Watercooler: We're too harsh on kids behaving badly

RECENTLY I took my two-year-old on a flight to Sydney.

While this was his third time on a plane it was his first as a toddler and he instantly took a dislike to having to be confined to his seat.

He cried and screamed almost the whole way to Sydney.

Through out the hour-and-a-half long journey  - that felt more like eight hours - I kept getting thrown various dirty looks from other passengers on the plane.

Oh I know, it's awful to share a cabin with a screaming child but there was nothing I could do. 

Of course when the seat belt light was switched off I got up with him and took him down the back but then he wanted to run up the aisle. So back to our seats we went.

When the plane finally taxied and everyone filed past us to get off, there were more dirty looks but then a few sympathetic ones from other women.

And how did I feel? Embarrassed, frustrated, exhausted and sorry for my little man. He was too young to understand.

A Queensland mother whose son was recently diagnosed with a rare genetic condition is appealing to people to be more open-minded after being chastised by strangers on several occasions.

>> Don't leap to conclusions on my boy's bad behaviour: mum

Her son's disorder has caused delayed development of speech and motor skills, accelerated his growth, weakened his muscle mass and caused him to react in a volatile manner to the smallest of irritants.

She said people often jumped to incorrect conclusions when they saw how her son interacts with his siblings.

"Quite a few people give me dirty looks and I've had one lady tell me my child needed a good flogging," she said.

"They see him hitting his siblings and say he needs a smack to bring him into line."

So are we too harsh on kids behaviour in public places? I think so. What do you think?

What you're saying on Facebook:

Kylie Campbell: "Feel sorry for Mum, but it's hard to endure screaming kids on a flight."

Maureen Pauli: "Do people forget that they were once children and probably done the same thing to their parents. As hard as you try you just can't predict childrens behaviour."

Marty Ollier: "I always laugh and think, thankfully it's not one of mine... usually is though...."

Shannon Jones Kelly: "Maybe they could allocate and area in the plane for parents with small kids to sit.. I have been on a 6 hr flight and a baby was screaming the whole flight which was terrible for the parents and the other passengers.. Agree kids cry and not much can be done though."

Nikki Hanley: "I am all over my 2yo twin sons like a rash when they're playing up in public and it is ROUGH. It leaves me not wanting to go out ever again but i feel like i am going crazy staying at home.
I would never excuse any of my children from hitting each other though, no violence in my home thanks. Planes are hard because my go to punishment for my kids is a time out and i can't do a time out if they're already sitting in the seat. Not to mention take off and landings can hurt an adult's ears let alone a kid's. I went to Sydney in January with three of our four kids and my husband. While our 9 year old helped as much as she could with her twin brothers, it was a 14 hour drive as compared to a one hour flight. If we had the money, we would have flown down!"

Jacky Jones-Barnes: "I personally would never take my Devil Child on a plane and make others suffer. If your child cant be quietly entertained by you for 2-3 hours then travel by car on a road trip and turn the music up loud."

Paula Port: "An hour and a half, what a huge amount of time out of your life. Try making faces at the kid to distract them, put in your headphones, or maybe just understand sometimes this happens and move on."

Jo Scott: "Kids are kids...we were all on once and People should remember that! Maybe offering a hand is better than tsk tsk and mean looks!"

Jo Scott: "I got abused on a travel train...twice! Couldn't afford a sleeping carriage and was told to shut my kid up or go sleep in the dining car! I told them where I thought they should be sleeping!"

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