Airline rant and difficult child

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TerryJ2, Mar 18, 2007.

  1. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Because I had difficulty with-our difficult child on our last flt (home from our f-i-l memorial svc) and he hadn't taken his medications, this recent article caught my attention.

    It was a story about parents who were kicked off a flt because their 3-yr-old had a tantrum and was climbing under the seats (this info is from another article... the link above doesn't have the same details) and the airline wanted to take off. The parents said they just wanted a little more time to calm their child. The airline gave them new tickets for the following day and apologized.

    I've got an ADHD, ODD, Asperger's kid and I've never had him delay a flt b4. He was obnoxious during our last landing and I would have been happy if the attendant had thrown him out at 25,000 ft. (No such luck! :crazy2:) I just don't understand that entitlement attitude. The other passengers pd for their tickets, too, and deserve to have a peaceful flt that leaves and arrives on time.

    Now that I think about it, it's BECAUSE I have a diff child that I have less patience for people who think they can disrupt other people's lives--or flts--and that they deserve an apology.
    We've all been on flts with-diff children. Everyone pitches in to help. Someone whips a toy out of their purse, another passes along scratch paper and a pen, another waves a keychain up and makes noises. (And I've done the same for others.) I'm wondering if there was a problem with-the parents not allowing help, or somehow telling other passengers or flt attendants 'hands off' that exacerbated the problem.

    I would have been hanging my head and in tears if I'd delayed someone else's flt like that. (I would have been in tears because my difficult child put me in tears to begin with-! :eek: :redface:)
    Several times on this bb, people have (correctly) commented that it is our job to make sure that our difficult child can go out into society and function. This is an interesting example of how these parents had a bad day and made it worse by getting on the news.
  2. mightymouse

    mightymouse Trying to save the day.

    I completely agree with your point of view, Terry. I've never flown with my difficult child, but if I did and he had a meltdown, I wouldn't have a problem getting off the plane and taking a later flight if he was disruptiive to the point of delaying the flight. I remember a lesson taught by my 5th grade teacher about this type of thing. Simply put, he taught us that one person's rights end where another's begin. Yes, these parents had a right to be on that plane just as the other passengers, but they were intruding upon the other passengers' rights to have a reasonably peaceful and timely flight. Therefore, their rights to be on the plane ended.

    In all fairness to the parents, others may have offered their assistance and they may have accepted it. In the case of my difficult child however, the help from others only makes things worse. I don't know why, but when he is having a meltdown, if someone talks to him he gets even more angry and screams at them, stranger or not, just as he screams at me. So it's not that I don't want the help, I really, really do, it just makes matters worse.

    Overall, there is way too much of a sense of entitlement for all types of reasons in this country. That is the very reason I won't call myself a "single mom". Too many women use that term followed by what society should do for them because they are alone. Sorry, but society did not get me pregnant, nor did society decide to abandon my child.

    This sense of entitlement leaves me with a question. Where does this fit into the public school system? Our G'sFG are entitled to an education, but at what cost to the other children? My son will be eligible for pre-k next year and I am terrified that he will be a disruption to the other kids, and that is not fair to them. My easy child has had two mildly disruptive kids in her class in the past, and I know it affected her in a negative way. I know a 2nd grade teacher who has had to clear her classroom because of safety concerns of other students during a difficult child's meltdown. I know if this happened in my child's classroom I would be extremely upset, even though I understand the issues behind it. So, I'm looking at this issue from both sides of the fence. My difficult child has a right to an education, but my easy child (and difficult child) has a right to receive that education in a fairly peaceful, non-disruptive, and most importantly safe environment. Tough issue. I'm torn.
  3. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hmmm, that is a big concern, MM. There are a couple of other threads here that deal with-kids being sent home and you'll get some ideas there. Of course, it doesn't mean that will happen to you and your difficult child. But it's good to be prepared.

    One thing I've done is to be there at school if I have to. The teachers have our cell phones and there's nothing like zooming to school and showing up in the classroom to embarrass a kid! (Mostly, boys for some reason.)

    I tell everyone, if I had a corporate job right now, I'd be fired. I don't know how you do it when you work full time. The phone doesn't ring only during off-hours! But if you zoom over to school at the beginning of the yr and nip it in the bud, you may not have to for the rest of the yr. At least, that's what I've found. (I know that some people here have had worse problems, and their kids are older and on a lot of medications, so clearly, that hasn't worked for those situations.)

    In re: to education in general, I don't think Thomas Jefferson intended g'sfg to disrupt the classroom. I think he intended to create an educated public that could take part equally and equitably in life and politics so they wouldn't be jerked around by power-hungry royal family dictators.

    I know there are programs to help our difficult child, but clearly, they are more accessible and successful in some cities than others.
    I think you'll have to do a lot of homework (excuse the expression!) beforehand and during the 1st few wks to make it all come together. I can't tell you how important it is to maintain clear lines of communication between yourself and difficult child's teachers.
    And I'm not above gifts... chocolate, thank you notes, whatever it takes. In a sense, these teachers are doing us a favor, because although the laws are in place, our g'sfg still change the composition and dynamics of the classroom. More than that, SO many teachers have no training in this sort of thing and they're tired and resentful, so sweetening the pot goes a long way.

    It's easy for me to say "don't be afraid" but I'm actually in the same boat. It makes you chew your fingernails to the quick.
    But still, I offer support and warrior-wishes.
  4. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    On the subject of flights with kids - I remember a particularly unpleasant flight coming home from a Perth holiday - VERY long flight, across the full width of Australia. My older three kids (this was before difficult child 3 was born) were all very young. easy child 2/difficult child 2 was 16 months old and had been cutting all four of her two year molars on the trip. difficult child 1 was not quite 3, easy child was not quite 5. We had to sit in pairs because of how the seats were arranged. husband had easy child next to him and I had difficult child 1 next to me. because the baby was under two, I had to have her on my lap.

    Things weren't too bad until they brought the meals. I don't know what possessed them, but despite being told the kids would be fed separately, they brought the meals for difficult child 1 and easy child at the same time as the adult meals. naturally, easy child 2/difficult child 2 was delighted to have so much provender within grabbing range. I just managed to grab difficult child 1's orange juice before she sent it flying onto the passengers in front. I quickly stood up with the baby, but difficult child 1 needed help with feeding himself. Left to himself he was going to spill things. Even easy child needed help and husband was snowed under, just trying to help one of them. Meanwhile the staff kept coming back to see if we'd finished yet and kept trying to take it all away again since the kids weren't eating without our help.

    I was trying to stand beside my seat in the aisle so I could lean across, feed difficult child 1 and also shove the occasional morsel from my tray into easy child 2/difficult child 2. Then the cabin crew would come back and order me to sit down. I said to them, "If I sit down, I and other passengers will be wearing the contents of this tray." I asked them several times to help me - I was not well, having trouble just walking, let alone standing holding a struggling baby. Every slight lurch of the plane almost had me falling, holding the baby. They told me to go stand up the back near the jump seats they use when landing, for cabin crew, but none of them even offered to hold the baby while I had a chance to eat something and feed one of the kids. They were very rude and I was in tears, trying to cope. husband was doing all he could to maintain peace in the seats, having to lean over the back of my seat to help difficult child 1 in front. I even copped it from a stewardess for neglecting my son!

    Thankfully, husband managed to get the food organised, he grabbed a spoon from my tray and collected all uneaten food and hoarded it on his tray, so when the stewardesses weren't looking I could duck up to my seat, grab something else to eat and shimmy back down to my spot beside the rear toilets to eat a fraction more of my lunch (and share it with the baby). By the time husband had finished having to sort things out (because this slowed him down, too, in trying to feed himself and easy child) he was able to take the baby and let me finish my lunch and finish feeding difficult child 1. By this time all other meal trays had been collected, we ended up accidentally taking the airline spoon with us (they used real cutlery in those days). The spoon is now in our cutlery drawer, a relic of one of Australia's oldest airlines, now long-dead.

    Back then, the baby was very much easy child. She was a typical baby. difficult child 1 was fairly easy child on the flight also, but very insecure and needing constant reassurance. When people began to look at us he was becoming more withdrawn and anxious, which wasn't helping.

    I wrote a letter of complaint. Airline staff have a reputation for being helpful in such circumstances, not making the problem worse by feeding us all at once after they had agreed not to, and then bullying me about having to stand in the aisle to eat my meal. Crikey, I was trying to save THEIR reputation by avoiding a food fight!

    I never got a reply to my letter. Not surprising; turns out they had receivership on their minds only a few years later. Also not surprising, given their cabin service. I mean, I wasn't expecting free babysitting on the flight, just someone to THINK before bringing the meals, or at least holding the baby for me for a few minutes while I fed my son and myself the most spillable items.

    Tantrums? If a kid is screaming, it's just noise. The sound of the jets will drown it out. But if a kid is throwing food, because some idiot stewardess has dumped it there... I suspect we'd have been in a lot of trouble if easy child 2/difficult child 2 HAD managed to throw the OJ.

  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Ack Marg! What a nightmare! Quite a juggling act. You win a medal for that one.
    Now-days, they give you "snack packs" where everything is pre-pkgd. I can grab what I need, shove it in my purse, and deal with-it later, and then just save the drinks for the trays.
    I always bring along snacks just in case... and the more I read about airlines with-stranded passengers, the more food and tissues I bring. (I hate being with-o tissues, either for my nose or other body parts!) What I really dislike is not being able to carry water or liquids on board.
    Domestic vendors raised a hue and cry because the rule cut into their sales so much, so people are sometimes allowed to purchase drinks from vendors in ea indiv terminal and bring it onboard.