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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Then I Had Children of My OWN

So, I have an interesting question to ask: How do you handle those situations where you see a distressed mother/parent with out of control children?

Do you ignore them?
Do you retort back to the parent to control their children?
Do you step up and help someone you dont know?
Do you say something to the child/children?

What do YOU do?

I ask, because I remember when I didnt have children and I remember how much it got on my nerves when I saw someone's child throwing a temper-tantrum or running around.

Then I had children

and I totally felt horrible for prejudging other parents in the past.

Usually, I ignore the other parent's entire situation. However, I think there might be a better solution (I just dont know what).

If another parent retorted back to me on my parenting skills, I'd probably retort something back to them about the need for them to shut up or I'll shut them up. Probably? Already happened.

If someone tried to help me out, I'd feel uncomfortable, but I'd be grateful.

I dont think I could ever say something to someone else's child--especially with the parent right there (people get too offended way too easily). However, if I was teaching/babysitting the child, you can bet me $50 I would say something.

What do you think is the proper and polite thing to do/say when another parent's child/children are acting up publically?


splendid said...

sometimes i try to diffuse the situation with humor, other times i will say something to the child, something to surprise them and throw them off track...ask them a question about an animal or a cartoon, sometimes it is just enough to jolt them back to reality and give the parent a moment to compose themselves.
as a parent,sometimes there is nothing to do, at these times i have actually just left the store with a child in tow.

Kathy said...

When I was a window clerk, I had a grandparent come in with 2 kids that ran crazy all over the lobby and they were loud. I asked the grandparent if I could help and she said yes. So, I was able to get the kids to quiet down quickly and she thanked me for it. But I did ask her permission first.

Texas Blad's said...

Oh, I feel so guilty for the things I thought about kids and parents who have kids who throw tantrums, like real, "I'm getting BEAT" tantrums! Because, mine have done it a few times before! A few times at home and a few times in public! And nothing real seemed to set it off and nothing seemed to snap them out of it! I always leave as quickly as possible when I think something is coming and I don't think anyone could help, although I have had people try (and I appreciate it, when it is done in a non-judgmental way). When the person is just trying to help vs. a snide comment made to you as if you caused or are throwing the fit yourself! (Annie did this to me YESTERDAY at the GYM! Public place that we go several times a week!!)

mom said...

did something happen.....

KMDuff said...

I feel sympathy/empathy and give an empathetic look to the mother and kid. Public places are not fun for having emotional meltdowns. Poor both of them! If I know them somehow I might try to help with understanding statements to the kid to help them calm down, but if I don't know them, I'm not stepping in unless the parent is causing physical abuse and then authorities need alerting.

Allie said...

Mom, nothing happened...THIS TIME...

Everyone else, thanks for the comments and suggestions. Keep them coming.

suzanne cabrera said...

Oh my gosh...those photos are too funny!!!!

Candance said...

Honestly? I just thank God that, at that very exact moment, my kids are not acting like the hellions I know they can totally be and probably will be in the next five minutes. And, I give the mom with the offending child a look of sympathy.

Allie said... wish you were the clerk at the post office when my kid stripped himself in front of everyone...

Well, at least I know I am not the only one. I see lots of other parents go through the same kinds of things. It helps to know I am not the only one with wild chilren.

What is funny is that a child behavioralist company emailed me about advertising on my blog. I thought it was hilarious, b/c if they actually read my blog they would see that my children are some of the most irreverent children out there!


charli said...

I'm right there with splendid- I try and basically do just what I do with my daughter: distraction. I can not even count how many melt downs have been avoided by the use of distraction. A friend and I are out with our kids together and they start fighting or acting up? I do something silly to refocus their attention.

Anonymous said...

finally got around to readin somethin here :D

generally, unless there seems to be imminent danger, I won't interfere, although I am willin to help a parent in need.

I have a son with ADHD, so I know the terror of the melt down in a public place. I also know that kids generally outgrow that phase and don't hold it against a parent. Which of us hasn't wanted to crawl under a rock draggin the kid with us?

Although, I would also remind some parents who are oblivious, although most of us are patient, don't abuse that patience! If you are in a place where really the kid should NOT behave that way (i.e., say, a movie theater) do everyone a favor, and leave with the child. We know there isn't much you can do except let the tantrum run its course BUT I shouldnt hear more than the first coupla minutes of it.... be polite and remove the kid from the overstimulation that is likely causing the problem in the first place! -Billie

Allie said...

Billy, can I add an "Amen" to your comment about taking your rowdy (for whatever reason) out of a theater or any other quiet place (library, play, recital, etc) when they are acting up? This goes for crying babies that need to be fed. I understand that it is not the parent's fault, but when the disruption is allowed to continue, it then becomes the parent's responsiblity to remove the disruption. I am not attempting to be rude here, I am just giving a couple thoughts of my own.

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