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Readers share what irks them about strangers' kids readers share their pet peeves about other people's children -- from shouting in restaurants to interrupting parents.
/ Source: TODAY

Whether it’s the screaming tot in the grocery store or the ill-tempered kid in the restaurant, most of us — at one time or another — have been irritated by other people’s kids. Even the biggest fan of kids has had moments when they were frustrated with children causing chaos in public. readers share their pet peeves:

I am a server at a restaurant in town, and the way people let their kids just run around the place with no concern for other people, is extremely irritating. There are people walking around with hot plates and trays of food, and the last thing you should have to worry about is some kid on roller shoes that’s whizzing past. Keep 'em in their seat folks!--Dawn Brussow, Aurora, IL (submitted on March 9, 2008)
Children screaming and kicking the back of my seat or playing with the tray table directly behind me on an airplane drives me crazy! Especially when the parents act like it's not happening or that it's cute just because their little darling is doing it. It’s not cute, it’s not "just kid behavior"—it's horrible and worse when the parents act like you are the bad guy for not wanting to put up with a five-hour flight with a little foot in your back and a screaming child in your ear.--Anonymous, Washington, DC (submitted on March 7, 2008)

I think it is extremely rude for a parent to be talking on the telephone with you and their child interrupts. What is worse is the parent will either start a conversation with the child and leave you hanging for five minutes or the parent will start hollering "don't you see I'm on the phone?!" and you have to listen to that conversation. I knew from a very early age not to interrupt my parents while they were on the phone or visiting with friends unless it was an emergency!--Mari Williams, Southaven, MS (submitted on March 7, 2008)

This could most likely be more the parents fault but I hate when the kids record the outgoing message on their parents voice mail. It's not cute, it's just plain irritating and stupid. It is usually loud and hard to understand. Parents, just say no to this and record your own message like an adult should.--Bob Shelton, Sarasota, FL (submitted on March 7, 2008)

I hate when kids have on dirty shoes and coats. I understand kids get dirty, but if a person owns a washing machine their kids sneakers and coats should never been covered in dirt for more than a couple of days. Without naming any names, I have a friend whose children wear the same coats and shoes all year without ever getting washed. What she doesn't know is that every time they come to my home to spend the night with my kids I wash their stuff before they go home. --Anonymous , Cleveland, OH (submitted on March 7, 2008)

One of my biggest pet peeves is the enormous strollers these mothers feel the need to push around and store everything and anything on (often without the kid). Clueless (or self absorbed) mothers are unaware of the frustration this causes everyone else around them as they attempt to navigate them through isles. Get a stroller just big enough to carry the kid and a few kid necessities. The stroller isn't your personal caddy be courteous of those around you. Also, not everyone thinks your kids are cute; running around unattended and left to misbehave is rude. You chose to be a parent so be a parent not a best friend, discipline isn't a four letter work. --Anonymous , Seattle, WA (submitted on March 7, 2008)

The thing that gets under my skin is when other people's children help themselves to your fridge. I don’t know where there manners are. I would of never done that as a child and my kids are taught better. Let’s all learn a little respect!--Kari Hentzen, Mindenmines, MO (submitted on March 7, 2008)

The roller shoes! Especially at the malls or when I'm shopping. There are signs everywhere that say "no skateboarding, no roller skating, no bicycling"—parents think that just because the ‘shoes have wheels their kids are exempt from these rules. At the mall kids flying down the walkway near the entrance of stores almost slamming into people—or the kids that just got them and don't know how to balance on them—falling down in front of you and you get the dirty look when you almost step into them. --Randy Smith, Kingsland, GA (submitted on March 7, 2008)

It drives me crazy when I hear children answer an adult with a "Huh?", "Yeah", or "Whatever". They accept a gift and don't say "Thanks", and recently I asked one young child "What's the magic word?" and they said "Now". The sad part was that they weren't kidding!--Shonda Bowman Wright, Pell City, AL (submitted on March 8, 2008)

My top pet peeves about people kids is when the parent let walk around the store and they touch everything they shouldn't. Also when they try to open the boxes or wrapped books. trust me I have seen it all. I seen kids scream to the top of their lungs in book stores while people are trying to read. Last and the worst, when the kids get smart out the with other people and then you say something they want to run to their parents. they Shouldn't been with them in 1st place.--Anonymous, Riverdale, MD (submitted on March 8, 2008)

I don't like to see older children pouting about something or doing something to spoil an occasion for parents because they don't want to be there, and then the parents are bribing them to cheer them up or win their approval. It's a child's passive-aggressive behavior. Parents should not have to please their children or take responsibility for their children's happiness in every situation. The child will learn to manipulate the parents in the same way a tantrum works for a younger child. --Anonymous, Humboldt, IA (submitted on March 7, 2008)

I cannot stand it when a another child (often mistakenly) hits or hurts in some way my child and they are not made to apologize. The parent, instead, makes up some excuse. Just because their child did something by accident does not mean it doesn't deserve an apology anyway. It shows both children the importance of an apology and to not hold any grudges based on someone's accident or poor choice. --Elizabeth Dion, Amesbury, MA (submitted on March 7, 2008)

Oh yeah, it's definitely the roaming restaurant kids. You know, the loud, obnoxious ones whose parents think, "Isn't he/she cute?" Or "Oh they're just being kids," as their little angels run amuck between tables demanding attention from their parents as well as complete strangers. Yes, they're being kids, but they're not cute. They're undisciplined. It's the pinnacle of rudeness. The old adage, "Children should be seen and not heard" still holds true for some of us. --Anonymous, Sheridan, WY (submitted on March 7, 2008)

Everything! More specifically, the culture of entitlement we live in where the kids and parents get what they want at the expense of others' time and convenience. This takes place at "grown-up" restaurants, R-rated movies, public transportation in all forms, and it makes me sick.--Anonymous, New York, NY (submitted on March 7, 2008)

One of my (many) top pet peeves in regards to other people's children is picky eating combined with bad manners. I had two boys, friends of my children, spend the night one time. When I served dinner, both of the boys openly cried "ewww!" and refused to eat the meal—they even broke down in tears! They said they wanted me to call their dad, so I did—and he brought them (but not my children, who happily ate their meal) McDonalds! It’s not like I served chopped liver and onions or anything. I served a very kid friendly (in my house anyway), ham, macaroni and cheese and baked beans!!! I could not believe they were so rude about it. I was always taught that when you are at someone else's house, you eat what they serve you whether you like it or not. And you certainly do not make rude comments or cause trouble because of it!--Nikki Fekete, Kingsland, GA (submitted on March 7, 2008)

I can't stand the parents who always pick up after their children. I have a three-year-old daughter who has been taught from day one that if you play with something, you put it away when you are finished. Of course I have to remind her most of the time of this but she does a great job of cleaning up after herself and putting her toys back where they belong. I have a real hard time with children who are the same age, and many who are older, who have no clue what it means to pick up after yourself. The parents try to say "OK now help clean up" but the child just refuses and the parents don't insist on having their child pick anything up. They just do it for them or they walk away and leave the mess, which I end up having to clean up with my three-year-old daughter. --Rebecca Fulkerson, Peoria, IL (submitted on March 8, 2008)

[When parents] actually encourage their child to perform. The child sings, or pantomimes a super hero or draws or pretends to read or tells a story and every adult there is supposed to pay attention to their little star. The child is rude, has inappropriate boundaries and is learning to be a manipulator.

Also, at dinner parties they actually feed their children first and give them the best seats at the table where other adults are hostage to yet more drama and acting. I have seen kids load up their plates with the main course and then play with the food and never eat it, while adults have nothing left to eat. --Anonymous , Denton, TX (submitted on March 9, 2008)

It drives me crazy when a parent doesn't discipline their child in public. I'm not looking for a spanking or yelling, but rather attention and control. I am so bothered by parents who take their kids to a restaurant or a store and let them run around, scream, and make messes. I understand that it's not always something that a parent can control. Kids do have a mind of their own. But, if that's the case, then remove yourself and the child from the situation. You may have to shop another day or eat at home that meal. I think that ignoring the chaotic behavior only sends a message that it's okay. And in turn, the other patrons have to endure the problems, too.--Kim Baber, Wichita Falls, TX (submitted on March 9, 2008)