Manners Matter: Children in Stores

Dear Mary Pat,

I was shopping this weekend, and a store clerk told my five-year-old daughter to be careful when she was by a display. I thought it was rude of her to address my daughter when I was only 20 feet away. My daughter doesn’t need to be told what to do by a stranger.


Mind Your Own Business

Janesville, Wisconsin

Dear Mind Your Own Business,

I guess I’m unclear as to what this store clerk did wrong. She was either pointing out a potential danger to your child or protecting her merchandise, which is actually something you should have done. Be honest: Did she “yell” at your daughter or scold her? (If so, I agree that is excessive.) Or was she just being attentive and observant? Children are naturally curious and like to touch everything. That is part of how they learn. If you take your daughter into a store, she needs to know that there are some things that most likely shouldn’t be touched and others that could break or fall, so it is absolutely appropriate for an owner or employee to say so. 

Good luck,

Mary Pat