Toddler screaming in a store - what do you do? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 60 Old 04-21-2013, 11:01 AM
 
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Yeah rude and not your business (imo as a mom of 3 with one having autism).

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#32 of 60 Old 04-21-2013, 10:47 PM
 
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Originally Posted by The4OfUs View Post

I was *just* at a children's poetry recitation yesterday, and right at the end, the very last kid up (after 38 other kids), a toddler in the front row HAD ENOUGH.  It started with a whine, and within 15 seconds as the mom tried to gently shush the kiddo it was to a full on rager - a screaming rager as she carried the kiddo out the emergency exit as quickly as quickly as she could (maybe another 15 seconds that probably felt like an eternity to her) and we heard them outside as she carried the kiddo all the way around the back part of the auditorium, just raging.  To his credit, the reciter did an excellent job of both doing his poem and keeping our attention!

 

 

10 years ago, before I had kids, I would have said, "GOD!  WHY CAN'T THAT WOMAN CONTROL HER CHILD??"

7 years ago, after I had my easygoing son but before I had my daughter, I would have said, "How sad, that that mom isn't connected enough with her child to calm them down.  I wish I could tell her about AP."

 

 

Yesterday...I wished I could go hug that woman.  

 

 

Sure, there are some people who are jerks to their kids and ignore them.  But you can never possibly know someone's situation, so offering a supportive "I'm sorry." or "There but for the grace of God" or even 'Is there anything I can do to help?"  Is about ALL you should do.  On the off chance it's a kid that CAN be distracted or otherwise helped by a stranger, I'm sure the mom will take you up on the offer...if not, whatever you're doing or saying is only going to make things worse and sympathy will be the only thing that will fill her heart instead of wrecking it more. 

 

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I once started a thread here, some years ago, about how painful it is for me to see a mama pushing a screaming newborn through a store in a pram, acting as if nothing were happening. I always think PICK YOUR BABY UP!!!!!!!

 

Well, the response I got was 85% "You have no idea what that woman is going through, think twice before you judge"

 

Now, I still cringe when I see a woman ignoring a screaming newborn in a buggy. But I also still remember that I am only seeing a snippet of their day and I can't truthfully say what's going on there. Yes, intuition would say to just hold a screaming baby. But who's to say she hasn't been holding it all day and is just desperate to get out of the house for 15 minutes and needs some toilet paper? It's a tough call but I try to remember that.

 

A newborn is one thing. They are absolutely helpless. But a toddler is a whole other can of worms. Haven't we all been there? Sometimes you can't just drop everything for some tantrum SOS.

 

I would also cringe in desperation. It triggers my own helplessness, abandonment and pain to witness such scenes. But really we are only seeing a few moments of those peoples' lives and I think the best we can do is stream sympathy, both to the child and the mother. One of the worst things about a toddler tantruming in public is feeling like others are judging us. I can't say I wouldn't judge a mama ignoring a tanrum like that, but I don't think it's necessarily fair to do so.


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#33 of 60 Old 04-26-2013, 09:20 PM
 
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When my son was between the ages of 2 and 7 months, he HATED being in the car seat, stroller, shopping cart, and baby carrier (I tried all the different types). He would scream about 90% of the time, and it was such a hard time for me. I couldn't participate in outings with other moms, take off to the mall for a break, or walk our dogs. I would never have even tried to grocery shop, so DH did it all the time on his own. I would try going to the mall, but then the situation left me so stressed it would take me days before I got the nerve up to try again. Everything would be fine as long as he was in my arms, but then my arms would get so tired they felt like they would fall off-- and that meant that I couldn't do anything but walk and window shop because I didn't have any free hands. So I would eventually have to put him in the stroller to get a break. But then he would scream-- and it was LOUD and INTENSE. People stared, and some people made comments-- mostly "Aw, poor baby is hungry". Yeah, right. One person even said to me, really loud, "Do something for that baby!" Ugh, it was awful. Sometimes I just wanted to disappear, but then other times I wanted to yell something in anger at them, but I never seemed to have a response until after the fact. All my energy was tied up in the situation trying to help my son, so I often would just kind of nod my head and say, 'Yah' letting the person think I was in agreement with them. It was a very hard time, and I felt so isolated. So I didn't need strangers judging me on top of it all. Now, I am much more assertive and confident, and I would say something. Oh yes I would.(Turns out our son has some sensory processing issues, and so NOTHING anybody could have offered would have helped. Well, maybe some distraction but there was a fine line between what would work and what wouldn't.)


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#34 of 60 Old 04-26-2013, 10:17 PM
 
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I repeat to myself, "We are all doing the best that we can" if I find myself with the inclination to judge the situation.  I agree with the previous posters that the mother has probably tried everything in her repertoire for calming/soothing her child and is not seeking out advice from fellow shoppers.  If my DS is with me he will often go over to the child and try and talk to it or soothe it, with mixed success.  He is just like that, and always has been.  That's not to say he hasn't had his shining performances in stores!

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#35 of 60 Old 04-27-2013, 04:16 AM
 
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mama505-my lo LOVES for other kids to talk to her! that would probably help more than anything I could do besides letting her run free lol


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#36 of 60 Old 04-27-2013, 07:32 AM
 
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This has actually happened to me, numerous times. Sometimes I think I can make it in and out of a store before DD melts down, but I just cant. The best option at that point is just to quickly gather the things I came for and get out of the store as soon as possible. I've had mom's say a variety of things to me, try to ask if they can buy DD a cookie, ask if she's okay, ask if they can help, etc. I usually feel really embarrassed and just want to get out of the store and dont want any more attention drawn to me. "Been there done that", "Its gets better," "We've all been there," are comments that I've appreciated. 

 

Most of these times occurred when I was pregnant with the twins, right after my son passed away. There were days when I just didn't feel like showing up for parenting. It was just a "how to just get through the day" mentality. And if someone had asked me if I'd ever thought about wearing my kid, she would have heard an entire litany of why my life sucked so much at that moment. There were a few times when someone called my parenting in to question that I just had an absolute breakdown in the target bathroom :) Just sayin', you never, ever know what somebody is going through and if you are going to be their breaking point that day. 

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#37 of 60 Old 04-27-2013, 07:44 AM
 
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Yeah I'm actually annoyed that this hypothetical situation was brought up.  I originally thought it was about OP's own kid by the thread... but come on.  A parent can look dismissive when they're just trying to make it through the next 5 minutes.  And maybe if she lets the toddler out of the cart she's faced now with a runner.  Ridic.

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#38 of 60 Old 05-03-2013, 01:32 PM
 
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I pull out the bottle of wine and plastic cup I carry and offer the mom some. 

:D

 

 

No, really. It's not my business. I ignore it and if I happen to make eye contact over the banana display I give a smile and move on. Some days are just bad days and stuff has to get done regardless of mood. 

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#39 of 60 Old 05-03-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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I thought this was referring to what would you do it if was your own toddler and helpful hints and tips for dealing with toddler tantrums that happen.  

I was not expecting to be given tips on how to handle someone else's toddler in public when their mom is right there.  I don't do anything in those situations.  


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#40 of 60 Old 05-03-2013, 01:58 PM
 
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My son isn't a store tantrumer because he's totally thrilled to be in a store under any circumstances but I get really embarrassed when I'm trying to maneuver around somewhere in public and it's not working for whatever reason. Stairs and doors are the usual suspect. The only thing I've ever found helpful was if someone offered an actual solution or an old woman makes a sympathetic comment like "I'm glad those days are over!"
2 weeks ago I was on a plane trying to change a poopy diaper without getting out of my seat while an old woman stood there and watched because she was in line for the bathroom. My brain was so full of blood I don't even remember what she said but it was some kind of compliment... Something aboit wanting to help but she'd just make things worse... but I felt a ton better. She even disposed of the diaper for me which was super helpful.
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#41 of 60 Old 05-03-2013, 02:21 PM
 
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I don't say anything, but when it's my child, I leave the store. No one wants to listen to that.
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#42 of 60 Old 05-03-2013, 02:38 PM
 
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This thread is for real? Not jest? Interesting...


Quote:

Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

PLEASE don't give me tips on how to make my daughter not tantrum in the store. Most moms aren't that stupid. I rarely go shopping as it is bc if she's not running around, she's screaming instead, but my family has to eat and sometimes I just have to deal with it. I already know it sucks, no one else wants to hear it. I sure don't want to hear it myself. I can't let her walk, she'll run and then I can't shop. Snacks don't always work(they sure don't with my youngest! they did with my first two) If anything, make silly faces or talk to the child. But don't overdo it bc some kids will just scream more if someone talks to them. The biggest help has been some old people talking to my daughter while in line at the register. I have stood in line with my toddler screaming, with tears running down my face. It's humiliating to be in that position, everyone staring at you while your baby is screaming bloody murder, and you're just standing there barely able to hold her and crying yourself. It was weeks before I took her to a store again. This is baby number four...

 

I've been there so.many.times. It's a horrible place to be, I'm sorry. hug2.gif

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah_mae_ View Post

Yeah rude and not your business (imo as a mom of 3 with one having autism).

 

Both my oldest two have autism, so I agree with this, so much.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by TenzinsMama View Post

When my son was between the ages of 2 and 7 months, he HATED being in the car seat, stroller, shopping cart, and baby carrier (I tried all the different types). He would scream about 90% of the time, and it was such a hard time for me. I couldn't participate in outings with other moms, take off to the mall for a break, or walk our dogs. I would never have even tried to grocery shop, so DH did it all the time on his own. I would try going to the mall, but then the situation left me so stressed it would take me days before I got the nerve up to try again. Everything would be fine as long as he was in my arms, but then my arms would get so tired they felt like they would fall off-- and that meant that I couldn't do anything but walk and window shop because I didn't have any free hands. So I would eventually have to put him in the stroller to get a break. But then he would scream-- and it was LOUD and INTENSE. People stared, and some people made comments-- mostly "Aw, poor baby is hungry". Yeah, right. One person even said to me, really loud, "Do something for that baby!" Ugh, it was awful. Sometimes I just wanted to disappear, but then other times I wanted to yell something in anger at them, but I never seemed to have a response until after the fact. All my energy was tied up in the situation trying to help my son, so I often would just kind of nod my head and say, 'Yah' letting the person think I was in agreement with them. It was a very hard time, and I felt so isolated. So I didn't need strangers judging me on top of it all. Now, I am much more assertive and confident, and I would say something. Oh yes I would.(Turns out our son has some sensory processing issues, and so NOTHING anybody could have offered would have helped. Well, maybe some distraction but there was a fine line between what would work and what wouldn't.)

 

This. Both DD and DS1 are on the autism spectrum, and try as I might to be able to go to the grocery without having to take them (since the lights/people/everything sends them pretty quickly into meltdown), there are some days where I'm running from picking DD up for an appointment, and I have 2 hours to get grocery stuff, get home, cook and get her/him/them somewhere else where I can't just say "Okay, we'll try this again another day."


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#43 of 60 Old 05-03-2013, 06:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by alaskanmomma View Post

I don't say anything, but when it's my child, I leave the store. No one wants to listen to that.

That is not always an option. And if I did that, I would just never finish from having to always leave!! I had two kids who were great in the store so I "knew" what I was doing lol
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#44 of 60 Old 05-04-2013, 11:47 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alaskanmomma View Post

I don't say anything, but when it's my child, I leave the store. No one wants to listen to that.

Really? But what if you need groceries and you don't have another time to go? It's just not practical.

I think witnessing the occasional toddler tantrum is a small inconvenience to any passerby and they should be able to handle it.
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#45 of 60 Old 05-04-2013, 11:54 AM
 
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I hope no one leaves perishable foods in a grocery cart if they leave the store. Some stores have a policy of just throwing away foods which must be refrigerated, some don't. The ones that just put them back might not have noticed that the food has been out for hours and then resell them. I bought milk once that was way beyond chunky when I got home, when I went to return it they told me "oh, it might have been left out in someone's cart" (yea I don't shop there anymore). 

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#46 of 60 Old 05-04-2013, 12:17 PM
 
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Yes, I have left milk in my cart and left because of crying kids. My store has a cooler they put the whole cart in and saved for me. I went back when my husband could watch the kids that evening.

I don't say anything if I see a tantrum, but do try to offer the mom an encouraging smile.

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#47 of 60 Old 05-04-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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I put frozen stuff in a freezer and fridge stuff in the nearest fridge. They end up with frozen spinach and peas where the ice cream goes and so on but the food isn't spoiling by being in the wrong fridge/freezer. This is my absolute last resort though, on days when I feel like I can't survive another minute of tantrumming. Usually I'm lucky enough to be able to make a beeline for the checkouts with what I have and leave with a crying kid I've tried hard to console.
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#48 of 60 Old 05-04-2013, 04:40 PM
 
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Thanks, bmcneal! I could use those hugs lol I badly need to go grocery shopping but I am reluctant to risk it.


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#49 of 60 Old 05-13-2013, 04:16 PM
 
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I know this thread faded, but I had an incident today and wanted to share. I HAD to get some groceries and have been putting it off and finally went while another kid had an appointment. My 19 month old did pretty well all through the store, but when we got in line to checkout, she had a meltdown. I couldn't hold her, couldn't put her down, couldn't put her in the cart, couldn't distract her with *anthing*. I had to finish up. One lady in front of us commented that my daughter did well all through the store, and another lady came up and asked my daughter if she could hold her LOL Oh my that did not go over well. She about crawled up my legs!! I guess like the OP she thought my daughter just wanted to be held. I thought about this thread afterwards. She DID NOT want me to hold her. She screamed less hysterically if I put her down between me, the cart and the counter so that's where I put her.

 

And I also will say it does not bother me at all if someone asks to hold my babies if they are screaming, and I actually did take someone up on their offer a long time ago, and I would again if needed. I am right there and wouldn't let them leave or anything. I have offered to hold a poor mom's baby also (asked if it would help if I held the baby). I do feel strongly about the village raising a child concept.


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#50 of 60 Old 05-13-2013, 04:36 PM
 
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purplerose, I think you hit on the real answer to the OPs question.  If you want to help, you could just say to the mom, "is there anything I can do to help?  I know this is a hard stage." 

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#51 of 60 Old 05-14-2013, 08:42 AM
 
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#52 of 60 Old 05-14-2013, 01:08 PM
 
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purplerose, I think you hit on the real answer to the OPs question.  If you want to help, you could just say to the mom, "is there anything I can do to help?  I know this is a hard stage." 


Even this would offend me. Just leave me alone. It insinuates that the mother is not doing something right and that the kid crying means there is something wrong with the situation. I mean if its something obvious like holding the screaming baby and she drops her keys sure help her but to just approach her like you are going to be able to do some super mom magic that she does not know is rude.

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#53 of 60 Old 05-14-2013, 01:18 PM
 
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I don't know...if someone asks if there's something they can do for me, then it's not like they are being know-it-alls, if I could think of something they *could* do, it *would* help! As I said, I've taken someone up on holding the baby for me for a minute...it was a great relief and they will never realize what that did for me that day. Occasionally, some guy in line behind me would unload my cart onto the counter while I fought with a baby/toddler(without asking). While it's awkward, I LOVE it, I love that people are willing to help.


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#54 of 60 Old 05-14-2013, 05:22 PM
 
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I don't know...if someone asks if there's something they can do for me, then it's not like they are being know-it-alls, if I could think of something they *could* do, it *would* help! As I said, I've taken someone up on holding the baby for me for a minute...it was a great relief and they will never realize what that did for me that day. Occasionally, some guy in line behind me would unload my cart onto the counter while I fought with a baby/toddler(without asking). While it's awkward, I LOVE it, I love that people are willing to help.

 

I would never let someone I don't know hold my screaming toddler. What if he head butted them and broke their nose or glasses? What if they dropped him because hes a heavy squirmy butt. TOo many what ifs. Like I said if its something like dropped keys, or putting groceries on a belt, holding a door, taking my cart back, peakaboo is different. But swooping in to parent my child because obviously I am not doing a sufficient enough job is rude. And if for some reason their antics did calm my kid I would feel that much worse that I was not doing something correctly.

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#55 of 60 Old 05-14-2013, 09:42 PM
 
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I would never let someone I don't know hold my screaming toddler. What if he head butted them and broke their nose or glasses? What if they dropped him because hes a heavy squirmy butt. TOo many what ifs. Like I said if its something like dropped keys, or putting groceries on a belt, holding a door, taking my cart back, peakaboo is different. But swooping in to parent my child because obviously I am not doing a sufficient enough job is rude. And if for some reason their antics did calm my kid I would feel that much worse that I was not doing something correctly.

 

Ah, I don't see it as rude.  I see it as that whole "village" thing.  They don't think they're a better parent than me, they see a person in distress and want to help out.  I think that's lovely.


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#56 of 60 Old 05-15-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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Honestly it's probably not your business. I would never think about commenting on someone else's child unless I felt that child was in danger of some sort. 

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#57 of 60 Old 05-17-2013, 03:27 PM
 
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I was totally "that person" last night in the grocery store, 18mo DD decided to have a meltdown over not having her blankie (I have NEVER taken it into a store with us so why she suddenly assumed it was going to be there I have no idea!).  We had zero food in the house and no idea when DH was getting home from work so I started off with her in the cart screaming, took her out to hold her and show her produce and count peppers and talk about colors...she bit me on the shoulder.  Tried her on the floor to see if she'd help push the cart which she likes to do....she flopped to the ground like a rag doll. Back into the cart where she refused to put her legs into the holes and so she laid sideways on the seat kicking the air while I grabbed the rest of our dinner.  Finally at the register she calmed down enough to let me hold her and we listend to the beeps and I let her help me "sign" the credit card reader.  No one said anything, mostly people glanced over and kept walking, one guy who worked there kind of chuckled and kept walking to help someone so I figured it was a "been there done that" gesture.  I don't really panic for stuff like that although DH was mortified when I got home and told him of her tantrum, said I should have stopped everything and picked her up  I told him, "I did.  She bit me.  We survived."   He HATES that kind of attention so I'm far better off being in those situations with her than he is.  The way I see it we have some rough days ahead of us but I'm not about to give up living because my kid can't yet express feelings with words - she's pretty damn verbal but emotions are not quite in her vocab yet.

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#58 of 60 Old 05-17-2013, 04:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazurii View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLQ1011 View Post

I would never let someone I don't know hold my screaming toddler. What if he head butted them and broke their nose or glasses? What if they dropped him because hes a heavy squirmy butt. TOo many what ifs. Like I said if its something like dropped keys, or putting groceries on a belt, holding a door, taking my cart back, peakaboo is different. But swooping in to parent my child because obviously I am not doing a sufficient enough job is rude. And if for some reason their antics did calm my kid I would feel that much worse that I was not doing something correctly.

Ah, I don't see it as rude.  I see it as that whole "village" thing.  They don't think they're a better parent than me, they see a person in distress and want to help out.  I think that's lovely.

It's all different perspectives, right? Personally, I'd probably cry with relief if someone wanted to help me when my son was being that kid. But I totally understand Lazurii's point of view too. Unfortunately, you don't know what kind of mom it is before you ask so you have to make a decision to offer help or not to based on your own reference point. Variety is the spice of life wink1.gif

And when it's my kid, yep, I just soldier on if need be. Doesn't really embarrass me anymore.

Loving mama to Aden (8/5/2010) and DSD (15).
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#59 of 60 Old 05-18-2013, 07:51 PM
 
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As someone who is that mom with a screaming child. Ignoring, is the best way. B/C TRUST me, I have already tried everything else to get the child to be quiet.

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#60 of 60 Old 06-24-2013, 07:42 PM
 
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Yeah, this thread is kinda old, but I'm going to comment anyway.

 

This thread is proof of the epidemic of people taking things personally in this world. greensad.gif

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLQ1011 View Post
Even this would offend me. Just leave me alone. It insinuates that the mother is not doing something right and that the kid crying means there is something wrong with the situation. I mean if its something obvious like holding the screaming baby and she drops her keys sure help her but to just approach her like you are going to be able to do some super mom magic that she does not know is rude.

 

It's only offensive if you choose to take it personally & choose to be offended.  What it insinuates to you is not going to be what is insinuated to the next person.  

 

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Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

I don't know...if someone asks if there's something they can do for me, then it's not like they are being know-it-alls, if I could think of something they *could* do, it *would* help! As I said, I've taken someone up on holding the baby for me for a minute...it was a great relief and they will never realize what that did for me that day. Occasionally, some guy in line behind me would unload my cart onto the counter while I fought with a baby/toddler(without asking). While it's awkward, I LOVE it, I love that people are willing to help.

 

I love it too!  If only more people were willing to help & more people didn't have the attitude of, "it's none of your business!!!!!!!!!!!!" or "it's none of my business," then this world would be a better place.  It is NOT a better place because eveyrone keeps to themselves & is afraid to help.  It's just not.  We aren't meant to do this alone & the attitude of, "leave that mom alone!" is one of the things that has gotten us so messed up!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LLQ1011 View Post
I would never let someone I don't know hold my screaming toddler. What if he head butted them and broke their nose or glasses? What if they dropped him because hes a heavy squirmy butt. TOo many what ifs. Like I said if its something like dropped keys, or putting groceries on a belt, holding a door, taking my cart back, peakaboo is different. But swooping in to parent my child because obviously I am not doing a sufficient enough job is rude. And if for some reason their antics did calm my kid I would feel that much worse that I was not doing something correctly.

 

You've really jumped from, "may I help?" to "swooping in to parent my child..." Your last statement proves how fragile this is for you: someone who is not emotionally involved in the situation manages to help & you're no good?  Oh my.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lauranhc View Post
Honestly it's probably not your business. I would never think about commenting on someone else's child unless I felt that child was in danger of some sort. 

 

Okay, but what is considered a danger to you is likely to be different from what the next person says is or may be dangerous.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplerose View Post

I know this thread faded, but I had an incident today and wanted to share. I HAD to get some groceries and have been putting it off and finally went while another kid had an appointment. My 19 month old did pretty well all through the store, but when we got in line to checkout, she had a meltdown. I couldn't hold her, couldn't put her down, couldn't put her in the cart, couldn't distract her with *anthing*. I had to finish up. One lady in front of us commented that my daughter did well all through the store, and another lady came up and asked my daughter if she could hold her LOL Oh my that did not go over well. She about crawled up my legs!! I guess like the OP she thought my daughter just wanted to be held. I thought about this thread afterwards. She DID NOT want me to hold her. She screamed less hysterically if I put her down between me, the cart and the counter so that's where I put her.

 

And I also will say it does not bother me at all if someone asks to hold my babies if they are screaming, and I actually did take someone up on their offer a long time ago, and I would again if needed. I am right there and wouldn't let them leave or anything. I have offered to hold a poor mom's baby also (asked if it would help if I held the baby). I do feel strongly about the village raising a child concept.

 

I've offered to hold a crying baby too.  Just did it the other day while mom was leisurely picking strawberries & her 9-ish month old baby was crying, screaming, very unhappy locked in a stroller.  Poor kid.

 

Our society wants to have everyone believe that we're supposed to be all independent & "look, we're all doing so well, I don't need anything from anyone else! Leave me alone!!!"  Well, we're not.  If we were, there wouldn't be things like all the shootings over the past year or more.  We are not okay.  If we all helped each other more & STOPPED minding our own damn business, this world would be a better place & all those who time & again take it personally, would hopefully learn to stop.  

 

Sus


Baby the babies while they're babies so they don't need babying for a lifetime.
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