I know these people mean well, but boy did I get irked today by a man at the mall!
I hardly ever go to malls with DD, age 4.5, as I hate malls anyway, and she's in preschool five mornings a week so it just isn't necessary. But we were there today and she was so cooperative, and then had a meltdown in a store right before we left. I took her to a bench outside the store and was handling the tantrum very calmly, thank you, when an elderly man came up and just sort of stood there as though he wanted to say something. Of course, this made DD feel embarrassed. So I said, "Excuse me, but my daughter is upset and you're making her uncomfortable." He started saying something to her and I said, "Please, sir, I don't need any help." He still didn't go away, so I got a little less polite and said, "Please leave us alone." His wife even tried to get him moving and for some reason it wasn't getting through! Maybe dementia? Still, shouldn't his wife have been a little more proactive? Finally I said quite loudly, "Sir, I've asked you politely to leave us alone! Please go away!" Sheesh.
The whole way home DD was asking why that man wouldn't listen to me (you know, because SHE always listens to me the first time...
There have been other times when strangers have offered her candy when she's throwing a fit about some toy I won't buy, and once a guy actually came out of a Payless Shoes and gave her some toy they were giving away to kids at the store. Again, I know they mean well, but rewarding my child for throwing a tantrum is not what I'd call helpful!
Anyone care to share a similar story?