Toddlers. Aeroplanes. Two words that will spark intense debate and trigger regalement of horror stories...
As parents, we absolutely dread the thought of our little ones kicking off on a flight - it can be completely mortifying, and unfortunately, other passengers can be unkind. We can't blame people for struggling with the sound of a child screaming on their flight; after all, it's a relatively small and enclosed space, and it's very hard to relax and enjoy the experience with an upset child making their feelings very clearly known! At the same time though, as parents ourselves, we appreciate that these things often can't be helped - we were all kids once.
However, what if these situations CAN be helped? One non-parent has taken to the Reddit AITA (Am I The Asshole) board to ask, would they be an asshole for begging a fellow passenger to give in to her toddler's demands to watch Cocomelon during the flight, just so that there will be some peace and quiet for those around them.
Read the main post below...
"I’ve been sitting on a flight for about 30 minutes now waiting to take off, and the toddler behind me is screaming on the top of his lungs COOOOOOCOOOOOOOOMEEELLLOOOOOOON for at least 20 out of the 30 minutes. And I hear his mom say “no coco melon, you need to learn to live without it.”
I understand not wanting to give into your son’s demands and teach him that he will get what he wants if he screams loud enough, but this is an 8 hour flight, the wifi is literally 5 bucks and it will shut him up. I’d offer to pay if she doesn’t want to.
Do I say something or keep my mouth shut?"
The poster gave some updates...
During the duration of the flight, the passenger jumped back onto the thread to provide some updates, letting us know how this debacle finally ended!
"Edit: I have noise cancelling AirPods but it’s still not shutting him out. I have to play music at the max volume to begin to not hear him. I swear this kid has a microphone in his voicebox
15 minutes later, and he’s still screaming. The visibly annoyed FA just offered them free Wi-Fi and she’s STILL not taking it. She is certain “he will get tired and the crying will stop”
It’s been an hour. Kid’s screaming has only gotten worse. He screamed “I HATEEEE YOUUUUU I WISH I HAD A BETTER MOMMY!” Me too kid. Me too.
FINAL UPDATE (hopefully): Over 1.5 hours in, kid finally stopped crying. She FINALLY gave in, accepted the free Wi-Fi and he’s quietly watching cocomelon on her phone. And I didn’t have to say anything. Let’s just hope she doesn’t change her mind."
What was the general consensus?
It's safe to say that the readers of Reddit applauded the idea proposed by the poster - even though the intervention wasn't needed in the end - with both parents and non-parents alike agreeing that, in these situations, distraction techniques are of immense value and also show consideration for others - it's not a case of 'giving in', it's a case of getting your small child through a very unsettling situation, especially if they're not used to long journeys on a plane. The top rated comment said;
"NTA this is literally the opposite of how you handle a toddler on a flight, when you’re stuck in a metal tube w/a bunch of strangers is NOT the time to “wean” your kid off the tablet and kick start your brand new “no more excess screen time” parenting resolutions lol."
We definitely agree with the top comment and the majority of Reddit readers - there is a time and a place to put things like 'weaning from screentime' in place. A flight is not one of those. The poster would not have been in the wrong to politely suggest that mum allows her toddler to watch Cocomelon, with the offer of paying for the WiFi being very kind and a good incentive!
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