I’ve dealt with a whole stack of nonsense while out and about with my kids lately. There was the dude at the bakery, the Hulk at Aldi, and a whole bunch of other incidents I haven’t bothered posting about. Quite frankly, I’m over it. The tut-tutting, the staring, the unnecessary comments, the way people just can’t fathom how to walk around a pram. It’s common sense right?
Well, I’m venturing out today with Smasher and Juju and I thought – hey, why not be proactive? Maybe people don’t realise they’re making life miserable. So I wrote out a little Q&A to help you on your way to harmonious living with parents and children.
Being Wifekin’s Guide to Handling Parents and Children in Public
What should I do when walking past a parent holding a screaming toddler?
Keep walking and say nothing. Absolutely nothing. Even if that brat hurts your ears with their banshee wailing, you keep your mouth firmly shut and carry about your day. Power strut on out of there, baby.
What should I do when I’m stuck behind a parent with a pram?
Excellent question, friend! You quickly rustle up a little patience like the wonderful adult you are. Deep breaths, just another minute and you’re free to run like a deer in the forest. I also highly recommend a polite “excuse me” – I assure you the parent will be more than accommodating, even apologetic about being in your way.
Where should I change into that cute outfit I just purchased?
I know the parents room is tempting, it’s so big and roomy. And full of prams. And children screaming/ running/ almost wetting themselves. Just as you resist the disabled room, steer clear of parents room too. If you really have to change then and there, there’s a bunch of stalls in the ladies or mens room. Also: it’s really creepy if a bunch of you come out of a room together, and no one likes your spray on deodorant.
When is it okay for me to comment on the poor behaviour of a strangers child?
Never ever, ever ever ever. Ever.
When is it okay for me to comment on the poor parenting skills of a stranger?
Please see above.
A woman is breastfeeding her baby near me! What should I do?
… You carry on doing whatever it was you were doing before you noticed the perfectly normal, natural act of a mother providing nourishment to her infant.
Yeah but what if she’s not covered up?
Is she naked? Please alert the authorities. Oh, you mean you caught a little side-boob? Go find something else to do. You, not her.
There’s one big golden rule to dealing with parents and children: if you can’t say somethin’ nice, don’t say nothin’ at all. That’s right, Thumper’s mum knows what’s up. Look, if you are deeply concerned about the child’s welfare, or believe they ‘re at risk of harm or neglect, please alert the authorities.Other than that, take a chill pill and shhhhh. That parent probably wants to be out of there just as much as you’d like them to be. A little encouragement (or even simply ignoring them) can go a long way.