Friday, July 11, 2014

Up, up and away! Being aware of our children.

It has been awhile since I posted anything.  Been traveling to see 2 new grandbabies in two different places!   It has been wonderful.

On one of my many flights this month, I sat across the aisle from a mother and her son.   The minute she got on the plane, mom was engaged with her phone.  Her son was 3 years old and sat by the window across from me.  For about an hour, he was kicking the seat in front of him, yelling, and standing up (after the flight attendant had told mom several times that he had to be in his seatbelt).  Mom just basically ignored him.  There were no toys or books for this little guy to keep him entertained.  This went on for an hour.

So, I took my headphones off and engaged mom in a conversation.  Then I started playing with him.  We did fingerplays, songs, and games.  We counted my fingers and his over and over.  Mom engaged with us at this time.    We did this for about an hour.  It entertained us both.  We started descending to our city and his little ears hurt, so he started screaming again.  I said  "don't scream, use your words and tell mommy they hurt."  So he did.  We then played a yawning game and they popped. 

As we got off the plane, mom said  "you are really good with him!"  My thought was... she could have done the same thing, she just choose to ignore him when he needed to be entertained.   Those little spaces on a plane are confining!  They are so small for kids and adults!  (that's why I entertain myself with music or books). 

I have no problem with children on an airplane.  They have just as much right to be there as I do.  The problem (not the child, but the mother ignoring him) was solved when attention was paid to the little boy.  I know the people around us were really happy when I started playing with him.

One final thought... as I was in the terminal I heard from behind... "hey, you forgot me!"  My new little friend came running up and grabbed my hand.  I explained that his mommy would miss him if he came with me, so he had to stay with mommy.  She smiled and thanked me.   Maybe some teaching was done by example.  Hopefully the next flight they were about to get on was better for him!

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