It is expected for kids to act up, but it is also expected for their parents to correct the misbehavior or discipline them. However, not all parents are like that. These bystanders share the time they witnessed the most entitled thing they've seen a child do and the parents do nothing about it. Content has been edited for clarity purposes.
Easter Egg Hunt
“Last Easter, my stepson was 13 and my son was eight. I was bringing my son to an Easter egg hunt, down the street from where we lived. For those of you who have never been to a public Easter egg hunt, it’s over in ten minutes. My boyfriend had to work, so my stepson’s mother was dropping him off a little bit before the Easter egg hunt. The Easter egg hunt was for children up to 12 years old.
My stepson found out I was bringing him to an Easter egg hunt, where we literally would be home in 20 minutes, but still started flipping out. He demanded we cancel, so he could stay home and play video games. His mother tried to talk me out of going, saying that my son was eight and way too old for kid’s stuff. And why make both children miserable by dragging them to an Easter egg hunt when they’d be perfectly happy home playing video games. Nope, I wasn’t gonna cancel.
So, my stepson’s mother consoled him by telling him that he could tell my son which eggs he could pick up and which eggs to leave, and then my son could share his loot with my stepson. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. I didn’t bring my stepson to the Easter egg hunt, but my son had a ball there.
For everyone asking, ‘You don’t see why doing something special for your son, that your step-son couldn’t participate in, was a problem? Or that sharing was a possible solution?’
Well, maybe because my stepson normally ran the show? Maybe because when we had family plans to go bowling and he didn’t want to, we either didn’t go, or he threw a fit because he wanted to go drive go-karts instead.
Or maybe because when he had two-hour band practices, we all, including the eight-year-old, had to go watch.
Or, when both boys had toys, but the eight-year-old was not allowed to touch the 13-year old’s toys. However, the 13-year-old could tell the eight-year-old which of the eight-year-old’s toys the eight-year-old was allowed to play with, picking the best ones for himself.
Or maybe I could tell you about how the 13-year-old wanted new batteries for his remote control car, so he took them out of the toy the eight-year-old was playing with?
Or how about how the 13- year- old was with us all weekend, every weekend, but his mother often insisted on picking him up to bring him to an event for a couple of hours, and then to bring him back to his dad’s house with snacks and souvenirs and all sorts of goodies that he didn’t want to share with the eight-year-old?
Christmas was interesting. The 13-year-old got a stocking at his mother’s house, where he was until noon, and the eight-year-old got a stocking at our house. Then, the 13-year-old came over and, the first thing he did was dump the eight-year-old’s stocking out and picked out what he wanted from it, and gave the remaining one-quarter of what was left back to the eight-year-old.
Before you say we should have given him a stocking as well, one, he got one at his mother’s, and two, we had the exact same thing happen on that same Easter with the Easter baskets. We got them both Easter baskets, even though the 13- year- old was spending the morning at his mother’s house and getting an Easter basket there. But then he took what he wanted from the eight-year-old’s Easter basket, broke two of the eight-year-old’s toys that the eight-year-old refused to give to him. Yet, he still did not let the eight-year-old touch his Easter basket from either house. His mother saw nothing wrong with this behavior when we told her, and threw a fit because we got him an Easter basket as well, not letting her be the only one giving him an Easter basket.
So, no, I’m not gonna make the eight-year-old share everything he has with the 13-year-old, or limit what the eight-year-old is allowed to do to only what the 13-year-old can participate in. I’m gonna try to include both children whenever I can, but I’m also gonna make sure both children’s needs are met, not just the 13-year-old stepson.”
“I had one such parent in my son’s class. This parent had a very irksome attitude. She would be extremely sweet on the face and did nothing but talked smack behind your back.
Now, she felt her son XYZ was a gift to humanity. She also felt that she was a super duper parent. Unfortunately, we stayed in the same society, and hence she would try to chew my brains about parenting tips for my child while waiting at the bus stop for the bus to arrive. Mind you, I have an older daughter too so obviously I was more experienced than her.
My son and her son ended up together in class one in the same division. My son was happy that he would have his friend along with him.
When school started and two days down the line, my son came and told me that he had enough of XYZ and that he had complained to the teacher about him.
He said the reasons given were, ‘He pushes me unnecessarily. He empties my tiffin before I can start eating. He scribbles on my notebook so that it will look dirty. He tore off a few pages from the books, which the teacher saw.’
He also tried to poke a pencil in the eye.
Now the last one was dangerous. However, I knew it would be futile to tell the parent as she would never agree to it. Anyway, my son was smart enough to not retaliate and instead complain to the teacher, who in turn promptly told the boy’s mother about his misbehavior. Obviously, she didn’t agree and said that her son was the victim.
Few days down the line, my son was made the class monitor. At the age of six, it was a huge achievement for them. He was on cloud nine for having got the batch. Now, this boy’s mother made a huge deal about the whole thing on our parents’ WhatsApp group. She said only her son was capable of being the class monitor, he was the most disciplined child in the entire class. He had been bullied by the new monitor (namely my son), but still, the kid (my son) was made monitor. None of the other parents bothered to defend her or even slam her.
I chose not to respond to such nonsense and went about doing my work.
The next day after school departure time, I got a call from the vice-principal of the school telling me to meet her urgently. I was scared if anything had happened to one of my two kids. She said both were fine, but I had to meet her as soon as possible.
I rushed to the school driving like a madwoman. When I reached the principal’s office, I saw both of my kids waiting for me. But my son looked traumatized and seemed to have been crying. Well, the class teacher and principal came along and told me all that had happened.
The other mother caught hold of my son after school departure, caught his collar, and yelled at him in front of all to see. Obviously, my son started crying. In the meantime, other parents, and his class teacher rushed there to see what had happened. The class teacher sensing trouble immediately caught hold of the lady and dragged her to the principal’s office. My older daughter was called from her classroom to console my son.
The class teacher then showed the parent the CCTV footage of her son’s shenanigans. Well, the class teacher was fed up with the parent and the kid. They were told the school would withdraw their son’s admission immediately for causing so much trouble. Immediately the mom played the victim card by saying her mom was suffering from cancer and so she behaved irrationally.
The decision was left to me if I wanted any action to be taken. Well, I just requested them to change the boy’s classroom and also told the lady that the next time if she did anything to hurt my son, I would call up the police.
I still see the lady every day at my bus stop while dropping the kids to school. Obviously, she sees me and so do I. Her son though is still the same and apparently has gotten worse.”
“How Did My Son Purchase This?”
“Years ago when I worked in retail, I managed a popular video game store at a nearby shopping mall. One fine Saturday evening while I was basking in the glory of working retail during a holiday weekend, a parent walked up, cut in line, and stared at me.
‘I demand an answer,’ he said.
‘OK, I need a question first, though,’ I lightly responded before looking up to see a very large and angry father with an outstretched hand, holding a popular M-rated video game and receipt.
With a furrowed brow, the man asked, ‘How did my son purchase this?’
I took the receipt, looked it over, and said, ‘With 50 bucks, sir.’
The father leaned back slightly, and said, ‘Son, I can read. I’m a Harvard Law graduate. I know with what it was purchased, I asked how it was purchased.’
I had worked retail long enough to know I was about to handle this entirely wrongly, but I also had worked in retail long enough to know the adage ‘The customer is always right’ is nonsense. Already having a bad day and covering a shift instead of going on a date as I originally planned, I leaned into the man over the counter.
‘By handing someone on my side of the counter legal tender for an unregulated product. The exchange was made, the product was placed in a bag and handed to the new, rightful owner, and the transaction was complete. That is how it was purchased,’ I said.
Again, I knew this was handled poorly, but I also didn’t care.
The father added a lot of volume to his voice at the emphasized parts here, ‘My point is, how was my 10-year-old son permitted to purchase a mature title with cash by himself, with no one checking to make sure it was safe for him? It is as if you people don’t care about values and just want to turn a buck. Isn’t that right? You’re going to refund my money.’
At this point, he was making a scene and trying to get other parents in the store to rally on values and principles, and maybe walk out. And, I felt as though I’d been challenged. Also, neither a multibillion-dollar industry nor my pay would fluctuate if a handful of people refrained from buying a game for a day. I wasn’t paid enough to be berated.
‘Sir, you raise an important fact in your case, that he bought the game by himself. You said you wanted to know how your son was able to buy this game as a means to shift accountability for a lack of parenting in the store. The game is open and the receipt is from three weeks ago. I didn’t attend Harvard Law, but high school was enough to figure out that the more important question is how did your son come to wander a mall by himself with cash, buy the game, get picked up by someone you trust, and play it without anyone knowing? You question the ethics of sales despite your son who may have deceived you or that you were far removed from the kind of principle you’re projecting accountability on others from the outset. Do you want a refund? Go talk to Harvard because that was just an embarrassing display of their product. Good day. Next,’ I said.”
“Does This Make Me Look Beautiful?”
“I was working in a clothing store. This couple walked in, and the female began to try on hats while the male walked out of the store.
After about five minutes, the girlfriend turned to me and asked, ‘How does this look? Does it make me look super good and beautiful?’
I looked over and politely said, ‘Don’t settle on just what you like in a few minutes. It’s a great look, but we have a lot of hats that give you a ton of options to create a look you may like even more.’
She frowned, put down the hat, and briskly walked out to the boyfriend. The boyfriend pulled out his phone, made a call, and they both walked away together while he was on the phone.
Whatever. I didn’t think it was rude at all.
About twenty minutes later, the couple returned with another woman, the mother of the girlfriend. The mother approached the counter and asked if I was working about 30 minutes ago. I told her I was. She asked if I recalled assisting her daughter, and she pointed to the girl. I said I did. Then the mother asked why I didn’t tell her daughter that she was beautiful in the hat.
I explained that I was sorry if what I said came off as rude and as if I was saying she wasn’t beautiful. What I was saying was that hats are an accessory and could be used to create several looks, that maybe she should try different hats and create a look she was comfortable with.
The mother then asked me to tell her daughter that she was beautiful.
Nope. I said, ‘Ma’am, as a male and employee here, I don’t think it would be appropriate to remark on the visual appeal of customers, especially in front of who I guess is her boyfriend. That just seems in poor taste.’
She said, ‘Well, I was going to come in and buy everything she wanted. She liked three hats and five shirts, and four pairs of pants, plus shoes. I guess you don’t want to make a sale then, oh well.’
She began to turn with a pretentious spin, nose uppish, clutch in her hand at shoulder height.
As she spun I said, ‘I don’t want to make a sale in exchange for compromising principle.’
‘I just want her to hear the truth!’ she scowled.
‘I hate when the truth has me point people to another business, but good customer service connects people with the right product, right? The truth is if I had to spend a couple of hundred dollars for her to hear she’s beautiful, go to Belk, top floor, Clinique. Ask for Emily, she’s my wife. They’re running ‘gift’ right now on the new skincare products. It’s not inexpensive but it’ll do more for your daughter than a hat will,’ I said.
Never saw them again. Never heard a complaint about it.”
A Babysitter’s Nightmare
“I worked as a tutor of sorts for a family member. She has four kids which three of whom I was responsible for. Her daughter was an absolute dream, the oldest son had some behavioral issues due to really bad parenting but her youngest was the absolute worst. These were just some examples of things he had done in the last year and a half when I had worked with him.
He had broken multiple iPhones and iPads. Over Christmas, they received brand new iPad pros and within two weeks the entire front screen was smashed to smithereens. When he broke his brother’s phone, his mother simply purchased a new one.
They went out to a store and the mother bought a rather large container of candy for him who was six at the time and his younger brother who was three. He fought with his younger brother for both containers. Mind you, these things were bulk size. When his mother tried to reason with him, he hit her.
On any occasion where he didn’t want to do homework and when you tried to get him to, he would simply call his mother and she would say not to let him do homework. It had gotten so bad he was in grade school and had serious learning impediments; he couldn’t read basic kindergarten words and refused to write. I mean this child would have a meltdown if you tried to get him to learn spelling words.
He once tried to hit me with a phone and when I scolded him, his caretaker (another family member) attempted to reprimand me for shouting at him instead of him for hitting me in the face with a phone.
At six, he would demand a Frappuccino at a restaurant and if you didn’t give in to him, the mother was upset with you. He had a toothache and we attempted to stop him from eating Nerds. He ran to his caretaker and instead of being told off, she let him eat it.
He hit his younger brother and was very rarely scolded for it. He even caused his brother’s mouth to bleed and then proceeded to laugh about it when he was crying.
There were a lot more instances but those were the ones that stuck out to me.”
“While at the optometrist, a Japanese mother and her five-year-old son checked in, and the little boy started crying.
He kept saying, ‘No, no, no.’
The mother mildly tried to reassure him that this wasn’t a doctor who gave shots, as did the doctor’s assistant. They went into the room to do the autorefractor pretest, and the wailing and protesting dramatically increased. As the area was open, I could see and hear everything.
Then the mother tried to demonstrate how easy the refractor was, and sat down at the machine. The little boy ran behind her and started hitting her on the back while screaming ‘No!’ over and over again. Not just little whacks, but full-on punching her.
She did nothing but say, ‘If you do this, mommy will take you to buy a toy.’
The doctor, who had come out to view the insanity, looked at me and said, ‘If that were my kid, he’d be getting the spanking of a lifetime.’
I’m not a big believer in corporal punishment, but at that moment, I was all for it.
The little boy then ran out of the office outside into the busy parking lot. The mother went after him but definitely did not run. Instead of grabbing him out of the parking lot, she attempted to reason with him. Cars were honking, traffic was building up, and she still didn’t get the kid. Finally, he came over to the sidewalk, but he was still yelling ‘No’ at her. They finally took off without coming back in.
I get kids being terrified of doctors. But for a parent to do nothing to assuage a kid’s fears, allow that child to physically beat her, and put his own life in danger because she believes in coddling the said child? Oh heck no.”
Mother’s Strange Request
“I graduated from college and began teaching right as the first wave of helicopter parents hit the shore. But one especially ticked me off, frankly.
One day, directing the junior high school band, I cut them off mid-measure. I called one of the drummers by name (let’s call him Scooter) in a normal speaking voice.
I said, ‘You have to come in in four bars at measure so-and-so. Stop talking, pick up your sticks and count your rests.’
The kid grinned at me, picked up his sticks, and came in where he was supposed to the next time, and life went on. I wasn’t even annoyed, as this was an interaction that happened dozens of times throughout a day when I was a band director. Scooter was a good kid, just a bit of a chatterbox, not some demented serial killer lurking in the percussion section.
The next day, I was conducting the high school band when my office phone rang. It was Scooter’s mother.
According to her, I had ‘damaged [Scooter’s] self-esteem’ the day before by calling his name in class, so she wanted me to administer a spanking to him the next time.
I said, ‘Let me get this straight. You’re worried about Scooter’s self-esteem over a verbal reprimand, so you want me to pick up a stick and hit him with it the next time? That’s not going to happen. That feeling Scooter is experiencing? It’s called shame. If he doesn’t like it, tell him to stop talking in class. I will not be hitting him with a stick. Now, I have a class to teach, so I’ve got to go.’
And I hung up. I’m shocked I didn’t drink heavily the whole time I was teaching.”
“Everyone Did The Assignment, Except One Boy”
“I taught kindergarten. My class was writing their numbers from one to one hundred on a large grid worksheet. I had the image displayed on an overhead projector at the front of the room. Students wrote in the numbers. They could simply copy my answers. As we filled in the grid, I discussed patterns, number formation, and more.
Everyone did the assignment, except one boy who did not try. He just scribbled all over his paper. He did not get in trouble. I told him next time when we do the math, he needed to try.
After school, I told his mom that he had difficulty with this assignment. We would do it again. Hopefully, he would do better next time. She acted a little cold, but she said she would talk to him. Instead, she went to the office and demanded her child be removed from my class. The assignment was too hard, even though every other child completed the assignment. The office allowed her to move her son. Unfortunately for her, the other class did the exact assignment because it was part of our math curriculum.”
Holiday Gone Bad
“Whilst on holiday on a Greek island, we were enjoying a glass and watching the sunset, whilst our child and our friend’s children were playing in a swing park about 30 meters away.
My daughter came over and said, ‘Daddy, there’s a boy throwing stones at us.’
Now the mother and father were sitting right next to the play area and had done nothing. So I told my daughter to carry on playing, I was sure he wouldn’t do it again. This time I kept an eye on proceedings, and sure enough, the boy blatantly continued to throw stones at our children whilst the parents just sat there.
So I went over and said to them, ‘Can you please stop your child from throwing stones, please?
The father said, ‘Ok,’ but was smiling as he said it.
I explained that it was no laughing matter and very dangerous (not quite that politely), and he better stop it. I returned and sat down, and amazingly, it continued. That was enough. I went over to the little boy, grabbed him by the wrist, and knocked the stones out of his hands, showing his parents. Their continued indifference resulted in me escorting them from the park, telling them I wasn’t going to let their family stop other families from enjoying the park.”