Amy Choate-Nielsen: When others' kids are noisy in public, think twice before reacting

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:51 p.m.

    I wonder how often Hutterite and Ted's Head have gone grocery shopping with small children. If they have done it less than, say, a dozen times, they are in no position to advise a young mom on how it is best accomplished. Also, I'd like to see how they could work a regular and ongoing baby sitting fee into a tight grocery budget. And if they have fool-proof ideas on child rearing "non-brats," that right there makes them genius parents.

    I recall a very frazzled shopping trip with my little kids where I actually kept my cool although I felt like crying with frustration. A kind woman came up to me in the parking lot and said, "I was watching how you treated your children in the store, and wanted to commend you on doing such a good job. You were so patient with them." From then on, I treated my kids with more patience, because someone had taken the time to give me positive reinforcement.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    I found these comments delightful and entertaining. I don't know about you but grocery shopping after many years is becoming boring and a little scream or bump wakes me up to reality. Godo comments.

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    I never realized that so many people go to the grocery store for a quiet and contemplative experience. A nice restaurant I can understand, but who cares if you have to hear a child screaming in a grocery store. It's a grocery store for crying out loud (literally!). Perhaps if Hutterite and Ted's Head are bothered so much by it they should combine forces and start a grocery store chain that doesn't allow children.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    A kid misbehaving or falling apart in a grocery store is not something to get bent out of shape over. It is not practical to get a babysitter to get grocery shopping done as much as young moms wished it were. Shopping for groceries is not like a concert or a restaurant.

    This mom seems reasonable and I doubt would expect the same tolerance for a melt-down during a performance where people came to listen or at a restaurant where people pay for a nice meal. I don't think she's advocating for total acceptance no matter where her family is.

    As far as a kid who yells out once in church, no big deal. They are still learning appropriate behavior and will make some mistakes. However, the families who consistently make noise and a mess during church, at a restaurant or a concert (the ones you avoid sitting next to if you can) are another matter.

  • El Presidente Bluff, UT
    Oct. 17, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    @Hutterite, @From Ted's Head. Whoa.

    Amazing to meet two individuals who were never children themselves. I have three kids, and while I take every measure I can think of to discipline and teach them correct behavior, they still have unruly episodes in public despite my best efforts. I don't believe that qualifies a child as a "brat", or that we all ought to have a midday sitter on hand for trips to the grocery store. I also don't believe the author is suggesting children ought to be allowed to run wild since she mentions she is focused on disciplining them. She is trying, instead, to block out negative energy from folks like you who would rather criticize than lend a hand. That seems to me to be the intent of the column - to point out that we can choose to influence the life of another for better or for worse.

    A society comprised of adults willing to judge a struggling parent and a complete stranger, rather than attempt to assist seems more crass and uncouth to me.

  • Kinderly Riverdale, MD
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:55 p.m.

    It's hardest for things like church and grocery shopping, where missing it altogether has significant consequences. Airports and airplanes are also places that are REALLY hard on kids and full of intolerant people. No matter how you train your kids or prepare them for being in public, sometimes circumstances are too much for them and they are going to act badly. It is SO nice when there's someone loving and helpful close by, like the woman you described.

  • From Ted's Head Orem, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 7:41 p.m.

    I'm also in opposition to the live and let live concept of public behavior. Get a sitter if your children are given to uncontrollable, unruly behavior. It's a fallacy to believe that all children might be as unruly as yours and you can get away with just looking the other way.

    I encounter many children (and adults) who no longer have a sense of appropriate behavior and talk loudly during choir concerts and even talks at church. Ours has become a crass and uncouth society in part because parents looked the other direction when they children misbehaved...and those children are now adults with no sense of decorum.

    My 6 children are hardly perfect and we passed on taking them to restaurants and other public places when we felt their behavior would bother others. We sat on the back row in church to more easily and quietly deal with noisy toddlers.

    As for leaving a church because someone said something offensive? Sounds like a rationalization.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Oct. 16, 2013 6:57 p.m.

    Sorry, no. If you've got a kid trying to crack her head open in some sort of display of disapproval and another trying to bite everything in sight, then you've got a pair of brats and I, too, have more pressing things on my mind. There are many environments where this type of behaviour is inappropriate, and I'm not interested in surrendering them and leaving because you think I should. It would be like me saying I should be able to smoke in a grocery store, regardless of who goes there.