Bad Parenting

This is the final entry in the series regarding a travel article in which the author dismissed kids bad behavior on airplanes and instead shifted the focus to the inappropriate behavior of fellow adult passengers.

The bad behavior of adults in planes is also a worthy topic, but should not be used a smokescreen to push the children’s bad behavior (aka the bad parenting) under the carpet.
The material below was written by my friend and former Internet radio talk show co-host, Liz Conrad. She read the same article that started all the discussion in these blog entries and wrote a response which she sent off to the original author as well as to some local media outlets.

I’m happy to give her guest blogging space here on Someone Else’s Kids to disseminate her opinions even farther.

Liz says:

Adults often talk about “kids today” being a certain way. It’s time someone pointed a finger at the bad parenting these kids are getting. I like to call it “parenting by the seat of one’s pants” meaning that few parents ever get out of a chair to control a child–they prefer to yell across the room or ignore the situation. Has “Super Nanny” taught them nothing???

I thought to send this to my favorite local radio personalities to broaden its scope. Just as an aside, why hasn’t the world embraced the concept of a “NO children section” for a restaurant?

Thank you for inviting responses to your article about families on airplanes. Like you, I love the laughter of children and the babbling stories they tell themselves. I also firmly believe that God made children so cute because after an hour of all this endearing chatter, they are more annoying than fingernails on a chalkboard.

You may find this unbelievable, but your children are NOT as cute to strangers as they are to you. When I am mid-flight preparing my notes for a business meeting, I need to concentrate. A child’s endless tirade is distracting.

How thoughtful of you to suggest that airlines incur higher costs by supplying parents with items to entertain the child. I was recently the only childless adult at a function and watched 10 kids running wild, screaming out of boredom.

I left the party and trotted down to a local store to purchase bubbles, balls, and art supplies. The parents were so grateful when I returned with the items for their children; I was thrilled when the brats finally shut up and retreated out of the way of grown-up conversation. I can’t help but wonder why no parent thought it was her/his responsibility to entertain her/his child.

More than one parent has told me that they use selective listening to guard against their children’s endless babbling, demands, and tantrums. They have instructed me to employ this tactic and ignore the child as well.

I shared this with a friend and she responded, “Have you noticed that the more a parent ignores her child, the more the child annoys us?”

My message to parents is that we all appreciate the richness a child brings to our world, however, I ask parents to think from an adult perspective about respect and understanding for the needs of others.

Your child’s right to act out ends where my arm rest begins.


I want to thank Liz for sending me the material above.

The other entries in this series are:

Travel With Kids

Travel With Children

Travel Headaches

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