Advanced search

Children giving up their seats..

(448 Posts)
whatsthepointthen Tue 13-Nov-18 10:13:08

I was on the bus this morning and my 2 children were sat in the seats, this is a small bus and gets very busy. After a few stops an older woman got on and kept loudly bitching that my kids didnt give up their seats and shaking her head.

for context my son fell on this exact bus flat on his back and banged his head on the floor a few months back as he was standing up (and holding on) but the bus whizzed round a corner so now i try to make sure they always get a seat.

Should children always give up their seats for an older person? wibu for not making them?

paintinmyhairAgain Mon 19-Nov-18 07:08:23

it just goes to show we are an interesting lot on mn, our thoughts and opinions are worthy of sharing with the masses. my thread is apparently in the new zealand herald ! smile

Shockers Sun 18-Nov-18 19:27:59

This thread has been picked up by the Independent.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sun 18-Nov-18 15:09:44

Telling women who have children and find day to day life difficult or stressful just to "not get the bus" is just stupid.

The stats are I think that about 4 in 10 women have some kind of mental health issues related to pregancy that can continue a year after birth (as defined - can be longer of course but then the definition is changed).

Women with kids need to get to places eg doctor hospital school work and many of them need to do so on public transport, even if it is difficult and stressful.

The suggestion that they simply "don't get on the bus" is really honestly stupid and I think is a reflection of a certian attitude.

It's the attitude that women who are pregnant or have kids with them are taking up too much space, they are in the way, which often comes out as glares and tutting. Doing this at women who are already feeling vulnerable, and of course on top of how they are feeling they have to look after their kids, really is just nasty.

The fact that women with young children often are vulnerable themselves, is entirely overlooked by society who prefer to paint mothers who are just trying to get on with their lives as selfish bastards gleefully kicking elderly people and what-have-you.

BlackberryandNettle Sat 17-Nov-18 20:07:52

I think 4 is young enough to be a little unstable and need to sit. 6 year old should stand for someone elderly. If they turned down a working age adult's seat but carried on bitching about the kids - I'd say they probably didn't really need the seat!!

blueskiesandforests Sat 17-Nov-18 18:29:00

zippy she said the bus gets busy - sounds as though the OP gets in at the start of the route where she knows it's not as full. "Just don't get on the bus" isn't an option for people with hospital/ doctor's appointments or even essential shopping to do beyond the walking distance of the children who can't be in the pram, especially in bad weather.

There were working age adults who could have stood up more safely, and one did indeed offer their seat, but was turned down.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 17:22:58

All I meant was it wasn't the time for a teaching exercise for young children in how to behave towards other passengers (as per your previous post!!); there will be other times for that, when they're 7, 8, 9 and 10 etc!!

For me, it's the last thing I would want to do with young children and a buggy, hence why I used my car when my DDs were that age and actually still do. But for other parents, they have no choice.

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 17:00:07

Surviving the bus journey makes it sound melodramatic. If you’re that worried about a simple bus journey, don’t get on the bus!

Try the reverse scenario - I mean, what if OP gets on and there are no seats for the children and no one willing to give up thier seats? How do you survive the journey then?

You just get on with it. The children will be fine.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 16:46:54

I don't agree actually, not with very young children. I would train children when they're old enough to realistically be expected to hold on, definitely not under the age of six. As I said, I would expect my DDs to be able to hold on now, but they're completely able bodied and do gymnastics. That wouldn't be so with a lot of children of that age.

Older children should be taught to give seats to younger children. It might help them learn to be more empathetic towards younger children; bearing in mind the bullying that takes place in schools, this would be a good thing, IIMO.

BUT I don't think this is relevant to the OP's situation. Travelling by bus with 2 young children plus a baby in a buggy wouldn't be a time when she could really realistically be thinking about training them for the future. It would be all about surviving the journey. I'm just grateful I've never had to go through that.

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 16:22:49

Notontelly - In my first post I said children should stand for “older adults” and I clarified this in my second post saying “over 60”. I wouldn’t expect a child of that age to stand for an able bodied adult. And I would also offer my seat to a child. So some things I think we agree on.

Lizzie48- Yes the falling over has bearing, so OP isn’t entirely unreasonable. But it’s also an opportunity for the child to learn to hold on better next time. They will need to learn eventually!

I don’t disagree that getting an able bodied adult to give up their seat is best, and maybe this would happen more often if we taught our children from an early age (eg 4 and 6) to give up thier seats.

Tracing them at this age will determin how they behave in 10 or 20 years time. Maybe the adults who won’t give up thier seats were taught not to give up thier seats as children. You reap what you sow.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 16:13:59

ferntwist and a 4yo is safer to stand than any of the able bodied 18,25, 35yo who are usually mixed in on public transport?


I dont' get it.

Luckily in real life,where I live, this is not how it works at all! the 18/25/35 yo should be standing for people less able to stand, which includes pregnant women, elderly people, people with obvious mobility issues, and yes, little kids!

Other point is.
I have dodgy legs so it's comfier to stand than have a child on lap.
So we get on,3 seats.
Gets crowded, I stand, 2 seats.
Gets more crowded, 1 seat as they share.
Gets more crowded, no seats for the family and a load of healthy 30yo chaps sitting down.

Yes I have done this in the past as I read the threads on here and I don't want to incur the wrath of some of the posters on here, I was suffering with depression and anxiety after the kids and for some years that made me really hyper-aware of us "being in the way", but it does strike me as nuts that a woman with multiple kids > all should stand grin

I still stand up for little kids on the train and so do most round here, I will reiterate, and that is good and fine and normal.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 15:53:03


They could easily be tripped over, though. They're also less aware of when a bus is likely to stop suddenly than an adult as they won't be able to see where they're going. The comparison here isn't between a small child and an elderly or infirm adult but between s small child and a teenager or able bodied adult (and there are always plenty of those on a bus!).

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 15:48:08

I offer my seat to children OPs age on public transport - this really genuinely is normal around here.

Maybe it varies in different parts of the world how this is seen. I am glad it's like this here though. No fucking way woudl I expect a 4yo to stand for me! Other way around.

ferntwist Sat 17-Nov-18 15:46:44

Children should either sit on a lap or stand up. They’re nowhere near as likely to hurt themselves badly as an elderly passenger.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 15:43:29

But in the very opening post, so not a drip feed, the OP said her DS had fallen over a few months ago, whilst holding on. That was why she wanted her DC to be sitting down. That seems to me to be entirely reasonable. He's able-bodied but still fell over. Children are less able to hold on than a young adult.

I've stood on trains and buses, and sat down on one of my cases on trains. I wouldn't have expected to take the seat of a young child!

I would think of my DDs as able to stand up at 9 and 6. (I mostly travel by car so don't face this problem, thankfully.) But at 4, I wouldn't have done. I only had 2 children so I would have sat down with one on each knee. (But again, I didn't have to worry about a buggy.)

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 15:34:33

Notontelly - safety situation on a crowded bus for a 4 year old child - i don’t think there is a safety issue for standing able bodied children. There might be one for non able bodied children, pregnant women and the elderly. But children can hold onto poles or a buggy. And they should if they can.

Otherwise there would be AIBU threads saying “AIBU that an adult didn’t make their seat available on a crowded bus for my child?”

There isn’t a minimum age really - as long as they are able bodied and able to stand ok. So about 4. Hold onto the pole in an arm lock.

Teateaandmoretea Sat 17-Nov-18 15:28:16

Tbh folks just read the rest of the posts, there are a reassuring number of sensible people who agree with other. I for one am offering no more food on this one.

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 15:23:23

Nothingontelly - you’re right about sitting on a bus. There is more room at the front, but I was thinking of a train scenario more than a bus.

Lizzie48 - I’m sorry you were abused. A bus ride however is a low risk activity and making children stand on a bus is not abusive.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 15:17:19

What is this talk of young adults?

We are talking about a 4 and 6yo,

You have said all children should stand as a mark of respect. No minimum age mentioned as yet.

4 is teeny though.

I'm glad the people on my commute aren't like you!

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 15:15:14

You have said that they should sit on the floor.
Which is a bizarre suggestion.

You've also said that children should stand, rather than adle bodied grown ups. You have not addressed the safety issues mentioned around crowded or overcrowded situations and a child as young as 4 who is only at leg height - not able to hold on in a crowd and easily separated from carer, being trapped in and squashed at thigh height is no laughing matter.

You brush all this off as "it's a low risk activity" and reiterate that you expect all children (minimum age? less than 4, we know that) to stand.

I'm getting the feeling that you're not a very empathetic person.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 15:11:53

I have posted my experience of sitting on the floor on the tube, and even though I'm much bigger than a child, I got pushed and squished and trodden on a bit.

I really don't think bus drivers would be cool with it anyway. It's not safe for the children or the people trying to move around them, it's an obstruction.

That's what makes me think she's talking bollocks TBH it's a totally not real world suggestion.

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 15:11:42

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 15:03:55

@zippey really does seem to think children's needs to be safe don't matter; they should stand no matter who else might be on the bus who might be more able to stand up.

Of course children are vulnerable! Why else does child protection matter?! Children are much smaller than adults after all, so how can they not be vulnerable.

As a previously abused child, I find that post deeply offensive.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 14:53:07

"If it were me I’d offer my seat first before asking my children to make way."

This entirely contradicts eveything you have already said.

You have said all children must stand if there are not enough seats for all, they shuold stand rather than fit healthy 25 or 30 yo, and you have not put a minimum age on it (one of OPs kids is 4).

You have said this must happen because of "respect".

You have advised women to seat their children on the floor - and not addressed the fact that I very much doubt many bus drivers would take kindly to that at all and the kids would be in danger of being stomped on.

It's all a load of old bollocks really.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 14:50:19

You have decided OP is a liar? Aren't you a charmer confused

You have confirmed that you would want a 4 yo to stand, rather than an 18, 25 or 35 year old. Why?

Why are you so unwilling to see that small children standing on some public transport - crowded or overcrowded public transport - are at risk? At more risk than a grown up.

Like I say, on my commute it is normal for adults to offer seats to kids up to about 10. I am pleased about this. The thought of little ones gettign squished / not being able to hold on / being pushed from all sides because people down the way can't see them or becoming separated from their parents is awful to me and most on my commute - hence a common sense approach is taken.

4 is tiny why on earth you think they should stand while much more able adults sit is beyond me.

I really do think it's spite. I can't think what else it can be.

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 14:14:04

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »