agree.

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"blather" wrote:

Not sure what the point is about nannies, sounds like a shot at working parents. Which I am sure you wouldn't do. If kids are free to be kids and run around then it doesn't matter if there are nannies or daycare centers or stay at home parents taking care of them, the same cultural standard applies.

I don't know of many daycare centers or after care centers which allow children to be out playing freely in neighborhoods or negotiating social situations on their own. In fact, I know of exactly zero. I'm different than you in that you want to blame our entire culture for what you perceive to be a problem, where I am happy to blame actual parents.

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I don't feel comfortable doing that. I don't like it when people judge me or my parenting, so I try not to do it to others (don't always succeed). I do feel fine pointing out cultural traits however, as that doesn't depend so much on hearsay from others but my own experiences and data.

I am sympathetic to the parents in this scenario up to a point. I do think that since it was their choice to put themselves into the public eye they should be able to take criticism. I do not like criticizing the children, and that is what I saw in the OP and pointed out. I think the wrong call was probably made by the airline, and my own experiences in North America and the treatment of my kids and myself by airline staff there show me that there could be an improvement.

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FTR I'm not talking about judging these parents for this incident. It was crap luck and crap happens. I was speaking more to over scheduling or video gaming (which you and then Kim mentioned). Society is not to blame for those things, parents are. Individual parents.

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Okay, I see that. I am not denying that individuals have to take responsibility. But there are some larger forces at work. You won't see daycares with kids outside playing for 8 hours a day because it isn't something that society in NA thinks is important (or even acceptable).

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"blather" wrote:

Okay, I see that. I am not denying that individuals have to take responsibility. But there are some larger forces at work. You won't see daycares with kids outside playing for 8 hours a day because it isn't something that society in NA thinks is important (or even acceptable).

No, it is something that parents who put their kids in daycares all day don't think is important. One chooses to put their child into that environment. If free roaming or playing outside all day is that imperative to the individual parent, they have to either stay home, work a flex schedule, or hire an in home Nanny who will enable their wishes. Again, that has to lie with parents, not society. If parents were DEMANDING such a thing, there would be a market for it. They aren't. Even if kids in daycare were outside on the playground all day they would still be being directly supervised (not free roaming) and not truly negotiating social situations entirely on their own. Why is this area to blame on society but not gaming or over scheduling? I can't even say that maternity leave policies come into it as an 8 month old isn't going to be outside free roaming whether in Canada with a parent at home or in the US with a parent back at work.

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"Potter75" wrote:

No, it is something that parents who put their kids in daycares all day don't think is important. One chooses to put their child into that environment. If free roaming or playing outside all day is that imperative to the individual parent, they have to either stay home, work a flex schedule, or hire an in home Nanny who will enable their wishes. Again, that has to lie with parents, not society. If parents were DEMANDING such a thing, there would be a market for it. They aren't. Even if kids in daycare were outside on the playground all day they would still be being directly supervised (not free roaming) and not truly negotiating social situations entirely on their own. Why is this area to blame on society but not gaming or over scheduling? I can't even say that maternity leave policies come into it as an 8 month old isn't going to be outside free roaming whether in Canada with a parent at home or in the US with a parent back at work.

The only thing I blamed on society was a tendency for people to talk behind children's back, like on newspaper sites, about how terrible they are. Does everyone do it? No. But I've never seen it elsewhere, thank goodness.

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"blather" wrote:

The only thing I blamed on society was a tendency for people to talk behind children's back, like on newspaper sites, about how terrible they are. Does everyone do it? No. But I've never seen it elsewhere, thank goodness.

Gotcha. I thought that you were including this part when you talked about anti child culture here.

I feel that there is a sense in North America that kids should be perfectly behaved in public, and if not they should be shoved inside. There is no allowance for learning. Maybe that's just my feeling, but I think that is one reason kids are given video games and kept inside instead of being allowed to roam the neighbourhood with their friends as we did as kids. Without free time to play kids can't negotiate social situations and dangers on their own, and I feel that is an important experience.

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No, I don't think that's anti-child, just different. Probably part of it is a response to the anti-child people who comment in newspapers, part of it is religious etc. But those thousands of comments on newspapers complaining about 2 year olds is what I was originally commenting on.

I am well aware that not everyone is privy to all these feelings. Lots of Free Range parents all over the world, even in the US and Canada.

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I chose to say anti-child culture in North America, rather than of, because I don't think the culture is anti-child, but rather there is a subculture that is anti-child.

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I am always confused when people say we need to "let kids be kids." My kids are kids all the time. But they still can learn to act appropriately in social situations. My kids don't stay inside and play video games all day. (Frankly, I think it's kind of poor manners when a child can't wait 15 minutes without a video game occupying them, at least at the age of my kids). Why is it wrong to make our kids behave in a safe manner on a plane? If people were just b!tching about a toddler crying, I would definitely be sympathetic...but it seemed, to me, that the disagreement was about parents not getting their kid buckled in their own seat in a timely manner, causing a disturbance/safety issue on the plane. Sorry if thinking that situations like that are non-negotiable in terms of expectations. I don't think that makes me anti-child, just pro-safety, manners and appropriate behavior. Go wild on the playground and scream your little brains out...but when I see a 6 year old standing up and jumping on upholstered waiting room chairs (which happened at my kid's school yesterday while the parent was watching without comment/issue), then I am going to say we are perhaps letting "kids be kids" a little too much. At least where I live.

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"Khaki" wrote:

I am always confused when people say we need to "let kids be kids." My kids are kids all the time. But they still can learn to act appropriately in social situations. My kids don't stay inside and play video games all day. (Frankly, I think it's kind of poor manners when a child can't wait 15 minutes without a video game occupying them, at least at the age of my kids). Why is it wrong to make our kids behave in a safe manner on a plane? If people were just b!tching about a toddler crying, I would definitely be sympathetic...but it seemed, to me, that the disagreement was about parents not getting their kid buckled in their own seat in a timely manner, causing a disturbance/safety issue on the plane. Sorry if thinking that situations like that are non-negotiable in terms of expectations. I don't think that makes me anti-child, just pro-safety, manners and appropriate behavior. Go wild on the playground and scream your little brains out...but when I see a 6 year old standing up and jumping on upholstered waiting room chairs (which happened at my kid's school yesterday while the parent was watching without comment/issue), then I am going to say we are perhaps letting "kids be kids" a little too much. At least where I live.

Absolutely.

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