After yesterday’s trip report on my painful journey across the country with my kids, I received a lot of feedback. Most of it was empathetic or at least found the humor of it all hilarious. But one stood out. One guy, let’s call him Richard, or Dick for short, is apparently the greatest parent to have ever lived. He decided to lecture me on this subject he knows so well. To summarize.
I figured you all could also benefit from his vast wisdom, so here it is. You’re welcome.
Not just for you, Brett. Everyone around you on the plane was inconvenienced by your decision to take ill-mannered children with you. There are other ways to get where you are going that don’t risk exposing many other travelers to this annoyance.
My children never rode on a commercial airliner before age 4, and never misbehaved. Once, when they were 10 and 12, they rode in business to Hawaii on the upper deck of a CO 747 while my wife and I rode first (reward tickets all around). When I went up to check, the FA said that others in the cabin were not to happy at boarding, but that the kids had simply read their books in silence for the whole trip, and that she had had to be a little pushy to get them to accept a beverage at the start of in-flight service. They were never rude to others in public, because they were raised to respect themselves and those around them. It started when they were infants, and has persisted now that they are in their 30s.
Tantrums are the result of parents who provide rewarding feedback. Think about it.
It’s become clear to me that Dick is absolutely right. Every parent knows whether or not their child will be “ill-mannered” in every situation. I mean we had no doubt that our son would be a nightmare on this flight, so we should have simply driven to Indiana instead. If only I had Dick’s knowledge before purchasing these tickets. Next time.
I’m so very grateful to have learned what a horrible parent I am. Thank you, Dick, for setting me straight.
Aren’t you all feeling enlightened?