REASONS NOT TO BE A JACKASS TO PEOPLE WITH ANNOYING CHILDREN ON AIRPLANES

  1. You were also a child once.
    You cried, shrieked, peed your pants, shat your drawers, and whined within ear shot of people who really just wanted to read their magazines without listening to you. The people around you did their time. Now you do yours.
  2. Your temporary comfort is not important in the scheme of things.
    You live in a world. When you're on an airplane you're trapped in a world with a bunch of people who do not conduct themselves precisely as you do or wish they would. Hello, life! This is no fun, but it will not kill you.
  3. The way the child is behaving is how children behave.
    Children don't have the capacity to consider others the same way adults do. They are developmentally unable to adhere to adult codes of conduct at all times. Yes, there are parents who allow their kids to act like monsters but most are doing their best to keep their children/child from annoying you. The deal is, you can't always do that. If a child needs/wants to cry, no amount of anything will stop it. If you doubt me, try being in the company of some kids for an afternoon.
  4. Compassion makes you happier. Rage makes you feel like a pile of crap.
    If you're made uncomfortable by a crying/screaming child in the next seat imagine how it feels to be the person IN the seat with the child. It's hard and embarrassing and super stressful. A compassionate word given and received will make things better for both of you. Do it. Say it. Be it. And if you can't do that? Bury it.
  5. You don't know their story.
    I have a friend with a son who has autism and traveling is horrible for them because it's nearly impossible for her son to be quiet and still for the duration of a flight. Can you imagine how it feels for her to board a plane with him? Before judging someone's parenting skills or a child's behavior, consider the notion that there might be more to the situation than is readily apparent to you.
  6. You sometimes annoy people too.
    You wear perfume or cologne that sickens others. You blow your nose or cough loudly. You have irritating conversations on your cell phone. You wear tongue rings when people think you should not wear tongue rings. You have a Bush bumper sticker on your car when people don't think you should have one anywhere. This is the glory. This is the stew. You can take a few hours of a baby bawling in your ear.