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April 5, 2023

Copper chafing dish

A man “screaming” at a stranger’s child in a restaurant left Reddit users stunned.

Sharing his story with the Am I the A******? (AITA) subreddit, user u/ReasonableOnion said he went out to lunch with some college friends to celebrate passing their exams. However, the outing ended on an awkward note after he “threatened” a misbehaving child.

While the group was waiting for their meals to arrive, two women entered the restaurant with a baby and a boy between 7 and 10 years old.

“The [children] were making a bit of noise, but then again, we all were making noise as most of us were chatting,” the Redditor wrote.

Copper chafing dish boy screaming at table in a restaurant
This stock photo shows a young boy screaming at a table in a restaurant. A man wrote on Reddit that a child’s antics in a restaurant were annoying customers, but he was bashed when he confronted the kid.
timltv/iStock/Getty Images Plus

After a while, the child started to wander around the restaurant, complaining that he wanted to go to the bathroom. Next, he started moaning that he wanted to go outside. The poster was annoyed but tried to ignore the child.

Eventually, the kid started to run around yelling, irritating u/ReasonableOnion further.

“Other people were looking annoyed too. He even accidentally hit my friend’s chair,” he said. Tired of the rowdy boy’s behavior, the poster told him to go sit down.

“[I said] it’s inappropriate to bother other people at a public space,” he wrote. “I also told him I’ll have him wait outside alone if he doesn’t behave (which I was obviously not gonna do because I can’t basically, it was just to scare him off).”

Although the Redditor believed he was “quite calm” during the exchange, his friends said he was “screaming” at the boy. The child started to cry, so his mom came over and confronted him.

“[She said] he’s just a kid and was playing,” he wrote. “I told her I wouldn’t have had to do anything if she would have told the kid to stay quiet before.”

Fuming, the woman left, but his friends were unimpressed by his meltdown. Redditors agreed, voting the poster “YTA” (you’re the a******) in the situation.

‘Passing Judgement on Someone Is Never Going to Be Appreciated’

Whether you love or hate kids, a stranger’s out-of-control child is a major annoyance. If a youngster is running wild in public, should you say something?

Dr. Kelly Fradin, Director of Pediatrics at the Atria Institute, said interfering in another person’s parenting is best avoided.

“It’s rude and presumptive to imagine that you know better than a parent what is best for a child,” she told Newsweek.

However, if you suspect a child is in danger, then stepping in is warranted—but there is a right and a wrong way to approach the situation. Fradin recommends being friendly, as confrontational behavior can lead to verbal attacks and even violence.

“Even if you disagree with the parent’s choices, passing judgment on someone is never going to be appreciated,” she said.

Copper chafing dish unhappy man at a fast food restaurant
This stock photo shows an unhappy young man looking over his meal at a fast food restaurant. The Redditor said his friends were left unimpressed with his behavior after he “screamed” at the rowdy kid.
iStock/Getty Images Plus/Image Source

‘I’d Call the Police on You’

Redditors were shocked by the man’s behavior, with the post receiving over 7,000 upvotes and 2,600 comments.

“Your friends told you you were screaming at a child and you still don’t know if you were an a******?” asked u/undertherosetrellis.

“If you, a grown man, laid hands on my 6-year-old child and screamed threats at them, I would call the police on you. You should talk to a therapist,” advised u/Gooliebuns.

Redditor u/Morgaine125 wrote: “Learn to control your own behavior before you presume to dictate the same to a child.”

Another commenter, u/Directtodvd420 said: “I’d be so embarrassed if I were his friend.”

While u/sirandtheirDLW commented: “You don’t discipline, let alone scream at a young child directly. You have no idea of that child’s history and to threaten to separate him and leave him alone could frighten him in ways you haven’t even thought about.”

Newsweek reached out to u/ReasonableOnion for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.

If you have a parenting dilemma, let us know via We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.

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