Poorly Behaving Children, Am I being too harsh?

Brittany - posted on 02/08/2011 ( 75 moms have responded )

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I have always been very gracious about parents having a poorly behaved child in public. You can't control your kids, so how were we to know that he was going to scream suddenly with no reason? And in public you can't handle things like you can at home where they specifically know their boundaries. At home we can handle bad behavior because, for some reason, we are just more prepared for it. In public, not so much.
I really believe the things I just said, but I also believe that when my son misbehaves in public, there are consequences. By 5 months, he knew what "no" meant. And when he screams in public for no reason, I put my hand over his mouth to muffle the sound and then tell him "no." This doesn't always work, but I don't give in to his tantrum.
In the grocery store, I don't care if your kid screams suddenly. It's not a setting that requires decorum. But if your kid continually screams and you're just ignorning him, isn't that a problem? And why are we just giving in and letting our kids have what they want just because we're in public? The last time I checked, "no" didn't mean, "keep misbehaving and you can have what you want."
I do understand that there are occasionally extenuating circumstances. But if your kid is sick, shouldn't you be getting the basics and going back home for him to rest/heal? And if you don't want to put your kid in the nursery at church, that's fine-----I don't do it either. But I don't want to listen to him play in the floor, I want to listen to the service.
Is it really that hard for us to care for our misbehaving children? I just don't think it is. Am I being to harsh on parents?

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Sarah - posted on 02/09/2011

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This is an issue I feel very strongly about.
There are three main points I'd like to point out.
1.) Every child is different, and what works for one might not work for another. My second son is very dramatic, and any response whatsoever to his tantrums only increases them. If he begins to fuss and fight, I turn and walk away. He continues for a moment, but gives up and usually says, "sorry." My oldest will stamp that little foot, scrunch up that face, and battle for hours if he has to. But if you speak to him in a reasonable tone and state what you want him to do firmly, he will usually relent.

2.) Parents today are put in the spotlight more than ever, I think. Not because their children's behavior is harshly criticized as it has been in past generations, but because there are so many conflicting techniques out there, and so many eyes watching. I think that many parents get flustered when in public, and either respond more harshly to avoid the disapproving glares, or give in easier for the same reason!

3.) I find, too, that people judge far too quickly when it comes to misbehaving children or pushover parents. When you see a parent at the store with their child, you have no idea what their day has been like, or what their child's behavior is like usually. If a parent with a well-behaved child who rarely needs discipline takes their child to the store, and that kid suddenly begins throwing a tantrum, the parent is thrust into a whirlwind of confusion. "why is she doing that?! What do I do?! Is she sick? Is this a new stage? Should I be harsh? Ignore it? Comfort her?" Parenting is hard enough without the judgmental glares.

I've always felt this way, but it became very personal one day when I was at Wal Mart with my three kids. My oldest, then three, had to go potty, so we trekked all the way across the store, abandoned the cart, and went in to the restroom. Only one stall was open, but he refused to use it. For whatever reason, he wanted to use the first stall, and was not going to budge until it became available. The line behind us was rapidly getting longer, and I was getting frustrated. I raised my voice a little to be heard over the crowd, and told him, "You will go in the stall I tell you to. Now." At that point, my two year old suddenly bolted out the door, and I yelled "DYLAN, COME BACK HERE!" An older woman came hurling out of her stall, got in my face, and said, "STOP YELLING AT HIM! STOP IT!!" She then proceeded to lecture me about how I was going to ruin my kids' lives and commanded me to leave my three year old with her and finish my shopping! It was all I could do to not to respond very angrily. I just turned around, grabbed my son by the arm, and started to leave, when another mom put in her two cents worth. "You should have just let him go where he wanted. Its not that big a deal."

Well your right. It isn't that big a deal for my three year old to obey me, or for my two year old to stay in the bathroom. But thanks to the reactions, it became a big deal. Maybe I shouldn't have raised my voice. Maybe I was right to. Maybe I should give in more often, and not be so firm about obeying. But since there is not one perfect right way to parent, I have to make the decisions that are right for me and my family. And I will never condemn another parent for doing the same with theirs.

Christi - posted on 02/09/2011

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I think you need to be careful about this. My son is Autistic and there are times where he cannot be controlled and it is not because he is a bad child, it is because of his disability. We do not take him to restaurants for the simple facts of us being sick of the rude stares and remarks whenever he would get overwhelemed and melt down. My son babbles the whole time we are in the store and sometimes it gets loud, but it helps keep him calm. I have gotten rude remarks and I usually put people in their place. I know there are some parents who have 'normal' children that let them behave as heathens, but just be careful not to lump all 'misbehaving' children into a bad parent catagory. Tyler does not understand the meaning of no, time outs or spankings. We have to distract him from the situation and when that doesn't work, we have to let him have his tantrum. Whether be in public or at home, his safety and comfort level in my main concern. So if he has a melt down at the mall and starts bashing his head against the floor or on his stroller, I have to make sure he is safe (by padding around his head or whatever it may be) and just let it happen. We usually leave when it starts to happen because he gets overwhelmed with too many people, bright lights, noises, ect. My son looks no different than any other child, but ten minutes with him and you would see what I mean.

Heather - posted on 02/08/2011

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Honestly If you are THAT bothered, shop while most chidlren are in school/daycare.

Given I dont LET my child scream in a store, and typically if he starts we leave. but if I have cart full of groceries and only need to make it through 2 more aisles and/or check out I am not abandoning my cart to come back and do the shopping later. My son has only had two tantrums like that in a store, and frankly I would dare someone to tell me I am parenting wrong, or how I am handling the tantrum (by ignoring) is inapropriate, especially while the tantrum is occuring.

Ignoring a tantrum is actually a very effective method, the child ends up exhausted then realizing they still didnt get what they want. Now a 2 year old isnt old enough to realize he's only making a scene out of himself but a 5 year old is.

I also believe my child is old enough to understand logic (if you do this youre not getting that/we are going home and you arent going to play) and utilizing that theory has allowed me to raise a very well behaved toddler.

Jodi - posted on 02/08/2011

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Oh, and just for the record, for SOME children, any attention is good attention. If they are getting attention for misbehaving (because that will always draw attention) and not for behaving, well, misbehaving is a pretty good option.

Jodi - posted on 02/08/2011

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I'm confused. Do you have a problem with people *ignoring* the behaviour, or people *giving in* to the behaviour, because they are actually two different things? If my kids decide to throw a fit (they are older now, so it doesn't happen) in public, I ignore them, but I certainly don't give in to what they want. That's why they don't do it very often....because they have figured out it really isn't worth it, as they don't get whatever it is they were throwing the tantrum over anyway. How is it you equate ignoring with letting them get their own way?

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Angela - posted on 02/15/2011

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I understand what your saying Amber. Alot of the time people really dont know if a child has a disability so to speak and so there so quick to judge and assume. And I have always said this: what are the first 3 letters of assume? ASS. And when people assume they make an ass out of themselves,theres an exception to every rule.

Angela - posted on 02/15/2011

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LMAO! YEAH OKAY BRANDY.

Anyway,I absolutley agree with you Erin Couldnt have said it better myself.

Erin - posted on 02/15/2011

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Lol@ all the moms who will be spending their nights untying their panties from the knots theyre getting in them!
Calm down and go raise your kids the way you want, and nuts to anybody who says otherwise!

Angela - posted on 02/15/2011

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And I also think its funny Brandy that you cant actually debate the topic but personally attack someone,bravo! Bravo!

Angela - posted on 02/15/2011

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Actually Brandy, I was shopping in the same aisle as that lady who was with her kid who had a shitty diaper so I heard everything...And why wouldnt you want to change your childs diaper right away when they have gone shit or pee? What else do you have to do? shop? WOW! Wonderful parenting.

"NOW as for the comment kids just dont fear and respect their parents anymore....WHAT TYPE OF FREAKIN LIFE DID YOU LIVE? i feel sorry for you.........NO CHILD SHOULD FEAR THEIR PARENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They should in fact respect them, but fear....seriously? WTF!!! "

And Brandy,I dont need you to feel sorry for me. I was actually raised old school,My mother abandoned me when I was 11 and my father and grandmother raised me, and my grandmother is a 60 year old sicilian-Italian woman...And I had such a bad childhood in fact,that I graduated high school with a 4.0 and later on went onto college to obtain two degrees one in humanities and the second in behavioral and social sciences,And Im also a jewelry designer oh and did I mention that I have an amazing fiance and a beautiful daughter and Im an awesome mom and Im confident,have A high self-esteem,and Im happy :) mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....how bout that?

Christina - posted on 02/15/2011

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Actually Emma, if you read my original post, I stated that I have autistic children. So YES, it is my God given right to go shopping, regardless if one of my auties happens to lick you while I am out.
Again though, I have no problem with you being firm in your beliefs on how people should raise their kids. You handle tantrums one way, while I may handle them differently.

Brandy - posted on 02/15/2011

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Ok this is going to be a long response because several things have been addressed through the post and comments...there are two different types of ignoring....one is a form of parenting that works on a lot of kids, which is when a child is throwing a tantrum for whatever the reason, be it he/she wants something ie. a toy, candy or attention...and the parents form of parenting it to ignore it untill the child who probably already knows it is wrong decides to stop and act the way he/she is supposed to....and then there is flat out ignoring your child, like when they are shopping and the child is climbing out of the cart or knocking things over or screaming just to be a brat or running around and the parents are clueless as to the fact because they are ignoring/not paying attention as they should be for the safety of the child....not saying as they should be for parenting reasons, but SAFETY. If a parent is ignoring a situation in the form of parenting i have no problem with that, how you parent is your choice and you know what works for you....HOWEVER, if you are ignoring them and there is a safety issue, I WILL SPEAK UP. I've helped several children in a store find their parent (half the time the parent didn"t realize their child was missing, then yells at the kid for taking off...no heffer i should be yelling at you for not noticing your kid was missing.......i'm a praent of two boys, understand kids like to hide and take off but i bet a REAL parent would notice that their child is missing) i've stopped children between 2yrs and 10 months from falling out of shopping carts because the mom is looking through a clothing rack about 3 racks away from the child....and i've even had to give a kid a few bandaids for the nasty gash he got from the glass he just broke and decided to play with, THAT THE PARENT HAD DECIDED TO IGNORE while she shopped, that type of ignoring is NOT acceptable. Ok now as i stated before i have 2 children my oldest is 4 and my youngest is 2 and I have been blessed with angel children because neither of them have ever acted up in public, i don't know if it's because they aren't the type or if its because they know better, because even kids who know better have their moment, but either way for you people who are judging i would LOOOOOVE to live in the perfect world you must live in where its easy to just leave the store and come back later, or leave the kids with someone, or change a dirty diaper right there on the spot.....i understand that it is bothersome to you to listen to other peoples children scream, but maybe there are things about you that are bothersome to others....shopping leisurely.....must be nice now get the hell out of the way so i can get my shopping done as soon as possible and get the rest of the day going....as for the crappy diaper thing guess what the extra minute or two that it probably took didnt hurt anyone (unless you followed the woman around the store to find out how long she made the kid sit in the diaper...then maybe you are right to say something) But if you live the life where its possible to stop everything to change a diaper at that absolute second, congrats honey you are one in a million....most of the time its possible but maybe for her at that moment it wasn't....i wasnt there idk if she was just making her wait because she was shopping (then that's upsetting) but if she was in the check out line or something or asking an employee something its not that big of a deal the child isn't gonna die for sitting in the diaper for a minute or two longer. NOW as for the comment kids just dont fear and respect their parents anymore....WHAT TYPE OF FREAKIN LIFE DID YOU LIVE? i feel sorry for you.........NO CHILD SHOULD FEAR THEIR PARENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They should in fact respect them, but fear....seriously? WTF!!! I do agree with while at a friends/family members home or in a church if you have your child(ren) with you and they begin to act up or if a newborn/infant begins to scream and cry it is best to leave the room and try to comfort them or if they are older discipline. Every child is different, as is every situation, every parent handles things the way they see fit.....TOO BAD FOR YOU if you dont agree....guess you better invest in some really good ear plugs!

Amanda - posted on 02/15/2011

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i don't think ur being to harsh at all...when my four yr old son throws a tantrum in a store because he wanted something that I said no to..if its me and my husband one of us will pick him up and put him in the car till the other is done getting the thing we need to pick up...if its just me then I get what I got to get...pay for it and drag him out side..then we head straight home weather its me or me and my husband and put him straight to bed...he must understand he can not act that way...and then the other mom's are looking at me like its a dollar u should get it for him but they have no idea that he already has EVERTYTHING! he was an only child for almost 4 yrs ( he now has a 4 mth old sister) so grandparents and aunts and uncles and I must admit if I had the money then he would get what he asked for if he was behaving but we are teaching him now that he can not have everything but so far we are not doing to bad...he is not as bad as some children I have seen that would sit in the middle of a store and start kicking and screaming to get what they want...so no u are not being to harsh for some reason parents have stopped learning what the word no meant and people seem to look down on us for saying no...i think as parents we need to get back into no is no!

Amber - posted on 02/15/2011

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Last time my autistic son had a melt down in a shopping centre, I got stared at, I simply, calming stated to the woman staring "Keep staring, maybe it will cure my son's autism, then we can work on your social skills."
Mind you, I do everything I can to diffuse a meltdown. And for those blaming parents for giving in, I've given in during a meltdown, you've never seen a meltdown. As they get older, and bigger, and stronger, it gets more and more difficult to keep them safe, and to keep myself safe, during a meltdown. If a promise to go to the skatepark can keep me from having to hold him til it's over, so he doesn't bang his head on the floor and split it open, that's what I'll do.
We all wish we could have perfectly behaved children, sometimes it's not the discipline, sometimes it is a disability. For the record, I stopped shopping with my son, but some mom's can't do that. Why would you judge a woman for dealing with something that we all hope "won't happen to us" during our pregnancy, what if your child had a disability? Would you want to be judged ALL THE TIME?

Brandee - posted on 02/15/2011

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Not sure I follow where this post was going.. What do you do in public to discipline your child if he is screaming, other than cover his mouth? I tell my 2.5 year old before we get in the store what my expectations are and what he will get (if anything) for meeting those expectations. He also knows that if he does have a tantrum or not follow directions he will have to ride in the cart or hold my hand until we are finished.. I always had time out in the car as an option in mind, but never had to use it yet.. If someone has a screaming child in a store it is a bother to everyone, but as a parent I would rather they ignore the crying than give in to the kid and reinforce bad behavior.. The bottom line with discipline is to have a plan and be very consistent.

Stifler's - posted on 02/15/2011

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Because your kid is annoying everyone? Do you think it's your god given right to let your kids run wild in the supermarket or something? The thread is about misbehaving children, not "I don't like children in the supermarket".

Christina - posted on 02/15/2011

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Emma, why should I stop my shopping because my child not behaving towards someone else's specifications? I have limited time to "shop" between raising 5 children and working 50hrs a week.

Stifler's - posted on 02/14/2011

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He's not misbehaving, I can tell the difference between misbehaving and an autistic child. I don't understand why people think they can just ignore their kid throwing things and kicking and screaming at other people without apologizing or telling them off for it.

Christi - posted on 02/14/2011

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But if he would to have a breakdown in the store it would bother you. And you can't tell by looking at a child if they have a developmental or social delay. Don't be so fast to judge.

Stifler's - posted on 02/14/2011

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This is just ridiculous. I'm not having this argument. I didn't say to keep him shut in to keep people happy. FFS.

Christi - posted on 02/14/2011

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Why should I have to keep my child sealed inside a house to please you? My son cannot help his ourbursts. You don't like it, get bent. That may seem rude but you seem awfully judging. My son is Autistic and has Sensory Processing Disorder. There are times I HAVE to take him out into public to get groceries or run errands. He will not be a shut in to keep people happy.

Christina - posted on 02/14/2011

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Emma, the same can be said for you though. If a child is having a fit and the parents choose to ignore the tantrum instead of reacting and giving the child attention (because we all know kids will do things for POSITIVE or NEGATIVE attention) then you can choose to leave the store and go shopping later.

Angela - posted on 02/14/2011

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I have heard that too when I am shopping at places,I guess some parents actually thinks it works to let their child scream and throw a tantrum and ignore it completley. I just think thats negligence. For example,the other day I was in target and this little girl was getting fussy and crying and then she started screaming, well it turned out that the little girl had gone Caca in her diaper/pull up and the mom said "okay honey,just hold on,ill change you in a second! Mommy is busy!" And I was like REALLY LADY?!!! Would you like it if you were sitting in your own shit? No. Instances Like that I can Understand why their children get upset,cause the parents dont pay attention. On the other hand too, I know that kids throw tantrums just cause and it just come with the territory,but Its the parents responsibility to diffuse the situation...Children need to be raised from an early age that you dont act up or play around in stores. I was raised my dad, and I never dreamed of acting up in the store,well cause My dads Look of death terrified me. LOL! Children Just dont fear and respect their parents anymore, and I just think its sad.

Jessica - posted on 02/14/2011

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My son has tantrums and I do ignore him, there have been times when people give a look of disapproval like what I'm doing is wrong. It is effective on some kids each child has their own personalities. Also some kids have other circumstances, in my case my son is autistic with adhd. I wish people would realize sometime we need to know there other reasons

Stifler's - posted on 02/14/2011

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I love how there's all these comments about "how i parent is no one's business" it's our business if you can't keep your spawn under control while I'm try to shop leisurely.

Chris - posted on 02/14/2011

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depends...I felt the same way...the I had a son with Sensory Processing disorder. If I had to follow him not screaming or losing it everywhere I would be bared to our home. Lights, sounds, ppl...all can sometimes trigger him off...he appears to be normal, but in reality, he is struggling on our world. I do belive in strong disapline, and I will tear my 5YO our of a situation immediatly, but sometimes, circumstances are beyond control...and parents just want to get out of their prisons...I mean homes...just my 10 cents

Christina - posted on 02/14/2011

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How I parent is my business and no one else's. I was a single mom for a very long time to four wonderful children, two of whom happen to have autism. For years, I always had someone throwing a tantrum in the store when I went shopping. I didn't have the luxury of going alone because there was no one I could leave my kids with. And I'm sorry if it bothered anyone that I allowed my daughter to kick and scream and turn red, but darn it, I couldn't turn off the lights in the store like she wanted! I couldn't help that the lights made her skin crawl, or that someone talking to her would turn her into hysterics. I couldn't help that my son would lick the floor if he got over stimulated. I couldn't prevent my daughter from licking the poor sap who happened to be checking out in the line in front of us! I had to get food and diapers, because it is illegal to NOT feed your kids (go figure.) and I was NOT leaving the store and coming back later to finish when my kids were having their "off" moments because I would never be able to go anywhere.
Next time you judge someone for how they parent, remember you don't know the whole story. You don't know if that child has any issues in their life. You don't know if the parents just split and that child is going through a rough time and is acting out because of it.

Amanda - posted on 02/14/2011

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You shouldnt be yelling at your kids in the grocery store wen there is lots of peopl around no matter what at the top of your lungs. I have two kids under two that i take care of by myself and i still dont yell at my kids especially when they look between the ages of 7 and 10. at that age they should be able to behave in a store. and you can tell that not just me, but alot of others in the store were getting very annoyed by this woman. and yeh i kno not everyone has someone to take care of their kids while they go to the store, i dont either but its un necessary to scream at your kids to store especially with others around you. if screaming is how you deal with your child, than do it in your home not in public.

Edna - posted on 02/14/2011

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I think this is a difficult subject because all parents have different ideas of misbehaving. you have to becarefull of not telling people how to bring up there kids, as this is a line no one should cross.

Rebekah - posted on 02/14/2011

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You sound like I did before I had kids. How old is your little one? Do you only have one child?

My kids are generally very well behaved in public... they know what I expect, and I try to take them out when they are full and well rested, BUT, I've still been the mom pushing a screaming child in a store. There are times when there is absolutely nothing you can do to really prevent a melt-down. I would never judge another mom having a shopping nightmare.

Stephanie - posted on 02/14/2011

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I have no problem disciplining in public. We use the time-out strategy and the same rules apply in public as they do at home. In fact I feel I am more likely to discipline in public. They get a warning and if the behavior continues I take them away from the "fun" outside or to a corner or a restroom and put them in time-out (1 min. per year of age) and then request that they behave appropriately, or do what I initially asked them to. This works really well. I know our church has a "family" room where you take young children so they don't interrupt the mass- but I feel even in there we have certain boundaries and things the kids are allowed to do. They are allowed to play quietly with a toy on the floor, but not allowed to run or yell for instance. I do notice other parents seem as if they either don't care or are afraid to discipline or simply don't know how to handle it.

Hayley - posted on 02/14/2011

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What really, really gets on my nerves (for example, yesterday at my kids school) Two Mums are nattering away as they walk home from school. One of the little girls decides she's gonna run down the pathway.... Bearing in mind there is a busy road at the end of this path..Mum takes a while to notice and when she does lets out a feeble "dont run away darling" Kid doesn't listen so carries on..." Olivia! come back now" Kid stops, turns round and screams "NO!" at the top of her voice......"Olivia, if you dont come back now there will be trouble...I mean it"

At this point the kid reaches the road and to my horror just causally runs across!! The Mum is still busy nattering to her friend at the point when her daughter runs across and its only the gasping and shouting of the other parents that makes her realise what has happened, to which she stops her ever so important conversation and runs hell for leather towards her daughter yelling at her and blaming her for running off!

I can't stand it when you see parents like this that cant really be bothered to take control of a situation and make half arsed attemps to control their children because they are too busy...in this case talking to a friend...The results could have been devastating.

Anji - posted on 02/13/2011

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I find it a little disconcerting that everyone is so worried about what the general public thinks about your parenting style. When it comes to the crunch, you do what works best for you and your child. I am probably regarded as a bit of a Nazi mum because I have never tolerated tantrums from my children, I will smack (yes smack, oh how terrible I am), scold, withhold treats, walk away from (all depending on how frustrated I already am when they decide it's tantrum time) but my most effective option (regardless of the delivery method) is 'calm and stubborn'. No give, no debate...no success for the child. I start quite early, my elder child, my son was done with tantrums by the time he was two. Don't underestimate what your children are capable of understanding...my toddler daughter already understands at 16mths that she can't just HAVE whatever she wants...they don't have to understand the reasoning...you do not have to explain every disciplinary choice you make to your child. All that does is give them the impression that they hold equal weight in the household and that you have to justify yourself to them.... you can't demand respect that way. I don't believe in smacking unless it is absolutely necessary, but sometimes it really is the only way to neutralise the situation quickly (depending on the child of course, some kids it just makes everything worse). Parents, and Mums in particular need to take back our own self respect, stop judging ourselves and others so harshly and remember that as a parent it is your responsibility to be stern sometimes....you are not their friend, you are their teacher and when they are well-adjusted, socially accepted and respectful older children, that is when you will see that you really were being NICE all along. I think most kids will definitely take a mile if they sense weakness and hesitation. Please don't mistake 'weakness' for empathy etc, I'm not horrible to my children, but they need to learn also, that even if you are tired, you still have to learn to master your behaviour, after all, a tired adult doesn't throw tantrums and scream at people and have their peers say 'Oh, that's okay, she's just tired....'

Christia - posted on 02/13/2011

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First of all, I have a 5 year old. We have had our share of tantrums being thrown in public. I tried different things, the one that seemed to help the most, was continuing to do in public what I do at home. Telling him before we go in public what is expected of him and what the consequences will be if he misbehaves, and if it spirals out of control before I can get a grasp on it, we leave. I have had to leave the store twice. I got a lot of "looks" as I was holding on to my toddlers hand walking him out of the store while he was screaming, crying, and throwing a fit. After we got home, he sat in time out, then it didn't happen again until after my husband was staying home with him while I was working, and I had to "reprogram" him, for lack of a better word. I did the same thing, but he was older this time. Have not had a problem since. If he starts to act up in the store, I tell him, if you don't stop, we will leave. That usually stops his behavior and we can continue our shopping trip. I have never had problems bad enough at a restaurant where we had to leave, but I have taken him into the bathroom and re-recited the rules to him and told him if he misbehaved, we were going to leave. He straightened up. I personally don't think it's right to "cover" your child's mouth just because they let out a loud sound. At 5 months old you baby is still developing speaking skills, you can't control what comes out of their mouth anymore than they can. My 10 month old randomly gets excited at the store and voices it, loudly. It is completely different when it's a happy, excited shrill and not a whiny, mad shrill. I completely disagree with physical discipline and I have never laid a hand on either one of my children. My son behaves better than all 5 year olds that have been spanked, that I have met and been around. He gets disciplined according to the behavior. When he doesn't listen, he gets a privilege taken away, when he is mean, or gets angry, he is put in the corner to cool down. When he is really whiny and won't stop whining, he is put to bed to "relax" for 30 minutes. I am not saying that these all help with all children, but there are other alternatives to hitting a child. Just find what works best for yours. When I see another child misbehaving in public, I step back and think, I have been there before, it's not my child, and unless there is something violent going on, I stay out of it.

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why would you put your hand over a 5month old babies mouth just because it is crying?! How can he know the meaning of NO? I'm sorry I'm not trying to judge you i just don't understand why you would do that. My children have their moments whilst out and about and sometimes yes I do give into them to stop them from being upset. I do this because I know that they are fed up of being in their pram whilst we have been out, I do it very rarely because most of the time they are both very well behaved. I have no problem with other peoples children misbehaving because they are NOT my children and my first concern is Always my own children. Why should it bother you what other peoples children are doing in the first place?

Mandie - posted on 02/13/2011

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i find it amusing that most of the posts on here exclaiming that they KNOW parenting should be done their way (and you might say that you aren't saying that, but to say not everyone has to parent like me, but it drives me crazy when they don't, is indeed saying they should parent like you) seem to be first time parents. let me tell you as a mother of 4, there is no one specific way to parent. some kids need more discipline, some need more instruction, and some really do need to have the bad behavior ignored. now i agree that there are parents that just ignore, not to show the child they won't get their way, but just because they don't want to deal with it. on another note, a 5 month old is NOT a child. it is not misbehaving if the baby doesn't have a concept of right and wrong. they are simply doing what they know has worked since birth, cry to get what they need. and touching stuff, they are curious and exploring, that is wonderful, not bad. if you don't want them to touch other things, bring them things they can touch. if they are bored with those things, allowing a child to play with a toy from the store and then putting it back after has always worked for us

Melissa - posted on 02/12/2011

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I think that there are different types of parenting, this means that just because what one parent does, every parent should also. We all have different personalities so do our children. When you see something try and remember that we are all different and so are they way we handle things. I try to never react to the way someone else handles thier child and hope that others do the same. Each child learns differently and responds differently and that childs parent knows that child the best. I block the noise and pray for the parent.

Jenni - posted on 02/12/2011

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Really... I couldn't give two poopy diapers about how other people parent. It's their children their business (of course excluding abuse). I'd like to think in most cases they are trying their best and even the best of us make mistakes and have our share of bad days.



So what? You're all done raising your 5 month old and feel the need to reach out and raise everyone else's little carpet maggots?



Sorry hope I'm not sounding too harsh. Before I had children and when I was a new mom I did share the same sentiments as you. I choose to keep them to myself... but I did think I knew better than all those crazy moms caving into "I WANT I WANT I WANT" or flat out ignoring Damien as he clawed her shirt from the cart, threw his head backwards in a position no head should beable to bend and then rotate it 360 exorcist style.



But then I became a mother of three... two toddlers and a 9 month old... and reality hit... HARD.

My 3 1/2 SD is for the most part an angel... but even she can have her moments. And when she does every window in church shatters.

My son is very spirited but actually has fairly short-lived tantrums because..... I ignore them? His are also fairly rare but he is a moody child and if he is even the least bit hungry or tired he becomes Damien. but I'm a trantrum preventor and try to keep him as busy as possible in public. He's relatively well-behaved when other people are present, it's when we're at home he births his evil twin.



Every child is different and sometimes it has nothing to do with the parent's skills, consistency, method of discipline or lack there of. For all you know the child suffers from autism or ADHD.



At the grocery store you wouldn't even know my 9 month old is in the cart. I think she maybe cried 3 times her whole life at the end of a grocery trip when she was starting to get hungry.

I am very consistant with discipline, distraction, prevention, ignoring tantrums, time-outs, knowing WHEN to pick and choose my battles.... but I sure as hell aint SUPERMOM! My kids are going to throw fits in public one time or another or multiple times in one outing so I suggest you bring your earplugs.



Or maybe you could share your infinite wisdom on discipline with me that you managed to acquire in the 5 months you have been a mother. I'm serious, I really am curious how your 5 month old understands "No" already. I still don't think my 2 1/2 year old understands it.... oh you cover his mouth? Damn, why didn't I think of that!



Now where's that duct tape?

Lisa - posted on 02/12/2011

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Not really, children know parents can't do what they do at home when they misbehave in public, so they do it, us parents must show by our reaction that we are not going to give in to their every demand. Once there is no injury etc, every once in a while just leave him be. It may be embrassing at times but sometimes there is nothing to be done. Children are unpredictable at times, specially in public.

Sarah - posted on 02/12/2011

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Hmm...the first part of my comment was cut off.

Hillary: I completely agree with you. Love and support for our fellow parents will go a lot further to correct issues and find understanding than judgement and criticism will. I know from experience that an understanding smile from a stranger, or a hug from a friend eases my frustrations, while a disapproving glance or under-the-breath comment will only increase it. And the more frustrated a parent is, the more likely they are to act impulsively -- yelling at the kids, caving to make them be quiet, or even hitting. Why can't we all get along?

Sarah - posted on 02/12/2011

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Amanda: "The last thing YOU need?" I'm sure that the lady yelling at her kids in the grocery store didn't mean to offend you personally. Not everyone has someone who can watch the kids while they run errands. I certainly don't, and while my kids are usually well-behaved and not a hassle in public, there have been times when I lost my temper at one or more of them. Sometimes we get overwhelmed and react in ways we regret. If you have kids over age 3, I don't believe for a second that any of you who are judging these parents have not, at one point, unintentionally mishandled a behavioral issue.

Amanda - posted on 02/12/2011

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what bothered me happened at the grocery store yesterday...when children are misbehaving and the parent is yelling at them in the store. no need to yell at your kids, frankly if you cant handle bringing three kids to the grocery store, than wait for later on in the day when your husband can watch them while you go. last thing i need in a crowded store is to hear harsh yelling and kids reciprocating .

Hillary - posted on 02/12/2011

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Hmm, such judgement. I usually don't respond to these posts, but I have both types of kids. I have 4 kids, two who are spirited and two who are not. Two of my kids are perfect when we go out places, and two who are not. But, I refuse to keep them sheltered at home, how will they learn proper behaviour if we don't take them places. It's like never letting your kid get on a bike and then wondering why they don't know how to ride. And the problem here is that ttwo very different types of behaviour are being lumped together. A kid throwing a tantrum is hugely different from a kid runnning around and misbehaving. But it seems no matter the bahaviour we are judged. Where is the support for parents? Anyone ever heard the saying "It takes a village to raise a child". We are being forced to do this on our own and no matter what choice you make you are being judged. There will be people on either side of the parenting debate forever. For the parent whose child wanted a certain stall and the other child ran out, instead of people berating her, someone should have said. "Wow, this is really stressful, Would like a hand? Maybe I can take child A out of the bathroom for you so he doesn't feel restricted here and you can help child B" But in this era it seems instead we add to the parents stress and put them down. I live in a very remote area, closest shopping center is an hour away. Getting groceris is an all day affair, and so yes my kids come with us. And frankly, if someone judges me because my kids isnt acting perfect, they can stuff it. THEY ARE CHILDREN NOT MINIATURE ADULTS!! I say let's allow our children to be children and support one another instead of always condemning parents. Misbehaviour is not a child being rotten, but showing they are unhappy about something and don't have the words to tell you, An infant has no way of syaing the tag on my sweater is itching my back, so they scream. A five year old may have the words to say the tag is bugging them, but maybe because so many other sensations are bombarding can't figure out exactly what it is that' bugging them so they act out. I'm not saying kids should be allowed to get away with anything, I demand respect from my children, but when it isn't happening, it's not as easy to just walk away. Ignoring it is helpful, and if it bothers you, remember, you are an adult and know what every emotion feels like, you know how to voice what's bugging you, you can change anything on your own to make things easier. Children don't have that. They can't just say to mom or dad, I am feeling this way, we need to do this, and to help myself I'm going to do this. Imagine the judgement those parents would be met with. Anyway, sorry I rambled a bit and I'm not sure if this truly makes sense, but I stand by with saying that instead of judgement, regardless of your parenting styles, we need to support each other. That is what will help our children in the long run. Oh and as for not being able to parent in public, well no doubt we can't. See the judgment, how many times have outsiders seen a situation and called CAS or the cops? Parents can't parent because we aren't allowed to. If i threw a tantrum in a store I can almost guarantee I would have gotten a swat to my butt, now if I were to do that to my kids, guess how many peolpe would have it recorded, how many would call the cops, how many calls CAS would get. Heck, raise your voice or cover a mouth and the consequences could be severe, not from our children but from all the judging. So no, we may not parent in public, but it's because we are held back by the threat of consequences that come about by people judging us instead of supporting us.

Sara - posted on 02/12/2011

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I agree that most misbehavours can be ignored or redirected...while others need amediate action. Sometimes however I wonder about parents behavour in public. For example after the christmas parade last year my two son's, my oldest son's friend ,myself with hubby whent to a Market Square where further activities were being held. While waiting inline with the older boys and holding on to the stroller two mom's started to argue about each childs behavour. Then the one mom started to point at the other when she would not stop the mother she was pointing at started pushing her away in the end yet another mom had to come between the two to stop the situation. All of this over who's kid did what to the others kid.

Alexis - posted on 02/12/2011

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Im not sure what you mean by ignoring it, but sometimes ignoring the bahavior (not giving in and giving them what they want) but actualy ignoring the outburst is the form of parenting. The idea is that they learn they don't get a reaction out of throwing a fit. Im not sure if that is what they were doing or not though. I have seen parents 'ignore' their kids throwing tantrums and it seemed like they didnt want to deal with it, not as a form of parenting. I do agree with you that there are a lot of No's thrown around with no follow through and the kids know this. I also don't take my son to situations where noise is not ok or acceptable. I also stay at home if he is sick. that is common courtesy to everybody so other don't get sick. I don't find it difficult to care or discipline my son, however I have a very mild mannered child by default. I got lucky I guess. I also follow through every time as does my hubby. I am sure that there are some difficult times for parents and a instant judgment on someone you don't know may be harsh, however if you know its a constant failure on the parents part then I wouldnt say your being harsh....nothing you can really do about it though.

Erin - posted on 02/12/2011

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At times I think you have to be harsh. For instance, when me and my kids go to the grocery store I either tell them that if they behave I will buy them a special snack or something. But on the occasions that that doesn't work and they are running around the grocery store and driving me crazy they won't get something they want or when we get home they are not allowed to watch tv or something. I understand kids and acting up in the grocery store (hey they get bored) but try to reason with them so they are not disruptive to everyone else

Felicia - posted on 02/11/2011

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I completely agree. The other day I found a sitter for my four children and my husband and I went out to eat. All through our entire meal the kid next to us cried. For an hour!
However, I have a 3 and a half year old who is autistic. At times it seem that he is just being bad (believe me, people tell me all the time) but he is doing the best he can. He looks normal but he has issues in public places. I stay at home most of the time but eventually you have to go out.
But even we take our child out of a restaurant when he is screaming. We certainly don't put up with tantrums. My husband actually reached out and grabbed a kids leg when he was kicking his chair at the circus.

Ashley - posted on 02/11/2011

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as a previous poster has said, u dont know the child or the circumstances. my 5 yr old has adhd and they litterally cannot control themselves no matter what you say to them. they know the rules and everything but they physically cannot follow them. i was/ still sorta am a person who thinks if you cant control your kid, get them the hell outta there. i dont know how many times we have not gone somewhere because of my son. but i am slowly getting better at knowing that you dont know the circumstnaces. if that kid has adhd or autisim or whatever where they litterally cannot listen. so yes i am very mean to the people giving me the looks and i will snap on their asses for being rude and not minding their own damned bussiness. people need to butt out of others lives. period.

Jodi - posted on 02/10/2011

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Here's my philosophy on parenting. I can only parent my child and what anyone else does with their child (short of actual abuse) is absolutely none of my concern. Why do you care what someone else lets their kid do? Worry about your own kid and when the need arises, explain to your child what the misbehaving child is doing and why it's "naughty". It's what I do with my daughter and it works wonderfully. I have a VERY well behaved daughter, but she's not even two yet and of course has her fits. Judgements on parents and their parenting techniques like this make me want to stay at home...or follow you around until your kid misbehaves and tell you how you should have done it differently. Seriously, being a parent is hard enough without worrying about what other parents, or non-parents, think of our parenting abilities and techniques.

My suggestion, focus on your child and let everyone else do the same.

Meg - posted on 02/10/2011

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I completely agree with you, sick children if they can't be left at home while you grab the basics should be kept out for a minimal amount of time. Just like my parents I'm teaching my children that when you do something you should expect to have a reaction that equals it such as a child who doesn't have to be reminded in public how to behave whats it hurt to have frozen yogurt with their fruit for dessert? Or an extra 15 minutes of play time before bed. When a child continually misbehaves or refuses to clean their room I don't hesitate to deny them a treat or cancel a fun thing that they expect that isn't going to effect anyone else in the family. I use reinforcement in my parenting and have gotten several compliments on my children and their behavior as friendly and polite. I see other parents who ignore how their children misbehave and how they are constantly upset over it stressing and over how they can't understand why their children won't behave. Every child has their bad days but I've found that positive reinforcement of good behavior and the loss of pleasurable activities or treats keeps them at a minimum in my house.

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