Airline passengers reveal how they’ve dealt with children kicking their seat mid-flight

Having the back of your seat kicked or hit during a plane journey would probably rank highly on any flier’s list of top mid-flight annoyances.

The guilty party is normally a child of some description – which in many ways makes it all the more difficult to deal with. Get too angry and you may cause psychological scarring (and anger the parents), be too gentle and the problem may well persist.

So what to do? In an internet thread about the vexing issue the methods revealed by contributors ranged from the polite to the downright threatening. While experts we spoke to revealed that the trick is using the correct tone of voice while confronting the perpetrator.

Frequent flyers have been revealing the tricks they've used to stop children kicking the back of their seats mid-flight (stock image)

Frequent flyers have been revealing the tricks they’ve used to stop children kicking the back of their seats mid-flight (stock image)

The aforementioned internet discussion – on the forum Quora – kicked off when one user asked: ‘Have you ever had a kid behind you on an airplane kicking the seat the entire flight?’ 

Contributor Bill Jones came up with a novel way to stop a child kicking his seat.

He said: ‘Occasionally the kid would miss the seat and his shoe would go between my seat and the other seat next to me. And about half those times it would get stuck for a second.

‘I got a bit annoyed, and hatched a plan, thinking it probably would not work. But it did.

‘I put my upper right arm between the seat back edge and the plastic fuselage liner to check the fit. Just right.

‘Next kick I shoved my arm back. It worked way beyond expectation the first time. The seat moved just a little, enough to grab his shoe.

‘He was stuck for maybe five to 10 seconds. Long enough for mom to catch on to what he was doing.’

Having the back of your seat kicked or hit during a plane journey would probably rank highly on any flier's list of top mid-flight annoyances (stock image) 

Having the back of your seat kicked or hit during a plane journey would probably rank highly on any flier’s list of top mid-flight annoyances (stock image) 

Kev Partridge said he remembered a trick he read about when he was being disturbed by a unruly child on a plane and put it into action. 

He explained: ‘The kid in the seat behind thought the touchscreen at the back of my headrest was a punch-screen, which wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences, especially on a flight from Asia to Europe.

‘I got a small cup of water, with not too much content at all, awaited a good knock on my seat and then threw the contents of my cup upwards and backwards, before I leaned over and said “Ohh, I’m sorry, I’m just so easily startled when I fly”.

‘Needless to say the slightly wet kid didn’t bother me again.’

Carmen Blakestad also weighed in, with a story on how her husband got a child to stop kicking his seat on a flight.

She wrote: ‘This little a-hole of a kid was sitting behind my husband, just pounding the hell out of his seat. Now, my husband is 6′4″, so he’s already uncomfortable, and then this happens?!

‘What p****d him off the most was that the kid’s mom was sitting right there the whole time, knew full well what her brat was doing and did nothing to stop it!

‘Anyway, mom gets up to use the bathroom and my husband saw his chance.

‘He turned around and said to the kid with a seriously mean face and in a soft growly voice, “You kick my seat one more time, I’ll kill you.”

Experts have said that getting down to a child's level and asking them to keep their legs under the seat is the best way to get them to stop kicking you (stock image)

Experts have said that getting down to a child’s level and asking them to keep their legs under the seat is the best way to get them to stop kicking you (stock image)

‘The kid froze mid-kick, turned white as a ghost and sat quietly for the rest of the flight!’

And Dariusz Scharsig said the trick he uses is to give a prepared speech to both the child and the parent.

He explained: ‘All I needed to do was turn around and, nicely, say: “Hey, little fella, is this your first plane ride? Yeah, I get nervous too. You know what helps me? Just closing my eyes and trying to relax. Which is super hard if you kick my seat.”

‘Usually, their parents get super embarrassed and the kid stops right there and then. No hard feelings.’

Another passenger, Brad Chisholm, simply wrote: ‘I paid the guy behind me $50 to trade seats with me.’

While Shaun Clark said he told one young passenger: ‘If you don’t stop kicking the back of my seat I will hit your father.’ He stopped.

And Michael Hawkins added: ‘The kicking began early in the trip, and it was apparent the child was bored to death.

‘We both had aisle seats, so I got up and whispered in her ear, “If you kick my seat again I am going to have the pilot throw you out the door!” The remainder of the flight was kick-free.’

The expert advice, needless to say, doesn’t involve making threats.

 Elizabeth O’Shea, who runs the website Parent 4 Success, told MailOnline Travel that there is a very easy approach if you want a child to stop kicking your seat.

She explained: ‘If you are a passenger and the child kicking the seat is not yours, you definitely don’t want to antagonise the parent as that can make the situation worse.

‘The best thing to do is go around to the row where they are sitting and get down low to the child and parent’s level and say in a really lovely and polite voice “hey buddy, could you do me a favour? Could you keep you legs under the seat? Do you think you could do that? Thank you”.’ 

‘It is very nice and polite and you are not being rude and by saying thank you, the child is more likely to comply.’ 

EXPERTS REVEAL HOW TO STOP CHILDREN FROM KICKING YOUR SEAT

Elizabeth O’Shea, who runs the website Parent 4 Success, told MailOnline Travel there is a very easy approach if you want a child to stop kicking your seat.

She explained: ‘If you are a passenger and the child kicking the seat is not yours, you definitely don’t want to antagonise the parent as that can make the situation worse.

‘The best thing to do is go around to the row where they are sitting and get down low to the child and parent’s level and say in a really lovely and polite voice “hey buddy, could you do me a favour? Could you keep you legs under the seat? Do you think you could do that? Thank you”.’ 

‘It is very nice and polite and you are not being rude and by saying thank you, the child is more likely to comply.’ 

She also added that before stepping on to the plane, all parents should prepare their children, especially if they are taking a long flight.

The expert added: ‘Parents should prepare them before the journey by talking about what behaviour will be acceptable once they are on the plane, such as using an indoor voice, keeping their feet on the floor or under the seat and talking about how long the journey will last.

‘It is important to work out why the child is kicking the seat. They are probably really bored and have a lot of pent up energy and don’t want to have to sit still. 

‘Another thing parents can do is get them moving. Children are used to running around so even if you can give them a little exercise class at the back of the plane it will help them use up some energy.

‘Building up a picture is also important. If you say to a child “stop kicking the seat”, the only words they will hear is “kick the seat” and they might want to continue.

‘It is better to say “keep you feet on the ground” or “keep your legs under the seat”, which is easier to understand.’ 

While fellow parenting expert Sue Atkins said: ‘The main thing is to just TELL not ASK children to stop kicking the back of the seat.

‘Your voice should go down in a command not up in a request.’ 

الموقع يستعمل RSS Poster بدعم القاهرة اليوم