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Do You Criticize Bad Parents In Public?

toddler tantrumI have no problem parenting someone else’s kid on the playground.

If I see them kicking sand, pushing, or fighting, and no parent is taking charge I’ll pull them apart – especially if it involves my kid.

But what do you do when it’s another parent that needs the parenting?

Lisa was at the airport this weekend when she saw a dad not having a good time with his 16-month-old.

“4 secs away from yelling at some really frazzled young dad who’s being a ****,” she wrote on Twitter.

The little girl had dropped her bottle, he picked it up and smacked her with it while proceeding to tell everyone within earshot what a brat she was being.

Lisa kept using the word “frazzled” to describe the Dad, who was obviously not having a good go of it that day. She said it was really hard to watch and, in the end, she refrained from saying anything.

Lisa had no problem being exasperated on Twitter, but she didn’t feel right say anything in person. I suggested she ask the Dad if he needed any help, not to be accusatory, but if he was frazzled, he might have needed it.

I admit that I have an inner smile when kids throw tantrums in public, it shows me that I’m not the only one who has to have ‘frazzled’ days. That said, that small inner smile is to tell me I’m not alone, and it’s an empathetic feeling for the other parent. When I see a parent not handling the frazzled time particularly well, the feeling immediately disappears.

Where’s your line to say something to another parent that is ‘frazzled’?

Image Credit Jared Smith

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