Shopping Mall Bans Noisy Kids

Eye Roll 18

shopping cartsA mall is drawing major attention this week, but it's not for the sales. The Dee Why Grand shopping center in Sydney, Australia, has officially banned loud kids. As if shopping with the kids along isn't a big enough nightmare for moms?

Ladies, you've been through this, haven't you? You're in the middle of Tar-jay stocking up on tissues and cute tops, and your kid decides to have a meltdown right there in the middle of the store. What do you do?

Look around wildly to make sure the security guards aren't making a beeline for you and your cart full of necessities to escort you and that little brat off the premises and keep on shopping? Give all the shoppers eying your screamer the stink eye like they're the ones doing something wrong?

Sounds pretty typical. But how about hightailing it out of there?

Yes, I know, it sucks. It means the little terrorist won -- he doesn't have to trail you around the store anymore.

But is it really fair to your fellow shoppers to wander the aisles with a bellowing babe assaulting their eardrums? Is it really teaching your kid anything?

Parents who are PO'd at the mall's screaming kids ban right now say this ban on loud tots just shows a lack of empathy for parents. Said one parenting expert:

Anyone who has kids knows it's far more uncomfortable hearing your own child scream than hearing someone else's child scream.

Spoken like a truly self-centered parent. Can you smell the cloying scent of condescension there?

Listen, y'all, I'm not one of those child-hating grinches who doesn't understand that kids are kids and sometimes kids are a--holes. I am a mother! My daughter has thrown a full-blown hissy in the middle of the mall, and I have been that mom with a beet red face trying to reason with her, trying to get her to "simmer down so we can just buy our toilet cleaner, for pete's sake."

My first instinct is to tell her to keep her voice down. She may be a kid, but "hush" is pretty universal. That's not too much to ask of parents, is it? Tell your kid not to be so darn LOUD?

When all else fails, I have done what I've had to do: abandoned my cart full of stuff and whisked the cranky kid outside of the store. Sometimes I've been lucky enough to have my husband with me so he could take the tantruming tot out to the car. Sometimes I've had to do it myself.

Repeat after me, ladies: It. Isn't. That. Hard.

Painful from being kicked in the shins by a pissed off little hellion? Yes. Hard? Nah. I pushed nearly 7 pounds out of my hoo ha. That's hard.

And let me drop a little mom knowledge on you: you only have to do it a few times before your kid gets the message that screaming and carrying on inside a store isn't going to be tolerated. Suddenly shopping with the kids becomes less headache, more "outing."

Come to think of it, maybe the mall is really just helping parents be better at parenting. 

Would you shop at a mall that bans screaming kids?


Image via coffee core/Flickr

behavior, discipline


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paren... parentalrights1

I think if the kid is screaming and kicking like a damn fool then yes take them out, but you know the mall will take it to the extreme and kick a kid out just for crying or something.

People just want to live and pretend kids don't exist. Stores are not a place people should be able to escape kids.

miche... micheledo

I do think parents should walk out if their children are having a melt down. However , HOW do you enforce this policy? What about the child who screams and stops when told to? What if the child got hurt and stops after calmed down? How long must they scream before they are not allowed in? It is such a subjective policy. Every employee will have a different idea of what 'screaming' is. And what do you do with the older child that has difficulties and is too big for the parent to pick up and walk out. Is security going to arrive and drag the child out? Sure, we as parents need to be considerate, but as a policy???

Kristen Sanderlin

Or it will teach them that screaming and carrying on inside a store will get them exactly what they want. TO LEAVE. Then it becomes "Oh, if I scream and throw a big enough fit, Mommy will wisk me out of the store in 2 seconds flat." Taking a child out of a situation they do not like (i.e. shopping) does nothing to teach them how to act in public. Thats why "ignoring" works so well for us. It gets across the point that throwing a fit will get you nowhere and IS NOT acceptable as a form of communication.

jhslove jhslove

Hell yes, I would. And if you take the kid out, it doesn't teach him that he "won" if you do it right. When I was little, if we were being loud and obnoxious, it was straight home for a consequence. Or, if it was a situation where they absolutely had to finish what they were doing, out to the car for a time-out until we could calm down, and THEN straight home for a consequence. The kid only "wins" if leaving the store results in doing something else that's preferable.

It's not about hating kids or wanting to pretend they don't exist; it's about recognizing that your special snowflake doesn't trump everyone else's right to go shopping without listening to a screaming kid. And yes, this applies to babies as well. I know that babies cry, and it doesn't mean that they're bad or need to be punished, but if your baby is crying, take him out to the hallway until he's calm. I've had to do that while shopping before, and yes, it's slightly inconvenient, but it's not that hard.

mande... manderspanders

I was just thinking... I'd love to see the feud between screaming toddler mom allowing screaming toddler to continue without repercussions and sleeping newborn baby mom... whose baby is actually peaceful and sleeping on this outing and is rudely awakened by said screaming toddler.

That would be a fun one.

Also, are the mothers who are perfectly fine with allowing their toddler throw a raging tantrum in public the same mothers who are completely against CIO?  Because both those scenarios involve the mindset that the child is a precious snowflake who can do no wrong and mommy must always accomodate.

MaryC... MaryCimino

I'm for these bans in a way. If the kid is destroying the place then you need to leave and possibly leave a check for the damages. It's one thing to have a cranky baby who needs a nap than to have a kid who refuses to listen to you. When I was a restaurant manager I kicked the latter out, hell we had to sue one couple over their kid breaking our door. He kicked it because he couldn't get a kids meal for the toy and smashed it. Far as I know they are still banned from the chain.


I don't see the problem with the ban.  I work in retail.  It becomes quite difficult to listen to a customer when there are screaming kids throwing fits, jumping, running, etc all over the place while the parent(s) is calmly walking around, I guess ignoring, the child until they "calm" themselves down because the child is not going to "win"--and I am NOT exaggerating.  It is an extremely painful situation for everyone involved.  I like the consequences response from jhslove.  Once the child realizes that they are NOT the adult (in charge) then all is good.  It may take a couple of times but it will get through sooner.  As a parent of twins, it works.  Shopping should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.  If I wanted to listen to children scream and carry-on, I will go hang out at Chuck E. Cheese or a playground.

miche... micheledo

Manders - that is an interesting question and made me laugh!!! We don't practice CIO, and we remove our children if they are not behaving. As far as that being 'giving the child what they want' - our kids like to be out with us and we intentionally don't take the mshopping for long hours. We also break it up with some fun stuff - a walk around the toy department or let them play on the kiddie rides (and we never put money in them, they just play). We have had to leave the grocer ystore one time, and that hasn't happened since. We hav enot YET had to leave a resteraunt or other store. Yet, being key since we have five little ones! :)

Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

I don't get upset or even bothered by screaming/crying/fit throwing babies/toddlers/kids while shopping; I know that kids will do those things for numerous reasons,from those that are justifiable to reasons that aren't but since Iam just a bystander and don't know the reason, I just feel sympathy for the mom/dad.I remember how embarrassing,etc. it was to have those moments in public.Sometimes you can scold/warn,etc. and can get them calm and other times nothing seems to work.I admit, when a kid throws a fit over wanting mommy or daddy to buy me this!buy me that! I want I want I want!...and the parent baby-talks them and it's obvious who the real one in charge is,then yes, THAT IS SO annoying.Regardless, I ALSO know how difficult it is to go out and run errands in between nap time,meal time,picking up siblings,etc and that you don't always have time to drop what you're doing to come back later after the kid is calmed down, so along with what I stated above, I don't expect them to drop all and make a run for it every time their kid gets cranky.That's just how I view this situation though, I have no issues with others differing opinions on this.To each their own. Yes, I would shop at this mall,btw.

Sarah UsedtobeZech Cone

To add to that I will also say that my opinion on this comes from MY experience. I was blessed enough that none of my kids were misbehaved or acted out in public.They would 'test the waters' as toddlers but once I gave them a stern look and scolding, gave them a consequence, they settled right down and we got back to shopping. I DO admit that if they had been kids that would have KEPT screaming, I may have a different opinion...and can actually see myself being a parent who DOES leave if there is absolutely nothing that can stop the screaming/fit throwing, as a courtesy to other shoppers...but I wouldn't just drop and run at the first cry...I would do everything first (but as quickly as possible) to get them calm;however if nothing worked and it remained loud/a distraction or got worse, I WOULD leave.Just to be clear...I DO want to teach my kids respect for other people... I was just lucky to not be put in that situation to see...     :)

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