Child In Charge

December 24, 2007

in Baby & Kid Stories

On a flight from Pittsburgh to Los Angeles, I found myself lucky enough to sit in front of a family of two parents and a toddler-aged child. For the entire four hour flight, the child would scream intermittently and kick my seat constantly. About half way through the flight, I turn around and ask the child nicely if he could please quit kicking my seat. His mother proceeds to give me a nasty look and inform me that “He’s just a child,” to which I respond, “If you tell him to stop, you know, he just might.” The mother looks at me with disgust and doesn’t say anything to the child. When we finally arrive, I tell the parents that I just wanted them to know that I’ve never seen such a misbehaved child before. With that, I turn and exit the plane.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

zebra April 2, 2009 at 9:53 am

Being a child means he needs to learn to respect others. He probably didn't make the connection that kicking the seat in front of him would disrupt the person sitting in it. His mother did him a grave disservice by sitting there and thus condoning it instead of using it as a teaching opportunity.


Magnus Pym April 2, 2009 at 11:34 am

I would have suggested to the young tyke that it might be fun to kick mommy instead of my seat.


Amber May 19, 2016 at 10:37 am

After the mother's rude response this would be a certainly justified suggestion.


Anonymous April 2, 2009 at 1:15 pm

What an idiotic mother.


Whiney kid April 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Lets play kick the mommy!


laura April 2, 2009 at 10:44 pm

I believe parents should parent. People are much more tolerant of an annoying child when the parents are making some attempt to maintain their child. When parents get hussy about people who get upset at their child and do nothing to hinder their childs offensive behavior in the first place, then I full out believe that you have the right to ask that child/their parents to please do something about it.


Private Porksword April 4, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Or why not just ban children from flights altogether?


Amber May 19, 2016 at 10:38 am

How about we ban you from flying. I'm sure your antics are just as bad, if not worse then a child that simply doesn't know any better.


GetReal April 13, 2009 at 4:21 pm

I hate parents that use the old "he/she's just a child" excuse. Next time, I'm going to get behind THEM, kick their seat and say "I'm just an asshole".


Hannah November 12, 2014 at 1:33 pm



Socially Inept April 20, 2009 at 12:44 pm

I wonder why nobody ever seems to try to engage the offending child in a friendly way. They're kicking the seat because they're bored and want attention (and they're obviously not getting it from their parents). With a lot of kids, if you just engange them in a friendly conversation for a bit and then explain to them that the kicking hurts you, they'll stop so long as you don't drop back down into your seat right away. Sure, it may not be your dream flight, but not being kicked is better than being kicked any day.

I admit there are some "demon children" out there though who have been taught that being mean and hurting people is fun. Few plane flights are long enough to get these kids to understand. At least you'll have tried, though.


Not my problem March 27, 2013 at 8:58 am

Why should I have to engage a child in friendly conversation? I don´t have any kids, don´t want any kids and can´t stand any kids. Your child is your responsibility.


Joanna B May 23, 2016 at 7:47 pm

I second that — and a BIG AMEN


Prepared ;) May 14, 2009 at 9:13 pm

I carry a small animal puppet with me in case of restless and upset toddlers in the seats behind or ahead of me. It works… most of the time. Novelty effect?

I have to ask myself sometimes why the parents don't bring puppets :/


Atari May 31, 2009 at 7:24 pm

Prepared, you are one hilarious guy!

Also, children learn at a young age to be respectful.

Do you just intend to wait until disrespect is ingrained in your child at fifteen before you even TRY to teach him right from wrong and discipline him accordingly?


Joanna May 23, 2016 at 7:50 pm

Oh you are so right — the brat of today will be the terror of tomorrow.. and the parents will continue to say "Little Johnny is just precocious." But I would love to be a fly on the wall when the police come to his house and drag is bottom to jail for one of many offenses.


Jessi July 2, 2009 at 6:35 pm

sometimes people just don't understand children, childhood and the sense of time as it relates to both children and adults!!! since i'm a 44 yr. old father, i have lived approximately 16,060 days, 385,440 hours or 23,126,400 minutes. a four year old child has lived approximately 1460 days, 87,600 hours or 5,256,000 minutes. a two hour trip (120 minutes) is approximately 0.13% of the child's life, where it is only .00005% of my life. relatively, it appears like a very short time for me, whereas, it is a very long time for the child.

when children display these types of behavior, they are trying to get attention or simply lack sleep. i believe giving the child games, food, other entertainment or sleep, would eliminate most of this behavior. as a father of 5 children, i have been on both sides of the fence. i firmly believe that a higher level of tolerance is needed in today's society!!!!!

i also believe, since flights are basically a public form of transportation, the burden of cost for acceptable comfort should be put on the person desiring it. if it is bothersome to hear children, why not purchase a 1st class ticket, where enviromental control is more the norm. i rarely see complaints coming from families with children about smell, INTOLERANCE or other offensive matters.


rerere March 3, 2010 at 4:38 pm

You should've took your bazooka out on that family.


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