annoying things parents do

5 Things Parents Do That Annoy Other People

One day, when I was in my 20s and very single, I was having lunch with a friend—or trying to have lunch. A family near us had young kids who ran around our table. The parents didn’t do anything to stop it. I assume they were either fine letting their kids disturb others, had no idea how to confront it, or assumed their kids were too cute to possibly disturb anyone else. Either way, I was completely annoyed at their thoughtlessness and lack of action.

But since becoming a dad, I have been humbled by many of my single guy judgments of parents. It looks a lot different when you are the parent. Recently, I was in a restaurant and the same scenario happened—kids running around my table, parents not doing anything about it. And with my new perspective, I realized: It still annoys me. Maybe even more now. There are things parents do that tend to irritate people, including other parents. Confession: I am guilty of some of them. Here are 5 annoying things parents do.

1. Think the World Should Bend over Backward for Their Kid

We all want our kids to succeed, but when we routinely find ourselves questioning the standards and perspectives of teachers, coaches, referees, judges, other parents, and school officials then the problem is probably us. There are definitely times when questioning is called for and our kids are wronged, but if it occurs multiple times, then it’s probably time to fall in line.

2. Think Their Kid Never Does Anything Wrong

“Not my angel! It must have been those other kids.” I don’t know if we are defending our own kids, our parenting, or perhaps both. The reality is our kids are capable of terrible behavior, whether we raise them well or not. We need to remember that when we start getting defensive. The earlier we confront our children’s bad behavior the better chance we have to change it.

3. Talk Incessantly About Their Kids

One of the best parts of All Pro Dads Days is when dads share why they are proud of their sons and daughters. It’s important to give our children public commendation but to keep it brief. Anything more than three sentences and people are tolerating you, not enjoying you. When it comes to talking incessantly about your kids, a friend of mine has said, “You think you’re making friends but actually, you’re losing them.”

4. Rebuke Their Children in Front of Other People

We need to mold our kids in private, not in public.

OK, I’m definitely guilty of this one. We have a sensitivity to how our children act in public because we feel like it reflects on us as parents. Naturally, when our kids step out of line, we want to jump all over it. In the end, though, it not only embarrasses the child but everyone else as well. Great coaches teach during practice, not during the game. We need to mold our kids in private, not in public.

5. Allow Their Kids to Be Disruptive in Public Without Doing Anything About It

While we shouldn’t rebuke our kids in public, that doesn’t mean we allow our kids to act disruptively without doing anything. When kids cross boundaries that affect others, a parent should call the children over and inform them of their unacceptable behavior. However, it should be done in a quiet manner, either taking a child to a private location or whispering in the ear.

Sound off: Are there any others you would add to this list?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What is one thing we can do to think more about others?”