Be it in restaurants, movie theatres or on aeroplanes, crying kids have time and again proved to be a threat to the general public’s well-being. God forbid if parents with toddlers in tow ever decide to leave their house and set their foot in a public space. As a child, no matter if he or she is cooing and giggling right now, will eventually cry till other’s eardrums burst. So every time children scrunch their nose and set their face in “I am gonna cry till my peeps give in” expression, others must roll their eyes or sigh about being put in such a horrendous situation. Oh God, why? Why is there a crying baby on my flight always? Why is there a bawling toddler at the restaurant every time I head over for a quiet lunch?
Well, being a parent of a child who has fussed her way to our public embarrassment on more than one occasion, I do also ask myself, why is there always a person scowling at me, every time my child has a public meltdown?
How dare you step out of your house knowing that your child is prone to crying!
According to a report in The Times Of India, an Indian family was recently offloaded from a British Airways flight because their three-year-old son couldn’t stop crying. It all started when the child was buckled into his individual seat as the plane was taxiing to the runway. While his mother somehow managed to pacify the crying child, the cabin crew’s alleged aggressive behaviour further agitated him and he became inconsolable.
- An Indian family was offloaded from a flight in London as their three-year-old son couldn’t stop crying.
- Why are crying kids considered a threat to social quiet and harmony? It isn’t as if parents unleash them on the world deliberately.
- Public places like restaurants and transport are meant to be shared. With bawling kids, snoring and farting strangers, whether we like it or not.
- Besides flying on a plane is not a luxury, it is just a mode to commute.
Children crying on a plane are always a bother more for their parents than the pretentious people who feel that flying in a plane is a luxury which comes with the entitlement of peace and quiet. Guess what, an aeroplane ride is just a mode of transport. Like all public transport this is a space which everyone must share with each other. Flying in a private jet with your own crew is a luxury. So unless you can afford that, kindly stop treating your air journey as a privilege. And try to have a little sympathy for parents whose kids just won’t stop crying.
It’s no fun to be dangling thousands of feet up in the air, with limited medical aid, worrying yourself to high blood pressure, as to why your kids cannot stop crying. Are they sick? Are they hurting? Or having breathing difficulty? Are they finding their new surroundings intimidating?
For every reason why, parents must endure a journey with a small child, there are a million reasons why a child can be upset and crying throughout the voyage.
Also, no parents venture into public places with intentions of disrupting other’s peaceful meals or outings. It’s not as if we enjoy parading our bawling kids through parks and restaurants and enjoy other’s discomfort. Only when you become a parent do you realise that there is no guarantee when or where or for how long your kid will have a meltdown. So, should parents refrain from having a social life until their children are old enough to not “bother” other people?
Public places belong to everyone, which includes screaming toddlers, hyperactive kids and snoring or barfing strangers. So try to endure a crying child just like his parents are enduring your scowl. But this also doesn’t mean that as parents we should stop making efforts to soothe our children. Be stern with children whose crying stems more from a stubborn attitude than discomfort or helplessness. It’s one thing to cry out of an earache or sheer travel anxiety and another because the child is plain unreasonable.
Just like parents expect others to comply with their ordeal, it is also our duty to make sure we are taking measures to lessen other’s discomfort.
No, you needn’t jump out of the aircraft with your baby, harnessed to a parachute. But plan your trip properly, carrying as much soothing paraphernalia as you can. Remove agitated children from cramped restaurants or dark movie theatres, because the child might be crying out of fear and making him or her sit through the ordeal isn’t fair to them or others.
No one likes to have to sit through an hour or two of high-pitched crying, even the parents. Everyone needs to keep that in mind before throwing accusatory glances and derogatory remarks in the air.
Picture Credit : momtastic.com
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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own