"What the Hell?", airlines, discipline, family, jet blue, Kids, Parenting, tantrums, travel, vacations
Watched the Today Show this morning, and I have two questions:
1. Who the heck are New Direction? (I know, I know — a Brit boy band, but the point it that I didn’t know when I woke up this morning)
2. What were those parents thinking!? I’m talking about the family that was booted off of a Jet Blue flight because their 2-year-old had a temper tantrum.
Did my kids have tantrums when they were that age? Sure. But, I knew what kinds of places I could take them and what kind of places they might not be able to handle.
These parents, Dr. Colette Vieau (mom) and Dr. Mordecai Stolk (dad) (returning from Turks and Caicos, BTW) could NOT have been surprised when their youngest, Natalie, threw a fit on the airplane. How do I know this? Because I saw them on the Today Show this morning.
Going into the segment, viewers had already been told that 71% of folks responding to an online poll agreed with the airline, and they hadn’t even been on the show yet.
Within two minutes of Matt beginning to interview mom and dad, complete chaos had erupted, in the form of their 2-year-old AND 3-year-old, over which they clearly have NO control. I’ve seen many kids on the Today Show over the years, and these two were unbelievable!
See the video HERE
[ Note: It’s worth the wait through the set-up piece to watch this family self-destruct.]
As Matt wrapped up the interview, I wish he would have asked, “SO, which is more humiliating? getting kicked off the plane or being here this morning?”
By the way, mom isn’t just a doctor — she’s a PEDIATRICIAN. Must be like what they say about preachers’ kids……
Thanks for including a link to the clip (hadn’t heard about this one) but it is pretty amazing that the parents are just sitting there while their kids are disrupting the interview – to the point of almost not being able to hear the mother – and they don’t even react to the behavior! I actually laughed when the mother said “it’s hard to believe she’s a safety risk!” Really? You had the kid calmed down for 1 minute, what if the plane got ready to take off & the kid acted up again? How many times would the flight (and everyone else’s schedule get messed up) while you calmed her down again? And what if the kid decided to get up & out of control once they started moving the beverage cart down the aisle? Never mind the poor people around them – they’d paid for the flight too.
squirrel circus said:
You’re welcome! I definitely think that you have to see the video to get the whole picture. My mom friends and I were texting each other as soon as it aired. Thinking that having the nation see you and your family in action on the Today Show was going to make it BETTER was delusional on the parents’ part.
Oh you’re cracking me up… what’s Cecile’s excuse? No nap before the morning show? Seem’s pretty obvious to me that these kid’s can’t sit for 2 minutes, even after the parents “talk to them”, so why would anyone think that getting the little one buckled up would last? I recall sitting on an LA to Boston flight where the entire time my seat was being kicked by someone’s darling – even after I looked over & asked the child to stop doing it (kid looked about 7-8 yrs). Parent never reacted.
squirrel circus said:
It totally looks like Mom wears the pants in that family (at least between the adults), and I bet Dad got an earful about not controlling the kids while she was having her 15 minutes of fame.
When I would worry about MY kids’ behavior, friends would try to show me that it wasn’t a big deal by asking me if, since having kids, did I judge other parents whose kids were flipping out?
Um, hell yeah, I did — and I still do. You may not be able to control WHEN your kid has a tantrum, but you owe it to anyone else in a public space to stop polluting it with your kid’s bad behavior.
While vacationing on Cape Cod last summer, we were walking along downtown Chatham when I saw a restaurant with a sign in the window that said “this is an adult restaurant”. I left skid marks on the sidewalk to take a turn into that place! And it was excellent food, wine, ambiance, a very relaxing evening for us. Thing is, they didn’t ban children & there were some very well mannered pre-teens in there enjoying a meal also (I would guess that the establishment wasn’t looking for a lawsuit from the parents of some kid w/mashed potatoes shoved up his nose racing around everyone else’s table) but they were nicely saying what their expectations were for behavior & I’ll support any restaurant that does that. Did my daughter ever act up? You bet she did & I’d carry her out of a place if I had to but I don’t see a lot of parents acknowledging when their kids might not be acting appropriately. I’m always impressed when a parent removed a child from a situation rather than give them 3, 4, 5 warnings that don’t do a bit of good.
squirrel circus said:
I have a tantrumy kid and we are very careful too. And I am always in favor of airlines putting safety first – not arguing.
I will note, however – and it may not hold true in this instance – that sometimes kids act out in uncomfortable situations even when they don’t elsewhere. We flew with a very nice family (didn’t know them – they were behind us) in January. Their two-year old screamed the entire flight from FL to MA. The mom said he’d never done it before and was not a tantrumy kid – and if the pre-and-post flight behaviors were any indication – she was right. Sometimes kids are off – and especially if tired after a week of vacation (being off schedule).
I’d also like to note that often when a tired/hungry/agitated because in a new situation child acts out, they often calm once the argument is over (i.e. once the kid is strapped in, he/she calms down and gets on with it).
Again – not knocking the parents. But I have a child who is very sensitive in stimulating and different environments – and while I always yank him out of these situations if I need to – were I strapped on the only flight out of town and had nowhere to stay that night – I would probably try my damndest to make it work. I would also get off if asked, of course.
Also I’m SURE the producers of the show pushed to have the kids on. In fact, they may have insisted (granted it’s up to the parents to say no, but still). They might be upset enough at the airline to want to go on tv even if they know their kids can’t handle it. Again – dumb choice – but my kids would be fired up after 1) being in a new situation; 2) being made to sit in a boring green room for a long time; 3) and three being asked to sit still while my parents blabbed. (Once again – not excusing and I certainly wouldn’t have made these choices – but we’re watching a family in two very difficult, atypical situations. Perhaps they normally would focus on the kids or remove them – but they’re on stage and trying to respond and so aren’t going to undertake the typical measures. (To reiterate- not excusing, I just think it’s crucial as parents to try and understand what might be going on, even if we wouldn’t make the same choices.)
squirrel circus said:
What separates you (and most responsible parents) from Colette Vieau is your first sentence. You wouldn’t argue. Just like I can’t argue with any of the factors that you suggested might have been in play on the flight and at the Today show. ANY of those could have easily caused a child’s meltdown.
I had heard about the incident several days before the Today show interview and would really not have thought that much of it, because tantrums happen. It’s truly Colette Vieau’s decision to drag her family on TV, thinking she’s in the right, that set me off. As a matter of fact, as soon as she opened her mouth, my “bitch radar” starting pinging like crazy. It happened. It was humiliating for the family, and certainly wasn’t a joy ride for the crew or other passengers. If she had just quit complaining about it, or appeared more understanding of why people were put out with her and her kids, I could have empathized with her more.
Of course, there’s always the chance that her protest, that they’ve made this same flight (back from Turks and Caicos) fourteen times, might have predisposed me to dislike her — ha ha.
“We were holding them down with all of our might, seat belt on,” Vieau told KSL in relation to Natalie and her 3-year-old sister, Cecilia. “And I said, ‘We have them seated. Can we go now?’ She said the pilots made a decision to turn the plane around.”
This was a comment on a number of news articles that apparently didn’t get mentioned on the show. If they were holding “them” down with all their might it would seem to me that the situation wasn’t really under control.
And yes, I was once very embarrassed by my daughter’s crying on a flight during descent. I’m sure it was horrible for the people around me but I felt even worse that I hadn’t recognized the symptoms of an ear infection. So I see both sides to the story, but I can see why the airlines chose the safest course of not getting up in the air to have the situation boil over once meals were being served, etc.
squirrel circus said:
Exactly, and as I said above, what differentiates you, me, comicbookvirgin, and most moms that I know, from Dr. Vieau, is that we’d feel “regretful” about the situation, something I’m not convinced that she’s feeling. She SAYS she understood when Matt Lauer played airline advocate with her, but she could NOT stop defending herself. A little graciousness would go a long way, but, to quote the good doctor (on the subject of empathy or patience), “apparently that doesn’t exist any more”…..
I watched this family on TV and it amused me to see how the kids were acting up even though they weren’t on plane! The credibility of the parents was wearing thin during this interview!