The other day, I was on the train to work. It was around 8am – peak hour – and the train was packed.
Sitting on the seats near the doors to the carriage – you know, the seats that are clearly marked for elderly and disabled passengers – was a mother and her young son.
The little boy must’ve been about four years old, and he spent the entire journey running up and down the length of these seats, screaming, and knocking into other passengers – some of who were elderly – who were forced to stand.
When he wasn’t doing this, he was swinging off the poles and repeatedly opening the doors in between carriages.
At one stage, he even leaned towards his mother’s face, coughed, and then proceeded to laugh at her. She rewarded him with a kiss on his forehead.
People were getting visibly fed up and frustrated, glaring at her, silently imploring her to do something – anything – that would put an end to her son’s bad behaviour.
But she did nothing. She literally sat back and indulged her rowdy child with silence, as he continued to be disruptive to everyone around him.
I know parenting is hard, and I know most parents are doing the best that they can. But surely a simple “sit down” was in order here?
I probably would have been able to turn a blind eye to it if this was a one-off incident, but I’ve noticed behaviour like this seems to be becoming more and more common, with many parents simply refusing to draw a clear line when it comes to discipline.