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Kids Unruly on a Plane? You Should Be Blacklisted!

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Momlogic's Momstrosity: When did travel guru Christopher Elliot stray from his beat and become a parenting expert?


If you're planning to do any air travel with children over this Memorial Day weekend, steer clear of travel journalist Christopher Elliot. In his post on CNN, the National Geographic writer rails against parents for being too permissive with their children on airplanes -- even suggesting that certain parents should be banned from flights, just like people who break ticket rules or who display bad behavior. Is he suggesting that parents of unruly toddlers be blacklisted like TERRORISTS?!

Sheesh! Friendly skies, indeed.

"Today's parents think that their little darlings have the right to scream, pound on the backs of chairs, hit passengers on the head and do whatever else amuses them," writes Elliot.

In his defense, it's true that some kids are disruptive and some parents drop the ball on discipline. However, to suggest that it's always in the parents' control is ludicrous. There is such a thing as a temper tantrum. Kids of a certain age have them -- and they're not always possible to predict. One might even wager that Elliot himself threw a few when he was a tyke.

I only hope that one day, on a cross-country flight, I get the chance to meet Elliot. I plan to be holding a colicky baby at the time -- preferably one with a propensity to projectile-vomit.

next: Smoking Toddler: Are We Harming OUR Kids Just as Badly?
7 comments so far | Post a comment now
friend May 27, 2010, 5:25 PM

kids do these things to get attention and irritate their parents… pushing buttons to see how far they could go. so i say, if that ever happens, the child should be sat elsewhere, sans parent(s), under the custody of a stranger and far away from the parents’ view. lol…

Christina May 27, 2010, 8:06 PM

Frankly, I’ve been far more irritated far more often by drunk flyers, people who wouldn’t turn off their cell phones when instructed, etc. than I ever was by a crying kid - and this was before I had kids of my own. If a kid is screaming in my ear or kicking my seat, I will address it with the kid. I have yet to experience a parent getting upset with me for doing so. Heck, I’ve even ended up playing with some of the kids. Now that I have my own (twin boys), I am conscientious of other flyers’ comfort at all times. If only the drunks, cell phone users, and other a**h***s showed as much common courtesy. All of this is to say Elliot can kiss my sweet behind.

Kristin May 28, 2010, 3:56 AM

Took the words right out of my mouth, Christina! At least the children have a legit reason for acting the way they do. That loudmouth person up the aisle didn’t NEED to drink that gallon of booze but that child having a melt-down IS overtired and scared. (That doesn’t mean they get a free pass to scream, but sometimes it can’t be helped.) I’d like to see “family flights” where people with children are all on one flight. Not to benefit the people complaining about the crying kids though. I’d like to see it as relief for the parents of those kids from the idiotic stares and comments of others.

Christina May 28, 2010, 12:42 PM

Kristin, that is actually a really good idea! I’d probably be willing to pay a little extra for a flight like that. Some of the older toddlers and kids might even manage to make it like a playdate in the sky.

Michelle June 1, 2010, 3:48 PM

Wow, that’s too bad. :(

NatGeo does have its own cool mommy blogging for its Little Kids parents community site. Definitely “gets” it more than Mr. Elliot.

Maybe add Jane to your regular mom reading list. It’s aimed mostly at those of us with preschoolers- she’s from Portland and I’m just discovering more about her - but loving her! Jane of the Jungle Gym. She’s a well-traveled mommy herself.

christine June 7, 2010, 11:46 AM

I do not have probleme with kids that have a fit cause they are tired and scared i understand that im would talk to parents or child if i was being kicked if it was a hour or more flight.

christine June 7, 2010, 12:00 PM

Im very understanding when kids are throwing fit in any public place cause there tired or hungery i do not like being kicket in shoulder so i either say something nice and polite to mom or the child if that dose not work then i call over the flight attented

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