Comments about ‘Dear parents, you need to control your kids; sincerely, non-parents’

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Published: Monday, Sept. 16 2013 11:20 a.m. MDT

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Funny/witty screen name
Orem, UT

This is so true. I work at a bank in a grocery store and there are children screaming probably 4-5 times a day. Im not a parent myself, but i dont like when people judge when they dont know what they are talking about. My parents were great, not perfect but almost. Anyways, im sure i was a brat as a child and i probably threw my fair share of fits. That was because I was a child and i didn't know any better. Hopefully people can be more understanding and realize that being a parent could be one the hardest things in the world to do. keep on rocking parents!

Syracuse, ut

People that make snarky comments about children in the grocery store seem to have forgotten that they WERE one of the kids thrashing around on the floor screaming because mom wouldn't buy Captain Crunch.

Instead of a critiquing and judging a poor mom with three kids in the grocery store, how about you go over and ask if she needs any help?


Wow! This was very well-written indeed and made good points. I don't think I have heard this host's talk show before but I think one day soon I'll look for it.

Though many parents don't control their children well, this woman was not apparently one of those, or even close.

Children crying in Church happens; you only expect the fussing child to be removed in reasonable time autilizing the cry room not to cause a problem for others, but a supermarket is a different proposition. Someone has to get the groceries, has to take the children with her, and has to doggedly pursue that course until the task is done. Good point about the "minefield" of packages, the sugary cereal etc intended to tempt children and leading to raucous importunities in the tried and tested way.

This was not, apparently, one of those mothers who worship their children, you know one of those who, when a baby burps, exclaims "Oh the Wisdom of a little child!"; this was a pragmatic, controlled and responsible person by all accounts, acting without panic or anger through what would be for some, a near traumatic experience.

Brother Benjamin Franklin
Orem, UT

I don't appreciate this gentleman's tone. He destroys his credibility by speaking as if he has all the answers with regards to handling children and parenting. Maybe he should listen to his own advice and mind his own business. It would serve him well. Maybe people would take his lectures more seriously.

Salt Lake City, UT

One other idea about this. You know those "older" people with selective memories that had children who never cried in church? They all tend to be men. The men of that generation were not very involved with the real raising of their children, and would never deal with them when they were crying. Ask some of the older ladies you know if their children cried in church way back then, and they will give you the truth. They remember the crying because they were the ones who had to deal with it each week

Lafayette, IN

"Grocery stores are designed to send children into crying fits." This is an excellent observation. A vast room designed to entice; that toddlers are enticed is an example of the law of unintended consequence. A great article.

Layton, UT

Excellent observations.

I have a lot of friends who have nothing nice to say about parents today. I do think there's a generational detatchment too.

They are especially vociferous about the very appearance of children in public theatres, restaurants and their local hang outs.

Fwiw, Utah is probably one of the most kid-friendly (or kid-tolerant) states in the nation. In my prior state (Washington) there were more adult pet owners than families with children, and everyone thought they knew the best way to parent.

Congrats on recognizing a mother with character and a kid attempting to exploit public sympathy to manipulate his mother.

Cedar City, UT

Does one really know the situation when a kid is unruly in public? What if they had special needs? Either way, a person should just be grateful and move on. There are so many other things in this world to worry about.

Salt Lake City, UT

Man alive...now this is an article! Perfectly written, brilliantly explained. Great example of how 2 people can experience the exact same incident, but based on their attitude, can see and learn 2 completely different things.

orem, UT

This article is great! And good for that mom. She's doing the hard work now so she can enjoy that kid when he gets older and doesn't have an "it's all about me" perspective on life.

Parents of autistic kids, who are older and from all appearances look normal, often get comments and looks when their kid has a meltdown in the store. It makes a difficult job harder when a parent feels judged by strangers.

On a side note, as a young mom struggling with little kids and sleep depravation I didn't really like the well-intentioned admonishments from older women of "these years go fast, enjoy them while they are little." I really was doing my best but a reglar nap for me would have made it more apparent. :)

West Jordan, UT

@Brother Benjamin Franklin - Actually, if you'd re-read the end of the article he plainly states that he DOESN'T have all the answers to handling children and parenting... He's just tired of people who don't have kids, or people whose kids were raised under different circumstances should refrain from offering advice on subjects of which they have no experience.

Farmington, UT

I have a toddler grandson that we took grocery shopping. My wife was around the corner and I had him in the grocery cart seat. As we approached the end of the aisle he saw something he wanted, reach out for it, and was told "no, we're not buying that." So the tantrum started. I stopped pushing the cart, looked at him and in a normal voice said, "That doesn't work with me" and started pushing the cart right on past what he wanted. He looked startled and stopped crying. He never did it again the rest of the time we were in the store.

When my children would misbehave in church I would take them out into the foyer. There was always a mom or two out there and another dad. The two dads made their children sit still and be quiet and let them know their behavior was not acceptable. The moms would let the little tykes run around and laugh and play and scream and somehow they never were ready to go back into the meeting.

Children need parents, not a friend, who will take care of the situation. Strangers should butt out, not judge.

Yakima, WA

Mr. Walsh, you've hit it right on the head here. I about lost soda out my nose when I read Mr. Franklin's comment, he was a perfect example of what you were explaining. As a father of 5, one
of which is special needs, I have experienced all of which you have covered and more. I have no
delusion of my own behavior as a child, too many older people from church have shared many stories with me. As my kids grow up and move out I try to help out other parents as they face these challenges. Thanks again for reminding us of the past, so that any of us with selective memory can correct our attitude and behavior.

Bountiful, UT

I was once an intolerant, pathetic soul. No clue why I had no problems with my first three children but number four and five let me live with the kind of children I thought that only 'others' had. What a wake up call! Now I either cringe and feel pity or ask how I can help. (Depends on the situation.) What AMAZING people our children often turn out to be if we give them our best effort, they will be the leaders and caretakers of the future!

Thoughts of Home
Forest Grove, OR

As the oldest of 7 kids, I always smiled at those who said, "When I have kids, mine will never do 'such and such'." It was amusing because I knew differently--all kids melt down, etc. at some point, and as the mother of an autistic child (and several more "normal" ones), I've dealt with "SUCH AND SUCH!!!" at rather inopportune times. I've always been grateful for the patience others have displayed during such trying times. My worst memory is of my "normal" toddler melting down during a flight back home. Despite all my efforts to keep a pressure earache from happening (precautionary medicine the doctor suggested, something to suck on, etc.), she screamed the last ten minutes. Nothing I did helped. The woman turning around and saying, "Can't you do SOMETHING?!" hurt and only made me want to 1) hand my child over to her to work her magic on, or 2) retort with, "No, because I like hearing her scream." Sigh. I did neither. I simply kept trying to calm a frantic child and prayed for a miracle. Hence, I tend to reassure other moms at such times that they are doing fine because most are.

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

Beautiful editorial! I hadn't heard of Matt Walsh before this, but this was impressive and totally accurate.

Mrs Ribit
Palmdale, CA

This is great but to include one thing. There are kids that are unable to comprehend their behavior as bad. The kids I'm talking about are the ones with autism. Those parents are probably the most exhausted parents of all. My hat is off to the mom in this story and for others that hang in there under pressure. I've been there and haven't forgotten.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

True parents should control their children. But reality says that you can't completely control another human being 100% of the time (or eventually they will rebel).

Parents have to pick their battles. You can't go ballistic every time a toddler doesn't agree to be controlled. Maybe she decided this wasn't a battle she HAD TO win. Maybe she decided so save some energy for when got to the checkout counter and he wants candy.

Sometimes the best way to control a tantrum is to not react, most tantrums are intended to get a reaction, and not rewarding the tantrum with the expected reaction is a good way of preventing it in the future. Maybe she was trying to prevent this type of behavior in the future but not over-reacting.

Bottom line... probably not good idea to judge somebody else and curse them out when they are probably doing their best in a difficult situation.

Sandy, UT

I had 5 boys, done that. Now that I am older and hearing impaired, I just turned off my hearing aides when going places like stores, malls and banks. What's the fuss?

Provo, UT

According to the most recent Census, the average household size for the United States is 2.58 people per household. The average household size in Utah is 3.10 people per household.

Because of my qualifications of having far exceeded these numbers, and having children who do and did NOT throw fits in public places, I can say with authority: Parents, control your children!

If I can do it, so can you!

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