Let Him Not Eat Pie

by admin on May 31, 2016

This story appeared on my news feed regarding a man who was so fed up with the bratty, entitled behavior of a child in a Burger King ordering line that he took drastic and unusual action.

The child reportedly threw a non-stop,screaming tantrum wanting a pie. Efforts by the man in line to engage the child’s mother to calm the child were apparently fruitless so when it came his turn to order food, he proceeded to buy every single pie the restaurant had at the time – 27 in total. When mom stepped up to the cashier and ordered pie, she discovers that there is absolutely none available, screams wanting to know who bought them all and the employee points to the man who is, by now, standing by the exit door. They lock eyes as he munches on a pie.

So, comments Ehellions? While the act of buying every pie was drastic, it was an enforced lesson for the child that one does not always get what you want when you want it.

{ 150 comments… read them below or add one }

Lambzig May 31, 2016 at 4:18 am

Well, if it really happened……For me, it depends very much on the age of the child. My three year old is horrendous at the moment and screamed at me about cake in the queue to buy lunch at a National Trust place we visited yesterday. I was also with my very hungry six year old, so couldn’t just abandon the lunch queue. Obviously I tried my best to calm him, picked him up, told him off, etc, but nothing worked – especially as he could see other children ahead of us being handed cakes. In those circumstances, I would feel at bit sorry for the mother having to deal with the fallout and sometimes there is nothing to be done with a stroppy pre-schooler.

If the child in question was 9, 10, 11, its a different matter.

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barb May 31, 2016 at 8:34 am

If the kid was old enough to use the F-word, well….. draw your own conclusions. I think the manager should have asked them to leave . Burger King is supposed to be a family friendly place, right? No one wants to hear F-bombs in front of their kids.

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Aletheia May 31, 2016 at 10:51 pm

Re: “If the kid was old enough to use the F-word, well….”

Yeah, that’s not really a good rule of thumb to go by; older children use it willingly to shock adults, sometimes, but younger kids use curses too in imitation of their parents (and other adults around them). They may not realize what it means to use them, but they see the adults use them when they’re upset (and also see *how* the adults use them) and so add the curses into their own vocabulary…

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JAN May 31, 2016 at 1:18 pm

I agree with the “If it really happened,” it sounds a little urban legend like to me. I also agree about the age of the child. My two year old is still learning public behavior and although I try to remove him from the situation as much as possible, sometimes we get delayed as I’m dealing with two other children . Now my seven year old, would never behave that way in public because he knows if would be the last time he left the house for anywhere other than school for a long long time. Plus I find plenty of busy work for those children who can’t behave well.

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lakey May 31, 2016 at 5:25 pm

In general, I always am sympathetic to parents of kids who have their little screaming tantrums in public places. Sometimes the tantrum is so bad that, other than leaving the place, the kid won’t stop. If you are in a situation where you CAN’T leave, you’re stuck with the embarrassment of screamer. And in spite of what some onlookers say, spanking the kid doesn’t stop screaming.

However, giving the kid what he is screaming for is probably the worst thing you can do. It teaches the kid to have screaming tantrums in public. My mom never gave in. In a public place she would leave with the child. I had a tantrum at home once and she told me if I didn’t stop it she’d pour cold water on me. I stopped because I was standing on a linoleum floor and I was pretty sure she’d do it.
So, no cake, no pie, and in my case, no Hostess snowball.

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Lambzig June 1, 2016 at 7:45 am

oh I agree with that one. My son did not get cake.

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Psyche May 31, 2016 at 4:21 am

Snopes looked up the story, and said the story was dubious at best

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Dee May 31, 2016 at 1:53 pm

Psyche – I was wondering how this story could possibly have worked out to such convenient and perfect revenge as buying up all of one item at a fast food place simply requires a few minutes of wait time for a new batch of that item to be fried up. So, the mother and son (and the other patrons) would only have had to wait a bit longer than if the man hadn’t bought up the pies; unless, of course, he bought all the frozen pies, too, which is not plausible that the store only had 23 at the location. So, I don’t believe the story myself, it’s just too convenient.

But it sure does feel good.

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Kirbs June 1, 2016 at 8:09 am

I’ve worked in a branch of a worldwide fast food chain (a UK branch, if that makes any difference?), and their apple pies take six minutes in the fryer to cook. On top of that, health and safety rules say the workers should wait at least ten minutes after they have been pulled from the fryer to sell them, to allow the filling time to cool down.

So that’s sixteen minutes… and I’m sure most people who have worked in fast food can tell you that there are patrons who think anything over ninety seconds is a ridiculous wait time for their food.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m also quite dubious that it happened… just not because of the timings.

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Anonymouse June 1, 2016 at 9:15 pm

It’s entirely possible that the store would only have 23 pies at that location, depending on when stock came in. They’re not an overly popular menu item. I know we would go months without ordering pies, and get more in stock when we were down to about 30… The part that I don’t believe is that the store probably only had 5-10 pies ready to go, and they take roughly 5 minutes to cook, plus another couple minutes to package ALL the fresh pies. The woman would have been up at the counter long before the man’s order was ready.

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Just4Kicks June 2, 2016 at 4:24 am

I’ve gone into fast food places plenty of times when a large order for our family of six was given to me as soon as I finished paying for it, meaning they “stock pile” food for busy times of the day.
I’m not saying this story is or isn’t true, but I can believe they may have had that many pies ready to go at a moments notice.

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Anonymouse June 3, 2016 at 6:46 pm

I was a manager at a fast food restaurant for 4 years. Yes, they stockpile food for busy periods. The standard “stockpile” for pies is about 10-12, and they tend not to cook more until there’s about 2 left (pies are held for 3 hours. Of that 10-12, about half will be thrown out on a typical day… Like a said, they are not popular items.) They would have enough pies for your family of 6 ready at a moments notice, but 23? I seriously doubt it.

Just4Kicks May 31, 2016 at 4:40 am

I got a good laugh from this, thank you! 🙂

If that man had the money to buy all the pies, good for him!
My children certainly aren’t perfect, but if they were acting like the kid in the story, they wouldn’t have gotten a meal out, much less dessert.
I would’ve dragged them out of line and taken them home.
I mean, using the F word, and throwing things around?
Oh, HELL NO.
Was the man acting a little childish himself? Perhaps, but I admit that I love what he did.
And then the mother “ran at him”? I see where the kid gets his entitled behavior from!
Applause to you, crazy pie man!

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Amanda H. May 31, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Hear hear.

For us, eating out at a fast food restaurant is usually a treat. If my kids behaved like that one, they would NOT be getting said treat and they know it (which is why they usually behave themselves in stores and restaurants, at least to the point of not throwing tantrums over things they want). I made sure to teach them from a very early age that we don’t throw fits to get treats. If Mommy says no, Mommy means no. If I couldn’t take them out of the fast food place (for instance, if I was banking on that for lunch), then I’m not buying them any extras like pie and I’m hanging onto the toy from their kid’s meal until they can show me they can behave themselves again. Teaching them like this has led to situations where I could take my 3-year-old to the grocery store with me, and when she asks for a treat from the candy shelves at checkout time, I can say “not today,” and she’ll accept that answer.

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Just4Kicks May 31, 2016 at 4:30 pm

Sounds to me like you’re a great mom who is raising a good kid and who will be a respectful adult!
Three cheers to you, Mom!!! 🙂

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Just4Kicks June 1, 2016 at 4:04 am

I happened to run to the store for a few items last night, and while waiting to check out, I couldn’t help get a chuckle looking at all the goodies by the register that were in just the right height for a 3 year old. 🙂

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NostalgicGal June 3, 2016 at 12:11 am

They so do that on purpose.

Some stores put in ‘no candy no junk toy’ checkouts and people patronize the place so they can get through a checkout without setting off a war with their small kids. No temptations, less hassle.

Amanda H. June 1, 2016 at 7:12 pm

I can only take so much credit. I learned from my own mom, who had the same approach and got the same results.

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Lin May 31, 2016 at 8:46 pm

What a well-behaved (well-taught!) daughter you have!

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Amanda H. June 1, 2016 at 7:16 pm

I try. I’ve worked in retail and seen far too many kids who didn’t learn that lesson, and too many parents who cave in to the tantrum. It doesn’t take a genius (in my opinion) to see that caving to the tantrum will only teach the child that tantrums get you what you want.

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Just4Kicks June 2, 2016 at 4:30 am

My mom had the “look” she used on us in public, which stopped us dead in our tracks.
We also knew a beating with a wooden spoon was waiting for us when we got home.
For particularly bad offenses, we had to kneel on uncooked rice on a hardwood floor for half an hour.
I also remember having a bar of “Lava” soap shoved in my mouth a few times for saying something my mom deemed disrespectful.

NostalgicGal June 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

My grown spouse still thinks that exploding will automatically get me to do what he wants RIGHT NOW or get him what he wants right now. He’s been this way his whole life and it’s now considered part of his disability. No it doesn’t work on me either.

David May 31, 2016 at 5:21 am

I’ve seen that story before a couple of times – once for Burger King in 2014 and once about macaroons from ‘Not Always Right’ before that and my reaction is always the same. First I kind of do a thumbs up in my head, then I explain to myself why it probably wasn’t right.

What if everyone else standing in line (who also had been stuck listening to a shrieking child because mom wouldn’t take him outside or home until he calmed down) had wanted a pie with their meal?

Hopefully mom took the lesson to heart, I just hope other people that weren’t involved were inconvenienced as well.

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Kirsten May 31, 2016 at 7:41 am

Well, they’d be told “sorry, we’re sold out” and they’d have to get over it.

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TootsNYC June 6, 2016 at 2:21 pm

I think that if someone wants to buy something, they don’t need to worry about leaving some on the shelf for other people who might want some.

you’re not a guest in someone’s home, or at your own dinner table. This is a business transaction.

The part of it that I don’t admire is that I think it is gratuitously mean-spirited. I would not admire someone who did this, and I really wouldn’t admire someone who bragged about it.

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Emma June 9, 2016 at 4:25 pm

I wouldn’t admire someone who let their child have a screaming tantrum over a pie in a queue without doing anything to stop it either, so it’s probably equal. Whose transgression was the worst? The mother’s, definitely.

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flora May 31, 2016 at 5:24 am

Personally, I think he handled it with grace. He didn’t yell back at the mom or throw a pie at the child. He simply bought all the pies. I’d like to give him a medal.

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tessa May 31, 2016 at 5:31 am

It ~should~ be a lesson to the child but I doubt that it will be. If the mother makes no effort to quiet the kid while he is having his tantrum, she’ll probably just tell the kid that the mean man took them all.

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Ant May 31, 2016 at 5:31 am

The age of the child is not mentioned/ guessed but given the child can speak in sentences (with swearing) he is old enough to understand consequences, and right and wrong. By this stage the parents should have therefore trained their child on how to behave in public. Hence the key statement is “The mother didn’t seem to pay any attention to him”. It seems he is craving any attention more than anything. In all likelihood the stranger interjecting and the mother defending her “parenting” will be seen by the child in the wrong light as defending his behaviour. By taking all reward away at least the redditer can prevent the eventual “pay off” for his bad behaviour in this instance, which is a useful lesson. However without reinforcement from the mother I don’t see this as giving the child a long term lesson. One of my friends (teachers) biggest peeves is parents not fulfilling their duties to encourage good behaviour: teaches getting blamed for bad marks when they try but the parents do not encourage learning and do not enforce proper “homework time”.

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Dee June 1, 2016 at 10:34 am

Ant – If a teacher is punishing the student because the parent doesn’t enforce “homework time” then it’s the teacher who is the problem, not the student. It’s not my job, as a parent, to fulfill the teacher’s expectations regarding homework; it’s my child’s job, and if he/she isn’t ready to complete that homework on his/her own then the teacher is assigning materials above the child’s ability or there’s something else going on that should be dealt with. It isn’t a parenting issue.

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Mal June 2, 2016 at 9:37 am

Dee, I disagree. I remember my childhood well enough to know that a teacher can only do so much. If a child is at home and doesn’t want to do their homework, the teacher can do precisely nothing about that. And my homework wasn’t above or below my ability, I simply didn’t feel like doing it and wanted to play / watch TV instead.
After a certain age the child may be able to take up responsibility for their own education but until then, it can only work if the teacher and the parent are working together towards the same goal. That is very much a part of your job as a parent.

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qwerty June 2, 2016 at 11:01 am

When in class, the teacher monitors the students and provides redirection to keep the student working. It is the parents job to continue this lesson at home, encouraging study habits and ensuring homework completion. There is a difference between a student missing one assignment, going to the teacher for help, then taking it home to complete, and a student never completing homework. The latter is on the parent for not setting expectations regarding homework or providing guidance to their own child. I would definitely say that is a parenting issue if the parent isn’t willing to sit their child down and ensure they complete homework, which is fulfilling their obligations.

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Annie June 2, 2016 at 11:07 am

If parents can’t control their children sufficiently to get them to do their homework, how is the teacher supposed to? Especially given that the teacher has to control 30 kids at once?

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padua June 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm

none of this makes sense. of course it’s the parent’s job to ensure homework gets done. and it’s the parent’s job to reinforce when a child does well. is the teacher supposed to go to each child’s house to make sure the homework gets done? and children don’t automatically WANT to do homework even if it’s within the child’s ability. my kid will pick playing outside over doing homework any day. it’s my job as a parent, however, to teach them to complete their homework first before play.

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Devin June 2, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Are you really stating it is not your job as a parent to see to it that your child does their school work? Yes the child should be the one completing the homework, but if your child isnt trust worthy, or old enough, to sit themselves down and complete their assignments you as a parent should be monitoring them. A 10 year old is capable of practicing spell words on their own, but if they have the option of play time over spelling time, I bet they choose play. As a child, the first question when we got home from school, kindergarden till we showed we were responsible to not need prompting, was “do you have any homework, did the school send home anything?” If this is “not your responsibility” as a parent, what is?

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L June 2, 2016 at 2:56 pm

Dee – Children must be taught *by their parents* to do work, even if they find it boring or unpleasant. If the teacher assigns homework, your child won’t want to do the homework. It is your job, as a parent, to make sure the child completes the homework before playing. It is your job to make sure your child gets enough sleep and eats good food. It is your job to encourage your child to work hard in school and learn. If you tell your child to clean his room, but your child wants to play instead, do you say “Oh, this is too difficult a task! My child isn’t ready to clean his own room on his own!” or do you make your child clean his room?

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Dee June 3, 2016 at 12:14 am

It is not my job, as a parent, to force my kid to do work that others have decided he/she should do. It is my job to make sure my kid arrives at school ready to learn; well-fed, well-rested, and so on. If the teacher wants to schedule my time after school hours so that I am doing homework with my kid then that teacher can also come to my house to do my job before and after school hours. It works both ways or it doesn’t work at all. My kids have obligations and responsibilities that are just as important as school work (in a lot of ways, much more important) and that’s where my focus lies. I will not put aside my responsibilities in favour of what someone else decides is important for me to do; that would be a terrible example to set for my kids. If the homework is not easily done by the child then it is not homework and requires teaching, which is what the teacher is for, not the parent. If the child is able to do the work but decides it is not important to them they reap the consequences. That is a good life lesson, unlike the ones I regularly see parents teaching their kids – doing things because of pressure, not common sense, and/or taking responsibility for the work on behalf of the child instead of letting the child take that responsibility. Or, the very common act of doing the homework for the kid, in order to meet the teacher’s unrealistic expectations. I see that lesson being taught to my kids’ peers all the time. Maybe that’s why so many kids are still not ready for independence or college even after so many years in school.

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qwerty June 6, 2016 at 3:25 pm

Stop viewing the teacher as your adversary and start looking at it as a partnership. Your statement “if the teacher wants to schedule my time…”illustrates how you view the teacher. The teacher gives homework because practice is an essential part of their education. It also lends itself to skills you’re supposed to teach like budgeting time and being accountable to responsibilities. The teacher works on these skills with your child in class on top of teaching content. It’s your job, as a partner, is to uphold this at home.

InTheEther June 6, 2016 at 7:19 pm

It kinda is. I mean, the big faceless others have decided that children can’t just take snacks from the store without paying, but I assume you’re not leaving it to them to decide whether or not they’re following that rule.

Have issues with public education. There are plenty of things to have problems with. Right up there is the over standardization and the policies ,like excessive homework, that try to turn students into little test bots.

But it’s not reasonable to put the responsibility on a child to make the mature decision to do something that goes against their current wants in favor of their long term good. That’s why if a kid gets brought to the hospital after slicing their foot open on a rusty piece of metal, we listen to the parent saying to give them a tetanus shot rather than the kids screaming no.

Going “I don’t agree with the rule/policy so I’ve decided I’m an exception.” has never really worked out well for anyone.

Fung June 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm

Dee, to do homework with your kid is also a time to bond with your child, this way you get to know your kid better, how he/she thinks etc. etc.
You say yourself that many kids are still not ready for independance or college, that’s is a parents job to prepare the kids for this and they do this together with the teachers.
My parents weren’t able to do homework with me due to they didn’t understand the language but they did sit next to me, just to make sure I did my homework, just them sitting right next to me made me feel supported.

Ant June 3, 2016 at 5:19 am

Dee as many other people have pointing out it is a parenting issue and I’m not talking about punishing the student. I’m saying parents need to realise they must enforce the lessons being taught elsewhere in order for children to learn. letting your children watch TV and play games instead of homework is (in my opinion) the same as allowing you child not to go to school. You just send a message that education does not matter.

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Dee June 4, 2016 at 10:52 pm

Ant – Why do you say it’s either do homework or watch TV and play games? I don’t know what you do with your kids at home but many families really need that time, after school and in the evenings, to do important things that are not related to school. Those things are as valuable, if not more so, than homework. Kids spend six hours or more at school every day; that’s too much for most kids, and using home time to do even more schoolwork is often an infringement on what needs to be taught at home. The home education is often of a higher value than the school one, and shouldn’t be thrown aside as easily as teachers demand. What a teacher wants has nothing to do with me as a parent and is not part of my domain, same as what I want done at home cannot be done by a teacher. I value my kids’ educations a great deal, and that’s why I tried very hard to keep school and home life separate. My kids were much better off when I did that.

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Willynilly June 7, 2016 at 6:14 am

Dee I agree with you. School is great, and valuable, and… is supposed to stop at some point.
Several extremely valuable skills are not even attempted to be taught at school, in order to be learned they must be taught during non-school hours.

I support teachers and formal education. But I do not agree with homework, unless its of the vaguest variety, such as “read, anything, for 30 minutes a day” or “utilize math or physics in a way you are prepared to discuss”.

Anonymouse June 4, 2016 at 1:10 pm

If the work is developmentally appropriate for the child to do at home, why would it be inappropriate to send it as homework? Children can do homework, but they won’t unless the parents make them sit down and do it. There is no magical age where children will automatically do extra work at home unless the parents build those skills and routines early on.

If you feel that your child is getting too much homework, or the work is too hard for them to do independently, then a conference with the teacher is in order. If the child is simply not bothering to do the assignment, it’s the parents job to make them. This is part of your job as the parent of a school-age child. If you are not doing that job, it becomes a parenting issue.

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Angie June 8, 2016 at 10:02 pm

In my household, we don’t do homework. The research indicates that it is of negligible value and can even have a negative impact on family relations. My kids have enough obligations outside of school (including family time and chores) that they need to complete to become well-rounded people. Why does the school get to decide how we use out of school time? Why is more math worksheets more valuable than learning how to do your own laundry? Why is doing a science experiment more important than learning how to get along in a team? (I’m a teacher, too, so I get it…I don’t assign homework either) I let teachers know that I will support them in any other way, but we will not be doing homework and I give them the research behind my decision.

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NostalgicGal June 11, 2016 at 9:57 am

Homework was part of my ‘job’. Which included getting good grades. If it seemed excessive, my parents would discuss it with the teacher. They made sure I sat down and did it. Some things take a lot of repetition or practice to get right (like basic math) and it did involve homework. That being said homework didn’t really start happening until 4th grade (math). So no matter what, it taught me some discipline and How To Study. That skill often isn’t taught and is an important one as well. Oh. I still learned to be a socially responsible person, and do my laundry, and all that other good stuff.

Anon November 18, 2016 at 12:10 pm

Lol with Angie’s way of doing it I would have learned and remembered nothing at school.

If anything else, homework at least drills it into your head and can help you understand the problems. I can’t imagine expecting a teacher to be able to help students learn other things with 25 of them in a class at a time and barely any time to spend with any of them.

I mean that’s like saying 25 minutes of math with no practice at home I wouldn’t even be able to do multiplication at this age.

Queen of Putrescence May 31, 2016 at 6:10 am

I personally think it is brilliant. He probably knew that the mother was going to give in to the tantrum and the child was going to be rewarded for throwing a tantrum.

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Saucygirl May 31, 2016 at 6:30 am

Personally, I think the guy is awesome.

Yesterday a popular blogger asked why it seems like everyone hates on parents now. My response was that this round of parents (of which I am one) seems to feel more entitled then previous. And it is annoying. This week alone I heard this story, the story of a high school grad who didn’t go to her own graduation party and wouldn’t wrote thank yous but the mom wanted to know if she could keep the gift money, and the story of two boys who rough housed at grandparents after being asked not to and broke the door. The mom was ready to cut grandparents out of life for daring to ask for the boys to pay for their mistake.

These kids aren’t being taught how to be productive, responsible and nice members of society by their parents. Sadly thkugh, this mom probably just told her son that the guy was a selfish bully and then took him some where else for a better treat and a toy, and the kid learned nothing

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Stephbwfern May 31, 2016 at 8:08 am

Is this really what parents these days are like? Or do we just have better means of popularizing such stories (the very story above is a great example)? I’m recalling numerous instances in older novels where “entitled parenting” stories are discussed: the Anne of Green Gables series, the Little Women series, Little House in the Prairie series. “Bad kids” and “bad parents” (as much as I dislike those labels) have been around since the dawn of time and I detest this notion of “kids these days” being so much worse than the previous generations.

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Saucygirl May 31, 2016 at 4:43 pm

To a degree you are right and it is definitely about popularizing stories easier. But I feel like today’s parents are so quick to excuse their kids behavior in ways our parents didnt. If we got in trouble in school our parents did not automatically take our side. In fact it was normally guilty til proven innocent. Where as that is not what I see now. Now it’s the teacher is mean, that other kid is a bully, my child shouldn’t have to sit still for five minutes, etc. One girl in my daughters class hasn’t done homework in three weeks and doesnot even bring it home. The mom knows this, and rather then disciplining her or making sure the homework is in the bag before they leave school, has just decided that the only solution is for her daughter to have her own aide to ensure someone is holding her hand all day. And around half of the class has their own version of this level of entitlement/craziness.

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Dee June 1, 2016 at 10:43 am

Saucygirl – My biggest pet peeve of my children’s years of schooling was teachers expecting parents to do their work for them. I’m not the homework master; it’s not my job but it is highly arrogant of a teacher to demand that I do his/her job at my home. Homework that cannot be done by the child independently should not be assigned. If the child does not do the work then it should be determined why, and various methods tried to see what works. Where I live it is virtually impossible to get an aide and many kids are left to fail without one; when I see a child with an aide I am quite confident they are in need of that help. I encouraged but did not discipline my children to do their homework; I would not punish an adult for having an invisible disability so why would I do that to a child?

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Just4Kicks June 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

@Dee: in relation to my kid’s homework, I’m your “go to girl” for English and History, math…Uh, no.
My youngest is going to 7th, and I haven’t been able to help her with math homework since 3rd grade.
She once came home around 3rd or 4th grade and said she was lost and I could I please help her. Sure, honey! Let’s take a look.
After a half an hour of not knowing what she was supposed to do, her dad, who was working in his office, yelled out “Oh, for God’s sake! Bring it here, honey, I’ll help you!”
Have at it, my friend.
Fast forward a few minutes, and I hear my husband say, “What the HELL is THIS?!?”
Told you…..

fountainof June 2, 2016 at 2:21 pm

How does not doing homework = invisible disability? I do find for my grade 1 daughter there is some homework that I dislike but it is the go buy or bring things on a short notice. I think as a parent while I shouldn’t have to do the homework, I should have to set aside time in my DD’s schedule to do it, just like I am required to monitor lots of things for my child. I wouldn’t just let my DD choose her bedtime or to eat ice cream for dinner everyday so the same goes for homework, it is my job to monitor it.

Personally, I think fighting teachers will just get your child a poor education and since education usually improves the chance of success in life, it is important to me to support education for my child.

InTheEther June 3, 2016 at 2:59 am

I think there’s an issue with this bit you keep bringing up. How in the world does ‘not doing homework’ = ‘it’s too hard and they’re not capable of doing it’?

I was perfectly capable of doing my homework in highschool. Which is why I did it on the bus ride home or on the bus to school in the morning. And most of my textbooks had the answers to odd numbered questions in the back so really I just did half the homework. Because there were a million things I’d rather do. I would have foregone it completely if I didn’t know my parents would punish me for completely blowing it off.

There are plenty of parents who don’t have that same policy, so there’s 0 incentive to do the work or put any effort in school. (Don’t expect teens to have the forethought and realistic worldview to realize that they’re screwing themselves over by flunking or dropping out) Teachers can only do so much and really, ISS or suspension for the true brats just means they’ve won and they don’t have to sit in class anymore. It’s not like kids can do what they enjoy during school anyway (TV, games, internet, going out, ect.). And it’s not like a teacher can enforce consequences outside of school. It IS the parents’ job to see that their child at least attempts the homework and takes a stab at studying for quizzes and tests.

Now, if a child brings homework home and just has no clue how to do it whatsoever, THEN it is the teacher’s fault (barring those kids who just goof off during class and make absolutely no attempt to grasp the material). An example from college, in the program I was in they created one of those big stadium classes that they hoped to make a core class for everyone in the program. And none of us knew what this guy wanted from us. There were various projects, but it seemed like with each one only a handful of people/groups out of like 75 students were on page with what he wanted (I’m convinced by accident). I remember he was gone one day but his two grad assistants were there. They spent like 10 minutes in a powwow shuffler a stack of papers before one came to the microphone and said there was an assignment, but they didn’t really understand what he wanted, so class was cancelled that day. Basically everyone passed by default, as otherwise 3/4 of the school of art and architecture would have had a failing grade on their transcripts, and plans to make this a core class were dropped.
Went a little off topic there, but if a child (or in the worst case the entire class) is not able to grasp the material then the teacher needs to look into stepping it up. One last example, my high school english teacher willingly tutored student who had transferred from “the academy” in grammar during lunch to get them caught up to the rest of the class, since the academy apparently did an absolutely terrible job of it. If a kid brings their homework to school and every bit is wrong or incomplete (because they couldn’t figure it out) then the teacher needs to do more. There’s a reason every math teacher gave partial credit.

I guess the breakdown is; Parents are responsible for their child putting forth effort, once that is done the teachers are responsible for their achieving success. There is nothing a teacher can do if the parent (or by some miracle the student his/herself) isn’t making the student try.

Denise June 4, 2016 at 8:12 am

Dee- I completely get what you are saying.

We are going through a similar situation with our middle schooler. Her math teacher is really big on teaching personal responsibility. As is our family. The issue is that he spends the vast majority of class time teaching personal and social responsibilities and minimal time teaching the subject they are to be learning. He then sends home an hour or two worth of homework a night that the student has difficulty doing because they haven’t been taught the skills necessary to do the work.

While a teacher CANNOT force a child to do homework and has their hands tied when it comes to enforcing homework policies, a teacher is RESPONSIBLE for ensuring the student has the tools to complete the work. Of her 7 teachers, this is the only one (and a first year teacher) that seems to think the math lessons should be taught at home and life lessons should be taught in math.

Amanda H. June 6, 2016 at 1:23 pm

@Just4Kicks: we had that issue crop up only once with our kids’ homework. It was a math problem (which I’m still a fair hand at, as I was in advanced math in grade school, but I refused to take math classes if I could help it in college because I hated the subject). My daughter was in 3rd grade at the time, and was stumped on one sheet of her homework packet. I looked at the equations…and immediately called my sister who’s a high school math teacher and roommate to a 4th grade teacher to ask how a 3rd grader was supposed to be able to solve this. I knew how to do it, but only by rewriting the word problem as an equation with a variable and then solving for X. My daughter’s math class hadn’t been introduced to variables yet, so I would’ve had to teach her new math to do the problems. All my sister, her roommate, and I could figure was that the kids were supposed to do some trial and error thing to figure out the problems, and this was the only sheet the math teacher hadn’t covered the method for in class. But then, at that particular school, all the kids were in a sort of advanced math class anyway.

@Dee: I’m with InTheEther on this. You keep bringing up that if the kids aren’t doing the homework themselves, it must be too hard, without taking into account that children and even teenagers make poor decisions and frequently lack responsibility because they aren’t really taught to see the big picture yet and understand how homework can help them. My children’s homework is perfectly 100% doable by them at our current school, and was 99.9% doable by them at our previous school (where the aforementioned math issue happened), but there’s no way either of them would sit down to do it unless I encouraged them to. I don’t do the homework for them. I would speak to the teacher if I felt the homework was beyond their level, but I operate under the assumption that the teacher has already taught the methods for doing the homework and the homework is simply meant for more practice because you learn things better by practicing them. Only once has my child told me that they weren’t taught how to do something, and that was, again, the aforementioned math issue. My only job with the material itself is checking their answers before they take it back to school, and I do that voluntarily because no teacher has asked us to (but this way I can catch where they just weren’t paying attention and help them fix it). I never do the homework for them, nor do their teachers expect me to. But if I didn’t remind my kids when they came home that they had to do their homework, they would spend all afternoon playing instead, and then be upset when their teacher has to call me about them not doing the homework.

When I was in grade school, I did well in my classes and made sure to do my homework (frequently in study halls or on the bus), not because I *wanted* to but because my parents set up the expectation that it would be done. They never did my work for me, but they made sure I knew that if my grades started tanking because I wasn’t doing the homework, I would be losing other privileges. That’s the expectation I’m trying to set up with my children, but not all parents do that. It has nothing to do with the difficulty level of the homework (with rare exceptions due to individual bad teachers), and everything to do with the parents’ willingness to involve themselves in their children’s school performance.

Dee, you sound like the kind of person who would be better off homeschooling their children, if you really think all homework that the kids don’t voluntarily do is too hard for them.

Calli Arcale May 31, 2016 at 5:04 pm

Martin Luther wrote about that sort of thing over 500 years ago.

Hell, Aristotle probably did too!

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lakey May 31, 2016 at 5:33 pm

As has always been true, there are mostly good parents and some who spoil their kids. Having taught elementary school for thirty something years, I do believe that there has been an increase of parents who are over indulgent and who encourage a sense of entitlement on the part of their kids. But it certainly isn’t all or even most of them. Interestingly, many of the wealthier parents are less indulgent.
I think it’s mainly a matter of effort. It’s easier to just give in. Saying “no” and sticking to it, is hard work.

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Lerah99 June 1, 2016 at 8:23 am

The rise of helicopter parenting, the rise of “Not my precious little snowflake” syndrome, combined with the under-funding of our schools and tying teacher’s pay to how their students perform has created a perfect storm where kids are never held accountable for their actions.

My friend was a French teacher at a public high school. Universities in our state require 2 years of foreign language as an admission requirement.

My friend had a senior in her French II class who showed up the first week of the semester and then she never saw him again. She marked him absent every day. And two weeks before the end of the semester his mom shows up throwing a fit. The mom is all “I understand you are failing my son! He won’t graduate with his friends and he’s going to lose his scholarship to University! You will fix this!”

My friend told the mom “Your son has skipped my class every day for weeks on end. He has missed all the assignments, all the tests, all the quizzes, all the class participation and graded dialogs. Even if by some miracle he managed to get 100% on the final exam, he would still fail.”

The mom went to the principal and threatened to sue the school. The principal told my friend that she had to put together a workbook for the kid and then give him at least a C so he wouldn’t lose his scholarship and could still graduate.

That was the last year my friend taught at a public school. She went to teach at a private Catholic high school after that because she was so disillusioned with the whole thing. It isn’t the only time she had to do something like that, but it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Rather than the administration backing it’s teachers, they are all playing politics and CYA.
Rather than parents supporting teachers, they are all sure that their precious little Jimmy or Jessica is being unfairly targeted.

If Jimmy slept through class all week and then fails the exam, that’s not Jimmy’s fault:
– The teacher should have been more interesting
– The teacher should have made sure Jimmy was more engaged
– The teacher should have taken time out of their own lunch, planning period, after school in order to work one on one with Jimmy going over what he missed while he was snoring in the back row.

If Jessica is busy texting her boyfriend and misses a paper being assigned. It’s not Jessica’s fault she didn’t do the assignment.
– The teacher should have sent home an assignment list to the parents.
– The teacher should have emailed all the kids reminders about the papers.
– The teacher should have asked each student individually how they were doing on the paper and if they needed any help.

It’s ridiculous!
This shift from “You need to take responsibility for your actions and accept the consequences.” to “Other kids should take responsibility, but my precious snowflake should be excused because of: autism, bullying, ADHD, they’re having a tough time with the divorce, they are distracted by soccer, they didn’t mean to hit that other kid, they have too much homework, the teacher has it out for them, etc…” is a real detriment for everyone.

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LizaJane June 2, 2016 at 7:20 pm

This post should go viral.

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Anonymous June 4, 2016 at 8:27 am

Yes, this is true. To add another example, who else here has seen the old Road to Avonlea episode where Sally Potts burned down the town hall? That would have happened around the early 20th century, and it’s much worse than just garden-variety tantrums, rudeness, entitlement, or even vandalizing stuff with spray paint.

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girl_with_all_the_yarn May 31, 2016 at 8:31 am

TBH, I didn’t attend my own graduation party either. Why? Because my stepsister was coming and bringing her two obnoxious kids. This same stepsister believes my sole purpose around her children is to babysit them for free, on demand. She was prepared to have me babysit at my own graduation party. (I have so many stories about this woman and her children.)

My mom and stepdad decided to make a point to her (the problem with divorces is that sometimes it’s used as leverage for an adult child to act like a jerk), and held the family party during a weekend I was at my dad’s. It was made very clear to the rest of the family what was going on. My dad and stepmom took me out for a quiet dinner to my favorite restaurant, which is what I would have preferred in the first place.

I did, however, write thank you notes. They were typed and had pictures of the gift in use because my handwriting is only semi-legible on a good day, but thank you notes were sent nonetheless.

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Saucygirl May 31, 2016 at 4:47 pm

That is crazy! Good for your mom and stepdad not letting you get taken advantage of, but what a wild way to do it! Was not inviting her to the party not an option? Or having your stepdad (I’m assuming her dad) tell her to knock that crap off? Did this solve the problem moving forward?

Sorry for asking so many questions but I love a good story of crazy family drama. Makes me feel better about mine. Which includes a stepmom and twenty years of drama surrounding all family events

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girl_with_all_the_yarn June 1, 2016 at 8:52 am

Oh no. Note that her logic will be in parenthesis. She would have crashed the party (because it’s her family too and therefore she has a right to be there). Stepdad wouldn’t have been able to get through to her (because he and her mom had a divorce and that’s enough of a betrayal).

Moving forward? No, didn’t solve the problem. She pulled some fantastic stunts for years afterwards. One night I was walking out the door for a rather fancy date. Dress, heels, fancy lace shawl, the whole 9 yards. Date was taking me to a play. As I’m walking out the door, she calls me and says she’s in town and she’ll be bringing the kids over for me to babysit in 15 minutes. She hadn’t pre-planned this. She just assumed I’d drop everything and babysit her kids. When I told her no, she had the world’s most epic tantrum.

I put my phone on silent. At the end of the night, I had 14 angry voicemails from her.

I have so many stories about this woman. Honestly, I’d think it was fake if I wasn’t living it.

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NostalgicGal June 2, 2016 at 10:37 am

Let me get this straight. You’re an adult, professional, living your own life in your own place, some years after graduation, and she STILL thinks you’re her instant babysitter?

Becca May 31, 2016 at 4:57 pm

I think the thing is that we’re in the internet generation, where we share stories much more fluidly than the generations before us.

There have always been horrible parents and their bratty kids around, my cousins were horrid beasts and I remember seeing kids misbehave while their parents ignored them frequently growing up. It upset me because my mom was a no nonsense mom when it came to acting a mess in public. I once had a hissy fit at a yard sale, she made me put down the books we were going to buy and took me home. It still stings to think about. I knew that if I did it again I’d be punished in a similar way and no way did I want to miss out on more books, especially since at a yard sale it’s a one time chance so it stuck even harder I think.

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Ashley May 31, 2016 at 6:50 am

I’m more horrified that the mother was actually going to reward the child’s tantrum by giving in and buying him a pie than I was at the guy who bought all of the pies.

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Abby S May 31, 2016 at 7:21 am

This story has always set me off. I think about how easily this could have been a situation with a child that potentially had difficulties with emotional control due to any number of physical or mental limitations. A situation with a backstory of this mother trying desperately to get through this day. Perhaps something set a medically fragile child off and she’s looking for whatever she can to calm things down, or maybe the kid held it in for hours before with the promise of a pie at the end of the day.

How many times have we read stories on this site of people barking at those who park in handicapped spots, genuinely require them but don’t appear disabled at first glance? What do people here think autism looks like?

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BellyJean May 31, 2016 at 8:40 pm

He was swearing (dropping f-bombs)… and throwing his gaming device. Why the heck should he get a pie regardless of capabilities?…
And autism? This is most definitely not something that can be blamed on autism, thanks.

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LizaJane May 31, 2016 at 8:53 pm

And there it is.

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Lerah99 June 1, 2016 at 8:36 am

No, I’m sorry. But NO.
We have to put a stop to this “But maybe they’re handicapped” excuse.

Let’s say there was a 1 in 10 chance that this kid had some sort of emotional or physical handicap that made it harder for him to control himself.
His mom, completely ignoring him and then trying to placate him would still be a bad parent.

I have friends with autistic kids. I have a friend with a bi polar 11 year old. I have a friend with a type I diabetic child. I have a friend with a son who is deaf, blind, unable to walk, and fed with a feeding tube. And NONE of them would have just stood by and let their kid throw a fit like this in a public setting without taking some action.

Maybe that action would be to sit down on the floor, hug the kid, and say “I’m sorry, he’s autistic and over stimulated. He’ll calm down in a few minutes.” Maybe that action would be to haul the kid out of line, into the car, and drive home. Maybe that action would be “I need some fruit juice. Obviously his sugar is crashing. Sorry for this guys.”

But none of them would be standing there, playing with their phone, while ignoring their child throwing a fit like this.

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Kate June 1, 2016 at 10:24 am

Abby S, I know you are trying to be compassionate, but comments I have read from parents of disabled children on this very website, you might be kind of insulting.

A story with a badly behaved child was posted, and someone, like you did, wrote that the kid was probably disabled and should be given more leeway.

A parent of a disabled child popped up and wrote that beliefs like that are part of the reason people expect disabled kids to behave badly and don’t want to be around them, and they really made her upset and frustrated. They stated that disabled kids can be taught manners just like other kids, it simply takes longer and is more difficult. Another parent, whose child was autistic I believe, said that they agreed.

Bad behavior is bad behavior, regardless of the source, the effect on everyone else, and the rudeness is the same.

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Anonymouse June 1, 2016 at 9:40 pm

Any parent or caregiver with a disabled child KNOWS it is not convenient, and KNOWS that they need to remove the child from the situation causing a meltdown. With autism, for example, meltdowns are typically caused by a sensory overload. Something in the environment is causing the problem, and the quickest way to solve it is to remove the child from that environment. Simply bribing them with pie will not cause a meltdown to stop.

This was not a child with a mental or developmental problem. This was a spoiled brat. Notice how the mother did not remove the child from the situation? How the demands were coherent and calculated (the child told her, in no uncertain terms, what the problem was)? How the mother made no attempt to apologize for her child’s behaviour (something I see a lot with parents of children with special needs, they know full well how their child’s meltdown is affecting other people)? I understand where you are coming from, but if this story was about a child with autism, Down Syndrome, FASD, or any other mental or developmental disorder, the situation would most likely have played out much differently.

Plus, there’s the implications of what you are saying. If every spoiled brat throwing a tantrum is excused as “well, they probably have autism,” what are you really saying about people with autism? You are building an association with people where suddenly Autism/FASD/Down Syndrome/whatever = constant tantrums, annoying children, spoiled brats. And that is just not true. Yes, some of these kids will have problems, but not every child throwing a fit at the supermarket is autistic. Sometimes it is just a kid throwing a fit.

I have sympathy for parents with children who have special needs. I know that it can be a struggle getting through the day, and I will never judge a parent for needing a break (so long as they leave their child with appropriate care, if necessary). But those parents and caregivers need to be prepared to deal with these issues, because it’s not everyone else’s problem that their child has a mental or developmental disorder.

TL;DR Stop it. Just, stop it. Autism is not the only explanation for bad behaviour.

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NostalgicGal May 31, 2016 at 7:59 am

I vote for what the guy did. I would’ve too.

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barb May 31, 2016 at 8:32 am

I love it. Even if it is not true.

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Cat May 31, 2016 at 8:33 am

Having taught high school for a very long time, I have come across the teenagers whose parents raised them as precious little pumpkins who should have their every desire fulfilled immediately. If you think they are unpleasant when they are kindergarten/elementary school age, you should see them when they are sixteen.
It may be easier to simply buy the child a pie, even if one has to drive to another fast food restaurant to find one, but easy parenting does not raise a child to become a sensible teenager. I doubt many of us would want to marry one of these folks once they become adults. It is they who are the miscreants most featured on this site.

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BellyJean May 31, 2016 at 8:41 pm

Remember the murder trial where the accused used the defense of “affluenza”? /sigh

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Miss Jagger June 1, 2016 at 9:21 am

BellyJean, that is a great point. To add to that, the “affluenza” teen’s mother eventually helped him run off to Mexico to avoid trial/punishment. Where does it end?

Well, I’ll tell you where it can lead. Last year I was at a jewelry store looking for wedding rings when a young woman and her (I guess soon-to-be) fiance walked in. They sat down at a counter which happened to carry some of the most expensive engagement rings in the store. Within minutes after arrival, the girls voice became louder and louder and it was obvious that her beloved was not willing to spend what she felt she deserved on a diamond ring. She then stormed right out of the store leaving the man slumped over in his chair with a selection of large diamond rings in front of him and a look of defeat on his face. I don’t know how it all ended up but I’m guessing she now either has the ring of her dreams and/or a new guy who is willing to cater to her demands.

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Cat June 1, 2016 at 10:21 am

I certainly do.
I also recall the lad who was aiming at a career in professional tennis. I caught him cheating in my class and his excuse was, “Of course, I cheat! How else can I keep my grades high enough to play tennis!”
It seemed that studying took too much time that he needed to use to practice tennis.
I was glad he was not aiming at a career in medicine or law.

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mark May 31, 2016 at 9:15 am

I read on reddit a lot and you certainly can’t believe everything you read there. This would often be referred to as “justiceporn”.

Honestly, if true, this kind of strikes me as twin tantrums. And I rather doubt his tantrum did anything to help this kid behave better.

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Yasuragi June 1, 2016 at 6:42 am

I puzzled for longer than I’m proud of over what “just ice porn” is.

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L June 2, 2016 at 3:07 pm

Haha, that’s great! Here is some of that for you:
http://www.toxel.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/01/snowandice21.jpg
(It’s a pretty set of ice sculptures, and completely safe for work – a few buildings and a Ferris wheel.)

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Michelle May 31, 2016 at 9:54 am

I say great job mister.

I am not a perfect parent by a long shot. If my kid was cursing, hitting me, throwing a Gameboy and pitching a fit for a dessert, he would have gotten his butt spanked, put on restriction and taken home without ANY food, much less a pie. I totally understand about kids pitching fits, but if you don’t even attempt to correct/stop the behavior, people are going to get upset.

What was the mother going to do if she had gotten to the man? Punch him out and take his pie? I think we all know where the kids learned his behavior.

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TeamBhakta May 31, 2016 at 9:58 am

I hope this doesn’t sound rude. But that story has been posted in the past, just with slight variations. It comes from someone on Reddit (where you should take every story with a shovel of salt) :

http://www.snopes.com/info/news/bkrevenge.asp

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Startruck May 31, 2016 at 10:02 am

I think this guy was an antagonistic jerk who , more than likely didnt have kids himself. What he did was basically the ” adult ” version of neener neener . congrats to him, he stooped to the kids level. And revenge on the mom was unkind and uneducated. You can be the best parent in the world and guess what? Kids are unpredictable , and sometimes uncontrollable and get very cranky when they are tired. Perhaps this mom was exhausted and frustrated and the only thing that would have made it easier was to give him pie, then take him home for a nap. Yes , kids should always listen to their parents and be respectful , but there are days when it’s all u can do to keep control. And the only option is to deal with things calmly in public then punish the crap out of them when u get home . I hope this guys has kids one day . And finds himself in this situation. Only then will he get it.

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Angela S June 1, 2016 at 8:43 am

I agree with you. I really don’t enjoy stories of’ adults’ who act as immaturely as the child in the story to seek revenge on a child. How does this model good behavior? It just shows the child that if someone annoys them it is okay to behave nastily to get revenge on the other person.

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crella June 1, 2016 at 9:01 am

“What he did was basically the ” adult ” version of neener neener .”

That’s basically what I’ve always thought about this story, that he also acted like a child.

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Sally June 1, 2016 at 1:28 pm

I agree. The guy was a jerk. Even if the child was behaving badly, no one knows why.

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crella June 1, 2016 at 11:09 pm

Why the child acted up is a mystery, true, but more than that, buying all the pies so the kid couldn’t have one is a bully move. To be satisfied by getting one up on a child, and then gloating about it (” I stand there and pull out a pie and slowly start eating eat as I stare back at her.”) is just mean.

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Lyn June 2, 2016 at 9:30 am

Startruck,

“The only thing that would have made it easier was to give him pie”,. That’s the problem, Startruck.

“Made it easier”. Too many parents go for what is “easier” for them. Kid screams for pie, give him pie. That’ll shut him up. But what does he learn? Kids are sponges. They learn all day every day.

I never spanked my two kids. Ever. My daughter graduated from college with a 3.9 gpa. In three years. She is a first-grade teacher. My son is in high school and on the honor roll while playing two sports and working part-time. They are GOOD kids. They have been taught. No child knows how to do anything correctly UNTIL THEY ARE TAUGHT. That is a parent’s job. and it’s not EASY.

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Startruck June 2, 2016 at 9:01 pm

Agreed lyn, that’s why I said SOMETIMES. I have good kids too. Horner roll, all that. Very respectful. But there have been days when they were little when I just gave them what they wanted. Oh trust me I said no plenty! And in the south kids respect their parents. But again…..I said sometimes. And this guy had no idea what their situation was. When it comes to strangers you never know.

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stacey May 31, 2016 at 10:27 am

This sounds like so many anecdotes that make the rounds posing as tales from modern times with a moral- it’s a phony in every respect. When types are cast so conveniently as to allow a bit of prose to puff itself up to a story that shocks readers, it’s often the case that the story has been made up out of whole cloth. Kids screaming in line at a fast food establishment is nothing novel. (Still quite irritating, on some days, but certainly not novel.) People who fantasize about intervening are probably more likely to buy a half-dozen pies and sit with the kid and eat them… just to have blessed quiet! I went through Walmart the other day listening to a child pitch a crying fit. I was more concerned for the child’s context than with the idea of “teaching a lesson” to the children or the adults involved. (Who… incidentally, alternated between threatening to strike the child and offering to buy whatever the child wanted. And we wonder why children sometimes struggle!)

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lnelson1218 May 31, 2016 at 10:33 am

I find the story funny. Bad kids don’t get dessert.

However, I seriously doubt that the mother will make the connection that the guy bought all the pies because her kid was a brat and she appears to be doing a lousy job of controlling him.

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Elisabunny May 31, 2016 at 10:36 am

I kind of hope the story is true, although I doubt it because it’s just too perfect. If my kid had been acting like that, especially with swearing!, there is no way he would be getting a pie. Bad behavior should have consequences, a concept the mother seems to be unfamiliar with.

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Lisa H. May 31, 2016 at 10:38 am

I have to doubt that this is true, but if it were, how interesting that he’d be so bothered by some temporary noise that he’d spend his own money that way.
No one enjoys a temper tantrum, either by child or adult. Best you can do is try and disengage (from) the situation and move on with your day.

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LB May 31, 2016 at 10:43 am

If it happened, I don’t see anything wrong with the mans actions, although being smug about it doesn’t really help.

But I am doubtful that it happened. There are so many stories written about “bratty, entitled children and their lazy, entitled parents.” They are meant to teach us all how we should be parenting our children and how previous generations did it so much better, and that this is why the world is going to hell in a handbasket.

But. The presence of misbehavior in a child is not (alone) evidence of a lack of discipline. Parenting is an ongoing process, during which you have to take your children around in the world sometimes before they “get it.” So other people get to see the in between points of a child’s behavior and the parents instruction or discipline. And some of those people decide that this means the child is a brat, and that the parent doesn’t care.

I’m not saying the above doesn’t happen. But frankly, I think it happens a lot less than it’s written about.

And also, all those people who say that their generation was better, they never misbehaved, their parents knew how to discipline. Guess what? Your generation had some bad parents too. Your generation had some excessively lenient parents too. Your generation had misbehaving children who sometimes lacked respect, awareness, and could be self-centered too.

This generation seems more entitled, lenient, etc, because every generation before always forgets that they weren’t all docile, respectful, and perfect from the moment they sprung from the womb.

There’s definitely some bad parenting out there, don’t think I’m denying that. But I really wish more people would focus on the fact that many (in my opinion most) parents are trying. Trying very hard to do the best parenting they can.

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Willynilly May 31, 2016 at 10:47 am

For me, it always comes down to: is the parent trying. One simply cannot control another human, sometimes kids act-up. But if the parent is trying (and sometimes that does mean ignoring the kid, but its easy enough for that parent to look at surrounding adults and mouth “sorry. I need to ignore him to make it stop”) I am sympathetic. If the parent is not trying, or worse as in this case encouraging (assuring the child they will be rewarded), thats where I think alls fair on the part of strangers imposing their own lessons.

My kids are two years old. I try to take them to lots of classes and activities. In my experience, good, present, actively trying parents do outnumber the bad… but the bad, entitled, obnoxious ones are really bad – in many cases they seem to be actively teaching entitlement. And they ruin it for everyone.

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theLadyBugg May 31, 2016 at 10:48 am

Some people have mentioned the dubiousness of the story, having seen it out similar before. I’d like to add that a similar story was also a character-building plot point on the first episode of the sitcom 30 Rock. Liz Lemon is waiting in line at a hot dog cart, when a man in a suit walks up and stands on the other side, attempting to be served next. Liz points out thst there is a line, and he replies, “there’s two lines.” To her horror, other people begin to queue behind him, also attempting to circumvent waiting to be served. Having reached the front of the original line, she announces that she will be buying ALL the remaining hot dogs, and sharing them with the people who stayed in the original line behind her. The next scene shows her walking into work with a box full of hot dogs, handing them out to her coworkers.

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Snarkastic June 1, 2016 at 7:20 pm

An amazing scene from an amazing show.

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NostalgicGal June 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

Unlike a regularly scheduled craft event I did twice a year, and one vendor would come in in the morning before open (4 day event) with 5-8 cups of Starbucks coffee, all very similar in kind and additives, and she would sell them for just over what they were at the shop. She would sell them off in like a minute (I always bought my favorite mix from her, a standing). I found out later she would be doing the ‘you made it wrong’ so they give her the wrong one free, and all of those coffees were the ‘freebies’ that she managed to get off them. (I lodged a complaint with my good friend who ran the show, and apparently they don’t do that one anymore, as in kicked out of the event)

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Yet Another Laura May 31, 2016 at 10:51 am

I’ve seen this story twice before, each naming a different store. Assuming it’s true, the guy buying all the pies was just doing it as a petty act of revenge. Never mind the people in line behind the child who might have wanted pies.

I’m thinking this story is one of many “This is what I’d like to do” tall tales.

By the way, there are few effective means of stopping a tantrum. Ignoring the tantrum is one of them. It works on toddlers and on forty-year-olds calling the tech support line and screaming at the tech. I’ve been that tech. Tantrums are no fun at all to listen to, but if you try to interrupt, they start over.

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Michelleprieur May 31, 2016 at 11:35 am

Saucygirl, I’m with you but it does bother me when people assume that all parents are selfish and entitled. And whenI hear “kids these days!” I have a teenager who is respectful, gets good grades and has been taught. I don’t think I’m entitled to anything because I’m a mom. Maybe it’s being from the south. Where I’m from the parents do not play those games.

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Saucygirl May 31, 2016 at 4:55 pm

I definitely don’t think all parents are selfish and entitled either. But I think there are a lot and they are the loudest and the ones we here about the most. And it makes everyone who isn’t tired and annoyed with those who are, and then we come across as “mean” to parents. At least that was what I was trying to say to the blogger who asked why it seemed like people hated on more parents now.

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Ashley May 31, 2016 at 11:45 am

The problem I see here is that the child isn’t going to learn a lesson from it.

His mother is obviously already the type who rewards her child even when he’s bad (buying him a pie even though he’s pitching a fit in line), so there’s just no way she’s ever going to stop and think of a way to teach the child that all of this is a direct result of him being a brat.

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DCGirl May 31, 2016 at 12:10 pm

I’ve said this before, but….

My brother is eight years younger than me, so I was able to witness and appreciate my parents’ parenting style when he was growing up. If he’d been throwing a fit like that, he would have gotten a warning/request to straighten up and fly right. Then, if the behavior continued, my mother would have taken us all and left the restaurant. He quickly learned that there was a right way to behave in public and that misbehavior had consequences, not the least of which was the displeasure of older siblings who lost out on a trip to Burger King because of his behavior.

I just don’t see that kind of parenting any more.

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Anonymous June 2, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Small nitpick here–I don’t think it’s a great idea to punish the well-behaved kids along with the misbehaving one. Would it have been possible for your parents to “divide and conquer,” and have one of them sit in the car with the misbehaving child, while the other one ordered the food? Or, give an older child money and have him or her do the food ordering if just one parent was there? I mean, first of all, it’s not fair to the siblings who are behaving, to punish ALL of them for the one who isn’t, and second, this kind of tactic seems to run counter to the longer-range goal of having all the kids get along.

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Daniotra June 3, 2016 at 6:35 pm

Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to divide and conquer. When my husband and I are together, one of us can take the fussy child out. If it’s just me, I have to remove both kids. When this happens, I make sure to let the “good” child know that he/she is not in trouble, and apologize that they have to give up their treat as well. Sometimes I am able to provide an alternate treat, sometimes not.

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Calli Arcale May 31, 2016 at 12:17 pm

It sounds brilliant, and feels so wonderfully clever and vindictive, but I gotta say that if this is true (and I actually rather doubt it), the man caused an awful lot of problems in order to satisfy his desire to exact retribution on a child.

* Did he think no one else might want a pie?
* How long did he make everyone else stand and wait while his massive order was rung up? Remember, BK pies are mostly served cold; they could have a week’s worth in the freezer. To buy them all means retrieving all of those, bagging them, and ringing them up. It could take quite a while.
* Now the staff get to tell all the other people who arrive over the next several days that they don’t have any more pies because one customer wanted to teach a child a lesson, and they didn’t have the guts to tell him no.

And that’s assuming an alert manager didn’t set a limit on how many could be purchased, because of exactly the points above. Honestly, I get annoyed by tantruming kids too, but the guy’s reaction strikes me as very petty. And I’m doubtful the child would have actually learned the desired lesson.

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DCGirl June 1, 2016 at 8:27 am

If it’s a matter of not thinking that no one else might want pie, what’s the difference between this guy and they guy who brings the whole swim team into Burger King and orders pie for every member of the team? I’ve seen that happen, too, and no one bats an eye.

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Anonymous June 4, 2016 at 8:44 am

Because the guy ordering pies for the whole swim team isn’t doing it maliciously to teach someone a lesson; he’s buying a reasonable number of pies for the number of people in his party. Also, this would be a planned thing; not “Oh, I was just going to Burger Monarchy for a cup of coffee/a hamburger/an ice cream cone/one pie for myself, but then, ZOMG, bratty kid, lazy parent, and I have to PUNISH these total strangers!!!” Another thing; the guy buying pies for the whole swim team would presumably either have the members of the team physically there with him, or explain who the pies were for, because buying 23 pies is an odd thing to do. It happens all the time in math problems, but not in real life.

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NostalgicGal June 1, 2016 at 6:22 pm

Those places will sell you all they have if you have the cash in hand. They’re there to sell food. They will. If I went in there and ordered 115 hash brown cakes during breakfast, to go, and paid, they’d fry up and package me 115 hash browns if they had that many in stock. You bet they will.

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JWH May 31, 2016 at 12:21 pm

Sounds like it’s apocryphal. It also sounds like the gentleman made a very passive-aggressive move.

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AthenaC May 31, 2016 at 12:57 pm

I am always bothered when people decide to go out of their way to “teach someone a lesson.” Who are you to decide what someone needs to learn? Would your opinion change if someone took it upon themselves to teach you a lesson?

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Matt May 31, 2016 at 1:07 pm

I’m quite skeptical of self-reported reddit stories. We may want to wait for a reliable media follow-up before weighing in.

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Amara May 31, 2016 at 1:19 pm

If this story is true, it just sums up for me that rotten mindset that corporations have fallen into regarding “customer service.” (Even if it isn’t true, we not only hear about and see this type of behavior and its related versions once the holiday shopping season kicks in but sadly most of the time too.)

I work in the specialized department of a community college that offers workforce training to our community free of charge. One of the classes is “Best Practices in Customer Service.” I have tried repeatedly to argue for a class that teaches businesses about how to set customer boundaries for behavior that does not accept or reward nastiness and worse. “Best Practices in Employee Service” would be good, as would a class or classes that teach managers and owners how not serving or rewarding awfulness can actually pay off in much nicer customers who return. (And isn’t returning customers the ultimate prize?)

Alas … nothing yet. They still think the problems lie with the customer service agents and not with the bullying, yelling, abusive customers.

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CW June 1, 2016 at 9:23 am

This is a great idea! If I had a nickel for every customer who has yelled, cussed, or had a general attitude thinking that’s the way to get service, I could probably retire now. And I’m only in my 30s.

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Elizabeth May 31, 2016 at 2:39 pm

This is less about a bratty child and more about a parent unwilling to parent. Much too much of this going around it seems and we all pay the price. Mom is the rude one here, subjecting us all to a child she is unwilling (or too lazy) to parent.

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Anonymouse May 31, 2016 at 3:17 pm

I don’t believe the story happened, but assuming it did, nobody involved came off smelling like a rose. The mother is the person most in the wrong, as she should have dealt with her child before reaching that point. The staff should have dealt with the mother (“Control your child or get out!”), although I have worked fast food before and understand why they didn’t. Ultimately though, the man’s actions were just petty. No lesson was learned by the child or the mother, he just wanted to make her mad.

I think the story is funny, but not a good way to handle the situation. It would have been better to just leave and eat somewhere else (and make sure the staff know why you’re leaving).

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Cat2 May 31, 2016 at 3:30 pm

I think I would have replied at the point when she started defending her parenting. “Ma’am, this IS my business because I currently have to deal with listening to him. I get that kids have issues and learning phases, but inflicting them on other people while ignoring them is just unfair to everyone else around you.”

I acknowledge that this is likely to escalate and you’d have to hold firm “As long as you do nothing and I have to listen to it, it’s my business” while she screams in your face, but then you probably end up with security removing her and her child. Which enforces the lesson to both parent and child – one that the kid can’t quite ignore even if mom does “we’ll just go somewhere else and get it”.

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wren May 31, 2016 at 4:11 pm

In the original story the man says “I decided to ruin their day [by buying all the pies].” He was able to prevent the kid from receiving a reward for his whining, true — but the man’s intent was rotten.

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LizaJane June 1, 2016 at 12:05 pm

Maybe so. That’s an interesting thought. But I’m thinking, so what? Is it worse to ruin everyone’s restaurant experience because you did it on purpose than if you allowed your child to ruin it because you don’t think or care about what his actions and your inaction causes? Hmmmm…..

(FYI All the you/your are generic, ie should be “one/one’s”)

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wren June 2, 2016 at 6:44 am

The mom was weak and let her kid’s rotten behavior ruin everyone’s experience, the man had rotten intentions… a rotten time was had by all.

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Gabriele May 31, 2016 at 4:44 pm

>It doesn’t take long to ring up the order for the pies. It’s X cost times the number of pies, not an individual entry for each pie.
Me, had I the money I would have bought the pies and then offered them to everyone ELSE in the restaurant and if the child or mother demanded one I would have said, they’re my pies, I can do
what I want with them and I don’t want to give a pie to a child who doesn’t behave. And reminded
those who accepted a pie that if they give the child their pie they’re only rewarding bad behavior.
It would confront the mother’s behavior, might have shocked the kid and might have shown others that we don’t have to accept bad behavior and that while doing something like buying all the pies isn’t possible, the idea that NO is an acceptable answer and really really necessary in some instances.

If the child has a problem–a real problem–then it should have been shown by the mother’s behavior.
She would have already learned coping mechanisms and would not give in to emotional blackmail in public.

Someone told me that her response to extremely bratty kids with oblivious mothers is to try the sympathy approach and tell the mother how she sympathizes with her, that it must be difficult having a child with manic seizures. And if the mother says there’s nothing wrong with her child, the friend just looks at the child, then the mother and says “Oh, sorry”.
I have to ask her if she’s read about this story. She’d love it.

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crella June 1, 2016 at 9:05 am

” I would have bought the pies and then offered them to everyone ELSE in the restaurant and if the child or mother demanded one I would have said, they’re my pies, I can do
what I want with them and I don’t want to give a pie to a child who doesn’t behave. And reminded
those who accepted a pie that if they give the child their pie they’re only rewarding bad behavior.”

I can’t go along with that. It’s no one else’s job to discipline the child. If his mother isn’t going to , then it isn’t going to get done. I don’t think having all the pies given out to other patrons to eat in front of the child would improve his mood in the slightest, and given that it’s a group of adults doing a ‘gotcha!’ to a child, no matter how badly behaved, just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

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Pinky830 May 31, 2016 at 7:46 pm

Honestly, I’ve gotten to the point where bratty kids don’t annoy me as much as grouchy old men who think they can tell everybody else how to behave. I don’t think this story is true, but if it is, the guy comes off like a petty jerk.

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Izzley June 1, 2016 at 11:30 am

I agree. The fact that he deliberately planned “revenge” makes this not about etiquette.

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stacey June 1, 2016 at 11:57 am

THIS, thank you. Trying to teach the rest of the world how they should act ignores the fact that going “over the top” in an effort to do so usually exceeds the initial instance of rudeness by one or more orders of magnitude.

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AMC June 1, 2016 at 7:35 am

I’m against responding to childish behavior with more childish behavior. IF the story is true (and I doubt it is), the man knew nothing about the mother or child. He assumed the child was a spoiled brat, and maybe he was, but maybe there was more to the behavior than the man could possibly know. He decided to buy all the pies not as a way to teach the child a valuable lesson, which wasn’t his place to begin with, but to get revenge on Mother and Kid for ruining his lunch. And then he left the restaurant and the other customers to deal with the fallout.

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Julia June 1, 2016 at 9:02 am

It’s doubtlessly an urban legend, but, like all good urban legends, it has its own truth. For various reasons, including helicopter parenting, having two hard-working parents (or single parents) who are exhausted when they come home, a reliance on electronics to help raise/occupy the time of children, under-funded schools without after-school activities, and a lack of extended families so that older/wiser/more experienced people assist in child rearing, we’ve got some seriously bratty, self-involved people running around, quite possibly more than we used to. We also now have easy access to social media that allow us to record the antics of these people, often on video.

Have you seen the one with the kid who keeps shoving his toy grocery cart into the legs of the man ahead of him in line? The man asks the mother to make him stop. She doesn’t. The man pulls a carton of milk out of kid’s cart and pours it on his head. The BK story is just another, funnier version of that.

There’s a book I’d like to recommend, @$$holes, A Theory, by Aaron James. It’s a bit academically dense, but it deals with the incredibly frustrating reality of having to deal with people who, to define the term in the title, have a sense of entitlement so great that it makes them immune to criticism. The problem isn’t just that these people walk among us (as do their children), but that we don’t have a way in our society (yet) to deal with them. America and most other cultures are based on the idea that we’re all supposed to be equally important, so when we run into someone who feels that they’re to be treated as special because they’re in a hurry/they’re hungry/they’re busy/they have a child/whatever, we literally do not know what we’re supposed to do.

The BK story, the milkman video, and hundreds of other such records of trying to deal with such people successfully (that is, neither giving into their demands nor assaulting them and going to jail) are a true reflection of our social frustration. In this case, when the parent doesn’t keep the child (who really isn’t to blame, because children aren’t really “social citizens” yet) in line, what can the rest of us do? The parent is “breaking the rules” of being a parent in public.

Personally, if I saw someone actually do this in a BK, I’d probably laugh myself into hiccups. But as for the greater problem, I’m stumped.

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ddwwylm June 6, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Well, that milk carton grocery cart video was confirmed to be fake. I tried to do some quick google foo &couldn’t find the confirmation, but I remember at the time the milk carton video was going around that it was confirmed to be a set up filmed in another country. Possibly for a foreign TV show.

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JD June 1, 2016 at 9:40 am

And to throw another firecracker into the mix, why is it always the MOTHER who is unable to control “her” child? Why do we never hear stories about a DAD who is not controlling “his” child in public?

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Lerah99 June 2, 2016 at 9:26 am

Because as s society we have created the stereotype of the fumbling and useless father.

One of my friends made a post on Facebook regarding the 4 year old getting into the gorilla enclosure that said “People are calling the mom a bad mother. People are saying the zoo should have shot the mom instead of the gorilla. People are calling for DCS to remove all 4 of the mother’s kids.
But if it had been the dad at the zoo with four kids, people would be calling for it to be the next Adam Sandler movie. And they’d talk about what a selfless and dedicated father he was to be willing to watch FOUR kids at the zoo.”

In our popular entertainment we act like men are completely clueless around their own children.
– Can’t let a man change a diaper. That kid will end up wrapped in a football jersey secured by duct tape.
– Can’t let a man cook dinner. The food will be inedible and the kitchen will have to be condemned.
– A man can’t help with the kid’s homework. Either he’ll be too stupid to answer or he’ll take over the project and build a huge exploding volcano.
– Oh men! You never grow up. It’s hilarious. My husband and I have three kids, but when anyone asks I tell them “Well, 4 kids if you count this big lug I married” hahahahahahahaha!

It’s a stereotype that really needs to go.

Along with women who say things like “I’ll have to check my schedule. But I don’t know if I can make it because my husband hates babysitting our kids by himself.”
Ummm, it’s not “babysitting” when they are his kids. That’s just parenting!

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Airelenaren June 3, 2016 at 12:50 am

In my personal experience, it might have more to do with how hard it is for single fathers to go _anywhere_ with their kids and not get suspicious looks and comments. Men are not as privilegued in today’s society as you seem to think.

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Anonymouse June 5, 2016 at 3:55 pm

This. There’s a reason lost children are often told to “find a Mommy with kids” in an emergency, and not a “Daddy.” Women alone with children are trusted implicitly. Men alone with children are perceived to have an ulterior motive, even though this is rarely the case. I think “What Would You Do” has run some experiments related to that.

There might also be a preference as well. I love kids, work with kids (preschool teacher), and would be 100% okay with taking my 3 yr. old nephew to an amusement park or restaurant, and spending the whole day with him. My husband, though he likes kids, is not as comfortable around them. He would be the one staying home, ordering a pizza, then playing video games or kicking a soccer ball around with them, then passing them off to me after a couple hours so he can take a break… That’s not to say all women love kids and all men are bad with kids, it’s just a general trend I’ve noticed.

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Anon November 18, 2016 at 12:36 pm

Always love that “moms with kids” is somehow safe.

Mothers have abused their children before, even killing them. Heck, they could hate other kids besides their own and mistreat the stranger’s child/not care about them.

Lerah99 June 6, 2016 at 10:00 am

Yes, it is absolutely awful that a single man with children is given the side-eye in public.

But single fathers get praised like what they are doing is the most amazing thing anyone has ever seen.

Oh my goodness, you’re a single dad raising kids all by yourself? You must be a cross between Ghandi and a Saint!

While single mothers are still vilified as being trashy, unable to keep a man, trying to squeeze their ex for money, etc…

Also, from a purely sociological standpoint, single fathers tend not to take a hit financially.
Single mothers tend to fall down two rungs on the socioeconomic ladder.

In business, a man taking time off work for his sick kid or to see a school play is seen as a good father. A woman taking time off for the same thing is seen as a poor employee, lacking dedication to her career.

It is a double standard that is a real hindrance to our society as a whole.

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Politrix June 3, 2016 at 9:43 am

That’s a very interesting point.
You know, that also makes me wonder — what if the narrator of THIS story was a woman? Would she be eliciting the same amount of sympathy, or would people be making comments about her lack of understanding for overburdened parents, speculation about her weight (buying up all the pies for herself), etc, etc.

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Mags June 3, 2016 at 11:08 am

I’ve said this before. It’s babysitting if I have to book him in advance and he gets to say no.

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NostalgicGal June 5, 2016 at 11:28 am

This.

Parenting is 24/7/365. If it’s scheduled and be declined, it’s babysitting.

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Tracy W June 7, 2016 at 12:49 am

Meh, I’m a mother with a full-time paid job and I find “sorry I can’t I’m babysitting that night” coming to my lips. It’s a convenient way of saying why I’m already committed, because I know my husband isn’t around to watch the kids at that particular time.

Parenting may be 24-7 but actually being around to fetch drinks and change nappies isn’t.

Anon November 18, 2016 at 12:37 pm

@Tracy W: Why not say “no I have to watch the kids by myself” that night? Why must the word “babysit” be used when we have plenty of other ways that don’t imply that somehow we don’t parent our own children?

iwadasn June 1, 2016 at 10:26 am

This guy seems like he used to be the kind of kid who would pack up all his toys and go home the second he didn’t get his way. “Your kid annoyed me with his whining because he wanted pie? Hahaha, now nobody gets pie but me!” Two wrongs don’t make a right. He observed the tantrum and “retaliated” with an immature tantrum of his own.

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Devin June 1, 2016 at 10:32 am

This story might not be 100% true but I’m inclined to to belive after a recent trip tl the ballpark. My friend had gotten us amazing tickets right next to the dugout, only 2 row behind the camera men. Before the game kids we crawling over our seats to try and get autographs and finally security came down and made them all go back to their seats because they were throwing items into the dugout. During the game the players would throw game balls into the stands. I was watching the batter when a ball came wizzing past my head, so i instinctively ducked. A player had tossed it into our section. The mom behind me had caught it. I said to my friend, “i shouldnt have ducked!” The mom replied with “i would have punched you if you had caught it, I’m here with my boys.” I didnt say a word, but really punch a stranger for catching a ball? Heck i probably would have given the kids the ball because im not a hige fan of the team and have no use for a slightly used baseball.

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NostalgicGal June 2, 2016 at 11:00 am

Fellow caught ball and another fan literally assaulted him and ripped it out of his grip. Fellow happened to be an adult not a kid, but. Kids get stuff taken away regularly too at games. The might makes the right in possession of the coveted whatever.

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Becca June 2, 2016 at 6:03 pm

I’ve seen this and worse at both sporting events and concerts. A musician threw a towel into the audience once and it hit me in the face, I reached up and grabbed it to toss it away because ew, sweaty towel in my face. I was pounced on and girls were fighting brutally for it in the end. I was just lucky I knew to get out of there.

I would have responded with “What a great role model they have if you punch strangers for toys.” but I’m also a large human with a larger mouth at a baseball game, so I’d like to know if she’d ever threaten to punch me in that case, rme. What a big bad monster mom she is, her kids must be proud.

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NostalgicGal June 5, 2016 at 3:23 pm

I would have taken the towel, and threw it BACK. The girls could deal with it then. Attack me, I might retaliate first then think. Never good.

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LizaJane June 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I absolutely agree with everything you wrote.

And the sympathy for seizures? Genius!

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Archie June 3, 2016 at 1:56 pm

I’m on the fence about what the guy did (urban legend or not).

BUT – just these past weeks, I’ve witnessed lazy parenting at its worst, in my own family. Everything was either the extreme of giving in after 5 increasingly shrill demands OR “don’t do that! don’t touch that! don’t walk left! don’t walk right! don’t walk straight! you’re not breathing right! why are you watching the show! why aren’t you watching the show!”

Dad hid behind “I’m too distracted with enjoying my vacation and taking photos” and Mom needed to grow a pair and ask Dad to help, beyond being the bad guy with the big eyes and teeth when kid got too much out of control.

At first, the kid annoyed me. Shrill, everything’s an anger issue. But then I started to feel sorry for him. His whole life was a freaking cage. Don’t! No! Can’t!

So when I did get to interact with him, I treated him like the smart person he was (and he is, seriously, all kids are!!!). I answered his questions as best as I could for his age without trying to baby him. And guess what – the kid. calmed. the. heck. down.

I’m not a parent, likely won’t be. But don’t be a lazy parent and then get upset that your precious snowflake wasn’t treated like a delicate darling and everyone didn’t bow and scrape in front of him like you want the world to. The parents are the immature ones, when they do that. Not the child. WE are the adults. They LEARN what WE teach them.

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GeenaG June 7, 2016 at 11:43 am

I have read this exact same story on other forums before and it has the feel of an urban legend to me.

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