Dear people in Target,
I see you with your judgemental glares, looking over in my direction as if I’m the worst mother to ever have a child.
I see you whispering amongst yourselves while glaring daggers are my (admittedly tantruming) children.
I see you looking at me, thinking I’m too young to have one kid, much less two and coming to all sorts of overly dramatic conclusions in your mind about people not knowing how to be parents anymore.
I see you. But I don’t think you really see me.
You don’t see that the reason my kids are throwing a tantrum is because I have rules about how they should behave on a shopping trip in order to get to walk around the store and not be confined to the cart. I made rules that they broke and now they’re stuck in the cart and they’re not happy about it.
In short, my kids are throwing tantrums, because I’m a good mom.
I’m standing firm in my parenting, I’m enforcing rules and unfortunately dear Target shopper, you are hearing what happens when 2 year olds are disappointed.
I know it’s frustrating that my kids are disrupting your otherwise uneventful shopping trip.
I know it sucks to hear any kid crying, especially when it seems like the mom is doing nothing about it.
But trust me, I’m doing something about it.
I’m not giving in to their tantrums because this is a lesson they must learn.
I’m not sorry for teaching them, for remaining consistent in my parenting and holding fast to the rules.
I am sorry you had to be here to see it, but I think that’s what village parenting is all about. Maybe instead of glares and judgemental glances you could look over and grin at me and say “I’ve totally been there” or “stay strong mama”.
Because we all know it’s not just my kids. Mine aren’t flailing on the floor, they’re not “out of control” as much as I loathe that term. They’re just processing a disappointment, and learning what happens when they break the rules.
Yes, I’m rushing through the store to finish buying what we need through their tears. I’d love to just walk out the door and try again another day, but we actually need food and toilet paper to finish this one and I’m not going to leave my cart full of groceries to spoil and an employee to put away.
I’ll finish up, I’ll grab the essentials, I’ll do my best to shush my children but at the end of the day, I know they’re tantruming because I’m a good mom.
If you are wondering… I wrote this post to clarify why I don’t take my child out of the store as soon as they start crying.
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I love this post, however sometimes stares and whispers arent negative ones. I know I’ve been guilty myself of looking and whispering positive things and then realizing how II must have looked to the person after. — I guess the assumptions can go both ways.
Good point! I’ve been approached by strangers who spoke encouraging words when I thought for sure they were judging too… but there are others (as evidenced by the comments on this post) who very clearly judge <3 Good reminder that we might as well assume the best, even if it's likely the worst.
Ignore the judgments and negative comments. Firstly, who cares what other people think! Secondly, will it kill someone to hear a kid cry for a few minutes?? Guess what – kids cry! They’re going to have to hear it from time to time. Get over it. If they don’t want to hear your child cry, they can move to a different part of the store. I’m all for your parenting style and strongly believe your child will benefit from it in the long run – which will also benefit society – including the judgy complainers!
I find this an interesting comment. So how about moving the child?
As a person who has a hearing aide listening to a child shreak, scream and wail is not a pleasant experience, but you probably haven’t put any consideration into anyone else’s comfort.
Will it kill someone to listen to a kid cry? Probably not, but it is painful.
You and your screaming child are the only ones that are important though, right?
Considering other people and their disabilities might be a good lesson for you and your child.
It can be hard to just pick up a child that is throwing a fit and quickly remove them from the situation! I’m sorry to hear about the problems the hearing aide causes for you but. It doesn’t stop your legs from working! If the sound bothers you, you may easily walk away Unless you yourself has experienced a tantrum from a child in public the don’t judge and act someone can just move their child. Sometimes it’s not that easy for us parents to do so. Rude……
Sorry about the spelling and forgetting words, it happens.
Take out your hearing aides until your shopping trip is complete. Seriously??!!
Cee Frost says
This is one reason it is wrong to have made ‘paddling in public’ a CPS matter. My parents did it. Yes, it was embarrassing to me as a child. I got over it and I didn’t ever ‘pitch a fit’ again. So much for a tantrum. And yes, I spanked my boys, too. They’re just fine.. Just my two cents.
And, taking out hearing aides is a safety issue. Think about what you’re saying.
PL Penderhausen says
Wow, how does it feel to be the center of the universe? I don’t care to listen to screaming kids, either. But guess what? I have to get through my shopping and I can move to another area of the store if I don’t want to listen to a toddler have a meltdown. Do you have any idea of how hard it is to shop with one or two toddlers, especially when one (or two) are having a major meltdown? I dreaded the days I had to take mine shopping, now all I feel is sympathy for any poor mom that is dealing with a tantrum. Yes, she could have left all of her groceries in the cart and left the store. What would she have taught her kids? Now they know if they don’t follow the rules they will ride in the cart. So maybe next time (or the time after that) they will realize what needs to happen for them to walk beside the cart and not throw a tantrum. I’m sorry for your issue with the loud noise, my issue is intolerant people….I’ve learned to adapt.
Giving in to a tantrum throwing toddler will NOT teach him to be sensative to people with disabilities. What it will teach them is that they can get what they want…be it a toy, a shorter shopping trip, or your attention…all by throwing a temper tantrum. I don’t like disrupting others… I am embarrassed when my 2year old screams in the store… But I can’t let him win. I am raising a future adult while grocery shopping! I don’t want him to turn into a spoiled and entitled brat. If you have the ability, turn down your hearing device. I don’t have the ability to turn down my child and still be consistent.
I have hearing aids and do the same as the poster of this blog., don’t use your disability as a way to try and same people just because you don’t like to hear a kid cray. Suck it up butter cup. Pull your aids out and put them in your pocket; like I do.
If you have a hearing aide I know from having one myself you can turn that S.O.B. Down,,Or does yours come from the local flea market and not have a volume control ? 🤔
Your disability is not everyone elses problem. I have one as well. Its not a pleasant noise to anyone. It’s not your choice what you hear in public. You were that screaming child once.
Judging goes both ways. If you have an opinion at all, you’re making a judgement. Judging is not condemning, it is simply taking the evidence presented and picking a side. The side can be an approving one, but you’re still judging. We really can’t stop judging or we’d have no opinions on anything.
I agree. My daughter will stare. Momma why are they acting like that? Well that what it looks like when you throw a temper tantrum? Daughter Oh. I’m sorry. I always try to smile to the other mom for encouragment. This to shall pass. Great article keep it up!
Daniel Shannon says
I agree great article BUT why in the world would any parent with children even want to shop in a Target Store?
Why would anyone at all want to shop at Target? Their selection is DISMAL. I have been to multiple stores in Canada and the USA and Target has empty shelves and extremely limited variety. I go over the whole store and am lucky to leave with ONE item, it’s so pathetic. They had to close a ton of stores in Canada because they sucked so bad. Target even got rid of their optical section, so even LESS features. It’s just a rotten store on its way down the toilet.
Maureen Elena Laneski says
Yeah. Sometimes I whisper a prayer for the mama. If I’ve had a rough day with my own little recently, I might think to myself “Leave her alone!” I also think your kids might be overtired at that point. I have a hard time getting it all done in that space around naptime or the downward spiral towards bed. My little guy is pretty chill until I push it and try “one more” errand. Of course I’m probably preaching to the choir, but I remember when he was still young I dragged him around way too long and felt awful.
How about when they throw their tantrum, you take them out of the store so they’re not disrupting the other shoppers? Teach them that tantrum & tears = you taking a time out until you can calm down, even if it means our trip to the store is going to take longer than expected.
I agree that could work some of the time. Though, I know most of the time for my kids in particular they are crying because they want to leave, so leaving would just show them they get their way, OR it’s would upset them more to leave and come back in again and the easiest, least disruptive thing is to just carry on. Good to weigh all the options and see which is the best choice for that day/kiddo though :)
Mary Crawford says
Paula should not have to take them out of the store because they are crying. Since when did a department store or variety store become a sacred place that could no longer tolerate crying children? Parenting is an active sport. Sometimes it’s a messy, ugly thing that doesn’t look perfect and choreographed. As parents, we deal with it the best we can. If it’s intolerable to you, you have two choices. You could assist her by helping her collect the things she needs to complete her shopping trip more quickly or you could leave the store.
Mary — proud parent of a twenty-six-year-old and twelve-year-old.
Rock on sister. :)
Agree with you Mary!!!
Shannon Stone says
I agree completely Paula i have two kids 28 and 24 and they were taught to behave in a public place and if they didnt then they knew the consequences of their actions and i didn’t take them, out of the store either i finished my shopping went home and give them their punishment or their father did either one . God bless u and the bible says “Spare the rod and spoil the child ,
Disrupting other shoppers? Really? Is a tantruming child that serious? Does that really disrupt your shopping experience?
Stores are not libraries or restaurants. People do not go to the grocery stores bc they want to. They go because they need to. What good is it going to do if i leave the store with my kid and come home without milk and diapers? You’re going to bring them to me as a thank you for your quiet shopping trip?
Grocery shopping with kids is like flying on the airplane with kids – only fun for the first 5 minutes. But it is a necessary evil.
I don’t think that your children should learn that their tantrums are going to effect your day at all. I think you need to waiste their time, not yours. I really don’t see how walking out of the store is doing anything to benefit anyone, but MAYBE other shoppers who are CHOSING to be bothered by it.
Im from the UK and my little girl throws a tantrum from time to time she doesn’t do it for long now as she knows it won’t get her no were
I will not give in
I will not bow down to peer pressure
I suport all the parents that may feel embarrassed during their little ones episodes
Theres no need to leave your shopping and go outside talk to them yes as some may be over whelmed if they are tired etc but try not to take mug to heart your children your rules end off
Keep going mom’s and dads
Maureen Elena Laneski says
Yes! But then just as Mary writes, if we stay focused on the task, it looks like we’re doing nothing. It’s hard to overcome those thoughts.
Until your child learns that if he throws a tantrum he doesn’t have to go shopping any more!! When my oldest was 3 he learned that I’d leave a store if he was misbehaving. He didn’t like shopping, so he kept throwing tantrums and I kept leaving… Then I figured out that I was rewarding the tantrums by leaving! ? He’s too smart for my own good!
Right. Because we all have the option to just not take our children with us when there is shopping that needs to be done. Good grief you need to get over yourself. Children are a naturally occurring part of society. Sometimes they throw tantrums, it’s how they learn things. In case you forgot, you were once a child as well and regardless of what you would like to believe, I can guarantee you threw a tantrum or two as well.
LOL that’s hilarious. Disrupting your shopping! HAHAHAHHAAH How do you even survive?
Hello! I am a mother of Polish, my name is Karolina. I have three children – two daughters and a boy (11, 6 and 1 years old). Reading an article by your – it’s like I was reading about himself. And so – Be strong, Mom !! Because you’re doing great! The life of your children will be much easier when learn that in life there are rules of thumb that should be followed. I see how my children grow and do well in life and in society. How wonderful are perceived by other people – because of it, how I bring up. That I demand from them respect the rules, but at the same time explain why you should do so. Hooray for you! Yours sincerely from the distant Polish :). (Sorry for any grammatical errors;))
Agreed! and thank you for your comment. It’s true we are for the most part past the tantrum stage ourselves, and I’m really glad I didn’t give in to either of my kids during the hard times, because it makes outings with them so much easier and more pleasant now. :)
Food for thought if toddlers having tantrums bugs you that bad maybe you should stay home. The reality of it is toddlers throw tantrums almost daily and as a mother no you can not always fix it or re arrange what your doing. If your in the middle of getting all your groceries for the week no I’m not taking my two and a half year old out in the car for thirty minutes while the food sits in the cart and gets warm etc. toddlers need structure and they also need to know that having a fit will not always make the parent rearrange everything. It’s no different then when your in a bad mood and rude to people because your cranky the difference is a toddler doesn’t have the filter you do. Next time how about you think about every one in the situation and not just your comfort at that very moment.
Kimberly Essex says
A temporary exit from the store until the kids are finished strumming is really appreciated by those of us who managed to squeeze out an hour away from our own screaming kids. Glad you’re laying down the law, but please keep the sanity of others in mind as well.
I agree it’s a delicate balance. But, when I’m able to squeak out time away from my kids and don’t want to be around other kids, I make it a point to go to places where kids aren’t expected. If I go to target or walmart I expect there to be children present and behaving as children do. It’s a different expected culture in a store of that nature than, say Starbucks, the library or a fancy restaurant. :)
I would not choose to leave my 30 mins of work gathering what I need to abandon it only to start over. As the article mentions it’s often best to quickly finish up. If I left every time my son started crying I’d NEVER finish a grocery trip.
Then go to somewhere that only allows adults a bar maybe. Go to a public store and expect to see kids and expect that there will be a tantrum.
I don’t understand the comments here where people are saying that you need to teach them how to behave in public or that they should know that they don’t always get their way, etc. I thought that’s exactly what you ARE doing by not giving them exactly what they want when they start to cry/scream/fuss!
I had an experience in Target that I will never forget. I was shopping with my 16 month old daughter who was sitting happily and quietly in the cart. (Sidenote: Her sitting quietly was just her temperament at the time – it was nothing I had done to make her that way – she couldn’t even walk yet and actually liked sitting in the cart – at 2 now it’s a different story.) I had heard some pretty loud screaming as I was shopping. We got to register and were checking out. The lady behind us had a child with her who looked like she was AT LEAST six years old. That six year old girl was throwing the biggest temper tantrum I have ever seen. She was screaming and laying on the floor kicking her feet. Her mother was literally carrying her out of the store as she was kicking and screaming. Seeing this made me realize that it’s one thing for a toddler to throw a fit. It’s quite another for a school aged child to do so! If we have to endure some screaming at age two so that she certainly knows how to behave by the time she’s six, then that’s what we’ll do.
I basically do what you do with my two year old. If she disobeys by running away when I tell her to come or by pulling things off the shelf when I tell her not to, she is immediately put into the cart. (Honestly the running away is a safety hazard for both her and others if she runs in front of them.) She then, of course, screams because she doesn’t want to be in the cart. I will let her back out of the cart only after she has settled, asked nicely to get down, and agreed not to run away or grab things off the shelf.
Thanks for your input Laura! It’s funny how kids can go through different stages like yours, so quiet and then so…not ;) I had one like that too. Sounds like you handle it brilliantly!
I would add to your comment though, about the 6 year old…while I agree for most kids, that should be “taken care of” so to speak by that age BUT there are a variety of special needs that different children deal with and it’s also quite possible that the little girl has behavioral or learning difficulties, or any number of other medical needs that cause her to be a bit behind what the average Target-shopper might think she should be.
Very good point though, that dealing with your child’s behavior in a way that makes sense and teaches her today can prevent a LOT later on. Good job mama for handling it in the way that’s best for your kiddo!
Always a good thing to keep in mind, that we don’t know the kiddo and her challenges or the mama and how she’s dealing with it. Offering grace and encouragement in every situation seems like the best route to take to me :)
Just to add, a child that “looks” six could be a tall two or three year old. Looks in every aspect of life can be deceiving. And for tolerance, I certainly hope this is extended to slower shoppers, perhaps older shoppers, and, as for myself, a label reader for health reasons. As a mother of four fabulous adults, they were children once, and training is necessary, patience is part of training.
Oh, unfortunately you supported one Mumma by commenting that you are unsure of where the comments and judgement stems from, while judging and putting down another.
I am one of those Mum’s with a child who, by all accounts looks like a typical child however she is missing a part of her brain and for her everyday things and being out of the house at all is overwhelming, often resulting in meltdowns, but alas the only way to work through anxiety is to go out if the house from time to time.
Please, if we are going to talk about refraining from judging, please consider not to judge other Mums and children (or anyone) who may actually have a whole lot more going on that is visible.
Let’s not judge… My 5 year old has a variety of problems, severe ADHD, sensory processing disorder, and anxiety. We’ve gone through this since he was 2. If he acts up, in the cart, no toy. Punishment doesn’t affect him, the reward system does. He can have a meltdown if he’s overwhelmed sensory wise, or he can match his volume and behavior to stand out over top of what he perceives. I still expect good behavior, but that can cause tantrums and meltdowns in the process. I know he has problems, but he still needs to learn to behave.
You go to a public place to get away from noise the bustle of life? Your choice of sanctuary is extremely suspect. Perhaps a church or library would be appropriate but you can’t honestly expect anyone in a store to be aware of your getaway and provide you with silence for your contemplation of life without your kids.
Grammy Lyn says
Yes, I have to agree…. for some reason this younger generation of parents think that screaming children are considered cute in stores and grown up restaurants….I so disagree….there was a time when we felt if a child was disruptive we would remove them…not expect the rest of the world to listen to it….they have their own to listen to. Your kids are not really cute to others…and if a child is throwing a tantrum for not getting what they want, you already have not set up the boundaries correctly. Your child is going to go through life thinking that they are going to get what they want or become disruptive until they do…or they get tired….and these generations now are proving that to be true.
In no way do I find tantrums cute. haha! They are a rough stage, but I don’t think their presence in a child’s life means that boundaries have not been set properly. Parenting does not mean you tell a child a rule once and immediately they comply forever. There is a process and naturally, sometimes part of that process will happen in public places. I believe we, as a society need to give more grace and encouragement to moms who are knee-deep in that process, instead of telling them they’re bad at what they are doing.
I don’t understand the last portion of your comment. By allowing my child to cry a bit in public I’m teaching them the exact opposite of what you say. If my child is begging to go home because they’d rather be playing than buying vegetables at the store, and I leave because they whimper THAT action would be teaching them that tears get them what they want. If they ask for a toy and then fuss at the disappointment of being told no, and I turn around and give them that toy to appease all the other shoppers in the vicinity that would teach them that tears are something they can use to manipulate mommy. Instead, I teach them that their tears do not get them what they want, so they grow up learning about disappointment, and how to manage their emotions.
Darlene Mahoney says
I completely agree with you, I did the same with my children who learned tantrums got them nothing. Stay strong and thank you for actually parenting your children.
My daughter who is now 38 with three of her own, threw a tantrum once because she wanted something and I said no because we weren’t there for that and she didn’t need it she just wanted it. A toy. Her grandparents were getting her something pretty much every time they took her to the grocery. Not a good thing. Anyway she threw herself on the floor and had a little tantrum and that was when I walked to the end cap where I could still see her but she couldn’t see me (I got some looks but didn’t care because she needed to learn) and in a VERY short time she became silent, lifted her head and looked around at which time she found out I was not there so she got up and said “mommy” and then I went to her and explained why I did what I did. She never acted up while shopping after that. But doing that took bravery for a young mom being judged. She’s a very good mother to her children by the way and doesn’t put up with any misbehaving. Good for you to teach your children these valuable lessons of life. No, you can’t always get what you want but you’ll get what you need. ?
Maybe people today are so incredibly selfish and self absorbed that they think every disruption or thing that makes them even slightly uncomfortable is a grievous sin punishable by death. Get over yourself, Grammy. Put on your big girl pants and accept that there are children in the world and some of those kids cry and scream sometimes. That’s called LIFE. The world is not obligated to take your comfort into account. If you don’t like kids or noise or whatever, stay in your house or carry an MP3 player wherever you go or stick ear plugs in your ears because children and the general sounds of life being lived aren’t ever going to stop.
Nana Jan says
Grammy Lynn you seem to have not really read or understood the article, as you are actually criticising the author for doing a wonderful job of ‘disciplining’ her children by teaching them that they can’t have everything they want, and basically, there are are consequences for ‘bad’ behaviour. Of course, at that age, it is debatable whether there is ‘bad’ behaviour or lack of learning/social skills/language. Either way, you have this mum damned if she does and damned if she doesn’t! It’s a pity everyone can’t have perfect children.
Apologies, but I’d love to know where you get the idea that “this younger generation of parents think that screaming children are considered cute in stores and grown up restaurants.” I can assure you, no one, not even this younger generation of parents, thinks a tantrum is “cute.” I don’t know why some choose to single out younger generation parents, but it’s not really fair. A new generation will always make mistakes and will learn/adapt as they go…but no, tantrums are not considered cute.
Sarah Tosado says
It’s weird how I know where the author is coming from but at the same time, agree with you. I threw a tantrum in a store one time. Once in my life. My dad put a stop to that. I feel there’s a big difference between a disappointed child who’s is crying, and one who is kicking and screaming, thrashing on the ground. I agree with the author to stay strong and not give in to the child when they’re disobeying the rules… which is sooo hard to do when your kid is causing an embarrassing scene! Kudos mom! But why not make throwing a tantrum against the rules?! It’s a defiant and disrespectful attitude that the kid already has, and has taken to the level of “tantrum”. Such controversy over it, but if they just did what parents did back then that actually worked, they’d only have to do it once. People argue to the teeth over it, but I just say look at kids then and look at kids now. Case closed. Holding out and listening to them scream is better than giving in, but they’ll just throw another fit next time. Like I said, I only threw a fit in the store one time ever, because my parents made it crystal clear to me that tantrums were not acceptable at all ever….and if I threw one I’d be in “hot water!”
A temper tantrum is not a defiant or disrespectful attitude, depending on the nature of the tantrum. Screaming, crying, thrashing, kicking, etc (as long as its not aimed AT someone) is not defiant and disrespectful. It’s a child using the tools they have to process the situation. No, it’s not pretty and it’s not ideal. But a 2 year old doesn’t think the same way you and I do. They don’t have the knowledge and experience necessary to sort through their emotions like an adult does.
This is how they process things. It’s normal behavior. There are definitely different parenting styles. I won’t judge your father for how he parented you but I will say that whatever he did likely goes strongly against what I believe is best. Just because a child is behaving the way we want them to doesn’t mean that’s the best long-term solution.
and what is it that parents did back then that worked so well and we aren’t doing now?? I’d love to know what they did that fixed it all…since I have a 2 yr old who greatly dislikes getting in a cart but I do it anyway because he’ll be running around the store if I don’t and thus he cries and sometimes screams and kicks. All children are different. You must have been a golden child for you to snap to perfection with just one warning. My children are quite strong willed. Both of them. I stick to my guns, through tantrums and all, and my 6 year old is quite well behaved now. She makes me proud. I parent her brother very similar to how I parented her through the tantrums and she’s turning out wonderful. I think he will do the same. Tantrums are normal to a certain degree. Children go through stages and I bet you had more than just one tantrum. Maybe the one you remember is the one you did when you were older and should have known better but I doubt you remember being 2.
PL Penderhausen says
LOL, what kept me from throwing tantrums in public was the knowledge I would get my butt spanked right then and there, the end! Now, that isn’t possible even though I grew up just fine, my sister did as well. We’ve never been jailed, killed anyone or been a menace to society. We managed to live happy meaningful lives with a good education, career, own our own homes and have wonderful families.
PL Penderhausen says
Grammy Lynn you really need to get out more. If small children aren’t your thing maybe shopping in the very early hours or late at night would be? I like to grocery shop around 7am on Sunday morning……peaceful and no crowds. Eating at a nice restaurant should be enjoyed, if you are eating where there are small crying children I would re-think my choice of restaurant. Generally, the hostess will seat you away from small children, should they be present, if you ask. By the way, I will be a great grandma in March of next year so I do know a thing or two about children. I also remember how hard it is to go out in a public place with kids who would rather be elsewhere. If I don’t want to shop, eat or relax around small children I have choices and I take advantage of those choices.
Terry Gregory says
Seriously??? So, she should shop at other times just so parents who don’t care enough to teach their children not to scream in a store can have the run of the place….. interesting. Makes no sense at all to put your lack of parenting skills above the rest of the people in a store. No one appointed the parents who aren’t up to the job to force their screaming children on the rest of the world. SHE should shop at another time, or just leave the child at home if she can’t control him. Geesh.
Wow how judgemental some of your readers are ( and unsupportive) I don’t have kids and yeah it’s great to go around shops without screaming, disappointed , children learning life lessons. However I chose to live in a community and as part of a community I need to respect that others live there too and sometimes that means I need to put up with screaming kids who are being taught a lesson, as in the long run those children will become better balanced individuals who contribute to my community. As for the screaming being the result of not laying down boundaries already – sorry but you have obviously not had the joy of rearing a headstrong, wilful child who continues to push and test the boundaries no matter how many times they are established and enforced.
So good stuff mum, and I apologise if sometimes I may roll my eyes when your child kicks off – trust me that’s my problem not yours!
I love your perspective! It saddens me that children are now viewed as such an inconvience to everyone. I think moms have it so hard these days, simply because we’re judged so harshly no matter what we do. I appreciate the way you view community and that you recognize that different kids have different needs and behaviors and see that parenting is a process and not merely a once-and-done type of thing.
You know what is worse than a kid having a tantrum in a store is an adult who plows through that store with no regard for anyone else. You know the kind — they race their carts out the ends of aisle and nearly hit you, they reach around you while you’re looking at something because they can’t wait for you to be done or say, “Excuse me, please.” They stand behind you breathing down your neck like you’re supposed to just FEEL their mighty presence and move yourself so they can do their shopping (which is so much more important than yours, of course.) They’re the ones who nearly run you over in the parking lot because they don’t actually CARE if they hit you. They are just annoyed out of their minds that the store didn’t announce their arrival so everyone there could evacuate.
Yes and what about the ones that step out of the way of a two year old but then don’t let the mum through. Just saying the kid ‘was’ behaving beautifully. Was it so hard to tell that he was with the adult 1 metre behind you know the one carrying the teddy bear and tiny little jumper.
Hello Paula. I am a mother of the most awesome boy in South Africa. He is 12 this year an evidently old enough to stay home when I go shopping, but that was not always the case. So please take your children with you. These people that critisize you are irretated by everything not only your children. The world is there for them and them only and how dare you come and do things to make their day less magnificant? If we need to take our children outside when they have a tantrum the next thing is for the lady in front of you with OCD at the till (happened to me yesterday it was quite interesting at first and not so after she counted the same set of chocholates for the 4th time) needs to stay at home because she is wasting your valuable time, or how dare the old man be in the store and walk slowly. This is also dustuptive you know peace and quiet snd all tjat. At least yhey are quiet ? As we all know who have children and spend time with them. When they want something they want it. They have a little radar that tells them when to behave badly just to make us look bad? not on purpose though, because they are always little angels except in public…. go to the store and take your children, do not let other people mskee you feel less of a mom. You go girl…. it does get better ☺
Parenting is hard work and we are judged mightily. When my children were little, we were in a Walmart right before Christmas, and my middle daughter wanted some toy that she threw an on the floor tantrum for. It was actually a gift I had already gotten for her. After trying to explain that we are not going to buy things like that right before Christmas and her continued tantrum, which was the first one any of my kids had ever thrown, I said to her you really want that toy? She kind of tried to stop crying then to say yes thinking that I was going to change my mind. I said well I already bought it for you for Christmas let’s go home and get it. She was so excited! I took her home, we got the toy, and I made her drop it in the toys for tots. We were then standing in Walmart with her holding it over the toys for tots box with her whimpering and me telling her to drop it. I got some of the ugliest looks and comments, but you know what not one of my kids has ever thrown another tantrum over anything! They need to know the consequences and they learn them by having expectations and follow through! Good job mom!
Sometimes it’s not easy to a parent, but I think you are doing a great job. Your children know what to expect since you do the same thing every time. Keep up the good work!
I loved reading this article and the comments. I totally agree with you and I have been on the receiving end of glares and stares, and even some rude comments. I also however, see the other side as well. It’s very stressful for lots of people to hear children scream and cry. That’s definitely one of those things that there is such a fine line, as to whether or not remove the child from the store or situation. I will often times take my child into the restroom until I can get a handle on the situation. It would be so nice if as parents we supported each other rather than point fingers.
I don’t understand this post. As soon as my kids could talk they knew how to act in public. My youngest daughter is 4 and doesn’t always want to be in the cart and sometimes thinks she can fuss to get out, but as soon as I look at her or talk to her once, it’s over, she knows it’s not going to be to her benefit to throw a fit. I do believe some kids are tired but there needs to be a point when you realize that if this is a regular occurrence, it’s the parent, not the child.
Sarah Tosado says
I wonder if you would have the same perspective if your kids were absolutely out of control and prone to tantrums. Would you be as quick to blame only yourself for their behavior? You seem to credit yourself when they’re good, so every time they’re not perfect it’s all your fault, eh?
oh so easy to judge! I have 4 children and one of them who is high needs screamed until she was 3 years old, after mountain loads of tests and drs visits, it was determined it was just her personality.
My friends tell me they have never seen a kid try so hard to be a diva continuously and be shut down EVERY time and still think they can act that way.
her twin brother and other two brothers are completely the opposite, i just have to look at them with the look and they melts into a guilt cry and thats it.
This article describes my life, even now with a ten year old. People have no clue the struggles that go on with anyone else’s children and need to reserve judgement on any other parent. It appears the some commenters on here have perfect children and good for them (I sincerely doubt that they are perfectly behaved all the time but if you say so…..). We aren’t bad parents for not leaving the store (even though sometimes I do) it means that we are teaching our children that behaving badly does not get them what they want. Children only learn to behave in public by being in public. Have a child with ADHD and it’s a struggle everyday and every time we leave the house. I can’t keep her in the house and isolated for the rest of her life because someone might be a little perturbed by her behaviour. The best thing anyone did for us when we were out and she was having a major meltdown, we moved to the side, worked our hardest to console and calm her while dealing with the younger one as well, an older lady approached us and as we braced for the judgement she patted my shoulder and said ” you are doing everything right” . It helped so much more than glaring stares.
Lauren Smith says
I agree we can’t always give in to our toddlers and that’s good. I try to give parents a smile who are struggling with a child because I understand. However, sometimes what bothers me when I see a crying child is the parent isn’t in tune to what the child really does need in that moment. Is there some medical reason you cannot/are not breastfeeding your toddler during this? Look at the hands at the mouth when he’s laying in the cart. Unless that’s not really what the toddler is doing because I can’t tell from the angle, that is a sign that child needs his mom in the form of breastfeeding to get through that tantrum. Thumb sucking is absent in cultures that practice ecological breastfeeding, and is best to be redirected to the breast from my experience and for health reasons. I’ve often had to find a suitable place to stop and nurse my kids when this happens while I’m out. The other thing I see is parents who ignore even their newborns cries. It’s like they are oblivious. You see that so much, it can be understandable how people can jump to that conclusion, although they should not.
What? Many toddlers aren’t breastfed! You can’t suddenly restart breastfeeding if they’ve been weaned for months, just because they’re throwing a tantrum. The last thing I would want on my breast is a tantrumming toddler.
Terry Gregory says
What the ????
Val - Corn, Beans, Pigs and Kids says
Great post. Stay strong momma!
well back in my day a tantrum earned you a swat on your butt… they learned quickly that you don’t pull that. sadly today you are not allowed to discipline your children with a swat to the bottom without the state at your door. not that children need to be spanked for everything they do wrong either. parenting is the hardest job in the world. the children are all different and what works for one won’t work for another. i have also seen over all these years the parents that are afraid to parent and the kids do whatever they want… watch out world as they will be released to prey on the kids who have structure. … no one likes to hear a kid screaming or crying but it happens. there are times and places when the child should be removed from the place and there are times and places where you need to bite the bullet and work through… i have done both with my children and grandchildren. they need structure and limits… keep the lessons flowing mom… i have also found that when a child is acting up in a store, sometimes if i speak to the child they settle down for the parent and i see the moms face show relief…
I agree with you!! I never understood the “if you tantrum we leave” thing. Especially in grocery stores! It already takes a whole morning to get everyone out the door and ready….what, I’m going to try again tomorrow?! Chances are high that there is wine and ice cream in the cart and no way I’m leaving those behind! I’ll remove my kid if they’re tantruming in a restaurant or someplace where people can’t just leave, but NOT a grocery/department store!!
Ashley Whisenant says
Yes, this comment is everything!
Good point. A tantrum in a church or library, restaurant, special event or somewhere where silence is reasonably expected and/or the person has PAID to be there, you should remove the child. That does not mean that people at large in the world have any reasonable expectation of having everywhere they go a personal sanctuary. Kids are gonna scream, men are gonna scratch themselves, people are gonna fart and burp, people are gonna be loud on their phones. Meh.
I think if you decide to power-through the shopping/tantrum or go out depends on Mom’s schedule and also on the power balance between toddler and Mom. Toddler needs to learn how to behave, and who is boss. So in church, at a concert or the grocery store, mom has to judge what is best. Hopefully Toddler will realize that if he/she wants the fun of being part of it, he needs to behave.
Peanuts & Thread says
They throw tantrums because you are a good mom. my kids are good at home, follow rules, say yes, mom please, and thank you, but every once in a while, they act out of character when we are in a public place or a social gathering. You can never know exactly how they’ll act and when you happen to need the shopping done, there’s no other alternative. The bystanders will get over it.
Ashley Whisenant says
It is hard not to be catty to some of the commenters on this post! If they are such parenting experts, I want to read their books! In fact I have bought 3 books on how to raise my child in the past month. He is our first, and at almost 3 years old can be very difficult in public. Apparently he is an angel at daycare, so I am trying my hardest to get to the root of the problem; however, at the 2-3 age range a lot of this is expected! My child threw a kicking screaming fit as I was checking out at Babies R Us the other day, and I was ignoring him in an effort to pay and get out of their as quickly as possible while the cashier gave me all sorts of advice on how to handle him. It has been really thought provoking lately wondering where grace went in parenting. We are all so quick to judge and condemn.
Mark Bowman says
You did say Target so must not care too much, just saying.
Must not care about what?
Totally agree!!! I do same thing!!! I believe it’s the best way too. And it works!!! And often tantrum last less longer because my daughter know that even if she cry she will not get what she wants!! They are rules and that’s the way it works!!! And one time, after giving her last advertisements, I sit her in the kart (because she knew what were the consequences of not listenning), the employee of the store came and gave her a balloon to stop her cries!!! But she was sitten there for a reason!!!
Wow! I almost thought I wrote this article! ;) Mirror image of what happens with my children who are 4 & 6.
I whole heartedly agree with you! Keep on being a good mom!
It must happen often enough for you to write about it. It’s a way to make yourself feel better about your parenting skills.
I know when I see a good parent or not. The worst are ones that speak out loud in order to have others think they are such fabulous parents to their children. So fake.
You can also tell when a child is spoiled, unruly, exhausted, hungry or just neglected. A happy child with a wonderful parent is quietly enjoying each other. We all love to see that.
We hear a million excuses why their child is behaving in such a bad manor. I just see a child behaving as to what they were taught.
Great article. Some of these commenters, though… You know those people who post perfect pictures, videos, comments ect about how great their life, kids, house, marriage ect are online but in real life they’re atrocious? God knows the truth, commenters. No, your kids weren’t perfect and neither were you. Parenting is different, now. Our kids not only wear seatbelts now, but they also have safety seats. We don’t give our kids booze for teething. We don’t use the belt to teach our kids a lesson. In your day, beating your kids wasn’t abuse. In your day it was okay to be an alcoholic and keep your kids. In your day people weren’t recording everything you did on their phones and putting it on YouTube. Step off, and let people parent their own way. A toddler is a bad kid or has a bad mom if they throw tantrums? Actually, it just makes them a toddler. All toddlers throw fits, period. If you’ve beaten your child and or instilled so much terror in your child that they won’t even bat an eye in public then maybe it’s your own parenting you should question.
Great Article! I also keep my younger son in the cart. I find that it is more disruptive to have them throwing tamper tantrums and throwing themselves on the ground. If people are going to Target for some quiet time, they should rethink that. If it’s not my kids then it will be someone else’s. No matter what we do as parents we are going to be judged so I will do what works for me and my family.
Keep on parenting says
Thank you for containing your child and being a good parent. Sure they’ll be loud but your doing your job as a parent by not letting them throw a tantrum and tear up the store. I’ve worked in retail management MANY years and have seen many parenting styles. The good parents know that the child may cry and tantrum but it will be contained. We have had those that leave the child on the aisle to throw the fit only to tear up the aisle while they walk away to continue shopping. We also have several who come in and send their child to the toy aisle unsupervised so they can shop in peace while their child terrorizes other shoppers by throwing things on the ground and running around the store knocking over other shoppers. I once had a parent who’s child kept opening packages and breaking items and when she was politely asked to please monitor her child all she did was tell him “honey don’t do that” then continued to allow him to run amuck instead of keeping him at her side (child was 2 years old at the most). So rock on Mom and continue being a good parent! This comes from a Mom of 3 kids so believe me I have been there once too.
It’s always good to discipline your kids and stay strong to your rules. However, you have to remember that other people around you may have their reasons why your child’s screaming is particularly hard for them that day. Just been fired, just got off a 24 hour shift, nights awake with insomnia, ill but having to shop as nobody else to do it for them, sensory issues… I have a complicated condition that makes me very jumpy and makes my nerves frazzled around loud noises (not just children screaming, but definitely including them). You need to not judge so harshly if you see someone shoot you a withered look or roll their eyes to themselves. Don’t shout over “you were a kid too once” for instance. They know that, it’s of no relevance and it won’t help the matter. Just show you’re doing your best – otherwise we WILL think you’re just ignoring the tantrum as a lot of parents do unfortunately – and we will do our best to grin and bear it. Deal?
At the end of a rather loud grocery shopping expedition, I had a man say to me “Your kids are loud.” With a smile on my face I cheerfully replied, “Yes, they are.” In my head I was thinking how my 2 1/2 year old son, who was seeing an SLP and pediatrician, had just started talking and to me it was the most wonderful sound in the world. When I got in the car it occurred to me that he was trying to shame me. I wish I had thought of something more to say to him.
I think it is great to set boundaries and to be consistent in enforcing the rules and following through with consequences! However, I believe that part of parenting is also teaching your child how to appropriately handle disappointment. And, as much as parents don’t want to think it, your child is punishing you for causing that disappointment by having a meltdown or tantrum. Our children learned very quickly that there were consequences if they threw a fit and, guess what, they only tried it once or twice! We did not have bawling, screaming, thrashing toddlers and now, as teens, they are aghast when they see TEENAGERS still doing this.
This didn’t mean that our kids couldn’t express disappointment, hurt, or frustration. Trust me- tears have been shed. But they learned how to do it appropriately and in a way that did not punish us. Don’t underestimate a young child (yes, even an 18 month old can learn this) by saying “their too young” to process this. They can learn through consistency, firmness, and love that there are better ways of handling their disappointment.
*Typo: same = shame
Wow, great, short, to the point article. It made me smile and I think my shoulders are higher too. It’s been a while since my 2-year old had a tantrum in the store. It’s probably around the corner. But when he starts, so do the looks. Luckily, I go to the exact same store every day. He’s officially given up now. No, he cannot have everything shiny. No, he cannot have everything sweet. Hell no, he cannot run around the store. And yes, the cashier HAS to “take” our things to ring them up. It was fun with him for months. The people stared and I stared them down. I do everything with my little boy. We have no help from family and my husband is at work almost all day. It’s on us. So, he needs to scream ’till he gets it, the “village” needs to understand that, and I just need to survive, that’s all. Again, great article.
Terry Gregory says
Lady you are so far off base that you are in a totally different ball park. Your kids are throwing a fit because you allowed it the 1st time with no consequences. People are staring because you and your kid are not the center of the universe and we shouldn’t have to listen to your screaming child that you should be taking out of the store. You may be a good person, but a good parent would teach their child not to throw the fit in the first place. So get used to the stares, and yes they are judging you and yes you just taught your child to do it again the next trip out. The next fit, stop, put everything down and take the kid out of the store. Sit in the car until it stops. If it happens again, take them out to the car and paddle their butts. Acting out in public is not acceptable.
Lovely Verma says
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Thank you for this post. I was looking for something to send another mom who was standing firm in her disciplining of her child (aka ignoring his public meltdown in response to a consequence) and it was so on point although we were not in Target when the incident happened. Hopefully this was an encouragement to her like I read your posting to be.
Ignoring is not “standing firm”… it’s ignoring!
Most adults can’t read your mind when you’re ignoring them. So how do you think a child can? Even worse, it’s teaching them that Passive Aggressive is ok!
Agreed, but if it continues to happen, you need to be bringing more discipline at home. Even a two year old can learn not to scream, or shout at people (especially their parent) or throw things etc.
The 90s had a wave of new-thinking-opinion pushing parents to be their kids BEST FRIEND and allow them to express themselves how ever they see fit! (There’s still some residue stain left from that nonsense) Cuz if YOU are not goin to be their PARENT who will be??So now that same generation complains about all the badly behaved young adults around now!?
Kids NEED loving discipline that encourages and TEACHES; self-control, respect and real-world consequences. I emphasis teaching… so not just empty parental controls, they need to be learning from you.
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