A TikTok user who’s now made her account private sparked debate onlineabout whether people should give up their seats for children on public transport after she shared footage of her ‘baby’ sitting on the floor on a busy commuter train.
According to Metro.co.uk, the mother, identified only as Kelly, filmed her son who looked between eight and twelve sitting on the floor as commuters worked on laptops or phones on the Southern Rail service. In the clip obtained by the news site, Kelly didn't specify that her son had any disabilities or conditions which would make it difficult for him to stand.
She can wrote, ‘All these people watching my baby sit on the floor in the priority seats area! Oblivious #London #southernservices #tfl #londontrains #publictransport’.
Before her account was made private, commenters appeared to have limited sympathy for the child with one writing, ‘I’m heavily pregnant and I’d watch a child sit on the floor too. My kids move for an elderly person, it’s called respect.’
Another said, ‘To be honest, I would be fuming if I got on a busy train after a long day at work and a small child was taking up a seat.’
‘My parents used to make me give my seat up to other adults… don't make your child think they're entitled,’ said another.
When asked for comment by the publication, TFL responded that people can apply for a priority seat badge ‘if they cannot stand up safely on a train’ and specified that the elderly, disabled, pregnant or those carrying babies were eligible for the card.
Is it just me, or is it giving off big AITA energy? While the mother is clearly incensed by commuters’ indifference, filming and publicly shaming them online, it’s evident that she thinks that they’re the assholes in the scenario, and not that she is being unreasonable (it’s worth noting that the child himself does not appear to be particularly affronted that he has to sit on the floor, something which, as another commenter pointed out, children do ‘all the time at home’).
And the other thing about commuter trains? They’re busy, if you choose to travel at rush hour, full of workers travelling to or from the office and either preparing for or finishing a long, hard day’s work (for some in the footage still tap-tap-tapping away on their laptops, their work days are clearly not yet finished). So a seat on a train is probably a luxury their unwilling to sacrifice for someone who needs it less.