Children In Public

This is always a hot topic among people and always seems to pop up on the internet in blog posts. How should children behave in public etc. If they are throwing a tantrum in public should the parent remove them from the establishment (restaurant, store, airplane etc) or should they continue to do what they need?

There are people out there who firmly believe that the parent should remove the child as to not disrupt everyone else.

There are people out there who firmly believe that the parent should be able to stay and not have to worry about everyone else.

Here are my thoughts.


Did you know at some point that we were children too? That our parents had to deal with our behavior (good or bad) at some point? I truly doubt any of us were perfect. In fact I know none of us were perfect. I can almost guarantee that at some point we threw a tantrum or acted out in public. Even those of us who don’t have kids were still kids at some point. I know…shocker.

I am sure you are sitting there thinking that my children are those children. The ones that just aggravate you to no end in public. But oh my friend are you wrong. My kids are not perfect and a lot of times they drive me crazy in public. They don’t scream or throw fits. They have. Yes they have. But when Brent went to work in Alaska over five years ago my mother in law enforced one thing in our family – that the kids behave in public. For various reasons she did this. One…I would be alone. All alone with three kids in tow when I go to the store or to a restaurant. The minute the I would have to chase one kid down or get onto them, two could get taken or run off. And my mother in law said that even though I have kids I should still be able to go sit down and enjoy myself in a restaurant. So my kids learned from a young age how to act in public. Do they still act out? Yes of course. Just the other day my son figured out how to slide across the floors of a grocery store. Was he harming anyone? Nope. Was it driving me crazy? Yep.

But now that I have three kids in school and am able to attend a grocery store alone things are quite different. I am now the parent without kids and watching other parents with kids in a store. I have heard kids screaming. I have seen kids crying. The parent or parents are mortified and I feel so bad for them. We cannot control the outbursts of children. We just can’t. Nor do we know their story. And to ever hear of adults judging the parents of the misbehaving children drives me crazy. You don’t know them or their story. I’ve had to go to the store with a sick kid before because I have no help and am alone. I’ve had to lay them in the cart while they cry and don’t feel well so that I can pick up medicine. They aren’t misbehaving or acting out…they just don’t feel well. And what makes me even more frustrated is the employees that complain. If you don’t want to deal with the general public, including children – well you might want to find another job.

Here’s my last bit of thought regarding this situation and it comes from my husband –

Mind your own business.


  1. I think your mother-in-law has the right idea. Continually teach kids from the start how to behave in public so that you can get what you need to get done. I feel bad for the parents when a child has a tantrum. Having a consequence for the child, such as having to leave the restaurant, should you be used to help the child understand behaviors and consequences. I don’t think it should be done for the purpose of not bothering other people. Educating our children and raising them to be decent human beings is the responsiblity of all of us. We need to support all parents, not get annoyed with them.

  2. Haha! Mind your own business is right. My kids are always testing me in public. we went to a pizza place the other day and my husband was running an errand and dropped us off. Well, my son had to go potty, so I had to leave our pizza on the table and take both kids to the bathroom. There was a lady in there. I was waiting with my daughter while my son went potty. My daughter, for no reason, looked at me and said “mommy, you tooted!” mind you ALL I did NOT. I was so embarressed! The lady in the bathroom had let one and my daughter blamed her toots on ME! I had to tell her that the nice lady in the stall was letting those toots. LOL! Oh, such fun kids are in public!