Should children be made to offer their seat to adults on public transport?
That was the topic of debate on Good Morning Britain earlier this week, and the issue has since provoked quite the debate online. (Ok, and in the Playpennies office...)
Etiquette expert William Hanson argued that children should offer their seats to adults as a mark of respect for their elders.
The Mirror reports:
The OnePoll survey of 1,000 adults, carried out on behalf of ITV’s GMB, found that 80% of over 55s think children should give up their seats, compared to 31% in the 18-24 age bracket.
Overall, 59% of adults think children should give up their seats for adults on public transport, including etiquette expert William.
"We're raising children to think they're little angels and when they grow up they transfer that into the workplace and it's a shock. That's not how life works," he said.
I'm going to get roasted for this, no doubt, but I'm inclined to agree.
As a child, I was taught to show respect for my elders – whether that meant offering my seat to an adult or walking in single-file when people approach you on the pavement so they're not forced to step into the road.
Yes, those are old-fashioned values that seem vaguely antiquated in the context of the modern world, but I think if more parents raised their children to have greater consideration for others, we might live in a less dog-eat-dog world.
I disagree with Hanson when it comes to kids being less important than adult though. That's rot, in my view. I encourage my old kids to offer their seats to their elders on public transport because it's the polite, well-mannered thing to do, not because I think my children are lesser citizens. And in the long-run, it's actually about raising my kids to become the kind of men who offer their seats to others.
I wouldn't ask a child under the age of 8 or 9 to give up their seat - buses and trains aren't designed for children so young to stand, so that wouldn't be safe. But once my kids are old enough to hold the hand rail and balance safely, I would.
And I don't hold with the idea that we should *just* offers seats to pregnant women or the elderly and disabled. Plenty of disabilities are invisible, after all.
But what's your view? Should children be encouraged to give up their seats for adults on public transport? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Come and have you say over on our Facebook page or leave us a comment here.