If you’re a parent, then you’ve probably experienced a child crying or screaming in a public place. It really doesn’t matter whether the child is crying because he/she is having a tantrum, tired, or just fell and scraped a knee. As a parent, you ALWAYS feel self-conscious and sometimes embarrassed. Partly because you know that people around you are staring at you and your child.
So, what does a parent do?
I have to say that I’ve experienced this more than once. A lot of my stress during these crying episodes in public really have to do with where we are. If we are somewhere that’s quite loud or filled with lots of children, then I’m not usually as stressed about it. I’ll usually let my child cry and fuss until they settle down. It usually doesn’t last too long.
If we happen to be in a place that is quiet, then my stress level flies off the charts. Once when we were at Barnes and Noble, Baby decided that she wanted to climb and play on the “stage’ area in the Children’s section. She was actually copying her sister. The difference? When I asked Princess to stop playing , she did. When I asked Baby to stop playing, she had a little tantrum. She first started fussing and then it turned to full on crying. She refused to move away from the “stage” area so I told Mr. MaD to get her off. When he did, she decided that she should squirm around and flail her arms and legs. She did this all while still crying. I finally told Mr. MaD to take her outside until she settles down.
Now if this had happened in an airplane, I don’t know what I would do. You can’t really escape to anywhere else. Sometimes, it’s just plain inconvenient to pick up and leave. If I were in line at a grocery store and the next person to pay, I probably wouldn’t leave. I’d probably let her cry. Then I’d try to talk to her to calm her down or I’d try to distract her.
I think as parents we have a responsibility to respect other people’s feelings and personal space to a degree. If I had to take my child away from a situation/place because she is crying, I would never get anything done. Maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration but you know what I mean. I also believe that other people need to respect my personal space and my feelings. It’s easy for strangers to judge a parent’s choices and a child’s behavior. It would be nice to see a little more compassion from other people.
So what would you do if you saw/heard a child crying in a public place?
Would you be like the man in Georgia who took matters into his own hands while shopping at Wal Mart? His philosophy of life doesn’t include the idea that one should mind their own business. He decided to first tell the mother that she should make her child be quiet. When that suggestion didn’t work, he went up to the little girl and slapped her in the face approximately 4 times. Unbelievable! He was arrested for cruelty toward a minor. His comment to the mother, “See I told you I would shut her up. “