DEAR HARRIETTE: While on a flight with my small children, the man seated directly in front of us was watching a violent and provocative film. My children were looking at his screen and becoming upset. I asked him to turn off this action flick for something more appropriate, but he didn't oblige. When I called a flight attendant, she said there was nothing she could do. Was the man being rude by not changing his movie to something appropriate for everyone who could see his screen? -- Rated G, Please, Dallas
DEAR RATED G, PLEASE: The passenger seated in front of you was being insensitive rather than rude. From his perspective, he was not even seated next to you, so he likely thought he was far enough away to be separated from you and your children. Yes, it would have been thoughtful for him to turn it off, but the flight attendant was right. He was not obligated to do so.
What you should do when you travel is to bring along books, electronic devices, arts and crafts activities and anything else that is self-contained that can engage and, when necessary, distract your children from surrounding influences. You can also tell them to look away when they see images on TV or otherwise that are distasteful or too grown up. It is never too early to teach them the art of looking away.