Mom Wants to Ban Young Kids on Flights, Because Adult Passengers Are Never Irritating or Anything

Ideally, every airplane trip would be turbulence- and disturbance-free. According to journalist and mother Kelly Rose Bradford, though, that freedom from disturbances should be created by banning small children from airplanes.


Bradford appeared on the British talk show This Morning to defend her notion that young children don't belong in airplanes. When her own son was small, she avoided flying with him, and thinks that other parents should follow suit (and several others agree with her, based on the #ChildFreeFlights hashtag this discussion has started on Twitter):

"I didn’t want to subject everyone else to it as well, because I know how irritating it is when you are the person sitting next to that family, behind them or in front of them. ... I think there’s an element of selfishness from parents who insist on not changing their lifestyle once they have their children, because there are some things that just aren’t practical."

I agree that some things aren't entirely practical, but to me, those impractical things include the notion that families with young children should forego visiting relatives, attending weddings and funerals, and otherwise taking to the skies for five years until their kids are old enough not to annoy Bradford and her fellow travelers.

More from The Stir: Travel With Baby: Tips for Surviving the Airport and Plane

I'm not sure where the idea came from that young children are an accessory and not actual members of society -- albeit nonverbal ones -- but wherever the idea came from, where it belongs is in the naughty corner. Babies and toddlers have just as much right to occupy space on an airplane as the guy who sits in front of you and reclines his seat all the way into your lap, or the lady who thinks the rest of the flight will enjoy the sound of her singing along to her iPod. In fact, I'd rather sit next to an upset baby than next to any obnoxious adult seat partner, because it's far more irritating to be bothered by someone who really ought to know better.

Bradford declaims the selfishness of parents traveling with children, and maybe I would be selfish if I decided to fly the not-so-friendly skies with my toddlers. But I think it's also pretty selfish to expect other people to stop living their lives for five years in order to be totally convenient for you. I can't help but wonder, too, if all the people who'd like kids to stay out of sight for their first five years would wind up being the ones complaining about elementary-schoolers who aren't used to being in public and don't know how to handle it. Next solution: No kids on airplanes until they graduate high school?


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