After many miserable years as a corporate sales executive, I’ve begun to follow my dreams as . . . a furniture salesperson. That’s right, working in a furniture store has always been my quirky dream and I’m loving it!
We had a bit of an eyebrow raising moment yesterday.
Mom, Dad, and Grandpa came into the store with two kids who looked to be between two and four years. The kids LOVED our big store and they tore all over the place like a couple of little hurricanes while Mom, Dad, and Grandpa pursued our wares. Now while we try to make our store safe and attractive for everyone, this is a high end furniture store. Our pieces are not cheap. Most of our customers know and respect this and the average person is just fine. This family though? My coworker and I watched with increasing concern as the kids went from spinning with their arms wide open to cartwheeling attempts and wrestling matches to hide and seek.
I got pulled away for a few minutes to help with something and suddenly heard a loud crash.
The younger of the kids had somehow managed to get behind a display. Then he got behind an end table in the display and knocked over a vase. It was broken. He was amused and perfectly fine.
My coworker was helping the family and at this point he stopped everything, explained to the family that they were going to have to pay for the vase (good thing it wasn’t one of the hand blown ones that cost a few hundred!) and that these people would have to either watch their kids or shop elsewhere. He was polite and firm.
Mom was annoyed. Dad was embarrassed and immediately reached for his Visa with an apology. And Grandpa? Grandpa began to argue that IKEA never makes them pay when the kids break things. He also started to insist that a lot of his friends buy from us and that they wouldn’t any more.
The worst part? Our store is two levels and we have a massive staircase. While Dad and Grandpa were trying to sort out the case of the broken vase, mom was on her phone and completely oblivious to her daughter and the fact that she was playing and jumping right next to the stairs. We all let out a massive sigh of relief when that family left with the threat (promise) of never returning.
Please parents, watch your kids. You don’t want to have to pay for things that get broken and you certainly don’t want your kids to be hurt. 1125-16
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I have actually left stores because of other customers behavior. And I’m more reluctant to return. Two words “good riddance”.
Good riddance indeed! I worked retail for a few years and any time a difficult customer threatened to never come back, I truly hoped that they would keep their promise!
Right? Like their threatening not to come back is supposed to make me feel bad or punished. People who say things like that are stuffed full of their own self importance.
My parents owned a local store. A fair people threatened to leave and never come back (various reasons e.g.not noticing a short dated product they bought (and us not re-reimbursing them) or being caught trying to switch prices/ price labels (and us not honouring their price)). They always returned and we were sad to see them- In fact I would remind them off their promise not just to see them fluster
I have, at times when kids are being really awful, sternly told the kid “stop right now and go tell your parents they need to watch you better”. Most kids stop (because I look big and scary) some even go tell their parents what I said. Those parents will usually huff and grumble but will tell their kid to stay close.
Don’t wait for something to break, go tell parents and kids that they need to settle down before they get to purchase something they broke.
Oh no who will break our inventory and not pay for it then? Bye bye.
At my hairdresser’s, there was once a child playing while his mum had her hair done. Now, the child wasn’t loud. But he was moving around the busy salon, and his mum was basically ignoring him. This is a small room, quite long, but only 15-20 feet wide with a row of stations for the hairdressers/clients on either side. Every station had a client – so there wasn’t a lot of space down the middle.
I have my hair dyed bright red. My hair is very thick and quite long, so my hairdresser had mixed a lot of the dye ready to use. The child knocked into the small table on wheels the dye was sat on.
The dye went all over the floor, and spattered onto me, my hairdresser and my handbag. My hairdresser, fortunately, was wearing black. The dye didn’t go on my clothes as I had a cover on, and only a couple of spots went on my light grey handbag.
My hairdresser apologised to me, gave me the dye remover they use round the edge of the hairline, and generally made a fuss about my handbag (he was great). I didn’t make a fuss, because it was only a couple of spots. But I didn’t want to use too much remover in case it took the colour from the leather. There are still dark spots on my handbag.
The mum didn’t apologise or reign in her child. She glared at my hairdresser.
The white floor tiles still have a slight orange tinge.
As in this submission by the OP, I don’t understand why the store doesn’t do anything about the behaviour. As a customer I expect a business to make it both comfortable and safe for me to visit. So I don’t know why nothing was said either in your case, Elodie, or in the OP’s case, when visitors were behaving in a way that wasn’t safe. I’ve left, and I avoid stores where customers are allowed to be boors. I don’t care what you’re selling I can probably get it elsewhere.
Unfortunately, most store employees are not allowed to reprimand kids or even misbehaving adults in their stores. Corporate won’t allow it. Their idea is that you have to be welcoming to EVERY customer regardless of their behavior because you want their business. It’s ridiculous but there it is.
Unfortunately that is true – that the employees are not allowed to do anything. Case in point – when I used to work retail we were told if we see someone stealing something, we cannot stop them. We must call the police to take care of the matter. Um…..it was a mall, and you think the police were going to rush over to catch someone stealing a sweatshirt? But you better believe our manager would have to hear it when the inventory didn’t match the sales!
Kids today don’t behave because parents allow them to misbehave because everyone thinks they are entitled. It is up to the parent to control the kid, but in today’s society, the kids/parents/brats are in the right, and the teachers/police/society is in the wrong. We are in for a long road with this new generation of me, me, me and I DESERVE everything, but don’t have to listen, or work for it!
I have three kids, so I know how hard it is, but we work at it with the kids, and they ARE NOT allowed to run amok – and if they do, they know punishment will follow. Yes, I used the P word “punishment”, not many parents today have that in their vocabulary for their kids……shame!
Uh, no. Kids have misbehaved since kids existed and their have been shitty parents since that time as well. Also, every generation is Me, Me, Me (in fact, the ‘me’ generation was coined the the 1970’s, so I’m pretty sure it refered to YOU far more than me and the Millenials…unless you’re refering to generation Zombie…)
I worked in retail for years and spoke firmly to many passels of brats tearing up the store. It was effective. I had to clean up the mess, so quite frankly I don’t care to make my life harder by cleaning up after someone else’s kids. What were they going to do, fire me? I never had an issue.
Unless the salon is NOT appointment only I do hope that the salon started asking for name first when booking an appointment and consistently seemed to be FULL when said client tried to book for a long time afterwards….
In a salon this is a serious safety issue. The hairdressers have scissors and hot curling irons at their stations. My hairdresser told me that she asked a mom to keep her toddler away from the stations because of this, and the mom told another customer, “She doesn’t like kids.”
I know that stores don’t want to upset the customers who have young children, but the other customers want to shop in an atmosphere where they aren’t being run into or bothered by children because their parents view a store as a playground. I have sympathy for a parent with a child that cries or gets fussy, but I don’t have sympathy for parents who won’t even keep their children with them.
There was a Dennis the Menace strip where his mom took him to her beauty salon appointment and while she was being pampered Dennis was a menace (like the four year old he is). So she gets to the end, at the register, just glowing and feeling beautiful and pampered and Dennis manages to hit her hair do with a high powered hand blowdryer and just total her look. She leaves under a cloud and getting what she deserved for NOT getting a sitter… I bring this up because, apparently for at least a few decades this has been a phenomenon. Your kid needs to be minded, by YOU. Else it needs to be tended for by someone not brought along and inflicted on everyone.
This reminds me of the time my daughter came home from a part time job she had while in the sixth form; she announced that she was ‘somebody ‘. When she was younger I told her to keep her hands away from a mirror in a shop because somebody would have to clean it; years later she was that ‘somebody’ after a mother had let her children do just that.
Congratulations OP on finding your perfect job!
This reminds me that I was in a candle store before Christmas to buy advent candles with my 2 toddlers. I’m trying to just make a decision and purchase when my daughter picks up a ceramic thing and drops it!!! Argh!
I immediately offered to pay for it and started trying to help tidy up and get my children under control (I was already trying to control them, but had my eye off her for ONE SECOND). The saleswoman told me that she had already chipped it that morning and not to worry about it. Phew!! So relieved and so embarrassed.
But, I mean, OF COURSE I should pay for the things my children break in store. They’re my responsibility. But now is not the stage of life that includes much shopping 😛
I’ve found that I have rarely been asked to pay for things that I or my kids have broken if we have not been deliberately negligible in our behaviour (this makes it sound as if we break things a lot; we don’t, I’ve just been on this earth for quite a few years). The store knows that accidents just happen sometimes and they value an apologetic, offering-to-pay customer. It helps the store to build good relations, too, and repeat customers.
I can relate. When my youngest was two, we were at our church around Christmastime and he wanted to come closer to get a better look at a nativity scene under the tree. Tripped, fell into the nativity scene, and broke a figurine. I was mortified, and was offering to replace it, and dreading it at the same time because money was really short. (He’s 21 now and I still feel mortified when I think of it.) The church officials were VERY gracious and generous and told me not to worry about it. And my son never fell into any church-owned valuables again. He was extremely upset too, by the way!
I broke a glass ornament at a little shop one time. I took it to the front and told them that I had dropped it and was going to pay for it. The clerk kindly charged me about 40% less than the marked price — I’m pretty sure he just had me pay their actual cost.
Amazing how often just doing the right thing works out well for everyone. The “offenders” get to do the right thing but catch a break AND the offended get to be gracious and get their faith restored that good people are more prevalent than not …..
I do have to wonder what is up with parents sometimes. Admittedly I don’t have children. My parents and various aunts never would have tolerated me running around a store. Wander and window shop, sure. Cartwheels in a store, no. My Brother and SIL don’t allow their kids to run wild in stores. Save it for the playground.
Sadly not many children seem to go to playgrounds anymore.
IKEA never makes them pay *when* their kids break things? Well that explains why they fail to understand cause and effect. They don’t have a problem with causing damage because it has no effect upon them. Now it does. I notice they are quick to ensure that there is an effect upon *other* people though. They will “punish” them by not returning to the store. Apparently consequences are only for other people. Those poor kids are being raised by wolves.
I love how they think it’s a punishment to the store that they, who probably weren’t going to buy anything and let their kids be little terrors that managed to break something, won’t be returning.
The store will be mourning their loss. Not. 😛
Wolves are much better parents than these folks, though.
Yep, they teach their pups how to behave, how to act properly within the pack, etc. A researcher keeping a pack under observation reported about a litter that was now out of den and one male loved to literally terrorize his littermates, being aggressive and turning each one into whining and yelping, it would go through every sibling and do this. About the third time in a few days, the alpha male (father) killed the pup. The mother smelled of his muzzle and walked off with drooped head and tail. The seriously aggressive bullying couldn’t be tolerated and the pup seemed to delight in it. So for pack harmony the father took care of it.
A lot of wild children, are not being raised by wolves. They are merely not being raised.
I was at the Rolex 3 Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park and had one of my GSDs with me on cross country day. I was in one of the big vendor tents looking at something and noticed something else at a table a few feet away I wanted to explore, but there was a sizable crowd there and German Shepherds are not precisely small dogs. So I put my dog on a sit-stay and “no sniff” (so she wouldn’t sniff another dog and possibly get a fight going) and went to the other table. I watched my dog out of the corner of my eye and she never moved a hair. I spent a few minutes away from her and when I got back, the man at the table I had left her by me said to me, “Your dog is better behaved than most kids I see.” I replied, “I expect more out of my dog than most people do their kids.” And sadly, I do just that.
I LOVE German Shepherds!! I miss my GSD boy. I’m pretty sure they mind better because most dogs I’ve come across, esp GSD’s are a lot smarter than some kids these days too. lol!
This. Grandpa’s comment made me wonder how many things the kids had broken at IKEA! Like, is this what the family does for fun – go out and shop and let the kids run wild? Grrrr…
Yeah – IKEA also has prominent signage everywhere that kids are welcome and they invite whole families to play with / try out their furniture. IKEA has (likely) chosen to absorb reasonable breakage as a cost of doing business in a way that’s welcoming to families. That being said, the kids still weren’t behaving appropriately for an IKEA. They were probably pushing the envelope as far as acceptable, understandable behavior but weren’t SO outrageous that they stuck out like a sore thumb in an IKEA.
But that’s IKEA. Not this store. Different environment, so Grandpa shouldn’t have expected to be treated the same.
I’m a little stunned by Grandpa’s argument that “IKEA never makes (us) pay when the kids break things”. First, while I like IKEA, it’s not exactly a high end furniture store. More important, that statement indicates to me that the broken vase is not an isolated incident and that the kids have a history of running around and breaking things. If your kids are that young, you should have your eyes on them at all times – especially when you have THREE adult family members. If you don’t care about your children causing destruction in the store, or annoying other customers, at least think about their safety. Remember, Adam Walsh was just around the corner from his mother when he was abducted. With a two to four year old, it would only take a moment for someone to swoop the child up, muffle any outcry, and head out of the store.
A chilling but sadly necessary reminder LadyV. You reminded my about an experience I had a many years ago. It was Christmas shopping season and I was at a mall on a Saturday. Because of all of the foot traffic I had to walk a lot slower than I would usually do. Suddenly this adorable toddler in a pink snowsuit walks past me. She couldn’t have been any older than two. I turn around and there isn’t anyone close enough behind to be with her. I guess I had a look of panic on my face because two women walking towards me said something like *she’s not with you, is she?* The three of us kind of made a circle around her to keep her from going anywhere. We all started looking around for a security guard or a panic-stricken parent. A few minutes later a father strolling up. Not running, no terror in his eyes, just walks up to her, takes her hand, turns around and walks into a camera store. I’d passed it and noticed him talking to a salesperson about a camera. She had to have been out of the store at that point for several minutes. The three of us just stood there for a second or two. I think all of us wanted to run after him and knock some sense in him but we were just too gobsmacked to do anything but shrug and walk on. The saddest part is that once upon a time a good person would have snatched her up and gone into the nearest store to ask someone to call security, but now we’re all too afraid to do that because we could easily end up being arrested.
It baffles me how parents who profess to love their kids could do something that puts the kids in danger, like leaving them alone in a bookstore, but people never want to believe that bad things can actually happen to them or people they love.
Years ago, when I was in college, I had ridden my bike to an off-campus grocery store. When I came out of the store, my bike had a flat tire. Fortunately a friend happened to drive into the parking lot, saw me, and offered to take me and my bike first to a bike shop to get a new inner tube, then back to the dorm.
We were standing outside the store near a payphone, looking at the phone book for bike shop listings, when we noticed a car parked in the parking lot near us. There were two little kids in the front seat: a boy who looked maybe 6, and a girl who looked two or three years older.
The boy was sitting in the driver’s seat, and he was blowing the horn, turning the steering wheel, flicking the lights on and off, and yanking and cranking on all the controls on or near the steering column. The girl was in the passenger seat, looking sheepish. There was no adult in the car. Obviously whoever had driven the car had parked, taken the keys, and left the kids to play in the car.
Friend and I went back to the bike shop listings, when suddenly we heard blood-curdling screams come from the car. We looked up again, and were shocked at what we saw.
The parking lot was on a slope, and the car had been parked facing up the slope. Evidently the driver had either left the car in neutral, or the little boy had put it in gear, and had taken the parking brake off, because the car was rolling slowly backwards down the slope of the parking lot, gathering speed as it rolled!
The little girl and boy were screaming in absolute terror. The little girl had her door open and had one foot out, looking like she wanted to jump out. My friend and I and other people in the area started running toward the car, screaming at the little girl to stay put. We were afraid if she jumped, she’d trip and fall and get run over by the front wheel, since the car was on a curving path, since the little boy was hanging on the steering wheel, turning.
Before anyone could get to the car, it crashed into another car that had just pulled into the lot. The little girl leaped out and ran into the grocery store, the little boy sat there howling and crying and screaming “MAMA, mama, mama!”
The two women who were in the car that had been hit got out, and they looked absolutely furious. Then the little girl came running back out of the grocery store, holding the hand of a woman who looked like she could not believe this was happening.
Don’t know how it turned out, friend and I left to get my bike fixed. I’m sure the woman had the mind-set that she was only going into the store for a few minutes, what possible harm could it do to leave the kids alone in the car in the parking lot?
I saw a woman at my child’s preschool repeatedly park illegally in the disabled spot, leave her car running and also leave her newborn in the car, strapped in his car seat. While she escorted her older child into preschool. I’m sure she thought “I’m just running in and out, what harm can it do?” I told the director of the preschool what I had seen. The next day when the woman did it again (right on schedule!) and ran into the preschool, she came out to find the director was waiting for the woman at her car, which was illegally parked, engine running, infant in car seat, unlocked. Director told the mom how easy she made it for someone to get into the car and drive away with the baby. “I could have done it, just now!” That’s all I heard because I didn’t linger to eavesdrop. There were lots of parents gawking and listening while trying to look like they weren’t gawking or listening.
I will say this is one reason why when my mom left us in the car way back when I was a kid (age in double digits, more trustworthy), she drilled it into our heads that we were NEVER to climb into the driver’s seat without her present in the car, ever. It was verboten.
Nowadays, I don’t leave my children in the car unattended for two main reasons. One: they aren’t old enough for me to trust by themselves yet. Teenagers, sure. Elementary-age? No. Second: temperatures around here frequently jump way too high to risk leaving ANYONE in a car without giving them access to the AC, and again that requires keys and my kids aren’t old enough for that responsibility. So they only get to wait in the car if Hubby or I waits with them while the other runs in.
“…least think about their safety.”
These are the kinds of parents who, typically, would blame & sue the store for any injury that befalls the kid, insisting that the store was at fault for having anything that could fall on and/or puncture their crotch fruit. Or for having stairs the little hellion can climb on and subsequently fall down. So, no they aren’t thinking about their safety; they presume that is someone else’s responsibility.
Many toy stores and some book stores will often find that a parent would bring a child into the store and leaves them there. The kid would take toys out of package and play with them, or one case at a Barnes and Noble, an eight year old girl had sat quietly in a reading chair with a book ALONE for a few hours and finally someone talked to her-her mother had left her there and she had to stay there until mom returned. They waited for mom to return and had the authorities there to talk to her about abandoning her child, and the child could have been abducted. Same for the toy store kids. Some stores started a policy that after so many minutes they would page the store for the parent, if no answer, they called mall security and turned the child over as abandoned. That usually got pretty messy for the parent who saw NOTHING wrong with leaving the child there… again, they never seem to think anyone would take their precious. There are too many out there that would, unfortunately.
Flip side of that: I once told my kids to look through the toys while I looked for a new coat for the littlest one. This was about ten feet away from the toys. This would save time — they were each picking out a toy to give as a gift, and I’d get the coat, and we’d get out before rush hour started. But a store employee saw this interaction and apparently decided I must’ve been planning to just start ditch them, and ordered us to leave. 🙁 I explained I was going to be ten feet away the whole time, and that we were planning to buy the toys not just mess them up, but she would hear nothing of it, and said she call the cops if we didn’t leave immediately. It terrified the kids, of course. I can only assume she’s had to deal with misbehaving children so many times she no longer believes in the existence of well-behaved kids who can be trusted to carry out a toy-selection mission. Which is kind of sad.
Would you? I have had so many parents claim, “I’ll be right there. I won’t let them out of sight.” and vanish that I don’t believe anyone who says that. In my current job at a cookie store the amount of parent who let their kids raid our samples is outrageous.
They also get pissy at us if we refuse to hand out samples to unattended children. We do that because of allergens. One of my coworkers who is a very sweet old lady was yelled at by a man because she didn’t give his kid brownies. All she had done was tell the kid to ask his parent for permission as the brownie contains nuts.
As a former Barnes and Noble employee I will tell you that we’ve had people leave their kids for hours think we are babsitters, yes, we’ve called the police. So tired of cleaning up the destroyed kids book sections. Yes, the male pedophiles go to the bookstores!! Caught one peeking up a teenage assistant’s skirt when she was up the store ladder putting away books!! yes, police were called and yes, I did detain him!!
That’s the part I was stuck on. I’d be a tad more forgiving if this was a one-time thing, but the fact that this is an ongoing habit made me lose all sympathy.
And why are these kids running amok at IKEA anyway? Don’t they have a supervised play area where parents can leave the kids while they shop?
Maggie, I’d forgotten that! I don’t know if that’s true at all IKEA stores, but it is at the one near me. I suppose the parents didn’t want to leave their “speshul sneauxflaykes” to consort with the common people.
I’ve been in about six IKEAs through the years and they all have the supervised play area.
Depends on the age of the kids. At least at my local Ikea, kids must be 4 and toilet trained… and comfortable being left with strangers.
Here’s my take: Three adults walked into that store with the two kids. Why couldn’t one of those adults STAY HOME with the kids while the other two shopped? Why is it necessary to drag kids along to every single place you go if you have someone available to watch them? I have never been able to understand this. I see couples with misbehaving kids – screaming, running around, fighting, throwing tantrums, breaking things – and I don’t get why either mom or dad can’t stay home with the kids while the other parent shops. And don’t say they have to learn how to behave in public because people like that clearly aren’t making the effort to teach them. Also, if you don’t behave well at home, you won’t behave well in public, so the lessons must be first taught AT HOME and they are well taught, they’ll behave better in public anyway.
Well, in my opinion, most of the kids are usually reasonably well behaved, considering they are kids. One just tends to notice the ill behaved ones. If you ask why parents, who don’t bother to raise their kids, have ill behaved kids, well, that kind of answered the question. 😀 I just try to answer the question, why parents don’t leave other one home with kids.
Why to take the kids with you, then? There are obviously several reasons, one real being that kids do need to learn to behave in public places.
Maybe they need to shop something that requires opinion from both. (:D Hell freezes over before our home has any furniture both of us have not checked out.)
Maybe they are “carpooling”. If family has one car which they use to go together to shcool/daycare and work, often it would take absolutely ridiculous amount of time to drop rest of the family home then drive back to do the shopping, especially if distances are larger. I think this is the most likely reason many times. Or some kind of similar problem with moving around.
Maybe both parents need to do something on the errand day, something the other parent can’t do: My husband can’t do my banking, and I can’t check if clothes for my husband will fit.
Maybe they are visiting some other city/town to do the shopping/errands/something. Or are on a vacation and decide to do some shopping on the go.
Also, kids are part of the family. Often families like to do things together. And most parents don’t have that much child care options around. In the story’s case there might have been option, or maybe not.
And one that I forgot to mention, also quite obvious. Maybe they need to shop something for the kids that can’t just be bought by guess and golly. (Or the kids need to get a hair cut or something like that.)
For heck’s sake, this family had more adults than children on the shopping trip. They could have had one adult watch each child while the third adult browsed the furniture, then traded off as necessary so that each of the other adults could get a chance to browse the furniture.
Is he talking about IKEA in general, or does he drop his kid in the play area? If the latter, IKEA might build a certain amount of breakage into the items it puts in the kids’ play area.
IKEAs are famous for people doing things like sneaking in and spending the night without getting caught; I suspect they just don’t have the staff to not only notice breakage but link it with the appropriate offender.
I bet the grandpa’s just not used to his kid getting caught.
Adam Walsh was always my mom’s example of why I needed to stay near her and not run off. I had forgotten all about that until you said his name. And now, we have so many more stories of child abduction and people attempting to lure kids away from their parents in stores that I can’t believe how lax parents can be.
As awful as the Adam Walsh case was, incidents like this are relatively rare. When they do happen, they get oceans of publicity, for years. Most “child abductions” are done by a non-custodial parent, and only a tiny percentage are stranger abductions. It’s much more likely that a child unattended in a store will get injured or killed through misadventure (pulling a shelf or unsecured item over on themselves, breaking something that cuts them, sneaking out the door of a store and getting hit by a car) than it is they will be kidnapped.
The woman at the daycare, while sounding entitled, also isn’t doing anything our own parents haven’t done a hundred times. She should stay out of the handicapped space because someone else with a legitimate need might come along, and she should shut off her car because it’s polluting to leave it idle, but the baby will probably be fine in a locked vehicle for five minutes.
Library Diva, it’s not just polluting to let it idle. People have done that and had their cars stolen with kids inside. The person who posted the story about the daycare specified that she left it unlocked so it was going from entitled straight into negligent.
Just for the record, I think it’s been determined Adam Walsh was not inside the store when he was abducted. His mother left him by a video game display where a group of children were playing while she went to the lamp department. Some of the kids supposedly started fighting over taking turns. The security guard intervened and asked the boys if their parents were in the store, since apparently they had alot of kids coming in the store from a nearby playground without their parents just to play the games. Some of the kids said no, so she sent the group out. Adam’s parents think he was just too shy to speak up and say his mother was there, so he followed the other boys out. Plus the door he was sent out was one his parents never used when they came to Sears, so he wouldn’t know where to go once he was outside. That’s when he was abducted.
What on earth!!! I have a reputation for being a permissive parent, and I had very active, curious kids that got into everything and were in all places at once. And on the very rare occasion when I had to shop with my kids when they were that age, the four-year-old was in charge of staying right next to the two-year-old and making sure the two-year-old didn’t touch anything in the store. He took his job very seriously! That was when I had to stand in line that I could not leave, and also when it was just me and the kids. Most of the time though, I used to leave them home with their dad or grandparents when I had to go to the store. How three adults can manage to utterly fail to watch two children in a store where everything is expensive and/or dangerous for the kids, I will never know. Better yet, they could’ve arranged for one of them to stay home or in the car or wherever else is safe for the kids, and watch them while the rest of the adults look at the furniture. I also cannot believe Grandpa proudly confessed that they are using IKEA as a playground, on a regular basis apparently. At least Dad seemed to be sort of aware that what they were doing was not okay. I hope Dad’s common sense prevails in this family before the kids get hurt or cause hundreds of dollars in damage.
These people honestly believe it is the store’s responsibility to protect their merchandise, not theirs. At least that’s what their actions and behavior indicate to me.
Or cause a lawsuit (either against the parents, or by the parents and the parents lose expensively)
Right. They can crash into an elderly person, causing them to fall and break something. In addition to that person being in a lot of pain and suffering, the person’s family will definitely sue. There was a lawsuit a few years ago in NYC after exactly this kind of an accident happened, and the kids in that case were riding bikes on a sidewalk, not running around a furniture store!
Wow. Grandpa , saying IKEA would not make us pay. . So you are saying ok kids go run around. I would literally interrupt the mom and. Say. Your kids need your attention. . Can you imagine how they must act in school and other places . Parents need to step up and get control of their own kids .
I bet he was making that up. IKEA would definitely make them pay.
And maybe they should go to IKEA if they preferred it? At least there’s a kid’s place in them so they don’t have to worry about the kids breaking things.
When my daughter was little and we went to IKEA, I used to she could shop with daddy and I’d play in the play area. They had a “ball room” area filled with lots of big hollow plastic balls that kids could dive into and cover themselves up and so forth, and it looked like a lot more fun than shopping ever was.
Daughter never took me up on that. I wish they’d had “ball rooms” when I was a kid. I bet if you set one up for grown-ups, it would be a hit.
…I used to TELL HER she could shop with daddy…
There is a bar/pub in London that has an adult ball room in the basement. 250k balls. You can’t take food or drink down there, but. The patrons love it. I don’t remember where it is but I’ve heard it mentioned more than a few times.
Sounds like bliss. *sigh*
I was wondering that, if Ikea truly doesn’t make parents pay? On the bottom floor of Ikea a cartwheel in the wrong place could create a small hill of broken glass.
There’s a big difference between IKEA and a regular furniture store. The showroom part of IKEA is actually set up to be played on, especially the kids’ product areas. This is a feature of the experience of going to an IKEA store–they want people to come as an entertainment in addition to a purchasing trip. That’s why they have a restaurant, play areas, etc.
Also, let’s say you were to break something. At IKEA, it’s much less likely that the guilty party would be identified. At least in my IKEA experiences, it is crowded with families, and not that crowded with staff members, especially in the marketplace section. It is a completely different format with a completely different business model than a regular furniture showroom.
That doesn’t mean it makes it OK to tear through IKEA breaking everything in sight, but their perspective on this is likely a lot different and some breakage is expected. I think it is pretty likely that breaking something there would go unnoticed or ignored by the staff there.
IKEA might have a policy that they should pay but it’s so cavernous in there that they could probably break something and no employee would be around to notice.
At least Dad was embarrassed.
The kids were doing what kids do. Unfortunately the parents were not doing what parents should do. One day, it won’t be a vase that gets hurt.
Some parents need to be forced to attend parenting classes. Then, maybe, they will raise better citizens of the world (or the child will not have to learn everything the hard way).
Kids are supposed to be taught to behave. Otherwise human civilization would not have progressed this far because every generation would have demolished most of the stuff built by the adults.
I think most of the time you would find the problem isn’t lack of parenting skills, rather a lack of desire to correct their children.
What’s the difference?
It really means what it says. They likely know how to discipline their kids, but don’t want to be bothered with it.
Mark – as Hodge asked, what’s the difference?
If a parent knows exactly how to manage the kids, but have no desire to manage them, they lack parenting skills even more then! Because not correcting children throwing a ruckus bad enough to break stuff is a serious slack in parenting. Most parents just need to give a stern look, or say a magic word, and the children know that they have to behave. Many parents even leave the shop when a child decides to act up and cannot be disciplined that day for whatever reason.
I’m not sure how a class is going to instill a desire to keep track of their kids in parents. If you had asked these Adults in another setting (especially pre broken vase) if it is a good idea to allow small children to run around and play in a store with lots of breakable items, I would bet they would have immediately said that it is a bad idea.
They likely don’t need parenting training. They just need to give a s***.
That said I don’t want to imply that training/classes aren’t helpful, they are. I recently completed a course with my oldest in DBT, and I definitely learned a lot.
Good for your co-worker! It’s true that kids will be kids and sometimes they can get a little hyper but that does not mean caretakers can just turn a blind eye. If your child breaks or damages merchandise under your “watch,” it is your responsibility to remedy the situation. Years ago I was working for a bath and beauty product store and it was close to closing time. A woman came in with two young children who proceeded to run up and down the store with arms outstretched knocking over nearly every bottle on the lower shelves and spraying entire bottles of condensed room fragrance around the store. The mother laughed as if the whole thing was very cute and did not buy a thing after staying around 15 minutes past closing. It took quite some time to clean up the mess/stop coughing from all of that heavily perfumed air. I was very surprised that my manager did not say a word and motioned to me to do the same.
When kids are creating that much of a distraction, the cynical part of me always wonders if there’s someone in the store who’s using the distraction as a cover for shoplifting.
Baby sitters are underutilized.
That’s what I always think when I see a family group with out-of-control kids. If there are at least two adults in the group, why doesn’t one adult take the kids out of the store and let the other adult do the shopping?
I don’t understand why you waited until something was broken to say something. Surely you could have expressed concern that the store had a high number of breakables and you would rather that neither the children nor the breakable items were hurt? As well as advising them that if anything was broken, they would need to pay for it?
Of course they could have expressed concern before they did. I certainly would have. I have no problem speaking directly to children and asking them not to touch things, or to please not run in this shop. I don’t work in retail anymore, but I did eons ago.
But I remember a thread on this site where a (I think Ice cream stand owner) had asked a child to behave. (Can’t remember what the child was doing). And the social media witch hunters created a campaign to shut this person’s business, and I think livelihood down because of it. So, although I agree that the store owners or workers would have every right to ask either the parents or the children to adjust the behaviour, I understand why some are hesitant to do so.
There is also a parenting style where parents get upset if another adult speaks directly to their children and, despite any destructive and/or dangerous activity on the child’s part, would give the adult asking the child to not run in this space or be mindful of breakables, a proper bullocking. This is neither pleasant for the other adult, nor the child. Why not either agree, “Yes, child of mine, this adult has a point, something may get broken.” or disagree ” “Child of mine, you are doing nothing wrong, please continue.” That way the child can see normal, assertive instead of aggressive exchanges, and feel less intimated by other adults.
Also, children can learn from this, when an adult tells them they might break something, they are perfectly capable of “oh, I hadn’t thought of that”, despite no such information coming from their parents.
And if the parents don’t want other adults giving instructions to their children, they should ensure appropriate behaviour from said children. But that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world where if you don’t agree with me, I’ll get my social media posse together and destroy your life, and possibly your living, and for good measure, let’s throw in your family. The though police are in full force.
Funny story about IKEA, a friend of mine worked there. She found a baby in a bin of cushions. There were no adults around who would claim ownership of the baby. She called the police. When the parents returned to the bin, they were surprised to find the baby in the hands of the police and a social worker on the way. They had only placed the baby in the bin for a bit, so they could have a leisurely shop for goodness sake! What could go wrong?
Someone takes the baby. The baby falls in further and suffocates. Yeah…
Some people should not be parents. Glad that the clerk did what she did.
Someone takes the baby, parents sue IKEA and get massive payout.
Baby falls in and suffocates, parents sue IKEA and get massive payout.
That too. The recent toppling dresser settlement.
One, why do you put a dresser on LEGS in a small kid’s room. That just makes it taller and more unstable. Two, why do you put such a tall dresser in a small kids room?
One my parents bought when I was about a year old. (I remember it being unfinished and dad shellacked it turning it orangish). It was low, wide, and three drawers and like 28″ tall with no legs. It would NOT tip over, period. It could get a drawer pulled out but no way was that tipping over. I used it until I graduated and left home….
“There is also a parenting style where parents get upset if another adult speaks directly to their children ”
This is very true, and as middle aged American male I don’t correct random children, (Anyone remember “stranger danger”). I’m way too scared to put myself at risk. The only time I intervene is when the child is in immediate danger of serious harm or death. And I have had to do this.
Well, OP is new to this sort of position, and probably this is the first encounter with this sort of customer. It’s a lesson usually learned by experience, because it’s hard to believe anybody would be that blatantly irresponsible.
Ah yes, the pre-emptive warning followed up by the customers screaming in their faces that the employees are discriminating against them because they “look like criminals” or something.
This was a no-win situation.
It’s not up to the salesperson to identify any risks to unruly children or to let people know they may potential have to pay for broken items (I’m sure this is very common, so it’s not something that should need to be communicated), they are working. It is up to the parents to watch their child or children. I know kids can be a handful at times and are always full of energy, but this is a furniture store, not a toy store. The parents are clearly on the hook here for not wrangling their children. With three adults here, I’m sorry but there is just no excuse.
Yeah, I think I might have asked them to control their children earlier. But the OP wasn’t in the wrong not doing so; the parents were thoughtless, lazy and selfish.
I think most people are hesitant to say something because most parents of misbehaving children go nuts if you suggest they reign their children in to prevent damaging something or hurting themselves. It doesn’t seem to matter how nicely you say it or how concerned you may be about the child, they just don’t think they should have to step up and parent their children. They think the whole world and everything in it is for their children’s amusement and it shouldn’t matter if they break it, as evidenced by Grandpa’s IKEA comment.
It’s retail and sadly the state of modern retail (I work in it to) is that you are rarely ever suppose to say anything to people especially kids no matter how bad they are. Unless they are starting a fire, climbing something that can hurt them it’s a big no no because you could offend them or their delicate parents. It’s a modern thing I see all the time on Facebook and the internet parents always say, “if my kids acting up don’t you ever talk to them you talk to the parents!”. Well what about the ton of times you can’t ever find the parents? Or you find the parents and their heads just explode… at you for suggesting their sweet angel was being misbehaved. It’s a true no win situation for retail workers and not even just when it comes to kids. Adults to. Customer throwing stuff all over the floor, eating products in the store then going up with out paying for them and doing other inconsiderate stuff? Oh well don’t say anything we wouldn’t want to offend them or imply anything . Just let it go. The only people who are really suffering because of those kind of views are the good customers and the staff while the rude types get their way and then come back weekly to do it again. We need to go back to old school ways of if your rude you can be spoken to and asked to go. Or banned.
I worked a big box and we had a family with three kids that was notorious for grabbing food and eating it (and hiding the packaging) and giving the kids toys off the shelf to play with and break while they strolled around. IN the tv/tech room one night they finally got cornered by three of us and the security officer so they told the kids to put the toys down and tried to leave. Security let them get to the door before SHE screamed bloody murder (I had to stay in back in my department) as they had the police waiting and the adults had (she three videos, him the contents of a box for a $100 cordless phone) stuff on them. Plus the food wrappers we’d found and the toys they broke, it was a lot.
This sounds like a notalwaysright story.
You probably should have approached them before to warn them how, but I’m guessing that this is a case of “don’t want to actually be a parent/grandparent” sort of thing. Or perhaps they believe that “employees are babysitters” way of thinking. I don’t exactly get it, because these are the same type of people who would scream “pedophile!” if someone just said hi to their children. But apparently leaving them in the care of total strangers like store employees is A-okay.
I can remember stores having this little poem posted around :
“Lovely to look at. Delightful to hold. But if you break it? We’ll mark it SOLD”
Stores full of breakable merchandise used to give me anxiety when my kids were small. I’d avoid taking them in at almost all costs. If I had to, they had to stand with their arms crossed or in their pockets and were not to touch ANYTHING! They were also not allowed to wander alone, who does that?
I’ve reprimanded other people’s free range children destroying stores before. One day I’m sure I’ll catch hell for it from some clueless parent.
As told to me by my Mom:
I was about 3 or 4 at the time. They were shopping for mattresses. While they were busy with the salesman I found a mattress in the window area of the store that I liked and was laying/playing around on it. When my parents realized what I was doing they quickly tried to remedy the situation but the salesman said to let me continue to play as it was drawing a small crowd outside and good for business. That was back in the early 60’s, but still no excuse for my poor behavior.
My daughter is a permissive parent and my grandchildren are allowed to run around, out of control. Except when they are with me. We have two rules that are repeated every time we are going into a shop. The rules are: Stay with me and don’t touch anything. The don’t touch anything rule includes touching brother or sister. These were the same rules I used with my children.
Should the grandchildren act up, it is immediate removal from the shop and no promised rewards or activities are allowed. It is difficult to be around the children and their parents and hold my tongue. Sometimes I will intervene when things really get out of hand, but it is not appreciated. I try for distraction as often as possible.
oh yes retail…I have worked there for over 20 years…
when kids would make a mess I would say loud enough for all to hear..WELL I guess you are going to stay here and help me clean up this mess now …ALL DAY…the kids would look like REALLY…then most of the parents would help clean it up…
SORRY people I WAS not put on this earth to CARE FOR YOUR KIDS…
OP, this is where you need to polite request that the store manager have a meeting with sales staff to formulate a policy on how to deal with families that bring kids into the store. This is not an issue that sales staff should have to deal with on their own; you need to have a manager backing you up to the hilt in whatever way store employees deal with out-of-control kids.
My mom had her own way of keeping me and my brothers out of trouble in stores: before she would go into the store, she would tell us “hands behind your backs!” And we would clasp our hands behind our backs. And that’s where we had to keep them the whole time we were in the store, unless we asked for, and got, permission to stop holding them behind our backs.
Mom also taught us something else that kept us out of trouble: “You look with your eyes, not with your hands!” She was very clear on that: if there was something in a store that we knew we weren’t going to buy, but we were curious about, we could look at it as much as we wanted, but weren’t allowed to touch it. Touching as a part of examining an object was only allowed if we were actually going to buy it right then and there.
When I became a mom myself, I taught my daughter the same way: hands behind back when we go into a store, and hands stay behind your back unless you get permission otherwise. You look with your eyes, not with your hands. If you aren’t going to buy an item when you go to the store, you don’t touch it. No exceptions.
I’m well into my 40’s and I still put my hands behind my back when I go into a shop full of breakables!
😀 I don’t dare to, it messes my balance and the anxiety of breaking something is even larger!
Some parents sure need parenting lessons. My sister used to go to a Mommy and Me type group when her son was a younger, and the group was visiting a farm where they were told up front not to approach the animals without the farmer’s permission. One mother let her child run loose everywhere, but it was pretty open and safe where they were most of the time, until my sister spotted the child about to climb over a fence into a pasture with a very large, threatening bull in it (the bull had his head down and was pawing the ground at this point). My sister grabbed the boy and asked the mother to please keep her son at her side. The mother smiled a superior smile and said, “Oh, I never tell him ‘no.’ I don’t want to inhibit my son’s learning by creating a negative atmosphere for him.” I wonder how negative getting gored by a bull might have been for him?
That mom was an idiot. Her kid is probably in jail by now because society told him “no” at some point and he didn’t like it.
Reminds me of a time when our local mall held a collectibles/craft fair and kiosks were set up for the day. Two kids were being obnoxious at the booth I was looking at and ran right into the side of it and knocked something made of glass off and shattered it completely. The kids’ grandma screamed at the booth owner that she wasn’t paying for it, they were “just being kids,” the booth owner shouldn’t be selling anything breakable (?!) mall security was called, etc.
Other obnoxious kid in a store story: My friend treated me and her to have our nails done at a spa, a place where you could book massages, facials, nails, etc. They played soothing music, brought you tea, gave you a hand massage before your nails are done, all that kind of thing. It wasn’t a strip mall kind of place is what I’m saying, it was high end, supposed to be very chill. I had young kids, so I got a babysitter and prepared to be pampered for the hour appointment. A regular client came in to get her manicure and pedicure and brought her 3 year-old granddaughter along (I heard her arguing with the employees about how they could just squeeze the granddaughter in), whom she immediately ignored for the rest of her appointment and who proceeded to yell and run around the nail studio, got into everything, screamed about the color of her nails, etc. The manicurists working with my friend and I apologized over and over again about this kid ruining our relaxing time, especially after I made a comment to my friend (within earshot of grandma) about how this was why I got a babysitter.
Kids like these are why I have a low tolerance for OPC (other people’s children.)
My goodness, that sounds horrible! I work really really hard with my children to teach them to behave and have manners and be kind to each other. Discipline and consistency is so hard!! I’ve had a few compliments on their behavior, which could also be due to their nature; they are quite compliant. So when I go to relax from the hard work of parenting, I really resent badly behaved children butting into it! I have such a low tolerance for OPC and that experience you described would have been ruined!
The time to say something is when the children start running around and not wait until something gets broken.
That being said, My sister and I used to run around the third floor of Breuner’s like hooligans and would “bump” down the two flights of (carpeted) stairs. (They had awesome twin wide staircases and we would “race” down, bumping our bottoms all the way.) Fortunately for us and them, third floor was mostly mattresses and I think extra sofas. The only reason why we got away with it had to have been because my mother was a regular customer.
I don’t have children but I’ve watch my 9 nephews & nieces at various ages. They are fast!!!! It’s surprising how fast! They are little terrors and can get into trouble rather quickly. In this situation – yeah, its relatively open space with room to run, wrestle, fight etc. but it also full of dangerous items. A large display can topple – things can be knocked over and the three of them are lucky that the only thing injured was a vase. I never turned a blind eye to my charges – I didn’t want anything to happen to them under my watch. I’m shocked at how unconcerned and cavalier some parents can be.
In IKEA what you see on the floor isn’t going to be sold, its just floor models. Unlike many higher end showrooms. Now i understand why the floor models there always look like they’ve been installed in a daycare center before being displayed, because people like the grandparent treat the store like a rompus room.
This must be fairly common for parents to allow their children to run and play in these large showroom stores because ive had a furniture shopping trip interupted by unattended children myself. I was looking at color swath books for custom upholstry when a child ran off with one of the books. The child proceeded to sit down in the walk way a flip through the book. I went to find a sales person and asked for another book. The sales person went and traded the child with a different book in order to get the color/brand book I requested and showed the child to a desk where they could sit out to be out of the walk way. This child was actually very well behaved, but where was the parent this entire time?
God be with the IKEA employees. I can’t imagine having to clean up behind this group.
My sister never made her son behave and would lose her mind if you dare correct him or told him “no”. The second time she tried that with me I told her that if she was in my home or the general area I was occupying and she wasn’t going to correct him, I would and she was welcome to leave if she didn’t like it. My boys were not perfect angels, but they were corrected and I handled it if they misbehaved.
She is reaping what she sowed now because she has a 14 year old that does not mind her and basically bullies her to get his way. He goes to his room if I am around because he knows that I am not going to just sit there and watch him bully/boss his mom or listen to any crap.
I will honestly never understand the “Hands off, never tell them ‘no'” parents. *headshake*
I would have had my hide tanned right there if I dared run around a store. It may be as boring as everything, pointless, endless, and tiring but I would have to endure it or ELSE. Running around like an animal at two? No. Running around like an animal at four? I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this over 50 years later. Quite a few stores have signs up saying basically ‘you break it you bought it’. I have accidentally whacked or knocked some stuff down, and I always offered to pay it.
The kids running free, nobody but who the adults they belong to have the responsibility to keep them from causing havoc. Remember it hitting the news several back, a major toy store that’s no longer with us, had a display of an outdoor slide/swingset/activity set set up against a wall (not all the parts), had fencing around it, and signage about KEEP YOUR KID OFF-DANGEROUS and woman came in with her 4 year old who zoomed for the display, went right over the fence, onto the display (not fully assembled), got a hand in somewhere and cut a finger off when their weight on the display flexed something. Mother tried suing the place. And Lost. She was totally of ‘it’s for kids why can’t my kid be on it?’ Store took the display and hung it from the ceiling to prevent kids from getting to it. (Now, properly assembled and anchored in a yard, the hazard would not be there). The world is not your precious’ toy to run wild in and ‘it may take a village’ but the rest of the world does NOT have to watch your precious child-YOU DO.
Sure it takes a village. But when African cultures say that, they mean that the whole community should not only care for but discipline its children. If a Yoruba or Igbo child is in distress or danger, any adult neighbour has a responsibility to look after him or her; but if that child is misbehaving, the adult has an equal responsibility to restrain, rebuke and if appropriate punish him or her. (It was still like that in my 1950s British childhood; if you misbehaved while out on your own you could expect a telling-off or even a clip round the ear from a neighbour, and you didn’t dream of running to your parents to complain because you knew they would thoroughly approve.)
If the people who use this saying to justify letting their children run riot let them do it in a real African village, they (and the children) would be aghast at the promptness with which the kids would be grabbed by the ear and berated, if no worse!
Heh. In Africa it may very well take a village to raise a child, over here though, it takes a child to raze a village!
A worse sin was if the neighbor or relative had to step in and discipline you, because it would be reported to the parents and BOY did you get it for having them step in. That is truly what ‘it takes a village’ means. Though it doesn’t happen because too many are too hyper about anyone doing anything to or telling their little speshul snowflake terrormonster the dreaded NO word or expecting them to behave.
We have a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old. We typically do not furniture shop with them in tow, as they will get bored and start acting like…well, a 5-year-old and a 2-year-old, but it’s on my DH and me to keep them in line, if they do. We have found that since we limit TV watching at home, YouTube videos on the cell phone are a wonderful strategy for occupying little ones from wreaking havoc in a furniture store, especially a high-end one. They sit nice and tight, watching videos, while Dad and Mom browse. And then, there is no need to worry about broken crockery or torn fabrics or having to pay for priceless doodads of any kind!
I used to work in marketing for a chain for furniture stores. The complaint I’d hear was that people would change their babies on dining tables. Yuck.
As far as kids running free, I saw a sign in a store once that said UNATTENDED CHILDREN WILL BE GIVEN AN ESPRESSO AND A KITTEN.
A craft store : Unattended children will be given a puppy, a glue stick, and glitter.
Seen at a science fiction bookstore: Unattended children will be given to the Goblin King.
(With a picture of David Bowie from “Labyrinth,” of course!)
I’d send the unattended children to Qo’no’s (Klingon home world in “Star Trek). That’d give them a fright.
I got a lecture because parents complained when I told a kid to cut it out. I worked at a archeology museum. Yeah lady, I’m sure you would have paid to get that 400 YO artifact restored.
My children survived the “look, don’t touch” rule, yours can too.
I hate parents who let their kids treat stores/restaurants like playgrounds.
I used to work at a restaurant that had a swinging door that separated the lobby from behind the counter and the kitchen, etc. It swung one way, and then had a stopper on the other side so it couldn’t swing out into the lobby.
One day, during our lunch rush, this mother was just letting her little terror run around the place. In between people’s legs, under tables, and he kept trying to get through the swinging door.
We’re not supposed to have it blocked because if we needed to get into the lobby for something, the door isn’t supposed to be blocked. But, because of this kid, on this day, whoever was at the register closest to the door had to keep leaning on it so the kid couldn’t come back to our side of things.
And we did try to say to the woman “Hey, watch your kid!” but in a much more polite tone of course. Even a manager came out and said something about “Your kid is going to get hurt if he keeps running around”. The mother almost seemed like she was deliberately letting him do it, she didn’t respond to anything we said. Then the kid tipped over a plant shortly after it had gotten quiet in the restaurant again. One of the other employees goes running out into the lobby to stop the pot from rolling and spilling more dirt. So of course the kid sees his chance and goes running for the door and manages to pinch his fingers in the door really hard.
THEN the mother pays attention, and of course blames us. How I don’t know when we were all just trying to do our ACTUAL jobs, which do not include babysitting her kids. She left a huge mess all over the table and floor too…
I have seen children ram grocery carts into the aged and the parents blame the person who complains, “Well, they are just children! Try to be a little patient and tolerant!”
I am beginning to think that one should have to leash ones children just as stores ask you to do for dogs. The notion that children have the right to break merchandise and that the parents should not be required to pay for the damage they do is foolish and entitled thinking.
My kids had a leash. Best parenting trick ever. So are strollers with straps to lock that kid down. Unfortunately, the hands are still free, though.
Product of a harness here, I was a ‘climber’ – if it looked anything at all like a ladder, I was up it! I would then sit up there giggling my 3 year old head off, this was fine at home, mum would just put a couple of blow up mattresses below me, (if she couldn’t entice me down) but she couldn’t exactly carry them out shopping with us – and the one time she left me home with my step father, he fainted when I climbed down face first like a lizard.
It’s a wonder they have any sanity left at all, really…
While it does not seem the case in this story the parents are not always worthy of scorn. My son is 2 weeks away from his second birthday last week we were out shopping and as it was quiet I let him walk beside the trolley and help mummy put things in the trolley he knows very well if he runs off he has to sit in the trolley. We were in the confectionary aisle and I was trying to pick a gift thinking the worst he could do was put a whole heap of chocolate in the trolley that I would then have to put back I took my eyes of him in the five seconds that took he found an end display of salsa jars (glass of course) I looked up as he tried to put one in the trolley and I tried I really tried to get to him before he dropped it (we were at opposite ends of the trolley) but I didn’t make it. Because he was wearing sandals I checked him first for bleeding and put him the trolley I then tried to help clean up the mess, it happened right in front of the checkout out they were there pretty quickly I grabbed some paper towel and was starting to pick up the glass when I was told not to worry about it (I was mortified they had to tell me three times to stop) I offered to pay and was told no don’t worry it happens all the time. Even with offering to pay and trying to clean up a customer felt the need to tell me what a bad mother I was, and I shouldn’t have been in that aisle in the first place in my condition (I am quiet obviously pregnant), I
Had no idea how to respond to that so just smiled and said have a better day and left paid for my items and had a good cry in the car. Anyway just saying not all children who break things are being naughty and not all parents of these children are irresponsible.
Thank you for sharing – that nasty woman who felt the need to interject was uncalled for. Kudos to you for just smiling with a nice goodbye.
The difference is you are actually parenting your child and with children sometimes things get broken and most people understand that. Your son didn’t run into the salsa display and break a jar because he was running around unsupervised. The parents and grandpa in the submission were not even trying to watch their kids. Then Grandpa complained when they were told they had to pay.
What happened to you and the kids breaking the vase was because they were unsupervised are totally different in my opinion. In fact, I would probably have helped you clean up the salsa. The lady who called you a bad mother and said you shouldn’t have been in the aisle in your condition is rude. You should have asked her if she wanted to babysit or do your shopping for you if she thinks being pregnant prevents you from parenting or shopping properly.
You acted very responsibly here.
I completely understand that children are children and accidents happen. You are NOT the parents we are talking about.
We’re talking about:
– the mom at the craft store who was so busy staring at her phone she didn’t notice her 4 year old pulling all the yarn out of the baskets and tossing it on the floor. And when I said “Don’t do that. Put that back.” to the kid, the mom started screaming at me for daring to speak to her precious snowflake.
– the couple at the chain restaurant that sits there talking to each other while their 6 year old is drawing on the table with crayons, salt, ketchup, etc… , and their 3 year old keeps getting up and running around the dinning room. And when the server says “Oh no! I almost tripped over your little one. It’s really dangerous to have her running around like that. We can’t see her over the trays we’re carrying.” The family demanded to speak with a manager and screamed at him until their meal was comped.
– the mom in the grocery store line completely absorbed by her phone while her 2 year old has an epic, screaming, laying on the floor, kicking his feet, turning purple in the face, knocking everything off the lower shelves, melt down. It went on for at least 15 minutes until the mom got her groceries checked out and apathetically scooped the still screaming kid up off the ground and walked out. She never said a single thing to the kid and never looked away from her phone.
– It the family in the movie theater where mom and dad go sit by themselves and let their 4 kids all under the age of 10 run wild, talk, shriek, spill popcorn and drinks, all over the place. And when someone finally gets an usher, the parents start yelling about how dare the usher RUIN their movie night and who complained about their kids? Kids are people too! How dare you bully their kids like this! Oh, and it was an R rated movie.
You had a kid who acted like a kid. And you responded like a responsible adult. That’s all good.
Accidents happen. Sometimes a jar of salsa gets broken. You tried to clean it, you offered to pay for it, we’re all glad your kid wasn’t cut by the glass. You weren’t ignoring your kid. You weren’t neglecting your kid, and you didn’t try to brush off your responsibilities because they were inconvenient. You’re doing it right.
“…– the mom in the grocery store line completely absorbed by her phone while her 2 year old has an epic, screaming, laying on the floor, kicking his feet, turning purple in the face, knocking everything off the lower shelves, melt down. It went on for at least 15 minutes until the mom got her groceries checked out and apathetically scooped the still screaming kid up off the ground and walked out. She never said a single thing to the kid and never looked away from her phone….”
Gotta speak up about this one.
First thing, the mom should not have been on the cell phone. Bad on her for that.
Before I became a mom, I used to think, whenever I saw a toddler in a meltdown like the one described, “What rotten parenting! Why don’t they do something?”
Funny thing: when my daughter went from infancy to toddler to “terrible twos,” I learned something.
INFANTS AND TODDLERS ARE DIGITAL!
What this means is that their little bodies get into a rhythm. When it’s 6 AM, or whatever time they wake, they’re hungry, and then they’re ON. They’re full of energy, they want to go, go, go, they’re exploratory, they’re interested, they’re engaged in their world, and they’re feeling good.
And they stay that way, until suddenly their little bodies scream “NAP TIME!” And then they’re OFF. They want to SLEEP.
It is the period when they’re approaching their naptime that is meltdown time.
This occurs with a regular rhythm that is very predictable. Once you know your child’s rhythm, you can avoid meltdowns by just scheduling your outing times so you do your errands before your child’s body is screaming “I’M TIRED! I WANT TO SLEEP! RIGHT NOW!”, so you’re home when they get into that mercifully brief cranky zone that tells you that it’s time to get things quiet and peaceful and soothing so that they can fall asleep.
If you’re out with your toddler when their body tells them “TIME TO SLEEP!”, god help you. They want to go to sleep, but there’s all this stimulating stuff going on around them, they’re jammed in a stroller or grocery cart or (worst case) on their feet with no place to lie down. Cranky? Too right they’re cranky!
Once the meltdown starts, there isn’t a darn thing you can do about it. This isn’t a brat throwing a fit because he’s not getting his way. This is a desperately tired child whose body is screaming “SLEEP! MUST SLEEP!” While everything in the environment is preventing him from sleeping.
It borders on cruelty to punish a child at this time, because they literally cannot help themself.
Once you know what you’re dealing with, which is a very tired child who hasn’t developed the coping skills or verbal ability to deal with the situation, you know what you have to do: ignore the hostile glares of bystanders, ignore the caustic comments, let the meltdown run its course, because you know that once it’s run it’s course, you can pick your toddler up, and in seconds to a few minutes, he’ll be asleep in your arms, completely exhausted.
And you can look for the older, experienced mothers among the crowd of disapproving people. They’re the ones who have “been there, done that” and know you were dealing with the situation the only way you can.
Once I learned my daughter’s rhythms and adjusted my errands and schedule so she could be home when her body was screaming “NAPTIME!” to her, we never had another meltdown.
Actually, there is something you can do about it. You can leave with the child. And by so doing, not subject everyone else in the vicinity to the little one’s meltdown. Because while it may be understandable, everyone else in the store did not sign up to deal with your screaming child.
And to further this, sometimes the rhythms go off. Maybe it was a new activity in the morning, or maybe a bad night sleeping, or perhaps the kid is coming down with an illness and suddenly the kid is in meltdown mode a full hour before expected.
As for the phone, its possible the mother was using it simply as a decoy for herself. She knew she couldn’t help the child, knew she was getting nasty looks from everyone around her, and just needed to get through the next few minutes.
And while the little angel’s tantrum is running its course, an entire public place is subjected to the piercing screams of a child. Sounds ideal.
…So what’s your solution, Lackwit?
Have the parent take a stick to the child and beat it while screaming “BAD, YOU’RE BAD! How dare you inconvenience these nice people? How dare you? ” to validate that they’re doing something? Pick the child up and swing it against the wall a couple of times to shut it up? Stuff a rag down it’s throat?
Here’s the scoop on parenting very small children, infants and toddlers:
They don’t come with an owner’s manual.
They don’t have coping skills for when they’re tired, or sick, or frightened, or in pain. And they don’t have communication skills to tell you what’s wrong.
Moms and dads sometimes find themselves in a public place with an infant, toddler or small child who is at the end of their tether and going into meltdown. Sweetheart, if I have to choose between punishing a small child to “prove” that I’m a “good disciplinarian” to a bunch of strangers I’m never going to meet again, who are clueless as to what’s actually going on, or doing the RIGHT thing, which is waiting out the meltdown until the child cries herself out and can sleep, you betcha I’m going to ignore the disapproval of strangers and do right by my child.
One of the most important lessons I learned as a parent: I’m not a perfect parent, my child is not a perfect child, and it’s not a perfect world. Which means that sometimes there isn’t a perfect solution that makes everybody win! And that sometimes strangers aren’t going to understand why you’re doing what you’re doing (or not doing). And that’s okay.
Personally, if the worst thing I ever encounter to complain about is someone else’s child in screaming meltdown in a public place, I think I’d conclude life is pretty darn good.
Lackwit and Lomita Momcat, I think the idea is if the kid is melting in a store or restaurant is to remove the kid from the location, take them outside, and let them chill off without causing the major disruption. I could tolerate if the person was in the mall and took the kid out of the store into the main mall to wind down. It’s unfortunate the kid lost it, at least try to not subject everyone in close proximity to it….
The solution is fairly simple. LEAVE WITH THE CHILD. That does not require punishing the child, but also does not involve subjecting anyone else to the little one’s meltdown for longer than it takes to leave the store. If that means leaving groceries or other purchases behind, then that’s what you do.
When I had my inevitable melt downs in the store as a tiny tot, my mom yanked me up from the floor and walked right out the door with me. Getting to go shopping with her was a privilege and by melting down I’d lost that privilege.
Sometimes that meant dinner for the whole family was rice because she had to leave the grocery cart behind.
My mom was a hippy. She wouldn’t dream of beating me or my brother for throwing a tantrum.
But she also wouldn’t dream of subjecting a store full of people to one of our screaming fits simply because it was inconvenient for her to leave. That’s part of the social contract we’re all supposed to live under.
Your 2 year old starts throwing a fit, I’m not going to give you the stink eye. 2 year olds melt down. It happens with all of them.
BUT, You leave that kid on the floor and subject me to their shrieking for the next 10 minutes, now I’m judging you for not being willing to parent.
Parenting is hard and it sucks sometimes. Part of that is leaving your food on the table and hauling the kid out of the restaurant if they can’t deal. Part of that is leaving your cart and hauling your kid out of the grocery store if they can’t deal.
This isn’t making the world intolerant of children. This is part of how the world deals with children. I don’t want to ban kids from stores and restaurants and public spaces. But I DO expect the adults responsible for those kids to actually be responsible for them.
And what about when the tantrum is because the child wants to leave NOW but the parent is on line ready to check out and says “no- we can leave when I pay”? Should the tantrum be rewarded by dropping everything and leaving? And the store and other custumers be made to wait as the conveyor belt clearer and items put back because the parent just walked out? What does this teach the child?
No one likes listening to a tantrum. But sometimes they happen. Adults would do well to have some patience, there is no guarentee or promise of quiet out in the world.
Yes, I still expect that parent to PARENT the child and yank them out of the store.
I expect them to make the child feel so bad about being yanked out of the store that it’s not an experience they wish to repeat even if 2 minutes before that the kid’s goal was to leave the store.
And I’m not talking about physical punishment here.
If the parent isn’t smart enough to emotionally manipulate a 2 year old or 3 year old they’re too dumb to do this on their own. They should probably invest in taking a bunch of parenting classes.
My younger son, and an oversized jar of pickled beets. He was two or three, and I had a basket, not a cart, and he didn’t have his little mini cart because my ankles were still sore from all the other times he would hit them first thing and then I’d have to take the cart from him while pushing my own cart and holding onto a screaming, tantruming child. And I only possess two hands. So, this day I left him to walk with me and the basket.
We never buy pickled beets so why he thought he could help me by putting it into the basket is beyond me but he was so proud of himself while he struggled with this massive jar and I gasped and tried to reach him before … the inevitable. Of course he proceeded to have a meltdown when it happened so now I’ve got a basket, a mess of broken glass and nature’s permanent red dye splattered everywhere and a boy who’s about to throw himself down into it all. And I still only have two hands.
I offered to pay, of course, and I made rudimentary gestures to pick up the glass with one of my remaining hands (sarcasm) and I apologized profusely for the nightmare of a cleaning job that awaited some poor schmuck, since every single product from the second shelf on down was painted with that dye, but my offerings were refused and I took sad/angry/uncooperative boy with me to quickly get the rest of my groceries. Not as if the event had any effect on his behaviour on future shopping trips. And now he’s an adult but I still have shrieking pain in my ankles if something bumps them in just the right spot; I think he did permanent damage to the bones all those times.
Sometimes being a mother is just a lesson in complete futility and humiliation.
Even if I was two, a tantrum would have meant I wasn’t going to sit down for quite a while. That was NOT tolerated. Cause and effect. Lose it-get reinforcement about I wouldn’t do it again. Now let me say that I didn’t get that many spankings, the ones I did get were well deserved (I can count on both hands the number I got from about 18 months to 7, and have some fingers left over, and I had both sides of the family to thank for that STUBBORN streak too).
Ever have your ankles looked at to see if there is something there that could be treated?
You couldn’t spank this boy out of a tantrum. That only made him freak out much, much more. I had to ignore the tantrums if we were somewhere we couldn’t leave quickly. At home I could put him in his room and then I didn’t have to witness them. Spanking works/doesn’t work depending on the child/circumstances, like anything in life.
In modern America, all those early spankings mean is you would have spent your adolescence in foster care. Its routine for the police to be called over parents even raising one’s voice at child, let alone *ever* even once hitting them and anyone finding out.
That is this generation, not the past one or two. I was part of one where spanking still happened and watched younger cousins start the ‘don’t you dare raise a voice to MY child’ generation.
My mom used to beat the holy hell out of my sister and I with wooden spoons, until she actually broke one over my sister’s butt, then she bought a plastic one.
For particularly bad offenses, we were made to kneel on uncooked rice on hard wood floors for half an hour.
My own kids would get an occasional “pop” on the behind for things like “don’t run into the street”, but they were few and far between.
My kid’s used to tease their grandma about kneeling on uncooked rice, until she screamed at me for telling them!
“That’s how it was DONE in those days!!!”
Uh, no,….that’s how YOU punished us, I’ve never run across a single person in my life who said “Oh, yeah….uncooked rice….boy I remember those days!”
Well, Dee, the second part was being REMOVED from the situation as well. I melted down I would have caught it because I wasn’t allowed to toss a screaming fit and cranky was okay but no melting… and the second part is to remove the kid. I agree with someone else about the woman should have not had her nose in the phone, and she should have tried to escape sooner. Even if it was to leave the groceries to the side for 10-15 minutes and take the kid out to run down, then come back and claim the groceries. Losing total control was never allowed when I was growing up. It cut the episodes… Mom also as I remember would do errands in the MORNING too. And as someone else said, helps avoid the nap meltdown.
Also, two of my spankings were for meltdowns and it very quickly became I wasn’t going to quit crying but all the flailing and enraged screeching sure the bleep stopped. I had something else to think about and the next time I was going to go all out a reminder before I lost the cork reined it in. It was reinforcement.
I get what you’re saying but, as I said, it doesn’t work for all kids. And I often could not leave what I was doing just because my kid(s) lost it. If we had prescriptions that I had to pick up while grocery shopping then I couldn’t just go home, and the meltdowns happened so frequently that I wouldn’t have been able to get anything done if I’d stopped my world for them. But spanking a child because he’s completely out of control often makes things worse, and I know my kids, and I certainly didn’t want to have a kid get so upset that he stopped breathing and had a seizure right there in the store because I spanked him. So I did the best I could and the kids gained control gradually over the years and that’s the best one can hope for.
Still, take the kid out of the area if they melt. Take them out of the store. You can return in a few moments after the wind down and continue with whatever you needed to do.
In a perfect world, the manager of the store would approach the group with the unruly kids and say, “I’m sorry, but our insurance company doesn’t allow children to run/cartwheel/actively play in the store. They also don’t allow children to climb onto items in the floor displays or handle breakable items. I’m sure you understand our concerns for your safety. Can you please call your children over and advise them of these rules? And our sales associate will accompany you to make sure we can assist you safely. Thank you for your cooperation.”
Someone I know who was a very careful parent shared a funny shopping-with-toddler story.
She and her DH were shopping for clothes for DH for some sort of occasion, and needed to look things over very carefully. Her child was behaving well, but as a toddler she was distracting to the shopping that needed to be done.
At some point her tiny little girl went into one of those triple mirrors that are like a little bay in the wall. Mom relaxed a bit at this point. Even though she couldn’t directly see her child, the little girl couldn’t leave the bay without being seen. There was nothing in the bay to hurt her, and there was nothing there for her to break.
As the mother helped her husband and watched the exterior of the bay, she noticed several people go by and give her daughter huge smiles. Mother felt very proud that strangers seemed to think that her child was so cute.
After a few minutes the mother went to collect her little girl from the mirror bay. All of the little girl’s clothes were laying on the floor, and she was stark naked.
My friend “Carol” told me this story:
She was shopping in the Sears store in our town with her mother and younger brother. Carol was 9 or 10, little brother was between 3 and 4.
Her mom got distracted by something and little brother disappeared. Mom started looking for little brother, then saw people gathering around the area in the Sears where there were bathroom fixtures set up on display. Some people were laughing, some people looking shocked.
When Carol’s mom got close enough, she saw her little son, who was in the advanced stages of potty training, “enthroned” on one of the floor display toilets, pants and training pants around his ankles, a look of intense concentration on his face.
Carol said her mom was so mortified that she fled the store, ordering Carol to stay and grab her brother as soon as he finished, and bring him out to where their car was parked as fast as she could.
I understand kids are busy and as parents you can’t deter all their actions or energy sometimes. But there is no excuse for allowing that kind of play in any store much less a more upscale furniture store with nice stuff. You are the parents you are suppose to be teaching your kids how to act in public how is it helping them to stand back and do nothing for the first years of their life and just laugh at their messy shenanigans. I don’t even understand, as a retail worker, why parents come into some places of work my own included with really young kids when it’s a case of someone could have stayed home with the kids while the other parent went to run errands. If the family needed a couch but had two rambunctious little ones why not have grandpa watch the kids while mom and dad go out to look real quick and pick one out. I’m really glad the father had sense though and wanted to pay for the damage sad that he has no back up support from his dad or wife who apparently are okay with just letting it continue while acting like the kids are angels. Or my favorite saying from every parent who isn’t paying attention and won’t discipline their kids, “kids will be kids”. Yup and kids have parents so pull it together and deal with them.
The general public is not an indoor kids jungle gym lets stop letting certain parents act like it is. Stores should be allowed to ask people like that to either deal with their kids or go. As a customer and a retail worker it really says something to me when I see a business have the decency to stand up for the rest of the good customers who are behaving by asking unruly people of all ages to leave. It really turns me off when I see so many business’s these days bow down to terrible, ill behaved people and their children because they are scared they might lose that one persons business while turning off the rest of the good behaved customers. As a good customer it says screw you for being polite and behaved we are going to bend over backwards to help these rude people and let them do whatever they please or have what they want.
When my oldest was five years old or so we stopped into the grocery store to get a few things.
One of them being one of the BIG jars of Ragu that used to be in glass jars.
As we are in line to pay, I start to panic because I can’t find my wallet in my bag.
I finally find it all the way at the bottom when I hear my darling boy say “Mommy! I’m HELPING!”
Before I can stop him, he grabs, then drops the glass jar of spaghetti sauce.
It could NOT have more of a freaking mess than if I’d held it over my head and threw it!
I was embarrassed, my poor son was scared and upset, and the grocery girl gave us the death glare.
I apologized to her and asked for paper towels to clean it myself, and told my son while I appreciated his help (and he wasn’t in trouble) he is never to “help” with glass jars.
Luckily no one was cut by the broken glass, and a young man with a mop and bucket came over with a big smile (God Bless his heart) and said to my son, “Ah, SOMEONE is being a good little helper today!”
With one little tear, my boy looked at him and choked out “I’m TRYING TO!”
I tried to help clean up, he wouldn’t let me.
I tried to tip this nice young man, he wouldn’t let me, and actually ran and got another jar for me.
After paying, I thanked him again, and slipped a five dollar bill into his apron and hustled away before he could give it back.
Very nice of you to tip. That happened to me so many times in my times as a grocery store clerk and very few people ever apologized.
They won’t let you clean in case you slice your hand open or something, they don’t want a lawsuit.
This young man was so nice about it I felt I had to do something.
And, you are correct, store policy said customers couldn’t help because of lawsuits had I or my son cut himself.
When I worked at Target, a lady came in with a small boy who looked sick.
She said to him she had to try on just a few things, then they would be going right home.
She takes five or so items in, and two minutes later comes flying past me holding her son.
I assumed she was taking him to the bathroom, so I went into her booth to take the clothes back out to my counter to hold for her if/when she came back.
As soon as I opened the door the smell of fresh vomit nearly knocked me off my feet.
I have four kids, and there is nothing you can do if they start throwing up, that part I get.
But…..She took the items she brought in with her and THREW THEM on top of a huge pile of vomit!!!
Of course she never came back, but I would love to know what on earth made her do that….all the dresses were ruined, as they did a fine job of soaking up the contents of her kids tummy.
This about the broken glass risk. They don’t want you getting cut on store property, whereas the employee is somewhat covered.
As for the tip, unfortunately if that store was anything like the one I worked retail at, he wouldn’t have been able to keep the tip anyway (likely ended up in whatever charity donation bin they have), on pain of losing his job. I had to refuse so many tips for helping people out because of that. The only one that wasn’t refused was a little old lady who “tipped” in card candies like Werther’s by tossing a handful on the cashier’s counter and then booking it. As long as we shared around with the other cashiers, the managers looked the other way.
Aw, I didn’t know they weren’t allowed to keep them.
I hope the boy I mentioned kept his, he earned it.
I always keep a dollar or two handy in the winter for the young man who seems to be a little bit slow (for lack of a better word) who wrangles all the carts in on bitter cold, icy and snowy days.
He will always come over and help me put my bags in the car and then takes the cart for me.
He does say no thank you every time, but I put them in his coat pocket and hop in the car.
I REALLY hope no one makes him give up a dollar or two!
Aww. I just remembered another “kids in the store” story from when mine were younger (almost-5 and 2). It was Christmas season and the biggest shopping mall downtown had a free Nutcracker performance at their lower level. Another family invited us to come watch together. After the show, we went to the food court to feed the kids lunch. Mid-lunch, my 5yo said he was bored. I asked him to give me a minute, I’ll finish feeding his brother and take care of him. Couple minutes later, I do finish feeding his brother lunch, turn around, the 5yo is gone. There were three adults and two other kids at that table and he just disappeared with none of us noticing. We all took turns looking for him, finally I gave up and called mall security. We were still on the lower level… They found him on level 4 in the back room of Bath and Body Works. The women who worked at the store were feeding him candy to stop him from wandering off again. Kids are fast. They’ll sneak out on you if your back is turned for a few seconds, even if you watch them the rest of the time. Not that the family in the OP was watching theirs.
One Christmas Day at our Church, I was playing the violin, accompanying the pianist and playing the hymns we were singing on that day. The violin I was playing was my dad’s, it’s handmade, made in Brazil, electric and over 70 years old. We finished the first hymn and sat down, leaving the violin propped up against the piano (as I always did).
There were a lot of people, of course, for Christmas day and excited children. While our minister was giving the sermon, kids were running up and down the main aisle. The parents did NOTHING. No one could hear the sermon. One little girl decided to charge up the aisle, she whacked her forehead on the table with the nativity scene on it, which promptly fell over and crashed right onto my violin. There was a massive collective gasp as it smashed. BTW the kid had the gall to cry!!
Our Church offered to pay for the repair for the violin through their insurance. I was so angry with those parents, I just couldn’t speak to them. I had a lot of people on my side too which was a surprise and they spoke to the congregation later on about keeping kids under control during the service, either take them outside/creche/babysitter, etc.
On the bright side, the church paid for the violin repair. And yes, I still play the violin at church, but I unplug it, take it with me after each hymn. Better safe than sorry, I say.
This is a problem in my church too. Parents allow their children to run wild during the service. They throw pages they have torn from the missals at the choir, climb over the pews, draw pictures in hymnals, one little girl spent a long time licking a large laminated card with the Nicene Creed on it, and one lad was trying to climb on top of the votive candle stand, which was not secured to the wall.
I wish Moses had added to the “Be fruitful and multiply” with, “And when you have multiplied, keep an eye on your young fruits.”
My daughter one time at church asked “who is hanging up there?” referring to a very large and life like Christ on the cross hanging behind the altar.
I shushed her and said “That’s Jesus, you know, when we pray?”
About five minutes later, much louder this time, she asks “Mommy?!? WHEN is Jesus going to GET OFF THAT THING?!?”
I heard many giggles and more than one person said to me on the way out how adorable that was.
One very nice elderly man we saw all the time at Mass winked at my girl and said “I’ve been wondering that for YEARS young lady!!!”
Years ago, when I worked for Trader Joe’s, my boss had this idea for a display. She set up a beach chair and umbrella in a small sandbox with TJs products littered all around. Many of us told her it was a very bad idea but she went ahead with it anyway.
As you can imagine, even though it was quite clearly a display, parents assumed we had installed a sandbox for their children and they would leave their kids there while they shopped. This display was in our front vestibule, between the two entrance doors, opening right onto the busy parking lot. I was horrified that so many people would leave their kids right by the front doors of a grocery store where they could easily be abducted or wander into the lot to be hit!
I have a ton of child horror stories from that job actually. We used to decorate the windows with that fake snow paint and kids would draw in it. Parents would take pictures of the drawings they did! As if we had really set this up so their children could draw hearts!
The worst was a couple with an autistic daughter who would come in at least once a week and just let her run amok. She once rode a bicycle through the store and took out a display. Another time she whipped an apple at me. And on three different occasions she wandered out of the store and off down the very busy street. We had to call the cops to go find her. Smh the things people do with their children.
I think despite the girl being autistic, because the parents didn’t have her under control, the store should have banned the family for a period of time to see if the girl improved. If not, ban them permanently.
Couldn’t agree more. I had an extremely indulgent manager who let customers get away with everything. Even blatant theft!
This story is scary. They could have pulled a dresser over onto themselves and been killed.
Call me a helicopter parent if you want, but there’s no way my kid would have been in any of the situations described above.
This reminds me of something that happened a few years ago… I was teaching my friends children (about six kids) how to properly throw a football. We were all having fun and not paying enough attention and to my great horror I launched the ball straight through a neighbors window. We could hear glass shattering from the yard. The kids tried to split but I rounded them up and marched them to the neighbors house and made them learn how to admit fault, apologize, and offer to pay. Thankfully I has only broken a coffee mug and the neighbor thought it was hilarious. I apologized profusely and left my information in case I had broken something else. When we were out later I picked up half a dozen cupcakes and brought them back over to the neighbors house as a thank you.
What was fascinating to me was that later one of my friends told me her son was so impressed I had immediately taken responsibility and made amends that he told his mom he wanted to be like me when he grew up. My friend then admitted she probably wouldn’t have fessed up immediately. Makes me sad for the example she is setting but glad that her son had seen how to act properly in that situation. I have no kids and wasn’t thinking about what I was teaching the kids at the time, I just was doing the right thing.
What the kids didn’t know is I was absolutely terrified, literally shaking, as we went over and so embarrassed – now whenever I visit the neighbor sees me and laughs and waves.
“IKEA never makes us pay when the kids break things!”
“Oh, so this happens a lot, does it?”
When I was in my twenties, I worked in a jewelry store in a mall.
One fairly quiet day, we hear a child screaming, and we all come out to see what’s going on.
A large man walked past us with a boy over his shoulder and this boy is yelling “NO!!! Put me DOWN, you’re not MY DAD!!!”
Oh my God. My manager ran for the phone and called 911, while one of our employees ran out after them.
We are all freaking out, crying and quite a crowd has gathered.
Well, ten minutes later, we see three uniformed policemen walking back into the mall with the same man AND same (very quiet) boy.
What the hell is going on?!?
Turns out this kid was misbehaving in the toy store, and after several scoldings by his dad, this kid threw a major tantrum and.the dad said “That’s IT!” and picked the kid up to take him out of the toy store.
Junior took it upon himself to cause more trouble by saying the man wasn’t his dad….what a brat!
The cops blocked this guy’s car in and was going to arrest him until the kid finally fessed up he was mad his dad didn’t buy him the toy he wanted, and it was indeed his.father.
This man was FUMING, and marched his kid to EVERY store they passed and made him apologize for upsetting everyone.
In our store he saw that I and a few others had make up running down our faces and said “Look at these nice ladies! You made them cry because they thought I was kidnapping you! Say you’re sorry…..NOW!!!”
I sure wouldn’t have wanted to be that kid when he got home.
My manager knew one of the cops and he said they were relieved it wasn’t a real kidnapping and what a freaking BRAT that kid was.
I wonder what that kid’s home life looked like- it sounds like dad was a good disciplinarian; was this an otherwise-good kid having a bad moment or did Mom encourage brattiness?
I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt that the kid just decided to pull the brattitude. I’ve known kids before who had perfectly reasonable parents, but for some reason the kid got it into their heads that a stunt like this would totally work to cow their parents into giving in to their demands. Kid probably heard somewhere about yelling that your parent isn’t actually your parent, and how your parent wouldn’t want others to think that and would cave in just to shush you up, and decided to put it to the test.
We never saw the mom, I’m not sure if she stayed home or what the deal was.
We all talked about THAT little episode for a good week and everyone applauded the dad’s parenting skills.
I’m sure he was humiliated, but I personally thought it was awesome he made his son apologize to everyone.
I also think the kid was maybe too young to understand just what a mess he made with his stunt, I’m sure the cops gave him a “come to Jesus” talk as well.
He looked terrified when he came back in, from the angry police to what was waiting for him at home…..my mom would’ve whupped my butt for sure!!!
Maybe the man was his step dad??? “You’re not my Dad!”
Oh, my gosh, that reminds me of when my friend and I were teenagers, and we were out when we weren’t supposed to be, and her dad came looking for us. She did not have a good relationship with her dad, and he told her to get in the car. She refused. He then got out and tried to drag her into the car, to force her to go home. She was kicking and screaming. A bunch of cars stopped, concerned. It must have looked bad, ie he must have looked like he was abducting a teenage girl. (Glad to know so many concerned citizens out there). A nice couple intervened, calmed the dad down, and brought her inside, crying, and gave her some tea and snacks. I heard about it all later. Then when everyone was calm she went home. But yeah, hard to tell when you see a screaming kid (or teen) and an adult laying down the law.
Ah yes…..my older sister worked at a grocery store and went to community college while living at home.
One day, she leaves for work, see ya later….don’t wait up….loooong shift today!
About an hour after she leaves, my mom gets a call from the store.
“Hey….this flu bug has wiped out half the staff! Is there any way “Susie” can work tonight?!? Oh…crap.
Of course, my mom panics and calls my grandpa to come get her and they drive around the store parking lot….No sign of my sister’s car.
We go home and wait….And wait…until about 10:30 when my sister and her best friend come home together.
“Hey there, daughter!!! How was work tonight?!?”
“Oh my gosh, Mom….SO BUSY, I’m exhausted!!!”
My sister never saw the slap coming from Mom, it nearly knocked her off her feet!
My mom.then turns to my sister’s friend and says “YOU CAN GO…..NOW!!!”
I have never seen my mom so mad to this day, and believe me, she was rough on us growing up.
My sister used to say she could my mom’s handprint on her face for days.
I’ve just remembered this. Several years ago my daughter and I visited a needlework exhibition in London. The place was packed, but we found a reasonably quiet spot to sit and eat lunch. There was a woman also there with a little boy of three or so who was wandering around pulling all the heads off the artificial flowers in the displays; mum watched him all the time and he wasn’t in anybody’s way. My daughter was in full ‘you wouldn’t let me do that mode’ when mum calmly packed up her lunch and told the little boy that it was time to put all the flowers back where they belonged. She was aghast to find they were not artificial flowers at all, but real…. She would have saved herself so much trouble and embarrassment if she told the boy to keep his hands off in the first place. Those displays must have cost several hundred pounds.
I recently picked up a second job at a locally owned tanning studio, and the owner tells me if anyone comes in and makes me uncomfortable (hitting on me, demanding me to watch their kids while they tan, etc)- tell them to leave and call the police if they don’t. Safety takes priority over customer service, and you can waste time trying to please unreasonable people that could be spent better serving your best customers!
One of my friend’s worked at a tanning salon, the stories she would tell about the lovely angels she was expected to babysit while Mommy got a tan.
I am a little disappointed at the frequent comparisons of children to animals in the comments. Not every child is the same or responds to the same kind of discipline. And putting children on leashes? Really? I mean if that was a joke, fine. I sometimes even joke about that, but I think that’s so ridiculous as an actual concept. I also don’t understand the comment about the church service. I understand the frustration, but I think creating a space in a religious community where children are welcomed and integral to worship is really important. I’ve seen this solved by creating an area with quiet toys or providing bags with coloring books and crayons. We spend a lot of time treating children as burdens in society, and making spaces they are not welcome in. That isn’t to say there are some spaces kids shouldn’t be. A spa or salon for a young child that can’t behave? Yeah, no. When I bring my children to the salon I set them up in a space where they will behave and bring lots of activities. Or I schedule on a different day.
This isn’t to say that these customers weren’t wrong. They absolutely were. They should pay for the vase and pay more attention to their children. And Grandpa needs a serious reality check here. What an idiot. They could have likely solved the problem by setting up little John and Jane on a visible couch with a youtube video and avoided the whole thing.
Now, do I take my toddler to a high end furniture store? Not unless I’m certain I can do my best to keep control. But he’s also fast, and has run away from me in stores. I am almost always on his tail, but we have tried every manner of discipline and it’s just a stage he’s in. I can’t always book a babysitter, and often these shopping outings for obtaining things like this are the few times I get to see my husband and child at once. Sometimes we are running multiple errands in a day. We avoid it as much as possible but we also have to live our lives. Online shopping has helped, but for furniture I would like to see it in person. If it becomes too problematic I have certainly been known to leave a store.
I would hope this is the sort of store where sales folks would be allowed to say something in a kind and non-judgmental way to the parents “Oh, goodness, we do have a lot of breakable/unsafe items in here and I wouldn’t want little John and Jane to be harmed by anything.” I’ve done that working in retail and usually parents are quick to respond. You do have the occasional poor response but most people are decent humans. This wasn’t even in a high end store.
I try to subscribe to the phrase “Other People’s Parents” rather than “Other people’s children”. In this case the fault laid entirely with the parents/adults for not dealing with the situation properly and assisting their children.
I worked at one store which had gates separating the entry and cashiers’ area from the merchandise, probably to deter customers from walking down the farthest aisle and straight out the doors. There was one young boy who kept going back to the gate, climbing on and swinging from it. I’d gently shooed him away a couple of times and finally spoke sharply to him, and he ran back to his mother—who thanked me for it! She said that after a while, the kids just tuned out her voice and ignored her, so she was very happy to have an authority to back her up; and the son did remain quietly by her while she finished her shopping.
My own sons were told to “hold your thumbs behind your back” while looking at things and never touch them; mostly they resisted temptation, and fortunately never dropped anything glass when attempting to ‘help.’ The eldest one day decided to throw a shrieking tantrum because I refused to buy him the object of his desire of the moment. I looked at my grocery cart, saw it had nothing perishable in it, grabbed him out of the seat, tucked him under my arm head downwards and feet kicking in the air, marched out to the car and drove home. He was astonished into utter silence, and never threw a full-fledged tantrum in public again.
My friends and I took it for granted that if my kids misbehaved at their house, they should certainly reprimand them, and I would do the same for theirs at mine. Of course this was 40-50 years ago, so I’m not sure how well any would fly now. In the intervening half-century, I’ve been increasingly staggered at the erosion of responsibility, and wondering wha’ hoppen to all the parents who’d been raised as I had, where if I were in trouble at school/a business/someone else’s house, I’d be in even more trouble at home. And, no, it isn’t all Dr. Spock’s fault.
I do wish society’s various pendula would sway gently in a reasonable middle rather than swinging suddenly to one extreme, thus necessitating an over-corrective counter-swing to the other.