Thursday, May 31, 2012

Kids on a Plane

It seems like every couple of months there is a news story about a passenger who was kicked off an aeroplane because of an unruly child.  The parents go on a media tour discussing how airlines unfairly discriminate against children.  The airline gives the family free tickets to any where they want to go.  Mother's groups threaten to boycott the airline and 15 minutes later we all forget about it as another celebrity shaves her head or makes a sex tape.

What no one seems to be saying to these parents is the truth.  You have every right to have a child and to take that child any where that you want to go.  But if you and/or your child infringe on my rights as a human being to be in that place at the same time then you are in the wrong, not me.  If your kid is screaming at the top of his lungs, running up and down the aisles of the plane then you need to be kicked off.  You have failed as a parent.  Your only job is to raise your child to be a healthy, well adjusted person.  No one is saying that job is easy but no one forced you into it.  You decided to have a child so you need to decide to raise that child so that he/she isn't disturbing the peace every time you leave the house. 

Yes, some kids are more difficult than others but usually they are like this because of something that you did/failed to do as a parent.  If you have one of those rare cases where you child has a medical condition that cannot be controlled this doesn't apply to you.  But you don't hear stories about kids with Tourette's being thrown off a plane.  It's the bratty 4 year old whose parents never discipline at home and let throw tantrums in public.  You knew your kid was a brat when you bought the plane ticket.  When you were driving to the airport.  When you boarded the plane.  You hoped that he would have a good day and not embarrass you in public.  Or worse yet, you didn't care.  You knew that most people wouldn't have the nerve to say something to your face because then you could accuse them of hating children and they would have to shut up. 

If I run up and down the aisles of the plane screaming a TSA will tackle me.  A number of strangers will probably join in just in case I'm a terrorist.  I will be arrested.  The Today Show isn't going to interview me.  No one is going to give me a free plane ticket.  The national organization of angry liberals isn't going to threaten to boycott Jet Blue because I got kicked off.  Because that's not acceptable behavior in public.  Not a single person would come to my defense. 

If I would have done any of the things these children have done as a child my mother would have immediately yanked me back into place (both literally and figuratively).  Parents feel free to shop at Target, go out to dinner, go to the movies and fly to visit your relatives.  But if your children are bad and you can't control them get a baby sitter.  Or better yet stay home and use your money on a good therapist.  Maybe if your parents would have done the same...

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