Sunday, November 19, 2006

Are parents going deaf... or they just not care?

Let me tell you what happened this weekend.

My husband and I were out shopping for cabinets to finish up our laundry room project, and decided to stop by Circuit City. Partly in a delusional attempt at getting a PS3, and partly to browse laptops. At first we walked through the laptop section and didn't see what we were looking for. We were about to leave when at the last second I noticed the laptop we wanted to look at was behind locked glass. One of these.

It was also at this point that I noticed a family also browsing laptops and one of the children crying. It wasn't a big deal at the time. I understand children cry.

So, my husband set out on a mission to find a sales rep to open the locked case. This took about 5 minutes.

After this amount of time, this child was now on my radar because the family was ignoring him. All this time though the child is getting progressively louder and practically wailing. The parents are still not acting like they hear his cries or notice that other people in the store might find it annoying.

After about 10 minutes we were able to get the machine out of the case and booted since it wasn't really a display model. This kid is still crying and I am starting to get pissed. Mainly because this isn't a baby. He was probably about 7. Much to old to be having a fit like this in a store. I mean... this is something that toddlers do... not big boys like a 7 year old. And the parents still don't say a word to the child. At 15 minutes we leave and the kid is still crying.

I'd like to say I'm just being an asshole about it, but this year I have noticed this sort of thing somewhat often and I have to say it kind of makes my blood boil.

This summer my husband and I stopped at IKEA, and there was this family who had a wailing child who kept screaming "I want to walk". My husband and I figured we would just try to outrun them to another part of the store and all would be bliss. But every move we made they made, and this child was screaming at the top of his lungs about wanting to walk. I finally said pretty loud "let the fucker walk" I know what sounds really mean, but I can't understand how parents can not be affected by a child who constantly cries and wails, and furthermore how they don't think it affects people around them.

Later that same day we went to buy new cell-phones because my husband had put his razor through the wash. The place was pretty busy so we had to wait a little while to get a sales reps attention. In walks this woman with 2 kids. One was a toddler who immediately laid down on the ground and had a screaming wailing fit. And the woman did absolutely nothing about it.

This went on for about 15 minutes before I freaked out. It was the first time I ever had to tell a business that if they didn't do something about that kid they were going to lose a sale. I felt really bad, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

I think the thing that makes me more upset than anything is I watch these parents and they do nothing to make the child stop acting out. I can understand a failed attempt at getting them to stop. Kids are kids... but them doing absolutely nothing drives me up a wall.


  1. It drives me nuts, too. I was finally told that there's a school of child-rearing which advocates ignoring misbehaviour and temper tantrums in order to discourage the behaviour - as in little Johnny's acting up to get attention, so don't give it to him - only pay attention when he's being an angel.

    While I can understand the concept, I'd really like these idiots to take little Johnny outside while he screams.

    It's not PC to hit kids anymore, but I'm sure if you or I were to deck one of these parents, no jury in the world would convict us.

  2. My parenting mantra is that there is nothing so important that I won't up and leave if my kid cant behave, and she knows it.
    Here is a great site dedicated to the Kult of Kid

  3. Wow... thanks for the link MDG.

    I am still trying to find it hard to see what the pay-off for the parent is. In the cases I have seen ignoring the child doesn't stop the behaviour. They must have the most amazing skills in being able to tune things out, because just being around these kids for a very short time drives me up a wall.

    Peggy- When I was a kid my mom would have pulled me outside so fast it would have made my head spin. I dont get why these parents don't feel embarrasment. That would be a motivator for me.

  4. I had this problem with a woman on the bus going home at rush hour. She got on and her kid started screaming. The kid just kept screaming and screaming and we had a whole busload of people who were tired from a day of work. I was sitting right across the aisle so I asked her if she could do something about the kid. Her response was to tell me to fuck off - in those terms. I just went to the driver and made him give me a bus pass and I got off and waited for the next bus.

    I am so with you about parents and screaming kids. When I was a kid if I pulled something like that I would have got it right then and there and there were no doubts about it at all.

    The worst was when I was at a party with a co-worker and her kid talked back to her and spit in her face. She said to the kid that he should not do that and then went back to her conversation with her friends. My dad would have jacked me up through the ceiling for even thinking about doing that. What on earth are these people thinking of!!