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I was flying today and there was a very annoying 2 year old in the seat in front of me. Her mother was on an ipad most of the flight and let her do whatever.

I thought to myself "Ill never have an annoying kid like that". But then i realized that i have no idea how to go about that :)

Any suggestions welcome

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closed as not a real question by Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 13 '12 at 11:21

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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This seems a bit overly broad. Can you specify what you found annoying about the child's behavior, or what specific behavior you'd like to avoid? –  Beofett Aug 12 '12 at 16:50
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Firstly, get off the iPad and give your kid some attention. –  Dave Clarke Aug 12 '12 at 17:42
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I have to admit that I let my kid (16 months) be more annoying than I thought I would. Keeping him occupied full time is not something I'm always able to do. He is too small to be reasonable, and is normally very nice, but he can't stand it if his motion is restrained. My tolerance threshold for his crying has also shifted: while I know that he will stop crying if I ignore him in certain situations, people around me don't, and it probably looks bad to the outside observer. Anyway, my options are either to entertain full time or allow for some crying, so sometimes there's crying. –  Ana Aug 13 '12 at 10:55
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It's very commendable that you think ahead and also realize that you need a plan :-) However, in the context of this Q&A website, we have to require that questions are specific enough to provide a precise answer. As it stands, your question requires at least a whole book to answer properly. I'll close this question because it's too broad, but feel free to ask new specific questions. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Aug 13 '12 at 11:21
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3 Answers 3

The real answer here is incredibly broad, but boils down to discipline and respect. Bringing a child up with consistent discipline means they know when to play and when to sit still; When to be active and when to be quiet. For those times they don't know, respect means they will listen to you and do as you guide/tell them.

In order to get this level of discipline and respect you need to spend a lot of time with your child - they learn this by example and consistency - so once you have rules, you need to stick to them (as does your partner) because confusion in rules just confuses children, and they then will misbehave (deliberately or not) especially when tired, or stressed, as they may be during travel. At 2 you may think they are too young to understand rules, but they really aren't - they will be picking up on cues since they were much younger than this.

And for those occasions when it just doesn't work (being a realist here) have something interesting to do - have an interesting book you can read to your child, or have some crayons, or a snack, or anything they haven't seen before. Don't go to sleep or ignore your child - they only have short attention spans at that age.

I can vouch that this has worked on various long haul flights with my 3 kids - from ages of around 20 months upwards, but obviously your mileage may vary: I have always been a chilled out world traveller, so the stress levels in my family when travelling are pretty low :-)

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+1 for stressing consistency. There is no single attribute children respond more to than consistency. Whether the behavior is positive or negative, being consistent with application of that behavior amplifies the effect more than isolated instances. As a side note, I wouldn't recommend going to sleep in any room full of strangers (which is what a plane is) with your kids around anyway. =] –  corsiKa Jan 17 at 0:39
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Part of it is teaching proper/expected behavior in various situations ("This is not the playground, it's a flying death tube, look at how everyone else is sitting; that's how you should be sitting.")

Part of it is knowing that kids are "works in progress" and therefore will inevitably be annoying at various times, and dealing with it. :)

At least the kid wasn't BEHIND you!

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"Flying death tube"? –  mmr Aug 13 '12 at 0:03
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I agree with the above posts regarding discipline and respect fully and don't think I have much to add there. What I would say is have activities ready. For a child flying in an airplane is exciting and maybe a bit scary. It's a very novel environment, it's noisy, the sensations are strong. In that type of situation children have a hard time sitting still, even if they are disciplined, so have something, in fact many somethings, for them to do. Books, toys, and movies are all great ways to keep them occupied. Home something that they find comforting as well in case they are frightened. If you can stick to their routines as much as possible you will also help them realize that while they are doing something different normal rules apply. One last thing, airplanes are very dry and people dehydrate quickly on a plane. Make sure your child has plenty of food and lots to drink, on a long haul flight children can get ratty because they feel uncomfortable!

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