What to do? You're flying at 30,000 feet. Your kid is having the mother of all tantrums, and your seatmates are anything but happy. In fact, they ask you to get her under control. The nerve! Our readers weigh in.
Well said! It is baffling that other travellers think that parents WANT their children to be screaming like maniacs and somehow are withholding the solution to silence. It is one thing if a child is kicking a seat or throwing things, but tantrums and the like are not in a parent's control. A little compassion can go a long way. -- Cheryl
Bless your heart, what a nightmare ... I usually try to pack a few special new things that I can pull out in an emergency like this one ... If none of our other tricks work and we've tried everything, usually a new book, M&Ms, or something will capture my son's attention ... I know, total bribery, but when you are confined and traveling, there isn't much you can do! -- littlepeapie
If a parent is going to fly with a child too young to control his/her behavior, you are going to have to expect other passengers to become annoyed. Perhaps a better idea is to have family fly to you, if their health permits, until a child is older. You could even offer to pay for the tickets. A 2-year-old isn't old enough to remember much about Disney World or Bermuda, so postpone the trip until they are older. I would never have put my children on a plane until they were old enough to understand that their behavior affected other people. I think parents of children under 5 should be charged a hefty "annoyance fee" along with their plane tickets. If the child doesn't end up being a screamer or a seat-kicker, the fee could be refunded upon landing. I love my girls as much as any other parent loves theirs, but I wouldn't put other people in the position of having to "put up" with my little darlings. -- tennmom
Before I had kids, I was really annoyed with little ones screaming. Now whenever I hear it, I am filled with compassion. I am just so thankful it is not me, and I feel really bad for that parent with the tough job of quieting down a toddler. -- Katie
As a military mom of two well-seasoned young travelers, I understand that it's hard to keep little kids quiet. My children have flown to Germany several times, we always bring lots of toys and videos, plus we fly at night. While I sympathize with the mom in this article, I also understand the other passengers' point of view. Not everyone wants to hear your child scream for 2 hours, and as paying customers, they have a right to be annoyed. Why not take the child to the restroom, or switch to a seat in the back of the plane, or fly at night? -- Liz
Gee, I wish I was one of these moms insulting the writer, with a perfectly behaved child and living in a world that surrounds her schedule. That would be nifty. Where can I sign up for that? I hear someone squalling and I think "Oh no, someone's not happy!" And that's it. Especially if you can tell the parents are pulling out all stops trying to get the child to quiet down. I get it, been there, done that, have the T-shirt. But then again, as stated above, I'm not one of those perfect mommies with a perfect child, so maybe that's why I'm so patient ... -- MarMar
If we are going to charge an "annoyance fee" for children, may I propose one for the obnoxious people who 1) bounce around in their seats to the point my drink falls in my lap, 2) get DRUUUUUUUUNNNNNNKK, 3) keep chatting on their cell phones long past the time the flight attendants have asked for electronic devices to be turned OFF, 4) take off their shoes and share that funky smell with the rest of us -- et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. To date, my twin boys (now 2) have been the LEAST annoying parts of many flights. So much so that people comment about how good they are. My day is coming, I know, so I have nothing but compassion for those who are doing their best when flying with children. -- Christina