Dear Mom or Dad with the Crazy Kids acting up in public: I’m not judging you, I doubt anyone else nearby is judging you, and anyone who is judging you probably doesn’t have an opinion that matters.
I’ve been there. Kids are crazy, sometimes borderline psychotic, sometimes actually psychotic. Sometimes they’re upset about what’s for dinner. Or they don’t want to go to church. Other times they’re in full-on tantrum mode in the middle of Target. Sometimes, they’re just loud.
This isn’t to say you should ignore them. By all means, help them learn. As Thomas Sowell put it, “every generation represents an invasion of civilization by tiny barbarians.” It’s to be expected that barbarians behave like barbarians, and sometimes no amount of effort on our part can change it. Yes, have an exit strategy if things go south at a restaurant or whatever event.
You needn’t be so self-conscious. Every generation has complained about “kids these days,” and I’m sure every generation has complained that “parents these days” are terrible. It has been this way since the caves–and yet, here we are. The guy tut-tutting while you’re doing your best and the kids just aren’t cooperating? He needs to over himself. In my more vindictive moments, I hope he steps on a Lego.
Relax. They’re just kids. I’ve been there, and I’m in your corner.