Why Adults Should Change Their Behavior When Kids Are Around (Even If They’re Not the Parents!)

Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump

As an adult, I love to watch new shows on HBO, Showtime and other cable TV networks. I know that if I miss a season, I can download it to my laptop or iPad and watch all the episodes at my own leisure. It’s perfect for those nights when all the kids are asleep on time and I can finally relax! As an adult, I think the shows are great. I love watching Nip Tuck, Boardwalk Empire, Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, Homeland Security and so many others, but the sex scenes appear so quickly and frequently that they seem to be absorbed by my brain as just part of the show. So as a parent, I think the shows push the limits way too far.

Last week, my family (my wife, our 3-year-old son, our 2-year-old son and our 5-month-old baby girl) were coming back from vacation on a plane. As it happened, my 3-year-old son was sitting in the aisle seat. With an aisle seat, you can get a pretty clear view of other passenger’s laptops, especially when they’re opened up and in use. Plus, my son is still a kid — so a shiny light-up screen is totally going to grab his attention! He was watching a girl, most likely in her twenties, play a video game on her computer.  She was one seat to the left and one row forward from my son, so he had a clear view of her screen and was watching intently. Of course it wasn’t an ideal situation, but the video game was pretty PG; so it seemed alright to me and I closed my eyes to rest for a few minutes.

I felt my son acting a little more fidgety in his seat, so I glanced over at him and noticed him still staring intently at the young woman’s computer screen. I happened to glance over at the woman’s computer screen again only to see a scene of two people having wild sex on a desk in an office. They were completely naked and to a 3-year-old, it likely looked as if the man was attacking the woman. I didn’t know what to do. We were thousands of feet in the air with absolutely nowhere to go. I couldn’t take him away from the situation so I tried to distract him. Eventually, we coaxed him into switching seats (so he could look out the window!) and that solved the problem.

But, here’s my issue: Should we be allowed to watch them whenever and wherever we please without taking into account who is around us, who might be offended and who may not comprehend the images they might happen to see? If I was a single, childless adult, I would think it perfectly acceptable; however, as a dad, it infuriates me.

Do you think adults should change their behavior when kids are involved?

Plus, more from The Bump:

How Much Television Should I Let My Toddler Watch?

Is TV Bad for Baby?

All About Toddlers!