People are completely divided over whether children should have to give up their seats for adults on public transport

Publish Date
Monday, 19 November 2018, 1:00PM
Photo / Getty

Photo / Getty

A furious debate has sparked online after a mother asked whether children should be forced to give up their seats for older adults on public transport.

The British mother was prompted to ask her question Mumsnet after an incident on a recent bus ride where an elderly woman complained "loudly" because she didn’t make her two children, aged four and six, move from their seats for her.

Apparently, the mother-of-three was already standing with her baby in a pram and therefore did not have her own seat to offer to the woman.


Photo / Mumsnet

Many agreed with the mother, with one saying: "Children should be sitting down on buses as it's safer for them. There is a tendency for people to treat kids like second class citizens - they were on the bus first and therefore got the seats and have no moral obligation to give them up any more than the adults who were on the bus first. That's how public transport works and if she doesn't like the rules, she is free to get a cab!"

"I'd not ask my children to stand. They have as much right to a seat as anyone else," another added.

However several others did not take the same view.

Others slammed the mother saying that her older child should have been able to stand.

"That's just basic consideration. Can you six-year-old ride a scooter? If so, he's got a sense of balance,” one unsympathetic user wrote.

Another agreed: "I always told my son to stand up for a woman or an older man and now as a teenager, he always leaps up to offer people his seat."

"If the woman was elderly and fell she could end up dead or permanently disabled," one user pointed out.

"So I would get at least the six-year-old to give up a seat but I'm 'old-fashioned' and polite anyway so I'd have my children stand with me (and hold onto them)."

Others suggested that it should have been up to other adults on the bus to give up their seat for the elderly woman, rather than it being up to the children.

"I always find it bizarre that the people who are compelled to give up their seat for a vulnerable passenger, are other vulnerable passengers rather than, for example strapping twenty-year-olds," one commenter wrote.

Another agreed: "Well unless she was struggling to stand I don't think being in her 60s makes her more worthy of a seat than a child. Surely it makes far more sense for an able-bodied

adult to stand up than a child of 4 or 6."

Another popular view was that the two children should have shared a seat, with many pointing out that “at four and six I would have had them squash up so someone else could at least perch on the end."