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Why is it automatically assumed that a parent is a bad parent when his/her child cries or has a tantrum in public?

I hear this a lot at grocery stores. A baby or a toddler will cry, and some older person will say, "They need to control their children!!" How do you control a baby's/toddler's crying? It's normal (and age appropriate). It doesn't mean the children are unrult, and it doesn't meant the parents are bad parents! A few moments of crying isn't going to spoil anyone's shopping experience.


Asked by Fallaya at 8:39 PM on Jul. 15, 2010 in Parenting Debate

Level 19 (7,539 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (31)
  • I have an autistic child. I have had so many people make remarks at me for my child having a tantrum in public. I do not yell at my son when he does this. I talk to him calmly and I let him know that we are not leaving the store, and he is NOT getting what ever it is he wants that I said no too.

    I still have people make comments. I have heard

    "you need to smack that kid"
    "Some people shouldn't have children"
    "just buy the kid the f*¢king candy bar"
    'wow, you have quite the brat there'
    "is this the first time you've told him no"
    "it's called discipline lady"

    I refuse to remove my child from the store. That is not teaching him how to behave in public. He just will not earn his treat for acting appropriately.

    I used to be the person who shook their head when a child acted up. Now, I empathize with the mother--even if she does lose her cool, because I know sometimes, I get close.

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:52 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • When I see it I don't think so until the parent reacts is when I decide. Depends whats going on.

    Answer by randerykah at 8:40 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • for me it all depends on how the parent handles it. If their baby is crying and they are ignoring it, that is bad parenting to me (attending a baby's need if far more important than shopping), if the child is throwing a temper tantrum and the parent gives in because they are tired of hearing it, or embarrassed about the tantrum thats the worse thing you can do for the child.

    Answer by Precious333 at 8:42 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I never think a parent is bad just because their child is acting up...I just think the child is having a bad moment.

    Answer by Cochise at 8:42 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Because they are judgemental and either never had kids or pretend that their kids never acted that way.

    Answer by colethky at 8:41 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • because when you get old you convieniently forget how your children acted. example: my mil always gave me lectures about how my oldest son was taking a long time to adjust to sleeping in his crib. and her kids never acted that way. hmm, come to find out they all slept in the same bed (they are from guyana which is a 3rd world country). so she was never even in the same situation as me but she was trying to lecture me about it forever. ugh, sometimes old people really annoy me lol

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:47 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • crying and tantrums are totaly different. i try not to judge other moms on how they parent, but when they just stand there and yell at their 3 year old for a tantrum it makes me wonder what they do at home.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 8:42 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • Cause they don't no what it's like to be a parent and would rather see the negative of it instead of the reality.

    Answer by DesertRose75 at 8:42 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I never judge a parent by how their child acts, but I am guilty of how they react to their child's behavior. It's the child's nature to test the limits of their parents. It's the parent's job to set the boundaries in clear and healthy way. For example I saw a little boy beating up his mother (he was 5 years old) because he was so little the mom was just laughing at it. I saw him take a full on SWING at her, I mean he cocked back his fist and shot out a perfect right hook. He missed her, but only by a hair and I am telling you that he would have knocked her block off if he had hit her. She just laughed. I couldn't help but wonder if that would still be funny at at 16. She was not defining the boundaries appropriately.
    Or to go with your example, if a parent screams and swears when a child is in the middle of a tantrum, then I shake my head. If they just scold or remove the child from the store I'm just glad it wasn't me

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:44 PM on Jul. 15, 2010

  • I don't think they are bad parents but I think that child needs a time out and the parent should not give in and let them have what they are throwing a fit for.

    Answer by reesemom at 8:46 PM on Jul. 15, 2010