Parents Are Taking to Reddit to Share the Crazy, Inappropriate Things Strangers Have Said About Their Kids

A mom took to Reddit to vent about a stranger who told her toddler that if she didn't stop crying, she'd go hungry. Other parents shared equally eyebrow-raising tales. 

little asian girl crying on mom's shoulder
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May 29, 2019

As if prepping for and running errands with a little one wasn't challenging enough, parents are often subjected to bizarre commentary from strangers. Back in March, a mom took to Reddit to share how she was criticized by a stranger for protecting her daughter in a Target parking lot. Similarly, the social media is flooded with stories of women who have been shamed for breastfeeding and for buying formula. So, it's no wonder that when a Redditor named Queen_Red shared her most recent eyebrow-raising encounter and asked parents to weigh in with their own experiences, the thread blew up.

Queen_Red titled the post, "Most inappropriate/weird thing a stranger has said to you/your child in public, and explained that the day prior, at Walmart, her 3.5-year-old started crying because "we had put her new pony toy in the bag" at self check-out.

"She wasn’t screaming or having a huge fit but was upset that we didn’t hand her back the toy after ringing it up," the mom wrote. "I was handling it, telling her she 'can have the toy when we get back to the car if she calmed down.'" Then, "out of nowhere, an older lady" approached the toddler and, according to Queen_Red, "started telling her that 'if you don’t stop crying right now, Mommy isn’t going to feed you any of that yummy dinner she’s going to make. Do you want to go to bed hungry? Stop crying.'" Then, she walked away.

The aggravated mom noted, "There are so many things wrong with that statement," like she would "NEVER not feed my child as punishment for acting like a 3.5-year-old." Second: "Way to assume I’m the cook to the family...I’m not." And third: "It's not like I was just letting her pitch a fit, I was talking to her about her feelings and how to act in the store. I mean she’s freaking 3.5... We all know they aren’t the most rational..." She then asked Reddit parents to share similar stories.

The stories parents shared range from downright annoying to utterly nuts.

A Redditor named LittleJohnStone shared that when his daughter was 6 months old, he took her for a walk in a stroller. "First nice day after a really awful winter (blizzard-like storms every 3-5 days), so I was really happy to get us both in some fresh air. I made it about 200 feet when I hear the sound of a car slowing down, and this woman starts to lecture me on how sensitive babies' skin is and she should be protected from the sun. The stroller's shade was fully up, we were walking in a neighborhood with a lot of trees, daughter was fully clothed. 'Yup, I know, that's why her shade is up! She's got sunblock on, too.' (Not that I had to answer to her.) And she keeps lecturing me! Over and over, and ignoring my 'Yep, she's protected' statements. What a busy-body nut job."

Shelle399 explained that her 2-year-old was running around " a grassy area in our small downtown area. A mid 40s lady, looking a little disheveled and carrying a large blanket/sleeping bag, came up to us and said, 'Oh my gosh you are so cute! This is a kidnapping! Come here and give me a hug!' Obv I intervened but wth! Who does that?!"

Grocery stores are also hot spots for strangers to accost parents, of course. How's this one for completely insane? Majesticporchlion noted, "I was in line at Starbucks in our local grocery store with my couple month old baby and a older lady came up to us and asked if she could buy my baby... She had a $100 bill in her hand and everything. The couple older people around chuckled, and a woman around my age just stared at me like, 'What the hell just happened?' I couldn’t believe it was real life."

BytheSpeaker shared, "I am in my early 30s, but I'm tiny and look about 10 years younger. I freaked out on an older woman who disapprovingly muttered 'babies having babies' under her breath in the grocery store line when my then 6-month-old daughter was crying ... Bitch, she is an infant, that's how she communicates."

Rabbit_Mom said that she was harassed by a stranger after getting her child a flu shot: "I've been chased through a Trader Joe's parking lot by a man who seemed like a normal stranger saying hi to a baby, until he asked if we'd gotten our 1-year-old a flu shot and then followed us to the car while ranting and shouting about mercury poisoning."

And doing something as inane as changing your kid's diaper can lead to a public shaming, as evidenced by Undisclosedinsanity's description of an incident that occurred while she was changing her 10-month-old in the back of her car. "An old woman stops, looks in to see what Im doing, and says, 'You're teaching your daughter to be a whore. To expose her vagina in public like that,'" she wrote. "And walked off. I've never seriously considered beheading as an appropriate public response...that day changed that for me."

These are just a few of the jaw-dropping tales parents shared. In just a day, Queen_Red's post has wracked up over 1K comments. Clearly, no matter where you live, how old you are, how old your kiddo is, and where you're headed when you step out of your home, you're bound to have a frustrating encounter with an opinionated nut. Thankfully, these Redditors have learned that when it comes to these incidents, they're so not alone!

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