Thursday, October 7, 2010

should parents with toddlers should have their passports confiscated?

Wow, there was a brilliant article in today's Sydney Morning Herald titled 'screaming kids on planes - are parents really to blame? Okay so the article itself was quite normal, discussing, as predicted, whether or not we, as parents, should actually 'allow' our children to fidget, scream, and be as uncomfortable as possible in a very small space for a rather long time. I mean, what toddler would really choose to be cooped up, belted in, and told to be as quiet as a mouse, as a top activity?

Yes, airports could be more family friendly, and perhaps like Singapore airport, provide a few fabulous kid friendly areas where the 'hips' can rush around and burn off some energy before boarding the plane. This certainly is a saving grace for parents before boarding a long flight. But as we know, its all about being prepared with good toys, healthy snacks and a few surprise treats, then we can normally nip any major tantrums in the bud (most of the time!)

But what is really good about this article is the barrage that follows...the many many comments, in particular aimed at one reader who has expressed herself as follows; "airlines need to do the right thing by all passengers and charge parents 5 times the adult fare for a toddler. It is ridiculous to be imposed to out of control children in a cramped and uncomfortable environment.....what makes anybody think think that a toddler will in anyway benefit or enjoy an international holiday. They would have forgotten the experience before lunch. Parents with toddlers should have their passports confiscated..."

Personally I am absolutely thrilled to bits at the wonderful response from the other contributors to said comment. It just goes to show that there are many parents out there who either out of necessity, or absolute joy, take their 'hips' off to explore the world, and chastise all those who may mock. Kids are like sponges, and they absorb their surroundings with ease, and revel in the attention they create.

We just hope that next time we are on a long haul flight we are positioned right next door to said contributor, as we'd love to show her exactly how our little hips can 'behave' on a 24 hour flight!

Check out the article and the fabulous comments here.

Image: Maggie Smith /


  1. We took my 12 mth old on his first flight the other week from Melbourne to the Gold coast- its just 2 hrs... and he was a treasure. He slept or wandered and chatted to some people (i had my hand on him the whole time). Most chatted back and played peek a boo. There was one grumpy looking man- I just made sure he stayed clear of him.
    And Ive flown 12 hrs with a mum and her 3 kids- the smallest a new born that didnt make a peep. I was the cranky one on that flight!

    Parents just need to entertain their kids and take a flight at a convenient time if possible. maybe have a stop over if its just too much for the kids.

    I have been next to some adults that I think should have their passport confiscated- possible?.

  2. I've flown with my 3 children numerous amounts of time - we are lucky enough to fly business class, our children are normal, noisy children - I try my hardest to keep them entertained, and always worry about the other passengers my husband doesn't! lol the last long haul we did Hong Kong to NZ with a 2 and 3 year old, a lovely man cam eup to me at the end of the flight and told me what wonderful children we had and we were doing a great job - i was 6 months pregnant at the time - I was then told by a flight attentant that he was actually the CEO of air nz!!! also my 2 children still talk about that holiday!

  3. I guess everyone can see both sides of the story. There's not a parent that isn't thinking about keeping their kids quiet and I'm sure the other passengers are privately empathising with battling parents, even though they might be a bit peeved about. Anyway, it's life and even if you don't have a screaming toddler sitting next to you, you might have a creepy, chatterbox that doesn't take the cues to mind his own business... it's pot luck!

  4. Totally true Mother Matter. Not sure what is worse! Anyway, we've all got the ability to switch off on planes (headsets) and we all paid pretty much the same all have the right to be there. (Thats what you have to think anyway when its your kid screaming...because we've all been there!)


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