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Is It Strange When a Stranger Corrects Your Child?

I was flying solo the other night when a man on the plane leaned toward two extremely well-behaved, school-aged children seated in front of him and asked them to settle down. I'm not sure what the guy's issue was as they weren't even talking, but it caused their attentive father to glance back at the man who made the request.

How do you feel when someone you don't know advises your offspring?


perfectesque perfectesque 9 years
Well thats just rude dude and lose your know it all attitude!
foxie foxie 9 years
Wow, it's almost as if you're just totally making up a different post than the one kissandtell actually made. She didn't say they shouldn't be allowed where she's shopping, she said they shouldn't be running around playing where she's shopping. Also, this entire topic is about KIDS, not obnoxious adults. Obviously if an adult is in a public restroom yelling, that's pretty terrible too.
michelle0414 michelle0414 9 years
LiLRuck44 said it much better than I did. And like nevadamtnbear I am paranoid about my son, and even my friends children who might be disturbing/bothering/annoying/pissing off others that most of the time my husband and I are the ones who barely get to sit down during a meal out at restaurants etc. I do my very best to make sure that my son is well behaved and has good manners, I'm not opposed to people saying something if a child is out of control or continuously misbehaving. What I do have a problem with is the hostility that people seem to react so easily with towards children. And Foxie, I wasn't being dramatic. She said more than just something about giving kids free reign. I'm sorry, but having a problem with kids talking loudly in a public restroom? Give me a break - what about all the obnoxious adults yakking away in public bathrooms, elevators and other tight spaces on cell phones. What's their excuse? I never said all children were perfect or perfectly behaved, mine included. For you to assume that I let my child misbehave because I have a problem with her comment is ignorant, along with her statement about kids being allowed to go to zoos, etc. but not where she's shopping.
foxie foxie 9 years
I never expected anything less, Ruck! =)
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
Whoa I never meant to imply that anybody else was selfish, so sorry if I did PhatE. Re-reading my post, I suppose it might come across like I'm one of those "young mothers with a kids will be kids attitude" you were talking about, but I am definitely not. There's a difference between a parent who is taking zero action because their children are uncontrollable (and I assume they must know this before they leave the house?), and a parent who is remaining calm FOR her children while handling the situation, even when they are flipping out (there could be a zillion out-of-the-ordinary reasons causing a child's meltdown). That's not to say she isn't dying of embarrassment, of course. Maybe because I'm always paying such close attention to my own two, I don't seem to notice the other parents who have checked out and left their kids to run free. And Foxie you would be happy to have my little polite vegetarians sitting behind you on a plane =)
nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 9 years
Jude: I agree, it's hard. But, as a parent, if my kid is totally out of hand (and somehow I was unaware, which would be an extraordinary exception, as my poor son is ALWAYS being reigned in, probably excessively because I'm paranoid about him disturbing/bothering/annoying/pissing off others), then I welcome someone else politely and respectfully saying something to my child. He's only 3 (almost 4) and honestly, I'd rather see them address my son directly than me. First, if the adult addresses my child directly, then he'll be caught off guard and his "parent ears" won't be engaged. Secondly, we are trying to teach him respect and consideration for others, and if he is made aware that his actions are disruptive/problematic (within reason people, let's not resort to absurdities) to others, then the lessons we are attempting to instill in him are being reinforced. On an amusing, possibly unrelated son and I were walking in a Casino to the buffet, he was exerting independence and refused to hold my hand. I was forcing the issue and held onto his hand for dear life. He finally had enough and yelled "POLICEMAN HELP ME!" I was mortified. He was swiftly carted out of the premises and dealt with appropriately. However, hindsight 20/20, I wish I had gone up to a security guard and had him address his "grievance" with the security guard...because that would have reinforced what I was telling him. All the same, if someone else had stepped in and said, "pardon me little man, you have to hold your mommy's hand," that would have been welcomed as well. *sigh*
phatE phatE 9 years
I also love how people assume that everyone who voices a "complaint" or "concern" must not have children.. i love how defensive some people are here..
phatE phatE 9 years
Foxie, totally agree.. and add LilRuck to it.. I love how everyone else is selfish except them.. ha
foxie foxie 9 years
Ugh Kaia, I hope I am never on a plane with you and your child.
Kaia Kaia 9 years
It was a full flight and my 7-month old was standing on my lap, slightly (!) tapping a seat in front of us. A minute or so later a young woman from that seat leaned back and said (rather annoyed) " your son is hitting my seat and I'm trying to fall asleep". I was speeachless, even though I should have said that maybe he should shout her a lullaby ; ) As much as I understood her irritation, it was too selfish in my opinion - obviously, this person had no idea how it feels to entertain a little one for 3 hours in enclosed space.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
For some reason, the idea of confronting parents over their children's behavior, or of confronting the children directly, makes me really uncomfortable. The most I've ever been able to do is give a misbehaving child and his/her parents THE LOOK, and try to move as far away from them as possible.
skigurl skigurl 9 years
my dad would have flown right off the handle if anyone did that to us when we were little
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 9 years
Like Michelle, I'm always really surprised at people's intolerance. I was a waitress too, and carried very hot food, and when there were children running around I never once thought they were annoying or pests. I was simply extra careful. My children are very very well behaved. I do not tolerate them invading other people's space (as in bumping up against people in a line), and they are well mannered as well. This is NOT because I control them, I don't believe you can control children. We teach by example, and consequences. They know the specific consequence for each unacceptable action, and it is always their choice. If someone said something rude to my kids, I would assume they're having a rotten day and not give it a second thought. I know I'm raising my children well, and one person's glimpse at one specific moment isn't the picture of who my children really are, so their opinion is just that, theirs.
vmruby vmruby 9 years
Truth be told I wouldn't like it at all....I raised my child with manners and to be respectful of others.It's still a learning process but luckily she's a great kid,who is very well behaved and if she does get out of line i'm all over it before anybody else gets a chance to say anything.
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I try not to comment on this site because I don't have kids and if I did, I wouldn't want someone who didn't have them giving me advice or input. But I saw this headline in the footer and had to comment. Like some posters above, I've been on a plane where the child behind me repeatedly kicked my seat. After about 20 minutes, I could no longer take it so I turned around and very nicely said "Sweetie, can you please stop kicking my chair? Thank you." His mother gave me the dirtiest look I've ever seen. Years ago, I used to wait tables at a very busy chain restaurant where busy, frazzled servers were walking all around with their hands full of hot food, breakable dishes, cutlery, etc. Some people would let their kids run wild. So if some little kid was running laps around their table or lying in the middle of the floor, you bet your ass I'd correct them. They'd get hurt or hurt someone else otherwise. I pissed off several parents that way, too. It all boils down to this: if the kid is doing something destructive, unsafe to him/herself or others, or really obnoxious, and their parents aren't doing anything about it, I'll say something. I don't enjoy it, but if a parent is unresponsive, something has to be done.
kw-980 kw-980 9 years
I have reprimanded children once before. We were at a pool and 2 older boys (around 10) were being obnoxious to everyone in the shallow end where many other young children and babies were. One threw a ball to hit his friend and missed and hit my 8 month old in the face. I told them to stop throwing the ball. Maybe a little psycho mommy because I do expect to get splashed and knocked into at a pool, but not because children are blatantly obnoxious and rude. Parents today do not want to discipline their children. Kids have free range and feel as though they are entitled to whatever is there. No regard. The boys parent(s) were too busy sunbathing to keep an eye on them. I have no regrets saying something and if my son is as obnoxious when he is older, he will have deserved getting scolded by a stranger.
jopperma jopperma 9 years
It depends on the situation. I don't have kids but I would say something to a stranger's child in certain situations... like when their safety is at issue and no responsible parent is paying attention. The other day at the zoo I actually snapped my fingers and said "hey, don't do that!" to a child who was chasing a baby peacock while the peacock mother was right there. I honestly was afraid that the mother peacock was going to attack the child chasing her baby and since I was right there there was no way I was no going to try to prevent a child from losing an eye to a peacock because his parents didn't understand that a wild animal will attack anything coming after their own baby! It takes a village right?!? I thought it was completely acceptable under the circumstances.
Mishell Mishell 9 years
If there's problem, why aren't you dealing with it already? If you are supervising your child, then what they do should not be a surprise. Nor should it get to the piont that someone has to seek you out to complain.
mdwseatac mdwseatac 9 years
If someone has a problem with my son they need to talk to me about it not him! If its a real problem then I will deal with it!
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
I dont have kids but I think I would be embarassed if its something that Ive been trying to drill in my childs brain. If the stranger comes correct without being rude then I guess its ok - anything else is RUDE!
nicole121482 nicole121482 9 years
I think it depends on the situation...if the child is misbehaving and the parent can't seem to get a handle on the situation sometimes a few calm, stern words from a stranger are enough to settle the child down. Mostly, because it's so unexpected and it doesn't happen very often that the child is startled and thinks they must really be misbehaving if a stranger is repremanding them. I know this has worked with my daughter a few times....
Leene Leene 9 years
I work in a cafe and sometimes these things happen. It's double difficult when the kids are harassing other customers and those customers feel also award correcting them. It's horrible when parents are shut out in lala-land. I usually try to catch the kid's attention and give them a "look". It usually works..
foxie foxie 9 years
Misslady & Michelle, leave the dramatics at the door. She specifically said she doesn't like it when parents give their kids FREE REIGN at a store. She never says they should be locked up. Furthermore, some kids DO act like little monsters. Why is that a terrible thing to say? The fact that you two are so up in arms about her comment makes me think it's probably because you let your children scream in bathrooms and run around uncontrolled in public places.
Aphrosette Aphrosette 9 years
I was in church once where these two children we being very loud and inappropriate it the row right in front of me. The parents looked exhausted, but never addressed the current situation. (They sat down after me since I have to be at church super early to serve) It was bad enough that the priest was glaring at them. Well a gentleman behind the parents and next to me told to kids to be quiet (though he wasn't very nice about it) Guess what it worked....the kids were so scared they finally zipped it up! However Mom and Dad were very upset with him. I do think that he could have been a bit nicer in his correction of their behavior, but it was well warranted and if parents can't control their own children I see no reason why they should get upset if someone steps in. But I would also think the kids need to be really out of line to warrant someone else stepping in. Or as in the train story interfering with what someone needs. (Which I found nothing wrong with your reaction Ninchen) Hey, it take a village right?
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
If a child is repeatedly kicking my seat on the bus, train, plane, movie theatre, whatever, I'll turn around and say "Please stop kicking my seat."
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