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November 24, 2009 - 6:37 am

Amy Alkon, author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0071600213?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0071600213″span style=”font-style:italic;”I See Rude People: One woman’s battle to beat some manners into impolite society,/span/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0071600213″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / has an op-ed out in the span style=”font-style:italic;”LA Times/span about screaming kids a href=”http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-alkon24-2009nov24,0,2649186.story”on planes/a:br /br /blockquoteMore and more, we’re all victims of these many small muggings every day. Our perp doesn’t wear a ski mask or carry a gun; he wears Dockers and shouts into his iPhone in the line behind us at Starbucks, streaming his dull life into our brains, never considering for a moment whether our attention belongs to him. These little acts of social thuggery are inconsequential in and of themselves, but they add up — wearing away at our patience and good nature and making our daily lives feel like one big wrestling smackdown.br /br /Southwest sent the right message in yanking Root and her screaming boy off the plane. Unfortunately, it lacked the corporate courage to stand its ground, probably fearing a public relations nightmare from the Mommy Mafia. Yet, almost every day, I encounter parents who need to get the same message Root initially did. Trust me — should I long to hear screaming children, I’ll zip right past my favorite coffeehouse and go read my morning paper at Chuck E. Cheese.br //blockquotebr /br /I tend to have some sympathy for parents who have crying kids. Those of us who are parents as well as others who are not understand that kids cry sometimes. What I don’t have sympathy for are parents who in span style=”font-style:italic;”no way/span discipline their children while out in public. While I understand that parent’s rights to discipline are limited given that the state interferes at times when a parent does discipline, I don’t think the solution is to do nothing. I have seen parents who allow kids to do very harmful and terrible things in public and then wonder why the kid turns out to be such an ass when he or she gets older. If a kid does not understand how to act in certain settings, teach him or her or don’t put them in that setting until they are older. The world will be a better (and quieter) place.br /br /What do you think, screaming kids allowed on planes or not? I would also love to hear any stories you have about kids who have acted up in public and whether or not you said or did anything.

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