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.
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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.