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To think that small children should be encouraged to give up their seats?

(72 Posts)
Grannyknot Wed 31-Oct-12 19:27:34

Long day at work. Disruption on trains. Packed with London commuters, and because it's half term - lots and lots of jolly mums, dads, etc with expensive pushchairs, assorted kids and all the paraphernalia that shouts 'ooh see what a good/organised/thoughtful/well-to-do/trendy mother I am'. My hair is completely grey, I am sure I looked tired, laden with briefcase etc. Am I being unreasonable to expect that one of those (mainly) women might have thought to say to e.g. a 5 year old - 'Why don't you stand next to me, hold on to that pole really tightly, and give the nice lady a seat?'! What the hell has happened to teaching your child MANNERS. angry. I almost sat on the floor.

Grannyknot Wed 31-Oct-12 19:28:40

(almost sat on the floor) - in protest!

Marelli Wed 31-Oct-12 19:32:52

Most definitely they should have had the child stand, Grannyknot. Perhaps you should have dropped your heavy briefcase on the mother's lap as you were trying to balance. Another thing that annoys me is when I see adults allowing their children to put their feet on seats - or even their own feet! I hope one day they sit down on a seat where someone has done the same, but has stood in something really nasty first angry!

granjura Wed 31-Oct-12 19:55:30

I would have taken my child/grand child on my lap and definitely have got the child to give up their seat.

In your case, I think I would have sat on the floor - just to shame them!

nanaej Wed 31-Oct-12 20:06:09

I might not expect a young child to stand but would offer my seat or, as granjura said make room by sitting a child on my lap. If someone is infirm /pregnant etc then anyone should offer a seat. Small children can get squashed and stood on on a crowded train if they stand and parents may be worried they get shuffled off in error at a station if it is busy! I have to say OP sounds as though she felt more entitled to a seat than the other train users..which of course is not the case though it is frustrating for regular commuters when their routines are disrupted by occasional /seasonal users having a fun day when others have been at work.

Grannyknot Wed 31-Oct-12 20:19:07

nanaej you miss my point. I don't think I am more entitled to a seat than anybody else. It's about manners, and teaching children from small to be considerate to others, in this case an older person. I think it was Alexander McCall who said in one of his books "manners are morals in miniature". I'm very encouraged that others think like I do. By the way, I had a fun day too.

Ana Wed 31-Oct-12 20:34:46

What annoys me is when some of the mothers can be heard saying to their offspring, for whom they presumably haven't paid full fare, "You stay where you are, you've just as much right as anyone to sit here," while glowering at the person daring to suggest the child might give up their seat for an elderly or pregnant passenger. angry

petallus Wed 31-Oct-12 20:38:08

Certainly would not EXPECT a small child to give me his/her seat and stand. (presumably the seat was paid for by the parent).

The idea that they SHOULD sounds a bit dated to me.

However, I am quite elderly now with a gammy hip so might accept any generous offer with gratitude.

Ana Wed 31-Oct-12 20:40:01

Think bus travel is free for under-5s.

yogagran Wed 31-Oct-12 20:41:05

If my memory is right, when I was a child giving up your seat to someone didn't necessarily have anything to do with that person being pregnant or infirm - if they were older than you then, without question, you offered them your seat

petallus Wed 31-Oct-12 20:45:47

Not only that, most men would offer a woman a seat if she was standing in those days.

Not today sadly.

petallus Wed 31-Oct-12 20:46:43

Come to think of it, if there was a robust teenager with a seat I'd prefer him to give it up rather than a small child.

janeainsworth Wed 31-Oct-12 20:51:49

Grannyknot I would have felt the same.
Does no-one else ever feel irritation at the yummy mummiesgrin

janeainsworth Wed 31-Oct-12 20:53:46

Miranda Hart does

Grannyknot Wed 31-Oct-12 20:56:05

petallus if the following is dated, then give me dated any day: I have travelled on the same route to work for the past 7 years, overland train 25 mins into London. Couple of weeks ago I got on as usual and sort of noticed that my end of the coach was full of teenage boys, smartly dressed in casual clothes, accompanied by a man and a woman. The train was full but there was plenty of room for me to stand, I didn't expect to be offered a seat (other commuters same rights, paid tickets etc etc) - when the youngster nearest me leapt up and offered me his seat. I was startled but gathered my wits and thanked him, I saw that the adult with them had also acknowledged it, by giving the boy a big smile and a thumbs up. Once seated, I realised that the boys were chatting away animatedly in German (I understand German a little bit). As we got off the train I complimented the adults who were accompanying them, and thanked them too. I also want to make another comment re kids and standing. A friend's daughter is a ballet teacher in Australia. She was horrified by the number of not-so-small children here still in pushchairs, and said (in many of course not in everybody etc etc) it showed in the under-development of their feet and ankles, leg muscles (she was doing a teaching stint here) that they are not using their legs enough.

Grannyknot Wed 31-Oct-12 21:01:44

janeainsworth love the Miranda article. She gets me! Feel a bit better now for letting off steam. And the yummy mummy I glared at tonight is probably posting on Mumsnet grin at this very minute about why children should not have to give up their seats on the train to someone just because the person had grey hair!

NfkDumpling Wed 31-Oct-12 21:08:26

It should be down to the mother to remind an older child to give up it's seat or take a younger one onto her lap. It's just good manners and encourages consideration and thoughtfulness in the child.

gracesmum Wed 31-Oct-12 21:38:10

Agree absolutely - and don't even get me started on commuters (not infrequently men) who think their briefcase, bless it, somehow deserves a seat too. Head deep in newspaper/laptop/"important looking" document (huh!) and then huge hard done by sigh when I ask with restraint, it that seat is available. I do not ask if the briefcase has paid a full fare, note, nor do I mutter "T***er" under the breath, but smile beatifically and sit down taking up as much space with my elbows as I can.angry
They can see that the train is filling rapidly and that sitting in the outside seat and trying to "bag" the window seat for baggage is a lost cause, but no, you have to climb over them holding up all the people behind you in the gangway etc grrrr! very angry

crimson Wed 31-Oct-12 21:44:25

I don't travel by train very often but last time I did I had to ask someone to move their coat so I could sit down [it happens at the cinema sometimes as well].

Sook Wed 31-Oct-12 22:20:38

I would have taken my child/grandchild on my knee. Isn't it called respect and part and parcel of bringing children up to be kind and decent human beings?

merlotgran Wed 31-Oct-12 22:35:22

I think most small children feel proud when they've done something to help a grown up and most parents love any opportunity to feel proud of their children. Giving up a seat used to be a rite of passage just like standing up when the head teacher walked into the classroom.....whatever happened to that?

petallus Wed 31-Oct-12 22:39:53

I think what caught my attention in the original post was the reference to SMALL children and that they should be expected to stand. A four year old could be exhausted after a day trailing around London. I know my six year old GS gets tired after a day out.

As I said perhaps it would be appropriate for an older child or teenager to give up a seat.

Incidentally what is this a yummy mummy?

petallus Wed 31-Oct-12 22:41:00

What is a yummy mummy I meant to say and why is she so despised?

Ana Wed 31-Oct-12 22:45:12

But petallus, surely the 'small child' could be accommodated on its parent's knee? If it's under five no fare would have been paid, whereas the standing adult would have paid full price. It does seem sad that such a very British custom is dying out - in some cases due to a prevailing sense of 'entitlement'.

petallus Wed 31-Oct-12 22:50:55

Funnily enough I was talking to a friend this evening who remembered that as a child he was on the top deck of a bus when a woman got on and he stood up and offered her his seat. She thanked him and sat down. However the bus conductor then came up and said standing was not allowed and my friend would have to get off the bus. The woman said nothing. Luckily other passengers told the conductor what had happened and my friend was allowed to stay on the bus.

My friend said he resolved there and the not to give up his seat again. Over fifty years later he is still indignant at the inconsiderate behaviour of the woman.

It is not only children who should show respect and consideration towards adults. Rather it should be a reciprocal arrangement.

Children are not second class citizens.