It takes a village, and one woman has a great idea for using that village to stop your kid’s public tantrums
No parent is a big fan of someone else scolding their kid, but as anyone with children knows, sometimes getting someone else to do your dirty work can be a good thing. One woman, after witnessing a mom suffering through her kid’s scream-fest while attempting to finish her grocery shopping, came up with a great way to leverage the parenting community to help each other out.
In a Facebook post shared anonymously by someone who seems to know the author, a woman laid out her plan for helping other parents through public tantrums.
“There should be a secret signal parents give when they can’t take anymore so a random stranger can mean mug the kid and tell it to shut up.”
This is a great idea. And not just because I do this anyway! But having the permission of the child’s parent frees the “stranger” from any potential backlash – and god knows when a stressed out parent is dealing with a misbehaving child, anyone who dares approach is in danger of getting caught in the crossfire, good intentions or not.
Also, we parents are already members of a club – you know you often exchange looks of solidarity with other parents throughout your day. Adding this wrinkle gives us some benefits besides simply exchanging empathetic glances with each other. If we run with this idea, we are suddenly sleeper agents in the resistance, able to be activated with one glance and set into motion to suppress the scourge of each other’s unruly children.
Her reasoning is sound. Not only will being confronted by a stranger shock the kid into silence (at least for a second), it will strongly reinforce fears of stranger danger (which could backfire down the line but that’s for their future therapists to sort out), and teach your children that just because they’re your special snowflakes, they can’t grow up expecting special treatment from the rest of the world. So they’d better learn to toe the line or one day they’re going to be on the receiving end of something far worse than a stranger’s dirty look.
The most important idea in this woman’s inspired, probably half-joking post, is that we parents should band together, and help each other out, instead of constantly finding ways to tear each other down. We’re all under siege from our anarchic little munchkins, and it shouldn’t be shameful to need a little help sometimes.
I know that I’d be far more grateful if someone gave my kid a dirty look to get him to settle down than if someone gave me one because I’m not doing my job as a parent.