(Closed) Screaming kids, do you judge the parent?

posted 5 years ago in Babies
Post # 2
2183 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2011 - Florida Aquarium

It’s difficult… the mom was likely trying to just get out of the store as quickly as possible. Also, sometimes ignoring the negative behavior works. 

When I was a nanny, I would take the two year old to the mall and other places. If she decided to throw a hissy fit, I got on her level and told her we’d be leaving if by the count of three she wasn’t quiet. Most times, she shut up. If she didn’t, I popped her back in the stroller, and home we went. …during this time, she’d be screaming, but there was nothing I could do about that. 

I have a baby. When we go shopping and she cries, I comfort her any way I can. It really annoys me when the sales folks keep trying to talk to me while my kid is clearly (and loudly) displeased. I’m trying to calm her and the darn chick can’t take the hint that I know she’s adorable and no, I really don’t need to know the shoes in my hand are 25% off. 

I’ve also learned that you just gotta get shit done- especially with a kid. You want them to be happy, but she won’t be 100% of the time. So… groceries gotta get bought and deposits have to be made at the bank, etc, and sometimes, you’re just going to have a screaming kid. Hopefully not too often, but sometimes. 

Post # 3
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I don’t judge the parent. I’ve been there!

My first son was the King of Tantrums between the age of 18 months and 2 and a half. Not because he was spoilt or indulged but because he was tantrummy. Unlike his younger brother, incidentally, who had the same style of parenting but simply never threw a tantrum.

My oldest could be set off by the slightest thing. The wrong colour bus coming along first. The wrong spoon for his breakfast, the very word “No”. All could set him off and when he went, by heck he went! He’d turn from a charming little boy into a red-faced screaming and kicking monster. 

What did I do? I ignored him as much as possible because you cannot reason with someone in the throes of a tantrum. Shouting just ups the hysterical ante and you cannot reprimand someone who isn’t in a position to listen. So if he threw a tantrum in a shop I either concluded my purchases very quickly or picked him up and left the shop immediately. When he was calmer we discussed his behaviour and as he got older I would always follow through with any sanctions.

But did judgemental people help? No. They just added stress to an already difficult situation.

Post # 4
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2004

Daizy914:  How old was the child? I’m a nanny for a 4 and 6 y/o, and they’re pretty good 99% of the time. If one of them throws a tantrum or acts inappropriatly, I give them ‘the look’, and they know they’ll lose a privilege (iPad time or a show) if they don’t shape up. If the look doesn’t work, I’ll tell them in a very calm way, that their behavior is unacceptable and they will be punished if it continues. If their tantrum is out of nowhere, it’s usually bc they’re hungry or tired, and I keep snacks packed for a little energy boost. 

Post # 5
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Daizy914:  parents with small children don’t need to be ostracized from society but they should monitor their child’s behavior.  A cranky or tired child shouldn’t be forced to go with mom on her trip to the store.  Mom can go another time when the child is in a better or mood or ask someone to watch the child for her.  Obviously in an emergency situation I don’t really care if the child is screaming and carrying on.  But most of the time I think of it as the parent torturing the child by knowing the child won’t behave but taking them anyway.

No you can’t negotiate with a crying 2 year old in most cases but you can leave them at home with your spouse or partner or a sitter.  Or get your errands done while they’re on a playdate.  My stepdaughter would scream and carryon like banshee when her dad would go to the store but all the scremaing and carrying on happened at home, not the store because we wouldn’t take her to store unless we knew she could behave.  Otherwise you are just setting your child up for failure and unjust punishment.

Post # 6
46677 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Daizy914:  When I see parents in this situation, I try to remember that I don’t know the whole story. They may very well have attempted to deal with the sitution in many ways before I arrived on the scene, so being judgemental isn’t going to help the situation.

Despite the perfect parents who are bound to chime in, you simply can’t control all situations. Not everyone has the ability to leave the child at home, nor can they always postpone the trip to the store. They may be getting a prescription filled for the child they just took to the doctor.

I did have a couple of episodes like that with my son. The” look” worked with my daughter, but not with my son. Once I had to go so far as to tell a staff member that we had to leave, I was sorry about the basket full of groceries. If they wanted to bag and refrigerate  them, I would return later in the day, or they could re-shelve the items and I would start again when I came back.

When the kids were very young, if they acted out when we were in a restaurant and we were unable to get them to settle down: -if we were in our home town we would get the meal packaged to take home -if we were travelling we used to take turns sitting with them in the car while the other parent finished their dinner.

Post # 14
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I agree – it really depends on the childs age as to how unacceptable that behavior truly is. People (especially those who aren’t around kids much) forget that little kids are still figuring out how to control their emotions and its unrealistic to expect a 2 year old to behave like an adult. Massive tantrums when the kid is like 5 or older….not so OK. By then they know better. 

Post # 7
3823 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

If the kid is under the age of 5, no. Toddlers melt down because of psychological development reasons. That has little to do with the parent. A kid who appears to be older than 5 years old can get a side-eye from me if they act out. If I care enough, I may observe how the parent is responding to their kid before throwing a side-eye at them as well.

It’s one thing if your kid is acting out and you ignore them after giving them the “you are embarrassing yourself, you’re not embarrassing me” talk. Or if the parent is “containing” the melt down i.e. not allowing the kid to get in the way of other people or run around. But if the parent is trying to speak calmly to a child who is yelling and throwing things and all that, I totally think “that kid needs a swift correction” (read: a spanking). I believe in spankings. Spankings or the threat of one (I wasn’t spanked that much as a kid because I had a healthy respect/fear of my parents) saved me from acting like an ass in public.

Post # 8
1247 posts
Bumble bee

I rarely judge the parent.  How to deal with a tantrum depends on the child. Ignoring it and talking later, is often the best solution.  Age also matters.

Post # 9
5161 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

Daizy914:  I was in the grocery store the other day and there was a dad with two little kids. One of them was SCREAMING HIS LUNGS OUT and I mean, screaming. The dad was trying to comfort the kid but was looking around like, someone help me! LOL – I felt so bad!

I dont judge if clearly the kid is upset about something ridiculous/just being a kid. The kid screaming wasn’t bothering anyone in the grocery store. I DO judge if it’s in a restaurant, theater, etc. where his screaming is disrupting other people and the parents doesn’t make an effort to take him outside until the screaming stops. 

Post # 20
4415 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Steampunkbride:  +1 to everything you said!

I think parents get so used to dealing with their own children in whatever way works best at home (be it ignoring them, spanking them, chastising them, etc) that they forget that strangers in public don’t know all the backstory. All they see is “kid screaming, parent does nothing” when in fact the truth is that the parent knows from long experience that doing nothing is the only way to get that kid to knock it off.

My baby is of course far too young for tantrums of the Terrible Two variety, but she has definitely had a meltdown in public before. I was paying for my groceries when she finally just decided enough was enough and started squalling. Well, there wasn’t a damn thing I could do at that point except try to get out of the store as quickly as possible, which meant people had to listen to Dirty Delete cry while the cashier scanned the rest of my groceries. It is what it is. Most people are understanding, and those that aren’t, well … maybe they will be someday. I care a lot more about raising my daughter properly — with consistent reactions to her behavior — than I do about the opinions of strangers.

Post # 10
680 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I don’t judge the parent, especially since I was babysitting my niece and nephew for a while when I was out of work, I understand now what parents go through when the child has a meltdown in public.

My niece had a meltdown once with me.  She had just eaten and was in a pretty good mood and I had to run inside the bank and I thought that time was as good as any.  She started acting up and I gave her a warning.  She continued and I completely ignored her, which actually made it worse.  I apologized to the teller and she was very understanding.  As soon as we got to the car, I reprimanded her in the car and took away her movie privledges when we got back to her house.  Oh, and she is under the age of 2.

I was embarrassed enough from that mini meltdown and I did my best to get out of the situation quickly.  I feel bad for parents whose kids continue to kick and scream throughout the entire store or for more than a few minutes.

Post # 11
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Daizy914:  who is to say she didn’t reprimand her when thy got to the car? Personally I find it very awkward and inappropriate to yell at a child in public. I would likely give the child a warning in the store and get out of there as quickly as possible to the car where I would them lay into the kid. 

Kids throw tantrums sometimes so no I dont judge the parents. It’s not as easy as it looks.

Post # 12
2645 posts
Sugar bee

Daizy914:  I have learned to cut a little slack because sometimes a kid is just going to have a melt down no matter what the mom does. The best they can do is pay for their stuff and leave as quickly as possible. I am sure its embarrassing for them too

BUT…. i have also seen kids be absolute terrors (beyond the point of a tired tantrum) and the parents act like nothing. I mean throwing things in the store and laying on the floor blocking walkways is ridiculous. Hitting the mom is totally unacceptable! I have seen a lot of moms just carry on through that. A couple times me and several coworkers have had to go up and ask a child to stop running/jumping/laying in the walkway and hitting their mom. Pretty sad when a stranger has to step in

Post # 13
9548 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

I try really really really hard not t judge. Because I’ve been that mom. And I don’t have any children.

When I was in college I worked as a Community Habituation Trainer for children with autism. Basically my job was to try to help these kids learn to function in their community. Which is harder than it sounds. I had one 4 year old boy who absolutely freaked out every time he went into a grocery. His parents just gave up and one would stay home with the kid and the other would go to the grocery. Which mostly works. Unless you forget milk and need to run in on the way home from daycare. They were working around it but it was difficult and it meant that their child was limited in what he could do and experience, which they were trying to avoid. They knew that the best thing to do was just take him and eventually he’d aclimate and learn to be okay in the grocery. But they just didn’t have the heart to listen to him cry and withstand the evil stares. That’s where I came in.

I worked on this for months. I started just getting him used to me by taking him places he liked to go. Then once he was comfortable with me, I started on the grocery. I made a point to go in the middle of a weekday when it was as empty as possible. The first visit we literally just walked 10 feet into the door and stood there fore 30 seconds and walked back out. He screamed the entire time. Very gradually we would stay longer and he would cry less. Eventually he would go into the store without crying but it took a long time to work up to enough time to be able to go into the store, pick up something, and purchase without crying. Then we just kept extending the trips. He woudl still have meltdowns some of the time. I left a few full grocery carts in the middle of the aisle. But eventually he was able to go to the grocery store without freaking out. It was better for him and better for his family. But it was hard. And I got awful stares from customers almost every time he cried. So when I see a kid having a tantrum – I don’t judge. Honestly, it’s probably better parenting than giving them candy to get them to shut up. 

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