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Why it’s best to stay indoors – parenting in public places

By weeziepops - 15 April 2009 108

As I waited to be served at Subway in the Hyperdome, I watched with fascination as a child clambered atop the counter, leaned over the cash register and started pressing random buttons. 

My main interest was the mother’s reaction to this.  Nothing for a few minutes.  Then, when she finally noticed my focussed attention, she whined, “Britney, get down.” 

I think that was her name – it may have been Breanna, Chapelle, Bylynda or similar.  Also note that the woman gave the word “down” about forty-three syllables, as in “dow-o-ow-o-ow-owwwn.”  I am perhaps being a bit mean, however – she did have half a dozen other small charges, all of whom appeared equally well behaved. 

Needless to say, the child did not get down until one of the staff members piped up in his breaking, fifteen year old voice voice, “Get down, please.”  She then turned her attention to taking and unwrapping about a dozen straws, at which point I over-stepped the bounds and asked her what she thought she was doing. 

What do others think? 

Does a stranger have the right to object to the behaviour of another person’s offspring in a public place?

Other people's children

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108 Responses to
Why it’s best to stay indoors – parenting in public places
G-Fresh 11:50 am 15 Apr 09

One day some little out of control child will catch their head on my shopping basket at a supermarket. Come close so far a few times as the little *5H1T scampers around the isles without a care from their parents.

My parents made me stay beside the shopping trolley when in a supermarket (not so long ago at all. Children should be managed this way).
I’m tending to think that these retarded parents don’t deserve to be in a supermarket. They should be ploughing their backyard to plant veggies and running chickens, a cow and pigs to feed their families.
Pernicious primitives.

weeziepops 11:44 am 15 Apr 09

Feebles – this child was around 10. In my view (and, as you rightly say, I do have all the answers), this is old enough to know how to behave in public.

Pommybastard – what was the response to your wise counsel?

chewy14 11:44 am 15 Apr 09

With 6 or more children, i’m thinking this kind of arrangement may work:
Good excercise for the kids, and they can carry the shopping too.

Feebles 11:32 am 15 Apr 09

My reaction depends on how old Britney is. Very young toddlers are essentially wild animals. You watch them like a hawk 99.5% of the time but eventually something else does require a moment’s attention (interacting with the Subway helper would be one such example). I only have one almost 18 month old, and he is fascinated by the EFTPOS machine at the supermarket checkouts too (all those awesome buttons). Have to steer the seat part of the trolley way away from the EFTPOS machine. I find it hard to imagine trying to corral 6. With one you can carry him or have him in his stroller. No idea what you do with 6. But YOU seem to have all the answers, Weeziepops.

neanderthalsis 11:27 am 15 Apr 09

chewy14 said :

I think some sort of leash should be compulsory when walking your children in public places.

My sister was berated by a fellow shopper for having her son on a leash while shopping. (he’s a usually well behaved chap, just likes to run and hide from mum)

Some folks have very liberal ideas of discipline for children, can’t say that it does the kid much good later in life though.

Pommy bastard 11:27 am 15 Apr 09

In situations like this, where a parent has abdicated responsibility, I think it only fair and just that I should have my say.

“If your ill behaved brat stands on my foot once more, I shall kick him so far over the horizon his voice will have broken by the time you get him back”

Stated to grossly obese woman, whose grossly obese son, had taken to pushing back and fore past me in Wollies in Kippax.

Skidbladnir 10:51 am 15 Apr 09

screaming banshee said :

Idiocracy…the only worthwhile part of the movie…

Brawndo, the Thirst Mutilator. Its got what plants crave!

screaming banshee 10:40 am 15 Apr 09

@Very Busy, your post reminds me of the opening scene in Idiocracy, so true and to be honest the only worthwhile part of the movie.

FC 10:40 am 15 Apr 09

chewy14 said :

I think some sort of leash should be compulsory when walking your children in public places.


FC 10:40 am 15 Apr 09

Bear in mind that the kid might not belong to the women.
Plenty of times when I am out with public with children (through my work), they exhibit behaviours that are embarrassing at best. I cannot discipline the child (am not allowed to), and can only really guide them and ask nicely for them to listen to my request. This request often goes ignored.
I hate the fact that people would look on and judge me for being a bad parent, when they are not my children, and if they were I would imagine would not behave in such a manner.

weeziepops 10:37 am 15 Apr 09

These kids would have chewed through a leash. Maybe some sort of enclosed carrier on wheels…

chewy14 10:33 am 15 Apr 09

I think some sort of leash should be compulsory when walking your children in public places.

Inappropriate 10:28 am 15 Apr 09

If the child’s behaviour is directly affecting your use or enjoyment of public space, them by all means say something; otherwise, just keep it to yourself.

deezagood 10:23 am 15 Apr 09

I understand your frustration, but I think it is only appropriate to admonish other people’s kids if they are directly impacting on you/your kids/your property (in this case, if it was your Subway store under attack). Mere annoyance at the kid’s/parent’s poor behaviour doesn’t justify getting involved in other people’s shitty parenting and ultimately it won’t have any effect. That said – it is really hard to resist the temptation to discipline feral children and I have occasionally lapsed.

Very Busy 10:16 am 15 Apr 09

I’m generalising here but Britneys mother was probably a little brat of a child too. Britneys children in the future will probably be brats of children too. Parenting skills passed down through the generations!!! This as well as the low intelligence factor are a big part of this problem. Not much we can do about that.

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