Why do parents let their kids run wild?

Tangerine - posted on 02/09/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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I am FLOORED by the number of people who just let their small children run around in public places like restaurants & super markets totally unsupervised...running into people. What the heck?! Believe me when I say that NO ONE thinks your kids are charming or cute when they are running amock and being a nusiance.

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Bethany - posted on 02/18/2010

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I have no problem disciplining other people's kids. I do it all the time. Even if it offends, at least it shows the parent what they could be doing. I figure they must not know how to discipline effectively, and I'm all for public education.



I had a little girl around three mucking around and disobeying her mother and sqealing in the mother's nursing room at a shopping centre once, while I was feeding my then 10 mth old. I said to her loudly "UH UH NO SQUEALING! Don't you squeal near the baby!" Well, she ran for her mother and hid behind her and was quiet from then on. Her mother didn't even look at me, didn't say anything, she just finally then said to her daughter "you mustn't squeal near the baby...."



Another time, I was with my daughter in a lift and a little boy of about 4 or 5 got in with his mother and started swinging on the railing and screeching like a little monkey. I immediately said "UH UH, stop that noise. You be quiet when you're inside" And again, he immediately stood quietly near his mother, who said nothing and then I got out at my floor.



These parents have no idea, they teach their child even without any action. We can teach respect and appropriate behaviour actively, or we can teach ignorance and disrespect passively. Either way, they're going to learn.



There is also alot to be said for prioritising the teaching of behaviour over convenience. Sometimes we need to put aside what we are doing to take the time to teach, like shopping or cooking or whatever, it is a little bit of time spent now that will be worth it later. Also dragging kids to the shops needs good timing with respect to naps and eating routines. We can't expect much from kids, and we shouldn't, it's not fair to them. We need to teach older toddlers and kids before hand with role playing and talking how they will behave when they're out, and stick to it and remind them when we are out, so it's not such a surprise to them when they suddenly aren't aloud to run around and squeal like at home or in the park.



If a parent takes offence at my actions, that's fine, as long as they have noticed that they have issues needing to be addressed, that their child's behaviour is 100% their responsibility.

Michelle - posted on 02/14/2010

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It has been part & parcel of the parenting style that said you didn't want to damage their psyches. Well, they're starting to discover it is more damaging when they grow up and find that in fact the world doesn't revolve around them. After all, society can't function if they are revolving around each and every individual.
I think I see some evidence it is waning. I see more children being quieted, removed from the store, etc. Hopefully soon it will no longer be considered acceptable for kids to do whatever they want.

Desirae - posted on 02/20/2010

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Running wild in public places.... very rude thing to do, but they will sleep! Running wild in private places... much more considerate AND they will sleep! Not to mention they will learn that there is a proper place and time to vent their energy. For instance, you don't play baseball at Wal-mart honey... you buy the bat and ball and go to the park. In other words... I agree with you!

Jen - posted on 02/19/2010

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I'm with you, and you know why I think they allow it? Because it's EASIER! Because for that time, the kids are occupied and someone elses problem and not theirs. They are just plain lazy... it's really sad, if you ask me. Janaya is almost 2 and when she needs to let off that kind of energy, we go somewhere APPROPRIATE with equipment she can play on for exactly that purpose. And even then she's not running wild, I'm right there supervising her every move. Parents need to stop being lazy!

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Mingy - posted on 02/22/2014

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I think it's the current trend in parenting. But like Michelle said, they are starting to realize this is going to backfire when the kids grow up. I read an article by a psychologist who wrote that she was getting a rash of young/early 20s-ish patients who were depressed and just had this deep sense of ennui. It was odd because these were kids with "perfect" upbringings from happy families, not the kind of childhoods that would have set them up for problems. After delving in more, she realized they had something in common: they had been raised with this indulgent, world-revolves-around-you style of parenting and were experiencing a deep personal crisis when they got to the age where they realized for the first time it doesn't. Unfortunately, this style of parenting is the norm in our social circle. I am constantly shocked at what people let their kids do. For example, it's the norm to bring your child to a friend or coworker's house and let them run wild unsupervised, scream, climb other peoples' furniture like jungle gyms etc., all while the parents beam. We know one couple in particular who treats their child like the center of the universe/ child prince. Their entire lives seem to revolve around him, and I think it's a conscious choice rather than laziness -- this idea that their whole existences revolve around satisfying his every whim, allowing him to do/be whatever he wants in any given moment, and if that is running wild around a friend's house, so be it. We had these people over. Once. I think their son is a classic example of the kind of kid who is going to be in a world of hurt when he turns 20 or so. I think it's sad.

Bethany - posted on 02/23/2010

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I am not God, but I do get to tell a kid to be quiet if I'm feeding in a feeding room, or if he's hurting my and my daughter's ears with his sqealing. I'd do the same to an adult who was voilating my right to a peacful life. If I don't see the parent taking the opportunity to teach their child what is publically acceptable, I'm happy to help them remember that Parenting is a job, with responsibilities, not just a label. Almost anyone can get pregnant and almost anyone can birth a kid, it takes effort to be a Mother. Around here, they're popping out left right and centre, but real Mothing takes time and effort once the birth is over.

Lyndsay - posted on 02/22/2010

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I also want to add something else. I've had it where employees stocking shelves have looked at my son and said to me, "What a well behaved little boy!" So just because the kids aren't clinging to their parent's skirts, doesn't mean they're running wild.

Lyndsay - posted on 02/22/2010

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I think that it comes down to laziness in many situations, and sometimes they don't want to seem like a "bad parent" for yelling at their kids in public so they just let it go. However... I am mother to to a very energetic 2 year old and he sounds something like what you're describing. I do not let my son run around totally unsupervised, I am actually watching him every step of the way and I keep him within a reasonable distance of my shopping cart. He is terribly impatient, as am I, and when we are waiting in line to check out I allow him to sit at the table and chairs located at the front of the store for just that purpose. Occasionally he tries to run out the front door, in which case I go chase after him and sit him back on the seat. The cashiers at my supermarket know this by now and they all know that I may dash out of the line a few times before my stuff actually reaches the register.

I get looks all the time from people who apparently think less of me because I allow my child some freedom while we're out. I always tell him to watch where he's going and if he happens to bump into somebody, oh well for them. Grown adults bump into me all the time, so I'm sure we can all forgive a toddler. I do not think that I am helping anybody, least of all my son, by dragging him around by the wrist throughout the store while he screams bloody murder. Nor am I going to rearrange my whole entire schedule based on his moods, or wait for him to be tired or calm before I do my grocery shopping (because then I would never get groceries!) so that other people can get their groceries in a child-free zone. Lastly, I do not believe I should have to quiet my child because we are in public. He is an individual with his own needs, which includes expressing himself, and I don't think he should be treated as a robot with an off-switch.

And to people who think it's okay to discipline other people's children... its not. Just because they have different opinions of what is acceptable behaviour than you does not mean they are wrong. You are not God, you do not get to decide.

Bethany - posted on 02/20/2010

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My friend and I had daughters within 7 weeks of each other. They couldn't be more different if we planned it! Her daughter is a strong, willful red-head, and Charlotte is a weak, passive blonde. She is even a bit scared of her and cries when she visits us.

Her Mum has to be constantly vigilant with her and she is truly exhausted, and sometimes says she's ready to just leave her in the trolly and go home. So, yeah, I've seen the other side, and I'm happy to say that I came up trumps with Charlotte, that's for sure.

Jen - posted on 02/19/2010

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Some of them probably are exhausted, but letting them run riot through a restaraunt isn't my idea of a good solution. They could go to a park or a McDonalds where there's a play ground, any number of things rather than upsetting people who are trying to have a nice quiet meal.

I do have to feel sorry for those parents a little too, though. I couldn't imagine having a kid like that! Janaya is such a great kid, she's calm and happy and eager to learn and loves to read, she'll play on her own as well as with us and yeah, I think she is a pretty easy kid (as kids go).

Bethany - posted on 02/19/2010

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though sometimes they're just flippin' exhausted, because I know that alot of kids are far more active than Charlotte. I'm a bit spoiled in that way, she is a really calm, easily occupied kid. And I know that's some of her and some of me, I'm just not sure on the ratio.

Amy - posted on 02/15/2010

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My dad had the best saying when my mom would ask him to tell my sister and I to stop doing something. He always said "They ain't bothering me!" Not that we did what we wanted in public mind you. Some parents live by that statement. It is easier to let your kids do whatever they want then fight with them to behave themselves. As long as they aren't bothering the parent, the parent doesn't care who their kids bother in return. So when their child is kidnapped or run over by a car who will they blame then? The person who took them or hurt them... Not themselves. Some people should not have kids.

Joy - posted on 02/10/2010

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I think its so sad that some people refuse to actually parent their children. Its taking the easy way out. Their behavior is only going to continue to get worse if the parents can't actually do their job.

Amanda - posted on 02/10/2010

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Because they can! Society has become lazy & people are always trying to pass the buck. The more of us that actually speak up (with respect) the less this will happen. The standards of basic human contact are dwindling the more immersed we become online.

Candice - posted on 02/09/2010

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I find it to be a little sad because the parents are setting their kids up for possible failure. They are not being thought boundries and consequences for their actions. You've heard that saying "spare the rod, spoil the child". Well it's very true because I see it as spare the rod and kill the child. not a physically death but a spiritually one. that child will grow up only knowing that they can just do what they want when they want. But we all know that is not the way it goes. We have rule and laws for a reason but there has and will always be that one child that just makes you want to go over there and shake the nonsense right out of them. Just hang in there and let it give you motivation to raise your child(ren) to be respectable & productive citizens.

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