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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?

Pringlecat Sat 17-Nov-18 13:47:22

I don't think little children should necessarily give up their seats, but when they're small enough to share one seat or sit on each other, I think they should. It's good manners to accommodate other people to the extent that you are able.

ScreamingValenta Sat 17-Nov-18 13:04:54

Never mind the Daily Mail, this thread has now appeared in the New Zealand Herald!

paintinmyhairAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 12:30:30

when i was heavily pregnant i asked a guy to move his bag from the bus seat so i could sit down [bus was full and people standing ffs].he ignored me so i said louder ' i would like to sit done, would you please move your bag ?' he looked at me and looked away. i was so angry at this stage i yelled 'move it or i'll sit on the damn thing !' there were sniggers and mutterings of 'you tell the fucker'. he moved it and muttered 'sorry' i sat down, i was so angry that no one had stood up for me or spoke up. it could have had fall out but i've always been the idiot who puts her head where most people won't put their feet grin

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 12:07:13

But what I don't get is why people who need a seat approach / expect other vulnerable people to give up theirs rather than looking to a less vulnerable group.

The woman on the bus tutted and has supprort because she wanted a 4yo / 6yo to stand up.

She wasn't interested in a seat from anyone else - someone who would be less at risk - she wanted a childs seat on principle - no matter than the mum already had her hands full.

I felt this on public transport a lot when the kids were little. People can be resentful at women taking up space at the best of times and I think this is an extension of this.

Lydiaatthebarre Sat 17-Nov-18 12:03:19

To be honest, this probably wouldn't be a problem if there weren't so many rude and self absorbed teenagers and young adults who just remain glued to their phones and completely ignore elderly people, pregnant women and disabled people in need of a seat.
Or even worse, just plonk themselves into a seat as soon as it becomes available without looking around to see if anyone else needs it more.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 12:00:09

Not ask -


A 4 yo is expecting to get up while strapping healthy adults stay put.

It's this thing of pitting vulnerable people against each other while the majority who would be much better placed to help don't have a people looking their way.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 11:58:09

"Most 4-6 year old children can stand (or sit on the floor) of a bus or train."

It's really not safe -
People aren't expecting there to be people on the floor, they are likely to get trodden on . booted by people who are squeezing through and haven't noticed them, or climbing over them.
I also highly doubt that a bus driver would allow people sitting on the floor on a bus - both for safety reasons and due to causing an obstruction, It makes me wonder how often you actually use public transport if you think having 4yo sitting on the floor is a good idea.

FWIW I sat on the floor on the tube when I was heavily pg and feeling unwell more than once - the commuters into central london can be very head in book and it gets extremely crowded. And I can vouch for the fact you get trodden on / kicked as people didn't see me - and I'm a lot bigger than a 4yo.People just aren't expecting others to be on the floor and so aren't looking.

Do you genuinely beleive this is a good idea?

And I dont' get why you'd ask a 4yo to get up (and sit on the floor?) rather than an 18 or a 25 yo. It makes no sense to me at all.

PenguinSaidEverything Sat 17-Nov-18 11:43:31

I’d expect older children to give up their seats but not little ones at 4&6. An able bodied adult should give up their seat first before you ask little children. They’re more vulnerable than adults. (In the hypothetical situation of a bus full of elderly and/or disabled people I’d get the kids to stand up though!)

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 11:28:51

But why didn't she ask her children to shove up together and free up a seat?

That could have been a possibility, I agree. But my DD2 (6) would have protested when she was 4, as she was very clingy and nervous of strangers.

But in this case, there were others better able to offer a seat, and one of them did just that.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 11:25:55

But if someone was grumbling or asked for a seat, I would give them mine, or my children’s without questioning the nature of their ailment.

But in the scenario described, the woman was offered a seat and refused it. She clearly did only want to moan. She also picked on the one person least able to accommodate her request, a young mum with 2 young DC who was also having to look after a baby in a buggy.

Should older people automatically get respected? I’d say yes. As should any human, unless there is a reason to not respect them.

In an ideal world, yes, I agree. But in practice, saying older people should automatically be respected can be a dangerous message for a child. Especially when they're also told that includes those adults who are hurting them. (Speaking as a survivor of childhood SA here.)

It's far better to teach children that every human is worthy of respect and kindness, including themselves.

Lydiaatthebarre Sat 17-Nov-18 11:20:08

But why didn't she ask her children to shove up together and free up a seat?

AvoidingDM Sat 17-Nov-18 10:55:42

Poles aren't that easy to grip when you only have small hands.
Do you think the Op is an octopus? She was already holding a buggy. Which spare hands does she have to hold on herself and take 2 children by the hands. Ffs

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 10:47:55

When I say older adults I mean adults from about 60 or older. But if someone was grumbling or asked for a seat, I would give them mine, or my children’s without questioning the nature of their ailment.

I’m not piping to the good old days. Just saying children should say their please and thank yous, and offer seats to people more in need. Most 4-6 year old children can stand (or sit on the floor) of a bus or train.

If the train is crowded, hold their hands or tell them to hold onto a chair or a pole.

Should older people automatically get respected? I’d say yes. As should any human, unless there is a reason to not respect them.

And respect meaning general niceties eg saying hello, giving up your seat on a crowded bus, helping them after an accident.

Nothing on telly - No I don’t tend to sneer at parents. They have a tough enough job. But they should teach their children kindness and manners, and if someone elderly was grumbling for a seat then I don’t see any harm in offering them one.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 10:34:33

Which is the point at which I don't understand and think there's some spite involved TBH.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 10:33:58

This person would approach a 4yo and tell them to stand up rather than approach a 16, 25 or 35 year old and ask them.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 10:17:57


Why should children automatically respect their elders? Surely respect needs to be earned? This lady's behaviour didn't entitle her to respect from anyone IMO.

No, we should treat anyone as we would wish to be treated. If we were vulnerable in any way, and needed a seat on a bus because we might easily fall over (as one of the OP's DSs had done not long before), then we would want other passengers to allow us a seat.

We don't demand respect, as we're no more entitled to it than the next person. It's fine to ask politely if you're in need of a seat because you're unable to stand for any reason. You'll find you'll get a much kinder response in return.

Teateaandmoretea Sat 17-Nov-18 09:47:04

It's all the guff about 'it's how it used to be in the good old days.'

Yeah those good old days when racism was rife, rape was allowed in marriage, girls were locked up for getting pregnant, people with depression were sent to asylums.

Thankfully the world has moved on in 2018.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 09:32:41

Sorry I say "no one" obviously some peopel on this thread a quite keen!

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 09:32:05

There are people liek this about.

Ignore them is my advice.

Most poeple are sensible, and kind.

No-one wants a little kid getting hurt / separated from parent, not least because it will be noisy and / or hold their journey up. Even people who are arseholes see a benefit to letting more vulnerable people sit, and this includes children, and depends to an extent on the journey - crowding, how sudden stops are,how sharp corners etc.

Teateaandmoretea Sat 17-Nov-18 09:27:30

No Zippey, not if they are at disproportional risk from standing. Age does not give you rights that usurp safety and common decency.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sat 17-Nov-18 09:27:11

Always, under any and all circs?

With no regard for their age, the crowding levels, their safety?

I don't understand. Why do you think that?

Why is it better for a 4yo to stand on a crowded train, where no-one can see them because they are so much smaller, they are unable to reach anything to hold onto, at risk of getting separated from their grown up etc

Rather than an able bodied 25 year old?

Why does that seem sensible to you?

I bet you're the first to sit their sneering at a parent for beign rubbish when in that situaiton and juggling multiple kids, one of them takes a tumble as well.

On my commute children up to about 10 are given seats because it is obviously more dangerous for them to stand than an adult. This is the norm. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it. What a horrible person.

zippey Sat 17-Nov-18 09:06:49

Children should always stand in preference to older adults I think. It’s a form if respecting your elders.

Lizzie48 Sat 17-Nov-18 08:51:28

4 and 6 are not babies and should be capable of holding on by themselves. Just teach them. The lady was right to moan.

Right to moan? Hmmm, that's never right, it's very rude. You can ask for a seat, and actually in this case the lady was offered a seat and wouldn't take it. So in every way, she was out of order. hmm

Teateaandmoretea Sat 17-Nov-18 07:17:19

4 and 6 are not babies and should be capable of holding on by themselves. Just teach them. The lady was right to moan.

4 and 6 year olds are tiny ffs. If the bus stopped quickly then they would be a lot more likely to get hurt than an adult. Many adults give up their seat for very young children I would I hate to see them standing.

It's pretty simple on a crowded bus the purple who need the seats most should get them. I always give up my own seat but my tiny 6yo standing because someone older feels entitled to their seat? No. My 9yo standing because someone needs it more than them? Yes.

Interestingly elsewhere on MN 6yo should still be backward facing in car seats but some claim they can stand on a bus. Absolutely ridiculous.

AvoidingDM Sat 17-Nov-18 02:15:41

How long before this all becomes a thing of the past and standing on buses is made illegal?
And all passengers seated with seatbelts?

My guess is long before those kids hit 40.

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