Even great parents get the "evil eye" on holidays

Fri Aug 5, 2011 5:03am EDT
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By Alice Baghdjian

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Bawling children on holiday is a traveler's nightmare -- even when the little darlings are your own -- causing one in five parents to wish they hadn't ventured out the front door, a survey by Gatwick Airport in London showed this week.

The study questioned 1,000 British parents about the experiences of traveling with children to discover the main stresses and strains of family holidays -- most of which are connected to the reactions of fellow passengers.

More than half of parents have been made to feel bad when their child cries or misbehaves on holiday, and four in ten have found themselves on the receiving end of "evil stares" from other holidaymakers, the survey found.

Fellow travelers have asked one in four parents with noisy sprogs to move away from them, with one in ten being asked outright to keep their child quiet.

"We recognized that traveling on holiday can be a really stressful time, as this research has proven, and we are aiming to do all we can to make it a guilt-free experience. It's all about trying to extend those holiday endorphins," Andrea Hopkins, spokeswoman for Gatwick Airport told Reuters.

In addition, children misbehaving or crying when on the plane scares parents the most, with 62 percent admitting this is the part of traveling they fear above all else.

"Family holidays are supposed to give parents a chance to spend fun and quality time with their children but as this survey shows worries can often get in the way," Becky Wiggins, author of parenting blog English Mum, said in a statement.

"Stresses are only made worse by 'guilt-trippers' so parents are best advised to take extra precautions before setting out on their trip," she said.   Continued...

<p>Tahoe Roe (L) and Sierra Roe cry after Tahoe lost his stuffed animal toy on the 5 California Zephyr Amtrak train after departing in Reno, Nevada June 14, 2008. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>