Strangers trying to interfere

Erin - posted on 10/13/2010 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Any moms out there find that when your out with your child random people telling you how to handle your kid. Every once in a while I'll be out with my son and he will throw a tantrum or do something he shouldn't and I find random people (usually old women) try to tell me son to stop or talk to him. I'm usually so stunned by this interference I don't even know what to say to them. I am 30 years old but I look very young so I think they think I don't know how to handle my kid. It really makes me furious.

Yesterday I was at the indoor playground at the local mall and as usual my son tried to run out and I ran after him and told him to stay in the play area. This old woman who was sitting at a near by bench came up to us ( I was there the whole time) and started talking to my son asking him his name then he started to try and leave again and she said "no" to him then she turns to me and says "I want to see if he'll listen to me" She talked to us for a little while then went back to the bench. I was with my son the whole time so he was fine it just bothered me that she was trying to interfere. Who is she? And once at the grocery store my son was having a tantrum in line and the older woman ringing us through in a stern tone said to my son"no yelling in my line"

I'm usually so startled by these intrusions I don't know what to say to these people do I yell at them? or is there a polite way you say mind your own business?

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Julie - posted on 10/13/2010

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I don't think there is a polite way to say mind your own business. You may have to just work with short, sweet and to the point. I'm sure other ladies here can come up with better thing to say, but maybe something along the lines of:
-Excuse me, I am his parent. I will do the parenting thank you.
-I'm sorry, I don't believe I ever told you how to manage your children I'd appreciate the same consideration.
-If you want to parent him, would you like to pay for his grocery bill, too? (or clothes, play, etc...)
-(smile sweetly) Thank you, but I have the situation under control. Bye now.

If necessary, practice at home so you'll be ready to say something.

Sometimes, though, you can't take people too personally or it will eat at you and it is better just to ignore them and move on with life.

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Autumn - posted on 10/16/2010

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Well honestly there is no polite way to tell someone to mind their own business however, your right it is rude for people to interrupt your parenting! I would in those situations tell someone, "I got it" or' if someone does something outrageous like the older lady just say "I dont need any help, thanks". That would be the only polite way in my opinion but good luck and i hope you stop running into that issue!

Angela - posted on 10/16/2010

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It drives me batty when this happens.....usually my daughter is Ms. Social Butterfly when we're out in public so we don't have this problem often. I realize I look like I'm 12, but I'm not, and I do know what works best to calm her down. I try to be as polite as possible to the person and ask them to mind their business (well....I guess it depends on the situation and what they say, haha).

Donna - posted on 10/14/2010

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think you should just say politey as you can, "I'm deadling with him if you don't mind?!" My little girl is 2 and you know at this age they start having a little rage here and there and there's always some busy body sticking their nose in. I crouch down beside her and talk quietly explaining she has to do whatever it is am telling her and it usually works, but when the nosey parker butts in it doesn't!

Erin - posted on 10/14/2010

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If I have a friend of mine, my mother, or my mother-in-law with me and they try to help I have no problem because they know my way. I am aware children are more difficult for their parents, However, everyone has their own parenting style and strangers are not aware of mine. If they were to say something to me like "I've been there" or other words of encouragement to ME I'd have no problem. What I do have a problem with is them flat out telling my kid what to do, I'm his mother. And I disagree, it doesn't take a village, we are all responsible for our own kids.

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I think you are overreacting. It sounds like these women are just trying to help you with the hope that your son might respond better and listen to a stranger. Reality is, kids challenge their parents and act worse towards their parents than they do towards strangers. Sometimes a stranger saying, "Cut that out" will stop a kid from acting up. I think you are misinterpreting someone's attempt to help out a mom with the intent to criticize your parenting skills when there is no indication that the lady's intent was to do any such thing. It does take a village to raise a child and, even if you are standing right there, a extra pair of eyes and ears never hurts.

Christa - posted on 10/13/2010

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Yeah, I don't get strangers who think they can voice opinions like that, either. A cashier once took the pacifier out of my daughter's mouth and said, "You don't need that!"...my daughter was an infant at that point and teething! I just wordlessly put the soother back in and continued what I was doing. I've had people tell me that I should put her to bed when she looked tired, and that I should dress her more warmly or less warmly depending on the weather, etc. Some people just don't get it. Not sure there's a stock answer either...whenever it happens, I tend to say "she's fine, thanks!" and move on. It seems to happen a lot less now that she's three, but yeah. I can sympathize!

Kristen - posted on 10/13/2010

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Im so used to it by now! Each situation is different......or my mood is different lol Usually if its a small comment and I can tell they are not trying to give me tude (like how the lady at the mall was for you) I just shrug it off. but if someone wants to pull out the attitude, its going to come right back to them!!! Im not innocent either when it comes to saying something to other parents!!! ooooh no im not, BUT I only say something when their kid is being straight up obnoxious in public and they dont seem to be doing ANYTHING about it. That I cant stand, parents who allow their kids to throw tantrums in public and say its okay, ITS NOT OK!! aaahhh sorry for the rant! lol I had this "friend" who was out at a store with me, her son was throwing a nasty fit (swinging and screaming and destroying things in the store) she didnt say a word! just ignore him was her theory, THEN he hit my kid, durn right I stepped in! I got to his level and told him he is to keep his hands to himself and his screaming was to stop or he and his Mama can sit outside in the car! guess what he did? was pretty durn good after that! anywho, like i said it depends on whats going on.

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