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Toddler screaming for over an hour in a store - Page 2

post #21 of 186
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by Famatigia View Post
I think we can also judge whats going on with other peoples children by their cries. I can make out an "I want that!" cry compared to a "heartwrenching" cry. It sounds like the OP noticed it was not just a tantrum, but that something was going on.

I experienced this at Wal Mart once. A lady had two toddlers and a very obvious newborn. The newborn cried hysterically while she walked through the store for about ten minutes. My mama instinct wanted to scoop him from his infant seat and soothe him desperately. I kept thinking she would pick him up at any moment, but she did not. She stood in line for ten more minutes while this teeny, tiny baby sobbed. She paid, and headed out the door while her newborn screamed. Even stopped to get the toddlers gumballs. There was NO excuse for that and it took all I had not to chew her a new a-hole. Seriously. She was obviously not in a hurry at all, but could not tend to a newborns needs. Ugh.

Yes. I have 4 kids, from 20 all the way down to 2. I know there was something wrong--I know those cries. It just kept escalating and the poor child was so tired from the experience. It appeared to everyone around (because they all said so!) that he had just completely given up that his parents were there for him. Like that tiny baby who is left to CIO alone and learns not to trust that his parents will be there.

And I've heard the newborn thing, too. I can't stand it. It makes me hurt in my heart. One time my dh and I were Christmas shopping at Target. This woman was there w/her baby in a bucket/carseat and it was a TINY baby. My dh had our youngest in a sling, and he kept pacing in front of this lady, pointing to his sling and making cradling/pick up your baby motions w/his arms. She.just.kept.looking.at.a.stupid.watch while her baby cried pitifully all by herself.
post #22 of 186
there are any number of good reasons why junior was crying, why the parents let it continue, why they were out that late...but yeah, after a while dad should have taken him out to the car or something.
post #23 of 186
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by AmyB736 View Post
I am sure I would have done the same and ignored them and went on my way. But if I was passing by them I may have said something like "Aw, is it past his bedtime? I've been there with my kids and I've had to leave and come back later, at least there are 2 of you here so one could take him outside if you had to." And then smile warmly.
Oh, I didn't just ignore it. That would have been impossible. I didn't offer to help, and stated why in a previous post, but I walked by several times and commented that it was late for such a little boy and is he tired? That sort of thing. They just grinned and shrugged their shoulders. I know they spoke English because I heard them talking to each other.
post #24 of 186
Originally Posted by BellinghamCrunchie View Post
I only know that I, as a stranger, have way less information than they do, and compassion for the whole family is rarely the wrong response.
post #25 of 186
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
If you were there with your husband you would walk around the store letting your son scream instead of taking him out while your husband finished shopping? Would you mind explaining that line of thought? Because it makes no sense to me whatsoever except that maybe the parents were too frazzled to think of it, which is why I would've suggested it to them.

I already said I would just have sympathy for a parent alone.
I can tell you if someone came up to me and "suggested" I take my son out of the store, I would not. I'm obstinate like that. I'm not saying that I wouldn't take my son out of the store if I were the parent in question, but that if someone came up to me and suggested I did I'd be pretty angry. I'm not saying I wouldn't do differently than the parents in question, I would. I'm just responding to the idea that you would tell someone else how to parent their child.

Originally Posted by verde View Post
Seriously, I have to ask, would you SERIOUSLY ignore a crying child in a public place for a full hour?????? Would you SERIOUSLY allow a child to SCREAM for a full hour in a store?

I think it's rude AND CRUEL to force that experience on the child and everyone else in the store.
If it wasn't my child, you bet I would. I don't presume to tell people I see/hear/smell in a store how to parent, and I don't allow anyone to do that to me, either.

Do I think it's right for a parent to let their child scream in the store? Absolutely not. Do I think it's right for a parent to let their child "explore/run around" in a store? Absolutely not. That doesn't mean I'm going to go around being the Parenting Police. "Excuse me, your child is disturbing me and other shoppers. Please leave." No thank you, I'll just mind my own business.
post #26 of 186
DS has cried for two hours straight, when he was sick. Even with us taking turns holding him and trying to comfort him, he cried. There are also times/phases of crying when picking him up makes it worse.

Could the child have been teething? If so, it's possible they'd been crying all day, sometimes even with medication.

As for being out late, you really never know. There was a time when my parents worked three jobs each to keep the family afloat. In a situation where they're working multiple jobs like that, 8:30 pm might have been their only chance to go shopping.

For that matter, perhaps the child was special needs. I seem to recall reading articles about autistic children, that would scream in public.
post #27 of 186
Originally Posted by bezark View Post
I agree. Yes, it breaks my heart to hear a wee one cry, but I would never suggest someone remove him/her from a public place, and I might have a few choice words for anyone who suggested it to me.
ITA on this.
post #28 of 186
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by kcstar View Post
DS has cried for two hours straight, when he was sick. Even with us taking turns holding him and trying to comfort him, he cried. There are also times/phases of crying when picking him up makes it worse.

Could the child have been teething? If so, it's possible they'd been crying all day, sometimes even with medication.

But would you have taken your child out shopping when the child is sick? I sure wouldn't. And the child was a toddler, but an older one, who was likely not teething.

As for being special needs, I wouldn't know.
post #29 of 186
Originally Posted by Crystal_R View Post
I've seen that around here and it drives me insane. I don't care what you're doing, why your kid is crying, you need to remove them from the public area. The child is unhappy and you are driving everyone else crazy. Unless you're buying something vitally important like meds or diapers or something you need to leave and deal with whatever the problem is, even if dealing means going home and trying again tomorrow. I will leave my full cart (I tell a store employee if I have meltable food in there) rather than subject an entire store to my child screams no matter why she's screaming.
Aw man. Until recently I didn't have a vehicle and coming back the next day (with horribly swollen feet and pregnant belly) just wasn't an option due to the many appts I have. I was given dirty looks for my daughter crying as I waited in line to pay (for about 15 agonizing minutes). I've also had DD tantrum after 1.5 hours on a bus...no freaking WAY I'd be getting off that bus to appease someone else, that IS our way home. I'd of course be comforting her but my concern would be in attending to HER needs, not that of some stranger who can't stand to have a few minutes of their life upset by a crying toddler. That's life! Kids exist, they cry, and public places are just that!!! I hear people yakking TMI on their cellphones, stinking up public places, being drunk and somehow it's always the crying kid that gets the attitude.

If anyone had said something to me I would have gone hormonal on them.
post #30 of 186
2 adults and 1 screaming child, obviously one of the adults needed to take the child outside or to the car etc... *if* i happened to be shopping in that store and continued to hear the screaming, i probably would have gone to customer service and let them know I was leaving and why. My grocery bills are routinely over $250... and my grocery store knows my... like it or not I do not have to shop and listen to JR scream his lungs out...

As a consumer I have the right to shop in peace. If i bring my kids to the store I make sure they are well behaved, sometimes they to go the kids playcenter (our store has free daycare for kids ages 2-8 during certain hours) if my kids start getting whiney WE LEAVE, end of story, any store, any time, any place. baby, toddler, older kid, bad manners, bad attitude, we all pack up and leave...
post #31 of 186
Personally I'm just surprised it took over an hour to grocery shop! Make a list, move faster!
post #32 of 186
i don't know what you could have done. I had that toddler when my ds was one. He's 6 now and there are times when that's STILL me in that store. Some high needs kids can WIN the crying game. I often found my self seriuosly HAVING to finally go to a store and then having already been totally "touched out" by this child who THEN tantrums constantly while in the store... It honestly makes parents (or me anyway) go almost into shock after a while. which drags out the entire process of finding what you need in the store. You cannot muster up another bit of emotion to pick said child up... no one ever did a thing to ease that suffering and I'm not sure anyone can... ahhh high needs kids- I thank god mine is so bright and lovable!
post #33 of 186
Originally Posted by DianeMarie View Post
They finally left, after standing in a checkout line for about 15 minutes because it was crowded and busy...
In cases like this, I would think it would be both courteous and wise on the part of other shoppers to allow that parent to cut in line....just to get the child out of there. If it's two parents in the store, the situation is different, but I can sympathise with one parent alone with a child. We've sometimes been in long checkout lines and DS has gotten fussy and bored...and there's not much you can do to console a child when you're just standing there.

I certainly don't think it should be a "right" to cut in line if a child is screaming, but I'm sure most parents would really appreciate it...and having been there myself I would be the first to offer if I was standing ahead of such a person.
post #34 of 186
If I see one parent in the store, alone with a screaming child of any age...they have my complete sympathy....how do I know what the circumstances are? Maybe they don't have a car and have been driven there and HAVE to complete their shopping right then...perhaps the child is ill, perhaps the parent is ill? I wouldn't judge and if I saw them actively struggling with something that I could help with, I would offer my help.

I have to admit to having seen a parent with a child who was screaming in the store and the parent didn't seem concerned, just kind of lazed around, ignoring the screams...and that makes me so flustered...but again, how do I know that the woman isn't ill, stressed out or just completely wiped out...maybe that is the only time she can complete that shopping and maybe that kid has been screaming all. day. long. You know? There are many cases in which I think everyone should show compassion to a parent with a "screamer" on their hands. My child has never thrown a fit in the store...but should she in the future, if I am able, I will take her outside to soothe her, leaving my cart at the front desk....if I'm unable to do this, I will shop as fast as I can and get out...not even so much for other customers asmuch as in an effort to get my darling out of the store.....which is a terrible place to be in tears.

HOWEVER....TWO parents with a "screamer"....ummm, no. I'd be so mad inside...again, not that I have to hear the noise, so much as that the store is an AWFUL place to fall apart like that. 8:30pm??? THat kid was probably exhausted...completely overwhelmed and agitated by the glaring overhead lighting of the store and even more agitated at having to sit up in that hard metal seat. All the child wanted to do, most likely, was get the hell out of there and go lie down in his seat in the car! I wish one of the parents would take the child away, so he could be more relaxed.....who doesn't know the feeling of being tired or sick and having to be in the store at an hour of the day when you really wish you could be headed to bed?? Again, I don't know why the parents were there...could have been the only time they could have gone...maybe they were coming back from some place....but one of the parents should have taken the child out of there!

I don't mind hearing a kid screaming....I mind it, because I hate hearing a child upset...but I don't get mad about the sound interupting my shopping so much....like somebody else said....kids exist...they make noise...sometimes really cute noises, sometimes ear shattering noises...this is life! I would never, ever presume to know enough about what was going on, to think it was my business to tell the parents anything about how they should be handling that situation. Period. It's rude as heck and really none of my concern in the first place.
post #35 of 186
830 pm means nothing. I was out shopping with my own kids until that time last night. Mine go to bed at 10. There is no magic *ding ding ding* that makes kids exhausted by 8pm.
post #36 of 186
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
830 pm means nothing. I was out shopping with my own kids until that time last night. Mine go to bed at 10. There is no magic *ding ding ding* that makes kids exhausted by 8pm.
This is true for us, too. Our dd regularly goes to bed between 10 and 11 p.m. and she is 3.5.
post #37 of 186
I would have given the parents sympathy. I've been that mom. My son has special needs and at that age could have done something like that. When he'd really melt down like that. We could not engage him during those times, because, believe it or not, he would just get more worked up. He'd get violent if we tried to pick him up or rock him, etc. Sometimes you just don't know the situation, and due to my experiences, I try to give parents the benefit of the doubt.
post #38 of 186
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
830 pm means nothing. I was out shopping with my own kids until that time last night. Mine go to bed at 10. There is no magic *ding ding ding* that makes kids exhausted by 8pm.
Well, mine *ding ding ding*'s at around 6:30-7pm, and has got to start moving in the direction of bed about 7:30-8pm, I know a lot of kids stay up later and a lot of kids don't.

The reason I think the child might have been tired, was not based on the time alone...it was the time of day PLUS the fact that he was crying uncontrollably for more than an hour..which, still doesn't mean he was necessarily tired.......but if you had to put money on it...8:30pm, plus crying uncontrollably, don't the two put together indicate a *higher* possibility that the kid is one of those who starts to get tired around that time of night?

No one was suggesting that people who take their kids out that late are crazy...if it works, it works....in the case of the child in question...something is not working, that's all. Maybe a bad day, maybe a rough phase for the kid....maybe out of the house too late. I guess we'll never know!
post #39 of 186
I try not to judge other parents too harshly - I just don't have enough information. Who knows what is going on in their lives that necessitates a large grocery shop at 8:30 PM? Heck, who knows if they were even both parents of the child? It could have been the child's mom and her brother (who is not good with kids), and he is taking her grocery shopping because she doesn't have a car. And maybe she doesn't have a car because her husband was just killed in a car accident and their car was totaled. In that case, maybe they thought it would be better to just power through the shopping, kid screaming or not, because the uncle isn't willing to take the child outside, but also doesn't know what groceries to buy. And if things are this bad, your screaming child is just one more thing on top of a big pile of crap that has just happened.

Likely? No. But it could have been any number of things like this. We just don't know the stories and lives of other people. Seeing someone parent at the grocery store is like watching reality TV - you are seeing it out of context and edited from the rest of their life. Sometimes in public I look like a much better mom than I am, other times I look like a terrible one. It just depends on the situation. So I try to cut others some slack.
post #40 of 186
Since you don't know the child's history, you have no way of knowing if they were handling the situation appropriately or not. As a previous poster stated, it's entirely possible that the child had a disability and couldn't be comforted. Maybe the parents needed to shop together because it's too difficult for one to handle the child alone. Maybe he would have run out into the parking lot the moment he was brought outside. Maybe they didn't have a car to wait in because they walked/took the bus etc. There are many scenarios that mean the parents were handling the situation the best they could-DH and I are pretty low-income and I have had to shop with a screaming child because I couldn't afford to waste the gas it took to drive to the store and back. I'm sorry you had to listen to that, but I think it's very important to remember that things are not always as they seem.
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