I’ve never understood why some parents expect people to not be annoyed when their children have tantrums in the store or otherwise misbehave in public. Apparently, we are supposed to assume all misbehaving children aren’t neuro-typical. I’m sure some aren’t. That’s irrelevant. Having my hair pulled by the child sitting behind me hurts whether the kid is Jimmy Average or Johnny Autistic. A 10 minute screeching fit is going to give me a headache whether the kid is Susie Normal or Mary Aspergers.
And for this, I get lectured about ‘showing compassion’. Why does an autistic child’s right to scream trump my veteran Uncle’s PTSD that causes him to freak out when there are lots of loud noises and screams? Why does a child with Aspergers trump a woman with migraines? Is compassion for ‘special needs’ reserved only for children? Why do you assume I’ve never had to deal with a non-neurotypical child and am not intimately familiar with how difficult it can be sometimes?
I am a parent of a young child. I understood long before the first ultrasound that not everyone in the world was going to like my kid, and that yes, some were going to find him annoying and perhaps even actively dislike him. I realized long before I first felt him kick that while he was very important to me, the world did not revolve around him nor around my rel@tionship to him. I recognized that while it was my job to deal with his foibles, it was foolish of me to inflict them on others and expect them to not be offended, annoyed, or irritated.
I chose not to take it personally. Other people have feelings too, and since my kid screaming in the store so I have to remove him annoys me, I fail to see why it should be any level of surprise that it annoys someone else.
I have compassion for the parent trying to find a solution. The solution needs to include ‘not inflicting pain on other people’. Your kid has tantrums in the store? Shop during non-peak hours, if possible have the other parent stay home with the kid, order stuff online, arrange with the store to have your groceries ready for pickup so you just need to swoop in, pay, and go.
Yes, it’s hard watching your social life suffer because you can’t take your kid everywhere. It’s called being a parent. Yes, it’s frustrating to have to have the dinner out you’ve been looking forward too all week put in to-go boxes because the kid won’t behave. It’s called being a parent. Yes, it’s a pain having to sit out in the car until the kid calms down. It’s called being a parent.
If you can’t handle it, here is an idea. Don’t have kids.
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