Should children give up public transport seats to adults? An etiquette expert says so...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

An etiquette expert has angered parents by saying that children should give up their seats on public transport. Do you agree?

Now that half term has hit parents up and down the country many have been taking their children out and about on family days out, taking advantage of free things to do with the family in major cities and of course, this being autumn in England, coming up with the odd rainy day activity to do when you don’t want to get caught in bad weather.

And while some parents might pile the kids in the car and set off on their activities, those who don’t have access to appropriate private transport (or want to avoid crumbs on the car seats) pack the kids up and take to public transport for a long day out.

Of course, keeping track of multiple offspring running around a bus or train is not always the easiest of tasks, so it always make things a lot calmer if you manage to nab a seat.

etiquette expert says children should give up seats on public transport

Credit: Getty

But in light of half term family public transport travel, etiquette expert William Hanson has suggested that parents make sure that their children give up their public transport seats to let adults sit down instead.

He came out on Twitter to say that children as young as five should give up their seats to adults so that they learn more respect for their elders.

‘PARENTS: As it’s half term, it’s time to revise etiquette for public transport and your children’, wrote the etiquette and protocol coach.

‘At busy times, children over the age of 5 should give up (or at least offer) their seats to adults. It’s an essential way to teach them respect for their elders.’

But, many parents disagree arguing that children are as entitled to the seats as adults are and that it is unsafe for children to stand.

Why are adults more entitled for seat than children? If the children were there first then they should have the seats, wrote one Twitter user.

Others agreed, writing: ‘Wow this tweet smells of adult entitlement’ and If the fare is paid they have as much of not more right to seating’.

Others pointed out the safety aspect, writing: ‘Give over, my 5 year old won't be giving up his seat for a capable adult, not having him knocked about and flying down the aisles thanks’ and ‘Sorry, but it’s not a matter of etiquette, it's matter of safety and common sense. In crowded public transport children are more likely to be hurt by crowd. That's why they have to sit.’

Parents, what do you think? Should children have to give up their seats out of respect? Or is it a matter of safety? Head over to our Facebook page to share your thoughts.

Aleesha Badkar
Lifestyle Writer

Aleesha Badkar is a lifestyle writer who specialises in health, beauty - and the royals. After completing her MA in Magazine Journalism at the City, the University of London in 2017, she interned at Women’s Health, Stylist, and Harper’s Bazaar, creating features and news pieces on health, beauty, and fitness, wellbeing, and food. She loves to practice what she preaches in her everyday life with copious amounts of herbal tea, Pilates, and hyaluronic acid.