You do not acknowledge the fact that very young children are NOT physiologically or psychologically capable of consistently controlling their
Young children aren't expected to control their own behavior. That's what parents are for, as far as I'm concerned.
Unlike you, I also see a distinction between restaurants/movie theaters and mass transportation. If you’d like to discuss the public policy reasons
why this should be the case, then I’d be glad to do so.
By all means, since it would seem to be an integral part in our disagreement. What makes a plane different from a theater?
Please don’t be offended, but I also think you have either never had very young children, you have forgotten the experience altogether, or never
really understood them to begin with. Not all tantrums equal “misbehavior”. They are, in fact, a natural consequence of a child’s physical and
psychological development. I see two “classes” of tantrums…you only see one.
I'm not offended.
I am not a parent. I am an uncle and a godfather though, and I've dealt with young children since I was a teenager. Not to say I have as much
experience as a parent of young children, or a pre-school teacher or something, but I have had the pleasure of dealing with temper tantrums.
As far as not understanding children, you're right, I'm no expert. I only know what I know based on limited personal experience and what I read.
Now, instead of pointing out my relative level of ignorance repetetively, perhaps you could channel that energy into dispelling it instead?
As far as classes of tantrums..a tantrum is a tantrum as far as the rest of us are concerned. There may be differences as far as the development of
the child is concerned, but when it comes to the folks on the plane, there's only one kind of tantrum - the kind they have to suffer through.
Of course tantrums are normal, and everybody knows they happen. We're not asking for the parents to wave a magic wand and make the kid grow up, we
just want the parents to be firmly in control of their child when on the plane/train/bus. Crying is not something that can be helped, but I will not
agree that there's any merit in having young children loose in public.
If you want to discuss poor parenting skills, and the plethora of examples of it, fine. I’m right there with you. It is a very serious problem and
needs to be addressed.
I really don't think people hate this kid, or her parents, this is just a catalyst that's bringing up a really serious issue that we're all aware
of, and people are venting their frustration.
You must have terrible luck then. My experience isn’t so universal. Moreover, I suspect the real problem here, as I mention above, is that you
equate all “tantrums” with “misbehaving”. Believe what you will, but where very small children are concerned, they are not the same. Your
denial of it does not change the fact of it.
I've lived about half my life in various slums, ghettos, and other assorted low-rent areas, so maybe my experience is coloured by that fact. Still,
I think most folks would agree that out of control children are the rule these days, rather than the exception to the rule.
Anyway, I do think tantrums are bad behavior. If they weren't, we wouldn't seek to prevent them or stop them from happening, right?
That's not to say they're not normal, because clearly they are, but that doesn't make them good, any moreso than uncontrolled urination or public
nudity. If the kid has gotta learn self-control and communication skills, that's fine, but I don't think an airplane full of people is the right
venue for that. These issues should be handled at home, in private, to save everyone the aggravation. It must have been embarassing for the parents,
not to mention incredibly annoying for the other passengers.
I wouldn't bring my children to a restaurant or a theater or on public transportation until I was reasonably confident that they would be able to
behave themselves. If they started freakin' out, I'd take them and leave, to save myself the embarassment, and to save my fellow citizens the
aggravation. It's the only proper thing to do, no?
See, the problem is that in your book NOTHING justifies the tantrum of a child. Even Mr. Tatro’s autistic child would not receive your understanding
Wait, hold on. My position is that nothing justifies a PUBLIC tantrum being IGNORED by the parents, to such an extent that it becomes burdensome for
the rest of us. Tantrums are perfectly normal, and with decent parents and a fully functional brain, we grow out of them, but I will not accept the
premise that society has to suffer the fallout from lazy parents who haven't taken the time to instill proper values in their children before they
let them loose into the world.
That's my point. Not that tantrums are evil, but that failing to manage them is selfish and ill-mannered. I don't see how it's any different than
a parent who fails to potty train their child, and then brings them out in public so they can piss on the seats of the bus.
If we're talking about an autistic kid crying, I sympathize, and I'm happy to put up with it. If we're talking about an autistic kid running
around and causing a violent disruption, I have no sympathy. Now, to hear the Tatro's tell it, their kid was just crying, and if that's true then
the airline had no business ejecting them.
Crying, while annoying, doesn't violate the personal space of the other passengers, poses no real threat, and can be forgiven, but that situaiton and
this situation are different.
I realize the parents don't necessarily have the power to stop their children from crying. But, they ARE responsible for restraining their children
and keeping them in their seat, something that the parents of this other girl were unable to accomplish.
It's for that reason that they were ejected, not because of the crying.
AirTran didn’t care why, and neither apparently do you. All that matters is the presence of the behavior. It becomes a strict liability
Well, you're absolutely riight about this. I don't care why they're behaving the way they're behaving, I just need it to stop. I don't care if
the little girl bit her lip, or saw the boogeyman, or has an ear infection - none of that is relevant to the other passengers.
All that's relevant is whether or not the parents of small children are in control of those children.
Would you be okay with a small, biting monkey, leaping seat to seat, terrorizing passengers, as long as the monkey's behavior was qualified by its
trainer, and chalked up to night terrors, or a bad experience with a female of his species? Of course not...
The justification for the behavior is not that important to me. We might be more sympathetic if the child is disabled, but that doesn't mean the
parents are magically relieved of responsibility. They have a duty to prevent their child from causing problems for the rest of us.
Beware those with young or developmentally challenged children…they are not welcome in public society. Period.
Why do you say that? People go to great lengths to excuse behaviors on the part of disabled folks that would get the rest of us locked up. There are
These parents weren’t taking their child to the theater or a restaurant. They were on a plane. You may see that as a wholly discretionary choice,
but as I said before, I think as a matter of public policy it should be viewed as otherwise.
Incidentally, when you say “public places” would that also include grocery stores…lodging…other forms of public transportation?
Can you explain your feelings on this subject a bit more in depth? And yes, I also consider the grocery store, public housing, buses and trains and
so on, part of the public sphere.
Think this one through, WyrdeOne. What precisely are you advocating?
In a word, responsibility. Parents of small children have to maintain control when in public places. If they want to let the kid run amok in the
privacy of their own home, we've got no right to tell them off, but when their kid steps out of the door, they are subject to the same rules and
mores as the rest of us. Since they aren't capable of fully understanding or controlling their own behaviors, it's the responsibility of the
parents to mitigate the impact their children have on society.
Do you know how ridiculous that sounds? Again, I just find it hard to believe you have any experience with young children.
We expect kids to do stupid, annoying, even dangerous things. We also expect parents to be there to prevent the behaviors from spilling over and
screwing the rest of the world over. Can ya dig it?
We can't fault a kid for wanting to pull on the emergency escape door, but we damn well can fault the parents of that kid if they fail to prevent an
explosive decompression at thirty thousand feet.
Obviously the situation we're talking about here was not so severe, but it's the same basic principle.
You don’t know, do you? But you’re completely comfortable assuming the worst.
All we know is what we're told. According to the mother, they were trying to console the little girl. What does that mean to you? It probably
means the same thing to you as it does to me - talking. They were talking to her, while she crawled, screamed, and threw her little fists around.
I don't think we'd be having this conversation if the parents had dealt with the situation by simply placing the child in the seat, buckling her up,
and holding her there. It's not the noise that's the issue, as far as I'm concerned, it's the notion of an uncontrolled child loose in the
Let’s be clear. There is a difference between negotiating with your child and explaining what behavior is unacceptable, explaining the consequence
of noncompliance and executing accordingly.
Well, as you say, we don't know what they were saying to her. They said they were trying to console her, IIRC, that's all the information we have
To me, console does not equal an explanation of consequences, but that's just me.
If your version of the facts are correct, then I may not disagree. But that isn’t clear now is it?
Indeed, but please understand, 'my version' of the facts is the commonly available version, based on all the information I've seen pertaining to
this incident. If you have additional information, I'll read it and modify my views accordingly.
I'm not in love with my own opinion to such an extent that I can't change it. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong.
But nothing I've seen so far indicates that the parents were acting responsibly.
Again, in your view, the behavior becomes a strict liability offense.
I'm not sure this is applicable, and this is the second time you've mentioned it, so I think I'd better address it.
Are we talking about the child's mind here? If so, I don't see how it relates to my opinion that the parents were negligent. We can't reasonably
expect children to know anything about right and wrong, but we can expect parents to control the behavior of their children in public.
Are you saying that I'm saying the parents were ignorant of their responsiblities and liable regardless? If so, then yes, I agree. Regardless of
whether the parents understood their responsibility, they are still bound to fulfill it.
Define tantrum. Because if you are trying to peddle the notion that you or your significant other never had a meltdown under the age of 3 or 4, you
WOULD be abnormal…and extremely so.
Kicking and screaming, disobeying and hitting parents - you know, a tantrum. I was a hellraiser when I was older, but when I was young I was very
responsive to my parents because they spent an innordinate amount of time teaching me when I was small, I looked up to them and I'm sure I wanted to
please them by acting in the manner I had been instructed.
I don't think we're that unusual - because what are the odds we'd bump into each other if that was the case?
Her parents were very strict, just one look from dad was enough to keep her quiet or remind her of her manners. With me it was a little different, I
was a quick learner, and I took a lot of pleasure (I think, based on what little self-knowledge I posess and the accounts I've heard) in doing things
the right way, and in learning how to do new things the right way.
So, obviously there's more than one way to skin a cat. Whether you instill values through discipline or kinder, gentler methods, the values have to
be instilled. I just did some reading on the onset of temper tantrums, and what percentage of kids exhibit them, and one
claimed that about 80% of kids throw tantrums.
So, 1 in 5 do not. Not that rare after all...
But could you kindly share what secret technique needs only be deployed once to permanently solve such behavior for a child of any age? With such
effectiveness, you could make a fortune and resolve the matter altogether for society.
First, they are not equivalent problems.
What makes them so different? There's a time and a place, and an apppriate way to go to the bathroom. There's a time and a place, and an
appropriate way to show frustration and anger. We have to be instructed by our parents in both. Seems very similar to me...
Second, “ignoring” is not the same as withholding stimulus in response to the behavior. One is done with purpose, the other is not.
If you have ever wondered how we got where we are today in this country, and elsewhere, you need only to look at that sentence above. I think it
Sorry if I made you queasy, it wasn't my intention. Here I thought we were having a reasonable discussion, a disagreement between gentlemen. I had
no idea you were so emotionally invested in the issue.
Anyway, you think the low tolerance of people like me is to blame for society's current state?
I don't think so...
I blame the trend towards instant gratification/poor self-control, and greed primarily. Hypocrisy plays a big part in it too. Most parents seem to
lack the virtues they're supposed to instill in their children, so of course they fail miserably.