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to think parents should make room for adults by getting their kids to sit on their laps.

(703 Posts)
Bouttimeforwine Fri 15-Aug-14 12:14:28

I have always done this, in waiting rooms, on buses, anywhere really. Even till they were too big really to be sitting on laps. Even now I will get them to sit on the floor at friends houses so that adults get the chairs. It's polite and the way I was brought up.

I often see children taking up a space, when it would be easy just to pop them on your knee for a short period of time. I know for a fact that some of these parents have no physical reason not to do this. They just think that their child has as much right as an adult to have that seat. True but it's not good manners is it?


Collaborate Fri 15-Aug-14 12:15:54

Yes. YABU. Why do you think you are so more entitled to a seat than a child?

Redhead11 Fri 15-Aug-14 12:16:14

YANBU. i always did that too and find it extraordinary that people do not do that automatically. I also hate the people who think their shopping bags have more need of a seat than i do!

LRDtheFeministDragon Fri 15-Aug-14 12:17:09

Depends a bit.

A small child, and a parent who genuinely doesn't have a physical reason not to - fair enough.

But I think on a bus I would prioritise a child having a seat rather than an adult - adults are mostly able to hang on, whereas a child could go flying. I would always stand up for a child that small and am shocked when people don't.

Sirzy Fri 15-Aug-14 12:17:21

Yanbu. Just like if someone looked to be struggling standing and I had a seat I wouldn't hesitate to give up my seat for them.

Bouttimeforwine Fri 15-Aug-14 12:17:35

I think adults are more entitled to a seat than my child. And obviously this works in reverse.

SaucyJack Fri 15-Aug-14 12:17:45


Why does being under the age of sixteen give you any less right to exist as everyone else? Pure ageism if you ask me.

HeySoulSister Fri 15-Aug-14 12:18:06

It's something which happened a lot back in my childhood and seems to have fizzled out as children have now become a protected delicate species!

saadia Fri 15-Aug-14 12:18:46

YANBU I always tell my dcs to give up their seat or to share a seat if there is a shortage. It is the polite thing to do and annoys me when others don't.

Sirzy Fri 15-Aug-14 12:19:01

I agree with ldr about small children being a priority to be say either on a knee or if not possible their own seat. I stood on a train last month while DS (4) and dn (5) shared a seat.

shoofly Fri 15-Aug-14 12:19:59

My very tall 8 year old ds has asd and extremely poor balance. On a bus or train he needs a seat.
I was standing with buggy folded while he sat with 3 year old ds2 on a train and was embarrassed by the very well meaning ticket man who loudly announced 'that strapping lad should be standing and letting his mum sit'.

InculKate Fri 15-Aug-14 12:20:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

superbagpuss Fri 15-Aug-14 12:21:15

it does depend

On the tube my dc need seats as they are far too small to hang on. However either I will stand or pop one on my lap if the carriage is full to free up more seats

In a doctors I would aslo pop one on my lap.

I think the seats available should be used for need, not by age.

MrsCosmopilite Fri 15-Aug-14 12:21:28

I came home on a train at the end of rush hour last week with DD (3.6). When we got on the train there were a lot of seats available. I told her that if someone got on who needed the seat, she'd have to sit on my lap.
At the next stop, a fair few people got on, and a man was standing by the doors. I offered him DD's seat but he declined.
I suppose it works both ways. If I'd been sat down in the office all day, I'd probably quite like to stand. DD and I had been walking all day so it was great that we could both sit.

Sirzy Fri 15-Aug-14 12:21:31

It's not about having less right to exist at all. what a daft comment. But if someone is standing and struggling then you should stand if your capable, just like in general children are more capable of sitting on the floor (and getting up easily!) than older people therefore that is often the best option to reduce people struggling.

Obviously each situation is judged individually but on the whole yes we should be teaching children to think outside their little bubble about the needs of others. Just like some adults need to learn to do!

WooWooOwl Fri 15-Aug-14 12:21:33

I wouldn't make my child give up a seat on a bus for an adult unless it was an adult that I would stand up for myself, like someone elderly, pregnant, or clearly struggling. A child who's place on public transport has been paid for does have as much right to a seat as an adult. Before they are old neigh to need to be paid for, they are probably still little enough to need to be seated for safety. I would and have had children sitting on my lap to make space for other people but if I'm on my own with three children, then there's still a chance that two of them will have their bums on seats instead of on me.

At people's houses I would make my child sit on the floor so that the adults can have the chairs, because there is a floor they can sit on.

fairgame Fri 15-Aug-14 12:21:37

A small child then I would sit them on my lap
However DS is 9 and is way too heavy and big to sit on my lap. I'm 5'4 and 8 stone wet through, he weighs over half my weight and is nearly as tall as me it just wouldn't work. But I would make him stand or stand myself so an adult could sit down.

YABU just for the second part. When my DCs were small I'd often sit them on my lap, but once they were too big for that I don't see why they should give up a seat for an adult (unless they were struggling for whatever reason, and tbh I'd give up my seat in those circumstances) I can think of occasions when I would tell them to move, or they'd offer but a generic rule that they should move for all adults just doesn't make any sense to me.

Bouttimeforwine Fri 15-Aug-14 12:22:20

I'm not just talking about moving buses though.

PenisesAreNotPink Fri 15-Aug-14 12:23:22

We have had a seismic shift in thinking in a generation about children and their rights and individual personhood. All to the good as we listen to children much more now.

However, they are not full, contributing members of society and while I totally see the argument that it's their chair and it's been paid for (even if free) it still doesn't sit right with me.

Children are more likely to be healthy and able bodied. Even as a woman in her 40s I struggle more with getting down on the floor, getting up etc so I would expect an 8 year old child to give up their seat if they were young and healthy - just like I would to someone with a greater need than me like a child or adult with disabilities.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Aug-14 12:24:09

It's something which happened a lot back in my childhood and seems to have fizzled out as children have now become a protected delicate species!

This exactly ^^

I've always popped my kids on my lap or squeezed them together on a bus seat (if they weren't old enough to stand safely). To me personally, it's good manners and just a nice to do.

They're now aged 22, 15 and nearly 12 and are always the first to offer their seats up to someone who looks like they might need it more.

WorraLiberty Fri 15-Aug-14 12:24:40

Nice 'thing' to do

SaucyJack Fri 15-Aug-14 12:24:51

Read the OP Sirzy. She isn't talking talking about people with disabilities/those struggling to stand at all.

Just a blanket statement that one particular group should be treated less favourably than another due to a legally protected characteristic.

Once upon a time they thought black people should stand up too.

Gilbertblythesmissus Fri 15-Aug-14 12:25:03

YANBU. It's polite.

I always make my DC sit on the floor when we have guests and there aren't enough seats for everyone. In the past I have said "sit on the floor, please leave the seats for the grown ups". They vacate only for spoilt DN to nip into the seat and refuse to move. Her parents and my MIL just laugh angry.

JenniferJo Fri 15-Aug-14 12:25:39

I'm always bewildered and amused when I read (and only ever on mumsnet) that children have as much right to a seat as adults.

No, they don't. Really they just don't. Not unless they've paid full fair and not child's rates and even then they shouldn't be sitting down if an elderly or infirm adult is standing. Some MNetters seem to be in the process of rearing a generation of entitled brats with no manners.

It used to say on buses that children travelled at reduced rates as long as they didn't occupy a seat when an adult was standing.

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