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One “Little” Tantrum Leads To A Really Big One

In the news recently was the story of an altercation between two shoppers that began when the one woman asked the mother of a young child to please quiet the child’s loud tantrum in the checkout line.

“She came to the side of me and told me not to tell her child what to do. And I told her that I didn’t ask your child what to do, I asked you very nicely to calm down your child just a little bit,” Hajek-Richardson recalled.

Hajek-Richardson said she then told the mom off. “I told her to go to hell and she told me I’ll see you there,” she said.

When Hajek-Richardson left the store, she said the mom followed her to her car. “Was asking me, ‘Where’d you tell me to go?’ So I repeated again what I said to her, and I told her that I told her to go to hell,” she said.

Video shows a woman in a red shirt walking toward Hajek-Richardson before they both end up on the asphalt. The victim said she was punched twice in the face.

When it became evident that the mother was not willing to hear any criticism about her handling of her child’s public tantrum and escalated the drama by closing in on Hajek-Richardson’s personal space with a verbal challenge, Hajek-Richardson was beyond foolish to retaliate with even more verbal escalation by telling her to go to Hell. And when she realizes the crazy mom has followed her into the parking lot, she compounds her foolishness into sheer stupidity by repeating the verbal insult. When you come face to face with crazy, you don’t feed it steroids in the form of verbal prods, goading the crazy into more crazy.

Did she deserve to get decked with a punch to the face? Of course not. But anyone willing to step into your personal space not once but twice is giving a huge warning that they have the potential to get physical.  Battling Mom needs to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law since it appears she has no ability to restrain herself from attacking people who express displeasure with her actions.

And one thing not mentioned in the news reports I watched is why authorities are not questioning where this small child is during this confrontation. It appears to me that the child was left unattended while Mom goes on the warpath.


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • mc November 10, 2014, 3:37 am

    wow…….. getting into a physical fight over something so trivial is appalling and leaving her child alone is too scary too think about.

    But the behavior from the woman telling the mother to quite her child down is very rude.

    Its hard when children have tantrums. It can be stressful and humiliating for the parents too. Anyone who has a child would understand that it isn’t as simple as telling them to be quiet and that sometimes even asking them to calm down can fuel the child on.

    Nosey, bossy and arrogant comments like this are an insult to parents and this lady should have just ignored it and moved on with her day. What gave her the right to think she knew better about that mother and child.. Maybe a little bit of kindness to the mother might have gone a long way. Who knows what her day was before this happened and maybe the child’s behavior was pushing her over. She may have been a single parent battling it out too. I’m not in any way excusing the physical violence or stupidity of retaliating like that but I believe people need to learn to let some things go and try to think about others before putting their 2 cents in.

    • B November 10, 2014, 6:43 am

      “Maybe a little bit of kindness to the mother might have gone a long way.”

      Or, given the mother’s utterly deranged, violent actions in front of her child, maybe not. Get real. This woman had a problem long before someone told her to quieten her kid.

      • Tmichele November 10, 2014, 10:16 am

        I fully agree with B.

        The woman took her attention off of her small child to go beat up a complete stranger in a parking lot. I am pretty confident is saying she is one of “those” parents that walks around grocery stores on her cell phone while her small child is screaming hysterically in the cart. She barely notices and ignores the child while the rest of the store has to endure the screaming. Yep, I pegged her immediately.

        Her anger is probably towards herself and rather than taking responsibility for herself she took it out on a stranger.

      • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 10:17 am

        “Get real.”

        mc IS “getting real.”

        • Vrinda November 11, 2014, 12:01 am

          No, she is not. She says the woman who approached the mother behaved rudely. She spoke to the woman politely at first. The mother of the bratty child escalated matters by responding rudely, and the first woman told her off. The mother was the one being rude, and got what she dished out when the other woman said she’ll see her in hell.

          • Vrinda November 11, 2014, 2:59 pm

            More to add: There is a lot missing from this story. Accounts I read elsewhere stated that the mother spoke rudely to the other woman, prompting her to tell the mother to “Go to Hell.” It doesn’t sound likely that the 1st woman would say such a thing to the mother without the mother saying something to provoke it.

      • Vermin8 November 10, 2014, 10:28 am

        Yes, we can talk about what the young lady should have done but the bottom line is that the mother in question is a criminal and needs incarceration. I hope they find her.

      • lakey November 10, 2014, 5:37 pm

        I personally don’t say anything to parents whose kids are having tantrums because I know that it is tough on the parent. However, that isn’t the real issue here. The real issue is a mom who is engaging in assault and battery. This is completely out of control, criminal behavior, and I wouldn’t trust the woman to do a decent job of raising that child. We all have had rude or upsetting things said to us; we don’t respond by beating the person in the head.

        As far as the victim goes, she appears to be quite young, and I suspect, doesn’t have any children, and doesn’t realize how difficult it is to be in a public place when the child decides to create of scene. Little kids do this. Someday she may have a toddler who will start screeching in the grocery store and she’ll realize what it’s like.

    • Dessa November 10, 2014, 10:04 am

      “Maybe a little bit of kindness to the mother might have gone a long way. Who knows what her day was before this happened…”

      In my experience, this kind of statement is made by only those that want an excuse to be hateful to me. What about the woman that asked for the child to be quieted? What about how her day has been? How about the cashier? Does anyone care about the cashier? The child’s tantrum affected far more people than just the mother.

      • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 11:09 am

        I agree with the previous posts here. Yes, it was foolish to say anything to the mother of the child, but there is NO way to justify assault.

        • Calli Arcale November 10, 2014, 12:31 pm

          I think it was a lose-lose situation in that this mother was determined to take offense, and the victim gave her the perfect opportunity. There was no way of handling that which would’ve avoided all confrontation. That said, she needed to use her polite spine. Don’t tell someone to go to hell unless for some unfathomable reason you want to escalate the situation. So part of me wonders whether she, too, was scrapping for a fight (just a less physical one). I’ve made the mistake of getting into a war of words with a bully. I learned a valuable lesson from that: it’s just not worth it. Once you’ve identified that they’re unreasonable, disengage while you still have some of your dignity.

          • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 2:54 pm

            Well said, Calli.

    • Miss Raven November 10, 2014, 2:13 pm

      I can’t imagine a person saying something to a stressed, exhausted-looking mother trying to quiet her screaming child. Any rational person would only actually say something to a mother who was either ignoring the child, or tuning him out rather than trying to calm him down.

      No, you cannot always calm down a screaming child, because they can’t be reasoned with. But at least TRYING in a public place indicates to people around you that you are at least attempting to be considerate.

      I was at K-Mart two days ago and a toddler was standing a few feet from me, shrieking the same shriek over, and over, and over, and over, and over, just standing in the same spot and shrieking like a car alarm. My thought was, “WHERE IS HIS MOTHER?” because the child did not appear to actually be upset and it was hideously loud and terribly obnoxious. Imagine my surprise when I rounded the corner to see the child’s father standing a few feet away, unaffectedly watching him shriek while the mother looked through curtains.

      If my boyfriend hadn’t sensed danger and steered me off, I would have absolutely said something. YOU are the parent. YOU have a responsibility, not just to your child, but to everyone who encounters your child to at least ATTEMPT to be considerate.

    • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 2:23 pm

      I think if a child is tantrumming in public, the polite and considerate thing for the parent to do is take the child away. Yes, this might mean abandoning a grocery buggy or a restaurant meal or whatever, but those are the breaks when you opt to take children to public places.

      I think parents forget just how loud and piercing the shrieks of a kid amidst a meltdown can be. And you have no idea what stressors bystanders already are operating under — maybe they have migraines, maybe they have anxiety issues, maybe they are dealing with sickness in the family or just having a bad day. If any member of your party can’t manage basic public decorum, it’s time to leave.

      So, the non-childed shopper should not have had to ask the parent to do anything in the first place. But, she definitely was impolite and ill-advised in her approach. And I cringe wondering what that poor child was in for when the mom got it home.

      • Electric Blue November 10, 2014, 5:44 pm

        Opt to take their children? Oh please, I don’t enjoy taking my toddler with me to go grocery shopping. But when he’s in my care and I need to get food by law he has to come with me. If he squeals I tell him enough. But I’m not abandoning my groceries to take him out of the store just because someone might have a migraine or a problem with it. I need to eat too you know. Do you have any idea how much effort goes into taking a child out? It’s frustrating and parents don’t enjoy it either. If you go into a public place don’t expect it to be perfect because it’s exactly that…a public place which means children who have minds of their own. I don’t condone what this mother did in this case but the other woman should have kept her mouth shut to begin with. She clearly doesn’t have children and has no idea.

        • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 8:05 pm

          I’m afraid this doesn’t fly with me.

          For one thing, I find it difficult to believe that there is no way to make a grocery trip without a toddler in tow — can’t you trade babysitting with another single mom, or some other arrangement? (I don’t understand ‘by law he has to come with me.’ Are you under a court order or something? Forgive me but I’ve never heard of such a thing.)

          Second, if a child does have a meltdown in a store, it’s easy enough to signal to an employee to please hold your cart aside while you take the child outdoors till it’s calm.

          Third, “public” does not mean no holds barred, no decorum necessary. It used to be that public decorum was even stricter than private behavior standards! Even if that is no longer the case, being in public is no excuse for subjecting your fellow Earthlings to a miserable experience.

          • Noodle November 11, 2014, 12:18 am

            What she means by “by law he has to come with me” is that she is not allowed to leave a toddler at home alone for the amount of time it would take to go to the supermarket. I’m sure every state has a law to that effect.

          • Ergala November 11, 2014, 12:54 am

            Um not everyone has access to a babysitter. I sure don’t. I’m sorry but I am not leaving my cart in the check out lane because my youngster has decided at that moment he has had enough. I am going to finish checking out and get out of dodge and deal with him the best I can. If we are not in the check out process I take him to the nearest rest room and have a chat about proper behavior. I have a two hour window each day to get errands done.

          • Electric Blue November 11, 2014, 2:59 am

            Wow! You just assumed I was a single mum! How did you come to that conclusion?

            No I’m not. I have a husband who works and sometimes I go to the shops with him and our children or sometimes just my children. But if I have them on my own because my husband is at work they come with me. I don’t exactly have babysitters at my doorstep so it’s ridiculous to think parents should just drop their children off somewhere when that’s not always feasible. So if there is no one to look after them but me by law they have to come with me as I am not allowed to leave them at home alone.

            And as to “subjecting your fellow earthlings to such a miserable experience” do you ever stop to think how the parents feel? I feel sorry for the poor parents when their child melts down. I don’t live in the US but there aren’t always willing staff members ready to mind your groceries. In fact they’re far more likely to put them back on the shelf. I’m fortunate my son hasnt had a complete meltdown yet…but I’m sure that day will come and I will do my best to calm him. But I’m not abandoning my groceries because it’s like running a marathon just to get them when towing my toddler and newborn!

            Having said all this I do believe there are places that should be child free. A fancy restaurant or upmarket hair salon is just a couple of places I have in mind.

          • Reboot November 11, 2014, 5:52 am

            @Hollyhock, I’m pretty sure Electric Blue is referring to the fact that she can’t just leave her toddler alone at home while she goes shopping.

            As an aside, I really wish more places did online ordering and delivery. One of the big grocery stores here in Australia does now, and it’s been a godsend for me, being physically disabled. I can imagine that for parents, especially single parents, it could be similarly useful.

          • Monkeys mommy November 11, 2014, 4:26 pm

            My family lives in Florida, 10 hours south of all of our friends and family. Being that we moved here recently, we don’t know people we would feel comfortable “trading ” babysitting with. Not trying to say that’s always the case just pointing out that sometimes a sitter really IS NOT possible.

          • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 10:43 am

            Thanks for this. I am a single mother, work and go to school. My child never had a screaming tantrum in public. When she cried, I would take her out. I am sick of parents who think that having children entitles them to be rude. No one should have to listen to screaming kids. A baby, yes, they cry. You take them out or take care of them.

            There are plenty of options rather than take toddlers to stores. Sure sometimes it can’t be avoided. But a lot of the time it can. I’ve done it myself, and again I was and still am a single mom, no family living nearby either.

            Both women in the situation were wrong.

          • don't blink November 16, 2014, 3:41 am

            @Hollyhock – The only way you could find it difficult to believe you can’t make a grocery trip with a toddler in tow is if you don’t currently have one living in your home. Babysitters are expensive; spouses and family members work; friends are not always available, and people have to eat.

          • admin November 18, 2014, 3:19 pm

            I routinely shopped with THREE kids along with me so those who believe it is an utter hardship to shop with one need to buck up, grow up and get their big parent pants on.

        • monkey's mommy November 11, 2014, 1:47 pm

          Totally agree with you Blue. I have had the same experiences with my toddler, and my older kids when they were that age. I have walked out and left a fully loaded cart before; but how fair was that to the poor worker who had to unload it and put it all away? I try to avoid that now.
          I try my best to calm my child down if he is being loud or whining, but I am not going to walk out and leave food that I need just because you are childless and have no patience.

          The woman should NOT have hit the offending woman, but I have to tell you, if my child was in the middle of a stage 5 melt down and some young woman looked at me and told me to quiet him down, she might want to consider running away after she said it. And then to compound it with “Go to Hell”??? Oh, sweet Jesus. On second thought, I can kind of see why she might have gotten decked. That is just sheer stupidity.

          • Ergala November 11, 2014, 4:33 pm

            Did you watch the interview with the young woman? When asked if she would do it again she said yes. I was blown away by her arrogance to be honest. The mother was absolutely wrong in hitting her, but the young woman seemed so smug I’d probably have been incredibly annoyed if she started lecturing me on dealing with my child. You know the saying “Everyone is an expert on raising children until they have one of their own”….yeah that kind of holds true here.

      • Hollyhock November 11, 2014, 9:13 am

        I guess I would wonder why the child’s other parent can’t watch it while the shopping is done, or some arrangement.

        At any rate the bumptious “I’ll do as I please and people who don’t like it can just suck it up because it’s a public place and we have a right to be there!” attitude is … interesting … and makes me wonder why the owners of such attitudes are even interested in a discussion of etiquette and decorum.

        • Electric Blue November 11, 2014, 5:14 pm

          Try explaining etiquette to a 2 year old. He will get there but it’s going to take time.

          Other parent works full time. We usually do shopping altogether. However sometimes I have to go back during the week to grab a few things.

          In no way am I suggesting parents should do as they please. I think parents should do their best to calm the toddler. If it’s a situation where the child can be taken outside fine. If it means abandoning a weeks worth of groceries than no.

          Reboot I did look into online grocery shopping with Woolworths. However once I started shopping online I quickly noticed some products were more expensive simply because it’s online shopping. A juice I buy instore is $3.99 and online it was $4.25. And a large box of huggies nappies is $33 in store but $35 online. And there’s the delivery fee which I expect but paying higher prices for products? It was going to cost quite a bit more just to do it online that we decided to continue regular shopping. I was quite shattered. ..I was heavily pregnant at the time and walking around was a killer. I started sending my husband shopping on the weekends.

          • Reboot November 11, 2014, 7:41 pm

            @Electric Blue

            Ugh, that’s a shame. I’m fine with paying a delivery fee, especially since I’m saving on petrol and parking if I don’t have to go out myself (or, well, have my SO drive us out, since I can’t drive), but if the products are more expensive just because they’re online then that can be ridiculous. I haven’t noticed our grocery bill being more expensive since we changed over, and in my case the convenience really is worth the extra cost since getting out is quite difficult for me, but it’s absolutely not a choice everyone can afford to make.

        • delislice November 11, 2014, 5:36 pm

          Many’s the time I steered my cart over to the service desk and said, “Scuse me, may I leave this here a minute?” and went out to the car with my toddler until the toddler and I were both back under control. That meant sitting in the car with a shrieking, flailing child a few times until he or she got the idea that “Oh, this isn’t working.”

          It’s one thing to decide as a parent not to give in to a tantrum … it’s quite another to “ignore” the tantrum, which inflicts it on other people. As much as I understand the thinking behind ignoring them, maybe getting the child out of the store is a helpful first step?

          • Ergala November 13, 2014, 4:41 pm

            Wait you can have groceries delivered? I wish our area had that!

  • Kate November 10, 2014, 4:29 am

    The mom is heinous, that goes without saying, but what is the point with telling someone to quiet their tantruming child? It can’t end well.

    They were in the checkout line, not a trans-Atlantic flight. Her time near this screaming child was going to come to a close soon enough. And she could have left the line. Again, I don’t condone the mother’s actions and I’m SURE I would have been annoyed with the tantrum as well, but I am fully aware that crazy people exist in this world and initiating an unpleasant interaction with a stranger is not worth it for a temporary problem. It just isn’t.

    • Lenore November 10, 2014, 10:40 am

      I am one of many people who have tinnitus. One of the side effects for me that is high pitched noises feel like they are drilling through my skull. I can excuse babies, because they literally have no other means of communicating. But toddlers and up? Not so much. I don’t get headaches, but from 5+ minutes exposure to the pitch of screaming children actually does give me headaches.

      This is why I always carry my in-ear headphones – it helps to drown out those noises.

      If I had taken my dog to the shops and he started barking, I’m pretty sure people would ask me to quieten him down, or leave. There’s nothing wrong with asking (in a civil manner!) a mother if she could attend to her screaming child. If the mom is already fussing over the kid, I don’t say anything – she’s already trying to do something about it.

  • B November 10, 2014, 5:04 am

    That poor little child. What chance has a child got growing up with a mouthy, violent mother? I think you’ll find though, that the authorities are indeed interested in where mouthy mommy’s child was when this was going on.

    I’m also disappointed that the ‘she did not deserve to get punched’ was qualified with a ‘but’. No. She did not deserve it, end of story. It doesn’t matter if she was unwise or outright stupid. She did not deserve it. And she wasn’t actually unreasonable to presume that a mother with her child would keep the abuse verbal. The idea that that woman would batter her in the car park…well, to me that is so far out of normal that it wouldn’t even occur to me. I’d see the mouthy idiot mommy, but that she would punch someone? Woah. No, never. So I cannot blame HR, whatever I think of her response, for assuming the line would be drawn.

    • Kovi November 10, 2014, 9:59 am

      This, B. This so, so very much. We hear this very same ‘but’ all the time, especially when it comes to women being harassed. “She didn’t deserve to be harassed, but….why was she wearing that??” for example. I know it’s not meant that way here, but that ‘but’ can be more damaging than some people realize.

      The mother was NUTS to attack someone simply for asking her to calm her child down. Everything that ended up happening was a result of her clear lack of constraint, and ferocious temper. Nothing else.

      • Lera99 November 10, 2014, 11:00 am

        I think there is a difference between “victim-blaming” and “wise council not to end up in the same situation”.

        Here is the difference:
        Victim Blaming: “What did she expect to happen getting so drunk at that frat party?”

        Wise Council: “It’s a bad idea to get really intoxicated at a frat party. Stick with friends and try to keep each other’s drinking moderate so none of you become incapacitated.”

        Victim Blaming says: “This horrible thing happened to you because you made bad decisions.”

        Wise Council says: “Should you find yourself in a similar situation – here are some guidelines that will make you less likely to stand out as an easy target.”

        So when the admin says: The mother was very aggressive and acting in a crazy manner so it might not have been the best idea to bait her

        She’s not saying “It’s HR’s fault for continuing to interact with this woman”

        She’s saying “In the future if you are also confronted by someone acting in such a manner, you might find discretion is the better part of valor. And rather than escalate with words a quiet retreat might lead to better outcomes.”

        • Enna November 10, 2014, 12:22 pm

          That is still victim blaming as it is saying you should do “B” nest time instead of “A”. It doesn’t matter if you do “A” or “B” no one – including men and women has the right or the excuse to perform an assault, violent or sexual on anyone else. I apply that to both men and women. Also you are more likley to be harmed by someone you do know then a stranger.

          I used to have a firend who I am not longer firends with because she would behave badly when she was drunk. I still believe that if she was sexually assulted in anyway whoever did it would be 100% in the wrong. However if she started a fight with another person e.g by dealing the first blow because she was drunk or tripped and hurt herself then she is partly to blame. Men shouldn’t rape.

          • Amanda H. November 10, 2014, 3:01 pm

            So where does the woman in the news story who continued to verbally provoke the angry mother making threatening gestures fit in then? Partly to blame in your view or not? Because the woman in the story didn’t throw the first punch, but neither did she nip the situation in the bud when she had the chance.

            I certainly am not going to leave her blameless when she was provoking the situation.

          • crella November 10, 2014, 7:29 pm

            Behavior has consequences, and outlining those consequences is not ‘victim blaming’. I’m sorry, but I really dislike that phrase…it is in effect saying that women should not have any tactics that they can employ to keep themselves out of trouble, that the rest of the world just has to behave itself. If I walked in some seedy area with a roll of 100’s or a huge Rolex clearly visible, I’d likely get mugged. Stupid of me not to hide my money…common sense isn’t it? Why is it ‘victim blaming’ when you say ‘Stick with friends and try to keep each other’s drinking moderate so none of you become incapacitated’ ? It sounds like great advice to me. Men shouldn’t rape, no, they shouldn’t. However a man who is likely to rape or take advantage is going to look for the easiest target he can. Not making yourself one seems smart to me. Men who are likely to rape are not daunted by statements/posters/T-shirts about how bad and wrong rape is. Taking steps to protect yourself is only prudent.

          • BellyJean November 11, 2014, 8:53 am

            Thank you for this, Enna. It’s definitely a societal mental switch that needs to occur.

        • RC November 10, 2014, 10:48 pm

          Perfect explanation, Lera99. *applause*

        • Iris November 11, 2014, 12:10 am

          Sometimes the form of words can have a big impact, and “but” is rarely a good word to use. As someone who works with teenagers I regularly encounter bullying situations. Now it is not ever okay to bully, and also there are some strategies that you can use to help minimise the problem. I never express it with a ‘but’ to students though. I deal completely and totally with the bullying issue and finalise it. Then I OFFER to discuss some strategies that might help them if they find themselves in a similar situation so that it is super clear that we are having two different conversations about two different things.

          For example, I think a simple rearrangement of the sentences in the Admin’s paragraph would avoid any confusion over victim blaming/sound advice. State first that the woman should be prosecuted and then at the end of the paragraph say “I would advise readers, however, that someone who has stepped twice into your personal space….”

  • Louisa November 10, 2014, 5:30 am

    Gee…I wonder where the child gets his behaviour tips?

  • just4kicks November 10, 2014, 6:10 am

    Just last Sunday afternoon, I ran to the supermarket for just a few items. I wanted to do self check out, but every one of them was occupied, so I ducked into the “12 items or less line”. This check was directly between a full service check out and the self checkout aisle. I was waiting behind someone, amusing myself reading the cover of a tabloid (tori spelling is pregnant AGAIN? Bruce Jenner caught wearing hot pink nail polish!), when I hear a child screaming at the top of his/her lungs, loud enough that I, the person in front of me and the cashier all jumped about a foot. I looked over to the full service aisle, and saw a man rocking a small boy….a very quiet boy. Then I see the cashier look behind her with a very annoyed expression, and saw a girl about 9 or 10 years old who appeared to be with the dad and baby and a very oblivious mom packing their groceries. This girl kept bumping into the cashier in my lane, (who had her back to this family) screaming, whining, begging, crying, and oh, did I mention SCREAMING? The entire front of the store was staring at this kid and her parents who were doing nothing to shut this kid up. They had two carts full of stuff, and the young man was doing his best to hurry up and finish ringing up their groceries. The customer in front of me paid, and patted the young checker helping us on the hand and said “Good Luck, honey….hang in there!” Now it’s my turn, and this brat is continuing her tantrum, and keeps banging into the girl checking me out. She is now in tears, and I gave her a sympathetic smile, and told her to take her time. After all told about ten minutes of this kid and her high pitched tantrum, a lady to the left of us, in the self check out lanes yelled at the top of her lungs, “JESUS CHRIST!!! ENOUGH ALREADY!!! Would you PLEASE shut that kid THE HELL UP!!!” Everyone kind of froze in place for a moment, then half of us burst into laughter, the other half started clapping. Finished checking out by now, the mom of the little brat spun around to see who had “yelled that at HER daughter!” and “how RUDE we were all were to yell at a CHILD!” She and her husband (I assume) grabbed their carts and stormed out in a huff……with the girl still screaming and crying following a few paces behind. It was the worst display by a child I’ve ever seen, or heard.

    • Hanna November 10, 2014, 8:41 am

      While I’m sure some people were glad someone spoke up and yelled to have someone shut that kid up, unfortunately I’d have to take the mom’s side here. You can’t say those things directed at a child. You never know if the child has autism or other developmental struggles and they legitimately, to some extent, cannot control their behavior.

      • Byaboo November 10, 2014, 9:33 am

        Your comment made me remember a time when I was a cashier. I had a woman come through my line a couple of times who would always start the conversation off with her child has autism and that she’s sorry if he starts to throw a tantrum. She would do her best to get through the check out as quickly as possible while keeping him occupied as best as she could. It made me sad that she had to explain it to me, probably because she’d had one too many times of people thinking it was their place to tell her how to raise her child.

      • JKC November 10, 2014, 9:52 am

        Even if that were the case though (and I sympathize, two of my younger cousins are autistic and I used to babysit them), there was absolutely no excuse for the parents’ failure to intervene while the child was repeatedly crashing into another person to the point where “she [was] in tears” as J4K pulled up to the register. It sounds like the kid may have been hurting the cashier and if nothing else, the parents really did deserve to be called out for that.

        • Byaboo November 10, 2014, 2:37 pm

          It wasn’t Hajek-Richardson’s place to call the woman out. She should have gone to management/asked her cashier to call for a manager and had the manager approach the woman. Managers are there to deal with these types of situations, among other things.

          • JKC November 14, 2014, 8:25 am

            My reply was to just4kicks in regard to her story, not the original post. I’m not saying that it should have been the responsibility of a customer to handle the situation; just commenting that the parents in this case were being extremely rude and negligent and there ought to be some sort of consequence for that.

          • Byaboo November 15, 2014, 12:13 am

            @JKC: I agree 100% that the parent should have taken care of the situation and stopped the child from hurting the cashier. I was just trying to say that once Hajek-Richardson noticed that the child was physically hurting the cashier and the woman told her off then the next obvious step is to get management involved. I posted lower in this thread about an incident that happened in Georgia where a man felt slighted because he wasn’t acknowledged for holding the door open. The man got shot by the other person when he followed the “etiquetteless” person left the gas station. My main point being that you never know what type of person you are dealing with so once she noticed that this woman was not going to respond in a good way then she should have either left or gotten management involved or both.

          • Amanda H. November 15, 2014, 1:15 pm

            @Byaboo, Hajek-Richardson is the woman in the original news story (at the top) who got punched by the woman. That story didn’t involve a child physically hurting the cashier; that was just4kicks’s story. Two separate stories.

      • Kovi November 10, 2014, 10:02 am

        I don’t see why it would really matter, if the child has autism. The parents can still make an attempt to deescalate them. Heck, one parent could have taken the child out to the car, while the other stayed to finish paying.

        The parents getting all huffy about their kid being yelled at in the first place kind of points to there being no developmental disorder. It’s far more likely that there’s simply a complete lack of parenting, in the house.

        • Lenore November 10, 2014, 10:43 am

          A friend of mine has a child who is on the autism spectrum, and also has sensory processing disorder. He has had meltdowns – the first thing she always does is take him out of the situation and into the car to calm him down. Leaving a child who is having an adverse reaction to the environment IN that environment is not doing them any favours 🙁

          • Moralia November 10, 2014, 1:40 pm

            Right on! Plus, there were two parents there, one of them could have taken her outside. I’ve wrestled with more than one cart and a kid on my hip before. It’s tough, but can be done.

          • Marozia November 11, 2014, 3:13 am

            Absolutely! But some parents and even psychologists have this skewed belief that taking children and ‘force teaching’ them social graces in unfamiliar surroundings is good for them.

        • Ai November 10, 2014, 12:37 pm

          I completely agree. It really does not matter to me, a customer trying to pay for my own groceries, whether the child has autism or not. What matters is how the parents react to their screaming child. Do they try to calm their child? Do they stop shopping and remove their child from the situation? Do they try to end their shopping early and pay for their items as quickly as possible? Or do they just ignore him/her, letting them scream and the cashier, me, and other patrons of the grocery store?

          The latter reaction is what would make me lose a lot of sympathy for parents of screaming children. When they do nothing to correct or soothe the behavior is what ruffles my feathers.

          • BellyJean November 11, 2014, 9:11 am

            This. Thank you, Ai.

      • David November 10, 2014, 1:24 pm

        That was not yelled at the child. That was yelled at the two adults who were completely ignoring the fact that their child was bumping into and possibly injuring another person.

        See, I get it – ignoring tantrums can certainly make them shorter and less attractive for the child to do and if it had just been a single parent with a baby as well then maybe people might have been more in a “Oh poor parent” mindset.

        But when two adults are there both ignoring that their child, it becomes less “oh poor parent” and more ” Seriously? One of you can’t remove them from the store while the other one gets the groceries? ”

        I was a rotten child. I had many a tantrum. I didn’t get to have many a tantrum in the store because even with 4 children, one of my parents would take me outside if I had a meltdown in a store.

        • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 10:48 am

          Amen. My cousin has three children, one with autism and one physically handicapped. She is the type of person who doesn’t like asking someone to pass a dish because she’s worried about inconveniencing them. She handles it, and does not subject others to any inconvenience due to her responsibility.

      • Kathy November 10, 2014, 1:40 pm

        She didn’t yell at the child, she yelled at the parents!

      • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 2:30 pm

        Even if the child did have some sort of disorder, both parents apparently were there. There is no reason one couldn’t take her outdoors, while the other finished packing and paying for the groceries.

        Subjecting others to screams and shrieks, particularly indoors, unless it’s a life or death situation, is not acceptable under any circumstances.

      • Lizajane November 10, 2014, 6:41 pm

        And there it is. But what if I have autism and the wailing causes ME to have an episode?

    • clairedelune November 10, 2014, 9:02 am

      For a child that old to be screaming that loudly and uncontrollably, and actually physically bumping into a stranger, over and over again, makes me wonder if she had some kind of neurodevelopmental issues. Not that this in ANY way excuses the parents’ complete negligence, especially in allowing their child to knock around another person like that (absolutely inexcusable), but it wouldn’t be simply a matter of the child being a “little brat.”

      • AnaMaria November 10, 2014, 9:58 am

        These comments exactly. I don’t like how every story on this website has to include a comment saying, “Well, maybe this incredibly rude person has autism,” but reality is that some people do have to deal with developmental or neurological issues, and sometimes parents are just SPENT from trying to accommodate their child’s needs without interfering with others. You can’t lock yourself in your house 24-7 just because you are a parent of a child with special needs, and arranging childcare is 100x more complicated- and the child will need to get out of the house, too, at some point! Parents of these children are usually doing the best they can, but sometimes their children are going to have meltdowns in public, and rudeness from onlookers only makes the parents’ burden heavier.

        No, it’s not okay for a child to bump around and put other people in danger- but you aren’t going to teach a child manners by yelling at their parents and using foul language. If the customer had politely said something- and I’d be fine with them calling over to the parents, instead of trying to navigate through the crowd to talk with them quietly- and the parents had reacted this way, I would say the parents were completely in the wrong, but they did have a right to be upset that someone set such a poor example for their daughter.

        • Firecat November 10, 2014, 4:16 pm

          I have to disagree with your last comment. If you ask me, the parents sent a way worse example for their daughter than the person who yelled did. The parents are the ones who – whatever their reasons – chose to ignore their daughter’s screaming and bumping the cashier. That’s far worse than what the person who yelled did.

          And yes, I know that caring for a special needs child (assuming that was the case in this situation, which we don’t know) is exhausting in a way that’s really difficult to understand. But however exhausted they were, what they did was incredibly rude to everyone else in the store, and even to their daughter.

      • Rap541 November 10, 2014, 10:01 am

        At the same time, people would be a lot more understanding if the parents would say “she’s autistic, we’re sorry she’s over stimulated” – I think we all understand a child with disabilities will be challenging but unfortuneately with things like autism, there’s a line where it just looks like a brat screaming and Mom and Dad doing and saying nothing.

      • ALM November 10, 2014, 11:04 am

        If the child is hitting other people and physically colliding with others, regardless of their neurology, it is long past time for the parents to remove the child from the situation. ‘Autism’ is not an excuse, nor is it going to prevent other people from being injured.

        • Calli Arcale November 10, 2014, 12:42 pm

          I have an autistic daughter, and while she’s never done a 10-minute screaming fit at the grocery store, she does reach points where she absolutely cannot handle the current situation anymore. So we remove her. Well, we used to — she’s now old enough to be trusted to remove herself from the situation, and she knows how to calm herself down as long as she’s away from whatever the adverse stimulus was.

          Basically, most screaming kids in this situation are being brats, but some screaming kids in this situation are autistic — and for them, making them suffer a situation that is paining them that much is downright torturous. If you can’t remove them for the sake of the other patrons, remove them for their own sake. And yours later — a kid exhausted from tantrumming is not going to be a pleasant kid to be around later in the day. If your kid is autistic, you have the job of managing situations around them so that their mood is not overtaxed. As they get older, they will learn how to better control their moods and their reactions, but you can’t expect them to gain that ability overnight, or even over a few years, so in the meantime you need to make sure they’re not constantly set up for failure.

          Of course, any parent of any child can misjudge a situation. I’ve taken my kids shopping on days that turned out to be really bad ones to do that, and they’ve embarrassed me — it sorta goes with the territory of parenthood that you won’t always be successful. And if it’s a very long line at the checkout, it may not be possible to just cut and run, especially if you don’t have a spouse there to hold your spot in line or pay for the groceries. But when that happens, you need to at least acknowledge the discomfort you have placed on other people by bringing your overtired and cranky children to the store with you. A simple apology can go a long way.

          • AlyInSebby November 10, 2014, 3:26 pm

            This x infinity! Exactly!

            You win the Ehell internets today.

            I wanted kids and later chose not to, so childless by choice.

            I understand that MANY people don’t view or feel they have the room to view their becoming parents as a choice.

            But it is.

            I saw all the work and demand and selflessness required of the job and became clear that e being a parent, having a child would be bad for me, the child and the world at large.

            If I go to a movie mid-day I can expect there to be kids any and everywhere. When I got to a midnight showing of a rated R movie, I expect I will not encounter any kids. Sleeping peaceful babies, if you have one and that seems like a smart choice ok.

            But the stories reflected here are stories of people foisting their poor choices on others when those others have a reasonable expectation of not having to deal with a kid.

            e.g. the cashier, the child was interfering with her performing her job safely and creating a danger to herself and the cashier.

            Sorry but any parent who lets that go on in any circumstance is being a horrible parent and their child is suffering for it.

            The baseline of our social contract is if your kid is creating a disturbance a reasonable person will take them from the area. There are exceptions but none noted here yet has risen to those exceptions.

    • Michelle November 10, 2014, 10:04 am

      I would have spoken up, too, and maybe asked the woman or man did they know their child was bumping the cashier and if they had gotten huffy with me (and I know this is gets me thrown in e-hell), I would have gotten huffy back.

      I have 2 children, and apart from the youngest have a slight speech delay, I am lucky they were both perfectly healthy. I know that sometimes even trying to speak to a tantruming child will make it worse. But I will give a lot of sway to a parent that at least attempts to calm their child instead of completely ignoring them.

      A 9 or 10 year old child is old having a tantrum and neither one of the parents does anything, even with said child bumping into a cashier, a person doing their job who can’t say anything or move out of the way? I would have applauded, too.

    • Vermin8 November 10, 2014, 10:32 am

      I’d have been clapping with them.

    • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 11:18 am

      I have a son with autism, and even I don’t buy the “she’s on the spectrum, so the parents are off the hook.” Both parents were there; one of them should have left with the child who was having a meltdown. And bumping repeatedly into the employee: no excuse for that!

      • MamaToreen November 10, 2014, 4:58 pm

        My brother is high functioning autistic. He is now 42. Any time his behavior was disruptive, he was taken out of the situation and disciplined. He is now a productive, polite man with 2 black belts in karate. Disabled children need more structure and consistancy in their lives to teach them how to behave. Ignoring the behavior just makes them harder to wrangle

    • whatever November 10, 2014, 11:35 am

      No way should anyone ever yell something like that about shouting a kid up. these situations don’t take long, you have NOOOO idea what the parents are wrestling with, and it is boorish and rude behavior to yell something like that and for others to start clapping. Get a grip people.

      • Enna November 10, 2014, 12:33 pm

        One of the parents should have tired to do something to calm the child down. I remeber once being in a shop and a man who was clearly mentally handicapped was with a relation or a career. A shop assistant smiled at him so he walked up to her and said “Hello,” and linked his arm with hers. The lady who was with him, apologised but she did say that he doesn’t understand. I thought he thought the shop assistant was a career as she was working an overall.

      • Ai November 10, 2014, 12:48 pm

        Ten minutes…ten minutes of a screaming child of two parents who just couldn’t be bothered. That’s obscene! Not only that, but their child actually kept BANGING into the cashier, who has to stand there and do her job.

        I don’t CARE what the parents are dealing with, I have little to no sympathy for them; they did NOTHING to quiet their child AND they brought the poor cashier to tears with their kid banging into her. Yelling for them to shut the kid up was rude, but apparently someone has to remind them that their child’s behavior and their nonchalant demeanor about it is UNACCEPTABLE.

      • Kathy November 10, 2014, 1:45 pm

        The situation took at least 10 minutes according to the OP, and long enough for the audio and physical assault to put the cashier to tears, yet there are far too many people here thinking that is OK for the parents to do something like that. Why? Why are they getting a pass on manners here? Even if the girl was autistic (which I very much doubt) why does that give the parents a pass?

        • BellyJean November 11, 2014, 9:14 am

          Agreed – thank you, Kathy.

        • NostalgicGal November 11, 2014, 5:03 pm

          I agree, anything that size should be able to express themselves other than a tantrum, and the first ‘bang’ into anyone should have been the last. Period. With two parents there should have been one taking control of the child, and one finishing business.

          The more the world gets this way, the more I love online, click, click, and it shows up at my door….

      • Vicki November 10, 2014, 2:07 pm

        No, I don’t know what the parents are dealing with. And they don’t know what the people their child is hitting are dealing with: if a child is routinely allowed to hit strangers, they may hit someone with chronic pain, or in just the wrong spot. And the parent probably won’t know that their child has just caused someone days of physical pain, or made it more difficult for that stranger in the supermarket to walk. People with migraines, or nerve damage from shingles, also have the right to go out in the world and do their shopping.

        • NostalgicGal November 11, 2014, 5:04 pm

          Or have that child hit someone and have a nice lawsuit delivered to their door. Yes they are responsible for little pumpkin.

          Be ready for more of this in the future.

          • just4kicks November 14, 2014, 1:28 am

            I don’t honestly know if the girl had conditions, or not. And no, the lady did not yell at the girl, she yelled at the parents. The whole store could probably hear her. She was begging for something her parents wouldn’t buy her. She was (in my opinion) old enough to know better. And no, yelling that probably wasn’t the best way to deal with a kid that’s not yours, but, I certainly understood where she was coming from.

          • NostalgicGal November 16, 2014, 1:04 pm

            There are times though, you wish you could use a spraybottle of water. One squirt in the girl’s face and I bet she never EVER would do that again. However we can’t do that to our own kids yet alone someone else’s. Rereading this, I would have loved to try the ‘harmless shock treatment’ to get the girl back to reality. Lawsuit probability, high. Do it, no. Fantasize about it, yes.

  • JJ November 10, 2014, 7:38 am

    The mom in this story sounds like a completely violent nut job. She would probably lose her cool and punch someone over the most ridiculous things even if she didn’t have children with her. She would probably be that lady who punches someone over a parking spot, the last product on the shelf etc. I feel most sad for her poor child who will grow up learning mommy’s strike first ask questions later method of dealing with life. Poor kid 🙁

    That being said kids cry and they tantrum. It happens and there is typically no point to saying anything about it because the parents most of the time anyway are typically embarrassed and just trying to get the heck out. Most of the tie time anyway. I think it was pointless for the victim to even bother saying anything if it hadn’t been going on very long since it sounds like the lady with the screechy kid was almost leaving soon. I say this as someone who in all honesty is not a kid person and I secretly get irritated by loud, screechy noisy kids in public. But I just put on my ignore it mode and do my best to focus on something else and block it out till mom or dad leaves because its the public space and I accept I am going to hear it.

    That being said I can relate to stories like just4kicks because I have seen some rare parents who just let their kids scream and kick at the top of their lungs for over 20 minutes to half an hour or longer without so much as an effort to calm the child or leave. Fact is if a tantrum does not stop after so long you need to leave the situation not keep sitting down eating in a restaurant or shopping in the store for things that aren’t even essential right now. You can come back another time when screechy is settled down. And before all the “what if the child has a disorder or autism huh they have a right to be out!” groups run in I will honestly say it still doesn’t matter that much to me. Kids make noise regardless if they have disorders or not but if they are absolutely losing it at the top of their lungs and hitting other people they need to go calm down somewhere else I don’t care if they have a condition or not. My parents many a times when their three kids were young had to leave restaurants or shopping malls because either one of us was getting upset and crying/tantrum very loud. It is just the way it is they never had a second thought about it. Now we live in the age where some parents think ‘my kid can do whatever they want and I’m not going to stop it so you can all just listen to it while I keep shopping for another half hour’. My goodness at my own job we have parents come in and sit in the restaurant eating are of the store with their kids screaming bloody murder and they sit there. The whole time. Just eating their food for a good 30 minutes while everyone else around them is like are you seriously not going to talk to your child, calm them down or leave. Your seriously just going to sit there and drive everyone away and business away? Yes. Yes some parents really will do that because they think because they have to deal with it so should everyone else in the world. I wish we could go back to the olden days of if the kid doesn’t shows signs of stopping you drop what you are doing if its not an emergency (like the ER or trapped on a plane) and you come back another time. Shouldn’t be a hard concept to grasp but amazing how certain parents don’t get that and try to use the I am a victim stance.

    • JKC November 10, 2014, 10:01 am

      Amen! In my family, if a child starts wailing, within a few seconds a parent has scooped them up and headed out into the parking lot. I grew up with the notion that this was normal behavior, and that everyone (particularly fathers in my family’s case), should just accept the notion that being a parent means spending periods of time in isolation while a tantrum runs its course.

      • admin November 10, 2014, 10:36 am

        I can’t believe the people who think blood curdling, ear piercing screaming from their angry child can be ignored. My mother would hold us firmly by both shoulders and give “the evil eye” which was enough to shut up even the hounds of hell. And there was no way we did that kind of tantrum in public twice.

        • kylynara November 10, 2014, 12:37 pm

          Ideally, a parent can just take the tantruming kid, get out of there, and come back later. I generally couldn’t. My son is a homebody like me, but without the ability to understand why he needed to leave the house. By the time we got to the grocery store, I’d been battling him for nearly two hours trying to get us ready and out the door. I wore him or wrestled the car cart to keep him calm as long as I could, but I generally needed stuff to make the next meal. If we were more than half way through the store, there was no way I was going to put everything back so we could ditch the store and suffer through it again tomorrow. Doubly so since that would have been giving in to the tantrum and letting him win guaranteeing a worse one tomorrow. My husband worked late enough I couldn’t just go when he got home.

        • BellyJean November 11, 2014, 9:17 am

          Thank you, yes! I kept quiet (not mute, but not yelling all over the place), and rarely (if ever) had a tantrum in public. My mom was a force to be reckoned with – but a quiet force. She never struck me, she never yelled, but I knew I’d be in trouble – the “evil eye” is exactly it. Result – I was a very good kid, and considerate towards others. Even now (I’m in my mid-30s), if my mom disagrees with me and gives me, “the look”, I get flashbacks.

          • just4kicks November 14, 2014, 11:41 am

            Oh, Yes…..I remember “the Look”. Stopped me dead in my tracks, every time.
            I could’ve, however, done without the spankings with a wooden spoon and kneeling on uncooked rice on a hardware floor.

        • Jen November 15, 2014, 3:07 pm

          My parents had seven children.

          Anytime my parents brought us anywhere we were going to be in public, we got the lecture, well beforehand, that if ANY of us acted up, they would have no problem with leaving the situation. We also got the “evil eye” at the first sign of a fuss. And this generally stopped any nonsense for happening.

          In fact, I can remember many a time when my parents were complimented on how well-behaved we were.

          I don’t have children myself and I try my best to be tolerant when faced with a similar situation as in the original story or in those shared by other posters. But, I’m less sympathetic when it appears that the parent is making no effort whatsoever to control the outburst.

    • Vermin8 November 10, 2014, 10:36 am

      Remember the video taken by the guy who caught 2 women stealing his pavilion on the beach? Remember the woman who threatened him? Same type of personality.

      I remember a few years back, attending a friend’s wedding with my parents, brother, SIL, and 18 month old nephew. SIL was holding nephew and he was fussing (not screaming but loud enough to be heard for at least several rows, if not the whole small church). I told my mom someone needed to take the baby outside, so Mom did, which was not my intent. Later my dad lectured my brother that he and/or wife should have removed the child and my brother replied that he and his wife and his kid were invited to the wedding so he had the right to sit there along with his fussy baby. He wouldn’t get it.

      • Calli Arcale November 10, 2014, 12:48 pm

        You and your dad were in the right; your brother unfortunately was not. I’ve brought small children to weddings and funerals before. I always went armed with age-appropriate distractions. Only twice have I had to walk out with my child — for my cousin’s wedding last summer (daughter had a potty emergency — it happens), and for my husband’s great-uncle’s funeral a few years ago (other daughter, who is autistic, was getting very agitated at the tight quarters and the need to be quiet, so we went to the church’s nursery so she could untangle her emotions and allow others to participate in the service).

        My daughter sometimes has to leave church now, at age 12, but less so now that we’ve finally convinced the A/V guy that the volume really doesn’t have to be quite *that* high. 😉

    • Skittle November 10, 2014, 11:24 am

      The whole ‘but they might have a disability’ argument just makes me angry. I work with people with intellectual disabilities, and when one of them has a tantrum, we remove them from the area so they don’t disturb the other individuals until they calm down. On top of that, the majority of our individuals know how to behave in public because they’ve been taught how too, and know that tantrums won’t get them the results they want. So coming into a situation with that knowledge, the argument that ‘little Johnny’ has autism and can’t control himself just translates to ‘parent doesn’t want to inconvenience him or herself’ to deal with the problem before it escalates to a tantrum and becomes an issue for everyone else.

    • Renee November 10, 2014, 11:27 am

      100% agree. This is how I was raised and this is how I raised my daughter. I would never allow my daughter to behave like this is public. If I could not quiet her in roughly 5 minutes, I excused myself. In my opinion it is the polite thing to do. There are other people in the restaurant, grocery store or mall besides yourself. It seems people only think of themselves and sadly they believe all of the other people should “understand how it is.”

      • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 2:34 pm

        I appreciate and applaud your philosophy Renee, but would respectfully suggest that five minutes is too long.

        I know parents get immune to things but just sit and look at your clock or watch for five minutes and see how long it takes for that to tick by — and imagine you are a diner at the next table or shopper in the store, being forced to listen against your will. One minute is more like it except perhaps for a newborn (whom I would hope isn’t out in a grocery store in any event.)

        • Another Michelle November 10, 2014, 7:56 pm

          Why would you hope a newborn isn’t out in a grocery store? Even mothers of newborns need to eat! I acclimated my daughter to noises in shops from a very young age, and she wasn’t overstimulated. And it can take 5 minutes to get organised enough to deal with a crying / tantrumming child.

          • Lenore November 11, 2014, 7:15 am

            Think it’s something about exposing a newborn (with their untrained immune systems) to people who are potentially sick. I know I’ve been coughed on quite a few times during cold/flu season while at the shops 🙁

          • LonelyHound November 11, 2014, 10:43 am

            I do have to agree with Lenore. Having a newborn, no matter how close to you, is a big flashing sign people cannot ignore. I have had many people, smokers, people who are sick, come up to me and my baby; and want to touch them. You learn how to turn so the baby can be seen but is out of touching range; but you still worry about the germs they might have. Even though you might worry about germs you should not be mandated to stay in the house. However, the burden on the PARENTS to keep people they do not want near their baby away.

        • Hollyhock November 11, 2014, 9:21 am

          I would hope a newborn isn’t out among the germs. And surely the baby has a new father who can care for it whilst the new mum head out to the shops — or vice versa?

    • whatever November 10, 2014, 11:46 am

      I agree wholeheartedly in a restaurant or theater, etc. I would give a lot more leniency in a grocery store. When my kids were young, going to the grocery store only happened 1 day per week when my husband was home on Saturday and I finally had the car. Because he stilled worked on that Saturday (in the community where he could walk) I still had to take the kids with me. It was the only time I could get needed essentials that we absolutely had to have. Sometimes the kids were great–other times they were not–and I had several kids, including 2 others that I babysat to earn a little extra money–so sometimes I was pushing through the store with 4 or 6 kids. Sometimes it was just easier to plow through my urgent errands with all of them than it was to put everything back and go back to the car. I HAD to get the groceries. We may have had a lot of people in tears, but I really had no choice, but I did take the time to discuss the trip, relay my expectations, set our disciplinary actions, etc. and even then sometimes it didn’t work, but I did what I had to do.

      • Devin November 10, 2014, 2:09 pm

        I’m sorry to disagree with you, but you did have a choice. Having a family is a choice, and taking on extra children to afford your families lifestyle is a choice. I’m sure you did everything in your power to quickly purchase your groceries, while not inconveniencing other shoppers, and I’m sure when your children (or the children in your care) caused a mess or a scene you payed for the damage and apologize for causing more work for the staff. But you had a choice, you just decided to make the choice that worked the best for you.

        • Monkeys mommy November 11, 2014, 4:36 pm

          That is a really sad response. Telling someone that because her “choice” was to start a family, she shouldn’t go to the store??

          • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 10:56 am

            That’s not what the response said. The response was that the commenter most certainly did have a choice to have a large family, and I one hundred percent agree. At no point did the response say the commenter shouldn’t go to the store.

            I am sick of parents whining about how hard it is to have kids. If you can’t control them don’t have them. My grandmother and aunt had nine and five, respectively, all less than a year apart. They didn’t throw tantrums, scream, or inconvenience others. I grew up with the aunt’s children, so I saw that myself.

      • Matt November 10, 2014, 3:16 pm

        What was keeping your husband from picking up groceries on his way home from work?

      • cdubz November 10, 2014, 3:56 pm

        My mother was in the same situation….that’s why she gave dad the grocery list and he brought the things we needed on the way home from work. 🙂

  • Alazne November 10, 2014, 7:54 am

    I read some articles about that recently. I’m not surprised to see it showing up here! Undoubtedly, telling the mother to go to hell was wrong and rude, but the mother’s reaction was incredibly over the top. I was saddened, if unsurprised, to see how many of the commentators on those articles advocated violence or aggression against Hajek-Richardson, and how they would react in a similar way if someone criticized their child or parenting.

    How did we get to a point where this sort of reaction happens though? I know that each generation complains about the one below, but 20 years ago, I didn’t see so many screaming children in public places as happens now. Surely we don’t have so much of an uptick in behavioural disorders or health issues in children that render them uncontrollable, and I can’t see that parenting skills have been lost in a generation. Or did it always happen, and it’s just now that we have the internet that we see so many more of these types of incidents?

  • Yasuragi November 10, 2014, 8:12 am

    I live in Japan and last week I was in a supermarket where I was the only Caucasian person at the time. There was a Japanese woman with a mixed race son in the same aisle as me. The son started whining for something and his mother pulled a favorite Japanese mom move: she told him “bye bye” and left him alone in the aisle.
    Well, that set him off. He started crying louder and harder and it was only now that he was causing enough of a ruckus for the other shoppers to turn around and watch.
    You can probably see where this is going.
    All the other shoppers see is a mixed race child throwing a tantrum and a foreign woman ignoring him. I could feel their disapproving glares and head shaking making a million tiny cuts all over my body. An older man closest to me pointedly looked at me, at the child, back at me and made a “Ma’am, please control your child.” gesture. I put up my hands and gave the best “Woah, woah, not mine.” face and made a quick escape to the register.

    • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 11:19 am

      My brother, who is caucasian, married a Japanese lady. Their daughters are biracial (and beautiful, may I add!). I wonder if he ever experienced this. I have had people assume a misbehaving/loud child was mine. It’s frustrating. 😛

    • PWH November 10, 2014, 2:05 pm

      I had a similar experience, but I was with the child, it just wasn’t mine 🙂 I went shopping with my MIL while she was babysitting my nephew. At the time he was maybe two and we were waiting in the line to check out. He decided it would be a good time to scream just for the sake of it. This wasn’t crying, this was just yelling out because he thought it was funny. He even laughed when he saw people give him nasty looks and my MIL and I try to get him to stop. In the end I took him outside because I was uncomfortable with the looks I was getting from people assuming he was my kid and wondering why I couldn’t stop him. After that experience, I usually give parents some leeway on the whole screaming child thing. That only goes so far when they let their kids scream and scream continuousing without doing anything about it. I’m not one for comfronting them though because I’m usually only exposed to it for as long as it takes me to check out or move to another area of the store.

  • SueR November 10, 2014, 8:19 am

    It has been my experience that parents want no input into anything regarding their children from The Village unless it suits them and makes their life easier. When it comes to tax breaks, freebies, social programs, free anything they want every single thing they can claw out of The Village.

    No good is going to come from telling a mother to shut her child up because they are going to handle things the way they want to regardless of what others say. What a wretched future this child is going to have being taught how to navigate the world by the individual that is her mother.

    • Beth November 10, 2014, 10:04 am

      I certainly hope that you are not generalizing all parents here. While I don’t want society telling me how to raise my children, (I also do not permit temper tantrums in public) I certainly don’t except the “Village” to foot the bill for me to raise my family, we pay our own way, thank you very much.

    • KMC November 10, 2014, 10:11 am

      “It has been my experience that parents want no input into anything regarding their children from The Village unless it suits them and makes their life easier. When it comes to tax breaks, freebies, social programs, free anything they want every single thing they can claw out of The Village.”

      You’re making some pretty uncharitable generalizations here. In my experience, any input (unsolicited) I’ve been given about my child has been along the lines of how much better parents in their day did things. People who approach parents in public to criticize their children or their parenting don’t want to give input. They want to be superior.

      This mother is not representative of most parents. Not even most “parents nowadays.” Many of us have been approached with “helpful input” like this and have not resorted to violence.

      What the woman did was rude. What the mother did is inexcusable. And frankly, she’s done no favors to reasonable parents who try to control and discipline their children and get to hear all about how much better parents were “back in my day” and how every parent nowadays feels like their child is more special than anyone else’s.

      Believe it or not, most of us are trying our best.

      • Lenore November 10, 2014, 10:46 am

        I believe that is why SueR wrote “It has been my experience that” etc etc. She’s not saying all parents are like that, she’s saying all the parents she’s had contact with are like that. I do not think she would purposefully tar all parents with the same brush like that on an etiquette forum? At least, I hope not 🙂

    • j. November 10, 2014, 10:57 am

      What an interesting assumption.

    • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 2:40 pm

      I tend to agree with SueR. Parents seem increasingly unreceptive to input from the rest of us (“don’t question my parenting choices” etc.) but I know of none who turn down WIC, SNAP, USDA school nutrition program and if warranted by circumstances, TANF, Medicaid and housing assistance — all of which are not available to the childless except for a tiny bit of SNAP assistance and all of which are funded by the The Village.

      And even middle-class people get handouts for having children in the form of “refundable tax credit” which is the euphemism for largess handed out by way of the income tax return — i.e. you get it even if you don’t owe any taxes to “refund.” Dependent care credit, dependent deduction, etc. — all of those perks come at the expense of fellow taxpayers who don’t get that break. I did our taxes last year under actual filing status and then (just out of curiosity) as though we had two kids but the exact same income and the difference was about $5,000 in cold, hard cash we would’ve loved to have for spending on things that matter to us.

      I wish there were a bit of acknowledgement from parents that a) their choices do affect everyone and b) a lot of us get up and go to work every day to pay the taxes that make that wealth redistribution possible.

      • Michelle November 10, 2014, 4:10 pm

        Off-topic, but that tax thing really burns me up. My sister barely works and pays minimal taxes, got evicted from her apartment because she couldn’t be bothered to clean the place, had to move in with Mo, so has no rent and pays/helps pay practically nothing, yet she gets huge chunk of tax refund money that she didn’t even earn and blows it!!

        I found out that once your child reaches 17, even if they are a full-time high school student, the child tax credit ends. I worry about trying to get my kids started out right in life by getting a college education and she’s off buying crap that her child destroys in weeks, with “tax refund” money she didn’t even earn.

      • Beth November 10, 2014, 7:14 pm

        My husband goes to work each day and we pay taxes as well. We sacrifice so that I am able to stay at home with our young children, I’d hardly say we sponge off the system. Further, I homeschool so not only do I pay property taxes to my local schools, I also pay to educate my children, so the state gets to keep that money.

        I also fail to understand how my having children affects people if I’m making sure to take care of our family and making sure that we don’t get any sort of government assistance.

      • Noodle November 11, 2014, 12:34 am

        When I was pregnant with my son, my insurance did not cover maternity with the exception of an emergency and I did qualify for Medicaid. Guess what? I didn’t take it. I worked out payment plans with my doctors and paid the bills off with money that I earned at my job. I also didn’t take WIC. Yes, I get up and work every day too, and I am a homeowner that pays property taxes! I take extreme exception to your assumption that all parents want a handout. Also, Medicaid and housing assistance are also available to the elderly and disabled, so having a child isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for receiving those services. Before you blast me for being a “taker” for knowing some of this, I am a social worker and knowledge of such policies is required in my line of work.

        I’m with Beth, I fail to understand how my having a child has an effect on you when I am a taxpayer as well.

      • Monkeys mommy November 11, 2014, 4:49 pm

        I’ve kept quiet through most of your jabs at parents, but I am going to stop you right there on this one. I have three children. My husband works in IT at a national medical facility, and I am a compliance officer at a children’s national nonprofit hospital, so we aren’t hurting financially. What is it exactly you want me to give you recognition for?? I work hard to pay the bills, I could care less if you work or not, you aren’t working for my benefit. And I bet a lot of other parents could say the same. And playing with your tax returns “just to see” what you would score with kids? Really?

        I am a mother. And while violence is absolutely wrong, I can see how approaching a tired, angry mom who is clearly not having the best day already is her kid is acting out could be a HUGE a mistake.

        Obviously I also have a high tolerance for kids. I have them, work with them, and coach little league soccer and cheering. But I don’t let my kids act like this either. If you see my kid screaming, there is a good chance you see me dealing with it immediately.

    • Shu November 10, 2014, 4:32 pm

      How fascinating your childhood must have been with no access to public transport, or schooling, libraries, utilities, museums, public television, parks, playgrounds, roadways, or anything else the least bit funded. Was it challenging living off the grid somewhere?

      I’m sure you must be fulling self-sustaining as an adult now too- I’m guessing perhaps a solar-powered ranch in Montana? Of course you must have an off-road vehicle (roads are taxed), and you certainly spurn the idea of any kind of social-security when you get older, you have plenty of water in the well, right 🙂

      • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 8:01 pm


        Not sure who you were directing your comment to but — all of the items you mentioned are available to all citizens regardless of reproductive status. Things like roads, libraries, etc. really are irrelevant to the discussion of what is provided by fellow citizens to parents of children in our society.

        As to schooling, well hopefully we all benefit from public schools and later in life we all pay in. I’d say that is a wash because we all (hopefully) attend school regardless of whether we later in life choose to be parents.

        It is a fact that people without children pay more in federal income taxes, far more in the case of my household, and yet get back less from Social Security, etc. in the aggregate. And like i said above, all of our programs for disadvantaged people are available only, or largely, to the childed. There is a definite skew in how our society treats people by virtue of their reproductive status, taking more from some and giving more to others. Those of us who are primarily the givers are saying we would like a little input and perhaps a little thanks from time to time.

        • Ergala November 11, 2014, 1:07 am

          Not sure what state you are in but I know here if you don’t have taxable income you absolutely do not get tax credits. Nothing at all. We are middle class and are eligible. We are taxed to high heaven during the year. I’m happy to see a small return.

        • KMC November 11, 2014, 4:25 am

          I’d like to know what you mean by input. The programs you mentioned provide food, medical care, and housing. If I don’t use any of those programs am I then free to raise my children as I see fit? According to my own conscience, values, and belief system? Or do you need input on mine too since we may at some point use the public school system?

          Also, there are many people who paid into that same system for years just like you did and then fell on hard times. It can happen to the best of us.

          Maybe some of these parents are a bit busy trying to figure how to feed, clothe, and house their children, not to mention deal with condescension and judgements from all who think they’re not trying hard enough, to seek your advice about how you think they should be raising their children. Which I’m sure is always delivered in a non-judegmental, totally not heat of the moment, knee jerk reaction to any single incident in a parents life you happen to witness, right?

        • Library Diva November 11, 2014, 10:26 am

          I’m childfree, and you don’t speak for me. Raising kids is tough. The funny thing about them is that they have minds of their own, and haven’t read all of the parenting books. I’d never tell someone else how to raise their kid, because it’s none of my business.

          I don’t see myself as a “giver” and parents and children as “takers,” either. People can get tax deductions for all kinds of things, and children just happens to be the most common one. It’s not much when you take into account how much it costs to raise a child (something like $200,000 from birth to age 18 the last I read, assuming that the child doesn’t wind up having special needs of some kind). I don’t get that tax break because I don’t need it. Neither do you.

          • Goldie November 17, 2014, 1:52 pm

            Wow. Thank you for posting this! I feel better now!

  • Miss-E November 10, 2014, 8:40 am

    I agree with all the above posters that there seems to be no call for the “victim” to have told that woman to calm down her kid. I don’t have kids but I’ve been around them enough to know that calming down a screaming child isn’t as easy as parentless people seem to think it is.

    I used to manage a grocery store and we had a pair of regular customers who would come in often with their autistic daughter who was about 12. This girl was very high on the spectrum, she didn’t even speak, and very, very destructive. She would tear through the store, ripping open packages and cramming food into her mouth, throwing things at people, screaming, lying down in the middle of an aisle spread-eagle, riding her BIKE through the store and taking out a display. She was like a mini tornado raging through the store, leaving a swath of destruction behind her.

    Her parents would do absolutely nothing to curb this behavior. They never purchased the ripped-open foods, they never apologized to the people she would bang into and throw things at, they would even really stay with her while she rocketed around, they let her wander off alone! I remember watching her hit an older woman with an apple and when the lady turned around and said “Hey!” the mother SHUSHED her and snapped “my child is autistic, she can’t help herself.” She once wandered out of the store and off down the busy road and we had to call the police to go get her!! If anyone approached to ask them to stop they would totally freak out. And I’m talking screaming at the top of their lungs kind of freak out…which would, of course, set off their daughter.

    Finally, after speaking to my DM and getting permission (knowing that they were the type to call up and threaten to sue) I approached them in the parking lot the next time they visited and told them they were no longer welcome in our store. It went just about as badly as you would expect, they threatened to sue, have me fired, etc, etc. They actually said “do you know how much money we make? We could OWN you.” They also called me cruel and heartless because I wasn’t being sympathetic to their disable child, on and on. But they didn’t come in and they never came back.

    • Michelle November 10, 2014, 9:53 am

      Well, if they make so much money they can OWN you, why couldn’t they hire someone to watch the child so they would not tear the store to shreds? And before someone jumps on me, I’m not saying you should not take disabled or autistic kids to the store. IF a child is as destructive as described above, then the parents need to make sure they are not destroying property and injuring other people.

    • Kovi November 10, 2014, 10:07 am

      I’m glad your DM stuck up for you! I see little reason why, if there were two parents, one couldn’t simply stay home with the destructive child while the other one did the shopping. Sure, it’s kind of nice to do things as a family, but not when one member (whether they can help it our not) is causing destruction and distress for a countless number of people. It’s not their job to have to deal with it – it’s the parents’.

      • Miriam November 10, 2014, 2:11 pm

        Or one could shop and the other take care of/pay attention to the child.

        I’ve been assigned nephew-wrangling duty when my mother was looking after a just-very-boisterous little boy and we needed to go shopping. My take was always “we can either behave nicely, and carry on doing [whatever it is he wanted to do], or we can go and sit in the car and you can continue to make a fuss/misbehave. I don’t want people thinking I am your mother, and that I let you behave like this in public. Behave or car; your choice.”

        The first time I did it, I think we were both astonished at how quickly his behaviour changed! But I suspect I had the “look” that some posters have described from their mothers. As I wasn’t his parent, there were no other sanctions I could apply apart from an enforced time-out, but I wasn’t going to stand by and let him ruin other people’s shopping trips as well as mine. He still liked playing with me, so didn’t seem to bear any ill-will that I had boundaries, and was prepared to enforce them.

      • Kirstenh November 10, 2014, 4:49 pm

        I would think it would be considered shoplifting to rip open packages and cram the food in your mouth and then refuse to pay. Ask them to pay for the damaged product and charge them with shoplifting if they won’t pay and I bet they won’t come back.

        • NostalgicGal November 11, 2014, 5:16 pm

          That would be considered taking an item without paying; and it should have stopped at the first visit where this happened. Either the damaged and eaten food is paid for, or it’s shoplifting. Even if the child is a minor and not able to be accountable; she did it under supervision of a parental unit. Either parent pays or charges will be filed.

    • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 10:19 am

      “I don’t have kids but I’ve been around them enough to know that calming down a screaming child isn’t as easy as parentless people seem to think it is.”

      Hear, hear!

      • kit November 10, 2014, 11:11 am

        Sometimes, ignoring the screaming kid is the fastest way out of tantrum. (Or so I have heard, as my own children didn’t have any tantrums as toddlers.) And if you are already at check-out… you probably don’t want to miss your week of groceries or so if it is going to take just a couple more minutes.

        • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 12:16 pm

          In my experience, the minute the parent tries to calm the toddler, they know they’ve “won” and will only get louder. So ignoring them is actually the best you can do for EVERYONE. But then you get people assuming you can / should “do something” …. whatever.

          But like Karen G said below, the minute a non-parent takes notice, the dynamic has completely changed.

          • Jewel November 10, 2014, 4:49 pm

            I never found that ignoring my kid’s bad behavior solved the situation, either short term or long term. It was addressed immediately. Which is why my kids know how to appropriately act in public (and private).

          • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 12:41 pm

            Jewel – at a certain level of development that’s true. Depending on the child. For me, when my 14-month-old is throwing a tantrum she is essentially a baby and cannot be reasoned with.

      • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 11:03 am

        Um, no it isn’t hard, and I have a child. It’s quite easy.

    • Vermin8 November 10, 2014, 10:39 am

      Good for you and your DM.

      • kingsrings November 10, 2014, 1:59 pm

        I remember a news story a few years ago about a family who was fighting a Catholic church’s orders to keep their autistic son out of services. Their son was disruptive to the point of endangering others and assaulting people. His parents thought that his behaviors should all be excused since he was autistic. Just because someone is disabled doesn’t automatically make it acceptable to engage in destructive behaviors. They don’t have that right.

        • cheyne November 10, 2014, 8:50 pm

          That happened in Minnesota in 2008. The boy (13 years old and 225 lbs. at the time) grabbed a teenage girl and pulled her onto his lap. Spitting, urinating in church and knocking over elderly parishioners was part of his behavior. It was a big hoo-ha at the time. The parents had excuses for all the behaviors, saying they couldn’t “discipline our son out of autism”. I remember thinking at the time, if you can’t control your child in public don’t take him out. This boy was the size of a large adult man and completely uncontrolled.

    • Calli Arcale November 10, 2014, 12:55 pm

      Oh good grief. So their approach to their daughter’s diagnosis was basically to let her do whatever she wants? That’s not going to end well. She’ll be dependent on them forever, and of course they won’t be *around* forever, so then what?

      My autistic daughter is 12. She’d never do anything like that; she’s learned that’s inappropriate. “Autistic” is not the same as “unable to learn anything”. Even the severely autistic ones can learn quite a lot — they’re humans, and humans are the smartest animals on Earth. We have two severely autistic boys in their mid-teens at church, and although neither of them is able to sit through a church service and are only partially verbal, they are both well-adjusted and are able to control their behaviors quite well. They’re sweet boys, and though they had tantrums and screaming fits when they were young, they’ve grown past that. If they are feeling stressed, they walk to another room to calm down rather than screaming about it. And you know what? That actually makes it easier for them, because they have the reassurance of knowing they can do something about their own freakouts. They are in control of themselves and have some measure of control over their lives going forward.

      But if you just let your kid run wild, they will not learn any control, and will likely end up one of two institutions later in life: a psychiatric hospital or prison.

      • Barbarian November 12, 2014, 1:27 pm

        It is a very bad idea to not discipline handicapped children in an appropriate manner. They will always depend on others for care and assistance in life. Their parents may not always be there to take care of them and tolerate them. There are resources to help parents with this. If the children won’t cooperate with instructions as adults, they could be abused or worse in institutionalized settings. Not that I advocate that the kids ever be abused. I think parents who don’t discipline children in any way are the most abusive.

  • Karen G November 10, 2014, 8:55 am

    When I come across a wailing child in a store, I usually go up to them and say in a calm voice, “Hey, bud, why you crying?” or something along those lines. It’s inoffensive enough that it doesn’t bother the mom and usually the child is so shocked that someone is talking to them that they quiet down almost immediately. 🙂

    • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 10:19 am

      That is a GREAT tip!

      • kit November 10, 2014, 11:15 am

        Also, I have noticed, just getting an eye contact and then smile to a bored whiny child may work miracles. And if you see a kid in check-out line, sometimes subtly switching your weight from one leg to another is enough to make it a game of peek-a-boo – “you see me… now I’m hidden behind another customer… now you see me again…”. Parents usually are distracted enough in their task of getting grocery shopping done together with toddlers to even notice it. 😉

    • Willynilly November 10, 2014, 11:07 am

      I try to do similar. Often I’ll even throw in a comment for the parent “Hey why ya crying? Your mom has so much to do and I bet its very hard for her with you so upset.” I figure this helps distract/engage the child but also lets the parent know I’m not judging them and am trying to help.
      Or sometimes I just make silly faces, or even just wave at babies or small children to help them calm down.

    • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 11:21 am

      Honestly, I seldom speak to a stranger’s child at all. Where I live (NYC region), people tend to be more paranoid about strangers around their children.

      • Willynilly November 10, 2014, 2:23 pm

        I haven’t noticed that… or maybe its just because I’m a NYC-native what I consider interacting with kids is very toned back to the rest of the world? I have smiled, spoken to, played silent peek-a-boo with countless kids in NYC. Crowded boring buses and subways make for fussy kids and an audience in no mood to hear them cry.

        • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 2:59 pm

          Willynilly, as a transplant to this area I’ve noticed the difference. Where I grew up, it was normal to say hi to pretty much everyone you met on the street. Talking to others’ kids was fine. It’s different here – not bad, just different. Yes, you can interact to a certain degree, but not to the degree that I knew in other places. “Toned back” is a good way to put it. BTW, I know not to talk to everyone I meet on a city street; I know city etiquette. 🙂

    • Kate November 10, 2014, 12:46 pm

      That’s what I do too! Bonus, it reminds the parents that they are in public, and what they may deem acceptable at home is not acceptable here.

  • Byaboo November 10, 2014, 8:59 am

    I posted this link before but it’s incredibly relevant here. http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/man-shot-after-manners-scolding/nFCRR/ The article is about how a man held the door open for another man to enter a gas station. The man did not felt slighted at not getting a thank you for holding the door open and proceeded to follow the man around and harass him about his “slight”. The “impolite” man then walked out to his truck where he pulled a gun out and shot the other man. I think this is relevant because you never know what a person is capable of, the man in the article SHOT someone, this woman punched the other woman. It’s not worth it to me to put my two cents in a situation like these.

    I’ve been in stores where there is a kid having a screaming tantrum and while I find it annoying and frustrating, I would never think it’s okay for me to go up to that parent and tell them to shut their kid up. That is not my place. You never know what someone is capable of and I would rather limit my interactions than trying to exacerbate a problem.

    @mc: I agree 100% with you.

    • Michelle November 10, 2014, 9:48 am

      I live in Georgia, just outside the area where this happened. The victim was lucky mommie dearest wasn’t packing and did not shoot her because some people are legit crazy.

      • Byaboo November 10, 2014, 2:39 pm

        It’s one reason I tend to keep my mouth shut in these types of situations, you never know to what level people are willing to take something. If the situation is bad enough then I would call a manager over and let them see what is going on and rectify the situation.

  • Shoegal November 10, 2014, 9:03 am

    I’m in complete agreement with “B” – Nobody has the right to punch another person in the face no matter what the circumstances. It is the bottom line and I do feel so very sorry for the child of this mother. Poor little baby, has a foolish brute of a mother with no self restraint. It is dangerous territory to say one word about another person’s child. The parent will turn on a dime instantly and appear to block out all reason and become insane with rage about the same kid they were ignoring two seconds before and left unattended. There are many different ways to look at the matter. I get that most kids throw tantrums and it is no walk in the park – and Hajek-Richardson put herself in harm’s way by asking that the child be quieted but after the mother got all mouthy, I would have told this bully to go to hell myself.

  • Ripple November 10, 2014, 9:26 am

    I work at a Target as a cashier. People are shopping for everything, from groceries to clothing to home goods. Quite often their kids get very tired of sitting in a cart with nothing to do and lose it – they’re bored, they’re hungry, they’re tired. You put up with it for the few minutes that it takes to check out the parents and then heave a sigh of relief when they go out. I make funny faces at the child sometimes if I think I can break the child’s concentration on the tantrum, but otherwise I just let it go. Sometimes the parents yell at their kid to stop, but all that does is make me feel sorry for the child. I certainly don’t ask the parents to calm their child down – I know that isn’t going to work anyway.

    Although H-R didn’t deserve to get punched, she also should have minded her own business in the first place.

    • Dawn November 11, 2014, 3:12 am

      I was at Target with my 2 year old niece and a friend. She wanted a banana, but I said we would have to pay for it first, since they had to weigh it. She was tired and cranky and started crying. I told her to chill out and then she started wailing that she wanted her mommy. We started getting looks. I grabbed a can of whipped cream and squirted some in her mouth. Shut her right up, and the “lookers” all started laughing. Best $1.59 I ever spent in my life.


      • Vrinda November 11, 2014, 3:06 pm

        That’s brilliant, Dawn! I’d give you a thumbs-up if that feature were here.

  • Jinx November 10, 2014, 9:53 am

    First, I don’t have any kids. So, I’m not accustomed to having to deal with shouting and tantrums. Likely related, I don’t tolerate yelling so much either. It does hurt the ears of people around, and upset people around.

    While I appreciate there are times when you can’t calm a child down, and certainly times when you can’t exit a situation all together, I think people like me appreciate when it seems like the guardian is doing something to make the child stop. Even if it’s not working. Or even just a loud “I’m sorry” to people around, to acknowledge that in general, the situation sucks.

    I’m not saying guardians owe me (or others around) apologies for their child’s tantrum, but I certainly and whole-heartedly appreciate it.

  • another Laura November 10, 2014, 9:56 am

    Ignoring is a legitimate technique for dealing with tantrums-at home! When a multitude of other people are affected, parents may need to look for other methods, especially if the child is damaging property or people. While not every parent approves of bribery, we’ve found that giving our children one of the small cakes or cookies from the checkout line as soon as they are rung up (make sure they are rung up first) keeps them happy at checkout-and really during the shopping too-they really only get those treats when we shop so they look forward to it like a reward.
    Temper tantrums do happen, and sometimes the parent can’t really control the child’s noise level, but until a child is grown, the parent is responsible for child’s actions: pay for things the child damaged, preventing (or at least appologizing for) injury to others, attempting to lessen the trauma and drama if possible-not by caving to entitlement but by seeking to engage or interest the child in something else (“we’re not going to get candy right now but would you like to pick out the ice cream we have for dessert tonght?” or “can you help me find cereal in red box?” or “how would you like to read my shopping list to me?”). You know your kids and what interests them. Children love to be given a sense of responsibilty by having an important job to do.
    Now in Miss-E”s story about the unruly autistic girl and her bystander parents, I think that the parents had a responsibilty to either leave the girl at home if she was that out of control in social situations (could she really be either happy or safe acting that way?), or stay closely by her at all times, pay for anything she breaks, make her pick up anything she throws down, and appologize to anyone she bumps into. I’m hlad your DM let you ban them, that’s not discrimination, it’s good customer service and good business sense. Another way to handle it would be to hand them an itemized bill each time the come for the cost in damaged merchandise and employee wages from previous visit.

  • Huh November 10, 2014, 10:03 am

    OK, real truth time – I have a very limited tolerance for kids that are not my own. I cringe when I hear/see a kid throwing a tantrum or doing that loud squeal/shriek thing when they are not upset, just bored or happy. I have come across some real bratty kids in my time and I do my level best to ignore them/not engage. And what do I get equally annoyed or irritated with? Adults who complain about it. I don’t know a person alive who enjoys the sound of a crying baby/tantruming child/that annoying shriek. And somehow, you whining about it helps? NO it doesn’t. And you’ve got to love it when an adult yells about a kid making noise. You, the adult, are making loud noise about a kid making loud noise. Does anyone else see the irony?

    • whatever November 10, 2014, 11:52 am

      Hahaha! Yes, my thoughts exactly!

  • DCGirl November 10, 2014, 10:08 am

    Stories like this are the reason I never say anything to the parents of misbehaving children unless the children are in imminent danger of harm.

    • Jaxsue November 10, 2014, 11:23 am

      And sometimes even then you can anger some parents. I once caught a child who’d been standing up in the seat of a grocery cart (mom was right there, but oblivious). He was falling out and I caught him. She was so grateful that she snarled at me. 🙁

      • hakayama November 10, 2014, 9:15 pm

        You probably messed up her “suit scheme”… 😉

      • Ladyxaviara November 11, 2014, 1:03 pm

        I once witnessed a mother chatting away on a cell phone while her toddler wandered into the street. I grabbed him out of the way of an oncoming vehicle, and the mother started screaming at me for touching her child. Some parents shouldn’t have kids.

    • Skittle November 10, 2014, 11:37 am

      I opened my mouth one time when I saw a child in imminent danger, and I’ll never do it again. The child was in the process of trying to pull a heavy fountain display over on himself at our local Home Depot, and I got his parents attention (they were closer to him then I was) and told them he was likely to get hurt because the display wasn’t very stable. I was very promptly told to “mind your own f’n business, he’s not your kid, keep your damn mouth shut”.

      And they never did stop him from playing in the nasty fountains.

      • JustMe November 10, 2014, 1:21 pm

        Stories like the two above are why I turn the other way if I see a child about to do something stupid. I’m not going to have my life upended because some parent was too lazy or too busy playing with their phone to watch their own child. I turned in my card to “The Village” a long time ago. If I can’t discipline misbehaving children I’m certainly not going to help in any other way.

        • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 2:45 pm

          Sadly, JustMe, this is how we feel too.

          It’s ironic because the original concept of the village was all about the role of others in rebuking and shaping the child’s character; that has been lost and it’s only the pocketbooks of villagers that seem to be of interest.

          • DannysGirl November 11, 2014, 10:37 pm

            Wow. These comments really amaze and sadden me. Are you (general) really saying you would allow a child to be seriously injured or killed simply to avoid being yelled at? I understand your frustration, but I would much rather be yelled at knowing I had saved a life, than live the rest of my life knowing I could have helped, but I didn’t. If I misunderstood the intent of these replies, then I apologize.

          • Hollyhock November 12, 2014, 10:26 am

            I think what we are saying — at least I am — is that I no longer have young children on my radar screen when I am out and about, so I wouldn’t be likely to notice if they are in the midst of a reckless act. Having been the recipient of snarls when trying to point out a baby standing in a grocery cart, or curt words when I asked that a child not pet my leashed dog, and many similar “don’t question my parenting choices” moments, I now simply go about my business thinking my own thoughts, intent on my own errands or entertainment, and paying no particular attention to what others are up to.

            I’ve withdrawn from the Village mentality after being rebuked. (And for the record I was not a busybody drawn magnetically to families and young children, or in their faces for no reason — the times I intervened was because the situations were virtually thrust into MY face. ) I assume the parents have it under control.

          • NostalgicGal November 16, 2014, 12:40 am

            After one posted here about a Kid Toy Store Chain that had set up a display of outdoor child playset, put up some serious barrier; put up some serious signage in more than one language that said DO NOT LET YOUR KID PLAY ON THE DISPLAY.. and a woman with four year old came in, kid promptly ran for the display, went through the barrier (up and over) and right onto the display. An employee tried to stop the kid who screamed to high heaven and the mom had a cow over how dare you stop my child. When explained to, succinctly, about the kid wasn’t supposed to be on there as he could get badly hurt or more, mom said he can do whatever he wants! Kid is still on display which came loose, kid fell, majorly hurt; and mom sues the store. It eventually got tossed but that was a long court wrangling before it did. (store security tape, thank the above for it).

            Precious can do anything they want until they get hurt; and anybody even thinking of thinking of trying to prevent Precious from getting injured, maimed or killed; is going to be swept up in this mess. No, I don’t want to lose everything I have, or will have, because I tried to stop a kid from running into the street… and didn’t succeed; and I can’t afford the lawyer when I get to Civil Court so I lose…

            That’s what’s wrong. And that’s why I can understand why a lot of others have turned in their card and ignore what someone’s small is doing … if the parents aren’t paying attention like they should be, then it’s the parents problem.

  • Metal November 10, 2014, 10:18 am

    I can’t stand whining/crying/ temper tantrums of any kind. The first and only time my son threw a fit in the store he was about 2-3, he was a little crabby for a few minutes, but when he went to full blown meltdown, I left my cart where it was, grabbed him football style, apologized for leaving my cart in the middle of the aisle and took him home. He never did it again, what a surprise. I also watch the neighborhood kids from time to time, I sit and play games and color with them. They all know, I do not tolerate whining from anyone in my house. Regardless of age. However, if I’m out in public, it’s not my place to tell kids to stop whining, so I don’t know if I would’ve said anything to the lady there. if it’s going on for ages with no means to try and get it to stop, then I just might.

  • Willynilly November 10, 2014, 10:22 am

    I agree its not always easy or even possible to calm a crying or tantruming child. Nor is it always feasible to up and leave. But for me personally, my threshold of patience is directly related to the effort being made by the parent. Are they trying to calm the child? Are they clearly rushing through their tasks in an effort to exit more quickly? Are they making eye contact and mouthing “sorry!” to the folks around them? I understand different situations call for different reactions from parents so I don’t presume there is only one way to address a tantrum but so long as it is in some way being addressed, I’m pretty lenient. Its the folks who ignore the child *and* the disruption the child is causing everyone else I have little to no patience for.

    • Michelle November 10, 2014, 10:42 am


    • whatever November 10, 2014, 11:53 am

      good point here!

    • JD November 10, 2014, 12:06 pm

      Hear, hear!
      I had a tantrum child. It took five times of picking her up and leaving the store before she learned that the only thing a tantrum got her was Trouble. I immediately started trying to calm her when she started, and if that didn’t work, I quickly pushed my cart to an employee, explained I had to leave, apologized, and left with my kids (the older one never threw a tantrum, thank heavens). If someone had confronted me about my little screamer, I would have been mad, because it should have been obvious that I WAS trying to do something about it. However, other than saying “Sorry. We were just leaving.” or something like that, I wouldn’t have gotten confrontational. And the idea of leaving my child to track down another shopper and PUNCH her? Never. Just never. I hope they catch the punching mother, because she needs to be charged with assault, and the child’s welfare needs to be checked upon. If her temper makes her do this to a stranger, what in heaven’s name is she doing to her child when she’s angry?

  • Lisa November 10, 2014, 10:23 am

    (pre-emptive comment…I work with children who are autistic)

    I am SO TIRED of people who use the “maybe the child is autistic and can’t help it” excuse. The parents I work with want their children to have as much normalcy as possible and not just be labeled as the “autistic kid”. Therefore, autistic or not, it is the PARENT’S responsibility to discipline, re-direct, or remove a child that is disruptive in a public place.

    “Its a free country, I have a right to be here”….your rights do not supersede other people’s rights. Its about respect. If you’re in a restaurant, church, etc. and your infant is not consolable…then you remove them from the environment to be respectful of other people. If your toddler/child is disruptive, and you are unable to quell the situation, you remove the child from the situation.

    Unfortunately, we live in an “Everything goes” society now and parents do not control their children as they should. Before I enter a store, I tell my child(ren) what I expect and if they do not act appropriately, we leave. I have left a store a few times in the middle of my shopping. However, I followed through with what I said and my child(ren) knew/know I mean what I say!

    That being said, I do not agree with the “go to hell” comment.

  • Lera99 November 10, 2014, 10:27 am

    I am so tired of the parents of special snowflakes.

    I am so tired of this expectation that the world is supposed to accommodate your child no matter how poorly socialized or behaved it is.

    I’m sorry if your child is autistic or otherwise developmentally disabled. That must be really hard.
    But that does NOT make it OK for your kid to run around screaming at the top of their lungs, destroying property, and assaulting people.

    There are places where I simply accept that I may encounter crying babies or toddlers throwing tantrums:
    – Grocery Store
    – Park
    – Family Restaurants
    – Amusement Parks
    – Pediatrician’s office
    – Big Box Stores

    But as the parent of the crying baby or toddler, you still have some responsibility.
    It is your responsibility to try to stop the noise:
    – Feed that baby, burp it, change it, etc…
    – Discipline the toddler, pick the kid up and take them home, etc…

    If I have listened to your kid scream non stop for more than 10 minutes, I’m not judging your kid. I’m judging you.

    What I am really tired of is parents assuming their screaming toddler should be tolerated in places that aren’t necessarily kid friendly:
    – The symphony
    – Broadway style musicals
    – The movies (Specifically not kid targeted movies. If your 3 year old is crying during the Wiggles movie, fine. But I shouldn’t be listening to your baby cry through half of the Avengers. Get a babysitter like a responsible parent.)
    – Nice restaurants (If I’m looking at cloth napkins and fine china – I shouldn’t be listening to your 2 year old scream non-stop.)
    – Happy Hour
    – Concerts (Once again, specifically not a kid targeted group like Sesame Street Live.)
    – Adult parties – I have a friend who throws a Halloween party every year with horror movies on the tv’s and a LOT of alcohol. A mutual friend showed up this year with her 2 year old because she “couldn’t find a sitter but couldn’t miss the best party of the year!!!” And she spent the whole night yelling at people for acting inappropriately around her young child (watching horror movies, playing drinking games, making out in the dark corners, etc…)

    This world is NOT a “safe space” for your little special snowflakes. As a parent it’s your responsibility to figure out how to best integrate your kid with the wider world. And it is your responsibility to do it in a way where the rest of us aren’t left to suffer. We didn’t make that kid, we don’t get their sticky little kisses and words of love, so we shouldn’t have to listen to it scream.

    • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 12:20 pm

      “If I have listened to your kid scream non stop for more than 10 minutes, I’m not judging your kid. I’m judging you.”

      Oh, see, I would be judging the super slow clerk who held up the line for more than 10 minutes. If the line was progressing normally, the screaming toddler would have been out of the store a LOT more quickly. Not that I’ve been in that situation or anything …

      • Amanda H. November 10, 2014, 4:24 pm

        To be fair, it’s not always the clerk being super slow. Sometimes it’s the old lady who’s taking forever to fill out a check, or the argumentative person who brought in fifty coupons (none of them currently valid) and wants to argue every one, or the slow coworker who’s running a price check (whether they’re slow because they’re just not trying or because it’s taking forever to find the price), or needing an override and the manager taking their time (again, either because they’re just slow or because they’re run off their feet handling twenty other issues at once).

        I speak from experience, having been a cashier who’s been forced to hold up a line before for any of the above reasons. And then been yelled at for it by other customers when there was absolutely nothing within my power to fix the problem.

        • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 12:42 pm

          You’re right – I spoke unfairly.

    • Jenny R November 10, 2014, 2:35 pm

      This is why people need to stiffen their spines and turn people like this away at the door. This party was partially ruined because one entitled mother didn’t want to miss the party. She needed to hear a “Oh that’s too bad you couldn’t get a sitter, but as you know this is an adult type of party and I am not able to accommodate a child. So sorry, perhaps you will have better luck with sitters next year”.

      Next year and forever after I would conveniently leave her off the invitation list.

    • Byaboo November 10, 2014, 2:49 pm

      My husband and I got up and left a movie because someone brought their toddler to a 10 pm movie, it was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hardly a child that young’s type of movie. The parent(s) did nothing while this child chirped and prattled loudly during a good 30 minutes of the movie (they arrived right before the movie started so we had no way of knowing there would be an issue).

      • hakayama November 10, 2014, 9:13 pm

        Did you at least get a refund for your ticket?

        • Byaboo November 11, 2014, 7:12 am

          Yes we did get a refund. We also told the cashier the reason for our leaving but since we didn’t stay I don’t know if anything else happened.

    • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 11:07 am

      Wish I had a like button!

  • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 10:31 am

    Yeesh. I’ve been that parent who is “ignoring” a screaming toddler. No, there’s nothing I can do – any further attention only validates the effectiveness of throwing a tantrum. No, I’m not going to leave and “come back later”- I’m a single mom taking 18 undergraduate hours in college. I don’t have TIME to “come back later.” No, you don’t have a right to have your existence sanitized from ever having to deal with unpleasantness in public. We live in something called a “society” – look it up. (Here’s a clue: that means the world is bigger than just you. And I’m sure you NEVER threw a fit when you were a toddler, right?)

    You know how you deal with busybodies like Hajek-Richardson? Ignore them. Remember what I said earlier about my toddler? How any further attention only validates their tantrum? Same principle applies to tantrum-throwing adults.

    • inNM November 10, 2014, 2:04 pm

      Your attitude sounds very sarcastic. entitled and off putting to others, none of which gives you more sympathy. Yes, you have a toddler, but that was a choice that you made to take on the responsibility of raising a child while being a college student taking 18 credit hours per semester while being a single parent. The resulting lack of time and any resulting frustration are consequences of this.
      I don’t expect my life to be sanitized from every unpleasantness in public, as you say. I do, however, expect that a parent would learn their child’s behavior patterns and perhaps not consciously inflict a screaming toddler on the rest of society. For one, it teaches your child that other people don’t matter. Also, is it fair to your child to be cranky/upset/grouchy in this situation?
      You said undergraduate degree, so I suspect you are located in the U.S. I know more and more grocery stores are doing extended hours, in fact the stores by my house (Kroger and Walmart) are all 24 hours. Perhaps you could rearrange your schedule to shop while your kid is asleep or with a babysitter. If you have to bring him or her, bundle your child in a cart with a pillow and blanket? Or find a time when your kid is well rested and shop then. You very well have more options than you choose to exercise.
      And if your child is having a meltdown, all someone like me asks is that you make an effort to calm them down. You could take your cart to customer service and have them hold your groceries for a moment while you take your child outside to calm down. You could stop and address the situation. If this happens every time, and especially if you don’t have much time to shop, you could look into having your groceries delivered to your house (some shops and co-ops offer this service for a small fee; or you can find a provider online).

      Tl;dr you chose to have a child. The kid is fussy. I would be more understanding if you’re willing to find ways to reduce the opportunities for tantrums instead of demanding that I deal with the auditory assault (you don’t know me or what I went through, and how your child’s howling affects me) because of your life choices.

      • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 12:52 pm

        I don’t need your or anyone’s sympathy. Your sympathy (or lack thereof) does not do my coursework, buy my groceries, or care for my children. Yes I am entitled – entitled to put food in my empty fridge on my schedule. As you may be able to imagine, time management was essential and “rearranging my schedule” simply was not possible.

        Besides, that time in my life is over. But I do remember it vividly and I do extend sympathy to other parents.

        • InNM November 11, 2014, 8:01 pm

          You do want sympathy, or at least you want someone to agree with you, otherwise you would not have put your story out there for public consumption.
          It still boils down to you made the choice to make your life as difficult as you made it, and there is an element of selfishness to your attitude. You said it yourself: “put food in my empty fridge on my schedule.” Your schedule. You could have adjusted your schedule the following semester. 18 credits means 6 classes per semester. Each class requires an average of 9-12 hours of extracurricular work outside of the classroom. If you had taken one less course per semester, you still be at a full course load and would have probably found the extra time. (Other options: intersession course over Christmas break, summer courses, online course). Instead,you believe that your desire to pursue a heavy course load by anyone’s standards while caring for a toddler trumps anyone else’s desire to shop the store in relative peace and quiet.

        • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 11:09 am

          Uh, I’m a full time student right now, working, and a single mother. “Society” does not mean I have to listen to your screaming child and you doing nothing about it.

    • CW November 10, 2014, 2:14 pm

      If I had the guts as a child to throw a fit in the store, it was met with a parent leaning low and giving the option of calming myself down or getting taken home for a spanking. Guess which option I preferred? I remember taking my younger sister (who is close to a decade younger than me) to the store once when she was 4 and she witnessed a kid having a full blown pounding on the floor, screaming tantrum in the middle of the cereal aisle. I looked at her and I said, “Don’t you dare ever think of acting like that in public.” And she never did.

      Kids have bad moments, but it’s part of parenting to assess those bad moments and defuse the situation. Ignoring is not defusing. Taking the kid out to the car/to the bathroom/home/whatever is. I don’t care if a kid is crying for X reason, I can ignore crying. But if I can hear a tantrum from across the store, I have every right to be annoyed and I probably will make some sort of “wow that’s definitely an unhappy kid who needs to go home” comment.

      • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 12:46 pm

        For my kids, there was a window of development where they were perfectly capable of throwing tantrums but could not be reasoned with. About 14 months – 18 months or so. I still needed to eat during that time.

        • CW November 11, 2014, 3:10 pm

          So you take your child out of the situation until he or she calms down. Stores have bathrooms and parking lots. You take the child to a more private place.

          You wouldn’t have an argument with a spouse/sibling/friend in the middle of the soup aisle, would you? No, because arguing can be loud and you are not in a private place. Why does it have to be different with a child?

    • Medowynd November 10, 2014, 3:52 pm

      Actually what you can do is remove the screaming child. My younger daughter had disabilities and a very hot temper. I can’t remember how many times we left stores, restaurants or other places. She was my responsibility and no one in the public should have to listen to her screaming, crying and tantrums. She spent hours in the car, learning to control herself. Never did I use the ignoring technique, because others should not be subjected to my child’s temper tantrum.

    • Library Diva November 10, 2014, 5:09 pm

      I agree with you to an extent. I think that parents do have a responsibility to try to keep a lid on their kids in public. Teaching their kids how to behave, coming armed with distractions so the kid doesn’t start freaking out because they’re bored, making good use of the candy-free lane, etc. — all good ideas.

      But you’re right…as I said below, when you go out in public, you’ll have to expect that the environment is different from that of your living room. There may be crying children. There may be kids who are just being annoying. There may be teenaged boys having a disgusting conversation. There may be people who “aren’t all there” singing to themselves as they go about their business. There may be people who don’t bathe regularly. Here’s the thing, though: they’ve got as much of a right to be there as you do. As long as they don’t present any kind of active danger, all any reasonable person can really do is just put up with it and get away from the annoyance as soon as possible.

      • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 12:56 pm

        Once my kids hit about 2 years old, I was able to be more effective at distracting them. But like I said elsewhere, for me there was a window beginning at around 14 months where they like to throw fits but couldn’t be reasoned with yet. Nothing I could do.

    • Lizajane November 10, 2014, 10:04 pm

      No. I never threw a ten minute temper tantrum. I doubt I ever threw a three second one because at two seconds, my parents dealt with that crap. I could ask you why you’re a single parent? Bad choice in partners? Or why you didn’t finish your education before you had a child. But that would be rude because it’s none of my business. Until you use to force me to listen to your screaming kid because I’m in public.

      • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 12:55 pm

        In fairness, no one is forcing you to listen to a screaming kid. You are also free to remove yourself if you find the environment unpleasant.

        Also, as I mentioned in a comment above – that time in my life is over. But I do remember it vividly so I tend to react with sympathy when I see a screaming kid.

        • Lizajane November 11, 2014, 9:17 pm

          But I’m not the one making the environment unpleasant. And neiither were my children. I raised 6. Working full time. Husband working swing shift. My kids did misbehave sometimes and I dealt with it quickly. It never occurred to me to say tough noogies to the other people in the store.

      • AthenaC November 11, 2014, 9:36 pm

        “I could ask you why you’re a single parent? But that would be rude because it’s none of my business.”

        You’re right – it is none of your business. But I’ll answer you anyway –


        All the “You CHOSE this!” rhetoric implies that people like me have no right to put our lives back together because it’s initially logistically VERY messy and occasionally an “inconvenience” to people around us.

        Just to be clear (in case we got lost) I am NOT defending the mother’s violent actions. If you can ignore a toddler you can ignore a rude adult. I agree that the mother should be prosecuted. I understand her frustration, but I do NOT defend her actions.

    • LonelyHound November 11, 2014, 11:12 am

      You are absolutely right, AthenaC. I do not expect my existence to be santized from every unpleasantness. Just like you do not have the right to go through the grocery store with a screaming toddler and expect people are not going to make rude comments. They are, and you have to get over it. Your attitude in your post comes off completely entitled. You are a single parent with a heavy work load so you have to plan out better than others. Find out when your store’s low volume times are and go then. Saturday mornings at about 8 am is the low volume time in my area. When I have to take my kids (2 toddlers) I go then, bring snacks, and organize my list into the sections of the store so it is faster. Takes a lot of time and planning (including at least 1 week long meal plan), and it sucks after a long work day. However, that is how we limit assulting the general public with our screaming child. Yes, early morning on a Saturday is a difficult time to go. You want to sleep in or let your child sleep; but that is the trade off you signed up for. No, the public should not be sanitized from a screaming child. However, you do not have the right to inflict your screaming child on the general public because you cannot plan.

    • AnneOR November 13, 2014, 10:35 am

      Society means accepting your responsibilities so look that up. Many people are busier than you but still have good manners.

  • DGS November 10, 2014, 10:35 am

    Obviously, in this particular case, the mother is a violent nut, who also, left her child unattended to go on the warpath, but the “parents these days” rhetoric is obnoxious. Firstly, kids tantrum. Some are perfectly healthy kids who are having a bad day, others have disabilities, and most parents do address their behaviors. Some by removing privileges, some by timeouts, including removing the child from the situation, etc. However, generally, what is witnessed in a grocery store, etc., is one snapshot of crappy behavior, as opposed go the whole picture.

    I have a healthy 3 year old who tantrums at times, as well as a baby, and I address my son’s tantrums. However, that doesn’t mean that he immediately turns the off switch and says, “I’m so sorry for my egregious behavior, Mumsy”. I’d be ticked off if in the checkout line of the grocery store, where I have a tantruming toddler in the basket caterwauling, and I just want to pay, get out of there and strap him in the car seat, some biddy approached me about quieting him down. Would I tell her to go to hell, no, but I would tell her that I’m about to leave the grocers, and also, to mind her own, business.

    • AthenaC November 10, 2014, 12:21 pm

      I would pay money to hear a 3-year-old say “egregious.” That would be adorable!

      • David November 11, 2014, 12:49 am

        I think someone should put that on You Tube – it would probably go viral

      • Dawn November 11, 2014, 3:20 am

        Or, as my 3 year old niece says, adorbiale!

  • kimberly November 10, 2014, 11:28 am

    When I was a child and myself or one of my siblings were acting up in a store, we would get one warning to behave and then we would leave. If my dad was in the car (he often was), then we would have to sit with him. If he wasn’t, we would go home and not get groceries that day. We learned what was expected of us and what the consequences were if we misbehaved. Because of this, we learned how to act in public. I think that is a fundamental problem these days…kids do not know what is expected of them and there are no consequences for their actions. Parents make excuses instead.

  • Princess Buttercup November 10, 2014, 11:44 am

    A little humility would go a long way in this world…

    My husband has issues that the high pitch screetch of a child can hurt his ears, give him a horrible headache and take a great day and completely ruin it. Where no one likes the screaming of kids, it is horribly painful to him (think over stimulated like how people with autism can be except he has issues with Irlens really bad). So a child throwing a tantrum is annoying to most, but crippling to him. So I get very much wanting a parent to put a stop to screeching.
    And yes, you can put a stop to a child screeching. It’s sad that so many parents are so uninvolved in their kids lives and absent from the raising of their kids that they think that fits can’t be stopped. When my older brother was a child, he threw a tantrum in the store, complete with lying in the aisle, screaming, kicking, punching the floor, etc. So my mom got down on the floor and immitaded him crying “I wish I had a little boy that wouldn’t throw fits and be embarrasing in the store”. My brother got embarrased by her imitation, stopped crying, got up and kept an aisle away from her while not making a sound the rest of the trip. The rest of us kids grew up knowing that story and knowing that if we acted up too much we’d risk a swat on the bottom or being banished to the car with a very unhappy parent and no hope of any treat while our siblings might get one. So we grew up knowing that tantrums would not be allowed. Period.

    I used to work at a craft store and moms often brought in their kids while they shopped for hours. Of course the kids got board, started whining, then throwing fits and maybe even wrecking the store because they were so bored and tired of their mom ignoring them. One kid (about 3yrs old) came in crying and it escalated to loud whailing while the mom spent two hours in the store browsing around looking at everything. I have higher tolerance then most. High screeches bother me but crying doesn’t really. So I heard it some but didn’t pay it much attention. Meanwhile all my coworkers are getting massive headaches because this boy has been crying the whole time they’ve been in the store and mom is ignoring him. Finally about an hour and a half in, she gets to my area of the store and comes over to ask me a question. I answer and she turns to leave, thereby causing the screaming boy to be facing me. I give him a sad look and mouth “what’s the matter?” He immediately stops crying and looks at me confused. The rest of the time they were in the store, he didn’t make a sound. He wanted someone to pay him attention and the mom was utterly failing at that.
    Kids don’t magically go bad, they mirror what they see and repeat what they get away with. The kid in the above story has a hard life ahead being raised by a parent with no parenting or coping skills.

    • Hollyhock November 10, 2014, 2:54 pm

      Poor kid.

      I have to say I would have called the police (were I a worker or a shopper) if I heard a child’s screaming be ignored for that length of time.

      If that’s how kids are treated in public it really makes you shudder to think what happens behind closed doors. Sigh.

  • Renee November 10, 2014, 11:45 am

    This situation reminds me of a conversation I had with my younger cousin. The short of it is I asked her “what did you think was going to happen?”

    Now certainly the lady did not believe she was going to be physically attacked (and NOT deserve to be.) However, what did you think would happened after you confronted this lady about her child? Then followed that up with a “Go to hell.” I will be in the minority here but some people believe they can say whatever and people are going to lie down and allow it. Maybe Ms. Hajek-Richardson finally met her match.

    I would have been annoyed by the screaming child also but confronting the mother? No good would come from that.

    • Library Diva November 10, 2014, 5:01 pm

      I agree with you. Both sides behaved atrociously. Ms. H-R, was there anything to be gained by talking with the mother at all? And if you absolutely, positively felt you had to say something, why say something so rude? And other mom, don’t punch people in the face unless they punch you first.

      I agree with the other posters who enjoy trying to distract crying kids. That IS something as an observer that you can do about an irritating, freaking-out kid. Especially kids who don’t have the words to express “I’m bored” “I hate sitting in this thing” “My jacket’s making me hot” etc.

      As a parent, you have a responsibility to teach your child how to act in public and to be considerate of those around you. As a member of the general public, you have to accept that Target and Walgreens are not exactly like your living room. You might see some things that annoy you, gross you out, etc. and to a certain degree (as long as it doesn’t rise to the level of seeing someone endanger the people around them), you just have to put up with them.

    • B November 11, 2014, 4:59 am

      “what did you think was going to happen?”

      Why are you asking, when you already answered your own question? Behold:
      “the lady did not believe she was going to be physically attacked”

      She thought there would be an argument. And she was clearly up for a big nasty argument, as her own behaviour shows – confronting Deranged Mommy, getting abusive – but that is very obviously what she thought would happen, and you know it. It happens all the time, two chavs kicking off over nothing and screaming at each other in public.

      95% of those screaming chavs would not believe that the other woman would try battering them in a public car park.

      Hajek-Richardson did not meet her match. She met a nasty, violent scumbag with no self-control, who very sadly has a child.

      • Renee November 12, 2014, 1:26 pm

        If I go with your logic, then you are saying Hajek-Richardson purposely started an argument with the mother. Again I ask, what did you think would happen? If you start an altercation with someone, you have to prepare for the results. This is why Richardson should not have started an argument with her.

        It’s the same reason if someone cuts you off in traffic you should not confront them. You never know how someone will react.

        Please understand, I am not saying you should be a human doormat. I am merely saying if you start something be prepared for the results.

        Maybe I am Jaded with situations like this. I was raised inner-city Southside of Chicago. You learn early in life to not pick trouble with people.

  • JWH November 10, 2014, 11:56 am

    Doesn’t “I don’t condone the mother’s actions, but … ” or “I don’t believe in assault, but … ” implicitly legitimize the mother’s assault?

    • A different Tracy November 10, 2014, 3:30 pm

      No. It says “it was none of your business and you should have kept your mouth shut.” Because people in general don’t respond to strangers telling them how to parent their children, especially at stressful moments. So saying “the mother was wrong to assault her BUT” doesn’t mean she asked for it. It means there was no way anything good was going to come out of this scenario, and she should have known that.

    • Amanda H. November 10, 2014, 4:45 pm

      No, because this isn’t a strict black-and-white situation. It’s not a case of “if you don’t condone one, you obviously condone the other.” Both parties in this situation were in the wrong for different reasons. Hajek-Richardson for her choice of words and verbal provocation (such as repeating what she said when the woman followed her to the parking lot) despite the visible clues that the mother was starting off unreasonable and getting worse from there, and the mother for escalating to physical attacks in response to said verbal provocation.

      Saying that Hajek-Richardson should have paid more attention to those visible cues and quit the situation while she could is not condoning the mother’s attack. It’s simply pointing out that Hajek-Richardson isn’t in the clear either.

    • Library Diva November 10, 2014, 5:02 pm

      No, it’s saying that the “victim” here had a lot to do with creating and escalating the situation.

    • Dawn November 11, 2014, 3:26 am

      More like “I don’t condone the actions of the woman who threw punches” AND “I don’t condone the behavior of the woman who confronted her.” Both are idiots. One, however, committed a felony.


  • Mags November 10, 2014, 12:02 pm

    I’m still at the point where the sound of a crying/whining child makes me think, “Yay, not mine!” Perhaps I will grow less tolerant as the memories of my own children’s childhoods fade.

    Bad parent story — minor hockey game, players are 9-10 year olds. One player shoved someone in front of the net and got a two minute penalty. Ref puts him in the penalty box, and as he turns away, the player starts mocking him (rude gestures and comments). So ref turns around and gives him a game misconduct, which means he is kicked out of the rest of the game. Mother in the stands goes NUTS — screaming at the ref and making personal comments about him and on and on and on for a solid five minutes at least. She is approached by a member of the home team and told that we do not tolerate abuse of refs in our arena. Cue another 5 minutes or so of telling off that person. Um, lady, can you not draw the connection between the way you treat the ref and the way your child does?

  • NostalgicGal November 10, 2014, 12:13 pm

    This was a train wreck on both sides.

    I hope the child is in the care of Social Services and the attacker couldn’t post bail and is charged at the moment.

    Neither is blameless; But. The person that approached the mom was not store personnel, the store personnel do have a right to ask the mother to remove the child from the store until things quiet down (I think); and the mother following and leaving the child by itself to confront the first woman.. and the repeating. I didn’t hear the first time that the woman that approached told the mom to go to h*ll. Then repeated it.

    This is a mountain mounded from a molehill. They had the 15 seconds of fame, so lets’ move on.

    • hakayama November 10, 2014, 9:10 pm

      Do you really think that warrior mother would take kindly to ANY remarks by store personnel?

      • NostalgicGal November 11, 2014, 12:53 am

        Honestly, no. But it was not my the shopper person’s right to talk to the mom. If it was anyone it was store personnel.

      • Amanda H. November 11, 2014, 4:03 pm

        No, but store personnel at least might have the opportunity to ask the mom to leave. All another customer is going to do is make things worse, generally.

  • Enna November 10, 2014, 12:35 pm

    Assualt is nerver justified. If it had been a verbal altication between the two women that would have been different. It is clear that the woman who was hit, her nerves were frayed and what she said was stupid but that does not excuse another woman to hit her.

    • RC November 10, 2014, 11:52 pm

      I don’t think anyone here has at all tried to excuse the physical assault. Violence is never the answer. However if you say “Go to hell” to someone, you can reasonably expect a negative reaction.

  • Rebecca November 10, 2014, 12:59 pm

    Actually, no, I wouldn’t expect to be followed out to a parking lot and assaulted for saying “go to hell.” (Not that I would say that to someone in a grocery store line normally, but sometimes if someone is very very rude to you, such phrases can slip out of your mouth). “Go to hell” is pretty tame as far as insults go. “See you there” is a reasonable response.

  • ChicaLola November 10, 2014, 1:13 pm

    You never know when someone is going to snap. There was no reason for you to say anything to the mom…..I’m pretty sure she knew her child was loud and annoying. You made things so much worse, probably embarassed her even more, and drove her to break! Who are you to say anything to her about her child? Of course she shouldn’t have attacked you……but you really told her to go to hell…..in front of her child, too?

    • MichelleP November 12, 2014, 11:15 am

      Um, who are you talking to? What’s with the “you”? I’m fairly certain that none of the posters here are the woman in the story.

      That aside, I don’t frankly care what the woman said to the mother, the mother had no right to follow her and punch her.

      I’m thinking that the woman who was punched didn’t start the conversation with “go to hell”. From what I gathered, she was polite at first, but the mother immediately went off the handle and THAT is where the woman who was punched escalated the situation.

  • Tmichele November 10, 2014, 2:15 pm

    The reactions I’ve seen about this story on other sites hasn’t surprised me one bit. Parents are ENRAGED that this person DARE mention that her child is affecting others and could she quiet down her child. As a teacher, I can tell you that rarely do I deal with a parent that sides with the teacher. Most parents IMMEDIATELY side with their child without ever even hearing the whole story. Something is wrong with the teacher, the principal, the school….everyone else is to blame but the child or the parent.

    In my household, my teachers (adults) were without many exceptions believed over me (a child). My parents immediately went to an action plan of what *I* could do better instead of going to what was wrong with the teacher/school/principal/world. Accountability of me and my actions was required and wasn’t an option.

    I see this less and less and a sense of entitlement of parents and their children more and more. It saddens me.

    When I have a problem student all of my questions are immediately answered when I meet the parent, because typically the child is a carbon copy. Entitled brat = entitled parent. Rude/boorish/inconsiderate child = rude/boorish/inconsiderate parent. This is almost without exception. Children run the show vs. parents running the show. Not the way it should be but it’s becoming the norm vs. the exception.

    • Jenny R November 10, 2014, 2:38 pm

      I can help but feel sometimes that there is going to be a sharp increase in the future of adults living in their parent’s home because they just don’t know how to act in the world. These parents are doing their children such a huge disservice. Huge.

      • Goldie November 10, 2014, 5:23 pm

        Nah, their peers will teach them how to act around others. A kid won’t get through a single sleepover if all he knows is how to scream and throw a tantrum to get his way. His classmates won’t take kindly to that.

    • Ange November 10, 2014, 10:50 pm

      I’ve been quite saddened to see that too. A vocal parent brigade online is positively GLEEFUL that this woman got punched. Honestly why on earth would a parent be proud that this woman is their representative? I guess we will see the results of these sorts of attitudes in their kids in a few years, oh joy.

      Obviously this woman was rude to the mother but I find it interesting her behaviour is being called an escalation. She was followed, she possibly thought that by being acting the big toughie she could brazen it out and the mother might have backed off – she clearly didn’t and it ended in violence. Let’s not forget the escalation happened the second the mother stepped into that carpark.

      • Hollyhock November 11, 2014, 4:06 pm

        Ange, that is the scary thing. What philosophy are they transmitting to their offspring vis a vis decorum, manners, how we treat strangers? Frightening, really, and so many parents seem to be cheering the assaulter on.

  • crebj November 10, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Possible ideas:

    Offended woman leaves store, w/o making her purchase. Yes, it means leaving w/o your goods, but with your dignity and your face unmarked.

    Challenged parent leaves store with child, leaving the cart. Yes, it means leaving w/o your goods, but with your dignity and without an assault charge.

    Other challenged parent takes challenging child out to car, leaving other parent to shop.

    There was more than one way to handle this.

  • Lexie November 10, 2014, 6:16 pm

    There’s a difference between kids crying out of distress (sick, pain, tired, hungry etc) and kids throwing a tantrum. I have utmost sympathy for parents dealing with a distressed child. I have significantly less patience for parents ignoring/failing to resolve a tantrum.

    Currently, society seems to bow to parents, that somehow they deserve preferential treatment simply through the grace of having reproduced. The idea that children should be excused for their poor behaviour simply through the merit of being children is going to turn them into horrible, entitled adults who have no social graces or empathy. It will simply be about what they want and how they feel. That as mortifying as the tantrum is, setting boundaries is the first step to the tantrums stopping. I understand that everyone has a bad day, hit the end of the rope, has their own approach, but automatically defending the child’s actions (unless, of course, they are in distress) just validates the tantrum.

    And from the spate of parents vs the world articles that have popped up on the internet lately, I’ve noticed that parents descend on anything that has something negative to say about children. (When a business owner complains about ‘badly behaved children’, and parents read this as ‘all children’, it speaks volumes about their parenting and their entitlement.)

    In this case, I think the OP made things worse by telling the mother to go to hell. Taking the higher ground would have diffused the situation and avoided the assault. The mother was a nut job, and I am sympathetic to the OP, but the hell comment is what sealed this as an utter train wreck.

  • hakayama November 10, 2014, 7:47 pm

    The principle of “Your rights end where mine begin” goes for all kinds of situations, including children’s tantrums. I understand that intentional touching can be legally construed as assault, so the child of the twin shopping carts couple was definitely breaking the law.
    Why something so mundane as shopping for groceries can be seen as “quality family time” is probably beyond the comprehension of most sane people. One of the parents in the “Just4kicks saga” could have stayed home with both children. It also pains me to see people taking “still wet” newborns to any store. Don’t they want to wait a bit before exposing the infant to all kinds of ick?

    As far as reasons/excuses for the “boxer mama” of the original story, let’s not forget the “fighter gene”. Let the accused speak:
    “Your Honor and Esteemed Jury, I don’t think I should be punished for splitting X’s head when I pounded her against the brick wall.
    I am a single mother and I work hard. I had a very bad day and I had PMS. I was also a bit buzzed, so when X went and dissed me, I just let my fighter gene take over. It’s not my fault that X caught me at a bad moment; also she needed to learn not to mess with people.”

    I had been a single mother after I left an unfit husband, and my work took more time than a full college class load. But all those decades ago, it did not dawn on me to use single motherhood as an excuse for anything, or a reason to get a break. Of any kind. Shucks! Another missed opportunity…

    The only tantrum fit I was involved in took place when I was a teenager, and my cute as a button cousin was 3 years old. We went on foot on a brief errand in the neighborhood. And then, for whatever reason he threw himself on the sidewalk, screaming, kicking, pounding…
    I had no experience with children, but from all kinds of reading (including first aid manuals) I “knew” that an outburst of hysteria* could be stopped by a brisk slap on the face. When persuasion failed, I applied the slap remedy, and LO and behold, it worked. Never did I see a repeat performance of this kind from baby cousin. 😉
    In this century I could possibly have been arrested, not admitted to college, never allowed to become a teacher, etc., etc.
    * I thought it was hysteria since I’ve never witnessed a tantrum fit. Come to think of it, I had not seen an attack of hysteria either… 🙂 Thank Heavens for a sheltered life. At least until that age.

    • KenderJ November 12, 2014, 10:52 pm

      ^^^^^THIS^^^^. When I was younger, I would get annoyed at people who wanted to tell me how hard MY life must be because of my circumstances. Ummmm, no, it’s just my life. No harder than anyone else’s life.

  • Daphne November 10, 2014, 7:58 pm

    Unsupervised children are the reason I get my groceries delivered. One of the last times I was at a grocery store–an upscale one at that–there was a disgusting child taking one doughnut at a time out of the case, licking it, then putting it back, while the mother zoned out on a cake display. It was nauseating. I left my cart, and never went back.

    It is my opinion that if parents are not going to mind their children in a store it is up to management to set some boundaries. It is up to the store to enforce a sanitary, civilized experience for adult shoppers. But everybody these days seems so afraid of offending “mommy” that no one says a thing. It’s a shame.

    • hakayama November 11, 2014, 9:34 am

      Are you sure you’re getting unlicked donuts now? * 😉
      Ages ago, I’ve seen an old female toad squeezing the bagels while asking the counter man if they were fresh. To this day I cannot erase that image.

      • Daphne November 11, 2014, 6:01 pm

        That’s the problem isn’t it? Not being able to get it out of your mind.
        I put myself through college working in restaurants. So they don’t hold much appeal for me either.
        I’ve seen the sausage being made. 🙂

        • hakayama November 12, 2014, 11:37 pm

          Grateful now for more sanitary ways of approaching baked goods.
          Totally with you on minimizing restaurant visits, for a number of other reasons too: preference for organic ingredients, stinginess with time and money too… The venues that frighten me the least are ones with open kitchens. What happens in the scullery is another matter. :-/

          • NostalgicGal November 15, 2014, 1:38 am

            Licked donuts would be preferable to the ones in the little plastic doored ‘help yourself’ display and having half a dozen flies trapped in there buzzing around with them.

            Then they box the ones that didn’t sell for the next day as ‘day old discount’. I had to explain to my DH about you are not ever going to buy THOSE donuts; the preboxed from the back are the only ones (the store baked them then packaged them) because. Oh.

  • Cat November 10, 2014, 8:08 pm

    The is no one simple answer to this problem. Children don’t come with instructions like a cook book, “Do this and add this and it turns out this way.” Every child is different.
    On one hand, most small children have tantrums at some point in their young lives. They usually outgrow it, eventuallyturn into surly teenagers, and end up as normal, well-behaved adults.
    Some don’t . My older brother had tantrums whenever he was told no. I refused to go to a restaurant with my family when I graduated from college because, everytime we went out to eat, he would scream and carry on because: he didn’t want to eat there; he didn’t like the menu; or he just liked to see how his behavior ruined our dinners and proved he was “in charge”. He was not autistic; he was a twenty-three year old police officer.

    • RC November 10, 2014, 11:55 pm

      Oh my word. That sounds terrible, how awkward and horrible for your family.

      • Dawn November 11, 2014, 12:10 pm

        Even scarier is the fact that there’s another bully out there with a gun and a bad attitude who has legal power over me. Awful.


        • Cat November 11, 2014, 7:13 pm

          What is worse is that he is not the only one. Police departments draw this kind of individual. The “Thin Blue Line” protects them from all consequences. He is retired now, but there are many, many others.

    • hakayama November 11, 2014, 12:07 pm

      Sorry, but the family still goes with him to public places? And they do not feel embarrassed? To the extent of wishing that the earth would open up and swallow them, brother included?
      I guess there’s love, and there’s totally blind love. Or something…
      Also, I imagine none of his professional peers, or superiors, has seen him “in action”. Most dangerous man/child. I hope that I never have to deal with the likes of him when they’re on duty. Or off.
      Best wishes to you, and I hope that no grief comes your family’s way.

      • Cat November 11, 2014, 7:11 pm

        Mother died in 1973 and Dad in 1975, leaving me as his nearest relative. He told me that he would never do anything to help me and would never drive out of his way to see me. I thought that an excellent plan and have not seen him since.
        He tried to find me in 1985. I legally changed my name and moved.

        • hakayama November 13, 2014, 12:08 am

          I’m so sorry about that turn of events for you, the repeated punches at the loss of your parents and the resulting solitude. Extremely glad that you found a way to keep yourself sane and whole while alone.
          Your situation is a quintessential example of the concept that “blood” does not a family make. I wish that people would understand that often distance is a means of self-preservation, sometimes literally a life and mind saving measure.
          Unfortunately, there are too many organizations of different types, where there are layers within the hierarchy, control and power (real or perceived) are the name of the game.
          And yes, I can do quiet and humble but only if there’s a badge and a weapon. Didn’t take any unfair unwarranted sass in civil service days. Nor in the limited days of marriage to stupid.
          I wish you continued strength of resolve and serenity of spirit.

      • Cat November 11, 2014, 7:16 pm

        If you do, remember that power and control is what they feed upon. Say, “Yes, Sir” and do whatever you are told without hesitation. So long as you are not a minority, you will be all right.
        If you are a minority, well, just read the local papers.

        • NostalgicGal November 15, 2014, 1:49 am

          I have derailed several of these types with, ‘Yes sir’ and it doesn’t matter, suddenly my entire schedule is revolving around our nice little discussion; and I stay polite and do what I’m told, AND I make sure I stay within the dashcam range. Nary a cross, upset, or tired tone; never EVER a swear word. No matter what is going on in my life or my schedule… he/she has all the time they want of mine. And keep it simple. They ask you a question, keep it simple!

  • Toni LaClair November 10, 2014, 8:12 pm

    I had four children close in age. When someone melted down…in a store, in church, while visiting…they were out on the sidewalk before they knew what hit them. Easier when my husband and I were both there, but I have dragged a child out, trailing three others behind. It was made clear that they were disturbing others and it wouldn’t be tolerated. A major inconvenience if I had a cart full of groceries, but my child should only inconvenience ME and not others.

    • hakayama November 11, 2014, 9:39 am

      Great job, Toni! I’m sure you’ve got the vote for “Mother of the Century” from many, many people.* Also “Most Considerate Person”.
      Not those who “do not believe” in “warping the child’s character”. 😉

  • Meggatronia November 10, 2014, 10:21 pm

    I am surprised that no-one has suggested the following:
    Yes, sometimes there is little you can do to calm a screaming child
    No, it is not always possible to take them away as sometimes the shopping just needs to be done.
    Yes, a screaming child can disturb others. Sometimes it is simply an irritation, other times it can cause physical pain to those sensitive to sound.
    Yes, we everyone has some obligation to try not to disturb others but again, this is not always possible.
    So what about simply apologizing?
    If your child or a child in your care is having a meltdown that is disturbing those around you and it is simply not reasonable / practical / possible to calm the child or remove the child you could simply say to those around you ” I’m sorry, he/she is having a bad day, we’ll be as quick as possible” a simple apology and recognition of the issue will usually go a very long way with most people. It shows that the adult is aware of the issue and not just ignoring it to the detriment of others. I found this to be just a source of irritation as the screaming itself.
    Screaming child that parent is ignoring = Me being irritatde by both the sound and the parent.
    Screaming child of apologetic parent = Me having some empathy towards the parent and grinning and bearing the screaming…. maybe even me pulling some silly faces at the child to try and help.

    • Amanda H. November 11, 2014, 4:08 pm

      THIS is a very good point. Even if you as a parent absolutely KNOW that acknowledging the tantrum in any way, even to try to shush it, will only make it worse, it would still help matters a whole lot to apologize to others around you.

      Specifically in the case of the checkout line, to turn to the person behind you and apologize, explaining, “I’m sorry about the tantrum. If I try to do anything about it, it’ll just get worse, but we’ll be as quick as possible and then out of your hair,” might actually go a long way to reassure others that you’re not a terrible parent for ignoring the tantrum.

  • Nan November 10, 2014, 11:03 pm

    I get that some children are tougher to parent than others. Oh, I get it. It has ever been thus.

    But I also know that on any given shopping trip I may have an adult with an extemely high startle response (particularly when it comes to sudden noises), one who is prone to migraines due to loud noises, and one who is unsteady enough on her feet that a whirling-dervish, cart-banging episode may result in a broken hip.

    Seems to me that the rights of a parent of a melt-down loud, cart-banging, product-throwing, dervishing child end where the well-being of others begins. Contrary to the belief of some parents, their children do not matter more than their elders. Everyone matters. And the minute that is not understood, the ones who do not understand it need to be removed from the immediate vicinity until they calm down.

    It’s not just about manners. It’s about safety too.

  • NostalgicGal November 11, 2014, 1:07 am

    Then there was a bus trip. It was a deadeye, midnight to 6 am, between two big cities. On a Sunday night/Monday AM it is usually full of college kids going back to the other town and they want to SLEEP. I had ridden this one several times, this is the way it was. It was midnight and the seats behind me were a young mother and her toddler son; going up the road another hour and a half to a military base; to see dad who was coming in that day. Every seat was full on an americruiser.

    She’d kept him up through nap and everything to make sure he conked out, and walked him all over. Plopped into the seat, he started making noise. abbadah adahadah deehedbehededda…. continuously and solidily. Not screaming but not quiet. For the next six hours. He had gotten up at 7:30 am and not slept. And he would not quiet. She tried everything. Toys, food, rocking him, reading to him, nothing.
    About 4:30 she lost it herself as she was bone weary, and slapped him. He cried for a few breaths and shut up… entire bus sighed in relief. For about 2 minutes. abbadah adaha… he started right up. She tried again, he cried for a few breaths and shut up… again for about 2 minutes. abbadah… Sitting up, eyes wide open, and mouth running. We hit station, dawn and escaping that bus at 6 am… they were the only two going on the next 90 miles. I’d talked to her about 3 am through the seat crack between seats and she’d explained the travel, what she’d done, and she thought he’d go to sleep SOON.

    What could any of us say on that trip? Comparing this to screaming kids in public places… there isn’t a good solution. We bore with the bus ride of the d*mn*d as there wasn’t much to be done and mom tried. I asked later and found out that the kid kept it up until they got off the bus at their final stop. As for speaking up, you’re cursed if you do you’re cursed if you don’t and you can get more than be cursed at IF you do. Still think the original posting is a massive case of something that should have never happened and didn’t need 15 seconds of fame.

    • hakayama November 11, 2014, 9:49 am

      Recently heard: “Silence is golden. Tape is silver.” 😉

      • NostalgicGal November 11, 2014, 5:28 pm

        This is one of the few times that a dose of child’s Benadryl might have been a solution. I don’t condone giving small children medicine they don’t need but in this case a dose might have helped him slow down and go to sleep.

        • Daphne November 11, 2014, 6:05 pm

          Thought the same thing! And next trip the mom should bring a huge supply of ear plugs just in case.

  • Icarus November 11, 2014, 5:11 pm

    Lots of juicy POVs here. Disclosure: I have gone from single guy to married with children and will likely someday find myself in a similar situation as I bring the germy projectile-barfing poopsacks out into the world.

    I watched the video and I’ve read a blog or two on this particular incident. I’m trying to think of a one size fits all or most rule for this situation …Something like whenever voices raise, vulgarity, profanity or threats are uttered, the first person who invokes violence is automatically in the wrong. and obviously that’s very dangerous to do.

    stories like these usually bring out the various camps and the middle grounders (“couldn’t you trade babysitting with another single mom, to do your shopping” ) and then the backlash, and then the backlash against the backlash and they are wonderful for pageviews and hit counts.

    For me it’s the context and the distinctions that always get lost in the fallout.

    What red shirt woman and Hajek-Richardson said to one another is largely hearsay. We don’t know the exact words they used or the tone, only what each one recalls the other said. People see themselves reflected in the story and take a side regardless of the specific details. We don’t know if Hajek-Richardson asked nicely or meanly (is that a word?)

    is it always wrong to ask a parent, politely or otherwise, if they can do anything about their kid having a meltdown? The assumption is that the parent is trying their best and the first person who magically comes up with a way to calm all children of varying personalities and levels of development” will be a very rich person indeed. But what if the parent is not doing anything and in fact completely obvious to their offspring’s antics?

    Now back to the violence thing. Do we want a world where violence is or isn’t considered an unacceptable solution to conflict? Hajek-Richardson had the choice of saying something or nothing. She choose to say something. Red Shirt Woman had the choice to ignore Hajek-Richardson or respond. She chose to respond, apparently aggressively. She allegedly decided that it wasn’t enough to battle verbally, she chose to follow this woman to the parking lot and continue. Maybe Hajek-Richardson said something that provoked her into attacking but at that point it’s on Red Shirt Woman. What could someone possibly say that would justify attacking someone in a civilized society?

    I guess I’m taking a side here, which I don’t really want to. I guess I don’t want to live in a world where someone attacks me for saying something they don’t agree with or like, especially if my words don’t physically cause any harm or imply an actual threat. Isn’t that kinda one of the point of today of all days (Veterans Day).

  • iwadasn November 11, 2014, 5:28 pm

    If that’s how the mother behaves when she’s upset, no wonder her kid throws tantrums when he doesn’t get his way.

  • Lil November 12, 2014, 4:34 pm

    I worked at Target in college and even then I had nothing but compassion for most of the parents of crying kids. Nothing is worse than the stink eye you get when your kid is being a brat. Some parents don’t care but most do. 99% were hustling to get through their shopping and attempting to quiet their kids. When I became a parent I developed a new appreciation for how exhausting and embarrassing a misbehaving toddler could be. My two were more whiny/sassy than screamy cryers but when they did misbehave I did my best to hurry and get out. But wrangling two toddlers into their snowsuits, driving 25 minutes, parking, hauling them in, and then shopping is a lot of work. Even when you CAN choose the ideal I’m-happy-fed-clean-and-well-rested time of the day, you can’t predict these little monsters moods. And those perfect moments come few and far between. Like many moms on posting here, I was at the store with a job to do. I had to finish it or face the same battle the next day. Plus, what I found worked best in the long run was to not let my children’s behavior manipulate me into leaving without finishing what I needed to do. Their tantrums usually came from not wanting to be there and that they got to call those shots was not the lesson I wanted to teach. I also knew from working in retail that the employees would dislike putting a way a cart full of stuff a whole lot more than listening to a few minutes of crying. We HATED finding abandoned carts. So, so rude. I’ll take a tantrum any day. When I was working myself I just tuned out any tantrums. Later, tuning out the nonsense became an integral part of my parenting toolbox. My kids figured out pretty quick that tantrums and whining don’t work. I have two really well-behaved, polite teens btw 🙂 That being said– indifference to prolonged screaming or complete disinterest in wild, destructive behavior is ridiculous. Without appearing to let the kids “get their way” by forcing you out of the store, complete the essential tasks and get out.

  • Nora November 12, 2014, 5:51 pm

    Children are looked upon as pariahs these days, regardless of how they’re behaving, so I do have some sympathy for the mother going into this scenario. That young woman clearly has no experience with children — you can’t just turn them on and off on request.

    That said, obviously the mother has huge anger management issues and her criminal assault should be investigated and she should be held responsible.

    This is a case of everyone behaving badly and a temporary, annoying situation escalating into a huge mess for everyone involved.

    The real victim here is that poor child.

  • Nora November 12, 2014, 5:53 pm

    Oops, and I wanted to add that the young woman lost the right to the higher ground once she spouted off with “go to hell”. In that moment, she was throwing her own little tantrum because she wasn’t getting her way.

  • Melissa November 14, 2014, 4:45 pm

    It just reminds me of what I used to say when I was in my mid-twenties, that there was always the same screaming child following me where ever I go, and it was directed at no one else but me. I rarely see or hear this child anymore maybe it is because I shop off peak hours, or have just learned to ignore it. It just takes all types and there is no easy solution