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Other people "shushing" your child

1947 Views 14 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  madsommer
How do you feel when other people shush your child? DS is 15mo old and not using words yet so he grunts and squeals - like most children his age do. Today at the Easter get-together, he and another young child were playing with balloons and he was just so excited. He thought it was the coolest thing in the world so he was laughing and squealing with excitement/happines. My MIL and FIL kept shushing him. Mind you, no one was eating dinner, people were just mingling around making conversation and the children were playing.

They do this a lot...DS will be playing or excited about something and he'll squeal pretty loudly and they always try to make him be quiet. Maybe it's just one of my hangups because I am super quiet and I think it's because I was raised with the whole "children should be seen and not heard" kind of mentality.

But I feel at this age, it's just him expressing himself and he won't understand at 15 mo anyway. What do you do when other people do that to your child?
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as much as it would bother me too, i would probably just let it go-unless it was a daily thing or something very often. then i might say in a positive voice:

"oh, he's just 15 months, he doesnt know any other way to be excited. we should all be so excited to see a simple beautiful thing like a balloon!"

you know, the "kill em' with kindness thing"

what do people expect anyway?? it's a baby for cryin' out loud!
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Honestly, I ignore them. If my kids look at me like "what? do you want me to be quiet?" I just tell them it is okay, and to go on doing whatever they were doing. I have loud kids (almost 4 and 2.5) we were in a fast food type place and they were just being normal soundking kids, and two elderly women shushed them, or told them to quiet down or something... I dont really remember. I shot them a nasty look, cause quite frankly it p'd me off, and just smiled at the kids and told them they were fine... If we are in a church service, or something else where someone is speaking, I might leave the area, but other than that...
It depends on the situation. In situations where it'll make me embarassed and it's done in a manner of "why can't get they get the kid to shut it?" than it bugs me. Nothing worse than feeling on the spot and having someone attempt to fix the issue by being rude. If it's a case like you describe I let it pass. I shush kids a lot of time out of absent minded habit. I figure lots of people do as well. I'm over sensitive to sound though and have a hard time with noise, whether its constant and low or random and high.

That said though, I come from a family with 6 siblings and DH comes from a family with 9. Most all of us have multiple kids so when we get together there is a ton of people and noise needs to be controlled or it quickly gets out of hand (there are over 20 grandkids [counting ours] on his side and 90% of the time 90% of them are present at family stuff. Only 5ish are over 10 years old
). As a result...I'm a bit burnt out on noise in general.
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I guess if my kids were loud enough that it was uncomfortable for someone, I'd rather they let me know so I can quiet them in my own way or leave then to have anyone shush them. I find shushing often to be done in a dismissive way. I'd rather find a nicer way to handle it, or again just leave if there is no good way to get them to quiet and they're being loud enough that it's giving someone a headache or something like that. If a child is being at the same noise level as the adults there, I'd just tell the shushers to get a grip, but if the child were really loud I'd try to find some way to quiet them that was gentle and effective. I don't think shushing works, does it? Unless it makes a kid feel put on the spot and bad and they shush out of embarrassment or something. But that won't happen at 15 months.
it's def. annoying.

my boys are loud and while i do remind them to use thier inside voices, they are just little boys. my gma always says, "my boys were never loud" referring to my uncles. well i feel like saying, "yeah, look how they turned out (1 in jail, the other has kids everywhere that he doesn't take care of or see) so i'll pass on the parenting advice gma, thanks anyway.

i don't say anything though cause i'm a chicken.
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Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
I don't think shushing works, does it?
I don't think it works. I think it's a passive way of making the adult feel like they've done something.
Like I said, I do it often absent I know/think I should reply to a situation so why not <insert something here>.
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Originally Posted by nycmom18 View Post
probably just let it go-unless it was a daily thing or something very often.
It has been happening at least once each time we visit...since DS was about 12 mo.


Originally Posted by tanyam926 View Post
well i feel like saying, "yeah, look how they turned out (1 in jail, the other has kids everywhere that he doesn't take care of or see) so i'll pass on the parenting advice gma, thanks anyway.

i don't say anything though cause i'm a chicken.

LOL. This is how MIL is. She always says "I raised two kids". Yeah, two kids who don't talk to you because they think you're nuts.
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I think this is a complex issue. It depends on the situation.

My grandparents are a "children should be seen and not heard" type. My whole childhood I was shushed by them until my spirit was crushed. I became a "good" child while at their house, but I felt insignificant, inferior, and definitely waiting for that inevitable reprimand no manner how perfect I thought I was.

Now as an adult I still feel that way about them. I never call, write occasionally, and visit every couple of years. After all, I don't want to inconvenience them! This is unfortunate because we have such a good visit when I do see them.

Sometimes during family gatherings there is a need for moderation. Perhaps someone has a hearing aid that will amplify the kid's screeches to the exclusion of the adult conversation.

I think that there needs to be an openness to normal childhood noises. Sometimes during the gathering there's a time to be loud and excited. Other times moderation is in order. I think in these situations I'd appreciate if someone were to speak indirectly about the noise level and leave it to me as the mom to work with DS. I also wouldn't mind if Grandma said to all the grandkids - "OK, it's time to focus on the birthday cake. Let's become quiet mice until we sign Happy Birthday!"
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It depends, but then my family is pretty good about dealing with my VERY LOUD daughter. She's LOUD in everything, all the time. Sometimes someone will ask her to keep it down when she's gotten super excited and no one can talk over her but it's never mean and no one has ever hurt her feelings.

I am pretty good about reminding her to keep her voice down but honestly, she's just like that and I'm pretty used to it so sometimes I just don't notice. It is pretty loud and no one is making an unresonable request.

I have to remind my husband to keep it down and not stir her up. He has a tendency to place himself in the middle of everyone and start throwing her up in the air, talking loud, making her loud, etc and he's an adult. He should know better. It's not the DH and DD Show.

The only one I have a problem with is my 12 year old brother. We are going to have to have a little talk about some things he said yesterday in front of my daughter or I'm just not going to be around when he's there and neither is she.
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When my kids were babies, toddlers, and young children there were MANY times that I had to tell my mil to leave my kids alone. She just went overboard from day one trying to micromanage their lives & behavior. It got so bad that my dd (now 7) couldn't handle sleeping overnight w/ the il's. She & ds1 would go overnight for 5-7 days during school vacations & a couple times in the summer. Ds1 could handle it, but dd just got so distressed and anxious I had to stop sending her. (I should tell you that they were only a 2.5 hr drive away from us. I had no problem offering to pick dd up if she was having a particularly hard time.)

It could be generational (my mil was 66), it could be just a difference in parenting, but the bottom line is that YOU are mom and you have an obligation to stand up for your children. (Not that you aren't -- I'm just stating that for the sake of the discussion.)

For us, in some instances (maybe I'm otherwise occupied for whatever reason), yes, please, shush my kids or correct them. But in other instances, I can handle it and I don't need your help.

As my kids got older I was able to let go of them a little more and let my il's correct them a little more freely. (Both my kids have neuro special needs, so I'm always very cautious about their interactions w/ others.) Ds1 is 9 and dd is 7.5 and they're both very much their own ppl, but I don't have any problem if another adult corrects them if I'm unavailable.

While they're babies, though, they are all mine. If I need or want someone else's help I will ask for it. (I use the term "babies" very loosely.)
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Honestly if my kids are being loud I think other people have a right to shush them. I don't think it would always work (especially with a baby) but i guess if it makes them feel better . . . .
My mom did this to my 19month old just the other day in my house. He was shrieking in delight and excitement and she started telling him to use his "inside voice"- a term which he's never heard. It really just rubbed me the wrong way and I told her that he was fine. I'm my child's mother and I'm standing right there in my own house and if I think he needs correcting, I will do it. With a MIL it might be a bit touchier, but unless she's got hearing aids like a pp mentioned, I would probably be annoyed by what you described. Given that you said it happens frequently, I'd probably let her know that if you are there and she feels your child needs to be doing something other than whatever he's doing, she should direct that request to you and let you handle it.

Out in public with random strangers, I'd be more sensitive to my child making noise and try to keep it at an appropriate level and ignore shushers.
It really depends. If you have issues with your in-laws anyway, whatever they do is going to irk you, ya know?

But in reality, shushing can kind of be a bit perturbing, but sometimes even happy shreiks can really amp up the tension and noise level and some people and places it can become an issue. We have a toddler friend who is just loud. Not bad loud, but loud. When she is here, it just raises the volume (and stress) a whole bunch even if it is happy stuff. A lot of noise can put people on edge. To people not used to kid noises, a really excited toddler or bunch of kids can be a lot.

To us, our kids happy loud noises are music to our ears. To others, it may be more disruptive or stressful and that is important for us to remember I think, even if we think they are being silly or unreasonable. If it was someone elses kid, would you think the same thing about the noise?

So honestly, if my son is shushed, I usually bend down and ask him to try to speak a little more softly, as I think that in most places (barring the playground, inside gyms, etc.) it is often a fair request that we are aware how much noise we are making and it might be inappropriate. If he really can't be quieter, we leave (but not in a huffy way, more like this just isn't our thing right now). Toddlers CAN'T be quiet. Its just how it is. You can explain it to the ILs in a nice way, then maybe take him outside or another room. Or ask them to come to your house where you can set the tone.
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I suppose part of me is just used to it by now. But I honestly didn't think he was creating any more than noise than the rest of the adults - no one else seemed bothered by it all - just MIL/FIL. No one was telling the other older (3 and 4 yo) children to be quiet, not even them. It was directed specifically at my son. But as I said, they tend to do this frequently.

In a doctor's office or a place full of strangers I'm fully aware of noise and not wanting to bother others and it's usually never an issue with DS anyway.

I will say something next time though!
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