Strangers making faces on the bus

I ride the bus to and from daycare with my toddler and often strangers try to engage her by talking to her and making faces at her. Almost always she gets visibly uncomfortable and looks away, but they continue. I don't want her to grow up thinking she owes strangers any interaction. I'm thinking of speaking up and saying, "I know you're just being friendly but you're making her uncomfortable". Anyone else deal with this?

  • Anne
    Nov 20, 2018

    Wow, we ride public transit a lot and people have never once done this to either of my boys. Women of any age have the right to be left alone on the bus, so I would be in favor of speaking up and advocating for her. If she is clearly uncomfortable and they are choosing not to see that, I think it’s 100% ok to say “hey, she’s uncomfortable with that, can you stop?”

  • Celeste
    Nov 20, 2018

    ALL THE TIME !! I’m rude to strangers I’m not gonna lie and I’m not afraid to be vocal about it . Especially when it comes to my daughters . I’m sure I could be nice about things like when they are staring or making faces or talking but it happens so often I have zero patience for it . Don’t be afraid to speak up for ur little one 😉

  • Sara
    Nov 21, 2018

    I hear you. My daughter is also very shy and when strangers interact with her (and EVERYONE wants to talk to her because she's very cute) she almost always wants nothing to do with it. I usually do try to model being nice and responding to their question if they ask. Usually I find that the strangers don't care so much about talking to me (I'm not cute) and when I start answering them or engaging them directly with questions like "Hello! What's your name?" they will leave us alone.

  • MsJen
    Nov 21, 2018

    It’s tough because you obviously want to teach your child to be weary of strangers. Yet at the same time its a good opportunity to develop social skills. Maybe it’s so hard for us adults to make friends in real life because we’ve been taught to be afraid of everyone. I would just set an example for your child by engaging in conversation with the strangers.

  • Tiana
    Nov 22, 2018

    I’d deal with it by narrating what’s happening, at a volume that is loud enough for the stranger to hear. “Aww honey, the lady is trying to play with you, but you’re feeling shy! That’s ok.” If you feel compelled to add anything else, say, “ She is still shy around strangers” This puts the focus on the child being the issue, rather than the stranger feeling awkward about being friendly. Some kids love being talked to by strangers and I personally have been saved a number of times by an interesting stranger playing peekaboo or talking to my toddler when he’s bored on public transportation. If the stranger keeps persisting, keep narrating. “ oh you’re feeling really scared! You can come sit with mommy. You’re safe I’m here with you” most get the message after that. I’ve never had to escalate to directly telling someone to stop.

  • mary
    Nov 23, 2018

    I appreciate the interactions. People aren't touching my child, they are just trying to be nice. It entertains her. We are social creatures, human interaction is a GOOD thing.

  • Lily
    Nov 24, 2018

    I am fine with people making faces and talking to my little one as long as she is okay with it. Once she isn’t I say that is enough. You definitely can say something, you are her voice right now. People seem to think any baby is something they can touch and play with, and it’s not like that at all. Have to put them in their place. It is your baby

  • Lexie
    Nov 26, 2018

    I completely agree with this concern and have the same problem. What’s even worse is when it’s someone we know (or really an acquaintance) who does it - because then I don’t want to be rude to that person since they’re a part of our lives and I have to see them again. At least it’s a little easier to cut it off if a stranger is doing it...a little...

  • Anonymous
    Nov 27, 2018

    I hated when I was little and strangers did that, but I would have been a lot more uncomfortable if my mom had said anything. Confrontation makes me anxious. It depends on your child

  • Hope Brown
    Jan 11

    I stopped caring about strangers feelings when an old lady ran her fingers through my newborn's hair without even remotely asking if it was okay to touch her. We hadn't left the hospital yet.