I took all 4 of my kids (yes all 4) to a graduation. I brought books, treats, you name it I brought it...so my kids sat and played with their stuff and not one word was made the whole time. But across the way a woman had with her 1 child that screamed and cried the whole 2 hours. After the 2 hours were up this older woman came up to me and thanked me for keeping my kids under control, and then she walked over to the other woman and told her that she should take a lesson from me and keep her kid under control.
I felt really bad for the woman with the upset child. I don't think it is anyone's place to make a comment like that to someone. I am sure the mom of the screaming kid was plenty embarrassed and really did not need it pointed out to them that her kid was a disruption.
Dear Perturbed Parent,
It sounds like the old bag needs to mind her own business and not make an already difficult situation that much worse for a struggling parent. I think any parent knows that children are going to melt down from time to time and a parent can only try to do the best they can to diffuse the situation. The only time when a stranger needs to comment on another person's parenting skills is if it is a safety issue. I'll admit, I've told a child to sit down when they are standing in a cart in the middle of Target and the mom is two aisles over looking at clothes. That child could fall and crack their head and obviously no one else is paying attention to him. If it's a situation like a melt down or temper tantrum, I'm sure the parent is already frustrated and ready to flip out so just shut your mouth, put in some ear plugs, and suck it up.
With that being said, I think parents need to know when to draw the line in public situations. If your child is screaming for two hours straight, maybe you should have removed the child from the situation when you realized that there was no calming the child down. Sometimes a change of scenery or another distraction can help the child to calm down. If you can't make the child happy in the environment they are currently in, then you need to end the child's suffering and take them home. I think most people understand that sometimes a child just can't be comforted enough to behave, and they understand if you need to bail on an important event.
If I were that woman with the screaming child I would have told that lady, "Thanks for the advice. Next time my child has a meltdown, I'll find you in the crowd and let you handle it since you obviously know better than I do. Dumb ass!"
Lots of love,