Stop Apologizing For Your Kids

Stop Apologizing For Your KidsThere was an opinion piece in HuffPo recently about parents apologizing for kids on airplanes. I am in no way an expert on the subject of parenting, but I really have to agree with the opinion that parents should stop apologizing for kids.

Having taken two kids under 4 on two long plane rides – once to Hawaii and we actually had to take two flights to get to our new home – I get so frustrated that there is some movement to curry favor with fellow travelers.

I spent a small fortune making sure the kids have everything possible to entertain them for 5-6 hours of flight, why do I need to entertain the rest of the travelers as well? Did they forget to bring entertainment for themselves? I know SkyMall is being taken out of planes. Are they getting cranky because they can’t look at fire-heated hot tubs and “executive toys?”

Traveling is tough. I get grumpy being stuck in a seat for 5 + hours. I am an adult, so I have to suck it up. My kids don’t have that internal filter that guards their emotions.

My kids were pretty good on our trip east for the most part. My poor son had a minor crying fit when we left Salt Lake city. I did everything in my power to calm him during take off, it was a sucky 15 minutes, but he got through it. I had a few people give me dirty looks, but the young guy next to me was a champ. He smiled as my son chucked a cracker at his feet.

I have seen adults act pretty crappy on planes – whether or not I am traveling with my offspring.

Like the lady that insists on standing the entire flight in the bulkhead. I feel so sorry for the people sitting in their seats, expecting lots of legroom only to have some creepy person hanging out reading a book inches from their feet.

I get it, your back hurts. But walking up and down the aisle and interrupting beverage service and infringing on what little shred of personal space people paid good money for – not cool.

Or the people who loudly complain, need attention from the flight attendants, take an hour selecting which free soda they want, snore, allow their bodily functions to infringe on my clean air or sneeze onto my arm or into my drink are so not cool.

What really gets to me is that I am always apologetic when I go into public with my kids. I try to find “kid friendly” restaurants so I don’t annoy other diners. Regardless of how much I want to spend on my meal. I have no problems going to an expensive restaurant for a special occasion, but I always limit my options because I don’t want to offend others who don’t have kids or dine with their progeny. But I still get to deal with people on their cell phones, loud conversations, or horrible service because I dare to bring children to a restaurant.

When we go shopping, I am constantly apologizing for my daughter who might have gotten in the way of someone’s cart. Nevermind at my local grocery store, the people can tend to be aggressive with their carts and cutting people off. It is a good thing I learned to drive in Los Angeles – defensive driving does not only apply to automobiles.

As a parent, I need to stop apologizing for breathing, or for my kids’ existence. There are plenty of unpleasant people in the world today who don’t even think of apologizing for their transgressions, rudeness, or just plain poor choices.


More Servings of the Halfway Homemaker


  1. Most people have “been there” and understand – and even empathize with parents. And to those people who don’t “get it”, well, their time will probably come. One day they’ll be the people with the crying or screaming children, and then, finally, they too will “get it.”

  2. I think this is a nice post and I agree with most of it. But I think some of the apologizing isn’t for the person you are apologizing to – it’s for the children who are watching mom be courteous to people. I am lucky enough to be at the point where my kids are now old enough and I often get to overhear them showing their good manners as teenagers. I rarely talked about them. We just showed them. Your apology shouldn’t be about “excuse my child for living” but more of a “you may have really needed some quiet time right now. Sorry you’re not going to get it, but thanks for understanding”. Most will and be kind to you. The rest…. Just ignore them. Their problem isn’t you or your child.

    1. I agree. My kids may be crazy at home, but I am always complimented on how well behaved they are.
      We went house hunting last weekend and they were subjected to several play rooms full of toys. They politely looked over everything, but never touched a thing. The realtor reminded me again and again how amazingly well behaved they were, she has never seen kids (including her own) that weren’t pulled forcefully from the huge piles of toys. When they are home, they fight over every lego, but they do know, for the most part, how to act in public.
      I definitely don’t think that when I say excuse them for existing that means I am off the hook as a parent.

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