Should Parents Receive Special Treatment Because They Have Children?

Written by on June 14, 2012 in Family - No comments | Print this page

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 Should Parents Receive Special Treatment Simply Because They Have Children,Tiffany Rent,Monique Rubin,United Airlines,pregnant woman tasered

Should Parents Receive Special Treatment Simply Because They Have Children?

Does having children or being pregnant entitle you to special privileges? According to two mothers in the news this week it certainly does. In fact, one pregnant woman is so adamant in her belief that she deserves special treatment that she provoked a police officer to zap her with a tazer.

Tiffany Rent has two young children aged 3 and 9, and she’s eight months pregnant with her third child. On June 5, 2012, she had both children in the car with her when she stopped at a local pharmacy. Being 8 months pregnant it’s easy to understand she was probably feeling a little tired, short-tempered and cranky, so she decided to leave the kids in the car while she just popped into the store for a minute.

But that’s not what got Tiffany in trouble. She chose to park in a handicapped parking space, right in front of the door, which, in itself, is grounds for a parking ticket. Ms. Rent then used her pregnancy as her excuse for taking the reserved parking space and tore up the ticket in the officer’s face.

But wait… it gets even better… 

When the officer asked Rent for her state I.D. so he could write her another ticket, this one for littering, she hopped in her car and attempted to drive away. The officer warned Rent – I repeat – the officer warned Rent – that if she didn’t step out of the car he’d give her a good zap.

Well, I’m sure you can guess how this one ends. Ms. Rent is now filing suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago, claiming that the officer could have potentially harmed her unborn baby when he zapped her with that taser.

Rent isn’t the only parent up in arms, either. Monique Rubin has a complaint with United Airlines.

Ms. Rubin and her family were getting ready to board a United plane when an announcement came over the intercom: “We are now boarding those with special needs, and we here at United consider children your blessing, not a special need, so we ask that you board according to your boarding number.”

According to a United spokesman, “What ended up happening is that we had more than a half-dozen different boarding groups. It actually caused more confusion than it resolved.”

And according a poll conducted by AirfareWatchdog.com, after the United announcement, 61% of responders said they didn’t mind letting families board ahead of everyone else and 34% were opposed.

But here’s the real issue. Most people don’t mind helping a family with a handful of young children and they don’t mind helping a pregnant woman. In fact, most people will step up and offer assistance, whether they’re asked or not. At the very least, they’ll step aside and give up a prime seat or parking space as soon as they recognize your situation.

And most people really don’t mind if families board first because they know the trip will be a lot quieter if you and the kids are all together, and settled comfortably in your seats.

But should it be mandated? And should you, as a parent or a parent-to-be, expect preferential treatment simply because you have children?

Should you, as a pregnant woman, be allowed to occupy a handicapped parking space over, say, someone in a wheelchair? Should you, as a family, be allowed to move to the front of every line, over, say, a group of mentally or physically handicapped adults? If so, are you saying that because you’re a ‘family’ or because you’re pregnant you have some sort of disability?

And what are you going to do when you go to someplace like Disney World, where everyone is a parent and everyone is tired, cranky and in a foul temper?  Who gets to go first, then?

 
This is a guest post. Donna Anderson is a freelance writer who enjoys small-town living in rural Kentucky. She’s an active member of several online communities and enjoys taking part in discussions that focus on how real people can live real lives in this fast-paced world we all live in.

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