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

posted 6 years ago in Babies
Post # 46
7575 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

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Daizy914:  She was probably just trying to get out of the store as quick as possible…

Post # 47
306 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

My brother has autism and there were many, many times that he had a meltdown in a store when he was younger. He is 7 years younger than me and I clearly remember all of the “looks” we got for his behavior. Like others have said, you never know the whole story and there could be something going on with the kiddo that you can’t see from the outside. 

Post # 48
1470 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

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Strawberryfarmer:  I think those cards would be awesome (though I am a behavior specialist, but would generally not insert myself into the situation…)

A couple thoughts:

No, I wouldn’t judge. Probably. I guess it depends how much I saw and if I felt I had a good handle on the situation as a whole. If it’s a 6 year-old screaming for candy (like, they’re using those words), then yes, I’d judge a bit. Or if a parent isn’t using common sense (Starbucks, movie theater, etc). 

I have a 1.5 year-old and have (thus far) been pretty lucky with in-public behaviors, and teaching him good communication skills (he signs) has really helped re-direct when he is fixated on something. I think that’s really important to working with children, especially those who function at a “normal” level. 

I always try to give parents the benefit of the doubt–long day, babysitter cancelled, etc. It’s not realistic to expect that a mother will hire a babysitter every time she needs to go to a grocery store. Perhaps a single mom or dad works long hours or whatever. Kids end up in the store–plan ahead, bring a healthy snack, use clear expectations, etc.

BUT sometimes all that fails and the best-laid plans go to hell. Judgment from someone else doesn’t help the situation in the slightest–for anyone.

My mom tells a story of being in the store with 3 of us (all under 5) and just having a rough day. She yelled (which she really never did) and a woman came over. She said “you have such beautiful children.” That was all my mom needed–to remember we were children, to be aware of her words, to take a breath and realize that at least not everyone was judging her. I hope I have the right words when a mom (or dad) is dealing with a tantrum, to make them feel supported as a parent, to help them communicate with their child, and to make it through the experience. And if I don’t feel I have those words, then I’m going to keep my mouth shut.

Post # 49
2268 posts
Buzzing bee

CocoClassic:  “Do I blame the parents when a child is throwing a temper tantrum and forcing everyone else to deal with their child’s ridiculous screaming and irrational behavior? You bet I do! I absolutely cannot stand to see disrespectful/back talking/hitting/spitting children – that is my BIGGEST irritation in life. Children can and NEED to be trained to act a certain way in public and if it doesnt begin immediately, even before they reach a year, then it will continue to spiral out of control.

I look at the children in my family, my own teenager daughter included, and they ALL knew that if you acted out there would be hell to pay when you got home, no if’s and’s or but’s about it. If even thought I saw a sign of a tantrum coming on, I would get down to their level, firmly grasp their upper arms so they cannot move and are forced to look me in the face and calmly remind them who I am, where we are and what the repercussions are if they chose to act a certain way.


Post # 50
126 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

If the parent is doing absolutely NOTHING, then yes. If a parent was checking out and paying for their groceries and the kid is screaming, then I would understand – they’re probably just trying to get the eff out of there. It’s when the parent just acts like nothing is wrong with no regard for the other people in the store while the kid is screaming and throwing shit (I have seen this MANY times in public). Not everyone wants to hear your angel scream.

Post # 51
1891 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

I don’t! I have no clue what’s going on with the child. Perhaps the little girl had autism and she cannot control her outbursts?

Post # 52
2966 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

It depends on the age of the child and the situation.

If it’s a toddler having a tantrum while walking through a store, I just feel bad for the mom, because she’s probably stressed and sick of it just like other people around. 

If it’s a woman ignoring a crying baby or toddler because she’s trying on new sexy clubbing dresses, then I judge because someone doesn’t have their priorities in check. 

Post # 53
1143 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I try not to judge, but sometimes it happens. But as others have pointed out, I don’t know the situation or any of the variables involved.

I work in a restaurant, and one night a guy was in line to pay, holding his daughter, probably three or four, and she was screaming at the top of her lungs. The mom tried to take the daughter from the dad to take her outside while he finished paying, and the dad said to the mom “No, she needs to get it out of her system. She needs to learn she can’t act like this in public.” Which I understand and all, but no reason she couldn’t have finished screaming outside in the open as opposed to in a confined area.

Post # 54
1651 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: Malibou Lake Mountain Club

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Daizy914:  not all the time. Im a social worker, so I know sometimes the child can be difficult due to either a behavior/emotional disorder, or conduct at that. Parents do try their darnest; and also parents do not want to give people a free show. discipline is hard in public as people may think they are mean/strict, or laid back.

but then i do see the one’s that are enablers; those parents i do give faces to. saw one once where a kid was running and knocking stuff down, and the parents were saying he was a free spirit. that sorta pissed me off as 1) it wasnt their  home, 2) the family was making everyone else and myself unconfortable.

Post # 55
3075 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - A court...

A bit… But then I think poor mom lol. I mean me & my older brother were two years apart so we were easier to manage as kids, same as you, we just got the look & we knew. But then when I was 8 my mom had my lil brother, then a couple years my other lil bro, then a year my lil sis. & I guess since there’s more. & they’re all close in age they rebel. If one doesn’t listen, the other one doesn’t & back and forth. Overall both of the boys are ok, but my sister is a lil drama queen! My mom raised me we’ll & I grew up decent and like anyone I has my moments but I swear she needs super nanny or something. 

Post # 56
722 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

i work as a behavior therapist with children with autism and ignoring (Extinguishing) a negative behavior actually is better long term then doing something to make your child be happy (ie: giving in).

i don’t judge, we have no idea what the parent and child have been through (disabilities, developmental delays, just toddler hormones, etc).

sometimes kids just cry, its not always something a parent should “fix”. its healthy for kids to get upset and cry and learn to deal with their emotions.

Post # 57
923 posts
Busy bee

At the grocery store? No I would not judge. I have a 4 year old and I’m a firm believer in taking her outside if she’s throwing a fit if we are out to eat or at a non essential store. I live 30 minutes from the closest grocery store or pharmacy so if she throws a rare fit there we just need to finish up as fast as possible. I remind her that there are consequences to her behavior and then I ignore her, every few minutes I will firmly remind her that her actions are not okay. She threw a for for the first time in a year at the grocery store the other day, and I paid and left as son as possible. I’m sure it could have looked like I was doing nothing, but I’m not going to scream at my kid or spank them in public as I don’t even do that at home. when we got home she went straight up to her room and then she lost tv and a treat that night, plus we talked about the importance of listening to me tabs behaving well. everyone who was at the store we were at was helpful, and no one have me the stink eye, probably because they knew giving me  the stink eye wasn’t going to help anything! I’m sure to some it could have looked like I was doing nothing, but I was parenting in the way I see fit, which generally works pretty well for us. 

Post # 58
4655 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

A TINY bit, if it’s really egregious or goes on a long time without the parent removing the child. But I work with kids and mostly get how it can be sometimes. I would judge a parent shutting their kid up with candy or something harder than one ignoring the tantrum… at least the latter is more likely to teach them not to do it again rather than encourage it in the future.

Post # 59
773 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle

I have to admit, I used to when I was younger and kids were no where on my radar. Now we’re contemplating TTC this year, I’m very inclinded to cut them a lot of slack. 

Post # 60
980 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

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Daizy914:  The only time i judge is when the child is screaming because they WANT something and the parents try and calm them down by offering them something else.

ie. I was in ikea last week and a child was full on throwing a temper tantrum because he wanted something and his mam said no, I’m talking full on screaming, going red, crying, hitting and rather than his mam taking him away or ignoring him till he calmed down she told him “if you stop crying we can go for ice cream and them we’ll get some sweets”

Well done woman way to raise a spoilt child.

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