What to Do if Your Kid is Screaming in Public

Before becoming a parent, watching another random kid screaming in public can be pretty annoying. You wonder how the parents of this child could be so inconsiderate, and you proceed to feel bad for two parties: yourself for being in the presence of this screaming child and the parents for having to deal with it. Once you become a parent, however, you find that your perspective shifts a bit. You understand now that you can’t just leave your child at home all day. They need to see the world, and screaming is simply something that they do sometimes. Here’s how to handle it.

There are parents who handle their screaming children in two possible extremes: either they go full-on disciplinarian and scream at their child, eager to please everyone around them. Or they go the exact opposite route, not giving other people a second thought, and let their child scream forever to their heart’s delight. Both of these extreme routes aren’t good.

What you want to do is entertain a much more balanced approach. You want to be respectful of others in public, but you also can’t be so tense and worried about what others will think that you’ll treat your child in a way that you’ll regret later. Do everything you can to calm your child down in the same way you would back home—your child will respond well to that because that’s what they know.

Don’t try to “change the recipe”, so to speak—and go with what you know works. If others around you get upset, you may apologize to them politely, and then proceed to take care of your kid. The truth is that most passengers just want to see that you’re actually trying, and not simply letting them scream.