Should adults give up their seat for children on a train? Journalist Nilufer Atik thinks so but the This Morning debate has caused quite a stir on Twitter.
This Morning often hosts topical debates that get everyone’s chins wagging and yesterday’s show (29 August) was no different.
Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes were joined by former newspaper editor Dawn Neesom and journalist Nilufer Atik to discuss whether children or adults are more deserving of a train seat.
The topic arose after LBC Radio presenter Shelagh Fogarty argued that fit and healthy children don’t need a seat and should never be offered one on a packed train over an adult.
Dawn agrees with Shelagh’s opinion and while with Ruth and Eamonn she explained: ‘I was brought up to respect my elders. If you were standing in front of me holding your child, I would offer my seat to you, that’s the need of the people around you to sit down.’
But generally Dawn was of the view that toddlers should sit on their parent’s lap and didn’t need a seat of their own.
However Nilufer insisted that children should have priority for safety reasons. She argued: ‘My issue is not just that children shouldn’t stand, it depends on the age. I would generally say if someone’s 12-13 years of age and able-bodied then they’re more than capable of standing, so it’s just manners to offer the seat to someone less able to stand.’
People on Twitter were also torn by the debate with arguments for both sides being shared.
Who do you think should get priority for a seat on a busy train?
One person wrote: ‘Children should not be taught a superiority over fit, working adults. As a young adult, if you’re ever on the train with me, don’t expect I will give my seat up for you! Ever!!! I don’t expect children to give up their seat for me, no matter what age! #thismorning @thismorning’.
Another said: ‘If the public transport is busy, toddlers should be sat on their parent’s lap. I have one of those “Please offer me a seat” badge, and yet it still gets ignored by parents who sit their children in their own seat!’
A third wrote: ‘I always get my boys to give their seats up for elderly people on the bus, it’s understanding other people’s needs and having respect.if I felt it was dangerous for them to stand I would give up my own seat.its common sense. Kids do not rule the world!#ThisMorning’.
On the other hand one person tweeted: ‘Children have a right to sit down just as much as anyone else. Teach them respect by GIVING it back to them. #thismorning’.
Someone else wrote: ‘I’m 32 years of age and I was always told to respect my elders. I will always give up my seat for the elderly, pregnant women and young children. Healthy & safety first! #ThisMorning’.
What do you think of the debate? Should children always be offered a seat or do adults take priority? We’d love to hear your thoughts and if you’ve experienced any difficulties while on the train with your own children or felt pressured to offer your seat to another child.