Monday, October 08, 2007

One Unruly Child

I stood next to a woman with a little girl in the packed arrival area of the airport yesterday. The child was probably about three years old and she repeatedly darted under the metal barrier and ran across the path of arriving passengers to the other barrier. Anyone pushing a loaded trolley wouldn’t see her and could easily run over her. The woman halfheartedly scolded the child with phrases like: ‘be careful,’ ‘watch out for the trolleys,’ ‘come back.’ All the while the woman smiled and looked around as if she was pleased with the child’s behavior. Of course her smile may have been embarrassment because she wasn’t doing anything to stop it. Finally the child got tired and crawled under the barrier on her hands and knees. The woman bent down, picked her up and said, “Now, look. You’ve gotten your clothes dirty.” Within a minute the little one put her fingers in her mouth. Instead of telling the child to take her fingers out of her mouth because they were dirty, she said, “SHAME!”

This little girl was allowed to run wild in a dangerous area, scolded, and then shamed. She was being treated as if she was responsible for her own safety, cleanliness, and behavior. No wonder the child was so unruly – she doesn’t know what is expected of her and certainly gets little positive encouragement. I am sorry to say that I see a great many children in Jordan who seem to live without rules.



Blogger Hatem Abunimeh said...

I suppose the mother could have brought with her something from home to keep the child entertained while they wait for the passenger to arrive, I’m talking about some crayon and book pictures so the child can get busy coloring in the interim, but again the airport should have some areas designated for children entertainments such as the ones found in the shopping malls. So while we can blame the mom for not doing anything to keep the child entertained we also should blame the airport authorities for not having children play areas inside the airport waiting areas. I hope that someone would keep that in mind when they plan the next phase of airport expansion that there are children that come to the airport and those children are in desperate need for playing during long waiting periods.

Monday, October 08, 2007  

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