Would you back a ‘secret signal’ to prompt STRANGERS to tell off your kids?

One woman thinks it could be the answer to stopping our little darlings' mortifying public meltdowns


Hmmm. What do you make of this? Someone posted an interesting idea on Facebook after seeing a little one have a tantrum in a grocery store and noticing that his poor mum was struggling to deal with it.


Essentially, she suggested there should be a secret signal parents can give to strangers so that they’ll come over and tell their kids off – after all, kids often respond to strangers in a way they just don’t to their own folks, right?

Here’s the post in full

Stranger signal

We’re not too sure about this! We can deffo see where she’s coming from – after all, who hasn’t been in the position where your kid is having SUCH a meltdown in public that you just want anyone to come and save you from it – but deploying actual signals and signs and actually asking for intervention? We don’t know…

The thought process was – we presume – we’re all parents, we’ve all been there, we can all empathise, so here’s how we can help.

Her idea was that a universal signal could be used that would alert another parent (or adult) to step in and ‘ave a word with the fractious youngster.

The prob is though, as we see it, the thing about a stranger is just that – they are strange and you don’t know anything about them and their idea of a telling off could be a million miles from yours – and what happens then?

You having a barney with a random in the frozen produce aisle while your toddler still makes merry hell in the trolley seat and hurls crisps at people?

Or your child going from slight wailing and being a tad annoying to full on hysterical terror because some strange man has approached him and told him to pipe down else Santa won’t visit him Ever Again?

Because there’s nothing to suggest in this woman’s post that the signal would lead to gentle chastisement – her language is after all pretty full on:

‘There should be a secret signal parents give when they can’t take anymore so a random stranger can mean mug the kid and tell it to shut up’.

Mean mug?

Shut up?

We’re not really sure we’d like someone unknown to us or our kids doing either of those things, to be honest.

And what would the signal even be? Us tearing our hair out? The fact we are face down in the checkout queue, punching a box of cornflakes and screaming out a vow of celibacy from hereon in?

The sight of us necking neat gin in the drinks aisle holding a board saying TAKE MY CHILD?

So yes – while it’s good idea in theory (most of us do, after all, know the short, sharp shock benefits of an old dear in the supermarket telling our scarlet-cheeked screwed-up-faced screaming tot that they will stay like it if the wind changes) we’re not entirely convinced we’d like it if someone totes unknown came marching over telling them to ‘shut up’ – even if we had been Morse Coding HELP ME DEAL WITH THIS TANTRUM! as though our lives depended on it for 30 minutes beforehand…

What do you think?

Would you welcome a signal? What would it be? Or would you never encourage someone unknown to your kids to tell them off?

Why not tell us over on our Facebook page?

Pics: Facebook and Getty 

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