So you're on a plane, with your little ones, heading to Disneyland for your dream holiday. You're almost going insane with the regular logistics of flying with kids - one wants to nurse, one cries uncontrollably and one absolutely must have the packet of peanuts in spite of his allergy. Then you notice some inappropriate behaviour on the flight. And your kids have full view of it! What would you do?
If you think that such things don't actually happen, I'm afraid you are mistaken.
A mum wrote in to us with this story.
She was on a flight to Bali and she noticed another mum watching 50 Shades of Grey, with her kid! She was rather taken aback but assumed that it should be a censored version that was adapted for public viewing. Or so she thought.
In a few minutes, she couldn't believe what unravelled before her eyes. It was a fully uncensored version with the actors performing "all nature's deeds in its full glory" as she terms it. She found it to be inappropriate behaviour on the flight for it would have been really easy for a kid to have watched in on the screen from behind her.
Pretty liberal of the airline to have the movie in its collection isn't it?
In another incident, a recent news article reported a couple openly romping on a flight from Manchester to Ibiza. Yes, you read that right.
A couple, who appeared to be rather drunk started taking off each other's pants. The woman started riding the man. They made no attempt to hide their indecent act. This inappropriate behaviour on the flight left peoples' jaws dropping!
The passengers' reaction? Some laughed. Some were uncomfortable and asked to be moved. Some reached for their mobile phones and recorded the inappropriate behaviour on the flight. The flight crew? Believe it or not, they did absolutely nothing about it!
So mums being mums, we are rather mortified to hear of such stories. We thought it'd be interesting to find out what other Singaporean mums would have done in such a situation. We asked around.
Handling little children on a plane is no walk in the park!
Turns out, the mums we approached are rather non-confrontational. Here are their responses.
Mums responses to inappropriate behaviour on the flight
Gracia Chua, a young mother of two little angels says:
I cannot control what others do, however I can control my reaction to it. I would ignore the behaviour. And I would teach my kids to ignore or look away if my child is old enough to understand.
Sara Ngiau, a mother to a 6 year old son and 2 year old daughter says:
People are entitled to watch whatever movie they wish to. If someone was watching 50 Shades of Grey I'd distract my son with his favourite video. Sad but true - the Ipad has great powers!
Having said that, if I was on board and seated next to a child, I'd definitely choose something less provocative to watch.
Ok, how about a couple's inappropriate behaviour on the flight, we asked?
If they were just kissing it's fine. But if they were getting too involved to a point it got my child wondering what was up then I'd kindly tell them to either behave appropriately or I would inform the flight attendant.
When asked if she had anything to say to these people,
It really depends on how offensive their behaviour is. I'm not usually confrontational unless I have to be. I might throw a bread roll at them though - she joked.
Engel Teo, a teacher and a mum to a little boy says:
If there was inappropriate behaviour on the flight, for me, I wouldn't say anything to the couple. Because it's a personal choice. But I will educate my kid later and explain to him that it's not appropriate.
True to the nature of a teacher!
Nicholas and Reena, also teachers, and parents of a 3 year old boy said:
We would entertain our kid to distract him from the inappropriate behaviour on the flight. If it is a movie that they shouldn't watch, we might try to change seat with our kid so that he doesn't face the screen.
Anita, a mum to two girls and a frequent traveller herself says:
If the inappropriate behaviour on the flight is extreme, I might tell them to reconsider their actions as kids are watching them. But if they are watching an inappropriate movie, we can't say much since that's something we can distract the kids from easily as opposed to action that is taking place right in front of them.
In such cases, we should tell them how we feel but of course in a nice way.
What she would like to say to these people:
Do consider the feelings of the public. While it is of course your wish how you behave, maybe try putting yourselves in the shoes of parents to understand a bit of how we feel. Kids tend to learn and mimic what they see very easily.
Just understand your surroundings a little before you engage in such inappropriate behaviour on the flight. This would ensure a smooth journey for everyone on board.
Alvin, a military personnel and father of three had a slightly different response:
Of course I would inform the flight crew! Such things are unacceptable in the presence of little children.
Not surprising considering his occupation!
Mums, what would you do in such a situation? Do leave a comment and share with us your responses!