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Monday, January 10, 2011

Children are to be seen

There is a lot to be said for old quotes from yester year. Children used to be seen, and not heard. In fact...children were rewarded in public for behaving with a small piece of dime candy. How do I know this? I don't know...I'm an old soul who has watched too much TV.

I work in retail and I witness some of the most deplorable behavior EVER! Now...before you try to knock me off of my high and mighty horse spewing out the suggestion that I don't know what it's like to have X-Y-Z let me just stop you and tell you that a. You are barking up the wrong tree., and b. You are wrong., and c. My opinion is not up for debate.

I have 4 children. My oldest has an Autism Spectrum disorder, and a generalized Anxiety diagnosis. My Daughter has night terrors and is a sleep walker...which can result in unsavory behavior from the sleep deprivation. My 8 year old has ADHD and my youngest is suffering from the terrible fours. My point is...I know the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to behavior. There isn't much that you could show me that I haven't yet seen in one of my own 4 children. I also know there is a HUGE difference in the behavior of a child suffering from a neurological disorder and that of a child suffering from BRAT syndrome.

As I am at work this evening at a big box sporting goods retailer I am listening to these 2 children screaming at the top of their lungs. These were not screams of distress. These were not screams of fear or pain. These were the kind of scream a child lets out just to be making noise.

I walked around to investigate the noise and to ensure that no child was being abused, or was in any way hurt and as I round the corner I see brother and sister crammed into the basket of a shopping cart. There stands mom in her work out clothes, holding her Starbucks and chit chatting with an old friend. She seems to have completely tuned out her child. She seems not the least bothered by the screaming and howling that is going on in the cart that she is leaning on with one hand. Now...I have "tuned out" my own child many times before. I believe that it is a necessity at times...but not for 10 minutes at a time and not in public!

There was once a time when people had respect for other people. People kept their children clean, and quiet because they didn't want other consumers to be bothered or inconvenienced in any way by someone elses child. Children were to be seen, and not heard. Children had a place, and they knew it. Children didn't have money to buy things and therefore they kept their hands to themselves and off of the merchandise.

Now-a-days parents send their kids off to roam the stores and test out whatever merchandise they choose to, never knowing that their child just broke a bat, or popped a $10 ball, or ripped the key card from the $2,000 treadmill.

They let their kids try on 30 baseball batting gloves and then...here's the best part-They don't want to buy one that is opened, or they want a discount for the opened merchandise. Let me get this straight. You just opened 30 pairs of gloves and now you think that they should all be discounted because YOU opened them? You want to know what I think? I think that the police should be called because you people are robbing others of reasonably priced merchandise by tearing up things and then demanding a discount for them!

Do my children throw tantrums in the stores? ABSOLUTELY! Do my children run a muck, opening up merchandise, sampling products and wreaking general havoc onto others? HELL to the NO!

People...I beg of you! Make your children use their manners, teach them to be respectful, and for the love of all things holy OPEN your eyes and pay attention to what your little angel really is doing while you are sipping your latte and chatting with old friends. If you let then ravage into things at the stores without boundaries how will they ever know how to act in public?

One last thing. I've said it before and I will say it again. Opening up a package of socks and using a pair to try on shoes is NOT OKAY! It is stealing! No one wants to pay for a pair of socks after you have opened them and put your dirty foot in them. If the store doesn't have try on socks consider BUYING a pair to use or wait until you can come back with socks. I seriously don't know what is wrong with people. No one is going to pay full retail for socks that you used and then shoved back into a package people, seriously! It's even worse when you do this for a child with filthy dirty feet. GROSS!

Clearly I had a rough day at work today but this is something I see every.single.day. in the retail world.


  1. Amen, sister! I have been on both ends--retail and parent-of-curious-rambunctious child. IMO, 99% of it is common sense--heck NO I would never even consider opening a package of socks to "borrow" a pair to try on shoes. You're absolutely right, it IS stealing. I have better things to teach my kid. And now the retail worker assigned to that section has a 10 minute project of marking that package as D&D, logging it, re-attaching and re-tagging the remaining socks so that it looks halfway decent for someone to buy.

    Sure, kids will be kids. We've all been there. But that is why parents need to be parents.

    Great post--I couldn't have said it any better!

  2. I was trying to have lunch with a friend recently in a crowded and busy restaurant and the worst of the noise was one table over- little girl around 15 months old having a full on screaming tantrum for at least 20 minutes and no one bothered to get up and REMOVE her from the chaotic environment for her sake or for the sake of others in the restaurant. Gah!!!